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Owen Jones is lying about Israel. Plain and simple.

11 August 2014

5:22 PM

11 August 2014

5:22 PM

Owen Jones’s column in the Guardian is headlined ‘Anti-Jewish hatred is rising – we must see it for what it is.’ Sadly the article falls well short of that headline’s aspiration.

At one point in the piece Owen singles me out for criticism: ‘Take Douglas Murray, a writer with a particular obsession with Islam.’ (I suppose ‘obsession’, rather than ‘interest’, say, is intended to suggest something untoward. But I confess that I am indeed especially interested in one of the major stories of our day.) Owen goes on to say of me:

‘“Thousands of anti-Semites have today succeeded in bringing central London to an almost total standstill” was his reprehensible description of a Palestine solidarity demonstration last month. This is not simply an unforgivable libel against peace protestors – Jews among them – who simply object to their government’s complicity in the massacre of children. It makes it much harder to identify genuine anti-Semitism.’

Now I have had to pick Owen up on this before. But here we go again.

The last time there was an exchange between Israel and Hamas in Gaza, Owen appeared on primetime BBC TV and seemed especially eager to claim, during a lengthy anti-Israel rant, that Israel was particularly interested in killing children. He said:

‘“I don’t want to just throw statistics around – I’ll give you one example of one of those children.  Omar Misheri [sic]. He’s 11-months old, he’s a little boy, the son of a BBC journalist and he was killed in a so-called “targeted strike”.’

Now as I noted here last year, the case Owen appeared to be referencing was the tragic case of Omar Jihad al-Mishrawi. The son of a BBC Arabic Journalist, he was indeed killed in a strike. But not a ‘targeted strike’ by the IDF.  No — the young Omar al-Mishrawi was killed by a rocket fired off by Hamas which ‘misfired’ and killed a child in Gaza rather than, as Hamas intended, a child in Israel. This was not my claim, but the claim of a subsequent UN report. As I noted last year, there should have been a lesson in this for Owen — as well as numerous other commentators on these matters. During a war it is exceedingly difficult if you are on the ground — never mind if you are not — to determine who has fired what where and when. I wrote a whole book about this a few years ago. Anybody who knows anything at all about conflict zones knows that the reporting of wars needs to be done with great care.

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But on that occasion Owen was so keen to attack Israel that he failed to exercise that care. When I highlighted his serious factual error and suggested that he apologise for misleading viewers of the BBC, he refused to apologise and decided to stick to the libel under the apparent impression that attack was a better form of defence than apology. I thought that a shame at the time and thought less of Owen as a result.

Yet what is most striking today is that Owen is at it again. It is not just that he does not have the intellectual honesty to admit that anti-Semitism in Europe today is spearheaded not by far-right white racists, but by Muslims — and young Muslims in particular. Such people are happy to spend weekend after weekend dragging their young children to chant hatred against Israel on the streets of western capitals (thus ensuring that the hatred is kept alive for another generation). The real problem is that he continues to condemn anti-Semitism at the same time as assiduously feeding it.

As you can see from the quote above from his piece today, Owen criticises me for perpetrating an

unforgivable libel against peace protestors – Jews among them – who simply object to their government’s complicity in the massacre of children.’ 

And there that real and outrageous libel is once again. Take the word ‘massacre’.

‘Massacre’. So carelessly and easily dropped in. Perhaps it is thrown around in the society which Owen keeps and the rallies which he attends. So commonplace, perhaps, that he doesn’t even notice that he’s using it. But here’s the thing. Even if Owen and his fellow-travellers don’t hear the ‘Heil Hitlers’ of their fellow protestors or see the posters saying ‘Hitler, you were right’, or claim that this is some minority fringe, all the while they are writing columns strenuously objecting to the burning of synagogues and the beating up of rabbis while painting the background against which these acts of violence occur. And facts — and their distortion — are, after all, meant to matter.

Yet here is Owen glibly holding Israel responsible not just for a ‘massacre’ but for ‘the massacre of children.’ What is one to do about a claim like that? Beside me I have a Chambers dictionary:

Massacre, n indiscriminate slaughter, esp with cruelty; carnage. – vt to kill with violence and cruelty; to slaughter.

That might be how one would describe the activities of ISIS in Iraq. It might well be how one would describe the intentions (even if they are largely, and carefully thwarted by Israeli defence systems) of Hamas or Hezbollah. But Israel? The IDF is carrying out the most targeted and careful campaign in military history. They seek to take out Hamas and Islamic Jihad’s rocket launch sites and to target the terrorist leadership. They have not been involved in Gaza in order to kill the Palestinian civilians which Hamas deliberately puts in their way as human shields.

I am sure that, if Israel ‘wanted’ to carry out ‘indiscriminate slaughter’ in Gaza, they could. But they don’t want to, which is a major reason why they don’t. Israel’s aim is to minimize civilian casualties. Hamas’s aim — in Israel and in Gaza (where at least 10 per cent of Hamas’s own rockets fall short and hit Gazans) — is to maximise civilian casualties.

But this is of no apparent interest to Owen or the thousands of people who turned out again last weekend to protest against Israel. To these people Israel is committing a ‘massacre’, an ‘atrocity’, ‘war-crimes’, ‘genocide’ and even a ‘Holocaust.’ There is no evidence for these claims. They are a wild and wilful distortion of the facts on the ground. The claim that Israel is engaged in ‘the massacre of children’ is not just a lie. It is precisely the sort of lie which makes its way into the body politic and then persuades some people that they must act on this outrage. After all, if you knew of a friendly government which was wilfully engaged in the deliberate ‘indiscriminate slaughter’ of children, what would you not do to stop it?

