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Writing in the prime tabloid repository for disgusting bigotry and the vile stoking of racial hatred, Mail on Sunday, in a rant entitled, “Snowflakes? They’re today’s fascists! Jewish writer Stephen Pollard says there’s nothing funny about the march of the PC brigade.” Of all the people to lodge such a complaint, that’s Stephen Pollard, hard-core Zionist editor of the Jewish Chronicle no less! What utterly disgraceful hypocrisy that he has the sheer gall to sound off on limitations to free speech. Criticize Zionism, the illegal theft of Palestinian land, destruction of homes, daily atrocities and the war crimes of the apartheid Israeli regime or just dare mention Israel in a slightly less than flattering light, and you will be hit with a SLAPP suite within hours. For Pollard, Palestinian Human Rights are simply non-existent and ‘Palestinian Statehood’ is just an inconvenient oxymoron that will be crushed with relentless intimidation, bribes and coercion from the well-healed Zionist Lobby that have UK politicians of both stripes well and truly by the goolies.
Pollard writes, “I know, too, that the Third Reich’s totalitarian impulse – that only one type of question and one type of answer are legitimate, and all else must be extinguished – is far from unique because repressive regimes the world over continue to ban freedom of enquiry and freedom of expression.” What exactly does Pollard think the persecution and repression of Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud Party has inflicted on the Palestinian people during years of ethnic cleansing within the State of Israel and the occupied territories? Devoid of even the most basic self-awareness he warns, “We must be on our guard. If we close our minds to ideas that upset us, the long-term consequence is that our minds will atrophy.” So that would inevitably include a huge swath of far-right Zionists who are incapable of imagining that non-Jewish people have a right to peaceful coexistence or national autonomy within a huge area of land they insist was granted to them by God at the expense of a people who have lived there for centuries?
Pollard asserts that, “It is for good reason that a new word entered the Oxford English Dictionary last month: a snowflake is ‘an overly sensitive or easily offended person’.” His next outrageous statement left me gobsmacked as he ranted about, “When the snowflake generation seeks to silence an MP because they disagree with him…” How about ‘Snowflake Zionists’ systematically destroying an entire political party to satiate their obsessive desire to reinvent the news and defend their rogue state from well deserved ‘Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions’ (BDS) for the relentless persecution and ethnic targeting of Palestinians. Pollard claims, “theirs is a dangerous delusion. Because free speech – and the offence which can come with it – is the bedrock of freedom itself…” Unless of course you are unfortunate enough to be Palestinian! Pollard claims that, “We are seeing the stunting of debate, the closing of minds,” but in reality nowhere is this more painfully apparent than with regard to the abarant conduct of the State of Israel.”
Seething with highly selective indignation Pollard warns that, “The snowflakes are becoming an avalanche. Barely a week now passes without a fresh demand that they be protected from some form of supposedly offensive behaviour in the name of morality and decency.” While he is outraged by the removal of bare boobs from a gallery exhibit, he is totally supportive of bulldozing an entire Palestinian village and rendering dozens of Bedouins and their young children homeless. He demonstratively proclaims that, “We are now witnessing our own version of Newspeak, in which a form of cultural fascism masquerades as caring concern.” This while he remains blissfully oblivious to any concern over permanently, totally eradicating the Palestinians and all their rich cultural heritage from the Middle East! Pollards examples of this affront are petty and miniscule compared to the ongoing brutal atrocities committed by the Israelis in their illegal plundering of land and resources that the UN has decreed belong to the Palestinians.
Pollard talks with confected distain about university campuses creating, “‘safe spaces’, where students should be protected from the traumatic risk of encountering anything with which they might disagree or take offence.” This is not about refuting that some recent measures have been a bit over the top, it’s the grotesque hypocrisy of Pollard making such a comment after actively trying to prevent students from making a democratic decision to support BDS or trying to ban their discussion of Palestinian rights. Outrageously he claims, “this isn’t just about student politics. It is affecting academia itself.” Pollard cites, “the furore over seminars held by Nigel Biggar, Regius Professor of Moral and Pastoral Theology at Oxford, an expert in his field, who has suggested there might have been some positives to the British Empire.” Pollard leaps to the defence of colonialism, because Zionism is modern day colonialism and he feels a powerful need to defend this outdated model as ‘beneficial’.
