An open letter to Andy Kershaw (and other useful idiots)

Dear Mr. Kershaw,

My attention was recently drawn to your 12 July posting to your Facebook page [click here or search FB for “Andy Kershaw Todmorden”]. And I must admit to having been somewhat taken aback that a former Radio 1 DJ whose show I very much enjoyed in my student days – you see, you never knew you had “Zionist” listeners! – would want to label my home of 18 years “a backward, infantile, thuggish, thieving, racist, terrorist state.” Don’t hold back now, Andy.

As with most others who have had the temerity to crash the Kershaw Self-Promotional Circus, and to dare challenge its strutting ringmaster, you quickly barred me from further entry. But, having borrowed a friend’s Facebook identity, it soon became very apparent that said posting was no mere one-off, a response to the latest flare-up in Gaza. I spent Monday evening wading through your postings since 2012, and – aside from a couple of mentions of Vladimir Putin, a single one of Syria (though none of the 170,000 civilians killed there in the past three years), and another of South Sudan – it became very clear that you are obsessed with Israel to the exclusion of all else.

I am not, I promise, a member of any of “the organised Zionist Facebook squadrons”, as you imagine and call them (without any mention, conveniently, of the scores of mindless drones who “Follow” your every Facebook word). I am also, you may be surprised to hear, in favour of a Palestinian state, existing peacefully, side by side, with ours.

Andy KershawYou are clearly well-educated and highly intelligent, which makes your willful ignorance of the history and realities of this painful conflict all the more puzzling. I emigrated to Israel in January 1996, a mere two years after the high hopes of Oslo and that memorable handshake on the White House lawn, amid a spate of Hamas “suicide” – they were more homicide – attacks which blew up scores of Israelis on buses and in cafés and were aimed solely at torpedoing any hopes of peace (here is a list of them). So for you to keep trotting out the same shite about sieges and settlements is an insult both to your intelligence and to ours (if not to that of your Facebook-following fuckwits). Hamas is not interested in a two-state solution. Only in a Final one.

Today you posted: “Israel – You are an offence to civilization, a violation of humanity, and a moral disgrace.” Apart from sounding like you never really left the University of Leeds Student Union, where, for instance, is your outrage at the treatment by Hamas (and by all Islamofascist regimes) of women and gays? Oh . . . but I forgot, “[Hamas] do not rule by fear” (another one of your gems, from Monday).

Your obsession with this country is often disturbing. On 24 November 2013, you labelled Benjamin Netanyahu “a cheap thug” and “an ungracious fat wanker”. And why? Because he didn’t attend the Nelson Mandela memorial service! To your expertise on World Music must surely now be added Studies in the Overseas Visiting Habits of World Leaders. And, on 11 January this year, with real class, you headlined the passing of Ariel Sharon with “Fat Thug Dies”, later once again adding the adjective “cheap”. Interesting.

Your complete detachment from Middle East reality, however, is most amusingly highlighted by an 18 November 2012 posting in which you preface a link to Gerald Kaufman by describing the odious tosser as someone “considered to be a friend of Israel.” Perhaps like Jimmy Savile was of young girls.

You must be sorely missing the limelight since your ignoble fall from grace, being sent to prison for harassing your former partner. But how ironic that a drunken bully and cheat, who has never taken one ounce of true responsibility for terrorizing his own family, repeatedly accuses others of “playing the victim card” (here is your side of the story . . . though the subsequent comments of “Laura” and “Family friend”, I suspect, paint a rather truer picture).

Now I really do want to believe your repeated protests that you are not an anti-Semite. But your “Lik[ing]” of comments such as the following – from an Ian Dixon, on Sunday, regarding Facebook’s (alleged) removal of a Jon Snow piece on Gaza – do not exactly enhance your claims:

“And of course it being removed all the time has nothing to do with the owner of FB being Jewish! . . . I have never seen a religion or people hold so much power over free speech as I have this country, its people and religion.”

I can just see Mark Zuckerberg fretting over his Honey Nut Cheerios because of some anti-Semite (with zero credibility) on Channel 4 News. Then, yesterday, you actually “agreed” with a delightful-sounding character named Harry Reed, who wrote (amongst other assorted bilge and filth):

“The people of Palestine will recover their land and cleanse it of the stench of thieves, robbers, rapists and child-killers. They will recover their stolen books and art, throwing the parasites into the streets. The Palestinians will have their day. Already, over 100 racist thugs from your SS have been eliminated . . . fuck off back to Brooklyn with your racist philosophy, your race-myths and the rest of your pseudo-Nazi yarn about your supposed homeland . . . The resistance should refuse – you can’t sit at a table with Nazis. The Palestinians have eliminated over 100 members of Israel’s SS so far and they should finish the job.”


So what are we supposed to believe about Andy Kershaw the man (not, I am sure, that you care)? To my annoyance, I actually found myself quite drawn to other aspects of your page – we both have schnauzers (though Stuey is rather more bastardized than Buster) and are passionate about lots of the same things (Dylan, Neil Young, even Wasdale) – but your postings on the situation here smack of unbelievable crassness and ignorance (though I still hope nothing more).

I am continually fascinated by people like you . . . about whether their Israel-only bashing is derived from: parents (or, in your case, I understand, grandparents), an unpleasant experience at school or university, or merely bad character. History shows us that scarred types – and you don’t deny being that – are more likely to develop an obsession with all things Jewish (and you would be in the ‘good’ company of lots of other rubbish, the latest scrap being footballer Joey Barton).

At a time of the worst anti-Semitism that many of us have known, you have a responsibility as a celebrity (however faded) not to continue in this vein. Otherwise, you will go down (no jail pun intended) as little more than someone who encouraged and facilitated, through willful disinformation, the hatred of Israel and, thereby, the large majority of Jews.