Here, in a nutshell, you can see the moral sickness of a portion of the Left. For good form’s sake — and doubtless sometimes with sincerity — they stress how much they loathe anti-Semitism. But as they hold one hand up in a scout’s promise that they oppose all forms of racism, including anti-Semitism, there they are with the other hand busily feeding the furies. Anybody really concerned about avoiding anti-Semitism should take another course. An honest person would realise that if you stop the lies then, although you might never entirely stop the anti-Semitism, you may at least subdue it.

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Show comments
  • Maureen Fisher

    The same people are very quiet about what their friends Hezbollah are up to in Syria where, indeed, children are being gassed and slain by these lefty soul mates.

  • IMBMB

    Re Owens

    ‘ The great enemy of the truth is very
    often not the lie — deliberate, contrived and dishonest, but the myth,
    persistent, persuasive and unrealistic. Belief in myths allows the comfort of
    opinion without the discomfort of thought’
    John F Kennedy

  • GnosticBrian

    Lehava, in Israel, hunts down people sleeping with ‘goys’ – or non-Jews ‘- then ‘persuades’ them to separate, attacks Christians as ‘vampires’ and ‘bloodsuckers’ and is justifying attacks on churches using the Bible – but the Israeli government won’t act. And that attracts zero opprobrium from Mr Murray.

    • meqmac

      In fact, the Israeli government plans to call Lehava a terrorist organization, and very very few Israelis support them in any way. You would not blame the UK because we have (and live with) far-right and far-left nutcases, so why use this to castigate Israel? What other double standards do you have?

      • GnosticBrian

        What was factually incorrect in my post?

        Lehava was founded in 2009. Kindly provide a link that shows “the Israeli government plans to call Lehava a terrorist organization”. I have seen that in January 2015 Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon “may be preparing” to categorize Lehava as a terrorist organization. But Bentzi Gopstein is still spouting his virulent anti-Christian rhetoric – http://www.timesofisrael.com/police-to-probe-extremist-leader-for-anti-christian-comments/

        “You would not blame the UK because we have (and live with) far-right and far-left nutcases” – WRONG. If a “nutcase” stood up and described Judaism as “that accursed religion”; decribed Jews as “blood-suckers”; demanded that people “fight the devious phenomenon” of Zionism – I would want them arrested and prosecuted to the full extent of the law.

        • Steven Teiger

          Bentzi Gopstein and Lehava are a rounding error in the percentage of the Israeli population. Why would you bring up a group in this discussion as if they are part if the mainstream? The fact is that they are despised by nearly everyone, are subject to ongoing investigations in the hope that they will slip upand be prosecuted, and are like many extreme organisations in any country that express their disgusting beliefs without actually breaking the law.

          • GnosticBrian

            Two months to come up with that?

            Was my post factually incorrect? Is there NO historical precedent for “rounding error” parties growing to dominance and imposing their virulent creed on the docile?

    • kingkevin3

      exactly. Anyone would believe the jews let just anyone marry in to the family no?

      • GnosticBrian

        “the jews [sic]” really?

        There is a world of difference between letting “just anyone marry into the family” and trying to prevent ALL non-Jewish suitors from marrying into the family; and you know it very well.

  • jeremy Morfey

    Hang on. There is a bit of dodgy reporting going on here. There is a world of difference between being anti-Israeli – against the actions of the present Government in Israel, and no more different to whingeing against the actions of Syria’s Assad or even America’s Obama, and being “anti-Jewish” that is against a race of people settled worldwide and made personally accountable for the actions of one group of tyrants in one foreign land, be they Netanyahu or Goldman Sachs.

    I do not accept that being Israeli and being Jewish is the same thing. One is a national concoction created in the emotional aftermath of the 20th century Holocaust, and the other is a tribe of people several thousands of years old, which has excelled in a number of fields wherever they have gone, and continues to contribute greatly to the well-being of civilisations way beyond the land from whence they came.

    • JayDPee

      Good point. After all 20% of Israeli’s are not Jewish.

    • meqmac

      Dear Jeremy, you are ill-informed. According to the International Working Definition of anti-Semitism, the original EUMC Definition, and the current US State Department Definition, excess and false criticism of Israel is anti-Semitic. Here’s part of the USSD Definition:

      ‘EXAMPLES of the ways in which anti-Semitism manifests itself with
      regard to the state of Israel, taking into account the overall context
      could include:

      DEMONIZE ISRAEL:

      Using the symbols and images associated with classic anti-Semitism to characterize Israel or Israelis

      Drawing comparisons of contemporary Israeli policy to that of the Nazis

      Blaming Israel for all inter-religious or political tensions

      DOUBLE STANDARD FOR ISRAEL:

      Applying double standards by requiring of it a behavior not expected or demanded of any other democratic nation

      Multilateral organizations focusing on Israel only for peace or human rights investigations

      DELEGITIMIZE ISRAEL:

      Denying the Jewish people their right to self-determination, and denying Israel the right to exist

      However, criticism of Israel similar to that leveled against any other country cannot be regarded as anti-Semitic.’

      It is precisely this sort of distorted, unfair, and inaccureate anti-Israel speech and activity that Douglas is writing about. When almost all Islamic speech about Israel openly calls for a genocide of Israeli Jews, and when uncritical Western left-wingers march alongside people chanting ‘Hamas, Hamasd, Jews to the gas’, it’s time to wake up.

      • jeremy Morfey

        Why should I accept a lobbyists’ definition of anti-semitism, any more than I accept that of marriage? I do not equate the State of Israel with the Jews, however much you do. Criticism, especially valid criticism, of one is not criticism of the other.

        Since Judaism allows conversion and passes through the female line without regard to the paternity, I wonder how many of these ‘Jewish’ settlers are sons and daughters of Jacob at all? Conversely, others who are of a direct line may have adopted other religions over the centuries, and while racially pure are, by culture, anything but. In the Bible, Ruth adopted the ways and culture of the Jews, even though she was by birth a Moabite. While this gave her special blessings and ultimately the devotion of Boaz, and from this union King David was descended, does that preclude her from God’s judgement, should she or her descendants prove unjust and unworthy of this special blessing? No, God would say – enough, let the Temple fall and not rise again until those who are worthy arrive.

