Monday, December 10, 2007

Anti-Semitic Jihad-2

I went to court in England both as plaintiff and defendant over libel related to my work as a journalist and won both cases. In 1997 I won against the Israeli ambassador whose complaint was dismissed by the Press Council, the precursor of the Press Complaints Commission. I admit that I have never enjoyed being in a court of law and this includes several appearances in Lebanon where I won and lost cases against state prosecutors although sentences were never carried out. Still, I invite any interested person or party to see me in court over accusation of anti-Semitism detailed in my column yesterday.
If nothing else, a case before the London courts would force me into extensive research and the material would be enough to write another book about the warmongers and Israel apologists in and around the Bush administration.
The accusation of anti-Semitism surprised me because I always thought of myself as a champion of inter-faith dialogue. I joined the effort of Prince Charles and Prince Hassan of Jordan through Oxford University and then the work of Prince Charles and Prince Turki Al-Faisal. In Davos, I am a founding member of the Muslim-Western dialogue at the World Economic Forum, first under Lord Carey, the former archbishop of Canterbury, and Prince Turki and now under Lord Carey and Princess Lulua, sister of Prince Turki. Last year, I went to Istanbul to attend an international conference on inter-faith dialogue and rapprochement. And I spoke at the House of Lords on 30/11/06 about the many Israeli organisations that support Palestinian rights, including women and rabbis. My presentation was under the heading “Arabs and Jews”.
Since 9/11 I have written over 2200 articles, some attacking the warmongers, but have always underlined that a majority of Jews everywhere is peace-loving. I have this opinion of Jews, and I hope it is not anti-Semitic, that a good Jew is the best person in the world, and a bad Jew is the worst.
In my book, James Wolfensohn is a good Jew and so are George Soros, Norman Finkelstein, Noam Chomsky, Uri Avnery, Seymor Hersch and Ilan Pape. Among the worst are Paul Wolfowitz, Douglas Feith, Lewis Libby, Alan Dershowitz, David Horowitz, Daniel Pipes, Michael Ledeen, Norman Podhoretz and the Decter clan, to name only a few.
Not all Jews are the best or the worst. Like all other people, most of them are somewhere in between. At the Washington Post my favourite columnists are David Ignatius and Richard Cohen. I despise Charles Krauthammer. At the New York Times, Thomas Freedman is among my favourite writers (I am only talking about Jewish writers here) although many Arabs criticize him. Tom does not need a good conduct certificate from me or anyone else but I mention him because he is the kind of American Jew with whom you can disagree and still know that he wants peace and that you can make a fair deal with him.
People of this kind include Dennis Ross and Aaron miller from the Clinton administration. The former went to the Washington Institute and the latter to the Seeds of Peace. This translates that Miller is more entrenched in the peace camp than Ross. But Ross worked for peace and his writings on the subject cannot be faulted. Still, my favourite from that period is Daniel Kurtzer.
I’ll break the name dropping, or name calling, now to tell a story. I used to refer to the Jews in the Clinton Middle East team as the rabbis of the State Department in the hope that they would act in an “American” way and prove me wrong. Then I met Aaron Miller at an economic conference in Casablanca and he complained that I criticised him because of his religion. I denied the charge but later dropped the reference to the “rabbis” as I had no intention of insulting the Clinton team.
Back to anti-Semitism. On the subject of the Holocaust I lead the Arab field in insisting that six million Jews did perish. I have chastised Arabs who deny the Holocaust. I told them that they were denying a crime they did not commit, and defending the Christian West which not only killed the Jews but sent the survivors to us so that they don’t stay there to remind the Europeans of their guilt. I attacked the revisionist historian David Irving during his two court appearances in London and Vienna, and also when he was invited to speak at Oxford University last month.
The above is on record. I wrote most of it the time it happened. But my best achievement in the context of Arabs and Jews came in the summer of 2003 when Abu Mazen was appointed Palestinian prime minister. At his request I played the go-between with Khaled Mashaal of Hamas and went to Damascus three times, at my own expense and in my own time, and we finally got a ceasefire which the Isalmist groups called a calming period. On June 29, 2003 while driving my family back to London from the country Mr. Mashaal phoned me and said: Mabrook (congratulations). You want a ceasefire and we’ve got you one. Then he began to read me the joint announcement with Islamic Jihad. That ceasefire lasted until about the middle of August, or some six weeks. If one considers the number of Palestinian and Israeli deaths in six weeks preceding and following the ceasefire, he can work out the number of lives saved and my role in saving them.
If I have to make one complaint against the Likudniks and warmongers in and around the Bush administration it is that their extremist policies are denying the Israelis and Palestinians the chance of ending the conflict. In this sense they are accessory to murder; I am a party to life.
Let’s see each other in court.

Jihad Khazen


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