Jamie's Blog

Refutation of Anyabike

Tags: Opinions

In my last post I detailed why an article for the Daily Mail was knowingly misleading in a number of ways. I mentioned a “few other idiots” and then said I couldn’t be bothered to deal with one of them. This is that one. Anyabike made a medium post which is now doing the rounds [1] – including an endorsement from Andrew Neil, who really should know better. It’s clearly wrong on some counts but I’ve seen it twice today so I’m following it up. I suggest you read it before continuing.

The “Terrorists”

Now, from my last post you may remember I’m not actually saying Khalaf & al. weren’t involved with Munich. I think Khalaf and al-Omari probably were, but I haven’t seen any solid evidence for it, and Anya’s source on al-Omari is, in my opinion, insufficient1. I’m still not convinced Bseiso was involved.

She starts by saying she won’t take the accusation of “terrorist” at face value, which is commendable. Edit: Initially, I thought the source she used looked dodgy [2], but I wasn’t happy with my hunch. So I tracked down the original Facebook post and checked it myself. I still had questions, but since then she has provided me a much better source, the Irish Times [3] interviewing one of the known terrorists, which definitively implicates Khalaf and al-Omari. Still no primary source on Bseiso or Abdel-Hamid.

Remember that Khalaf, al-Omari’s direct superior, became a strong voice for peace in his later years [4], so I would argue it doesn’t necessarily matter so much anyway. In part of my previous post, I included this excerpt from an article at the time of Khalaf’s death [4]:

“In the past,” [Khalaf] said, “we believed that this land is ours alone, and we did not believe in the idea of coexistence between two states.”

“Everything that has happened to the Palestinian and Israeli people — the blood which has been spilled, the victims, the maimed — has moved us to react to the call of every Palestinian and Israeli child, so that we can take a serious step toward peace,” he said.

“Just as you have some extremists, we also have many such people,” he said. But “we have concluded that we cannot destroy the Israeli people,” he said.

“There can be no peace without two states which will co-exist side by side,” said Khalaf, “and which will be able to say to the entire world: the war in the Middle East has ended, and the tragedy is over.”

We’ve historically shown leniency to terrorists who became peacebrokers (Mandela, Martin McGuinness), so that is at least not an incorrigible position to hold in our society. In fact, they were killed in an attack by a Palestinian terror group who believed they were passing information to the West2. The other notable member, Bseiso, who was killed by the Mossad, was at the time of his death a major contact for Western intelligence; his assassination lead to reprisals against the Mossad by France [5], as well as bemusement within Israeli intelligence itself, who had struck him off their kill list [6].

The Monument Location

On things that I would still maintain Anya got wrong (along with the Daily Mail), she also says that “15 yards” is “clearly nowhere near the distinctive canopy,” which requires pretty poor comprehension of distance (reminder, that’s less than 15 metres, or, the distance from my kitchen to my front door).

You can even see the canopy Corbyn was standing under in a picture of the monument, which I found in one of her own sources [7]:

Fig. 1 Looking South onto the monument in the cemetery. Note the canopy adjoins a stone arch to the top right, which is consistent with fig. 2, 3. Reproduced from [7].
Fig. 1 Looking South onto the monument in the cemetery. Note the canopy adjoins a stone arch to the top right, which is consistent with fig. 2, 3. Reproduced from [7].

Addendum: an absolute unit in her comments has found the cemetery on Google Maps, which supports this positioning; he also makes many of the same points as me [8]. From this work, along with the images from [7], I’ve pinpointed exactly where I believe the monument to be – right next to the canopy.

Fig. 2 Location of the monument. The graves are clearly visible. Note the entrance, South, visible in fig. 1, 3. You can see the shadow of the arch on the canopy. Reproduced from Google Maps.
Fig. 2 Location of the monument. The graves are clearly visible. Note the entrance, South, visible in fig. 1, 3. You can see the shadow of the arch on the canopy. Reproduced from Google Maps.

Annoyingly, it’s covered by a tree, but this matches fig. 4, where there is a tree to the left. This confirms it is in fact the “similar” monument cropped to the left in the Daily Mail’s photo:

Fig. 3 The Daily Mail’s picture looking South onto the graves, showing the monument to the left and arched entrance beyond it, consistent with fig. 1, 2. Reproduced from [9].
Fig. 3 The Daily Mail’s picture looking South onto the graves, showing the monument to the left and arched entrance beyond it, consistent with fig. 1, 2. Reproduced from [9].
Fig. 4 The Daily Mail’s direct shot of the monument looking East, tree to left. Note sloping wall right, corresponding to a jump in wall-height visible in fig. 1. Reproduced from [9].
Fig. 4 The Daily Mail’s direct shot of the monument looking East, tree to left. Note sloping wall right, corresponding to a jump in wall-height visible in fig. 1. Reproduced from [9].

