Welcome to Bennett's World: a collection of articles and references covering a wide variety of topics in which I am involved. I am a very political person but I have no allegiance to any political party. Follow me on twitter @colinhove

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Anxious to do something about Gaza?

Like several of my readers, I am a supporter of the Palestinian Solidarity Campaign. I often get useful information from the PSC about Palestine including Gaza. I would like to share this recent email with you. You might like to act upon it according to your inclinations.


Letter to Prime Minister is delivered to Downing Street

Many thanks to all the tens of thousands of you who signed our letter
to the Prime Minister calling on the government to demand an immediate
end to Israel’s massacre in Gaza and a halt to the UK’s arms trade
with Israel.
Prominent signatories to the letter included  fashion designer Bella
Freud,  journalist and activist Jemima Khan; musicians Bobby
Gillespie of Primal Scream, Robert Del Naja of Massive Attack, Brian
Eno and Bryan Adams; film director, Ken Loach; the writers Will Self,
Hanif Kureishi, Ahdaf Soueif, Esther Freud, Laura Bailey and William
Dalrymple; and the actors Juliet Stevenson, David Morrissey, Maxine
Peake and Alexei Sayle.
Academics Dr Karma Nabulsi, Dr Ghada Karmi and Professor Steven Rose
and human rights lawyer Sir Geoffrey Bindman QC also signed the
letter, along with 17 MPs and two peers. 
35,500 of you also signed and the letter was hand delivered to 10
Downing Street by MPs Jeremy Corbyn, Diane Abbott and Jim Fitzpatrick,
the film director Ken Loach, and Hugh Lanning, Chair, and Sarah
Colborne, Director, of Palestine Solidarity Campaign.
You can read more about the letter hand-in here:

Monday, July 28, 2014

38 Degrees' campaign to e-mail Philip Hammond MP

Philip Hammond is the new Foreign Secretary (he succeeded William Hague in the recent reshuffle) and campaigning group 38 Degrees have urged their members to email him about how he might approach the fighting in Israel and Palestine. 

My email was short and to the point and reflects what I believe is the main issue now, that is to remove the extreme ignorance that many UK residents have about Palestine:
"Please use your office to press for Israel to abide by all the UN Resolutions that it has ignored for decades and which the UK government generally turns a blind eye to."

For many years there has been blind support for Israel no matter what it does. This is partly due to a lingering sympathy with the plight of European Jews in wartime Europe. Things have changed in seventy years. As Jews often say, and quite rightly, they did not organise the Holocaust. If one considers things for a moment and contemplated what the world would say if any country other than Israel engaged in such enormous destruction from the air, sea and land on their neighbour, the extent to which they are given free rein becomes clear.

Until the creation of Israel most Jews who lived in Palestine did so in peace.
You can write your own email to Philip Hammond here.

Unofficial translation of Assange's court hearing on 16 July

Julian Assange's lawyers are trying to have his arrest warrant lifted and their case was heard on the 16th of July. Assange was not present.

Here in the UK, the BBC said almost nothing about the hearing in Stockholm. I wonder what the Swedish media said!

Here is the link to the unofficial translation.

Monday, July 21, 2014

NBC pulls (then unpulls) star reporter from Gaza

WARNING: This article by Glenn Greenwald has a fairly happy ending!

Glenn Greenwald recently drew our attention to the bubbling cauldron that was the departure of NBC correspondent Ayman Mohyeldin from his post in Gaza.

The story, in summary, is that shortly after his uncompromising reporting on the horrific events on Wednesday 16 July in which an Israeli ship shelled a beach in Gaza City, killing four Palestinian children and injuring several others, Mohyeldin was ordered home by NBC executive David Verdi on flimsy 'security' reasons and replaced by a more 'popular' reporter, Richard Engel, who had never been to Gaza and doesn't speak Arabic.

Since that reporting, a Twitter campaign and related outrage has seen Mohyeldin sent back to Gaza.

There is also an interview by Amy Goodman with Glenn Greenwald about this topic on the issue of Democracy Now! for 18 July 2014

We can speculate on why NBC took this action, which on the face of it seems rather weird.

