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The Chilcot Report has been mired by delay. The feel is that we are witnessing a cover-up. But do we need an inquiry to tell us that invading Iraq was wrong and based on iffy evidence? Do we need an inquiry to tell us that Tony Blair was just the head of a group who, allegedly, cooked-up reasons for what had been decided?
We know the WMDs did not exist.
We know the ‘dodgy dossier’ was cribbed from the internet. Google ‘WMD’ and present it as fact.
What are we looking for? Do we just want Blair and George Bush’s heads, to bury them and the past with it?
We should asks: why did Tony Blair and New Labour lead Britain to war in Iraq?
Well, when the question of invading Iraq was put to the elected represensatives of this country on 18 March 2003, 412 British MPs voted in favour of military intervention and only 149 voted against. Jack Straw, then the foreign secretary, says “intelligence and facts were being fixed around the policy.”
We went to war becsause we wanted it. Why? Well, I’d suggest mixture of pride, greed, desperations and a policy to unite the country and for Labour to look ‘good’ and ‘ethical’.
This website says www.arrestblair.org. But why only him? Are you anti-Blair or anti-democratic?
Westminster paedophiles: PIE, Grafton Close dies and ‘allegations of unnatural sexual proclivities’ on file
Westmisnter paedophiles: a look at the story of child abuse in VIP circles in the 1970s and 1980s.
Tom Parmenter tells Sky News viwers:
A secret Government file has been unearthed that documents “unnatural” sexual behaviour taking place when the Westminster paedophile scandal was at its height. It has been kept under lock and key for 35 years on grounds of national security – but will now be released to the child abuse inquiry established by the Government.
Aren’t those claims of a Westmisnter paedophile scandal? And isn’t the Westmisnter peedophile scandal at its height now?
Security and intelligence expert Dr Chris Murphy stumbled across it last November while searching documents at the National Archives in Kew. He was immediately alerted by the title: “PREM19/588 – SECURITY. Allegations against former public [word missing] of unnatural sexual proclivities; security aspects 1980 Oct 27 – 1981 Mar 20.”
Dr Murphy, a Lecturer in Intelligence Studies at Salford, says:
“I was looking through the ‘PREM’ Prime Minister file series for the 1980s. I think I did a double-take and then started wondering what the potential implications of the title, which is a little vague, could be.”
Do we know? We can guess:
It is highly likely then-Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher saw the documents, and was briefed on the security implications, but the identities of those within them remain secret.
Facts are pretty thin:
Dr Murphy added: “The fact that this file is concerning the Prime Minister and these allegations are being taken to the Prime Minister I think would strike anybody of being potentially of some interest.”
Yes. That much is true.
A Cabinet Office spokesperson says:
“In this case, the file was kept closed and retained as it contained information from the security services and advice from the Law Officers. These classifications are reviewed periodically. We are clear that any files that are pertinent to the historical child sex abuse inquiry will be made available to the panel.”
Mrs Thatcher’s former press secretary, Sir Bernard Ingham, responds:
“I asked him [a Government minster] about it [allegation of depravity] and he denied it, so no, I didn’t do anything else. What was the alternative?”
If it was illegal, we’d answer: go to the police.
Simon Danczuk MP, without whom no story of Westminster paedos is complete, adds:
“I think it is right and proper that the Government now open up this document, let us know what is in there. I think there is a culture within Government departments of not releasing information and that has caused some of the problems we now have in getting to the bottom of who was involved in this paedophile network and who was involved in covering it up.”
That would be the alleged network linekd to alleged deaths at Dolphin Square, goings on at the Elm Guest House and other matters.
The Cheddar Valley Gazette has other news:
A BRISTOL paedophile is being investigated over child abuse in the 1970’s. Douglas Slade, 73, left Britain after being exposed as a sexual predator. But detectives are working on a case which could see Slade extradited to the UK for offences linked to a nationwide paedophile network. Wealthy businessman Slade who lived in Bristol during the 1970s and 1980s, was a founder of the reviled child sex advocacy group Paedophile Information Exchange (PIE).
He left Britain in 1985 for Angeles City in the Philippines, where he has been accused of molesting boys as young as eight. Before he left, Slade is suspected to have abused numerous underage boys passed between PIE members who tracked down youths for illegal sex…
One man allegedly abused by Slade and other PIE members, who is not part of the current UK investigation, contacted the Daily Mail to describe how he was molested by Slade and then passed between paedophiles from 1979, when he was 14.
The 50-year-old man said he was introduced to Slade by another prominent PIE member, former racing car driver Christopher Skeaping, who was jailed in 2009 for sex attacks on a boy aged 12 in the late 1980s.
The alleged victim says:
“Skeaping rode a huge BMW 1100 and had big American cars. For kids of 13, 14 and 15, those are exciting things. Douglas Slade turned up at his home one day. I was a very quiet child and he just picked up on me and I ended up going to Bristol several times. Apart from the sexual side of it, Slade was actually very nice to me. He made me feel special. He was doing nice things for me and it all seemed quite a good thing. I suppose if that’s what grooming is, I was being groomed… I was affected by what happened to me for some years, but I got over it by being positive and coming to terms with it…”
If you wait long enough, they all die:
A former children’s home manager has been found dead just weeks before he was due to stand trial over alleged historical sex abuse. John Stingemore, 72, was discovered at his home in St Leonards-on-Sea, East Sussex, on Wednesday afternoon… Stingemore was due to stand trial next month at Southwark Crown Court charged with a string of indecent assaults on young boys. The charges came following an investigation into alleged abuse at Grafton Close Children’s Home in Hounslow, west London.
One allegation is that boys from Richmond Council-run care homes such as Grafton Close were supplied to Elm Guest House to be abused by VIPs.
Such are the facts…
A man has stabbed many peopls on a bus in Tel Aviv. The stabbings are riding high on the news cycle. But what happened?
Ynet news reports:
Over 10 people were wounded Wednesday morning in a terror attack in central Tel Aviv. At roughly 7:15 am a terrorist boarded Dan Line 40 bus on Begin Road in Tel Aviv near the Beit Maariv Bridge and stabbed the bus driver and a number of passengers before fleeing the scene. He was then shot and captured by forces who were present in the area.
