Sunday, 31 May 2015

Charlie Hebdo, Free Speech and the Jews

by Robert Edwards      ESA No 55, Winter issue 2014/2015

We have learned recently that the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo was in financial difficulties and down on its luck before the tragic events that took away a number of its cartoonists. This indicates it was not as popular as the European media has been making out. Far from being a noble and upstanding defender of free speech, it was quite the opposite. It was very hostile to those deemed to be “anti-Semitic”.

Charlie Hebdo sacked an 80 year old cartoonist, Maurice Sinet, in 2009 after he was put on trial for “anti-Semitism”, worded officially as “inciting racial hatred”. If he were on trial for offending Islam, he would have been carried around the offices of the magazine and toasted as a great “satirist”. But there are no laws to protect Islam. Only the Jews are sacrosanct.

After the Paris March for Unity, the French state gave the magazine a million euro, then there were the sponsorships from various newspapers, including from some in Britain. A massive number of the latest ‘Mohammed’ issue were printed, the same kind of cover that inspired a previous violent response. Sales were brisk, as they say, but they failed to learn the obvious lesson which had little to do with free speech.

Charlie Hebdo is basking in the sun of an early glowing summer of publicity but it will not be long before it faces its own winter of discontent and sales drop away again. It was about to close before the gunmen arrived at the offices.

It claims it knocks everyone, including Jews, but this was not case in the past. The French people know this and had largely turned their backs on the publication.

Maurice Sinet used the pen name of Siné. He wrote articles as well as contributing cartoons when employed by Charlie Hebdo but he crossed a red line when he  commented on the marriage of Jean Sarkozy, son of a French president, to a Jewish heiress. He wrote (in French) that if Jean Sarkozy planned to convert to Judaism, as was rumoured, “He’ll go a long way in life, that little lad”. Personally, I find that highly amusing but from another section all hell broke loose.

Meddling Jewish journalist, Claude Askolovitch, went on the attack with accusations of “anti-Semitism” whereupon the editor of Charlie Hebdo demanded that Maurice Sinet get down on his knees and apologise to the Jews. Philippe Val, the editor, was to sack Sinet for an “anti-Semitic” cartoon along with an article after Sinet told him he would prefer to “cut off his own balls” than write a letter of apology.

So Maurice Sinet (the cartoonist Siné) was to be taken to court for “anti-Semitism” over his Sarkozy cartoon. It was a civil case brought by Ligue Internationale Contre le Racisme et l'Antisémitisme that rebounded with Maurice responding with a separate case of slander. This led to further litigation between Maurice Sinet and his former employer Charlie Hebno for wrongful dismissal. In 2010, Maurice was awarded 40,000 euro for wrongful dismissal, with editor Philippe Val later resigning from Charlie Hebno and Maurice founding his own publication Sine Hebno (see right).

Even the inevitable death threats from the Jewish Defence League did not deter the courageous octogenarian cartoonist including the online threat, "Twenty centimetres of stainless steel in the gut, that should teach the bastard to stop and think." The usual response from rabid Zionist Jews, you could say. Death threats were not new to me, either.

This is a different story to my own experience with Jews objecting to my cartoons. In 1981, I was tried at Snaresbrook Crown Court in East London for “counselling and procuring, aiding and abetting the publication and distribution of material likely to incite racial hatred” ... namely a publication called The Stormer. Note the phrase “likely”, which more or less precluded the necessity of proof. The complaint came from the Board of Deputies of British Jews.

I pleaded not guilty on some very sound grounds. I did, indeed, draw all the cartoon strips for the entire four page comic but I neither published nor distributed it. I left the original drawings with a man called Jimmy Styles in East London who then took them to the late Tony Hancock, a printer on the South Coast. I had heard the police had raided Jimmy Styles’ carpet shop in Roman Road and pulled up the floor boards looking for the originals and negatives for printing. I was kept in the dark about this until I read about its distribution, from the South of England all the way up to Dundee, in a tabloid newspaper.

