Tag Archives: Israel & the British

Time for the Hurndalls to stop their sniping

So, Taysir Hayb will be a free man next month. The IDF Sergeant, found guilty of manslaughter after shooting British “peace activist” Tom Hurndall in 2003, is to be released after serving five years of his eight-year sentence.

But the Hurndall family’s “anger and shock” at Monday’s announcement is not, says Sophie Hurndall, Tom’s sister, directed at the soldier who fired the bullet, but rather at the IDF and Israel as a whole: “To be honest, it’s about the system. Not the man himself. This man who shot Tom was the same age as him. He is both the victim and the killer. He is part of a system that proactively encouraged soldiers to target civilians.”

That is bollocks, Ms. Hurndall (as anyone who has served in the IDF can testify).

I was back in England at the time of the shooting of Tom Hurndall (right), in the Gaza town of Rafah, at the height of the Second Intifada, in April 2003. I was also there throughout his nine-month coma, until his death, aged just 22.

And, during the Hurndall family’s protracted UK media campaign against Israel, I was continually forced to question my capacity for empathy for feeling so little about their obvious (and natural) suffering. In fact, the only thing that the Hurndalls’ campaign did move me to do – although, in the end, I didn’t (for which I am now glad) – was to drop a letter into their north London home (close to mine), with my condolences, but also telling them that Tom had absolutely no business being there in the first place.

And this week’s comments by Sophie Hurndall – who works for Medical Aid for Palestinians – have only served to remind me of just how I felt (or, rather, didn’t) seven years ago. No, my heart has not softened with the years.

While I, of course, take no joy in the tragic death of Tom Hurndall, the time has come for his family to take a good look at themselves, too, and to ask certain painful questions about the decisions and actions of their son and brother, and about how they may have influenced or prevented them:

  • What right did Tom Hurndall have to interfere with IDF operations – his declared goal was to blockade tank patrols – at the height of the Second Intifada, in the then war zone of Gaza?
  • Did he possess any comprehension whatsoever as to the entirely justified purpose of those operations (i.e., to protect Israeli citizens)? Or did he, maybe, view Hamas and Islamic Jihad as some kind of benevolent presence that Israel could simply ignore? Perhaps, for him, Jewish lives – as opposed to Palestinian ones – were just unimportant?
  • Why did he choose to be a “peace activist” in the only democracy – or, at least, the only country that can reasonably claim to be one (as even Israel’s enemies could not deny) – in the entire Middle East? Why not in one of the many Islamofascist, or other, tyrannies the world over?
  • And, anyway, as a self-proclaimed “human shield” – purportedly of children (endangered only because they themselves are used as such by Palestinian militants) – did Hurndall not succeed in his stated purpose?

Without in any way condoning the actions of Sergeant Hayb (right), to whose intent only he was privy, one wonders how long Tom Hurndall would have survived in Iraq or Afghanistan, for example, attempting to impede the operations of British or American forces there: How long would it have taken before an irate – or, perhaps, ever so slightly unhinged – squaddy,  in the “pressure cooker” of a war zone (which Gaza was no less), thought “F*ck this! I have had quite enough of this interfering little prick”?

To me, Tom Hurndall – like Rachel Corrie just before him – is not the hero that he is so often portrayed to be. He was, rather, a very misguided young man, appearing to suffer from the misapprehension – even more popular these days, and shared by his family – that Israel’s war against Islamofascism is a gratuitous rather than strictly necessary one, and that Hamas and Islamic Jihad militants are, somehow, not really dangerous.

“We have had to deal with cover-ups and lies and a total lack of accountability throughout, and this is in line with that – it’s symptomatic,” continued Sophie Hurndall on Monday.

Bollocks, once again.

Sergeant Hayb was tried and convicted (if following several months of pressure from the Hurndalls). Would Tom Hurndall’s death in Iraq or Afghanistan (as described above) have resulted in a similar outcome? I very much doubt it. And under an Islamofascist dictatorship, such as the one Hamas is establishing in Gaza, the Hurndalls would still be trying to discover how and why their son ‘disappeared’, and whether he is still alive . . . while, all the time, his dismembered body was lying at the bottom of some well.

Of course, the fact that Sergeant Hayb is a Bedouin rather than a Jew has all been rather inconvenient for the Hurndalls, forcing them to modulate their rhetoric to the media over the past seven years.

On the other hand, the Jewish state is a much larger, easier, and – in these dark days – popular target than the particular motivations and reactions of a 20-year old, non-Jewish soldier.



An open letter to the British investigators in Israel

Dear Investigators,

Shalom and welcome to Israel!

Contrary to your likely first impressions, following your arrival on our festival of Purim, we don’t always go around in disguises and fancy dress.

