Aaronovitch Miliband And Me: Attacking Zionists Human
Rights Moral Credentials
5 January 2010
By Gilad Atzmon
David Aaronovitch , The Times and Jewish Chronicle
pundit, doesn’t learn the lesson. We are not exactly
on equal footings and we don’t see eye to eye. Though
we happen to fling mud at each other, it seems that
what I point out about him sticks, some of it
permanently. His invective against me, on the other
hand, blossoms into kudos. Aaronovitch fails to
realise that within the discourse which I am engaged
with, attacks from Zionists are interpreted as moral
Five years ago when I was subject to Aaronovitch’s
vitriol for the first time, a friend in the media
called to congratulate me. “To be slagged off by
Aaronovitch” he said, “is almost as great as being
smeared by Benjamin Netanyahu”. I was naive then, I
didn’t know much about Aaronovitch, but as soon as I
learned who he was, I realised that with his Zionist
apologist record, his islmophobic ranting and support
of the Iraq war, the man would be best advised to seek
shelter rather than attract attention.
Since then I debated Aaronovitch at the Oxford
Literary Festival. We were sharing a platform with
Nick Cohen, another Jewish Chronicle writer. We were
supposed to discuss the rise of anti-Semitism. Sadly
enough, Aaronovitch didn’t do his homework. Rather
than discuss the subject, he decided to turn my
favourite quotes into a short theatrical play starring
himself. This play made it into a film soon after.
You Tube Film
When my time to talk arrived, I pointed my finger at
the two most enthusiastic supporters of the illegal
war in Iraq within the British press: Cohen and
Aaronovitch. All I had to add was very little. My
argument was actually succinct: “With these two Jewish
Chronicle writers supporting a criminal war at the
midst of British press”, I said, “a possible rise of
anti Semitism should never take us by surprise”.
Aaronovitch lost his temper on the spot. When the
audience applauded me cheerfully he started to shout
at the crowd, he blamed members of the Oxford audience
for being anti Semitic. After the event he was fast to
run away in shame.
Listen to Aaronovitch’s Tantrum
However, it didn’t take too long before we realised
that Aaronovitch has another claim to fame. He is also
listed as an Israeli Hasbara (propaganda, Hebrew)
Author, without a doubt a very respectable title as
far as his Jewish Chronicle fan base is concerned.
A necessary question was raised immediately.
Considering the fact that the Iraq war is seen by many
as an Israeli war fought by British and Americans, was
the public support of an illegal war by a listed
‘Hasbara Author’ a mere coincidence? Aaronovitch had
plenty of time to remove his name from the Hasbara
list, he could also publish a disclaimer, but he
didn’t. The news started to spread.
Seemingly, this eventually started to bother him. I
have learned from the Jewish Chronicle this week that
Aaronovitch found 2,000 references to himself and
“Hasbara” online, and just about every one of them
come from cross-postings of two articles by horrid me,
an “old, anti-Jewish friend, the jazz-playing loony,
It was interesting but not surprising that Aaronovitch
decided to share his ordeal with his Jewish Chronicle
readers. Aaronovitch also writes for The Times. One
may wonder why the supporter of the war in Iraq and
apologist for the Israeli politics didn’t share his
misery with his dedicated conservative Times readers.
I guess that even Aaronovitch is clever enough to
realise that his crowd in The Times may not approve of
the fact that a leading interventionist may also be an
apostle for Israeli propaganda.
However, it is almost incredible to find out what
Aaronovitch has to say in his defence. ‘Nothing’ is
the answer. Aaronovitch doesn’t have any explanation
to offer. In fact he shouldn’t. He is a pro-war hawk
whether it is Iraq or Iran, he also lent his voice to
defend the Zionist crime in Gaza. He claims to combat
anti-Semitism and this is exactly what Israeli Hasbara
is all about. The Israeli propaganda site describes
itself as “disseminating truth about Israel and the
Jewish people”. I do not know what Jewish truth may
mean but I do know what the disseminating of kosher
ideology stands for; Aaronovitch fits in nicely,
I learned from Aaronovitch today that the Independent
apologised to him in respect to something they wrote
about his affiliation with Hasbara. I logged on to the
Independent site to see what this was all about. “We
wrongly stated that David Aaronovitch was a member of
the Hasbara committee, an organisation that seeks to
promote Israel's reputation”. I was very happy for
Aaronovitch, I may admit. However, I have never
thought that Aaronovitch was a Hasbara committee
member. He was just listed as an Hasbara author and
still is. “In fact”, says the Independent, “he is not
connected to Hasbara at all”. This is slightly
confusing but the Independent tries to clarify. “We
now understand that the Hasbara website describes
individuals as a ‘Hasbara author’ merely because
Hasbara themselves have referred to these individuals'
work on their site”. Fine, I thought to myself, this
could resolve the entire issue. I then logged to the
Israeli Propaganda site that contains a search window.