The man who supplied and drove the transport for distribution was Ray Hill who, it turned out later, was a mole and agent provocateur for the Zionist group Searchlight, which poses as an anti-fascist outfit but, in reality, serves the Zionist entity. He was working for them at that time. As such, Searchlight bears huge responsibility for the distribution of a publication that was originally created as a simple private experiment in bad taste. By the standards of material in the United States, where free expression is enshrined in the US Constitution, it was feeble stuff.

American Jewish academic, Victor Navasky, wrote in his book The Art of Controversy - Political Cartoons and Their Enduring Power, in a chapter on me, " The Israel-watcher in me acknowledges that he got Begin's activities as a member of the Stern Gang right but feels that Edwards undercuts his own observation by the hatefulness of the message implicit in his visual language. The citizen in me finds his ideas repugnant, yet the sociologist in me wonders why the authorities find his work, which itself is a caricature of conventional bigotry, sufficiently threatening to earn him imprisonment."

Victor Navasky disapproves of me as a person but his liberal inclinations find appreciation in the idea that freedom of expression must cover all aspects of the art of caricature and cartoons no matter how offensive they may be to some. Surely it is the very essence of caricature, that exaggerates, stereotypes and reveals perhaps the darker side of humankind, that should be free of all censure, artistic limitation and should be given full rein in order to experience its full potential. This should include experiments in bad taste. The liberal aspect of my nature demands it.

I have recently appeared on Iran’s English-speaking PressTV news channel, giving my views on the treatment of BBC reporter Tim Willcox who attended the Paris March of Unity. There, Willcox interviewed the granddaughter of a Holocaust survivor who was going on about how the Jews are the target. He interjected with, “The Palestinians have also suffered by Jewish hands”. Again, the full force of Jewish intolerance is felt and they fell on Willcox demanding their pound of flesh. This was intolerable, they said, mentioning the Palestinians is an anti-Semitic act, don’t you know? Israel had been maligned by this deviating from the Zionist narrative. Then Prime Minister Netanyahu gate-crashed the proceedings even when told he was not welcome, pushing his way to the first column of marchers, up with the best of them, waving like mad when all others showed a more solemn demeanour. This was your proverbial “pushy Jew” of legend showing them who is boss. The rest of the world cringed at this vulgar behaviour.

Back to Willcox, this is the BBC whose editor of the Middle East news desk sent a memo to all its journalists reminding them they should always give a pro-Israel slant in their news reporting. Its anti-Palestinian propaganda is supplied, of course, by the Israeli military.

The editor of the Middle East new desk is Raffi Berg. Another, a former Head of Policy was a member of the Labour Friends of Israel and swore that only an Israeli-friendly agenda would be permitted at the BBC.

I pointed out these aspects of the BBC’s policy when interviewed on PressTV, along with my own experience of being denied freedom of expression when jailed for twelve months in a British prison. My main point was that just about any group can be lampooned, ostracised, ridiculed, insulted or simply have the piss taken, except one ... that’s right, the Jews.

I recall an article in a copy of ACTION in the early 1960s. A passage in it said something like this: “There is only one thing more absurd than the idea that the Jews are responsible for all the evil on this earth and that is the idea the Jews can do no wrong and are perfect”.

There are people who do subscribe to one of either of those viewpoints and they would both be wrong.

The Charlie Hebdo incident brought out all these people, the great and the good, the ordinary people and those without any stake in society. The sloganising began immediately and the loudest was FREE SPEECH! The March of Unity was to be about free speech and the world would join together in order to celebrate it. What a load of rubbish.

When Jews stop regarding themselves as above criticism and their view as sacrosanct; when this nonsense about the mildest form of criticism regarding Israel and its Jewish population being ‘anti-Semitic’ is exposed for the sham it all is, then we all may be on the path towards a kind of freedom. The evil, I claim, is Zionism. It is the root cause of so much trouble in the world today, especially in the Middle East. When the United States frees itself from the grip of the Jewish lobby and stops siding with Israel at the UN then there is hope, my friends. Until then, the suffering goes on while the world does nothing.

