MAY 2005

Hannah saunters out with four Rabbis for Human Rights - rites?

April 21, 2005

Last week, I  witnessed my first settler attack.  "It was nothing," my friend Arafat told me afterwards, and I know that he was speaking in comparison to other attacks, when people have been injured and even killed.  Here, the Palestinian farmers were simply forced off their land.    Too easily.  But what can they do?  They don't have any weapons (unless you count their farming tools, as one woman joked to me); only the Israeli settlers and soldiers have real weapons.

We went to AsSawiya (not to be confused with AzZawiya) because the farmers needed to plow their land that they haven't been able to plow and they had permission from the army to go on Sunday.   The village has been here for centuries, and in the past couple decades they've seen Israeli settlers move onto their land, destroying or stealing it and preventing farmers from continuing with their lives.  When Palestinian farmers try to go to their land that is anywhere near any settlements or outposts, they are attacked, beaten, and forced off their land by settlers.  No settler from this area has been prosecuted, and the police consistently refuse to accept statements and evidence, or to follow up on cases.

Now the Israeli army has decided to "protect" the Palestinian farmers.  The way they do this is to give them permits to reach their land for a few days a year (why do people need permits to go to their own land, and what about the rest of the year?), and they promise to protect the farmers while they are plowing We (four people from Rabbis for Human Rights and I) arrived in AsSawiya and met my friend Arafat, his mother, and a few other farmers.  We walked up the mountain to the land, We reached the place where people wanted to work and could see the outpost in the distance.  The army was nowhere to be seen (even though it was a designated army protection day).  The farmers spread out and plowed for about 20 minutes before two armed settlers approached and began yelling at the families to stop working, to go down, to leave their land.  The farmers began walking down the hill, followed (chased) by the settlers.  Finally, an army jeep pulled up.    The armed settlers approached the soldiers and began chatting.  Their arms were on each other's shoulders as one soldier asked where another settler was; clearly they knew each other.  Arafat tried to talk with the soldiers, to say, "Where were you? This is our designated day to plow, and we were on our land plowing.  Can we go back now and continue work?"  The response was truly baffling: "You have to wait for the army to get here."  Weren't they the army   ?

When "the army" and police finally arrived, the settlers, Palestinian farmers, and Israeli accompaniers began negotiating.  I sat with the women and talked, and time passed.  We must have sat there for an hour before the army finally announced (or rather, asked Arafat to announce) that they would be allowed back to their land to plow for what was left of the day.  They could not go to the land they wanted to plow, the land they had begun working earlier.  They had to stay in the lower area, even further from the outpost.  All men had to have their IDs checked.  One soldier stepped forward and said he would check IDs, but the job was immediately taken over by a
settler.  That's right, an armed Israeli settler from an illegal outpost of an illegal settlement held a notepad in his hand and proceeded to write down the ID numbers of every Palestinian man who
had come to plow that day.  Finally the farmers were able to plow on some of their land. 

One army jeep drove up to the outpost, and soldiers patrolled there for the next several hours, making sure settlers did not come down again.  The farmers were relieved, and it was a minor victory. But is it a "victory" in the context of  occupation ?

Perhaps the most difficult part of the day for me, on a personal level, was listening to attitudes my Israeli companions and watching one of them interact with all the parties there.  Most who come with Rabbis for Human Rights (RHR) are fine, but not everyone has the same political analysis or familiarity with the land and the people as Arik, the RHR director. 
Arik, of whom Debbie Fink wrote in October 2004 : Met Rabbi Arik Asherman of Rabbis for Human Rights, but he didn't have much time. Unfortunately, he is not against the Wall or checkpoints, but he is getting quite a bit of support from the 'mainstream' Jewish community in the US and does wonderful work.

