Israel: As Fanatical as Iran?

Yasmin Alibhai-Brown, a columnist for the UK’s Independent, regularly features on HonestReporting and its UK affiliate due to her propensity to describe Israel as a “racist” and “apartheid” state. Alibhai-Brown is also fond of taking pains to mention her many Jewish friends, as if this gives her some extra credibility when it comes to attacking the Jewish state.

Alibhai-Brown would therefore have known that her latest polemic would not provoke an immediate response due to its publication on Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement, when Israel shuts down and most Jews would not be browsing the pages or the internet site of The Independent.

Alibhai-Brown writes:

As a supporter of the now crushed and broken reformers in Iran, I back the ultimatum to the fanatic and bellicose Iranian President, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. But what about that camel in the room? The one we all see but can’t point out? What about the only power in the Middle East, also fanatic and aggressive, which has a vast stockpile of weapons enough to obliterate the region? Listen people, we need to talk about Israel. And soon. Like now.

Irrespective of the issues surrounding whether or not Israel possesses nuclear weapons, it is simply absurd to equate democratic Israel with the terror supporting, Holocaust denying theocratic Iranian regime. Israel has never tested, used, or threatened the use of nuclear weapons, has called for the creation of a nuclear-free zone in the Middle East and has stated many times that it will not be the first state to introduce nuclear weapons into the region.

Despite this, Alibhai-Brown continues to describe Israel as profoundly evil, drawing upon the UN Goldstone Report, which she describes as “sober” and “unbiased,” ignoring its many deficiencies that are continuously coming to light.

Referring to Israel’s military operation in Gaza, Alibhai-Brown refers to:

Children turned to ash, blistered mothers weeping, and on and on. There still is no respite for the hungry and dying in Gaza. If Israel can mete out such treatment and not be called to account, just think what the state feels entitled to do to Iran.

While Iran represents a genuine threat not only to Israel but to the entire world, Yasmin Alibhai-Brown has used the latest developments in the Iranian nuclear crisis to demonize Israel, making false comparisons with the despicable Iranian regime and presenting Israel as uniquely cruel.

Please send your considered comments to The Independent – letters@independent.co.uk

 

GOLDSTONE DISCREDITED

 

While Yasmin Alibhai-Brown may take the UN Goldstone Report at face value, more and more deficiencies are being exposed. For example, the Goldstone Commission relied upon the testimony of Gaza police spokesman Islam Shahwan who claimed that Hamas policemen were merely involved in civil duties and not terror activities. As the Elder of Ziyon blog explains, this is the same Islam Shahwan who accused Israel of distributing chewing gum that increases one’s sex drive:

A Hamas police spokesman in the Gaza Strip Islam Shahwan claimed Monday that Israeli intelligence operatives are attempting to “destroy” the young generation by distributing such materials in the coastal enclave.

Shahwan said that the police got their hands on gum that increases sexual desire that, according to him, reaches merchants in the Strip by way of the border crossings. According to him, a Palestinian drug dealer admitted that he sold products that increase sex drive. The dealer said that he received the materials from Israeli sources by way of the Karni crossing.

Did Goldstone really believe that Islam Shahwan could be a credible witness?

In another stinging rebuke to Goldstone, the following statement was delivered to the UN Human Rights Council:

My name is Dr. Mirela Siderer. I am a gynecologist living in Ashkelon, Israel.

Judge Richard Goldstone, in July you invited me to testify. I told you my story. I am known by my patients – including many women from Gaza. For me, every human being is equal.

On May 14, 2008, my life was changed forever. I was working in my clinic. Suddenly, the building was hit by a missile, fired from Gaza. I was terribly wounded. Blood was everywhere. My patient was also wounded, and more than 100 others. Next month will be my eighth operation.

Judge Goldstone, I told you all of this, in detail. I testified in good faith. You sent me this letter, saying, “Your testimony is an essential part of the Mission’s fact-finding activities.”

But now I see your report. I have to tell you: I am shocked.

Judge Goldstone, in a 500-page report, why did you completely ignore my story? My name appears only in passing, in brackets, in a technical context. I feel humiliated.

In another development, even Israeli human rights organization B’Tselem has criticized the Goldstone Report. According to The Jerusalem Post:

 

The UN Human Rights Council and the Goldstone Report are either biased or mistaken in some of their fundamental accusations against Israel, according to B’Tselem human rights group director Jessica Montell.

ustify>She said the council was wrong in its gravest accusations against Israel. These include the claim that Israel intentionally targeted the civilian population rather than Hamas, and the “weak, hesitant way that the report mentions Hamas’s strategy of using civilians [in combat].”

 

The mainstream media is only too quick to publish criticism of Israel from NGOs and so-called human rights organizations. But what happens if an NGO says something that doesn’t fit the anti-Israeli frame that the media has created? Would the BBC, for example, which is providing continuing coverage of Goldstone replete with statements from Human Rights Watch, repeat B’Tselem’s latest statements? Of course not!

Read HonestReporting’s Special Report – The Goldstone Report: Rewarding Palestinian Terror – for more information. We will update the Further Resources section at the bottom of that communique as more resources become available.

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