I invite anyone with the time and inclination to visit your sewer of hate – I haven’t covered even one percent of it – and also invite you to respond below if you feel that anything I have written is unfair or misrepresents you (though spare us, please, the vacuous cut-and-paste Facebook soundbites).

Yours sincerely,

melchett mike

[I trust that more than one of my readers will post a link to this blog on Mr. Kershaw’s Facebook page.]

Update (1 August): Andy Kershaw, brave man and champion of free speech that he is, is deleting all comments linking to this post, and blocking the poster, from his Facebook page. He clearly hasn’t yet discovered that, due to the huge number of “hits” on this post (4,000 in a day and a half), melchett mike is coming up first on most related searches of him! So, if you haven’t yet done so, please take a minute to cut-and-paste this URL after as many of his hateful postings as you can.


70 responses to “An open letter to Andy Kershaw (and other useful idiots)

  1. singular present tense

    Nice one, Mike

    Best wishes


  2. Excellent …..

    BTW as a response to the person who accused Israeli soldies of being rapists, someone recently wrote an academic article suggesting that the lack of rape of Palestinian women by IDF soldiers is a form of racism.

  3. 2417 lives lost in Iraq in June according to the UN. More than 2000 In Syria in the past 2 weeks. Almost 100 killed just on Sunday in Libya. 3,600 dead in Nigeria in the past 6 months. AND WHO ARE THE UN & THE WORLD CONDEMNING? Israel and ONLY ISRAEL, for fighting a DEFENSIVE WAR. These are FACTUAL numbers. What a disgrace. What a bunch of hypocrites.

  4. Bowler's mum

    Brilliant…although I doubt that vile creature will read your letter as he’s not in the least bit interested in fact, just anti-Semitic fiction.

  5. Shimona from the Palace

    I’ve plastered Kershaw’s page with links to your post, Mike. I expect he’ll block me also.
    And I’m not the only one, I see.

    I have one little criticism, however, of what you have written to Mr Kershaw:
    “You are clearly educated and highly intelligent, ”
    I would say that is open to debate…

  6. It’s not that “open to debate”, Shimona. He’s a bright guy. Which makes all of this much worse. If he was thick, no one would care.

  7. Well written and proves the point that this guy is ‘Efes’.

  8. David Weitz

    Great piece, Mike. However, you are assuming that idiots such as Andy Kershaw have some use – I’m trying to work out what that use might be.

  9. They are “useful” for the other side . . . idiot! 😉

  10. Not sure he’s that bright… In trying to serve the Palestinian cause, he writes:

    “If Hamas is to be described in all BBC News reports as the Palestinian “militant group” – and when I last checked, like it or not, Hamas also happens to be the democratically elected government of Gaza, given an overwhelming popular mandate in 2006″

    Surely this means – (Mr Kershaw – I hope you find the time to read this blog) – is that what we have in Gaza is a government elected on a mandate to wipe out Israel.
    Were the UK electorate to overwhelmingly bring to power a party whose manifesto included “wipe out America” and then started firing pot-shots at the US from civilian population areas, who would you blame when America took out the launch sites with Super-Sized American-style civilian casualties?
    Let me guess… Israel?

  11. Great piece Mike. I actually think the worst part of his FB rantings, apart from them being vile, is his followers. That Harry Reed is a very nasty piece of work and I have more of an issue with Nik Kershaw, sorry, Andy, giving them a soapbox. The nobody that is Harry Reed now has access to the 6,000 followers on FB.

  12. “In political jargon, useful idiot is a term for people perceived as propagandists for a cause whose goals they are not fully aware of, and who are used cynically by the leaders of the cause…” So says Wiki… In which case Mike I would agree that Kershaw and his ilk do not fully fit the bill. I would argue that this “bright guy” is nobody’s idiot and that on the contrary, he knows exactly what he is doing which makes what he says all the more vile and antisemitic. I think that the “useful idiot” term can more properly be ascribed to the likes of Leeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeezzz Ducet (she of the unspeakable accent) and other BBC and CNN corespondents (in particular) who – perhaps unwittingly – act as propagandists for Hamas – or perhaps not…

    Here’s something to cheer us all up from a wonderful human being called Chloe Valdary…

  13. Fantastic piece Mike!!

    Hope you are well bad things are little calm in Tel Aviv.

    We’re flying out in Sunday – 2 weeks in Netanya. Can’t wait to get on the plane bad I never want to come back!

    Be safe!

  14. Check out this definition, Adam . . .

    What do you say about your ‘compatriots’, Cruz and Bardem? I say it is in their blood. That’s why I have never really taken to Spanish footie. Though the memory (still fresh) of Penélope’s breasts in one of her early films – she had to “get them out” in them days – is enough to make me forgive her almost anything! 😉

  15. What have they been up to? Do I even want to know? Maybe i should write to them letting them know that I am almost certainly the first and only Jew to grow grape and make wine in Andalusia since their Spanish ancestors murdered, tortured and then expelled the remnant of my Spanish ancestors – a blue print in effect for what their beloved Hamas would like to do to us now. So yes, if I’m on the right track (and I really don’t want to know) it is in their blood.

  16. Philip Israel Witriol

    Link posted. Two points:
    – No surprise that highly intelligent people are antisemitic (Jews and non-Jews); countless examples of that.
    – No need to agonise over whether someone is a Jew-hater; attacking Israel disproportionately is by definition antisemitic;

  17. finally some common sense!!!

  18. About the situation, you mean, Martina . . . or from me?!

    That Chloe Valdary piece is excellent, Adam. Nice to finally hear something supportive from the black community. And this is good, too, from Shmuley Boteach . . .

    Anyway, it seems like “Lovely Tits” has been warned that work in Hollywood might be hard to come by from now on . . .

  19. Andrew Wright

    Israel has committed numerous war crimes, if you think maiming kids and others is a funny matter go ahead and criticise those who care.