 

copyright©2015 Robert Edwards

 

Sunday, 18 January 2015

BABY KILLERS! The war crimes of the Israeli IDF in Gaza

by Robert Edwards
(published in ESA No 54 November/December 2014)

Under International Law, every people under an occupation has the right to resist that occupation by any means.

This fact seems to elude the leaders of all governments in the West when it comes to Gaza. Hamas is morally superior on this issue of the armed struggle for Palestinian freedom and its defence of the people of Gaza has been truly heroic. They are freedom fighters while the Zionists are oppressors. It is as simple as that.

Israel, on the other hand, has shown itself to be criminally indifferent to the world’s condemnation (apart from America and its craven satellite states in the West) and has again attacked a population already crushed and without any decent means of dignified survival. The blockade of Gaza is illegal under international law but that is the least of the problems of Gaza. We have an occupying power in the form of Israel that not only denies the Palestinians the basic necessities for rebuilding their country but will continue to deny them statehood, while playing the stop/go game of “peace negotiations”.

The fact is, Israel has no intention of reaching a peace accord and will never accept Palestinian statehood ... the two-state solution or any other solution.

Like their partners in crime, the Americans, the Zionists prefer perpetual war as a matter of state policy. Like the Americans, the Israelis think of themselves as exceptional, above the rest of us, and therefore above international law.

Look at the Americans today, invading the air space of Syria and carrying on with their interference in world affairs. Let President Assad have full control of the situation and the psychopaths of Islamic State will be crushed. Stop supporting opposition to him.

In Israel we have elements within the coalition government who regard, not only Palestinians, but all Arabs as less than human. Is that surprising?

The late American performer, Joan Rivers, stated not long before her death that all Palestinians deserve to die. This was said during the terrible bombardment of Gaza. She advocated genocide, in fact.

A rabbi called for the killing of all Palestinian women so that they would no longer breed “snakes”, as their babies are dubbed.

The main photo on this front page may prove shocking to some and you may say it is in bad taste. Well, for the more sensitive among us, the bullet through the head of a foetus is a fact and reality of what goes on when the Israeli Defence Force “defends Israel” and goes on the rampage against innocent and defensive people in Gaza, their main target being women and children ... in this case, the unborn, too. What brutal, cowardly and savage “soldiers” brought up from the cradle to believe they are the Chosen People and all Gentiles deserve to die.

This was no accident but the result of a policy of extermination that began in 1948. Killing women and children goes even further back to the Books of Moses, in Deuteronomy, when the God of Israel commanded the Israelites to take whatever the God of Israel tells them to take and to slay everyone who was there previous to this land grab. Biblical prophesy used as a form of supremacist propaganda by a system founded on political secularism: Zionism.

The rabbis hold sway within this policy of terror. It is not unusual for rabbis to call for the complete extermination of the Arabs. This was the view of the  late spiritual head of the Shas party in the Israeli government, recently accorded a state funeral with Netanyahu on his knees in grief. This rabbi repeatedly called for the liquidation of the Arabs while his party was part of a coalition in Israel.

A failure to condemn often implies approval.

America’s open support for Israel’s incursion into Gaza and the multiple atrocities committed there is simply the other side of the same coin.

The shooting of women was carried out under orders from the Israeli military, in turn given instructions from high ranking members of the government. Shooting pregnant women was an integral part of this policy, killing two living bodies in one go. Saves bullets.

Make no mistake, a large section of Israeli society supported all this. In Jerusalem, mobs of Jews ran through the streets shouting, “Death to Arabs!”.

While the Western media ignored most of the atrocities committed by the IDF, the Russell Tribunal on Palestine met in emergency session in Brussels quite recently to study the war crimes perpetrated by Israel and the IDF in particular. America, all along, backed Israel against accusations of war crimes. Well, they would, wouldn’t they?