17 people were wounded in the attack, four are in serious condition, 3 moderately, 6 lightly and the rest suffered from anxiety. One of the wounded was the bus driver, Herzl Biton, 55, who fought with the terrorist and sustained two wounded to his chest. He is in moderate condition and currently undergoing surgery.
The report ends:
The last terror attack in Tel Aviv was also a stabbing, and took place in November and saw IDF soldier Almog Shiloni murdered after he was gravely wounded struggling with a Palestinian who attempted to grab his weapon at the Haganah Train Station in Tel Aviv.
12 Israelis wounded in stabbing attack on Tel Aviv bus. Four wounded in serious condition; assailant, a 23-year-old male from the West Bank city of Tulkarem who entered Israel illegally, was shot in the leg by police.
The driver was the first victim of the attacker, so he was unable to open the doors of the bus, which was full during the rush hour, according to an eye-witness report. It was one of the passengers who managed to open the doors and let the frightened people out
We hear of other attacks:
Last November, a 25 year-old Israeli woman was stabbed to death at a bus stop in the West Bank, local media reported. The perpetrator was shot and died from his injuries. There were two other victims in that attack, who were taken to hospital.
On November 10, a young Israeli Defense Forces soldier was stabbed by a Palestinian at Haganah train station in Tel Aviv. He was taken to hospital, where he died of his wounds.
In another November incident, a 3-month-old baby girl was killed and eight people were injured, when a car crashed into a light railway station in Jerusalem in a “run-over terror attack”.
And now the BBC:
Israeli police say they have shot a Palestinian man from the West Bank who stabbed at least nine people in an attack on a bus in central Tel Aviv.
And then the attack is couched in a selective spot of fact bringing that no other organ includes:
“The suspect is a 23-year-old Palestinian from Tulkarem,” police spokeswoman Luba Samri said. Tulkarem is a town in the occupied West Bank.
He’s not the foreigner. They are.
Israeli police say there has been a pattern established in recent months where individual Palestinians, without sophisticated weapons, have attacked civilians at random, the BBC’s Kevin Connelly in Jerusalem reports. In November, an Israeli soldier was killed in a knife attack in Tel Aviv, while an Israeli woman was stabbed to death in the West Bank in a separate attack.
So. If they had sophisticated weapons…?
Our correspondent says the latest round of tensions began to increase last year, after the summer conflict in Gaza and disputes over access to religious sites in the old city of Jerusalem. More than 2,100 people were killed in Gaza during the Israel-Gaza conflict, a majority of them thought to be civilians. Sixty-seven Israeli soldiers, and six civilians in Israel, were also killed.
So. It’s not a foriegn luantic on a bus trying to murder as many Israelis as possible. It’s just numbers. And one Palestinian was wounded, being shot in the leg trying to escape. Maybe the BBC should reports: “Palestinian shot in Tel Aviv”?
How does this editorialising of facts help the situaion where ever life lost on all sides is a life too many?
Well, Israel’s enemy should likes the BBC’s report:
Izzat al-Risheq, a senior Hamas official, said the stabbing attack “against Zionists in Tel Aviv is a brave and heroic act.” Hamas Spokesperson Sami Abu Zuhri said the event was a “natural response to Israeli terrorism.” And that it was the natural response to the ongoing Israeli crimes against the Palestinian people.
Such are the facts…
So. The Sun caved into pressure from the righteous and dropped Page 3. Punters keen on tabloid news with a dash of topless stunna will be forced to read the Daily Star (or watch Sky TV with subtitles whilst surfing the web for bewitching breasts).
Sun readers have been saved from themselves. They will no longer see women’s naked breasts as arousing sex objects. They will go to arthouse cinemas and see naked breasts as part of the plot. They will see a star’s bare bosoms on the telly and understand that the plot demanded it. They will read National Geographic. They will know better.
Glamour mo-dels have been spared the shame of Page 3 and all those tawdry tabloid-readers’ eyeballs and raise their aspirations to, say a French beach, the top shelf or The Guardian.
Eveything wrong has been made right.
The censors won! Long live the censors!
Hurrah for bansturbation!
Artwork by Happy Toast.
Saudi Arabia is an ally of the UK, the country whose leaders cry “Je Suis Charlie”.
Is Saudi Arabia a dangerous place? No. So long as you stop thinking, it’s fine. The Foreign Offices advises travellers:
There is a heightened threat from terrorism….
Cases of Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) in patients from Saudi Arabia continue to be reported to the World Health Organization. For the latest information and advice, see the website of the National Travel Health Network and Centre (NaTHNaC).
The British Embassy receives regular requests for help from pilgrims performing Hajj or Umrah, particularly in relation to disputes and dissatisfaction with tour operators. The Saudi Ministry of Health has advised certain groups of people to postpone undertaking the Hajj and Umrah pilgrimages in 2014 in light of the MERS virus cases. It has also provided advice for those that are undertaking the pilgrimage to minimise the risk of contracting and spreading the virus. See Pilgrimage and the National Travel Health Network and Centre’s Advice for pilgrims: Hajj and Umrah.
Take out comprehensive travel and medical insurance before you travel.
The big threats are from foreign agents of terror, MERS and a lack of travel insurance. And:
You should respect local traditions, customs, laws and religions at all times and be aware of your actions to ensure that they do not offend…
Thoughts on anti-semitism. One thing a Jew cannot do is fail. The other thing a Jew can always do is be held responsible for what their co-religionists do.
Rev. Bruce Shipman echoes the BBC’s man on the scene in an open published in the New York Times:
To the Editor:
Deborah E. Lipstadt makes far too little of the relationship between Israel’s policies in the West Bank and Gaza and growing anti-Semitism in Europe and beyond.
The trend to which she alludes parallels the carnage in Gaza over the last five years, not to mention the perpetually stalled peace talks and the continuing occupation of the West Bank.
As hope for a two-state solution fades and Palestinian casualties continue to mount, the best antidote to anti-Semitism would be for Israel’s patrons abroad to press the government of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for final-status resolution to the Palestinian question.
(Rev.) BRUCE M. SHIPMAN
Groton, Conn., Aug. 21, 2014
Bruce Shipman is Episcopal chaplain at Yale.
Jews will spot the codes in his letter. Jews must pay for whatever another Jew does.