  20. “Care”, my arse! Have you “care[d]” through the last decade of rocket attacks on Israel? Or, the one before that, during the suicide bombings that murdered and maimed hundreds of Israelis? No! You only “care” when Jews dare defend themselves!

    Take your fucking hypocrisy elsewhere.

  21. Jonathan glass

    No doubt he is loving the attention you are giving him. I look at him and the other vaguely well known once “personalities” who spout the same crap, with charity and pity. They have nothing positive in their lives. They are damaged goods; him more than most. And like other wounded souls, they need to find someone else to wound. And who better than the Jews? Most of it is pure envy. They just can not cope with how successful Israel is, when their lives have failed so badly. It’s a shame, but there it is. Keep smiling because that’s what will piss him off more than anything else.

  22. Quite, Jonathan.

    I don’t know if you are being sarcy re the “attention” bit, but I really believe that those ego/bully types hate being challenged and shown up for what they really are. He will like nothing better than being undisturbed “Lord of the Manor” on his FB page, milking the applause from all his sad/lowlife/dregs “followers”.

  23. Andrew Wright

    I’m sorry about that, I haven’t been following the conflict in depth. I only know what’s been happening recently and we have to face up to life as it is in the relative present. I don’t take sides I have lots of Jewish friends, I’m impartial and I’m upset by the soldiers dying. I’m a parent.

  24. Charlotte Smith Salomon

    Hear hear.
    I ended my conversation, if you could call it that, with Andrew, when simple known facts were wavered away as hear-say. The truth is medicine and it’s too hard for Andrew to take. I will drop the issue when I sus that a man is just hell-bent on demonising Israel, and not searching for real peace. There will never be peace when we make excuses for terrorism. The usual stale arguments repeat themselves- they stole land, it’s an occupation, all become excuses when we really see the core of the crumbling Middle East. Rotting away around Israel. Infected by die-easy Islam.

  25. Well written! Excellently researched! The problem is that armchair warriors who don’t know their history instinctively support Gazans and therefore Hamas as they only see the familiar sob story put out by Palestinian propaganda. Israel didn’t steal Gaza or vote Hamas into power to destroy the place. Gaza was given to Arabs in 1948 when Israel was given to Jews by the UN as a homeland for all faiths to live in. Israel took what it was given and made it into the only democratic free society in the Middle East. The Arabs rejected Gaza in 1948 instead choosing to invade Israel hoping to have that land as well. They lost and it became known as the nakba. Arabs have been seeking revenge ever since. A multi Arab nation led by Nasser tried again in 1967 and lost again. Israel took Gaza along with the Sinai, the West Bank and the Golan Heights. Egypt got the Sinai back in 1977 when Sadat made peace with Israel. Israel unilaterally withdrew from Gaza in 2005 forcibly removing Jewish settlers and leaving behind a thriving agricultural infrastructure for the Gazans to develop. Instead they voted in Hamas who instead of leading them to progress, led them to war by incessantly and indiscriminately firing rockets into Israel, sending suicide bombers into Israel, and building tunnels for terrorist attacks and kidnapping. Palestine as a country is a made-up name. The PLO in the 1960s invented the term Palestinians as political propaganda for its terrorist activities. Palestine is a region like the midlands. It was in an area originally called Judea where Jews had lived for millennia. Around AD73 the Romans, as Christianity took root, renamed it Palestine (in English) as an area if non-believers. Jews lived in the region thereafter. In the 1800s as Jews fled anti-semitism and pograms in Europe they bought land from Arabs. This forms part of Israel today. A British inquiry confirmed that no land was stolen and fair prices were paid for the land.
    So the basic premise upon which popular support for Palestinians is made is based on a complete lie. Namely that Jews stole their land. They didn’t. The UN gave Israel its land at the same time as giving Arabs their land which they rejected. Jordan was created out of Transjordan in 1924 by the British and is more naturally a home for most of those now calling themselves Palestinians. But Jordan doesn’t want them and won’t let them settle their.
    Qatar and Iran fund Hamas and they do not do this for love of Gazans but because they want to promote the destruction of Israel and death of all Jews. The imams are currently preaching this vile sermon in Qatar. And the Egyptians and “less radical” Arabs states are not supporting Hamas as they can see the harm it is doing to the Muslim cause and because they can see the harm that will befall them if this brand if radical Islam (eg Isis) gains traction. Quite ironic really! And very sad as like cancer there is only one solution and that is radical surgery, namely removing Hamas from the region and ideally from everywhere.

  26. Nick Kopaloff

    Mike has produced a masterful piece of online journalism -.
    However, he fails to note that Kershaw’s “I won’t let the sun go down on me” was a piece of shite.?!!?
    Andrew is Wright by name, word and deed. What person of conscience, apart from proud death-glorifying Jihadists, would not be grieve-stricken by the sight of bloodied, maimed, and dead children in Gaza – and some with a greater conscience, maybe even Andrew himself, might go the extra mile and speak out at the greater number of casualties in Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan Nigeria, Libya …..
    By the same token Hamas’s should be judged by its word and deed. Its written charter and spoken word is “to obliterate Israel and kill Jews from behind every tree.” Their deeds are to do the same by way of rockets, and assault tunnels to kill and kidnap hundreds of Jewish civilians – and BTW – the building of the tunnels was started long before the blockade of Gaza came into effect.
    So might Andrew please suggest legitimate measures he believes Israel should and could take, to protect its civilians from the 3,000 rockets so far fired. (Hiding behind trees or in bomb-shelters is not a realistic option).
    Let Andrew speak out – or does he idiomatically ideologically and idiotically tow the Hamas line of “Kill the Jews.”