In his faux defence of radical alternative perspectives, Pollard highlights how Nigel Biggar came under attack as an “apologist for colonialism.” Pollard praises “the Vice Chancellor of Oxford University, Professor Louise Richardson, should spell out why free speech and thought are so vital on campus.” Defending her stance, with which I agree, Prof Richardson said she, “had had many conversations with students who were upset they had tutors who expressed a view with which they disagreed… , I say, ‘I’m sorry, but my job isn’t to make you feel comfortable.’ Education is not about being comfortable. I’m interested in making you uncomfortable. If you don’t like his views, you challenge them, engage with them, and figure [out] how a smart person can have views like that. Work out how you can persuade him to change his mind’.” Pollard should pry open his own tiny locked-down mind and engage with a discussion over a genuinely fair peace plan.
Pollard preaches that, “We should remember how in his novel 1984, George Orwell coined the word ‘Newspeak’ to describe the language used by a totalitarian state that removed the capacity for individual thought and turned words’ meanings on their head. In Orwell’s dystopian world, The Party used slogans such as War is Peace, Freedom is Slavery, and Ignorance is Strength. Satire – yes. But a warning, also.” Pollard could try adding, ‘Bulldozers are Renewal,’ ‘Torture is a Tonic,’ ‘Annihilation is Rebirth;’ I am sure the Zionist propaganda machine is capable of generating compelling ‘Newspeak!’ Pollard asserts that, “Demands that only one form of thought is permitted, and that anything which deviates from it is offensive and should be banned, are profoundly dangerous.” An interesting observation coming as it does from an editor as extremely intolerant as Pollard. His publication, the Jewish Chronicle has been found in serious violation of the standards of truthful journalism while spouting hate speech in the past.
You would think that if freedom of speech was so important to Pollard he might be concerned about the Israeli Lobby and the Board of Deputies gross manipulation of the IHRC definitions of what constitutes anti-Semitism and the efforts to deliberately weaponize the examples to conflate genuine criticism of the Israeli State with an obscure view anti-Semitism. It is these desperate manoeuvres to ban any and all free speech critical of Israeli atrocities that exposes the hypocrisy of Pollard’s poisonous rant. His own warped logic is exactly what he has chosen to rant about, he describes it as, “in reality a form of intellectual totalitarianism.” Pollard warns that, “Without offence and without upset, there is tyranny,” but in effect he is seeking our permission to normalize a far greater tyranny than the fleeting angst over paintings of nude women. His ‘Snowflake Zionism’ takes offence at our horror over the real world pain and suffering inflicted on a deeply traumatized, subjugated people for the naked greed over theft of their land.
In the Canary Article entitled, “British company JCB’s machines were used in Israel’s biggest home demolition in a decade,” they identify the most recent unprovoked attack that proceeded with ruthless efficiency while the whole world was distracted by the US Presidential Elections. The Canary call out the, “British company JCB’s equipment was used in Israel’s demolition of an entire Bedouin village last week. The demolition was reportedly Israel’s single largest in a decade.” They remind us why we dare not take our eyes of the ball for a second as this brutal enemy of the Palestinians is ready to strike at the most opportune moment: “While all eyes were on the US election, Israeli jeeps and bulldozers rolled into the Humsa al Bqai’a Bedouin community in the northern Jordan Valley. They demolished homes and animal shelters, making over 70 Palestinians homeless. 41 children were left without shelter.” The article includes a video from Israeli human rights group B’Tselem shows the destruction they left behind them.
The Canary document that the, “Palestinian campaign group Jordan Valley Solidarity (JVS) was on the scene and photographed the equipment used. JVS identified one bulldozer manufactured by JCB, and another manufactured by Volvo.” Trying to embarrass the companies whose equipment is being used to destroy homes in violation of the UN mandate may seem obscure, like desperately grasping at straws, but the world is not watching and the US, although undoubtedly the most powerful influence in the region, is not on their side. For as long as Israel is never sanctioned for their crimes against the Palestinians the atrocities will continue. They say that, “The Israeli military came with jeeps and bulldozers. They ordered us to empty our homes, they only gave us ten minutes. Obviously that’s not long enough to empty even a single tent. We didn’t have time to remove everything. They demolished it with all our things inside.”