Anti-Semitism is justified.
His words and his tone are not untypical of the ‘knowing’, they who can empathise and set about teaching the Jew how to see suffering.
Mrs May said the attack on the supermarket in France was “a chilling reminder of anti-Semitism, not just in France but the recent anti-Semitic prejudice that we sadly have seen in this country.
“I know that many Jewish people in this country are feeling vulnerable and fearful and you’re saying that you’re anxious for your families, for your children and yourselves.
“I never thought I would see the day when members of the Jewish community in the United Kingdom would say they were fearful of remaining here in the United Kingdom”…
“Without its Jews, Britain would not be Britain, just as without its Muslims, Britain would not be Britain – without its Sikhs, Hindus, Christians and people of other faiths, Britain would not be Britain.”
She said she was “deeply distressed” by the YouGov survey showing a large proportion of Britons holding antisemitic views.
Antisemitic views have been shown to be rampant among British people according to the results of a new polls.
One in four Britons were shown to believe that Jews ‘chase money more than other people’, according to a poll by YouGov.
Meanwhile the new survey showed that 17 per cent of respondent believe that Jewish people think themselves better than others.
A similar proportion felt that Jewish people have too much power in the media.
A separate poll also revealed that more than half of all British Jews feel that antisemitism has begun to echo the widespread anti-Jewish hatred of the 1930s, according to the Campaign Against Antisemitism (CAA).
France has the largest Jewish community remaining in Europe, but Norman Lebrecht, a French Jew whose family has been in France at least since 1727 (when the first records exist), decided last week that he is leaving. Nor is he alone…
French Jews are leaving for two main reasons: because they don’t feel welcome, and because they don’t feel safe. They don’t feel welcome because a rising tide of anti-Semitism has poisoned the atmosphere in France over the past couple of decades. It’s not so much the old anti-Semitism of the pre-War variety as a new anti-Semitism brought on by a wave of Muslim immigration, though the two have reinforced one another.
And they don’t feel safe because of attacks on Jews. As the Chief Rabbi of France,Haim Korsia, notes, it’s not just last week’s attacks on a Kosher deli and on the Charlie Hebdo news weekly: “Jews have been killed and there were the shootings in Toulouse and in Brussels. In general, Jews feel vulnerable in our society. The Jews who were murdered were targeted specifically because they were Jewish.”
… European nations are facing population deficits, and they’ve replaced those missing Jews with Muslim immigrants who — unlike the Jews — are for the most part far less educated, don’t really consider themselves part of European society, and have no particularly strong desire to integrate into it, which bodes poorly. As Eugene Volokh — himself an immigrant to the United States — observes, in a democracy, when you let in immigrants, you are letting in your future rulers.
An exodus of French Jews is already underway and accelerating rapidly. In 2012, there were just over 1,900 immigrants to Israel from France. The following year nearly 3,400 French Jews emigrated; in 2014 approximately 7,000 left. For the first time ever, France heads the list of countries of origin for immigrants to Israel, and the ministry of immigration absorption expects another 10,000 French Jews to arrive in 2015.
That would mean more than 22,000 Jews fleeing France for Israel in the space of just four years, nearly 4.5 percent of the country’s Jewish population. The departure of 100,000 French Jews might once have been inconceivable. No longer. In a survey last spring of France’s Jewish community, the largest in Europe, three out of four respondents said they were considering emigrating.
These are staggering numbers — all the more so in a “Jewish community that has been in place for centuries and feels itself deeply attached to being French,” as Daniel Jonah Goldhagen has written. But what is driving so many Jews to leave “is not Israel’s pull…. It is France’s push.”
Over the past 15 years, that “push” — violent eruptions of French antisemitism — has grown relentless.
Many of your fears about becoming a victim of terrorism are invented. So long as you are not Jewish.
Whenever Martin Niemöller’s warning is quoted, it is always used in the past tense. But as the Paris attacks proved, they are still coming for the Jews. In reality, they have never stopped coming for the Jews…
The reaction from outside the Jewish community follows the same pattern. Like Simon Jenkins and Polly Toynbee, we try to hide behind a veil of self-centered proportionality. Or, we cry “look over there!” Yes the Jewish community is under threat, but what about the “revenge” attacks being launched against the Muslim community? Or we deploy the “some of my best friends are Jewish” argument. Yes some Jews are being targeted. But look at what’s happening to the Palestinians. Should we really be surprised? Yes, obviously we must condemn the “terrorists”. But don’t we have an obligation to try to understand them as well?
And what lies at the heart of this response? If we’re honest, if we’re really honest, it’s that those of us who are not part of the Jewish community have subconsciously – and shamefully – come to the view that being a target of terrorism is merely one of the occupational hazards of being a Jew…
We need to say: “They came for the Jews. And I spoke out. Because I am not a Jew”.
A lot of progressives seem to think they are immune from anti-Semitism, or even being tolerant of anti-Semitism, because they have neither racist nor Christian antipathy to Jews, the two most recently prominent forms. They, in other words, do not consciously hate, or even dislike, Jews. But when the Left has decided that colonialism, fundamentalist religion and ethnic nationalism are the great evils of the modern world, and then so many “progressives” focus on Israel as the exemplar of these evils, despite many, many other more worthy choices, one wonders if they fully understand what anti-Semitism is really all about.
Matti Friedman wonders why Israel is always at the top of the news cycle. Why Hamas, a group that pledge to kill every Jew, is not framed as an enemy to things we should hold dear.
For centuries, stateless Jews played the role of a lightning rod for ill will among the majority population. They were a symbol of things that were wrong. Did you want to make the point that greed was bad? Jews were greedy. Cowardice? Jews were cowardly. Were you a Communist? Jews were capitalists. Were you a capitalist? In that case, Jews were Communists. Moral failure was the essential trait of the Jew. It was their role in Christian tradition—the only reason European society knew or cared about them in the first place.
Like many Jews who grew up late in the 20th century in friendly Western cities, I dismissed such ideas as the feverish memories of my grandparents. One thing I have learned—and I’m not alone this summer—is that I was foolish to have done so. Today, people in the West tend to believe the ills of the age are racism, colonialism, and militarism. The world’s only Jewish country has done less harm than most countries on earth, and more good—and yet when people went looking for a country that would symbolize the sins of our new post-colonial, post-militaristic, post-ethnic dream-world, the country they chose was this one.