At one point, after the men had all packed up their equipment and gone to where the army told them to go, a few women were still trying to stay on their land and argue with settlers and soldiers.  One of the Israeli accompaniers (RHR) said to me, "The women don't understand the situation. The most important thing today is to plow the land, not make a political statement. If they don't plow for three years, an old Ottoman law says that the land is not theirs anymore."  "I think the women understand better that rules doesn't get Palestinians anywhere.  Just because they work their land does not mean the settlers won't build another outpost and steal it."  I heard the man talking with someone on the phone later, probably a man, and speaking in a condescending and amused tone about the women.

In a far worse example, another Israeli accompanier was acting exactly like the army - telling Palestinians not to go to the land where they wanted to go because that would be "provoking" an attack; stepping in the middle of an attack by facing Palestinians and yelling at them to move down the hill, rather than asking the settlers to move up; ordering farmers to go to certain places for their "protection" - even pushing Arafat at one point in the direction this man wanted him to go.  I told him I thought he was being completely inappropriate, that Arafat knew exactly what he was doing and had far more experience with settler attacks than this man did, etc.  He did not change his behavior.  He came to me later and said, "I have seen too much death and tragedy in my own family, so I'm here to stop violent confrontations no matter what it takes."  "That's fine," I said, "and a completely appropriate attitude when you're in Israel.  But when you're here, your job is to follow the lead of the Palestinians and do what they ask you to do, not push them around and tell them what to do.  If you don't want to listen to Palestinians, you should continue your work at home, not here."  I don't think he had any idea that the farmers would perceive him as more of an oppressor
than an accompanier.  And honestly, I don't think he really cared.  His work had nothing to do with Palestinians; it was for himself. 

It's the same thing that happens in so many situations of oppression, when a member of the oppressor group comes in and tries to dictate to the oppressed how they should act, to tell them what's best for them.  People can't or won't step out of their own heads. 

The Protocols of the Elders of London

a document compiled by Gilad Atzmon


 In a very small segregated cyber shtetl somewhere in the north-west side of yahoo ( ), a tiny cell of so-called ‘liberal’ Jews meets in the wee small hours. Night after night they are trying to save the Palestinian people from those who devote their lives to the Palestinian cause. There is one man who they really detest; his name is Israel Shamir ( ). An ex-Jew, Shamir is a very civil and peaceful man and probably is the sharpest critical voice of ‘Jewish power’ and Zionist ideology.

 Among Israel Shamir’s many sins, he is a member in the Board of Advisors of DYR (Deir Yassin Remembered, an organisation founded with the purpose of commemorating the victims of the Deir Yassin massacre). DYR is engaged in promoting reconciliation between Arabs and Jews. The liberal Zionist cell, as we are going to read, cannot really take it. They demand the cleansing of Shamir. They insist upon ruining his intellectual career or at the very least, his reputation. They would use any possible manipulative strategy to have him thrown out of DYR, which is the first step towards sending him beyond the pale.

 The following extracts are available on-line (for the time being) at Just
Peace UK’s official cyber shtetl:

 The extracts reveal a horrifying image of modern Jewish secular intolerance. It is a glimpse into the abusive, assertive and violent world of Zionist lobbying. It is a glance into the milieu of the people who try to determine the correctness of other people’s world views. When reading these extracts, just bear in mind that the authors behind them regard themselves as the forefront of Jewish moral thinking and universal humanism.

 Let’s let them introduce themselves

 We shall start with what is the authentic voice of the Marxist Tony Greenstein. Greenstein suggests that “anti-Zionist Jews, maybe under the banner of Return or JAZ, should sign an open letter to the PLO/PSC etc. insisting that they categorically repudiate Shamir and all his works and calling on Deir Yassin Remembered to break its links. What is important is that those Jews who sign are seen, without any qualification or equivocation, to be opposed to Zionism root and branch AND opposed to  Shamir”. (Tony Greenstein)

 Reading those lines by Greenstein, I wonder whether I am allowed to guess that ‘anti-Zionist Jews’ are basically a bunch of ‘Just Peace UK’ (a left Zionist group). If this is the case we should never take JAZ seriously again. If this is the case, Jews Against Zionism are operating as undercover Zionist agents. If true, and I still suspect it, it is very disappointing but not really surprising.