  27. While we’re at it can someone – Andrew (and Andy too for that matter) included – please explain to me what the anti-Israel mob mean by this whole issue of “proportionality” which they keep trotting out like it was some great indisputable truth??? For example, I just received a letter from Glenda Jackson (my local MP and a genuine useful idiot Mike if ever there was one) defending her stand against Israel claiming “in her opinion Israel’s response is grossly disproportionate…” What the f–k does that even mean? And when Israeli and pro-Israeli spokespeople are repeatedly challenged over the issue, why oh why don’t they simply refuse to recognise the premise of the question, instead of dignifying it with a polite reasoned response (aka Mark Regev). So far only one guy that I have heard has been appropriately dismissive with this challenge and that was the admirable David Walzer (Israel’s ambassador to the EU). When being interviewed by the hapless Martha Kearny (proving my point Mike that not all Irishmen or women are worthy of your “love”) on the World at One a week or two ago, Walzer merely asked her if she “would be more at ease if the numbers of Israeli civilian deaths matched the numbers of Arab civilian deaths.” And also, “if she thought the Israel government should be ashamed for defending the lives of its citizens so efficiently?” and, “would she be happier if Israel put aside its high tech weaponry and instead , each time an indiscriminately targeted rocket salvo left Gaza for Israel, Israel replied in kind, firing an indiscriminately targeted rocket salvo back into Gaza…?” And finishing with a withering; “Would this be a proportionate response according to your judgement Martha? “ Martha of course was left virtually speechless, which all went to show that she had merely blurted out the “disproportionate” challenge as a kind of conditioned reflex―a mantra without the least thought or consideration or sense or reason supporting it. In other words, just another form of mindless, anti-Israel prejudice.

  28. Yes, Adam! Between 15,000 and 20,000 French civilians were killed, primarily as a result of Allied bombing, during the Battle for Normandy. Battleships blasted the absolute shit out of the mainland as they approached. “Disproportionate”?

    I salute you, my brother Nicholas, not only for taking time off playing glorified soldiers, but also for defying the fatwa – emanating from the mountains and caves around Ma’ale Adumim – not to comment to melchett mike.

    In your spirit of bravery, I offer a hudna to your co-contributor to the holy text on the great prophet Woody Harrison, blessed be his name, to turn away from sites focusing on anti-Zionist activity in faraway lands . . . and to return, instead, to his spiritual blogging home.

    As for “hiding behind trees”, in wells may be rather more expedient . . .


  29. Sickening news this morning about the possible taking of the soldier. Have cyanide tablets ever been considered? I’m serious. If it was me I think I’d want the option – though I suppose the practicalities of how to get at the tablet as and when you needed it could difficult. Failing that, I’d want my colleagues – if they were in a position to do so – to risk killing me so long as they got the sods trying to take me.

    What do you think Mike?

  30. No idea if they’ve ever been considered, Adam, but I think I’d want one, too.

    As I just posted to (your beloved!) Facebook . . .

    We are losing too many boys (one was too many). Now a kidnapping. And anyway the world is against us. So, Bibi, why not unleash our full force… and bring those barbarian fuckers to their Allah-worshipping knees?

  31. Some bollock-head Tory MP here – he claims have “always been friendly towards Israel in the past” (and no doubt some his best friends are Jews) – has just suggested that the Israeli army could be “more sophisticated in their response to the Hamas human shield provocations” . Of course the BBC creature interviewing him failed to the MP to explain what the fuck he had in mind. It’s interesting to note in this context that the civilian to fighter casualty ratio in Gaza is very similar to that in the recent allied adventures in Iraq and Libya. But as usual, Israel – and the Israeli army in particular – are held to impossible standards. If we didn’t know that the motivation behind these sort of remarks was so base we could almost take it as a complement. Wankers! All of them.

  32. Sorry folks, but even glancing at this page and its comments confirms me in my belief that the supporter of Israel are narrow-minded and blinkered. Not sure that those posting lots of links to it are having the effect they would wish. But by all means keep going.

  33. Andrew Wright

    My answer would be treat everybody as an individual and respect their lives – there are much better things to do in a modern world than have a preoccupation with real and imagined hate of others.

  34. Maybe you should do more than just “glance” Jo and actually read what we are saying and then debate with us rather than just condemn us out of hand as narrow minded and blinkered. In any event, I think hanging your political rivals en masse is narrow minded and blinkered. I think female genital mutilation is narrow minded and blinkered. I think that that beating and executing gay men is narrow minded and blinkered. I think that promoting the destruction of an entire people is narrow minded and blinkered. I think that flogging women and then executing them for being victims of rape is narrow minded and blinkered. And I suggest that if you think that the young men of the IDF who are giving up their lives to stop these misogynistic, gay-murdering, intolerant, kaffir loathing, caliphate junkies are doing something evil then I would suggest you are the pot Joe, and that we are are the kettle.



  35. Nick Kopaloff

    I asked Andrew what he would do if he and his family were attacked every single day for years by rockets and mortar fire; dispatched by Jihadist terrorists who also emerge from any one of some 50 subterranean assault tunnels to kill or kidnap the Wrights because of their fanatic committment to kill Jews and obliterate Israel – (and of course gays – in fact 300 out-of-the-closet gays from Gaza have already found sanctuary in Israel).

    Andrew, who no doubt is a kind-hearted man, unfortunately could only proffer some words so vacuous – it beggars belief that he is not pranking.

    “My answer would be treat everybody as an individual and respect their lives – there are much better things to do in a modern world than have a preoccupation with real and imagined hate of others.”

    Tell that to each incoming rocket.

    My extended family in Auschwitz would have been really chuffed and heartened, to have heard such an inspiring message of peace.

  36. Andrew Wright

    What can I say that won’t be criticised? Talk is good.

  37. “Talk is good”!? What sort of dumb platitudinous garbage is that Andy? Hitler never stopped talking and Erdogan is yakking away now, even as I type these words. And your disclaimer is incorrect Andy. You can say plenty which won’t be criticied, with the proviso that it isn’t dumb platitudinous garbage – or, is Nick right, and your actually just taking the piss?

  38. Andrew Wright

    I was right.