When the people responsible for explaining the world to the world, journalists, cover the Jews’ war as more worthy of attention than any other, when they portray the Jews of Israel as the party obviously in the wrong, when they omit all possible justifications for the Jews’ actions and obscure the true face of their enemies, what they are saying to their readers—whether they intend to or not—is that Jews are the worst people on earth. The Jews are a symbol of the evils that civilized people are taught from an early age to abhor. International press coverage has become a morality play starring a familiar villain.
Some readers might remember that Britain participated in the 2003 invasion of Iraq, the fallout from which has now killed more than three times the number of people ever killed in the Israel-Arab conflict; yet in Britain, protesters furiously condemn Jewish militarism. White people in London and Paris whose parents not long ago had themselves fanned by dark people in the sitting rooms of Rangoon or Algiers condemn Jewish “colonialism.” Americans who live in places called “Manhattan” or “Seattle” condemn Jews for displacing the native people of Palestine. Russian reporters condemn Israel’s brutal military tactics. Belgian reporters condemn Israel’s treatment of Africans. When Israel opened a transportation service for Palestinian workers in the occupied West Bank a few years ago, American news consumers could read about Israel “segregating buses.” And there are a lot of people in Europe, and not just in Germany, who enjoy hearing the Jews accused of genocide.
You don’t need to be a history professor, or a psychiatrist, to understand what’s going on. Having rehabilitated themselves against considerable odds in a minute corner of the earth, the descendants of powerless people who were pushed out of Europe and the Islamic Middle East have become what their grandparents were—the pool into which the world spits. The Jews of Israel are the screen onto which it has become socially acceptable to project the things you hate about yourself and your own country. The tool through which this psychological projection is executed is the international press.
The first head of the hydra-like monster of medieval anti-Semitic conspiracy theories was the implied parallel between Israeli treatment of Palestinians and Nazis’ treatment of the Jews. This is a de facto cousin of Holocaust denial, as it diminishes and trivialises what really happened then…
Since 9/11 and Iraq, a millenarian cauldron of old-fashioned anti-Semitic conspiracy theories claims that secretive Jews (the wicked “neo-cons”) are controlling Bush, Blair and the media, and even arranged 9/11. Anti-Americanism, anti-Zionism and anti-Semitism have become interchangeable…
Until 9/11, Anglo-Jewry had become accustomed to prejudiced coverage of Israel. But if you were not a Zionist, as many Jews are not, you did not need to worry. Since 9/11, and particularly post-Iraq, we have witnessed a sea change. It is as if, in the mythical scale of 9/11, al-Qaeda had unlocked a forgotten cultural capsule of anti-Semitic myths, sealed and forgotten since the Nazis, the Black Hundreds and the medieval blood libels. Just words? But words matter in a violent world. This weird and scary nonsense is an international phenomenon, not a British one. Despite it, Britain retains the easygoing tolerance and pragmatism, the sources of her greatness. It is still better to be a Jew in England than anywhere else
And that’s true…
It’s Health Tuesday in the Daily Mail. What news ways to fall ill and die are there this week?
Page 5: “Do your knees hurt as you climb up the stairs? It could be the first sign of arthritis”
Pages 34-35: ” How Docors Keep Young. They will do anything to steer clear of other doctors! And you can learn from them by avoiding medicines and ops you don’t really need.”
These are the “secrets” doctors don’t want you to know.
There follows a litancy of causes for worry:
Death by Trial: “Trials of a new treatment that have produced a positive result are more likely to be published than reports about trials of the same drug that didn’t have a positive result.”
Death by screening: “Laboratory, screening or radiological investigations often produce what are called false positive results, suggesting that disease is present when it is not. This can lead to unnecessary follow-up tests and treatments, which could be risky and harmful.”
Death by scanning: “CT scanning raises the risk of cancer because of radiation.”
Death by medicine: “Any medical intervention – a test, operation or drug – will have harmful side-effects for some people, even when carried out by the best doctor in the country.”
Page 36: Street lighting give you cancer: “Women loving in the area withy the brightest outdoor light at night ‘may be at the incresed risk of breast cancer”
Oh, and “female night-shift workers have a higher risk of breast canecr.
So, yeah, that crappy job is kiling you. Maybe.
Page 45: “The patients told they are depressed or anxious when a simple virus is to blame”
The doctor is making you depressed and anxious.
Page 47: “How safe are your valuables in hospital?”
Your, er, crown jewels?
“There no worse time to fall victim to theft – but as our investigation shows it’s heartbreakingly all too common”
Hospitals are full of bad (yet youthful) doctors and thieves!
Page 48: “Why I fear GPs are losing the skills they need to care for patients,” writes ‘The Mail’s GP”
Page 50: “The hygiene products that prey on female fears”
Page 51: “Mum was right! Going out in the rain CAN give you a cold”
Rumours are that The Sun newspapers will not logner feature topless stunnas on its Page 3. Birds and babes will remain on the page but wearing scanties. No nipples.
A pressure group No More Page 3, has “demanded” the paper owned by News UK ) “stop conditioning your readers to view women as sex objects”.
But what about the women who wanted to be topless in the paper?
They needed saving from themselves, clearly. Good job that right-on, intelligent women who prefer their tabloid news without nipples were there to demand silly girls stopped appealing to bestial men.
It’s all gone. Maybe.
You can read the history of Page 3 here.
(The rest of you can read the Daily Star…)
Freedom of speech not buts… That’s the mantra. But Aysh Chaudhry, a lawyer at London law firm Clifford Chance looks at the 17 people murdered by jihadis in Paris and blames the “kuffar”.
“Brothers and sisters, we would not be here had it not been for the fact that the kuffar had gone to our lands and killed our people and raped and pillaged our resources. This, brothers and sisters, is what we need to understand. We need to move away from this apologetic tone and have confidence in Islam because we are enslaved otherwise.”
You can have that expert opinion for free. Cartoonists, Ahmed the copper and the Jews (always the Jews). You’ve been warned.
It was during World War 2 when French Jews were being rounded up for murder by Nazis that Si Kaddour Benghabrit, the rector of the Grand Mosque of Paris until 1954, acted.