 Orna Neumann doesn’t like Shamir either, but unlike Greenstein who pleas for the help of his brothers, Neumann expects the Arab world to fight her Zionist wars. Neumann stresses that they (the cyber shtetl Just Peace UK) should “ask the Arab Media Watch and Affif and the PSC (Palestinian Solidarity Campaign) to denounce him (Shamir)”. (Orna Neumann)

 I may get it wrong here but when she mentions ‘Afiff’ she is probably referring to none other than Afiff Safieh, the Palestinian Ambassador to the UK. The fact that Neumann uses informal language calling Ambassador Safieh by his first name is in itself slightly unusual. Is Ambassador Safieh her close friend? Is he an active member in this Liberal Zionist cell? I am sure he isn’t. For those who don’t know, Afiff Safieh is the supreme Palestinian diplomatic representative to the UK. It seems as if Elder Neumann is trying
to portray an image as if some informal trading is possible with the ambassador. As if the ambassador is a Zionist collaborator. Having had the honour of watching Ambassador Safieh speak on behalf of the Palestinian people, having seen him and his wife sitting in front row seats at the DYR event. I am pretty confident that Neumann was searching for support in the very wrong place.

 Roland Rance, a revolutionary socialist and an alleged devoted peace lover isn’t far better. Like Neumann, Rance refers to the ambassador, applying similar informal language, but then, unlike Neumann, Rance doesn’t ask Ambassador Safieh to intervene, he gives him orders. See for yourself:

 ”So we should not ask people like Afif and PSC to denounce Shamir because of his anti-Jewish rantings; we should insist that they join us in rejecting his whole approach as an obstacle to any progressive political strategy”. (Roland Rance)

 Sometimes I ask myself what Rance and his elder friends mean when they say ‘progressive political strategy’, Surely they mean silencing the voices of their political and ideological foes. I find myself wondering what is so progressive about silencing other people?

 Apparently, some of the cell members are slightly more intellectually developed than others. For instance, Stephen Marks, is no doubt a strategically concerned one:

 ”I think” he maintains, that “the approach should come from a broad range of people, so Shamir cannot muddy the waters by claiming it is 'the jews' who are after him. The fact is that the zionists have been 'crying wolf' over antisemitism for so long that some people who have not read his material will be vulnerable to the argument that attacks on him are simply a reprise of the old Zionist chorus”. (Stephen Marks)

 Marks confesses here that Shamir is an internal Jewish problem but he insists upon finding a way to present Shamir as a threat to the world. But let us confront some facts here. It is the ‘liberal’ Jews who attack Shamir. Admittedly those left Jews are quoting two Palestinian writers (Ali Abunimah and Hussein Ibish) who denounced Shamir a while ago and yet I have never come across an orchestrated Palestinian campaign against Shamir. If anything, it is the other way around. Shamir is repeatedly praised by
Palestinians and many of their supporters. From time to time you may come across an eloquent critique of Shamir’s ideas. At other times, he is considered as an opinionist and treated as such. If anything, it proves beyond doubt that the Palestinian solidarity campaign expands and becomes more and more colourful. This is probably something that we miss in the protocols of the Elders of London. When I was collecting these extracts I found out that not ‘many’ Palestinians are engaged in any dialogue within their cyber shtetl. If to be accurate, as a matter of fact I didn’t find a single Arab that might hypothetically save their honour.

 G-D Save the Queen
The Battle Hymn of Mad Mel, by Deborah Maccoby, written for Debbie Fink, published with permission, (in The Virtual Stoa)

You know how the tune goes; now sing along...

Mine eyes have seen the glory of the US Neo-Con;
He is trampling on Iraqis till their homes and lives are gone;
He is giving tanks and F-16s to Ariel Sharon -
His truth goes marching on.

Glory, glory, bomb Fallujah,
Glory, glory, bomb Fallujah,
Glory, glory, bomb Fallujah,
His truth goes marching on.