        Denying the right to self-determination can apply to any aggrieved nationalist liberation movement. In my own country, the Scottish Nationalists won an electoral landslide in Scotland, supporting their claim to increasing self-determination. The spat going on between the Kurds and the Turks centres on the claimed right of self-determination in land that was once a great and noble empire, but is now a rather downtrodden Turkish province. Even in my own green and peaceful English shire, Tolkein once alluded in ‘The Lord of the Rings’ that was inspired by the Malvern Hills, to “them’s queer folk in Buckland”, which is how law-abiding Saxon Worcestershire village folk tend to regard their proudly-devious Celtic neighbours in the frontier marches of Herefordshire. When they merged the two counties once, it was an uneasy peace until they saw sense and made them distinct once more.

        I do not deny Israel has its own nationalist claims, same as very many others, which must as in the nature of all such claims, conflict with others with their own claims to the land. Palestine has existed since Roman times, which is as long as Britain has also existed as a nation state. The name is derived from the Semites from around Gaza called Philistines, who were regarded in Old Testament times as fair game for extermination, and even today is an English word meaning uncouth, uncultured and iconoclastic.

        What I do take exception to, though, especially in the light of Jewish persecution by a racist empire in 20th Century Europe, is the right for a nation to be founded on a specific creed, to the disadvantage, or even persecution of all others. You argue that comparisons between the present Israeli administration and the Third Reich is antisemitic. I have to say that any psychologist will say that very many bullies were themselves bullied in childhood, and that abuse perpetuates itself. It requires special intervention to break the cycle, but the creation of Israel after WW2 was only half the job done. I do not deny the Holocaust.

        I have seen enough evidence to support the systematic hounding of Palestinians within Israeli-occupied lands, quite separate to normal reprisals for the shelling of Israeli homes by some of their nationalistic elements, determined to push through their own claim to self-determination at any cost. What is all this about cutting down olive trees, cutting off free access to these lands, requisitioning the wells to supply settler homes, and the siting of settler homes and roadblocks to intimidate the farms? How many of the farmers were letting off rockets? I also notice that reparations for the disproportionate bombardment and ghettoisation of Gaza are still not under way…

        Nor do I notice any particular assistance offered by Israel to Syrian refugees, when other neighbouring countries are being overwhelmed by them. This is in contravention to international humanitarian laws that are being applied over the rest of Europe. I don’t blame Israel for not wanting to be over-run by migrants. Nobody welcomes this, but I am waiting for some constructive ideas from Israel how to resolve the mess, get Syria rebuilt under enlightened Government, and then all the refugees can go home. Leave it too long, then the return from exodus must entail evicting those who have been there several generations and have valid claims of their own. I also notice that Israel has not signed the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, yet insists on the full force of this being applied against Iran. Double standards?

        I find the concept of an exclusive ‘God’s Chosen People” most offensive, especially when I am not one of the Chosen. Even if I was, I would feel most uneasy about it when my own religion considers we are all equal and blessed under God.

        If you argue that by this logic, I should find the claims made by Islamists to be equally offensive, then yes I do, and nobody has the right to persecute the kuffar just because they don’t fit in. It is all part of the same disease. I also have hopes that one day Israel may turn out to be the Switzerland of the Middle East – bring peace, harmony, prosperity and a fertile land of milk and honey to a region troubled by the manic destructiveness of its Muslim neighbours.

        • meqmac

          Jeremy, you are talking through your hat. First of all, those definitions are not from ‘lobbyists’ (why would you even think that?) but from official bodies, based on expert advice: the European Parliament Working Group on Antisemitism (http://www.antisem.eu/projects/eumc-working-definition-of-antisemitism/), the US State Department (http://www.state.gov/j/drl/rls/fs/2010/122352.htm), and the International Working Definition. The one-page “WorkingDefinition of Antisemitism (WDA) evolved as a result of the concerted efforts of a large number of institutes and individual experts. If you have the slightest interest in learning about this from an extensive and scholarly source, I suggest you read Kennth Marcus’s ‘The Definition of Anti-Semitism’ (published last year by Oxford University Press), in particular chapter 6. There is so much more nonsense in your comment, but I havernb’t time to waste. You pity the Palestinians but say nothing about Palestinian terrorism or the many invasions Israel has suffered or the total refusal of Hamas and the PLO etc to relinquish their dream of destroying Israel and driving out or killing all Jews. You take exception to the term ‘Chosen People’ without the slightest clue of what it means. Jews do not regard themselves as superior (very unlike Muslims, where superiority is written into their scriptures) but as a people chosen by God to bear a burden in order to work for the betterment of the world (tikkun olam). Your prejudice flames out from almost every word. You should never, never compare Israelis to Islamists. Your hope for a future Israel bringing peace etc. is commendable. But you seem unaware of how considerable Israel’s contribution to peace and prosperity has been. Two major peace treaties and about a dozen deeply generous offers of peace. It is the Palestinians who have rejected peace every single time, since 1947. Arabs (both Muslims and Christians) living in Israel have the highest overall standard of living, better education, better healthcare, etc. than Arabs anywhere else in the Middle East. As for Israel’s staggering contributions to medicine, international aid, science, technology, and much more – it truly is already a Switzerland and something beyond that. If its neighbours would make a genuine peace, let Israel have secure borders (what other country has been attacked so many times in modern history?), accept that Jews have the same right to self-determination and sovereignty as any ethnic group, stop stabbing innocent people or carrying out suicide attacks, etc., the future would be bright.

          • jeremy Morfey

            I do not trust any of the sources you quoted.

