My name is Fred and I am a gay conservative living in Ottawa. This blog supports limited government, the right of the State of Israel to live in peace and security, and tries to expose the threat to us all from cultural relativism, post-modernism, and radical Islam. I am also the founder of the Free Thinking Film Society in Ottawa (

Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Melanie Phillips' blog

I'll keep saying it - Melanie Phillips is a must read blog. Here is a letter written to her about conditions in Newcastle.
'I feel compelled to write to you again regarding what has become an increasingly desperate situation involving vicious anti-Israel campaigning in my home city of Newcastle upon Tyne. Around one year ago, representatives from the Durham branch of the Palestine Solidarity Campaign began campaigning every Saturday afternoon in Newcastle city centre to “Free Palestine”. This included various posters and leaflets stating “End Israeli Apartheid”, “End the Israeli Occupation” and “The Wall Must Fall”.

'After watching for several weeks with much dismay, I confronted one of these campaigners and asked why they were promoting such false propaganda. I suggested that words such as “occupation” and “apartheid” grossly ignored all of the acts of violence perpetrated against Israel, completely ignored the fact that Palestine has rejected a two-state solution on every occasion that was offered to it and dangerously paints Israel as an aggressive, expansionist state. More importantly, I said, their false propaganda was contributing to rising anti-Semitism in the UK.

'Their response shocked me: they weren’t surprised anti-Semitism was rising; it was the Jews' own fault (a popular libel), Israel was a Nazi-like state, Hamas and Islamic Jihad were merely military organisations fighting against oppression and the Israeli army deliberately murders Palestinian children. When I asked if they had ever read the Hamas charter or any of Hamas’ public rhetoric calling for the destruction of Israel, these people said such comments were largely fabricated by the Zionist press who attempted to falsely paint freedom fighters as terrorists to justify their own killings.

'If this wasn’t bad enough, I watched in utter dismay every weekend as more and more people signed their petition, and what started as a stand staffed by 2 or 3 individuals grew to become a large group of campaigners. Around three months ago, a second campaign desk was set up every Saturday on Northumberland Street (Newcastle’s busiest shopping street) outside Marks & Spencer with a large poster stating “Marks & Spencer support Israeli state-sponsored terrorism against Palestine”. A second board depicted Ariel Sharon with the slogan “World's Number One Terrorist” and leaflets calling for a boycott of Marks & Spencer and any other Israeli produce were being distributed.

'However, worse was to come last Saturday (25th). A third set of campaigners paraded through the city with a large cardboard illustration of a forklift truck with the words “Caterkiller” denouncing the fact that Caterpillar supply trucks to the Israeli army to bulldozer 50,000 people from their homes. Their banner depicted the classic sinister, hook-nosed Jew as driver with skull-shaped smoke emerging from the trucks' exhaust. My partner was handed a leaflet from these people. The amount of lies, libels and defamations are horrifying, with the leaflet stating, amongst other things, that Israel deliberately steals Palestinian land and water, and deliberately murders (bulldozes) peace activists.

'This is nothing more than a defamatory smear campaign, racist in its undertones and responsible for the mass distribution of misinformation to the British public.'