I have mounted a crusade against those loony Neo-Socs;
They have burst the moral boundaries and cast us on the rocks;
They may march against the war but they can only save the fox -
My truth goes marching on.

Glory, glory, bomb Fallujah etc.

I repudiate all doubts; they only burden and perplex;
If we listened to their voices, we would all be moral wrecks;
I will fight against abortion; I will stamp out teenage sex -
My truth goes marching on.

Glory, glory, bomb Fallujah etc.

All relativists, lefties and postmodernists I hate;
I will cling to all the certainties of family and state;
I will fend off the barbarians who clamour at the gate;
My truth goes marching on.

Glory, glory, bomb Fallujah etc.

For the sword of Islam threatens and its might must be withstood;
We are fighting for the soul of our Judaeo-Christianhood;
For the world is black and white and They are Evil, We are Good -
Our truth goes marching on.

Glory, glory, bomb Fallujah etc.

I will put back moral backbone in my flabby fellow-Brits;
We will launch pre-emptive strikes on every land where Evil sits;
While defending Western culture, we will blow the world to bits -
Our truth will still march on!

Glory, glory, bomb Fallujah,
Glory, glory, bomb Fallujah,
Glory, glory, bomb Fallujah,
Our truth will still march on!

 Ladies and gentleman, I assume that by now you are ready to meet the Queen of theshtetl, Lady Deborah Maccoby. As we are going to see, Queen Maccoby is concerned not only with the Palestinians, in fact she tries to save the Christian world from regression. At the end of the day, to be a Shtetl Queen is a great responsibility.

 “ …the problem is that DYR has now become mixed up with anti-Semitic regressive Christian ideas and is being exploited as a means of demonising Jews and is seen not just as a symbol of massive injustice – acknowledgement of which can lead to reconciliation - but of a kind of cosmic sin. I know most of the people at the commemoration will not have seen it as such” (Deborah Maccoby)

 Being myself an active participant at the DYR event I cannot recall any ‘anti Semitic regressive Christian ideas’. But if to be honest, I do not know what ‘Christian regressive ideas’ are. Does Maccoby refer here to the old accusation of Jews being Christ’s killers? Maybe, but then, surely she should know that it has nothing to do with regressive Christianity; it is rather a historical narrative. However, in the DYR event no one blamed the Jews for killing Christ. If anything, it was the Zionists who were blamed
for cleansing the Palestinian people as well as ‘killing them’. But may I stress at this point that Maccoby’s suggestion is in itself an outrageous insult to Christianity and Christian people. She really wants us to believe that Christianity is a shaky and fragile spiritual compound of dark beliefs; she wants us to think that it is she and her disciples who can save the Church from regression.

 But we are not finished yet, it isn’t only Christianity that must be saved, it is the foul Goyim who need saviours. Please show your respect to the ‘gentile soul expert’ Brian Robinson. Following the great tradition of Jewish analysts, Brian enlightens his fellows with some deep insights into the gentile psyche.

 “If much of what Shamir writes strikes deep chords within people, let's say people whose primary motivation for involvement in this issue is an unacknowledged, and denied, antisemitism, then in attacking Shamir's writings we're attacking that hidden - but probably deeply cherished – part of those people's personalities. And they'll muster all the narcissistic defences they can - denial, projection (It's not us, it's you lot).

 And maybe they've got us in a double bind - if we win the argument we lose it, and the better we win, the worse we lose ...” (Brian Robinson)

 Funnily enough, Robinson is right, you can never win, you can only lose..

 As one might guess, so far the battle against Shamir is far from being a great success, DYR’s Board of directors ignored the outrageous demand to spit Shamir out. And so did the Palestinian Ambassador and all the other respectable supporters of the Palestinian struggle. The DYR event was an astonishing spiritual gathering. Many Palestinians performed and many others attended. Amongst the audience and the performers you could find people from every religious group, class and ethnic origin. The Palestinian Ambassador honoured the event while sitting in the first row. Everyone was there except Deborah Maccoby and her clan of liberal Zionists.