But, assuming that Mossad agents really were behind the assassination of Mahmoud al-Mabhouh in Dubai, can Britain truly be surprised that they were using assumed identities? Would it rather have expected them to be strutting around the 5-star hotel in shirts unbuttoned to their navels, stars of David bouncing off their bear-like chests, spitting garinim (sunflower seeds) onto the marble floors, while yelling into their mobile phones?

Whilst your 007 may get off on introducing his real self to villains and totty alike, our intelligence services consider such a carefree approach to be somewhat reckless in the perilous world of international espionage. Anyway, “The name’s Rosenblatt . . . Elchanan Rosenblatt” doesn’t quite have the same ring to it.

If those On Her Majesty’s Secret Service are embarking on dangerous missions without disguise, perhaps even carrying their library and Blockbuster cards from Blighty in their pockets, now may be as good a time as any for a rethink. And, while I am on the subject, might I also humbly suggest that Britain review its immigration policy, welfare system, and the application of its hate laws in mosques throughout the UK.

You see, I am not entirely convinced that Mr. al-Mabhouh was the all-round top bloke that Britain appears to think. In fact, I salute every one of the Mossad agents involved in ridding the world of the filth, and have maximum respect and no little envy for the lucky, lucky bastard who had the honour of suffocating the c*nt with his own fetid pillow.

Oh, that it had been me! After administering the muscle relaxant (allegedly found in al-Mabhouh’s blood), I would have given this modern-day Haman a small taste of the misery that he was pivotal in inflicting on so many thousands of innocent Israelis. My fantasy (and it is just that – in the IDF, I was scared of a couple of the Kavkazis in my own unit!) involves al-Mabhouh’s fingernails, a rusty pair of pliers, his Jihadi testicles,  and a high voltage set of electrodes.

Finally, before sending him off to meet all those lucky virgins, I would, Tarantino-style, have recited a few peaceful verses from the Koran – demonstrating to him, in his last moments, how he could instead have chosen to be a good Muslim – and then treated him to a heartfelt rendition of Hatikva (Israel’s national anthem).

Although it is our pleasure having you here, I believe that you have come to the wrong address. Your questions should rather be directed to the authorities in Dubai, who knowingly hosted a murdering scumbag. To Iran, which had been supplying him and his Hamas masters with their weapons. And to Syria and the other Arab regimes in cahoots with Tehran.

You might not consider it cricket, but neither is life under a barrage of missiles. So, far from apologising, Israel will continue to do its duty – both for itself and for the civilised world – by sending the al-Mabhouhs of this planet on their 5-star journey to Hell.

Enjoy your stay.

Yours unapologetically,

melchett mike

PS What do you make of our totty? It’s tops, intit?!

Steven Berkoff: Showing Up the Berks

I’ve devoted quite a few melchett mike inches over the past month, since the start of the war in Gaza, to the self-hating Jews: Harold Pinter, Gideon Levy, Alexei Sayle, and, most despicable of all, Gerald Kaufman. But I have just come across an interview, in last week’s Jewish Chronicle, with the British Jewish actor, writer and director, Steven Berkoff, who made the following observations . . .

stevenberkoff1“England is not a great lover of its Jews. Never has been. The English way of life is culturally rather refined if not effete. There is a slight distaste of the foreigner. There is an inbuilt dislike of Jews. Overt antisemitism goes against the British sense of fair play. It has to be covert and civilised. So certain playwrights and actors on the left wing make themselves out to be stricken with conscience. They say: ‘We hate Israel, we hate Zionism, we don’t hate Jews.’ But Zionism is the very essence of what a Jew is. Zionism is the act of seeking sanctuary after years and years of unspeakable outrages against Jews. As soon as Israel does anything over the top it’s always the same old faces who come out to demonstrate. I don’t see hordes of people marching down the street against Mugabe when tens of thousands are dying every month in Zimbabwe. They quite like diversity and will tolerate you as long as you act a bit gentile and don’t throw your chicken soup around too much. You are perfectly entitled occasionally even to touch the great prophet of British culture, Shakespeare, as long as you keep your Jewishness well zipped up. As long as you speak like us and get rid of your accent you are perfectly acceptable. In Spain, they used to call these people marranos — secret Jews. Well, I’ve never been secret.”

Mr. Berkoff, as they say in these parts, kol hakavod (respect) . . . ata totach (literal translation “you are a cannon”, but really meaning that you are a top bloke!)

(Full interview)

A Dishonourable Knighthood: Why Shimon Shouldn’t Have Gone

During my first couple of years in Israel, I used to take my shoes to be repaired by a cobbler on Jerusalem’s Jaffa Road. The lovely old gentleman was born and grew up under the British Mandate for Palestine (1920-1948). When I first told him I was British, far from throwing my shoes back in my face, his eyes lit up as he reminisced, with no little nostalgia, how wonderfully polite the British soldiers were during that period, almost as if wishing them back.

