Monday 27 January 2020

Get real

Think of all those misguided causes that once seemed as cool as they now seem wrong. In retrospect we ask ourselves - how could we ever have gone along with that?

Anyway, we did go along with, for example, smoking. We bought into it. We were fooled by the combined efforts of the tobacco industry’s advertising campaigns and our own wishful thinking. Not only did we think smoking was cool, but we allowed ourselves to believe it was harmless. Now we know better. The one consolation is that the more we know about smoking - it causes cancer, folks - the less cool it looks. 

A regular defender of the BBC once humorously referred to me as “Biased-BBC’s correspondent for Tel Aviv.” It was supposed to be a joke. Yeah, it wasn’t exactly hilarious; just slightly amusing and at the same time, disparaging. 

However, today I make no apology for taking advantage of this relatively obscure platform to highlight the issue that is more important (to me) than the relatively transient and trivial Twitter in-fighting and gossip that sparks more interest below the line on ITBB than my ‘special subject’.

I’m aware that a website I often refer to isn’t everyone’s cup tea. Harry’s Place used to be a rather staunchly left-wing, Labour-supporting site with an equally staunch pro-Israel agenda. The recent turmoil in the Labour Party means holding those two principles at once does-not-compute. HP now takes more of a centrist and even a ‘right-leaning’ position. Well, it would, wouldn’t it, now that supporting Israel automatically makes one ‘right-wing’.

I’m going to be mean and admit that many of HP’s above-the-line pieces are of less interest to me than its below-the-line content. I’m jealous of the high level of engagement it engenders.  (The comments here are heroic and much appreciated - but to coin a phrase - never mind the quality, feel the width. That means I want more, more and more. 

Why am I talking about other websites when I could be sticking to the subject - what was it again? Oh yes, wrong-headed causes.  Sarah AB, formerly a major contributor to Harry’s Place, has commented about Lisa Nandy
“One thing I find very intriguing is how little the fact Lisa Nandy is Chair of Friends of Palestine and the Middle East seems a factor. It doesn't prevent her from being called a 'Zionist stooge', on the one hand, and it doesn't prevent several of the people who have deep concerns about and/or who left Labour over antisemitism thinking she'd be a good leader
I’ve been worried about Nandy ever since I saw that she was chair of Labour Friends Of Palestine and the Middle East.
We know that the pro-Palestinian lobby expends a huge amount of energy on promoting its cause and enticing political groups with its dishonest and fictitious propaganda. Lisa Nandy has been sucked in and hoodwinked by it.  
“I visited Palestine as a new MP and I was struck by the threats facing the next generation, the ferocity of the attacks they endure and the systematic denial of their rights. I met a three-year-old child whose house was surrounded by the Separation Wall and was growing up without daylight. I saw a 15-year-old shackled by the ankles, who had been held in administrative detention for months without any contact with his family, access to school or a lawyer. I saw families humiliated at checkpoints on a daily basis and the denial of basic medical care as a result.”

Sorry, but when an MP starts with “I visited Palestine” she is virtually bragging about having been duped by antisemitic propaganda.  (Don’t forget the reason why Islam rejects the fundamental concept of accepting any Jewish State in the Middle East)  

A few months ago, Nandy Tweeted:
“As someone who has fought for Palestinian rights, opposed settlements and wants a two-state solution I say Israel has an unequivocal right to exist. Why, on earth, is this so hard?”
It is hard because the stuff you’ve just stated you believe in is largely propagandistic baloney.  Palestinian ‘rights’? Settlements? Two-State Solution? Based on gullibility, fantasy and the wishful thinking of the ill-informed. 

I recommend two excellent pieces that have appeared in The Conservative Woman.
As well as succinctly setting out the value of these anniversaries, Paul T Horgan’s article answers those resentful folk who claim that “We fought WWll to save the Jews” with particular clarity: 
“The British and French Empires declared war on the Third Reich not because of the persecution of the Jews by Nazi Germany. Instead, war was declared in response to Germany’s invasion of Poland. The prevention of the Holocaust was never a strategic objective of any Allied power, as any effort used in such a manner would detract from the effort to defeat Nazi Germany militarily and thus prolong the war.
This is a ‘must-read’.  On the subject of Lisa Nandy, though, another Paul has also written on that site. Paul Hurt ends with: 
“The failures of LFPME reflect badly on Lisa Nandy and have relevance, I think, to the election of the next leader of the Labour Party.”
Even so, it’s conceivable that Nandy is the ''least worst' of the remaining four candidates. At least she gives the appearance of someone who looks and sounds relatively normal. Sorry, but the other three are plain odd.

The only consolation is that the more we know about the part that gullible but earnest pro-Palestinian activism plays in the rising, worldwide tide of antisemitism, the less cool it looks. Give it up.


  1. I've mentioned the Nandy connection a couple of times on this site. What concerns me most is that (a) she never mentions this prominent position (why?) and (b) no one in our biased MSM asks her about it.

    Moreover, as I commented today she is happy to associate herself with Holocaust Memorial with some bland statements but doesn't address Labour's appalling record on anti-semitism in any meaningful way; also she doesn't mention the fact that Palestine and the Middle East are alive with virulent anti-semitism, let alone argue that needs to change.

