However, Mr Fry is a signed up member of the Israel-bashing fringe group Jews for Justice for Palestinians (JfJfP). He's hardly the sole person of halachic Jewishness but of a faith other than Judaism to belong. The group strikes me as a rag, tag and bobtail assemblage of the well-intentioned, the ill-intentioned, and the politically naive. Some (admittedly by no means all) of its members – like Mr Fry himself – have tenuous links to Judaism, and some are "non-Jewish Jews" in Deutscher's sense. On its website it mocks Abe Foxman of the ADL for taking umbrage at a recent article by Karl Vick in Time magazine which bears this offensive statement:
'In the week that three Presidents, a King and their own Prime Minister gather at the White House to begin a fresh round of talks on peace between Israel and the Palestinians, the truth is, Israelis are no longer preoccupied with the matter. They're otherwise engaged; they're making money; they're enjoying the rays of late summer. A watching world may still define their country by the blood feud with the Arabs whose families used to live on this land and whether that conflict can be negotiated away, but Israelis say they have moved on.'(Incidentally, the BBC, in a feature about Tel Aviv – "Is Tel Aviv the New Miami?", featuring sunbathers and opening with the line "The ladies of Tel Aviv are on the hunt for gold" – seems to have been inspired by Vick's statement.)
But to return to Mr Fry. In 2008, when Israel, against all the odds, achieved its 60th anniversary, he joined with many another "as-a-Jew" in signing a malevolent letter that appeared in the Israel-demonising and increasingly antisemitic Guardian. It stated, inter alia:
'As Edward Said emphasised, what the Holocaust is to the Jews, the Naqba is to the Palestinians....We cannot celebrate the birthday of a state founded on terrorism, massacres and the dispossession of another people from their land. We cannot celebrate the birthday of a state that even now engages in ethnic cleansing, that violates international law, that is inflicting a monstrous collective punishment on the civilian population of Gaza and that continues to deny to Palestinians their human rights and national aspirations.'This week, Mr Fry and a bunch of "usual suspects" signed a mean-spirited letter to the ever-obliging Guardian vehemently opposing the state visit of the Pope on the following grounds:
'Opposing the distribution of condoms and so increasing large families in poor countries and the spread of Aids. Promoting segregated education. Denying abortion to even the most vulnerable women. Opposing equal rights for lesbians, gay, bisexual and transgender people. Failing to address the many cases of abuse of children within its own organisation. The state of which the pope is head has also resisted signing many major human rights treaties and has formed its own treaties ("concordats") with many states which negatively affect the human rights of citizens of those states. In any case, we reject the masquerading of the Holy See as a state and the pope as a head of state as merely a convenient fiction to amplify the international influence of the Vatican.'Ah! Hang on a moment! Don't the Pope-bashers' strictures regarding the promotion of large families, insistence on segregated education, regarding women as baby machines, and the oppression of gays apply equally if not more so to sections of the Islamic world, fundamentalist members of which wish to drive every other religion and social system, including secular democracy, off the face of the earth?
Mr Fry, the leftwing "intelligentsia", the Guardian, and the JfJfP group (which is about to send a Break-the-Gaza-Siege boat to Hamastan; according to unconfirmed reports it will set sail on erev Yom Kippur!) should be condemning the following chilling statement that a top Hamas official has just made (hat tip: http://www.gloria-center.org/gloria/2010/9/millions-of-virgins-millions-of-martyrs), stating that
every Muslim should have a lot of sons and train them to be terrorists and hence martyrs, and concluding :
"If this is the culture of the nation today, who will be able to stop it?...As long as we continue on this path, nobody on Earth will be able to confront the resistance, or to confront the mujahideen, those who worship Allah and seek martyrdom."
"'You will be victorious on the face of this planet. You are the masters of the world on the face of this planet. Yes, [the Koran says that] 'you will be victorious,' but only 'if you are believers.' Allah willing, 'you will be victorious,' while America and Israel will be annihilated, Allah willing. I guarantee you that the power of belief and faith is greater than the power of America and Israel. They are cowards, as is said in the Book of Allah: 'You shall find them the people most eager to protect their lives.' They are cowards, who are eager for life, while we are eager for death for the sake of Allah. That is why America's nose was rubbed in the mud in Iraq, in Afghanistan, in Somalia, and everywhere.... America will be annihilated, while Islam will remain. The Muslims 'will be victorious, if you are believers.' Oh Muslims, I guarantee you that the power of Allah is greater than America, by whom many are blinded today. Some people are blinded by the power of America. We say to them that with the might of Allah, with the might of His Messenger, and with the power of Allah, we are stronger than America and Israel.'"But such are the double standards of the Guardianistas and their ilk that no condemnation is likely to be forthcoming.