Benghabrit, an Algerian-born religious and political leader, was audacious and cool. The Jews were hidden in the mosque’s cavern-like cellars. Above them, Benghabrit gave Nazi officers and their wives tours of the mosque.
A North African Jew named Albert Assouline, who had escaped from a German prison camp, wrote about life in the mosque:
“No fewer than 1,732 resistance fighters found refuge in its underground caverns. These included Muslim escapees but also Christians and Jews. The latter were by far the most numerous.”
He had a story to tell:
According to Assouline, he and an Algerian named Yassa Rabah escaped together from the camp and stealthily traversed the countryside across the French-German border, heading for Paris. Once in Paris they made their way to the mosque, where, evidently thanks to Rabah’s connections to the Algerian community, the two found refuge. Eventually Assouline continued his journey and joined up with Free French forces to continue the fight against the German occupation … the most fantastic part of the story was his claim that the mosque provided sanctuary and sustenance to Jews hiding from the Vichy and German troops as well as to other fighters in the anti-Fascist resistance.
In a 1983 article for Almanach due Combattant, a French veterans’ magazine, Assouline wrote [that] the senior imam of the mosque, Si Mohammed Benzouaou took “considerable risk” by hiding Jews and providing many (including many children) with certificates of Muslim identity, with which they could avoid deportation and certain death. Assouline recalled one “hot alert” when German soldiers smelled the odor of cigarettes and, convinced that Muslims were forbidden to smoke, searched the mosque looking for hidden Jews. According to Assouline, the Jews were able to escape via sewer tunnels that connected the mosque to nearby buildings.
Howard Jacobson writes in the Independent on ignorance, self censorship and the vanity of knowing your view and no other is right:
This is the terrifying paradox of zealotry: no one hates humanity more than those who believe they know what’s best for it…
Another way of putting this is to say that the fanatic is someone who has only ever read one book. It is right, therefore, to ask not only what the appeal of the story he goes on reading is, but where he heard it, who read it to him first, and where and why it goes on being told. Religions, like cultures, understand themselves through narrative. How we came into the world, what we were created for, what are our triumphs and our losses. These narratives enjoy a fearful pertinacity. They have the capacity to console but also to inflame. There are still people fighting over territory declared holy by their national stories a millennium ago.
So it was heartening to see the French – offenders and offendees, or at least some of them – putting aside their individual stories for an hour. But the anti-immigration demonstrations in Germany were reminders that masses on the move are frightening as well as stirring. A group that has only ever read one book is a fanatic group.
For all the day-long defiance of terror, fear continues to stalk the conversation. Fear for Muslims, for example, and fear of them. May I make a plea, in the name of varied reading – because it’s better to read even two books than one – for the right to hold both positions. I don’t want to see anti-Muslim demonstrations on the streets. I no more want to see Muslims homogenised and traduced than Jews. But must that mean I cannot ask where the single story beloved of the fanatic is engendered, and if it should turn out that the most moderate Muslim unthinkingly propounds a narrative that fuels the fanatic mind – an anti-Western, anti-Semitic, victim-driven narrative – can I not plead with him to shade it a little, to remember that the best stories liberate us from our pains and grievances into understanding other people’s.
In 1987, Bernard Levin wrote in The Times of the play Perdition:
In 1987 a debate occurred in public sphere on a play written Jim Allen, someone who had previously been associated with Gerry Healy’s organisation the Socialist Labour League, a forerunner to the WRP. The play was called Perdition and was in the genre of faction, a fictional play with historical facts brought in. The historical facts in this case was that of the Zionist leaders in Hungary during the Holocaust and of Zionism in general during the 1930s and 1940s. The play was loosely based on the Kasztner trial that occurred in Israel in the 1950s.
Allen was quoted in Time Out, (January 21-28, 1987) declaring the play:
…the most lethal attack on Zionism ever written, because it touches on the heart of the most abiding myth of modern history, the Holocaust. Because it says quite plainly that privileged Jewish leaders collaborated in the extermination of their own kind in order to bring about a Zionist state, Israel…
…free speech is for swine and liars as well as upright and honest men. I have insisted that any legally permissable view, however repugnant, is less dangerous promulgated than banned, and I would defend its promulgation even if the opposite were true. I have glorified in the central paradox of democracy, which is that it tolerates, and must continue to tolerate, the activities of those who wish to destroy it.
In all the beliefs I have lived, and I am minded to die in them; how then can I defend the suppression of this play? I cannot, which is not to say that if it had never been written it now should be. But it exists, and ‘He that is unjust, let him be unjust still; and he which is filthy, let him be filthy still.’ With a heavy heart, I yet must say it: Let them have their play.
Free speech. No buts…
It is a shame he is no longer with us.
Everything we know about fruit juice we learned in the Daily Mail.
Today’s Mail offers readers a “half-price Nutribiullet”.
But the Mail has told me that the Nutribullet is a loaded gun that will blow your insides out..
Previously in the Mail:
Half-price juice for everyone! (But not at dinner time.)
Daily Mail makes its raders fat!
Daily Mail gives readers cut-price heart attacks!
Daily Mail gives reades half-price cancer!
There has been lots of talk of Islamophobia. But how real is it? Are the mob about to race riot? Is every outrage by Islamist nuters – and many crimes in France involve jihadis hunting Jews – followed by a bout of anti-Muslim violence? The Press would have us think so.
The prime minister of France, Manuel Valls has an opinion:
“It is very important to make clear to people that Islam has nothing to do with ISIS,” Valls told me. “There is a prejudice in society about this, but on the other hand, I refuse to use this term ‘Islamophobia,’ because those who use this word are trying to invalidate any criticism at all of Islamist ideology. The charge of ‘Islamophobia’ is used to silence people. ”
Valls was not denying the existence of anti-Muslim sentiment, which is strong across much of France. In the wake of the Charlie Hebdo attack, miscreants have shot at Muslim community buildings, and various repulsive threats against individual Muslims have been cataloged. President Francois Hollande, who said Thursday that Muslims are the “first victims of fanaticism, fundamentalism, intolerance,” might be overstating the primacy of anti-Muslim prejudice in the current hierarchy of French bigotries—after all, Hollande just found it necessary to deploy his army to defend Jewish schools from Muslim terrorists, not Muslim schools from Jewish terrorists—but anti-Muslim bigotry is a salient and seemingly permanent feature of life in France. Or to contextualize it differently: Anti-Muslim feeling appears to be more widespread than anti-Jewish feeling across much of France, but anti-Jewish feeling has been expressed recently (and not-so-recently) with far more lethality, and mainly by Muslims.