The Russell Tribunal on Palestine heard testimonies from eye witnesses, along with contributions from the professions ... physicians and legal experts. A jury of twelve good men and true completed this tribunal. This consisted of intellectuals of considerable repute. The tribunal’s raison d’être was very straightforward; it was to put Israel on trial for its crimes against the Palestinian people.

The list was long: war crimes, crimes against humanity, crimes of murder, extermination and persecution and incitement to genocide. All of them extremely serious.

The journalist David Sheen produced evidence that incitement to genocide pervaded all of Israeli society including genocidal rhetoric from the highest echelons.

Another journalist, Max Blumenthal, produced evidence of “grisly executions” during a five day ceasefire in Gaza. IDF soldiers were under instructions to execute men in Gaza upon discovering they spoke Hebrew. There were also executions of civilians and paramedics.

The only Gaza-based journalist, Mohammed Omer, who managed to get out of Gaza for the tribunal hearings, gave evidence of daily life in Gaza whereby summary executions and kidnappings were a common occurrence, as well as using Palestinian children as human shields.

The Egyptian military dictatorship under Mr CC prevented others coming through the Rafah Crossing to testify, including the director of the Palestinian Centre for Human Rights, Raji Sourani, obviously on the request of the Israelis.

Dr Mads Gilbert of Norway presented graphic evidence of the injuries received by the Palestinian population when he was volunteering in the al-Shifa Hospital in Gaza City.

There was no doubt intentional destruction of Gaza and the “deliberate systematic attack on the Palestinian civilian society” was at the forefront of the objectives of the IDF.

The atrocities were on such a scale that not only incitement to genocide occurred but indiscriminate murder was the main purpose and result.

In their final ruling, the judges gave this statement:

In light of the clear escalation in the physical and rhetorical violence deployed in respect of Gaza in the summer of 2014, the tribunal emphasises the obligation of all states parties to the 1948 Genocide Convention ‘to take such action under the Charter of the United Nations as they consider appropriate for the prevention and suppression of acts of genocide’.

“It is recognised that in a situation where patterns of crimes against humanity are perpetrated with impunity, and where direct and public incitement to genocide is manifest throughout society, it is very conceivable that individuals or the state may choose to exploit the conditions in order to perpetrate the crime of genocide. We have a genuine fear that in an environment of impunity and an absence of sanction for serious and repeated criminality, the lessons from Rwanda and other mass atrocities may once again go unheeded”.

During the Israeli military assault upon Gaza in the summer of 2014, more than 2,000 Palestinians were murdered, including over 500 children. The aim of these periodic assaults is to change the demographics of that area so that a Jewish majority emerges. Not only was Gaza left desolate but entire farming communities were wiped out.

The Russell Tribunal on Palestine was the only serious attempt to bring Israel to book for its many crimes. The jury at the tribunal found Israel GUILTY of war crimes, crimes against humanity, crimes of murder, extermination and persecution and also incitement to genocide.

The evidence being overwhelming.

Israel continues to clamour for war against Iran. The Zionist state possesses hundreds of nuclear warheads, the sole nuclear power in the Middle East, yet Iran wishes to harness nuclear energy for peaceful purposes. There is no evidence at all that Iran wishes to create nuclear weapons.

Isn’t this a case of double standards and rank hypocrisy? Iran is a peaceful and highly advanced society, demonised by the West as a threat to Western interests. Russia is also lined up for attack by the United States (under the guise of the “international community”) because America will not tolerate other larger nations standing up for themselves.

America wants complete global domination and this is at the core of the problem. It spends more on defence than most countries combined, although Russia has now in its possession more nuclear warheads than the United States ... for the first time. America’s nuclear arsenal is now in a very poor condition and has been depreciating at an alarming rate for that country. Yet the American tax payer still forks out billions in military hardware for Israel.

This military might is used for only one purpose at the moment ... to attack a defenceless population that had lived on that land for centuries, long before the Ashkenazi Jews had robbed the Palestinians of their birthright.

It is feared the Israelis will get away with more war crimes and incitement to genocide, all the while America shields them.

copyright©2014 Robert Edwards


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