“The Canary contacted both JCB and Volvo asking for comment on the use of their equipment in this military operation. JCB did not reply by the time of publication. Meanwhile, Volvo sent the following response: Volvo products have a long life span, and may be rented out and change ownership many times during their life cycle and we are limited in our possibilities to influence how and where our products will be used throughout their entire life cycle by different end users. We have policies and processes in place with the aim to ensure that we comply with applicable laws and regulations in all countries where we pursue business operations, including sanctions. We have no own operations in the region and our products are sold and serviced by local business partners.”
The Canary report, “According to research group Who Profits, Israeli company Mayer’s Cars and Trucks is the sole importer of Volvo products into Israel. Volvo already has an agreement with Mayer’s Cars and Trucks that its buses should not be used to transport prisoners. So it seems fair to ask why the company could not make the same stipulation that its equipment is not used in demolitions.” Instead they are knowingly, “Supporting colonisation in Palestine.” The Canary reported in October: “JCB equipment is regularly used by Israeli forces to demolish Palestinian homes. Over 600 Palestinian homes and structures were demolished in 2019 alone. Demolitions of Palestinian homes and property are part of the Israeli state’s colonisation policy in Palestine, and are illegal under international law.” So why isn’t anyone speaking up for the persecuted Palestinians? The powerful and very well funded Israeli Lobby have tentacles reaching out into Governments and political parties all over the world to silence criticism.
The Canary report that, “Research by UK based research cooperative Shoal Collective showed that during 2019 almost 30,000 Palestinians were affected by demolitions carried out by the Israeli state using JCB equipment. JCB machines also uprooted almost 7,000 Palestinian olive and fruit trees. JCB supplies its equipment in Israel through its Israeli dealer Comasco. Campaigners are calling on JCB to stop supplying equipment to Israeli forces via Comasco. JCB is currently facing an investigation after a UK government body found that a complaint against it by UK charity Lawyers for Palestinian Human Rights (LPHR) is ‘material and substantiated’.” However, campaigners have reached this stage before in a similar ruling against the sale of arms to Saudi Arabia due to war crimes against civilians in Yemen. This rogue Tory Government just ignores such rulings as there is too much money to be made supplying the weapons of subjugation, destruction and death targeting helpless civilians.
“The Canary previously reported: The complaint was made to the UK National Contact Point (UK NCP). It claims that JCB’s supply of construction equipment used in the demolition of Palestinian homes and property by Israeli forces is in breach of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development’s (OECD) guidelines on human rights. It is trying to force JCB to ensure that its equipment is not used in home demolitions.” The Canary say, “Solidarity campaigners in Sheffield held a demonstration outside a JCB dealership to protest against JCB’s role in the demolitions in Humsa al Bqai’a: One of the demonstrators told The Canary: I read in disbelief and anger last week of the brutal and inhumane destruction of a Palestinian village in the northern Jordan Valley. 41 children left traumatised and homeless, adding to the countless thousands whose lives have been changed forever by Israel’s systematic policy of creeping annexation.”
The Canary report that, “In Sheffield we are determined that JCB should not get away with its direct involvement in Israel’s war crimes. That’s why yesterday activists visited the main dealership for JCB on the outskirts of Sheffield and left our personal message for the managers of TC Harrison JCB: Shame on you JCB!” The Canary say, “Meanwhile, a coalition of campaigners is calling on the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (NSPCC) to stop accepting JCB’s money until the company takes steps to make sure its equipment doesn’t make any more children homeless. According to a press release by the UK branch of the Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions: …[we] argue that the charity’s proclaimed values are rooted in the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. Such values are universal, not selective, and apply to all children, not just to British children: Palestinian children matter too.”
To get people all over the world to sit up and take notice will take a broad range of tactics and a great deal of ingenuity as it is impossible to match the funding available to the Israeli Government. The Canary say, “One thing’s for sure: over the last year JCB has been finding itself more and more in the spotlight because of the way its equipment is used in Palestine. It’s time for the company to bow to public pressure and ensure that JCB machines aren’t used to make any more Palestinians homeless.” This author of this article, “Tom Anderson is part of Shoal Collective, whose research is referenced above. He is also part of the Stop the Demolitions campaign.”
“The Canary urge you to get involved in the following ways:
• Check out Palestine Action’s call to action against JCB.
• Support ICAHD UK’s campaign to persuade the NSPCC to stop accepting donations from JCB and watch their webinar about resisting home demolitions from the UK.