The Most Bananas Intro To A Newspaper Column: Tom Utley of the Daily Mail Sees The Bride Of Stephen Fry
Michael Deacon tweets:
Tom Utley of the Mail surges into an early lead in this year’s Most Bananas Intro to a Newspaper Column contest
This is just fantastic:
Tom Utley of the Mail surges into an early lead in this year’s Most Bananas Intro to a Newspaper Column contest
Free Speech: Dieudonné M’bala M’bala, Liam Stacey and Charlie Hebdo are all victims of thought censors
What percentage of terrorists attack in Europe are perpetuated by Islamists?
So here are some statistics for those interested. Let’s start with Europe. Want to guess what percent of the terrorist attacks there were committed by Muslims over the past five years? Wrong. That is, unless you said less than 2 percent.
As Europol, the European Union’s law-enforcement agency, noted in its report released last year, the vast majority of terror attacks in Europe were perpetrated by separatist groups. For example, in 2013, there were 152 terror attacks in Europe. Only two of them were “religiously motivated,” while 84 were predicated upon ethno-nationalist or separatist beliefs.
But what of the fear of Islamists?
Can fear be linked to the arrest of Dieudonné M’bala M’bala? He was pinched for posting on Facebook “I feel like Charlie Coulibaly” — a portmanteau of Charlie Hebdo and Amedy Coulibaly, the racist who murdered four Jews in a Paris kosher store.
Robert Crumb has repsonded to the Mohammed Charlie Hebdo cover story. And Crumb knows all there is to know about religion. He wrote the Bible:
Aline [Mr. Crumb’s wife is the cartoonist Aline Kominsky-Crumb] saw something on the internet…All the big newspapers and magazines in America had all agreed, mutually agreed, not to print those offensive cartoons that were in that Charlie Hebdo magazine. They all agreed that they were not going to print those, because they were too insulting to the Prophet. Charlie Hebdo, it didn’t have a big circulation. A lot of French people said, “Yes, it was tasteless, but I defend their right to freedom of speech.” Yeah, it was tasteless, that’s what they say. And perhaps it was. I’m not going to make a career out of baiting some fucking religious fanatics, you know, by insulting their prophet. I wouldn’t do that. That seems crazy. But then, after they got killed, I just had to draw that cartoon, you know, showing the Prophet. The cartoon I drew shows me, myself, holding up a cartoon that I’ve just drawn. A crude drawing of an ass that’s labeled “The Hairy Ass of Muhammed.” [Laughs.]
Libération called me and said, “Crumb, can you do a cartoon for us? About what you think about this, you know, you are a major cartoonist, and you live in France.” So I thought about it. I spent a lot of time thinking about it. I’m doing the dishes, or whatever, I was thinking, “What should I do for that cartoon … ” I had a lot of ideas. Other people come up with these, you know, clever cartoons that comment on it, like … This one guy did a cartoon showing a bloody dead body laying there, and a radical Muslim standing over him with a Kalashnikov, saying, “He drew first!” Stuff like that. That’s good, that’s clever, you know, I like that. But, me? I gotta like, you know, when I do something, it has to be more personal. I said, first: “I don’t have the courage to make an insulting cartoon of Muhammed.”
Then I thought, “OK, I’m the Cowardly Cartoonist … As a Cowardly Cartoonist, I can’t make some glib comment like that, you know? I have to, like, make fun of myself. So instead of drawing the face of Muhammed [laughs], I drew the ass of Muhammed. [Laughs.] But then I had myself saying, in small lettering, “Actually, this is the ass of my friend of Mohamid Bakshi, who’s a film director in Los Angeles, California.” So if they come at me, I’m gonna say, “No, look, it’s not Muhammed the Prophet, it’s this guy, Mohamid Bakshi.” So, you know.
[…] So, then Aline [Crumb’s wife] had this idea for another cartoon, which we also sent to Libération, a collaboration, that’s showing her looking at the drawing saying, “Oh, my God, they’re going to come after us! This is terrible … I want to live to see my grandchildren!” And then she has me saying, “Well, it’s not that bad. And, besides, they’ve killed enough cartoonists, maybe they’ve gotten it out of their system.”
Read it all here.
Pope Francis has a few words on free speech and the murder of journalists, police and Jews in Paris:
“If my good friend Dr. Gasparri says a curse word against my mother, he can expect a punch. It’s normal. You cannot provoke. You cannot insult the faith of others. You cannot make fun of the faith of others.” …
“There are so many people who speak badly about religions or other religions, who make fun of them, who make a game out of the religions of others. They are provocateurs. And what happens to them is what would happen to Dr. Gasparri if he says a curse word against my mother. There is a limit.”
Free Speech: The Sun finds a ‘dark-skinned’ capitalist sellling Charlie Hebdo magazines in Gloucestershire
The Sun is cheering for free speech. It is cheering for Ila Aghera, the “defiant” shopkeeper selling copies of Charlie Hebdo magazine to the many French speaskers and peopls who can say “Jew Suis Charlie” in her area. The Sun loves her:
A VILLAGE shopkeeper is defiantly selling the “survivors’ issue” of Charlie Hebdo despite fears she could be targeted by extremists. Ila Aghera, 54, made her brave stand as all three million copies of the satirical magazine sold out in France.
Does she charge more for carriage?
It was published as al-Qaeda chiefs behind last week’s massacre in Paris vowed further atrocities. And a London cafe owner refused to take down his Je Suis Charlie sign despite a death threat from a “raving” Islamist fanatic.
Oh, the irony: the racist French entertainer Dieudonné is the subject of a criminal investigation into something he wrote on Facebook. The anti-Semitic Dieudonné – whose taps into the anti-Semitism now rife in France – was arrested and charged with “defending terrorism.”
What did he write? Well:
“Tonight, as far as I’m concerned, I feel like Charlie Coulibaly.”
