‘The fact that a ‘professional liar’ hoodwinked the media and government is a damning indictment of UK de-radicalising policy’, writes Inayat Banglawala.
He was a self-confessed al-Qaida insider who in the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks was interviewed by all the major news networks eager to hear his fiery rhetoric.
Following the 7/7 bombings, he told us that he had now recognised the error of his ways and was committed to countering “Islamism”. He was going to spill the beans in a keenly anticipated book calledLeaving al-Qaidarelating how he had gone about recruiting British Muslims to go overseas and fight.
The American CBS network’s flagship documentary programme 60 Minutes broadcast aninterviewwith him in March 2007 in which he talked about his “recruiting and fundraising techniques” in his extremist days.
The Jerusalem Post quotes Alan Aziz, the British Zionist Federation (ZF)’s chief executive, as saying 2009 will be “the most active year” for the organization.”Now, more than ever, British Jewry needs to stand up against Israel’s enemies, especially those who demonize Israel and question its right to exist,” he said.
Former Mossad head Ephraim Halevy paid homage to Israel’s success during Operation Cast Lead earlier this week, saying it was incumbent on the Palestinians to draw the right conclusions from the defeat of Hamas and create a semblance of order.
Speaking at the annual dinner of the British Zionist Federation (ZF) at the Marriott, Halevy – who has previously advocated talking to Hamas – said that from a military point of view, Operation Cast Lead had been an “all-out success” and that Hamas had suffered a sustained and humiliating military defeat.
I’ve recently written to Gordon Brown, David Cameron and Khaled Mahmood MP to complain about their positions on the massacre in occupied Palestine. I’ve also written to Gerald Kaufman and Nick Clegg, leader of the Liberal Democrats, to praise their calls for an arms embargo on the apartheid state. And I walked into the office of my local MP, Russell Brown, and spoke to Mr Brown’s assistant. A few days later I received a letter from Mr Brown which repeats the usual rubbish about ‘peace’ and the need to disarm the resistance so the oppressor can sleep more soundly at night. At least he bothered to send me a letter. I received responses from Brown, Cameron, Clegg and Kaufman too, but none from Khaled Mahmood. Mr Mahmood was quoted by the Guardian as “dismissing” calls for sanctions and an arms embargo. Mahmood is a Birmingham MP who no doubt receives a lot of votes because he has a Muslim name. Not only is he betraying his Muslim voters who would like to see their representatives develop a peaceful strategy of resisting the murderous British-Zionist alliance, he isn’t even capable of replying promptly to letters.
Here’s my response to Russell Brown’s letter. I won’t publish his letter because I don’t have permission and because it’s on paper, but I quote some of it. You can imagine the rest – it’s the standard New Labour magical incantation.
I’ve just received news from the wonderful Mona Baker (Mona has been tirelessly campaigning for the academic boycott of Israel) of a courageous student action in the UK. King’s College students have begun an occupation demanding that the honorary doctorate awarded by the college to Shimon Peres be immediately revoked, in protest at the massacre in Gaza. Birmingham University students have started an occupation in solidarity. These students need our solidarity too. Please send messages of support for King’s occupation to Principal Rick Trainor at email@example.com Please call the students to congratulate them. Tony Benn already has. Please consider any similar action you could take. The students’ letter is below:
From: “KCL Occupation” <firstname.lastname@example.org
Subject: King’s College Student Occupation
I am writing to inform you of the current occupation in Kings university in
order to revoke Shimon Peres’s Honorary Doctorate and to show solidarity
with the people of Gaza.
Britain’s Justice Minister Shahid Malik seems at first to be criticising the British government for its response to the Gaza Massacre. In fact, he is blaming British Muslims for not appreciating the government’s position. Worse, Birmingham MP Khalid Mahmood “dismissed suggestions of an arms embargo.” Isn’t an arms embargo the very least that he should be asking for? Please write to these people – who we vote for, whose salaries are paid by us – and set things straight for them.
On February 29 last year the BBC’s website reported that Israel’s deputy defense minister Matan Vilnai had threated a ‘holocaust’ on Gaza. The story would undergo nine revisions in the next twelve hours with the original headline — “Israel warns of Gaza ‘holocaust'”– replaced by “Gaza militants ‘risking disaster’“. (The story has been revised again since then with an exculpatory note added to soft-pedal Vilnai’s comments). One can see why an Israeli threatening a ‘holocaust’ might be unpalatable to those who routinely invoke its spectre to deflect criticism from the Jewish state’s criminal behaviour. In a deft move, not only had the BBC redacted the reference to a ‘holocaust’, it also shifted culpability into the hands of the ‘Gaza militants’.
One could argue that the BBC’s radical alteration of the story reflects its susceptibility to the kind of inordinate pressure routinely brought to bear by the Israel Lobby. But, as subsequent examples reveal, this story is exceptional only for its initial candor. The norm is reflexive self-censorship. Continue reading “Another Chorister for Israel”