 Facing the apocalyptic aspects of the ensuing catastrophe, Orna Neumann is already getting ready for the worst case scenario:

 “Has anyone seen his publication the Flowers of Galilee (Shamir’s book)?” she asks and then continues, “Hitler also started from words....”. For Neumann, Shamir is the new Hitler, he is no longer just an ordinary anti Semite. He is now just about to liquidate the entire Jewish people. Ask yourself why? Like Hitler, Shamir wrote a book. Undoubtedly, she puts her very strong logical skills to the service of the cause; let me tell you, dear Neumann, not only did he write a book (more than one), he has a small

 London Underground

 Confronting a clear defeat, Queen Maccoby and Goyim-expert Robinson have realised that the smear campaign was found to be counter effective; they have decided to go under.

 “Just Peace UK list is at the end” Maccoby wrote “with all our messages on it (including this one!) Which means we should continue these discussions off line”. (Deborah Maccoby)

 If this coded message isn’t clear enough, Robinson is here to help:  ”Deborah, you have a good point about continuing the discussion, but how? One way is to establish a small email group -- I suppose to join such a group needs a central person to co-ordinate e-addresses - yourself??

 As we can clearly see, the liberal Jews of North West Yahoo are withdrawing back to the ghetto practicing their old exclusive tactics. May I suggest something? What about the Israeli embassy in London, surely, they must have a secure concealed room, they would be happy to help you all. This is exactly what they are there for.

A Norwegian Chatbox communicated with Vanunu in Israel via the Internet. Below are answers he gave to queries - as most of the answers fully indicate the question I only quote Vanunu himself. The final reply he gives in this column validates the letter from Deborah Maccoby that follows, and also the observations above!

About US: we are now in the new century, post Cold War and we need to have new world order. That could be started by all Europe and US behaving fairly with Israel to end the Middle East conflict. That could happen if both Europe and US making the right decision to demand from Israel to become a secular democracy, giving equal rights to every human being and ending the Israel colonialism of the Middle East with Nuclear weapons. Next, we need all the world to be free from nuclear weapons to take from every superpower their nuclear weapons. That is the only way for new world order, governed by the people, by the United Nations for the people, and not for any State.   All my activity here is open and known to everyone. Israel government can put me back in prison if they want. I am not allowed to leave the country for one year and not to speak to foreigners or to speak about nuclear weapons.
  I will do it again and again without any regret. Israel is a military dictatorship governed by security and secrecy. This is a modern phenomena in democratic system. Israel are destroying the democratic system from the inside and exporting this policy to US and Europe.

vmjc email:

I think we are fighting the Israel invention in nuclear proliferation. The system of secret nuclear weapons production without any report to anyone. We need to end this phenomena that Israel invented and teaching other state to follow.

What drives you?  Something from our humanity that noone can control is driving us to save this earth from crazy militarism, and spy power.

Did you at any time doubt that you were right? I have never had any problem with my conscience. 200 atomic bombs with hydrogen bombs can never be neglected or excused by any punishment.

I'll be happy if someone will bring my case to International Court in the Hague or European court.

About Palestine: I think the problem is Israel Jews who should ask themselves what they want. Do they really want to live in the ME with the Palestinians or to have an aparteid state.

.....Because of my Christianinty the Israelis trying to destroy my image and deny me celebrating my freedom.

Art? I like Edward Munch's The Scream.

I am not totally free but I'm trying to enjoy freedom as I can. The Human Right Organisation not doing enough for my freedom. After 19 years I am still being punished.

Yes, they can put me back in prison.

About prison: I was 17 and half years in one cell alone. As the most dangerous prisoner, it was very cruel and barbaric treatment to be alone.

About NWs: the Israelis want to keep their nuclear weapons monopoly in the ME, and I did the best I could to act to end it.