  2. Corbyn had exactly the same line on the two state solution. Either She is being extremely naive, or she is assuming naivety on the part of her supporters in believing that the Palestinians would ever except a two state solution. The former is beyond credibility and completely disingenuous. The Israeli/Palestinian conflict is hugely complex, including the issue over settlements. Presenting a simplistic version to appease her anti-Zionist supporters without appearing to endorse anti-Semitism is despicable. The BBC, and as MB points out, the rest of the MSM know about her role as a Palestinian activist. Their position is not dissimilar to that of Lisa Nandy. All of this should be out in the open. Then at least we would know what she really believes.

    1. The "two state solution" was always reasonable in my view. It was on offer to the Arabs, the officially approved UN plan, in 1948. They roundly rejected it. Until the Arabs abandon their Arab-Islamic supremacist ideology it can never work.

  3. Of course I meant NOT appearing to endorse anti-Semitism

  4. With rare exceptions, I don't comment, on this blog or any other. I'm a reader rather than a commenter. I do read 'Is the bbc biased' every day' (with rare exceptions) and have been doing for years. I appreciate so much the writing of Sue, Craig and the comments of your commenters, prolific and not so prolific.

    For once, I've left a long comment on 'Harry's Place,' after the article 'Four go left at the hustings' (26 January, 2020.)

    I'm the person who published the article on Lisa Nandy and Labour Friends of Palestine and the Middle East in Conservative Woman. I'm grateful to Sue for mentioning it.

    1. Thank you Paul. I don't comment on other blogs either. I've probably alienated enough people with just this one. ;-)
      As Craig often points out, all comments are much appreciated

  5. For convenience, I'll quote here the 'Harry's Place' comment, my reply to SarahAB:

    You're minded to vote for Lisa Nandy, are you? What touching faith! What naive, simple-minded stupor possessed you (temporarily, of course) to make public your attraction to the Lisa Nandy cause when there was absolutely no need to announce it to the readership of 'Harry's Place.' I think that information about Lisa Nandy's catastrophic incompetence will show you that your faith was misplaced.

    The information can be found in an article I published on 'Conservative Woman' https://conservativewoman.c...

    The article was published on 7 January, 2020. Lisa Nandy was appointed Chair of Labour Friends of Palestine and the Middle East in 2018. I pointed out that 'the membership list of MPs is strewn with errors.' To give just one example, 'The people of Oldham West and Royton and their constituency MP, Jim McMahon, would be surprised to learn from the list that their MP is Michael Meacher. He died in 2015.' When Lisa Nandy became Chair, the membership list, which hadn't been updated for years, stayed exactly the same, taking absolutely no account of Labour Party election losses over the years or the voluntary exits of Labour Party MP's. For years and years and at the time the article was published, the membership total claimed remained the same, the grossly inflated figure of 131.

    On 9 January, 2020, I contacted Lisa Nandy and other members of Labour Friends of Palestine and the Middle East to inform them about the mistakes. I've now sent two emails to all the members, as well as a large number of other people. Result: Lisa Nandy acts decisively! On 13 January, the list was replaced by a much slimmer (or shorter) one: 40 members were lost, including Michael Meacher and many well-known names. Now there are 91 left.

    The current membership still includes well-known names, such as Jeremy Corbyn, Lisa Nandy, of course, Keir Starmer, Rebecca Long-Bailey, Emily Thornberry, Jess Phillips, Richard Burgon and Angela Rayner. Corbynites and anti-Corbynites, people with varying degrees of delusion, have this in common - membership of this discredited organization, or an organization which deserves to be discredited. The policy of carrying on as if nothing has happened, as if there isn't a case to answer, the ignoring of the possible impact on the reputation of the Labour Party - Lisa Nandy shows no sign of recognizing the need for action which goes well beyond the replacement of the old membership list.

    The membership information on the Labour Friends of Palestine and the Middle East Website has been updated, at last, but nothing has been done about the other content. It offers low-level platitudes in so many places, not proof in the least that these are enlightened people. The shockingly naive claims could be summarized in words such as these, 'The politics of hope must replace the politics of conflict,' This is Green Party thinking about the harsh world of international relations and conflict. The relentless bias of the site obviously escapes SarahAB (although she may not have looked at the site before she made her announcement. If she hasn't, I think now is the time: No mention of the fact that homosexuality is fully legal in Israel and illegal in Gaza. No mention of the Palestinian payments to terrorists, such as the large payments made every year to the terrorists who attacked Kay Wilson and Christine Luken whilst they were out walking. They killed Christine Luken and left Kay Wilson with multiple stab wounds and multiple broken bones. They also confessed to killing Neta Sorek, stabbed to death after they gained entry to Israel from the West Bank through gaps in the security fence at a time when the fence was unfinished (the security fence - one of those hated symbols of Israeli brutality, according to many.)

    'legalfreak' writes of Lisa Nandy, 'She is certainly impressive ... ' Would you like to re-phrase that?

    1. Good article, Paul. Incompetence in small but important matters (the need to provide an accurate membership list)suggests incompetence in much larger and even more important matters.

      Nandy is prepared to utter banalities about the meaning of the holocaust but as regards her own self-imposed brief - Palestine and the Middle East (begs and interesting question...does the Middle East include Israel? - if not, why not? ... why specify Palestine in particular?) - she has singularly failed to condemn the virulent anti-semitism in that region.


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