American Herald Tribune | David lives: “Let he who is without sin cast the first stone” – is an exhortation that may be applied not just to individuals and groups of people but to whole nations. But despite the appeal of its “natural justice” to ordinary fair-minded people, as many first stones continue to be cast by the “sinful” as in the lifetime of the wise man who said it.
In those days of course the meaning was literal – and the significance of casting the first stone was clear; it mightn’t cause the poor chained or half buried victim much injury, but the subsequent barrage would inevitably cause her death. Nowadays such trial by the mob is regarded quite differently by states (with some notorious exceptions) and even the crime for which it was punishment – female adultery – barely exists.
How ironic then that “trial by the mob” has now almost assumed dominance over so much of the Western public space, and its often trivial subjects have come to monopolise the mainstream and social media to such an extent that discussion of serious issues and real criminality is stymied. And it’s hard to escape the feeling that this may be in the interests of some powerful elites, who just may be exerting a malign influence over those media.
It’s not difficult to “guide the narrative”. Can any of us really claim to know that some Hollywood star behaved inappropriately to another Hollywood star twenty years ago, and to swear that our certainty of his guilt has nothing to do with what “everyone else” is saying? This is without even considering whether the alleged act was something that we ourselves had never done, would never do, and would never even think of doing.
Could we swear that we never laid a hand on a colleague below the belt, perhaps just as a simple act of warmth or consolation, or advice, as we join in the hysteria that saw Michael Fallon resign for allegedly doing something of that kind fifteen years ago?
But to debate this, as people do to excess, is to miss the point entirely – which may be “the point”. As has been explored recently by David Edwards of Media Lens, the pursuit of a government minister who has been and continues to be indirectly responsible for the deaths of tens of thousands of people in Iraq and Yemen, for something as pathetically trivial as placing his hand on a journalist’s knee is truly perverse.
This phenomenon of social media driven “trial by the mob” is in fact so perverse that it can reasonably be considered as a “conspiracy” by the West’s power elites that helps to drive forward their illicit agenda and geo-strategic objectives – objectives that have absolutely nothing to do with the issues that “the mob” now focuses on. Western powers don’t actually give a damn about “democracy and freedom”, or “human rights and humanitarian assistance”, unless these things can be used to further their expansion of military power and influence.
And it doesn’t take much to join the dots when we look at just who the Western powers support in the Middle East. One of these countries, Saudi Arabia, has recently succeeded in breaking through the preferred “news” topics of Anglophile media, thanks to the dramatic behaviour of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and the associated “resignation” of Lebanon’s PM Saad Hariri, in Riyadh. Saudi Arabia was however already in the UK news because of a serious controversy over UK arms sales to the Kingdom.
The Saudis need these arms to continue their slaughter of Yemenis, as despite the obvious inability of the Houthis and their national allies to fight back against the aerial onslaught or break through the blockade on the ground, the defiant Yemenis simply will not give in. The terrible situation for them, brought about mostly by the strangulation blockade of the main port of Hodaida, enforced by the UK, US, French and Australian navies in coordination with the Saudis, has at least elicited a public outcry. Michael Fallon’s call for an end to these protests – which he feared could put the Saudis off their second purchase of fighter jets from the UK – drew serious condemnation from the opposition in Parliament, but was soon masked by the “sexual harassment” claims in the media. Such allegations soon take on a life of their own as more “he touched me too” stories stoke the public’s interest; by contrast most people wouldn’t know the difference between a bad Sheik and a golden handshake.
The question of Britain’s cooperation with the Saudi Kingdom has recently become even more significant because of the war on Syria, in which both the UK and Saudi Arabia are closely involved. The two countries have a long history of collaboration in economic and military areas, as well as the more high-profile engagement between the “Royals”, epitomised most recently by Prince Charles’ participation in a Saudi Sword Dance routine.
The UK’s relationship with the Saudis as well as other Persian Gulf Arab states is however regarded with suspicion by many, and particularly those in Israel and the Jewish Diaspora. For them, Jews and Arabs will always be rivals and enemies even when they somehow end up on the same side, as has happened now over Iran’s role in Syria.
Illustrating this obstinacy and fear within the Israel lobby in the UK is the reaction to the discovery of an old letter written by Prince Charles, to his friend Laurens van der Post, just after his first visit to Saudi Arabia and the Persian Gulf. This was in 1986, in the early days of his marriage to Diana, and at a time of relative peace between Israel and its Arab neighbours.
Charles’ letter shows a surprising innocence of the Arab world, as well as a welcome lack of prejudice:
“Also I now begin to understand better their [Arabs’] point of view about Israel. Never realised they see it as a US colony.
I now appreciate that Arabs and Jews were all a Semitic people originally and it is the influx of foreign, European Jews (especially from Poland, they say) which has helped to cause great problems. I know there are so many complex issues, but how can there ever be an end to terrorism unless the causes are eliminated?
Surely some US president has to have the courage to stand up and take on the Jewish lobby in US? I must be naive, I suppose!”
Such simple truths are not welcome in that “Jewish Lobby”, to say the least:
Stephen Pollard, influential editor of The Jewish Chronicle, said: ‘To me this is the most astonishing element of the Prince’s letter. The “Jewish lobby” is one of the anti-Semitic themes that have endured for centuries. It is this myth there are these very powerful Jews who control foreign policy or the media or banks or whatever.’
He described the letter as ‘jaw-droppingly shocking’, adding: ‘That they [the Prince’s comments] come from the heir to the throne is unsettling, to put it mildly.’
What is actually shocking, though hardly surprising, is the apparent ignorance amongst the UK’s Jewish leaders of the existence and power of the Israel lobby, – an influence so well-illustrated by the whole tone of this article in the Daily Mail. But the presentation is also disingenuous; while Charles as well as others quoted more recently may refer to a “Jewish Lobby”, the problem for the Arab world that the state of Israel represents is from Zionism and the powerful Israel lobbies in NATO states that push forward its objectives.
There is however something else that the UK Zionists seem unaware of, or reluctant to admit to. Not only has there been a radical new engagement between Saudi Arabia and Israel, with the Saudis and other US and UK allied Persian Gulf states effectively abandoning their support for Palestine and even control of Al Aqsa, but there is now apparent cooperation in a new offensive against Hezbollah and Iran, described perceptively here and here by Alastair Crooke.
So significant is this change that one wonders that the “influential editor” of the Jewish Chronicle could really be so ignorant. Raking around in the Royal archives for evidence that the heir to the British throne has secret anti-Semitic views could just be a little stone throwing, while the real action goes unseen…