  39. If Jo and Andrew are of such low intelligence as to be more disturbed by the contributions here than those to Kershaw’s hate page – are you actually reading, Jo, what that Harry Reed Nazi, supported by your hero, is writing?! – I would suggest that we have nothing to really worry about.

  40. Andrew Wright

    I’m happy with my intelligence quota and I never said I supported what Kershaw says, I’ve got my own opinions and peace is the answer.

  41. No . . . you’ve got nothing to add “is the answer.”

  42. Andrew sounds like he’s a follower of Oddball from Kelly’s Heroes

    And by the way Andrew it’s quotient!!! Not “quota” – as regards your “intelligence”… nuff said – me thinks!!

  43. . . . or, rather, Kershaw’s Saddos!

  44. Andrew Wright

    The share or proportional part of a total that is required from, or is due or belongs to, a particular district, state, person, group, etc

  45. Nick Kopaloff

    Andrew get serious. Many more rockets all over Israel this morning. For years Hamas has been indiscriminately firing at our civilians – even before the IDF launched this land invasion – even before its aerial assaults – even before the blockade was imposed and even after Gaza was declared Judenrein (free from any Jews).

    Andrew – Sorry mate – but you have lost the plot and refuse to answer the simple question of how to stop a Jihadist terror group, whose sole raison d’etre is to kill you – from firing rockets at our civilians and murdering and kidnapping through tunnels.

    How can you concoct such flippant pathetic platitudinal one-liners –that would only befit a “pinhead” or a “pothead”? “talk is good” – “I was right”. My money is on pothead.

    Even your iconic namesake Andy Pandy could do better than that. Harry Enfield once had a one-word solution to world hunger. He proposed “sandwiches”.

    To put it into your own geo-political reference – if Lee Rigby RIP, had had the chance – should he have tried to talk to his murdering beheaders or should he have shot them?

    Your “intelligence quota”/quotient faux pas – deftly picked up by Adam, delivers a self-imposed compromise to that very intelligence you were trying to defend. Can anything be more Oxymoronic?

    I genuinely commend you Andrew for trying in your own diminutive way, to strive for truth, moral fortitude, and justice for all. Well done!!

    And the Nobel Peace Prize goes to………………

  46. I can just see Andrew sitting atop his old pink Sherman tank through a haze of pot smoke firing Technicolor paint shells as the crazed Jihadists run screaming towards him yelling for his blood. Sorry to be so rude and inhospitable on your site Mike but really! Andrew brings to mind the the Pesach story of the four sons. My old housemaster at Carmel, Rabbi Beryl Cohen, taught us that the son most worthy of contempt was not the wicked son but the son who did not know how to ask. He explained to us that the biggest evil of all is ignorance. And in all seriousness Andrew, the last thing in the world that ignorant people should do is “talk”, because the words that come out of ignorant mouths are invariably not “good” but dangerous.

    In fact Andy and Andrew could be from central casting for the wicked son and son who did not know how to ask respectively…

  47. Nick Kopaloff

    I can glean from his scanty postings – that Andrew is intelligent enough to admit to his own ignorance – at least as far as this dark chapter of the Arab Israeli conflict, is concerned.

    But while we share his horror and disgust at all human suffering on both sides of this war – his bogus assertion that Israel has committed numerous war crimes is as contemptible as it is uninformed.

    His infantile inability to answer his own claim and offer the burden of proof – supports the point raised by Adam that evil is so often borne out of ignorance.

  48. Compared to the normal stuff you write, this was actually quite good…untill you start on about his conviction for harrassment…that’s an ad hominen attack and the trap you always fall into…. you attack someone’s views and politics, and rather than letting your argument stand, you add in name calling and irrelevant personal stuff as your icing on the cake. Either you want to diminish his argument, diminish the person, or both. This is too important a topic to dismiss critics of Israel or dismiss people who criticise Israel in ignorance… An example is your obsession with Kaufman; you can criticise his views, but you frequently have to call people like him a “self hating Jew”…. always with the name calling. We shouldn’t ignore Kershaw because he had a domestic harrassment conviction, we should ignore him because he is spreading ignorance and hate. To do the former will be seen as anyone sympathetic to Kershaw as a smokescreen. Your argument stands on its own. I’d also take issue with your ‘shock’ opening quote which implicitly is attributed to Kershaw (““a backward, infantile, thuggish, thieving, racist, terrorist state.” Don’t hold back now, Andy!”) – he didn’t say that. “Israel can do no right” is an abhorrent view…but then it is the corollary of your “Israel can do no wrong”.

  49. My apologies; I misread and didn’t check – he did actually say “a backward, infantile, thuggish, thieving, racist, terrorist state.”. It’s fair comment, but wrong. He’s entitled to that view, and entitled to be criticise and corrected. I confused it with the later comment which was very similar (not his and not attributed to him by you). Sorry about that.

  50. Five and a half years on, Achilles – see our discussion here – and you still don’t get it . . . this is personal! Very much so. And the personal is also relevant, as explained in my post.

    If you are wanting a read which may be a little less emotive/subjective, might I suggest the Middle East Review?

    “Compared to the normal stuff you write, this was actually quite good…

    Pleased you are still here, though!

  51. Mike’s right Achilles and you are wrong.

    This subject is deeply personal and the kind of attacks made by the likes of Kershaw are – and are intended to be – deeply offensive and must be countered in a proportionate (pun intended) tone. What you may not appreciate about Mike’s little forum here is that it is more than just a cosy chat among – mostly – friends. It is also an emotional and intellectual outlet for those of us who feel the pain and the trauma of what is happening to Israel in a profoundly personal way. This is not some sort of Oxbridge Union debating chamber where even the most serious issues of our times are competed over by two sides like an oratorical cricket match with stumps drawn at the end of play and everyone (nearly everyone) goes off and shares a friendly pint.