            This is the greatest peril we are facing – the breakdown of the reputations of our institutions because of their claiming the right to say that white is black and to browbeat the rest of us into believing it as an Article of Faith. They have no idea what antisemitism is – they are simply pandering to the agenda of one political movement in one country in the Middle East, and their lobbyists abroad, regardless of the rights and wrongs of the matter.

            So in the absence of institutions we can trust, what fills the vacuum? ‘Islamic State’? Revolutionary Marxism? National Socialism? Or a laissez-faire international orgy of organised crime?

            I do wish the Jews (at least those apologists for paramount zionism) weren’t quite so arrogant. We might be getting somewhere if tikkun olam were taken more seriously than Israel’s absolute right to batter its enemies into total submission.

            • BC

              Have no fear for our institutions. There is in fact only one “draft definition” : That formulated for the now moribund EUMC by professional Zionist propagandists, (not by “experts” as this charlatan maintains). The other two are simply direct copies of it. The EUMC didn’t know what to do with it. It wouldn’t last 5 minutes in any democratic debating chamber but they were afraid that they’d offend Zionist pressure groups if they rejected it., so they archived it. It has never been debated or adopted by a single democratic forum anywhere so it has no official status whatsoever – anywhere. The Fundamental Rights Agency which succeeded the EUMC disowned it aout a year ago.

      • Johnny Rotten

        I don’t think I’ve ever read so much tosh.

        A nice attempt at trying to silence those critical of the crimes against humanity committed by the state of Israel on a daily basis, though.

        “I know! Let’s disarm anyone speaking out against such crimes by defining them as an ‘anti-semite’.

        Nonsense.

        • meqmac

          You write: ‘the crimes against humanity committed by the state of Israel on a daily basis’. What crimes exactly? Recorderd by whom? On a daily basis? Israel is the exact opposite of a criminal state, particularly when compared to its neighbours like Iran, Saudi Arabia, Syria (even before the war), Sudan, and on and on. Why do you choose not to mention their egregious crimes, which are well known. Israel is a liberal democracy, all of whose citizens possess rights unknown to their neighbours. Arabs in Israel have far more humamn rights than those in any Arab country. Muslim women in Israel in Israel have exacrtly the same rights as Jewish or Christrian women, and are 100% freer than Muslim women in Iran etc. Gays and others are completely free under the law to practice their rights: in the WQest Bank, Gaza, Syria, Irean etc etc they are beheaded, thrown form tall buildings or stoned. I could go on and on. You honestly knoiw nothing about Israel but have swallowed a lot of disinformation and myth. That is why a large majority of Israel Arabs boast that they prefer living in Israel than in any Arab state. Why don’t you go there and say what you have just written to their face and see how far you get. At best they will just laugh at you.

    • kingkevin3

      errrh…it’s a bit more complex than that. They certainly are not a tribe of people several thousand years old…although of course they would have simpletons like yourself believe such arrant nonsense.

      • jeremy Morfey

        Are you referring to the State of Israel or the Jews?

        The State of Israel – a modern reconstruction – dates back to 1949, but the Jews were referred to in both the Torah and the Old Testament of the Bible, which survive to this day, and these documents are indeed several thousand years old.

    • Steven Teiger

      “. One is a national concoction created in the emotional aftermath of the 20th century Holocaust” WTF? No its not! It’s a nation established about 3000 years ago, with a Jewish presence throughout history, despite being overrun by Romans, Greeks, Assyrians, Byzantines, Marmelukes and Ottomans. It was reestablished in 1948 after the UN voted to divide the remaining 30% of what had been promised in a vote supported mostly by non-European countries and totally rejected by Arabs. But they declared independence anyway, and chose the name Israel over Judea and Palestine, which they could equally well used.

      • jeremy Morfey

        We’d run out of days in the year if we were to celebrate every nation state that has existed in the last 3000 years, but has ceased to be. Of the six invader states you mention, Assyria, Byzantium, Marmelucia and the Ottoman Empire are no more, and the Roman and Greek empires are unrecognisable from what they were in ancient times.

        I’d like to say that modern Israel was unrecognisable from how it was in the time of Judith, perhaps more like Israel under Solomon, but sadly I can barely recognise the place from how it was sixty years ago, let alone from biblical times. Even then, enough prophets warned the Israelites what God would do to them if they did not behave well. Some folk might even argue that Nero’s destruction of the Temple was God’s response to the crucifixion of Christ, but I personally believe rather than Nero was just a mad megalomaniac who liked seeing things burn.

        I do maintain though that every nation re-invents itself constantly, and stick behind my belief that modern Israel was indeed a 1948 concoction in response to the Holocaust, and that any fantasies about it being precisely as David left it is as credible as 19th century Druidic recreations from my own culture.

        • Steven Teiger

          Nobody is talking about 3000 nation states that once existed and no more. Just one which existed in those times and an indigenous population which has survived through until today. Not all of, but enough to have maintained a direct lineage throughout history along with exiles who continued to believe in “next year in Jerusalem” as part of their creed.
          In the latter half of the nineteenth century, when it became physically possible and national liberation movements were springing up, then Jews started moving back to the land of Israel. More came in the first half of the twentieth century both before and after their rights were recognised by the superpowers, although there were still considerable difficulties, unlike the Arab immigrants who just got on a donkey and rode in.
          Israel would have declared independence regardless of the UN vote (1947) in 1948 and was born in blood after being attacked for doing so, not unlike many other nation states today.
          So it was not a holocaust guilt trip which created the state, but the initiative of its leaders and the tenacity of its inhabitants.

          • Steven Teiger

            BTW, Nero was dead by the time that the temple was destroyed.

            • jeremy Morfey

              Indeed. I’ve just looked it up. Nero sent his general Vespasian to put down a Jewish rebellion, but Nero died before he could march on Jerusalem. Vespasian became Emperor and despatched his son Titus to subjugate the city, where there was much looting and killing of the innocent, and the destruction of the Temple in amid the bloodlust, despite Titus being eager to keep it as a monument for Rome.

          • jeremy Morfey

            So what’s the difference between the settlement of Israel by those who consider themselves ethnically correct, and the annexation of the Sudetenland by Germans, who considered it more right and proper that their ethnic Germans should be governed by their own kind? For them, the concept of Czechoslovakia was downright offensive, and the British PM at the time rather agreed with them.

            Were not both (and indeed the six invading forces you mentioned in an earlier post) simply showing initiative and tenacity, and once in place and chased the others out, had every right to claim they were now the inhabitants?

            Besides, since when were Semites like the Philistines, the Lebanese and the Syrians Arabs, rather than just descended from the wrong son of isaac? The Arabs came from Mesopotamia and Babylon down to what is now Saudi Arabia and Yemen, and are distinct from Egyptians, Semites, Turks and Persians. Calling a Semite an Arab is like calling a Welsh person a German. The Old Testament chronicles well the hatred the Israelites had for other tribes in the region. It is sectarian, or it is tribal, but it is certainly not racial. War is pretty ghastly at any time, but modern war is just ghastly on a much bigger scale.

            Incidentally, it was Mary and Joseph who rode a donkey into Bethlehem, despite him having established his business in Nazareth. Were they Arabs?

  • HMS Glowworm

    The hypocrisy of OB Jones and the BBC never ceases to amaze me. I find it a bit easier to accept from Muslim world and write it off to centuries of illiteracy, but what is Mr. Jones’ excuse–moral narcissism? Thank you Mr. Murray for all that you do.

    • dep

      Every time I read or hear another evil lefty bit of rubbish against Israel, I start or continue my plans for my next visit to that country.

  • Gaz

    Open question, are there any stats on the perpetrators of this kind of crime? Are they mostly far right, Islamists, left-wing anti-zionists?

  • Bernard101

    Talk about inside the distance wins, Murray has gone through Owens for a short cut. Owens appears to have a congnitive dissonance thing going on. Shameful that he won’t apologise for his blood libel on the BCC. At this point you can’t believe a word written in the Guardian about Israel. It just lies to its readers.

    • jeremy Morfey

      The whole point of the blood libel story was that it illustrates very well the peril of trusting in mob rule. It applies to all of us, not just to Jews, even though the original story was set in Jerusalem.

      Of course politicians will accuse their opponents of lying – it is what they do. I would rather look at the evidence, and then decide who is telling the truth.

  • Leon Wolfeson

    Excuses for the far right? Check.

    The reality is the people round here in London vandalising and spraying anti-Jewish graffiti ain’t Muslim. And as seen in comments, repeatedly, the far right always get round to blaming Jews.

    • Maureen Fisher

      You claim to be Jewish yet make an outlandish statement like that. Why are you lying?

      • Leon Wolfeson

        Oh, so because I’m Jewish and make the entirely sensible statement…you launch right into Jewhate, proving my point.

        Your denial of crimes commited by the far right, digging up a three-month old post to do so..

        • Maureen Fisher

          What post is that? You are denying that most of the attacks carried out on Jews have been by Muslims – in Paris most recently.

          • Leon Wolfeson

            So you deny your post, as you make up something I never said, check.

            As you make excuses for attacks here…

  • King Kibbutz

    How is it that The Guardian pays money to this voluble idiot?

  • Colin Lonie

    Here’s the (almost daily) proof of Zionists murderous intent…. 911, 7/7, Madrid, Iraq War, Syria War, Libya War = Mass migration of 3rd World into Europe. All to the PLAN.

  • Omar17166

    “The last time there was an exchange between Israel and Hamas in Gaza”! You call it EXCHANGE Mr. Murray??
    Who’s the liar now?

  • JoshLRussell

    Just for the record, resorting to sensationalism like ‘moral sickness’ is the mark of a weak writer. It kinda calls into debate the strength of your argument that you can only resort to such heavy-handed fear-mongering to achieve your goals.

  • Marie Louise Noonan

    Wasn’t Israel founded on ‘left wing principles?’

    Are we still at war with Oceania?

  • RaymondDance

    Owen Jones is a silly little boy – best to ignore him.

  • Harryagain

    There are no good guys in the Middle East.
    Let them just get on with killing one another.
    Just let’s take action to make sure they don’t bring their feud to our own streets.

  • Hegelguy

    Is it really impossible to be fair about this mess?

    Is it impossible to recognise – as many Jews and indeed Israelis DO – that while the Palestinians have had wretched leadership they have a very sound case?

    No community which has long been a majority in a land will hand over its territory to strangers from afar claiming to have been a majority there, um, 2000 years ago.

    The Jews would not, placed in that position.

    So no decent person can blame the Palestinians for resisting Zionism. It was entirely natural and entirely reasonable for them to do so.

    What they can be blamed for is picking leaders besotted by despotic Islamism.

    Israel would be wise in its own interest to negotiate a peace agreement by allowing the Palestinians sovereignty over the lands occupied since 1967. This is well recognoised by all reasonable people – many Jews too – as the only possible peace deal that can stick.

    The alternative is prolonged occupation over an Arab population that is bound to resist and will eventually become a majority.

    Withdraw the Jeewish settlements in areas occupied since 1967 and strike a peace deal with tough guarantees on demilitarisation.

    Why not just say all this instead of attacking straw men?

    • Sean Raymond

      I find that the debate always seems lop sided one way or the other because invariably, when discussing this topic, you are rebutting claims from the other side. I am more than guilty of this.

      The point regarding the Arabs (who were to become Palestinians) being unhappy with being put under Jewish rule is completely understandable and the creation of a Jewish state within a majority Arab area does seem wrong, and I can never deny it was controversial. But this is a very simplistic way of looking at it and I think, when we consider the context of the situation and the period of history in which the territory of the Middle East was being administered the creation of Israel was right and just. People have allowed many myths to skew reality about what Palestine was and ignore that the Arabs who’s descendants now identify themselves as Palestinian have been given many opportunities to fix their plight. A plight which most of us do wish to see end.

      The fact is however that Israel exists, it is going no where and so the only thing that can be done is to move forward – your suggestion that Israel reverts back to the 1967 lines is too problematic although I do agree with the idea of Israel pulling out of the West Bank in principle. I am sure you are aware that these were never borders but simply ceasefire lines – lines which offer Israel no real defensible border to the Jewish state. If Israel were to revert back to this armistice border as you say then they will be committing National suicide. Of course, if the Palestinians and Arabs at large were to guarantee peace then this is not an issue – but only a fool believes that Israel pulling out of the west Bank will end this. It certainly won’t and that the paranoid Israeli state is alone in this surely shouldn’t surprise anyone that they are not willingly to gamble with the lives of it’s people by taking that chance.

      I believe Israel must only pull out when it has borders which it can protect – how this is achieved I don’t know but it is clear to me that the establishment of the settlements across these lines is a cheeky way of addressing this issue by seeking to shore up the border. After the attempts at mass extinction by the Arabs, I fail to see how anyone can blame the Israelis for doing exactly this. They are in a perpetual battle for survival and judging by the potent anti-Israel fervour and Pro-Palestinian sentiment people clearly have no idea of the threat Israel faces.

  • monty61

    Owen Jones does indeed, deserve this ‘fisking’ (in the current jargon).

    But methinks, dear Douglas, you should take the beam out of your own eye first, before being the person to conduct it.

  • hippiepooter

    God bless you Mr Murray. You may have lost your faith, but you inspire mine!

  • Superdust

    the guardian has become an apologist for hamas. hamas has militarized all of gaza and relishes in the destruction and mass-murdering of children. they create an environment most conducive for killing children.

    the israeli military is least interested in harming children, while the palestinians shoot babies in strollers and slice the throats of infants. the IDf is the only thing preventing hamas from mass-murdering kids. look what they did to those 3 settlers, it was disgusting and horrific. but more importantly, it was a reflection of palestinian culture. after their killing, palestinians celebrated the act on the streets, passed out candy.

    this is the culture israel must negotiate and settle with.

    while owen bemoans the death of children, he ignores the fact that hamas uses them as combatants. hamas uses children as suicide bombers. uses them as fighters. endangers children by launching rockets from schools, mosques, un facilities, churches, etc.

    hamas has so much contempt for palestinians that they wont allow them to use israeli hospitals. they wont allow them to accept blood from israeli blood banks.

    sickening.

  • DaliahS78

    Douglas – I have only started following you recently and you are breath of fresh air – but my worries are simply “ENOUGH TALKING”… what do people need to do to start acting and changing these naive peoples views? Its madness that we need to hear debates between one side that simply lie through their teeth and the other side that have to ensure that every word is based upon proved facts. Its more than a joke. I am just so scared when I see these groups handing out leaflets in central London and the local English politely turning around and saying ” not today/ no thankyou…maybe later”… HOW DO WE PEOPLE TO REALLY REALISE WHAT IS BREEDING?

  • lgrundy

    “Owen Jones is lying”
    Again.

  • BlueRiverWhiteLily

    Of course any military can deny it “intends” to kill children! But when it implements strikes on densely populated targets it has undeniable fore- sight of that outcome. Israel’s protestations add outrageous hypocrisy to its informed deeds of criminality; so Zionists cannot complain at the many-faceted hatreds engendered consequently.

    • jjjj

      Where else should it ‘strike’ if the terrorist death cult Hamas hides among women and children, O wise strategist? And nice of you to condone antisemitism there. Never mind, Israel will soon go in to finish the job. And you and your ilk’s blood pressure will jump.

      • BlueRiverWhiteLily

        NOT anti-semitic to be grateful that your words: “finish the job” expose the brutal face of zionism’s criminal, fascist, INTENT. Neat own goal. Thanks for making my point so chillingly. No more words needed after that vindictive confession! But there are good jews, as well as good muslims, striving against this vile vindictiveness.

    • Ben

      Israel should only be targeting the fanatical Islamist Hamas who are firing rockets into Israel to provoke a conflict which they hope will snowball, thus bringing about the ‘ final solution ‘ for all Jews. (you do of course accept that this, and only this, is the objective of Hamas?).

      Israel should certainly not be targeting anything except those rocket sites…………Oh? Hang on a minute? Why do Hamas site them all in the car parks of schools and hospitals?

  • MountainousIpswich

    Owe Jones is one of the stupidest journalists working. He fails to check his facts, his arguments are non existent and politically motivated and pathetically childish.

    But regardless of the particular child named in this article and OJ’s utter incompetence, nearly 1,000 children have been killed By Israel in Gaza in just over a fortnight.

    That’s a massacre by anyone’s standards.

    • 62727782848688

      Israel sends a warning bang 5 minutes before bombing a target (no other country or army warns their target-Israel is exceptional in this policy). The problem is the culturally ingrained concept of martyrdom in the Palestinian value and belief system that includes martyring women and children for Islam and Allah. When these warning bangs are heard, instead of removing the women and children from the building or target-women and children are sent to the target to die as martyrs-very tragic indeed. A Canadian news outlet – SUNTV-did an entire episode of the “Source” on this phenomenon-complete with video clips.

      • MountainousIpswich

        Absolute bollocks.

        The UN school received no warnings. Some of the warnings have given barely 60 seconds notice. There is zero evidence of civilians moving to a tagged building.

  • Dr Khan

    salute to you Owen Jones…

  • anosrep

    Douglas Murray lies about everything. Plain and simple.

    • Augustus

      You have been officially appointed as the cat to guard against the cream of prejudicial liars.

