Eretz Israel is our unforgettable historic homeland...The Jews who will it shall achieve their State...And whatever we attempt there for our own benefit will redound mightily and beneficially to the good of all mankind. (Theodor Herzl, DerJudenstaat, 1896)

We offer peace and amity to all the neighbouring states and their peoples, and invite them to cooperate with the independent Jewish nation for the common good of all. The State of Israel is ready to contribute its full share to the peaceful progress and development of the Middle East.
(From Proclamation of the State of Israel, 5 Iyar 5708; 14 May 1948)

With a liberal democratic political system operating under the rule of law, a flourishing market economy producing technological innovation to the benefit of the wider world, and a population as educated and cultured as anywhere in Europe or North America, Israel is a normal Western country with a right to be treated as such in the community of nations.... For the global jihad, Israel may be the first objective. But it will not be the last. (Friends of Israel Initiative)

Sunday, 14 October 2012

The BBC's Bowen Beats A Retweet, & The Daily Mail Beats Up On A Blood Libel

Let's raise a glass to a most welcome development last week,  the launch of CiF Watch's vitally important new sister site, BBC Watch.

There has long been an obvious nexus between the Guardian and Britain's "national broadcaster".  (I show some of it here and here)

But there's an essential difference between these two anti-Israel villains of the media world: the Guardian is not funded by the general public and has no obligation (save a moral one) to be fair and ethical in its coverage of Israel, whereas the BBC is bound by its (outrageously flouted) Charter to be impartial.

There's another difference, too: the odious Guardian is losing money hand over fist, whereas the BBC is exceedingly handsomely financed by a compusory poll-tax levied on every household in Britain with a television set.

So while CiF Watch is an important venture, its sister site is a crucial one, and I've little doubt that Middle East editor Jeremy Bowen and his team, as well as news website Middle East editor Tarik Kafala, already have it firmly bookmarked.

If they don't, they need to.

A most impressive site indeed, it has already got Bowen on the run, as his disclaimer regarding his retweets indicates.

Be sure to check the site out for that and other gems.

To change the subject:  from the very day that reports of the murder in the French Alps of the al-Hillis, a British family of Iraqi background, broke, antisemitic conspiracy theorists have salivatingly blamed the Jews, specifically the Israelis.   Without, of course, any evidence whatsoever.

These ranters left their blood libels in the form of comments on blogs and websites.

It was pointed out to them by people who could be bothered to engage with such types that "collateral damage," assassinating women and children, is totally uncharacteristic of Mossad.

And now those who can be bothered are repeating that reminder on comments below a report by a Daily Mail staffer called David Jones (hat tip: reader Ian G.) that is headlined "Was Mossad behind the Alps murders" and offers that theory as "a sinister explanation" of events in France.

Jones's source for this story is one of the Guardian's favourite pundits as a Middle East commentator is Roger Howard, no friend of Israel.

Reports Jones inter alia:

"‘[The victim, Saad al-Hilli] worked on Airbus, radiation equipment to kill cancer, and lately on satellite systems; but as far as I know he never worked on any top-secret projects,’ says Gary Aked, who spent four years at the Atomic Weapons Establishment in Aldermaston.
Several years ago, though, when visiting his friend for dinner, Mr Aked did see something that may prove to be of great significance.
Mr al-Hilli took him to the study, showed him a bank of four desk-top computers, plus a laptop, and told him how he used them to air his stridently anti-Israeli views in Arab chatrooms.
‘Saad was a very passionate guy and this was something that concerned him,’ he says. ‘He thought the Jews were taking over America and the world, and tried to get me interested in a book about the atrocities committed by the United States on Arabs.’
After 9/11, he recalls, his views became still more extreme. In one breath he would say it was ‘pay-back time’; in the next he would venture that Israel had blown up the Twin Towers to provoke the U.S. into waging war on the Arab world.
All of which brings us to the theory advanced by a respected Middle East security analyst, who declined to be named. He believes the al-Hillis and the French cyclist could have been conspirators in a plot to supply nuclear material to Iran — and been eliminated by state-sponsored Israeli assassins.
At first blush, this may sound the stuff of conspiracy theorists and spy thriller writers. But one commentator who thinks it is plausible is Roger Howard, author of several authoritative books on Middle Eastern affairs, the next of which will examine a chilling assassination programme carried out on European soil by the Israeli intelligence service, Mossad.
Howard says targeting women and children has never been Mossad’s style, and it strains belief they would risk repercussions were they proved to have wiped out an entire family.
But he contends: ‘It is possible something went badly wrong, forcing them to make a snap decision between abandoning the operation and killing innocent bystanders.’
The author also asks an interesting question: is this suggestion any more far-fetched than the notion that the paths of two men, of similar professional backgrounds — one capable of supplying high-level nuclear secrets, the other sympathetic to a regime keen to acquire them — should cross by sheer chance, at the precise moment when the assassin struck?
Whether or not the truth behind this terrible mystery is stranger than fiction, the fear is that the French and English investigators will never unlock the answer.
But the Annecy massacre cannot be left unsolved for ever ..."
Shame on David Jones and his headline writer for beating up a supposition that's entirely unsubstantiated and delighting the antisemitic conspiracy theorists among the article's commenters by appearing to lend journalistic respectability to their blood libel.

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