A report by Brian Stelter on CNN claiming to have insider knowledge says that NBC's motives were to place the much more popular (and presumably, manageable) Engel on the story which they knew would be big news for the week.

Incidentally, I heard a contributor to a debate yesterday on Press TV that CBS has also pulled its reporter from Gaza and for ostensibly the same reasons. I have yet to hear confirmation of this item.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Israel's war on Palestine: ordnance and propaganda

Readers will be interested in this email exchange between me and the BBC on 14 and 15 July 2014.

My complaint:


Throughout today's edition of Today on 14 July 2014 the news updates referred always to 'Israel's security operation in Gaza.' I suppose that refers to Israel's massive aerial bombardment of Gaza. Did the BBC invent that phrase or was it handed to them, as is so often, by its propagandist for Israel?

The term might well come from Airstrip One as it's a brilliant example of Newspeak. Mind you, I think that some Zionists might think that the term, 'security operation' doesn't quite pay justice to Israel's generous action in getting kindly pilots to drop chocolates and toys from their wonderful flying machines onto the grateful children of Gaza below."

The BBC's reply:

"Dear Mr Bennett 

Thank you for contacting us about the recent escalation in violence in Gaza and southern Israel. 

We have received a wide range of feedback about our coverage of this story across our television and radio programmes and the BBC News website. In order to use our TV licence fee resources efficiently, this response aims to answer the key concerns, but we apologise in advance if it doesn’t address your specific points in the manner you would prefer. 

 BBC News has reported extensively on Israel’s recent military actions in Gaza. Reports on the BBC News Channel, on BBC One’s main news bulletins and during radio news bulletins have detailed the series of airstrikes on Gaza. We have reported on the mounting civilian deaths and casualties following Israel Defence Force airstrikes, and on the infrastructural destruction of an already isolated and densely populated area.

 Our reporting has followed the unfolding of these events, as information has become available, as part of our very extensive coverage. Across this coverage we have heard from those who believe Israel’s response has been disproportionate and amounts to collective punishment of the Palestinians, as well as from those who disagree. 

We have reported on the context of the conflict in light of Israel’s continuing blockade of the strip and on the resulting socio-economic deprivation. We have also detailed the considerable differences between Hamas and Israel’s respective military capabilities and have detailed Israel’s modern defence systems, such as Iron Dome:  

BBC News has also examined the cause of the conflict, as seen by each side, including the impact of the blockade and the occupation. We believe we have reported on these issues in a fair and impartial manner. Please be assured we raised your concerns with senior editorial staff at BBC News. T

hank you, once again, for taking the time to contact us. 

Kind Regards 

 BBC Complaints"

The BBC appears to have been stung by criticism, not only by me, of its terminology in describing Israel's bombardment of Gaza. The term "security operation" is surely Orwellian and might well have come from Monty Python. The BBC is so entrenched in it's pro-Zionist bias that it loses all contact with reality.

I have learned that there was a demonstration outside Broadcasting House in London on 15 July. This was referred to by Michelle Hussein, the Today presenter, in a piece concerning Gaza. This consisted of an interview with Jonathan Freedland (who writes for the Guardian, the BBC and the Jewish Chronicle) and Greg Philo, Professor of Communications and Social Change at Glasgow University and author of the book "Bad News for Israel".

The piece begins at 02:39:00 in and can be found following the link below: 

Monday, July 14, 2014

Sweden's disgraceful behaviour concerning Assange

I recently received this update from Wikileaks. It is written by Julian Assange's lawyers and very clearly makes the case that the Swedish government's insistence on maintaining a warrant for his arrest is baseless.

Wednesday, July 09, 2014

An interview not to be missed

This posting is a wonderful interview with the admirable Sarah Harrison, Wikileaks editor and acting director of Courage Foundation.

I strongly recommend that people listen to this interview by Amy Goodman of Sarah Harrison.  Here is the link:


Terrifying events in Israel

Readers will be vaguely aware of what's happening in Israel, the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. However, since the BBC and other mainstream media give so little hard information it is refreshing that Democracy Now! (the New York based radio/television station) does give very comprehensive news about what's happening there.

It is amazing that the plight of the Palestinian people continues without the world as a whole taking action.

This is the edition of DN of 8 July 2014: