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


By Jonathan Hoffman
January 9, 2011
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I have written on this blog 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 Halper of 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:

http://www.independent.co.uk/opinion/commentators/johann-hari/johann-har...

His columns are full of false quotes which denigrate Israel, eg this column:

http://www.independent.co.uk/opinion/commentators/johann-hari/johann-har...

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:

http://www.camera.org/index.asp?x_context=22&x_article=775

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

http://www.tomgrossmedia.com/mideastdispatches/archives/000805.htmlhttp:...

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 turn up.

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

http://www.camera.org/index.aspx_context=6&x_article=146

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.

http://www.camera.org/index.asp?x_context=2&x_outlet=55&x_article=1016

http://www.theaugeanstables.com/2008/07/28/gideon-levy-twisted-in-knots-...

http://israelseen.com/2010/09/11/gideon-levy-and-uncomfortable-truths/

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 info@jewishbookweek.com

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.

*************************************

Addendum 1: More on horrible Hari here, from the admirable Chas Newkey-Burden:

http://www.oyvagoy.com/2010/03/12/intelligently-and-without-hyperbole/

Addendum 2: Unbelievably the session is "in association with the London Review of Books"! The LRB editors are pathological Israel demonisers as shown here:

http://justjournalism.com/reports/london-review-of-books/

Look 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)

Addendum 3:

http://www.totallyjewish.com/news/burden/?content_id=15398

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.

Addendum 4:

http://www.oyvagoy.com/2010/03/12/intelligently-and-without-hyperbole/

I had forgotten that I ripped apart Hari's false derogatory quotations in the thread below this article ...

COMMENTS

Ufara Bat-Asherah

Sun, 01/09/2011 - 22:37

Rate this:

3 points

Brilliant article, Jonathan!
I will be sending my complaint and so will others.

You hit the nail on the head: "The folly of organisations within the Jewish community offering a platform to the enemies of Israel."

The word I would have used instead of folly is "danger". These poor deluded people cannot see they are working to bring a holocaust onto themselves. Foolishness that's a danger to us all.


Jonathan Hoffman

Sun, 01/09/2011 - 22:41

Rate this:

6 points

Maybe they should change the name to "Anti-Jewish Book Week"?


Joe Millis

Sun, 01/09/2011 - 22:45

Rate this:

-6 points

Why not have an Israel Book week to compete with the Jewish Book Week? Then you can have all the writers you like.


Jon_i_Cohen

Sun, 01/09/2011 - 22:50

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6 points

Joe
Don't be so purile!
It is called Jewish Book Week - NOT anti-Jewish Book Week!!


Joe Millis

Sun, 01/09/2011 - 22:54

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-6 points

Jon, some would suggest -- and I am not among them -- that yours was a puerile comment. How about Zionist Book Week? Readings of Uri Tzvi Greenberg. Emuna Eilon's latest novel. A debate about Zeev Jabotinski's Iron Wall. Eyal Megged's journey from left to right and back again. Maybe a fringe event on the writings of Amos Oz and David Grossman, for balance.


Jon_i_Cohen

Sun, 01/09/2011 - 22:59

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6 points

joe
if you are "not among them", then why suggest it?


Truthtriumphs

Sun, 01/09/2011 - 22:59

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5 points

What about the Israel-haters that the JC regularly gives space to, to spred their evil messages, inluding publishing letters from those comparing Israel to Nazi Germany?
Oh, I suppose that's called freedom of speech.


Jonathan Hoffman

Sun, 01/09/2011 - 23:02

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7 points

An organisation that calls itself 'Jewish' should not be hosting Hari. Period. Any more than it should host Pilger or Fisk.

How about the sponsors of JBW making their feelings known:

JC
Pears
Celia Atkin
Celia Atkin
The John S Cohen Foundation
The Denis and Sheila Cohen Charitable Trust
The Dorset Foundation
Anne Frank Fonds
The Edith and Ferdinand Porjes Charitable Trust
Rothschild Foundation Europe
The Shoresh Charitable Trust
Samuel Sebba Charitable Trust
Sir Siegmund Warburg's Voluntary Settlement

http://www.jewishbookweek.com/jewish-book-council/supporting-book-week.p...


Jon_i_Cohen

Sun, 01/09/2011 - 23:05

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4 points

The John S Cohen Foundation
The Denis and Sheila Cohen Charitable Trust

Mentioned above, have nothing to do with me, we simply share the surname.


Joe Millis

Sun, 01/09/2011 - 23:08

Rate this:

-3 points

I dislike hari and his paper intensely. Gidon levy has become a caricature of himself, unfortunately. But suggesting a boycott is adopting the same lunacy as those whom you oppose the most. Just don't go to that talk.


Joe Millis

Sun, 01/09/2011 - 23:09

Rate this:

-1 points

You mean you aren't the worlds only Cohen, Jon?


raycook

Sun, 01/09/2011 - 23:35

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5 points

This is lke some kind of communal death-wish.

If this were the 1920's they'd invite Adolf Hitler to discuss Mein Kampf because it's about Jews.


Joe Millis

Sun, 01/09/2011 - 23:45

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-4 points

Ray, hari and levy say and write things that are dubious to say the very least, but hitler? That's reductio ad hitlerium and it's a losing argument every time. It's a switch off.


amber

Mon, 01/10/2011 - 00:18

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7 points

millis, the threat to the Jews is real. It is indeed existential. That Jews are inviting those who would bring about their demise, either intentionally or through stupidity or ignorance, is suicidal.

It's time such organizations woke up to the danger. We really don't have the luxury to be stupid.


Jonathan Hoffman

Mon, 01/10/2011 - 00:49

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5 points

"Lemmings Book Week?"


raycook

Mon, 01/10/2011 - 01:12

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5 points

Joe, I did not compare Hari and Levy to Hitler - it was the organisers penchant for self-immolation I was ridiculing.


jose (not verified)

Mon, 01/10/2011 - 04:52

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5 points

"Stupid Books Week"?


jose (not verified)

Mon, 01/10/2011 - 05:07

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6 points

It reminds me of the 'celebrated' book by Shlomo Zand. Even with a little knowledge of Polish Jews history, it was easy to discard totally the 'arguments' of the book. Especially since the Yiddish language is not Slavic but mostly Germanic, it was quite certain that Koestler's "13th Tribe" hypothesis was pure crap and therefore the genetic origin of the present Jews remains still largely Middle Eastern.
Nevertheless, thanks to Arab money, the book received considerable attention in countries like France, where its inconsistencies were not noted. It even got a "history" prize, while all its "history" is a discredited hypothesis!

A few months ago, the scientific confirmation came from two genetic experiments, one of which was published in the prestigious scientific journal Nature. They showed that Sephardim and Ashkenazim were genetically much closer than they were to their own host countries' populations. After nearly 2000 years of separation for some!
This, of course, totally discredited any major genetic event in the Ashkenazim alone, falsifying the "13th tribe" hypothesis.

So Stupid Books Week has material for its next event. It has authors. Let's make sure it does not have a public, even less ourselves!


Kahina

Mon, 01/10/2011 - 09:13

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6 points

I'm sure the visitor numbers for these events must be down, hence having to invite controversial speakers.

In this day and age of the internet and Amazon, one can happily give this event a big miss.


Joe Millis

Mon, 01/10/2011 - 10:04

Rate this:

-6 points

Thing is, Kahina, events at JBW, year on year, are full to the rafters, irrespective of the speaker. If people don't like a certain topic or speaker, they are free not to attend or to ask awkward questions at the event. But a boycott? Sounds like the SWP's tactics to me.
And why not a rival Zionist Book Week? At the same time? Then, in the time-honoured tradition of the free market of ideas, we'll see which is the bigger pull.


Joe Millis

Mon, 01/10/2011 - 10:05

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0 points

I like science fiction, too, Jose. And I treated Zand's book as such.


Yoni1

Mon, 01/10/2011 - 11:16

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0 points

"A few months ago, the scientific confirmation came from two genetic experiments, one of which was published in the prestigious scientific journal Nature."

I am sure I read this at least 2 and possibly 3 years ago. That makes Zand's hysterical and ignorant nonsense even more stupid.

Let me ask in all seriousness: what makes Millis so stupid that he can't ever see the huge wave of antisemitism washing over Britain, and also other countries?


Joe Millis

Mon, 01/10/2011 - 11:22

Rate this:

-1 points

If there were a huge wave of anti-Semitism washing over Britain, Yoni Ish-Hoff, then emigration to Israel would account for much more than 2 El Al Jumbo jets a year.


jose (not verified)

Mon, 01/10/2011 - 12:53

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0 points

The study about genetic origins of Ashkenazim was published last year in Nature. Here is the news they published online at the time:

http://www.nature.com/news/2010/100603/full/news.2010.277.html


Joe Millis

Mon, 01/10/2011 - 13:23

Rate this:

-1 points

Jose the research predates the Nature report by at least 15 years. Apart from that anyone who has read Josephus will know how wrong Zand is.


Yoni1

Mon, 01/10/2011 - 13:39

Rate this:

-1 points

I am not Ish-Hoff, moron.

Anyway, your thesis is stupid. It's a lot of hard work to uproot your family and move to another country. People keep hoping against hope, just as they did in early 1930s Germany.
The evidence for the antisemitism is plainly there to see - assuming that one has a functioning brain. That rules you out, obviously.


Yoni1

Mon, 01/10/2011 - 13:40

Rate this:

-1 points

Jossphus was hardly an objective scientist.


iceberg5

Sat, 01/15/2011 - 13:31

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-1 points

Why are you so scared of debate??


jose (not verified)

Sat, 01/15/2011 - 13:49

Rate this:

1 point

I like science fiction, too, Jose. And I treated Zand's book as such.

Milligramsam, Zand's book is presented as reality, not SciFi. Therefore, it is only stupidity. And it was so even before the scientists showed him wrong.

Jose the research predates the Nature report by at least 15 years. Apart from that anyone who has read Josephus will know how wrong Zand is.

Who calls what Zand did "research"? At best, it is a collection of legends.

iceberg5:

Why are you so scared of debate??

Why do you think anyone is "scared"?
Debate with idiots telling lies and stupidities, such as Zand, does a service to the idiots. They are best ignored.


Joe Millis

Sat, 01/15/2011 - 14:23

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0 points

I didn't call what Zand did "research". I was referring to Nature and the genetic research about Jews.


iceberg5

Sat, 01/15/2011 - 15:23

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0 points

It seems to me that calling for a boycott is the response of the scared. I haven't read Sand's book and I'm curious if you have. I'd like to read it though, before making a judgement. From what I have heard there is some serious scholarly doubt regarding the nature of the exile following the Bar Kochba revolt, though to my mind this has little to do with modern day politics.

Ging is not an enemy of Israel and I'm not sure how anybody could claim he is if they watched the podcast of his presentation at Limmud Conference. Nor is Gideon Levy an enemy of Israel.

If such people are simply idiots with nothing of value to say, surely it shouldn't be too hard to show them up as such. To call for them to be boycotted strikes me as a hysterical and fearful response.

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