    Having read your contributions to MM I get the feeling Achilles that you might be one of those fortunate people – and I sincerely mean “fortunate” – I’m not being facetious – for whom the whole subject of Israel and her Arab antagonists is just another news item. If so, as I have said to people like Mike many times before, I hugely envy you. But by the same token, if that is the case you need to stand back for a minute and try and appreciate that for Mike, and Nick and me and millions like us this is as deeply personal as the welfare of our own relatives and loved ones. In other words, during crises like the current one, we go to bed at night thinking about Israel and when we get up in the morning it is the first thing that enters our waking minds. Moreover, it effects every waking moment of our lives. Every news flash, every interview, every article is a trial to be endured and survived without going crazy.

    So you see Achilles, for Mike and for me this couldn’t be more personal, and when the Kershaws and the Kaufmans of this world say hateful, vile and mostly inaccurate things about Israel – its government and/or its people (they are virtually as one at times like this) – they are no different to us than someone who would verbally abuse our children in the street. In fact, they are worse. Because of their celebrity, their influence and even their notoriety, their words, written or spoken (and I hope you’re reading this Andrew) are incendiary to those who would do us harm. Their words are in effect a weapon against us and intended as such. While it might be easy for you as someone with only a casual eye upon these events to remain aloof from all the vitriol, cynicism and yes, rudeness expressed here, you would do well to spare us from your censure and your apparent sense of disinterest. Whatever your intention, you come across as sanctimonious and smug. For us, what’s going on now in Israel and Gaza is too serious and yes, too personal for us not to be sickened by the kind of views you express – however well meant.

  52. Amazing comment, Adam . . . hits the nail right on the head!

    Shabbat dinner in Jerusalem last night was like a meeting of the local war cabinet, with one guest due to go off to battle this week and talking about it like it was just going to be a few weeks in another office . . . at once frightening, awe-inspiring, humbling, and (strangely) uplifting.


    This video has 1.2 million views so far (well done Yossi Benayoun) and could do with millions more to correct the erroneous thinking of the many and give peace a better chance.

  54. Adam,
    You say that Kershaw’s attacks are “deeply offensive and must be countered in a proportionate (pun intended) tone”
    By which you appear to imply that to attack him personally (regarding his harrassment charges) is relevant… so I think you miss my point. His views are wrong and ill informed and he should be dismissed on the basis of his bogus views. If you say “don’t listen to him, he harrassed his ex-wife” then it’s a smokescreen – an obvious nonsequitir which suggests that you don’t have a rock solid argument against his views. I think his views can be pulled apart so clearly without any distractions.
    “an emotional and intellectual outlet for those of us who feel the pain and the trauma of what is happening to Israel”
    Is that really what Mike’s purpose is here… to just say “woe is me” ? I think it’s an opinion peace, not a right-on, hear hear, back-patting exercise.
    ” I get the feeling Achilles that you might be one of those fortunate people for whom the whole subject of Israel and her Arab antagonists is just another news item.”
    I wouldn’t agree with that at all but certainly I am not at daily risk of being hit by a missile/rocket/bullet nor have I lost anyone to it. You appear to argue that that gives me lack of credibility or right to an opinion – I’d argue that it gives me the sort of objectivity which I wouldn’t have if I had lost someone to a rocket. I’d become a vengeful single-minded warmonger if something happened to my family – it takes those with a clearer, objective view to have views and to try and look further into the future.
    “its government and/or its people (they are virtually as one at times like this) ”
    Not true – plenty of Israelis are against some of the current actions or those of recent years.
    “Whatever your intention, you come across as sanctimonious and smug. ”
    Show your working….
    Seriously, LEARN TO LISTEN. This was my point. Attack the person rather than the point made… now you’re doing it too…. Did you even read what I wrote, or just scan it, note that I didn’t say “yeah, you go girl!” and decide I was the enemy?
    If Mike confirms that this blog does not welcome dissent and it’s just a forum for people to comment on his diatribes with “yeah, well said” then I won’t come back…
    n.b. I ‘get’ the idea that when your neighbor is going off to war and your relative has just been bombed, it’s not exactly dinner table talk to express any dissent or anything other than support because when emotions are that high, it would really hurt and you’re going to get punched in the nose. All you can do here is call me names…and you don’t like that. You Jews are not all the same though, and nor are all Israelis – there’s a lot of variation.

  55. Achilles (is that really your name?)

    I do indeed say that Kershaw’s attacks are “deeply offensive and must be countered in a proportionate (pun intended) tone”. But I imply nothing of the sort that you suggest. I merely imply that if one’s enemy insults and misrepresents you (and I presume that even you would grant that he is an enemy seeing as he owned that if an international brigade existed he would join up and fight alongside Hamas), it is neither expedient nor wise to counter merely with platitudes and roses shoved down their evil throats. I never mentioned Mike’s raising Kershaw’s criminal record nor did I comment upon it so please spare me your obvious talent for commenting before actually absorbing what you have read. It really does help when making public comment to be 1000 percent certain of one’s facts when casting judgement upon the public comments of others. Apologies if I’m now getting personal but I absolutely despise being misrepresented.

    As for the rest of your latest comment, as garbled and flustered as it is I think I get your gist: For the sake of absolute clarity let’s put it like this Achilles. When the allies were at war with Nazi Germany – you know, those mad dogs who wanted to wipe out the Jewish People, among their other equally wonderful aims, just as Hamas claim they want to do today, they didn’t sit around the table over wine and canapés discussing the nuances of their arguments deliberating the justice of their soldiers actions in attempting to defeat the Nazis because it would have been insane. They were then, and we are now at war with an enemy with exactly the same evil aims, whether well-meaning people like you and people who think like you want to believe it or not. Kershaw and Kaufman (shame on him) are nothing better than mouthpieces for those same evil people. They deserve no more respect and certainly no more curtesy than did Lord Haw Haw or Tokyo Rose and at this moment, at this critical juncture in Jewish history they are no more worthy of any sort of defence.

