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)

Monday, 10 January 2011

"Jewish" Book Week too is "Taking the Mick" ...

This is a cross-post by the indefatigable Jonathan Hoffman (pictured), one of the most dedicated pro-Israel activists in the United Kingdom.  The post first appeared at

I have written on this blog [the Jewish Chronicle blogspot] about the folly of organisations within the Jewish community offering a platform to the enemies of Israel. In the UK, Liberal Judaism has done it (to Jeff Halper of the ICAHD) and also Limmud (to Breaking The Silence and to John Ging of UNRWA).

"Free speech" is all well and good but at a time when Israel is under pathological attack in the "war of the mind", it is barmy for Jewish organisations to put Israel's enemies on a plinth. As we saw in the Mick Davis case, it just gives ammunition to the malefactors (in his case, to the odious Gerald Kaufman - he of the £8865 TV - who cited Davis in his Commons speech against reform of Universal Jurisdiction).

The demented, deranged madness has spread to London's Jewish Book Week. It includes a session with Gideon Levy, discussing his book The Punishment of Gaza. The session is to be chaired by Johann Hari of The Independent.

Let's start with Hari. He has compared Israel to excrement, falsely accusing settlers of allowing untreated sewage to poison the water of Palestinians on the West Bank. This is a blood libel:

His columns are full of false quotes which denigrate Israel, e.g. this column:

Menachem Begin never called the Palestinians "beasts walking on two legs". Begin was talking, not about "the Palestinians" but about terrorists who target children within Israel:

And here Tom Gross quotes a letter from Benny Morris (which The Independent never published) picking up another false quote from Hari:

More on horrible Hari here, from the admirable Chas Newkey-Burden:

Unbelievably the session is "in association with the London Review of Books"! The LRB editors are pathological Israel demonisers as shown here:

Look at what Benny Morris said about this Just Journalism article:
"A good dissection of the articles on the conflict that appeared in the LRB over the past decade. Many contributions are no more than pro-Arab propaganda. On the face of things, it would appear that sending taxpayers’ pounds their way is misguided if not downright hostile toward Israel – which is not British government policy."
(Benny Morris is Professor of History in the Middle East Studies Department at Ben Gurion University of the Negev, Israel)

Johann Hari, who rarely saw a religion-bashing bandwagon he didn't want to hop onto, recently dismissed shechita as nothing more than barbarism originating from "some hallucinating desert nomads".

Someone just emailed me to say "I personally think with Hari that there are so many anti-Jewish dots that it is hard to not join them". S/he's dead right.

Now to Gideon Levy. Levy is discredited in Israel. He admits himself (at an Amnesty meeting I attended) that if he spoke at a meeting in Israel, only a handful of people [would] turn up.

Gideon Levy's reports often have little or no connection to the truth

He abuses his position as a “journalist” to demonise Israel. He is a self serving propagandist who makes money at the expense of his own people.

Just his disgusting misreporting of the rape case a few months ago should prove to all (except the most hardline haters) that he is driven by a hate agenda and that his journalism is therefore akin to fiction.

I urge you to protest to Book Week. The email address is

I will be boycotting Book Week this year and any other year when their programming gives a platform to two such vicious mendacious enemies of Israel. Ask yourself whether you should follow suit.


  1. I must say that Jewish Book Week seems to favour leftist books year after year - and its tendency to bignote harsh critics of Israel is not new. If I remember correctly, it featured Jacqueline Rose in recent years, among others of that ilk.

  2. There's a clique of lefty extreme-Israel bashers among them, I'm afraid, and it's alarming how they've made inroads into academia.


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