Coulibaly is the racist who stormed the kosher store and murdered some Jews.
You can have Paris. But you free speech fundamentalists can never have Bristol University campus. The local Student Union’s “Safe Space” policy forbids free speech lest it fuddle a student’s minds and makes them confront ideas they don’t like.
Bristol University SU officer Alex Bradbook is here to protect the fragile:
Free Speech: New York Times Charlie Hebdo cowardice shames its fight to expose a secret history of the Vietnam War
The New York Times did not publish the latest Charlie Hebdo cover:
Larry Buchanan spots this letter in the NYT:
This gem, buried on the letters page of Fridays paper, by the man who defended the nyt in the pentagon papers case.
Writing in the Huffington Post, Mehdi Hasan says he is ‘fed up with Free Speech Fundamentalists”.
You and I didn’t like George W Bush. Remember his puerile declaration after 9/11 that “either you are with us, or you are with the terrorists”? Yet now, in the wake of another horrific terrorist attack, you appear to have updated Dubya’s slogan: either you are with free speech… or you are against it. Either vous êtes Charlie Hebdo… or you’re a freedom-hating fanatic.
Well, that’s what the mainstream media are telling us. The march for free speech in Paris soon mutated into a march for unity. (Marching right next to Francois Hollande: Ali Bongo of Gabon, who recently who recently “suspended” 3 newspapers. 1 for SATIRE).
The people who slammed Charlie Hebdo when its offices were firebombed were keen to be seen to declare “Jew suits Charlie”, the phrase being a shorthand for ‘look how good I am’. The West’s war on free speech was not over when racist Islamist goons raided the Charlie Hebdo offices and slaughtered the staff. Free speech remains a fragile right.
If you support campus speech codes, ban debate, participated in a campaign to get a TV or radio show off the air, then as Iowahawk says, “drop your #JeSuisCharlie sign”.
Charlie Hebdo understands the fashionable with their Hebdo-branded sandwich-boards.
Fran Lebowitz go to right:
“If people don’t want to listen to you, what makes you think they want to hear from your sweater?’ When I see someone wearing clothing with words on my first reaction is usually, ‘Ooo, I bet you’re really boring!’”
The magazine’s new cover sticks with Mohammed (as if they could choose another subject) and lampoons the weeping and righteous who use the magazine to advertise their sound morals. Others use the cover to show that they are sensitive to Muslims.
They all love Charlie Hebdo, but none are brave enough to be him.
Hasan goes on:
…In the midst of all the post-Paris grief, hypocrisy and hyperbole abounds. Yes, the attack was an act of unquantifiable evil; an inexcusable and merciless murder of innocents. But was it really a “bid to assassinate” free speech (ITV’s Mark Austin), to “desecrate” our ideas of “free thought” (Stephen Fry)? It was a crime – not an act of war – perpetrated by disaffected young men; radicalised not by drawings of the Prophet in Europe in 2006 or 2011, as it turns out, but by images of US torture in Iraq in 2004.
Radicalised by images of US torture they murdered Jews? We can add “being Jewish” to the list of “provocations” then. And the killers shouted: “The prophet has been avenged.”
Please get a grip. None of us believes in an untrammelled right to free speech.
None of us? Charlie Hebdo does. All of the people carrying “Jew Suis Charlie” signs do. Well, no of course they don’t. That’s just fashion, like wearing a Katherine Hamnett Me-shirt. Carrying a “Je suis Charlie” sign declaring #Illridewithyou or #bringbackourgirls (and pity fashion victim Michelle Obama for that display of indulgence) is vanity; wearing your beliefs as something you can pull on and off as the mood takes.
And irony of ironies:
French comedian Dieudonne has been arrested for allegedly defending terrorism in a Facebook comment referencing last week’s attacks in Paris.
Free speech no buts.. He should not be arrested.
Playing on the slogan “Je suis Charlie”, the comedian wrote: “Tonight, as far as I’m concerned, I feel like Coulibaly.” Amedy Coulibaly is accused of murdering a policewoman and then storming a kosher supermarket, shooting dead four shoppers.
We all agree there are always going to be lines that, for the purposes of law and order, cannot be crossed; or for the purposes of taste and decency, should not be crossed. We differ only on where those lines should be drawn.
And yes. How we decide those lines is by testing them and with open debate. So. We are all for free speech.
As ever the mood turns to – yep – the Jews, who really were targetted victims of the slaughter (unless you watch CNN and know that if you want to murder Muslims you find them in the kosher store):
Has your publication, for example, run cartoons mocking the Holocaust? No?
The Holocaust was industrial mass murder. Well, to those who believe it happened; to those who believe the Jews are worthy of it (they never learn); to those who put on the anti-Semitic Holocaust cartoon show:
More than 200 Holocaust cartoons from around the world are on display at a museum in the Iranian capital, Tehran. Organisers of the exhibition say they are testing the West’s commitment to freedom of speech. A competition to choose the drawings was announced in February, in response to caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad published by European newspapers. Israel’s Holocaust authority, Yad Vashem, criticised the exhibition, calling it a “flashing red light”.
The drawings were chosen from nearly 1,200 entries received from various countries including the United States, Indonesia and Turkey. One of the cartoons shows the Statue of Liberty holding a book on the Holocaust in one hand and giving a Nazi salute with the other.
No Jews murdered the cartoonists who mocked the victims of the atrocity that was the Holocaust. The Holocaust it not a religious figure. Unless Hasan says it is. Unless the Holocaust now defines the Jews more than their Covenant with God. If Jews can be portrayed as barbaric murderers and child abusers who never learned the ‘lesson’ of the Holocaust, maybe they can be rendered less. Rather than being the victims of industrial mass murder, they can be sub-humans who, you know, were asking for it.
Holocaust denial is rife in the Middle East. So too is anti-Semitism. There are so many parallels between the imagery used by classic anti-semitism and anti-Zionist propaganda:
Cartoonist Kirshen notes:
After the Holocaust proved the victimhood of the Jewish people, Antisemitism and the Antisemitic memes of the image-codes needed to evolve into a holocaustresistant form which would deny Jewish victimhood. Moral Inversion Codes invert the horrors by depict the victims as the perpetrators. Thus the Jew becomes the Nazi or the terrorist suicide bomber, rather than their victim.