    I notice Achilles that you’re very big on “implications”. But of all the “implications in your various exchanges with Mike and now with me there is none more heinous or more erroneous than your implication that those of us who have lost loved ones to Arab violence are incapable of humane objectivity and foresight thereafter. If this were truly the case – as it would be;if the boot were on the other foot (imshallah it should ever happen) – Israel would have obliterated Gaza from the map, literally, after the second Intifada.

    As for you opinion Achilles; you have just as much right to your opinion as did Neville Chamberlain and his fellow appeasers in 1939.

    As for Mike’s feelings about dissent? Well, while I would never speak for Mike, I would suggest that in most topics on his blog he actually welcomes dissent. For God’s sake he’s a Leeds United supporter on a site where I would guess that 90% of his followers are either Gooners or Spuds. Worse still, he has a penchant for little dogs (yuk), has a dream to live in Berlin (yukier still) and thinks that the entire Irish race are loveable. These are traits and views that demand dissent, and he knows it, plus a heap of much more serious stuff (have you actually read his blogs Achilles???).

    But yes Achilles, in a way you are correct, that when it comes to this issue, we here on MM, and over 80% of Israelis according to most recent polling (the only variation you speak of is not only not “a lot” but it comprises almost exclusively the extreme edges of the left and the Haredi anti-Zionist Neturei Karta (the anti-war block in the UK from 1939 to 45 was larger) are extremely sensitive to your kind of “objectivity” just now. In fact, your “objectivity” comes across an awful lot like self-righteous judgementalism whether you mean it that way or not. But in fairness to you, “objectivity” at a cosy safe distance is always a bit annoying to those of us who at the coalface. Come to think of it Achilles – and this is why I think I actually like you – your final thoughts, addressed as they are so passionately to “us Jews” is a cogent and lucid argument against yourself. Well done old chap. I think you’re beginning to get it – even though you don’t know it yet.

  56. “You Jews are not all the same . . .”

    Cometh the (midnight) hour, out cometh the man . . . what do you reckon, Adam?!

  57. In all seriousness, I think that Achilles let his guard down with that one. Can you imagine for example such a phrase concerning black people or Muslims or just about any other racial/ethnic/religious group even entering his head.

  58. ” I never mentioned Mike’s raising Kershaw’s criminal record” – my comments were wholly about MM’s personal attacks on Kershaw. Oddly, you and Mike wish to enemise me (a new word!) yes, if you understood my original point, instead of letting your knee-jerk wise monkey hackles get exercised, you’d see that I was agreeing with MM in his original point, but suggesting that the personal attacks dilute the point and give others a reason to dismiss his argument. Can we return to that? Mike, do you think your argument would have stood without mentioning his domestic issues, and indeed been enhanced?

    Bill : 2 + 2 = 5
    Ben : No, it’s 4. Here’s the proof and besides, you smell and you have lots of parking violations….

    Ben was just fine with the first sentence…and so strong was the argument that to embellish it with irrelevance or character attacks, distracts.

    And, Adam, as for what Hamas ‘believe’, the IRA had similar mantras. Your prime minster Blair realized that peace would never be found by humiliating the IRA – that they’d rather fight for the next 200 years, so rather than demanding that the IRA change their beliefs/mantras and constitution, they just ignored them whilst working on a solution to the problem. Ultimately, the people of NI saw what was on the table as far more attractive. Now, there are some big differences from Hamas of course, but if you always say “Hamas want to destroy us so we’ll never speak to them” you just prolong the agony for both sides. Do you really believe that all within Hamas genuinely and still want to destroy Israel, take all of the land of former Palestine, that they have majority (or even significant minority) support of the people for that and that they would NEVER give that, regardless of what was offered as an alternative? Otherwise talks should be had, however, without preconditions, otherwise Hamas will see and promote their latest attacks as a success – they cannot be allowed dividends from the rocket attacks. So, constitutions evolve and may just be ignore: Do Jews not believe that people not keeping Sabbath ought to be stoned to death (Exodus 31:14)…hasn’t happened in a while.

    Another, slightly unrelated question, why have Israel not done more to explain the hits on the schools and hospitals, or is the media just failing to report it? I don’t know much about ordnance and arms, but if a hospital or school was deliberately targetted, there will have been a reason – a specific reason, not just a general reason. I don’t believe Israel deliberately targets civilians or wishes to cause their deaths – to do so gives fuel to the anti-zionists and anti-semites and puts Jews around the world at risk…so either there is specific intelligence/evidence about that is at those sites, or a site nearby and the hospital/school was collateral damage due to adjacency… I think Israel should do more to explain this.

  59. Yes! Yes Achilles , I do believe that Hamas are beyond the pale. I do believe that to negotiate with them about anything more serious than a ceasefire would be a terrible blunder on the part of Israel. Yes, I do believe that every single member of Hamas actually believes in and aspires towards the terms of their genocidal founding charter. And yes, I do believe that given half the chance they would carry it out, just as their ideological brothers ISIS are in the process of doing now as they expand their new caliphate.

    It is perfectly understandable that uninformed reasonable liberal minded people like you and millions like you cannot actually believe this. But you see Achilles, this was the same response in the UK and the US when the first news of the camps filtered through during the war against Nazi Germany. Nobody believed it, and because nobody believed it the Nazis carried on with uninterrupted impunity until what they were doing was common knowledge – but by then it was too late.

    The problem is Achilles, that uninformed reasonable liberal minded people like you and millions like you are making the same mistake again. And from your remote perspective I can understand how easy and comforting the concept of negotiating with Hamas must seem. But Israel doesn’t have that luxury sadly. It simply cannot take the chance of repeating a catastrophic error and failing to learn from history that those people who are minded to commit mass slaughter of the Jews – really mean it what they say.