There is no justice in Israel, I know  after 19 years of dealing with Israel justice. It has become a security dictatorsip. In the name of security and secrets the State imposes any law they want.

I am a Christian and no Christian hates Jews. All the world now  is respecting any human being. All Europe have all kinds of minorities. There is no more anti-semitisim.

Your views on the problem of Palestine? The best solution is a secular state with equal rights for all the people. Not any Jewish religious state or Muslim religious state, but one secular state.

Terrorism is not a real threat. The real danger is nuclear weapons in secret - that is the main problem for every state, including Norway.

I agree with what you say. The Israel policy of the last 15 years is to blame the Palestinians, take their land and build settlements. Yes, Israel policy now is harming its reputation and it will cause Israel a lot of trouble in the future. This case of  too much power Israel  is building will cause them to be corrupted and commit crimes against humanity.

Europe is still under the past history pressure. The world didn't yet find  the answer to  Israel 's aggressive policies. I believe in this new century, Europe and all the world should leave the past behind, and demand from Israel  respect for real democracy and act to end the Palestinian suffering in occupation and in refugee camps.
Norway should be pioneer of this policy to demand from Israel to respect any human being, any human race and to govern by secular democracy. It can start by first of all doing for the abolition of nuclear weapons in Israel.

My view:  it was decided in 1950s as an act, not to go for peace but, to trust power and to impose on the  Palestianians and the Arab world this Israel Jewish aparteid state.    Instead of making peace and receiving back the Palestinian refugees. Now they say they act  for defence. But defence of this racist state.

I decided that they can imprison my body but not my mind and spirit, so I keep this belief all the time. I practice my freedom by exercising the freedome to read and write what I want. Also, to listen to classical music like opera.

Why do you think it is so important for the Israeli government to stop you from communicating with the world? Which country do you wish to come to, if you could choose any country you want? Why,good question,no sure answer,may be,trying to frighten all the world media,politicians,  to avoid to deal with nuclear weapons in israel,also Revenge, frighten every one that all could be punished;   may be because i succeeded to prove, inspite of kidnapping, that i am after 18 years free, alive,talking, and they  don't want to admit they were very wrong, and stupid fighting me. When I can  I'll go to see all this very small globe ,this world.

Do you think that Norway and the rest of western europe area afraid to put pressure on Isreal because they are afraid of USA threats? No they are afraid from their past ; every state should be free from  the past by revealing the past, and standing firm behind human rights.

What can be possible reactions after participating on this net-meeting?

Vanunu:The result wiil be another proof of stupidity of the  israel spy's mind.
Not the first time.
I am supporting the  initiativeof any  who are understanding this case,and want to help to spread my message.Vanunu 22.4.2005

Vanunu's answer is validated below by an e-mail from Deborah Maccoby:

Dear Brian,

Have just looked at the Just Peace UK list and have read the interview with Vanunu that Mary has posted...this is I think very disturbing:

"Judaism is one of the faiths which believes, supports, and encourages racism, and is based on supremacy, creating an apartheid regime."

Suppose he had said this about Islam, just substituting Islam for Judaism - wouldn't we call it Islamophobic, because it left out all the positive and tolerant and moderate aspects of islam? So why can't we call this anti-Semitic? Notice too in the interview how he refuses to condemn the mad imams who launched the fatwa on Rushdie and instead condemns Rushdie....however appallingly Vanunu has been treated by Israel I still think his anti-Semitism should be pointed out and condemned.

Looking at the blog of Simon Jones, the interviewer(Simon Jones infact only forwarded the Chatbox he picked up from Norway, JBraddell,editor), he seems to be another Jew who has converted to Christianity and is attacking Judaism not just Israel...just read the article We are All Jews Now....

On the other hand, I suppose Israel has asked for this and I hold Sharon ultimately responsible...nonetheless I think this revival of traditional Christian anti-Judaism ought to be opposed; it is not just Shamir/Eisen/Atzmon but is wider, and sadly Vanunu is involved in it too...