  • ron chato

    The Palestinian propoganda machine has been working full tilt to affect the language describing the actions Israel used in this war against Hamas.. To corrupt particularly ugly words holding very specific and historically understood meanings, – genocide, Nazis and massacre – to deliberately divest Jews of having suffered unimaginable horrors, being the target of REAL massacre and genocide – organized and deliberate – and negate the reality of the 6 million murdered and turn the tables to try give the weight of suffering upon war casualties that could have been mostly prevented. Twisting corrupting and defiling the real meanings of those words and successfully playing on gullible western heart strings and our civilized distaste for any brutality, To co-opt those words and meanings for themselves.

    Knowing full well few will bother to go past tweets and photo links and do their own research to discover the TRUE meaning of those words. That they have in actuality been fully realized in the most brutal, gruesome and primitive ways by their Arab and Muslim bretheren surrounding them.At least the Germans were civilised enough to use bullets and poison gas.

    Pakistan 1971: 3 million muslims dead
    Sudan 1983: 1 million slaughtered
    Iraq 1988: 800,000 killed
    Algeria 1991: 150,000 wiped out
    Syria 2011: so far 250,000

    And HOW MANY WERE CHILDREN?
    And if slaughter torture beheadings and stonings were not enough, there was teen and child rape, beatings and enslavement for good measure.

    Where is the indignation? The passionate outraged voices jumping on the bandwagon to use offensive and insulting descriptions as Nazis, massacre and genocide? Muslims slaughter one another. It’s all good. Lets’ just import them to Western Sydney where they willl magically start loving each other as well as non muslims to become calm reasonable well educated and civilized Aussies.

    Why don’t educated passionate people take time to analyze the information presented to them, thinking it through, and drawing informed conclusions? How lazy and bereft of responsibility it is to cry angrily and march and utter the vilest hate over the killed – especially over 400 children without asking why and how it happened.

    Ask yourself, why? if Gaza is a continual potential military target as it is – this is not some rocketscientist discovery – why would its leaders, Hamas, use 800,000 tons of donated cement to build terror tunnels to attack Israel and not the hospitals and schools it was meant for? And WHY were there no civilian bombshelters built ? There should have been one every few blocks. But there was enough cement and monies skimmed off deals for the leadership to build themselves $4 million dollar homes.

    Verifiied by France24 and UNRWA that 2 of their schools were indeed used to store rockets, as were mosques and hospitals. Making them obvious targets. The European media, not English language, showed footage of Armed Hamas thugs driving terrified fleeing civilians back to their homes knowing they would be targeted and bombed in moments.

    Reporters having left Gaza confirmed these atrocities, and that missiles were fired directly next to schools, mosques, hospitals, and civilian residences but they as well as Gazans were under threat if they should have divulged this information.

    It’s not hard to work out that the children, women and elderly of Gaza were precisely useful cannon fodder. They became the unwitting and unwilling civilian martyrs, sacrificed by Hamas for its political gain, making great headlines in the world’s press to enrage everyone and bring out the hatred.

    There’s no other way to describe this. This was capture and murder. Mass murder. Deliberate obliteration of innocents thanks to Israel’s assured justified ferocious reaction to ongoing missile fire.

    The War Crimes, the massacres, the never-to-target-targets were engineered by Hamas. But there was no genocide by any definition.

    The way language has been corrupted and the naive reactionary condemnation of Israel has had the deliberate effect of making Jew hatred publically acceptable, even politely de rigeur – the lid has once again been taken off antisemitism and has made it and the hate filled users quite respectable.

    • MountainousIpswich

      Where is the indignation?

      You missed it. It was in 1971,1983,1988, 1991 and 2011.

      In 2014 the outrage is against Israel. That others have killed children does not give anyone else the right to do so.

      • jjjj

        No, the issue is that outrage is never heard from your ilk when the above events occur. No other country is in Israel’s unique situation. Your morality clock is set to Israel time and everything else is excused or considered a ‘distraction’ from hating the Jewish state.

        • MountainousIpswich

          You have no idea what else I am outraged about. Maybe if you bothered to frequent news stories about other world events currently ongoing you may well see outrage from others of my ilk.

          And when that happens you don’t see ISIS turning up saying – well why aren’t you outraged at the American Death Penalty or whatever.

  • Sean Raymond

    Moslems and the Left say Israel stole Palestinian land – no, the British simply put it under Jewish rule – if the Palestinians had accepted this it would still be their land. They left by and large at their own volition in the hope that they could move back after the Jews had been exterminated.

    Moslems and the Left say the Palestinian anger is all about Land grab. Well, Jordan covers 80% of what the Palestinian’s call Palestinian land – why no rockets for them or worldwide outrage?? Between 1948 and 1967 Jordan controlled the West Bank and Egypt controlled Gaza – yet despite a complete absence of Jews the Palestinians and their Arab cohorts still repeatedly attacked Israel, never giving up its goal of wiping it out completely. If anyone thinks Israel pulling out of the West bank will end all of this they are simply out of their minds.

    Moslems and the Left suggest that Israel has no right to exist. Well – under International law it does and what the British and French did was completely legal. Now, if you they take issue with Britain creating a Jewish state (which the Palestinians could have lived in if they were not such xenophobes) then they must take issue with the entire Middle East for its borders stem from the same mandate. Do they call into questions these borders – to be credible they absolutely have too. You see, what happened in Israel, i.e. that an autonomous culture came under rule of another culture is not unusual and happened many times in the creation of the Middle East – we saw Christians and Kurds for example come under the rule of separate entities. It was impossible to make everyone happy.

    Moslems and the Left say Israel are occupiers – no, Israel is a legal entity whilst its presence in the West Bank occurred via a legal acquisition of land in a defensive act which saw that land taken from ILLEGAL owners. Israel do not need to leave until SAFE borders have been secured and peace guaranteed – resolution 242 makes this very clear as it does that it is down to Israel and the Palestinians only to sort this out. Finally – Jews have been given the in-alienable right to live in the West Bank anyway – and why wouldn’t they? Why shouldn’t Jews be free to live where ever they please?? What a perverse moral argument the supporters of Palestinians make – that the Palestinians should create a state which is judenrein – free of Jews. These same people call Israel an apartheid state and yet they champion a Jew free zone!