    As for comparing Hamas to the IRA, the comparison is barely worthy of a response. For all their evil deeds the IRA were never bent upon genocide or ever used suicide bombing as a tactic. Adams and McGuinness are truly horrible men, but they are at least rational and ultimately pragmatic. Hamas are none of these things. On the contrary, they regard rationalism and pragmatism as signs of corruption and weakness, so any attempt at meaningful and enduring compromise with them is doomed to failure. It’s uncomfortable, it’s hard to believe and it’s tragic. I’m only sorry that this doesn’t match up to your uninformed reasonable liberal minded expectations.

    Finally, your query about the collateral damage issue. The truth is Achilles, I’m so weary of this entire exchange I’m done! – I just haven’t got the energy. Tell your “anti-zionist and anti-semite” friends whatever you like about Israel. Anything that we say, or the IDF says is just so much pissing into the wind so far as those guys are concerned. And you know what happens when you piss into the wind Achilles don’t you? It comes straight back in your face.

    This is my last response to you on this subject Achilles so please don’t try eliciting any more out of me. I’m done.

  60. Achilles,
    There does seem to be some part of you trying to rationalize what is going on and decide which side is “good” and which “evil”.
    Can I suggest you read this article… … Then take a long, hard look in the mirror.

  61. “Anything that we say, or the IDF says is just so much pissing into the wind so far as those guys are concerned.”

    I didn’t suggest telling anti-zionists anything. The problem is, that their views are infectious. People become anti-zionist or anti-semitic because they read something and believe it, and if it’s not countered, and there’s no alternative view, it spreads exponentially. I didn’t suggest preaching to anti-semites, merely making the truth be known to those trying to report it or looking for it. If I tell you someone is a thief and they don’t deny it, you might choose to believe it.

    It’s time Israel DID give a damn about world opinion and took the trouble to explain, otherwise antisemitism spreads and attacks on Jews are used as a protest against Israel. Israel’s actions have an affect on Jews around the world, so what they do is every Jew’s business. An anti-semite doesn’t ask your politics before he kicks your head in so it’s not okay for Israelis to tell Jews who don’t toe the party line outside of Israel to butt out..

    Antisemitism, xenophobia and racism are blatant in some people but also bubbling under the surface in many people, perhaps not even consciously, but given the right stimulation, it can come to the surface and if enough of that happens, eventually you hit critical mass and they whichever group it is is in real trouble.

    As for the intellectual argument; I feat that the baying mobs don’t read the Huffington Post.

    I see you’ve run out of bile Adam; it way outlasted your argument 🙂

  62. Achilles, you are so far wide of the mark. Can’t you see the irony of you blaming Israeli (ie. Jews’) actions for causing anti semitism?
    Anti-Semites cause anti-semitism, fueled by “intellectuals” like you who give them license and encouragement because “it’s all the Jews’ fault anyway”.

    For what it’s worth – when Israel does listen to the world (withdraw from Lebanon?), we get shafted. Hand Gaza over to the “moderate” Palestinian authority? Two years later we’ve got Hamasstan on our doorstep.

    Chaim Herzog had the right idea when (long before any intifadas), the UN decided that “Zionism=Racism” (since repealed, at least in letter if not in spirit).

    Maybe instead of the baying mobs reading the Huffington Post, you’ll read this. It would be so much more appropriate if Scotland simply flew its cross:

  63. Daniel, by misrepresenting what I said (I doubt you just misunderstood) you do the same thing Mike does – weaken any genuine argument you might have, else why would you have the need to misrepresent?

    As a secondary point, the UN is nothing more than a collective of vested Interests so when it supports or condemns anything, the correct response is ‘so what?’ As for Scotland; there too are the actions of individuals with inconsistent and hypocritical views (as apparently with the Tricycle cinema) and no-one stands up to call them on it.

    People have been fighting in the Middle East for thousands of years – Islam is just the most recent excuse for those who wish to exert power. Meanwhile, the Western governments are supporting the ‘rebels’ in the Syrian civil war, which otherwise would have been over before tens of thousands of people had died. You’d still have Assad, sure, but sponsoring civil wars is surely the bluntest instrument – I’m not sure causing the partial vaccuums in Iraq and Afganistan worked very well either… The answer… No idea – every answer causes huge problems but I don’t see a swift end to the Syrian war because the west will keep drip feeding the opposition and the Ba’aths aren’t going anywhere as with the Sunnis in Iraq.

  64. Andy Kershaw’s unsavoury past is extremely pertinent to his even more unsavoury present (the reason previous convictions may be admitted in criminal proceedings).

    And it is directly so when he, of all people, accuses Israel of “playing the victim card”.

    I really don’t think it could be any clearer, Achilles.

    If only it was just your heel . . .

  65. Achilles,

    Forget trying to solve the Middle East – you wouldn’t last 5 minutes in a hospital – all the time criticizing the staff for what they have done (“too much insulin”, “too little pressure here”) without offering any plan of your own.

    Do you not see how pathetic it is to claim about “drip feed” support to the rebels? If they’d sent more, you’d be blaming them for fanning the flames of battle – and if nothing at all, you’d be blaming them for cynically abandoning Muslim civilians to a dictator.

    In short – you don’t understand the Middle East. You don’t even claim to understand the Middle East. You are happy to tell us what we are doing wrong without offering a plan of your own (what would YOU have done in response to Hamas refusing to extend the ceasefire and firing tens of rockets?)

    Maybe you should just sod off?

  66. Thanks Daniel – and Mike – just what I was thinking!

  67. Pinchos Chalk

    Let’s say I say, ‘You Jews who think drunk driving is abhorrent, how can you treat the Palestinian people like this?’

    That would not make sense, because drunk driving being abhorrent is an axiom.

    So if I say, ‘You Jews who think that the Holocaust was a bad thing, how can you treat the Palestinians like this?’

    This means that I think that whether or not the Holocaust was a bad thing is a discussion point.

  68. Further proof that Jew-hatred and general vileness tend to go hand in hand . . .

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