• Read Shoal Collective’s book, Resisting the Demolitions in Palestine.
• Find out if your university has investments or partnerships with JCB.”
In an Al Jazeera Article entitled, “Joe Biden ‘no saviour’ of the Palestinians,” they comment on what to expect from the new US President. They say, ‘Palestinians eye restoration of US relations but scepticism abounds that Biden’s election win marks a strategic American policy change. Several Palestinian news agencies carried statements by Palestinian officials with their perspectives on what President-elect Biden’s victory would mean. Nabil Shaath, the special representative of President Mahmoud Abbas, said the Palestinian leadership does not expect a strategic change in US policy towards the Palestinians, but getting rid of the era of Trump – which he described as ‘the worst’ – is an advantage. ‘From what we heard from Joe Biden and his deputy Kamala Harris, I think he will be more balanced and less submissive to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu – thus less harmful to us than Trump,’ he said.”
Al Jazeera report that, “Hanan Ashrawi, a member of the Palestinian Liberation Organization’s (PLO) Executive Committee, said while the first step is to “get rid of Trump and the danger he poses’, she stressed Biden will not be a saviour for the Palestinians. ‘The restoration of the Palestinian Authority’s relations with the US after Biden’s victory is under discussion and evaluation,’ she said. ‘Matters do not happen automatically,’ she added. ‘Rather, the list of demands, interests and positions must be determined, and there is a need for a change in many issues.’ Ashrawi said decades of pro-Israel US policy produced the Trump policies. ‘What is required is to change what Trump has done by radically changing the racism and politics he represented, and building a relationship based on a new vision – justice, respect and clarity,’ she said.”
Al Jazeera note that, “While former President Barack Obama had a notoriously frosty relationship with Netanyahu, Biden’s personal friendship with the Israeli prime minister stretches back more than three decades. While Biden is a strong proponent of the two-state solution, he refuses to leverage US aid to Israel in order to pressure it into abiding by international law. ‘I strongly oppose Israel’s settlement policy on the West Bank,’ Biden told PBS in an interview last year. ‘But the idea that we would cut off military aid to an ally, our only true, true ally in the entire region, is absolutely preposterous.’ Biden also initially opposed the US embassy move to Jerusalem, but has already stated he has no intention of moving it back to Tel Aviv. His administration plans to reopen the US consulate in occupied East Jerusalem to serve Palestinians, as well as the PLO’s mission in Washington, DC, which was shut down by the Trump administration.”
According to Al Jezeera, “Biden said he will reverse the ‘destructive cut-off of diplomatic ties with the Palestinian Authority and cancellation of assistance programmes that support Israeli-Palestinian security cooperation, economic development, and humanitarian aid for the Palestinian people in the West Bank and Gaza”. But he has echoed the Trump administration by conditioning the restoration of financial aid to the PA only if it halts welfare payments to the families of Palestinian prisoners and alleged Palestinian attackers killed by Israelis. On the issue of the Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions (BDS) movement, Biden is a staunch opponent and characterised it as ‘wrong’ in a speech at AIPAC in 2016. Tony Blinken, a senior adviser to Biden, said last summer the president-elect will push back against the BDS movement as well as efforts to denounce Israel for its violations of international law at the United Nations. ‘Will we stand up forcefully against it and try to prevent it, defuse it and defeat it? Absolutely,’ Blinken said.”
According to the TIME Article, “Netanyahu Said Trump Was Israel’s ‘Greatest Friend’.” Although, “Israel’s far-right Defense Minister Naftali Bennet tweeted his congratulations to the President-Elect,” his message of thanks to Trump was effusive, “You brought us peace without giving up land,’ he wrote, ‘You made it clear the focus of the region is not the Palestinians. We will never forget this and we will always remain thankful.” We need the US to start setting an example of abiding by International law, respecting and signing treaties in good faith if they want to lean on Boris Johnson to uphold the Good Friday Agreement. An amazingly hopeful era of peace and equality has been sabotaged by cheating Bernie Sanders out of the Presidency in addition to the disaster of the Covert 2019 Rigged Election that deprived the UK of a progressive Socialist Government. We can still Challenge and Investigate the Vote rather than accept corruption; exposing the truth would remove this Tory Government from office to restore Corbyn as PM. DO NOT MOVE ON!