    Moslems and the Left suggest that Palestine existed: No – it never has. Indeed, the Palestinians themselves were not a culture but a part of the wider Arab nation. It is easy to see why the British, after assigning 98% of the Middle East to Arabs would have thought the 1-2% that it didn’t wouldn’t cause too much problems. This is important, because the Palestinians really only came into existence to be used as a political tool to de-legitimise Israel – as long as they exist the wider Arab world can continue to object to Israel’s existence. I can quote Arab after Arab that admit that no Palestinian culture ever existed – this is why no Arab land has took them in

    What is ironic is that whilst Moslems, all Moslem majority nations and the left love to talk about the plight of the Palestinians and demand a Palestinian state (free of Jews) to cease their suffering, they never tell us why, when Egypt illegally governed Gaza and Jordan illegally held the West Bank, why didn’t they create the oh so desperately needed Palestinian state? Yet they demand Israel do it! Slight sense of complete moral double standards I detect here. Moslems the world over never ask that if Palestinian are refugees in need of a homeland, why doesn’t the Moslem nations which control 98-99% of the Middle East simply open up their borders and let them in? What is funny about this is that it was the Arab world, especially Egypt and Jordan, helped create the plight of the Palestinians as much if not more than any other.

    Moslems and the Left condemn Israel for tightly governing its borders with Gaza – yet they do not mention that Egypt does this even more vigorously – they do not even let in aid! Where are your brothers when you need them? Is it really beyond their capacity to grasp the simple fact that Israel only arbitrate these borders because on the other side exists a people who have vowed to never rest until Israel is destroyed? Thus, can you really blame Israel for wishing to minimise the opportunity for munitions to get into the hands of these people who have expressed its desire to kill them?

    • Oliver

      Well put and almost totally correct, although under the circumstances (Arab nations refusing to take in Palestinians thus creating a hostage crisis to be blamed on Israel) the suffering of ordinary Palestinian people is very real.

      The only answer is to give them the West Bank and Gaza and seeing that Jewish settlements require fortifications and a trained security force, I suggest the settlements are an unsustainable hurdle to peace.

      Once the Palestinians have that land, should Israel come under attack it should use the incredibly effective bunkers and the Iron Dome missile defense then seal the border tight so no suicide murderers can get in. Finally Israel must turn the Palestinians most powerful weapon against them “propaganda”

      By playing the peaceful victim Israel can win this war. Unless Israel is prepared to engage in total war to wipe out all of the enemy regardless of the civilian death toll, it cannot win militarily.

      As it stands, by playing the propaganda game and with the support of bleeding heart liberals, the Palestinians are winning by playing victim.

      Israeli military is to powerful for anyone to invade therefore they must relinquish disputed land seal the border and sit back and absorb Hamas rocketing then play peaceful victim.

      It is the only alternative to this stalemate where Israel is constantly attacked yet never allowed to neutralize the enemy because even a limited defense is seen as genocidal aggression by useful idiots everywhere from London to Washington.

      • Sean Raymond

        I agree that there is now a people who identify themselves as Palestinian and so should be considered as such. When looking back at history we do need to separate this from the fact that at the time Israel was created they were not a separate culture but were most certainly Arabs who considered themselves part of the extended Arab nation and they would have been happy to have come under Arab rule (not autonomous palestinian rule).

        With regards to your idea that Israel should move back to the 1967 Armistice lines – I’d say no simply because it affords Israel no real defence and they will be far too vulnerable to what I have no doubt will be inevitable future attacks. They must only withdraw once secure borders are in place – therein lies the challenge. I do not blame Israel for building settlements along and across this border to create what I suppose is a buffer zone but this has made the situation/solution trickier because if these settlements are not dismantled it is inconceivable that they will become a part of the Palestinian state.
        Establish safe borders and withdraw – easier said than done.

  • Oliver

    The reason why the bleeding heart, liberal vanguard against war and racism, see a massacre/slaughter/genocide whenever Israel fights, is not because any such slaughter is happening. It is because of the lens they using and the software they are running.

    Liberal bleeding hearts view everything through a pre civil rights (white oppressor/oppressed People Of Colour) lens and the outdated software they filter everything through is a 19th/20th century anti imperial format.

    When using that looking glass one sees a spectrum which others are blind too. One goes from ordinary vision to Technicolor.

    All the colours of the world become visible and one starts to see a cosmic battle between the good, noble, beautiful, talented, vibrant Colours and the malevolent, ugly, oppressive and inadequate white.

    That anti imperial software tells you it was always thus, -from the crusades to the trans Atlantic slave trade- the colour white has set sail from its Western heartland to oppress the beautiful Colours of the East.

    Now it all makes sense. Palestinians=People Of Colour from the spiritual East. Israelis=western pale faced colonial oppressors funded and supported by the most malevolent shade of white ever to exist Anglosphere white!

    Despite being ostensibly radical egalitarian -the liberal bleeding heart- now views human lives on a sliding scale of value. The lives of People Of Colour are the most valuable and that value skyrockets depending upon circumstances. A Person Of Colour dies of starvation or disease and the heart bleeds but one doesn’t Tweet. A Person Of Colour kills another Person Of Colour and (by some cosmic time warp) they cancel each other out. Unless one can find Western imperialism or white racism as the root cause for PoC to kill each other, in which case a Tweet might be in order.

    But if a Person of Colour is killed by a pale faced, imperial friend of the uber evil Anglo whites! In that case every life holds the maximum value and Tweets fly,Facebook tears gush and we take to the street to unite in fury at the “genocide” taking place.

    If in doubt about which lives are most valuable check the Victim Value Index by Sultan Knish

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