This is not the reaction one would expect from a cold study of the history books. Even if the British could have explained away the 1939 White Paper – severely restricting Jewish immigration to Palestine – as political necessity, the turning back of ships packed with survivors of German death camps smacked of unimaginable cruelty.

But the deferential Israeli attitude to everything British prevails to this day. When the English football team and fans visited Tel Aviv for a European Championship qualifier, in March of last year, the authorities bedecked the Tel Aviv promenade in the flag of St. George, turning it into a Middle Eastern Southend-on-Sea. And the annual British Film Festival, at the Tel Aviv, Jerusalem and Haifa Cinematheques, is more popular than any other.

But there is something more than a little patronising about Britain’s attitude towards Israel. And it defies logic.

Whatever his many detractors in Israel might say about him, no one can deny that President Shimon Peres has devoted much of his life to masterminding the survival of Israel and its citizens, through unremitting wars with Arab neighbours to daring operations like Entebbe (of which he is widely considered to have been the brains). The Queen and Prince Philip, on the other hand, have spent much of theirs gallivanting around the Commonwealth, gazing at natives’ bouncing dangly bits, in one “Bongo-Bongo Land” or another (let’s face it, I’m sure that’s how the wonderfully un-PC Prince would view them) .

Not a single member of the Royal Family has ever been on an official visit to Israel. During her 56-year reign, the Queen has undertaken over 250 official visits to more than 130 different countries. Her total abstinence from Israel is all the more remarkable when one considers her constitutional role as Head of the Church of England. Has no one ever informed her that some pretty heavy Christian sh*t has gone down here too?

A leaked email exchange between his aides, last year, suggested that Prince Charles – who has visited Israel once (for the funeral of Yitzhak Rabin) – was unlikely to do so again, as Israel might use any such visit to bolster its international image (God forbid). And the heir to the throne did not respond to a fresh invitation, last week, from President Peres – in town to receive an honorary knighthood from the Queen at Buckingham Palace – despite having said that it was his lifelong dream to visit the grave of his grandmother (Prince Philip’s mother), on the Mount of Olives (I suppose that cash flow could be an issue for the Prince, in these recessionary times).

In view, especially, of Britain’s deep, problematic involvement in the history of this Land (the effects of which are still felt here), the Royal reticence towards Israel does the Family a disservice and Israel a dishonour.

With the man’s penchant for international recognition, it was never going to happen, but President Peres should have politely declined this dishonourable knighthood.

No One Likes Us: Why We Shouldn’t Care

“No one likes us, no one likes us, no one likes us, we don’t care . . .”

So sing fans of Millwall Football Club, in South East London, who, yes, it is true, no one likes. If they weren’t such scum, however, there would be something rather admirable about their attitude . . . an attitude I share when it comes to being Jewish and a Zionist (still).

I often talk to my cousin on the phone in the mornings, to alleviate the tedium of my drive to work (though the monotony is often broken anyway by some Israeli nutter, holding his mobile in one hand and a ciggie in the other, who – with one leg on the dashboard, and without indicating – swerves across three lanes of traffic in one fell swoop). Marc still listens to the BBC Wind-up Service on his way to work, and never ceases to be antagonised by the anti-Israel, Islamophilic propaganda served up most mornings (since when did the average ‘Beeb’ listener become so interested in documentaries about, inter alia, lesbian suicide bombers in Aden?)

My policy has long been not to listen to, or read, such media. It always just brought me down. Their purveyors are not going to change. Nor am I. And nor are most of the other listeners to and readers of the BBC Wind-up Service and The Guardian, etc, who do so precisely because such media reinforce and legitimise (or so they think) their bitter, warped, Jew-hating – oft cunningly veiled as mere Israel-hating (as if that is okay) – view of the world. Quite frankly (and apologies to my mother’s friends, some of whom I believe read this blog), I feel that – now that I am living in Israel – they can all go and f*ck themselves (though they could have done so before, too).

Israel has to put its own interests first. It is dog-eat-dog in this (mental) part of the world. And Israel cannot always afford to worry about what everyone else thinks – never mind some sex-starved single-mother in Stoke Newington, who just happens to have taken a dislike to those weirdos in their black gabardines “down Woolworths” – before acting (poisonous Persian dwarf in your M&S jacket [see Virginal Meanderings], take note).

Jews know only too well what happens when they wait for the world to act. And we have seen, since then, what we can do when forced, and in a position, to take care of ourselves. But, like Israelis and their tea, the world doesn’t like its Jews too strong.

We shouldn’t give a hoot, therefore, about Ken “you are just like a concentration camp guard” Livingstone, George “I never took a penny from Saddam” Galloway, David “From Toe Job to No Job” Mellor, or any of their ilk. I wear it as a badge of honour that such miscreants would not appear to be particularly fond of us.

You see . . . Leeds and Millwall fans can find common ground, after all.