I cannot stress how hard I tried to find that cemetery myself, so I am well impressed by [8]. It also means that the Daily Mail assertion that the monument is “in a different part of the complex” is a flat-out lie [9] – you can see it in their own damn picture!

Final bits and bobs

Moving on, she writes,

This clearly raises the question who were these “others killed by Mossad agents in Paris in 1991”? The Sunday Times suggested this could be a reference to Atef Bseiso, killed in Paris in 1992, some say by Mossad.

Corbyn denied this to Sky News:

‘Asked if he was honouring Bseiso, he said, “Absolutely not…”’

However, he only denied that he was honouring Bseiso, it’s a reach to say that he was denying they were amongst the “others” honoured by other members of the delegation. Anya is a lawyer – would this stand up in court? To be clear, if the question had been, “Was Bseiso honoured during the event?” he would have given a different answer – he has consistently said that other people in the delegation honoured them, though it’s likely he didn’t know who they were at the time. Again, I cover this here.

Addendum: Corbyn has always said he laid a wreath at the 1985 monument, which we have now seen was right next to where he was standing. He has always said he did not lay a wreath at Bseiso or others’ graves, but that members of the delegation did. These two Sky News interviews do not contradict this: in 2017 he talks of his actions; in 2018 he talks of the actions of others. Again, Anya is a lawyer: she should be able to follow the meaning of basic sentences. It is infuriating that people are making such a selective interpretation to arrive at the conclusion that they want.

Another problem which is neither here nor there – despite apparently doing her research, she also claims al-Omari and Khalaf were “killed, apparently by Mossad” – in fact, they were killed by a rival Palestinian faction as I mentioned above.

Finally, she called herself a feminist but then retweeted a TERF, so she’s wrong about that, too.

Bibliography

[1] Anyabike, “Corbyn’s open secret,” Medium, Aug. 2018, https://medium.com/@anyabike/corbyns-open-secret-22a70fa03254.

[2] Palestinian Media Watch, “Fatah FB glorifies terrorist mastermind behind Munich Olympics massacre,” 19-Dec-2016. [Online]. Available: https://www.palwatch.org/main.aspx?fi=549&doc_id=19967. [Accessed: 16-Aug-2018].

[3] L. Marlowe, “Massacre in Munich,” Jan. 2006, https://www.irishtimes.com/news/massacre-in-munich-1.1004843.

[4] G. Sedan, “News analysis: PLO may have suffered fatal blow with assassination of two leaders,” Jewish Telegraphic Agency, Jan. 1991, https://www.jta.org/1991/01/16/archive/news-analysis-plo-may-have-suffered-fatal-blow-with-assassination-of-two-leaders.

[5] R. Bergman, Rise and kill: The secret history of Israel’s targeted assassinations. Random House, 2018, https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=eKNaDwAAQBAJ&pg=PT250&redir_esc=y#v=onepage&q&f=false.

[6] A. J. Klein, Striking back: The 1972 Munich Olympics massacre and Israel’s deadly response. Random House, 2007.

[7] بتوقيت القدس المحتلة, “صور ..رئيس الوزراء يزور حمام الشط,” Palestinian Times, Jan. 2012, https://paltimes.net/post/9007.

[8] D. Waite, “Comment on "Corbyn’s open secret",” Medium, Aug. 2018, https://medium.com/@briggzagrebpartnership/there-are-several-major-weaknesses-in-what-you-write-e52b47bc5733.

[9] E. Simnaz, “Corbyn’s wreath at Munich terrorists’ graves: Photos show Labour leader at tribute event for Palestine ’martyrs’... Including plotters behind 1972 slaughter of Israeli Olympic athletes,” Daily Mail Online, Aug. 2018, http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-6048807/Photos-Labour-leader-Corbyn-tribute-event-Palestine-martyrs-linked-Munich-massacre.html.


  1. Prior to verifying the source, I called it “garbage”, but now it’s just not clear where the information came from.

  2. I can’t be bothered to find the reference, though, so you can ask me for it if you care.