When you’re a Jew you look for codes.
Norway’s Dagbladet showed this:
The same paper came up with this. The demon at the head (and like that fork) and the woman at the feet are both blood-soaked Jews.
The accusation is that Jews are barbaric. But the same goes for Muslims, who also cricumcise boys. One glance at their genitals indicate that they are subhumans, unworthy of mercy. Jews should abandon their ‘barbaric’ customs and adopt a civilised way of life. Deprive Jews of the empathy normally felt for human beings.
A decree by the Seleucid emperor Antiochus IV commanded Jews to leave their sons uncircumcised or face death. This decree against the ‘barbaric’ behaviour of an ‘uneducated’ people, issued by an imperial civilisation, was part of a comprehensive campaign to destroy the Jewish way of life. The revolt against the decree, led by Judah Maccabee, is still considered one of the defining moments of Judaism.
It is difficult to make sense of the strong views held by campaigners and policymakers who seek to criminalise and pathologise the circumcision of Jewish and Muslim boys. Last Tuesday, a resolution passed by the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe condemned male circumcision as a ‘violation of the physical integrity of children’. Unlike Antiochus IV, these parliamentarians did not use the narrative of a civilisational mission against barbarism to justify their assault on people’s way of life; instead they used the apparently neutral language of health and child protection to legitimise their crusade. The Council’s resolution called on governments to ‘clearly define the medical, sanitary and other conditions to be ensured for practices such as the non-medically justified circumcision of young boys’.
The Council’s attempt to stigmatise circumcision coincides with a growing campaign against circumcision in Scandinavia and Germany. In recent weeks there has been a veritable culture war against this age-old practice. Most of the time, the crusade is conducted in a very politically correct language which avoids any explicitly culturally loaded terminology. In this vein, the German Social Democratic parliamentarian Marle Rupprecht argued that the Council’s resolution, which she supports, ‘does not intend to stigmatise any religious community or its practices’. As far as she is concerned, it’s all about the child – and if the campaign against circumcision inflames anti-Semitism, well, that is a price worth paying for this holy cause, apparently
Having picked out the Jews – always the Jews – as the West’s scared cow (attack them and attck all the West holds dear; the Jewish State a scapegoat for globalization and modernity), Hasan concludes:
Let’s be clear: I agree there is no justification whatsoever for gunning down journalists or cartoonists.
That a pretty low bar: murder is wrong.
I disagree with your seeming view that the right to offend comes with no corresponding responsibility; and I do not believe that a right to offend automatically translates into a duty to offend.
A duty to challenge is what makes us free.
When you say “Je suis Charlie“, is that an endorsement of Charlie Hebdo‘s depiction of the French justice minister, Christiane Taubira, who is black, drawn as a monkey? Of crude caricatures of bulbous-nosed Arabs that must make Edward Said turn in his grave?
Lampooning racism by reproducing brazenly racist imagery is a pretty dubious satirical tactic….
It’s for these reasons that I can’t “be”, don’t want to “be”, Charlie – if anything, we should want to be Ahmed, the Muslim policeman who was killed while protecting the magazine’s right to exist. As the novelist Teju Cole has observed, “It is possible to defend the right to obscene… speech without promoting or sponsoring the content of that speech.”
Ahmed was an innocent victim. Was he shot because he was a Muslim? The Jews were shot dead because of their religion. The Charlie Hebdo staff were shot dead for their beliefs. Hasan makes no mention of that. Instead anti-Semitism – which is murderous and very real – is again used as a weapon to show that those Jews get special treatment:
And why have you been so silent on the glaring double standards? Did you not know that Charlie Hebdo sacked the veteran French cartoonist Maurice Sinet in 2008 for making an allegedly anti-Semitic remark?
Always the Jews.
…Muslims, I guess, are expected to have thicker skins than their Christian and Jewish brethren.
If only the Jews has rhino hides it might have stopped the Islamists’ bullets.
You could see Jews and Muslims and blacks and browns as the Others, who fight for a place in Europe. But easier to compare and copntrast. Easier to show your own side as the bigger victims.
And then – for the third time – Hasan shows how Jews get preferential treament:
Weren’t you sickened to see Benjamin Netanyahu, the prime minister of a country that was responsible for the killing of seven journalists in Gaza in 2014, attend the “unity rally” in Paris? Bibi was joined by Angela Merkel, chancellor of a country where Holocaust denial is punishable by up to five years in prison, and David Cameron, who wants to ban non-violent “extremists” committed to the “overthrow of democracy” from appearing on television.
You could pick any number of World leader whose committment to free speech and freedom credentials would wilt under scrutiny. But he picks the one Jew. You could pick on Turkey, a nation leading the world in journalist imprisonment.
But he picks the Jew. He picks the Holocaust.
Pick. Pick. Pick. Until it bleeds…
But it was all about free speech. And free speech with no buts. Voltaire proclaimed: “I disapprove of what you say but will defend to the death your right to say it.”
So. Say it. We’ll exhange views. No-one will get hurt. It’s good to talk…
The BBC has tweeted a question: “How welcome are Africans in the UK?”
The Charlie Hebdo cover is all over the web. For those of you have not yet seen it, it’s here below. Charlie Hebdo manages to reproduce the character at the centre of the controversy (no choice there) whilst mocking the people who before the massacre slammed the magazine for causing offence and now brandish the legend ‘I am Charlie’ as a advert to their own good morals. Who needs a cross on a necklace when you have a Charlie Hebdo magazine tucked under your arm?
Three million copies of the so-called “survivors’ edition” are being printed. The usual print run is 60,000. So. Buy a copy and show off your commitment to free speech. But, better still, exercise it.
The cover shows Muhammad shedding a single tear under the headline: “All is forgiven”. He holds the message: “Je suis Charlie.”
We go live to Paris, where CNN are by a kosher supermarket where people have been murdered. Some, like the French Preesident, say the attack on a kosher supermarket was driven by rabid anti-semitism.
But CNN seeks to clarify. Chris Cuomo is talking to grocery expert Isa Soares. It turns out that the kosher supermaket is a Muslim supermarket. It’s not anti-Semitism, after all:
If the BBC Tim Willcox is looking for a new challenge, he’d fit right in at CNN…