I learned immediately that this wasn’t the case.
Aaronovitch doesn’t have any article or entry on the
site except the list. The Independent either failed to
properly investigate the situation or were misled. The
Independent concludes that “the authors may have no
knowledge of this or any connection to Hasbara, as was
the case here”. Obviously, this is not the case,
Aaronovitch is aware that he has been listed as an
Hasbara author for some time, yet failed to publish a
However, in his Jewish Chronicle piece Aaronovitch
makes an attempt to tone down the importance of him
being listed as an Israeli propaganda author by an
Israeli state official site. ‘I am not alone’, says
he, ‘there are many others’. He then brings to our
attention very juicy and interesting list of
celebrities who, like himself ended up listed as
Israeli Propaganda authors:.
Christopher Hitchens who supports interventionism and
Neoconservatism is listed as an Israeli Hasbara
Jonathan Freedland a devoted fighter against anti
Semitism is listed as an Israeli Hasbara Author.
Melanie Phillips the woman behind Londonistan is
listed as an Israeli Hasbara Author.
Richard Littlejohn the man who addresses UK’s anti
semitsm is listed as an Israeli Hasbara Author.
Michael Gove a Conservative Friend of Israel is listed
as an Israeli Hasbara Author.
David Miliband who knows how to make friends with
Israel and how to appease Tzipi Livni when concerned
of a British arrest warrant against her for war crime,
is listed as an Israeli Hasbara Author.
Salman Rushdie who, according to the Jewish Journal is
a “Pro-Israel Muslim” is listed as an Israeli Hasbara
Jackie Mason who calls himself the Ultimate Jew is
listed as an Israeli Hasbara Author
The BBC is also on the list, unsurprisingly
considering its submissive surrender to IDF orders not
to enter during operation Cast Lead not even when it
was clear that the IDF operation was nothing but a
massacre. Similarly the BBC’s refusal to broadcast the
Gaza appeal revealed where the BBC stands in the
So far, none of the names and institutions provided by
Aaronovitch come as a big surprise to anyone involved
in the discourse. All the people and institutions
above have been engaged in one way or another in
“disseminating” something that may be regarded as
‘truth’ by one Israeli Hasbara official or another.
I am pretty sure that it must be pretty easy for one
to remove one’s name from the list or to publish a
disclaimer to diffuse that heavy cloud of, what is
commonly referred to as ‘a conflict of interests’.
I wonder whether David Miliband is aware of himself
being listed as an Israeli Hasbarah Author. I would
assume that if the foreign minister insists to
contribute to British politics in the future, he would
like to make sure that his name is removed from the
list. As long as he fails to do it, each of his
decisions and statements should be interpreted in the
light of his unchallenged affiliation with a foreign
However, Aaronovitch insists to pull the magic rabbit
out of his imaginary hat. He found some names that
somehow do not belong to the list. Such names are
Britain leading journalist, the Independent’s Robert
Fisk and whistleblower Dr Israel Shahak. I have to
admit that if Fisk is indeed an ‘Israeli propaganda
author’, he did a very good job of hiding it so far.
The same applies to the adorable Israel Shahak who was
dead for a decade when he was enlisted as an Israeli
propaganda author. Furthermore, according to the
Israeli Hasbara site, it lists authors who are
“disseminating truth about Israel and the Jewish
people”. From that very perspective both Shahak and
Fisk should be listed. In fact I want to be listed as
well. All I really do is disseminate the truth about
Israel and Jewish ideology.
I do not know much about anti-Semitism, I can only
discern that my considerable study of Jewish history
taught me that it is people like Aaronovitch who bring
the gravest of disasters on their fellow Jews.
Aaronovitch better mature and take responsibility for
his actions, writing and the wars he promotes so
As far as Aaronovitch and myself, I just think that
together with his celebrity Hasbara listing he
probably got himself another 2000 Google entries
associated with an Israeli Propaganda site. I am off
to play some “loony” jazz.