Eretz Israel is our unforgettable historic homeland...The Jews who will it shall achieve their State...And whatever we attempt there for our own benefit will redound mightily and beneficially to the good of all mankind. (Theodor Herzl, DerJudenstaat, 1896)

We offer peace and amity to all the neighbouring states and their peoples, and invite them to cooperate with the independent Jewish nation for the common good of all. The State of Israel is ready to contribute its full share to the peaceful progress and development of the Middle East.
(From Proclamation of the State of Israel, 5 Iyar 5708; 14 May 1948)

With a liberal democratic political system operating under the rule of law, a flourishing market economy producing technological innovation to the benefit of the wider world, and a population as educated and cultured as anywhere in Europe or North America, Israel is a normal Western country with a right to be treated as such in the community of nations.... For the global jihad, Israel may be the first objective. But it will not be the last. (Friends of Israel Initiative)

Sunday, 1 February 2015

À Londres, Ils Sont Juifs ...

In the heavily Jewish Golders Green area of London, an avowedly Christian "Solidarity Patrol" shows its sympathy for British Jews in view of reports of heightened antisemitism (hat tip: Rita; https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tJkQcCU6lpU):


It is to Golders Green that Gorgeous George will soon be heading, to take part in an edition of BBC "Question Time"; his presence has, of course, been condemned by many as unnecessary provocation on Al Beeb's part, while the Board of Deputies of British Jews welcomes it as a chance to discredit George's opinions.

Have a look at this video, a collection of vignettes of viciousness  on the Israel-hating movement's part (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ob26PJfq1XE):


 One of the newspaper articles that is shown in the first video above relates to Eric Pickles, Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government.  He delivered a powerful speech on the occasion of Holocaust Memorial Day:
"Seventy years ago this week, Soviet troops stormed a large complex of Nazi prison camps in south-west Poland. They quickly discovered the apparatus for mechanised mass murder. The camps were called Auschwitz-Birkenau: a byword for the darkest depths of human depravity, and a period of unparalleled evil in human history.
Last Sunday, I travelled to Poland to represent the UK at this year’s liberation ceremony. The event was more poignant than ever, as it’s likely to be the last significant anniversary where survivors are present. It was also more sombre, because it takes place in the aftermath of another violent and disgusting attack on European Jews.
Recently I’ve heard people try to distinguish the antisemitism that propelled the Holocaust from the murders in Paris. They argue the former was born from fascism and ancient European prejudices, while the latter was driven by Islamic extremism and Middle Eastern politics.
This distinction is superficially reassuring. After all, we overcame the Third Reich 70 years ago. And as for those Jew-hating jihadists, well, they hate everybody else too. But there’s a problem: there is no distinction. It’s a delusion.
As I have said before, the irrational hatred of Jews is like cancer. It can be defeated, even crushed, but it can come back. Last year, Europe experienced a relapse, and only the most naïve would dismiss the potential risks that lie ahead.
Cancer begins in just a few malignant cells, but then it spreads, mutates and kills. The journey to the gas chambers began with small steps: newspaper columns, graffiti and broken windows. It ended with the murder of six million Jews and the destruction of European civilisation.
Some will dismiss such talk as hyperbolic paranoia. They’re wrong. The anxieties of French Jews were growing long before Amedy Coulibaly entered the Hyper Cacher supermarket, and increasing numbers were already emigrating to North America, Israel and Britain.
It is well documented that Jewish people in the UK are considerably less anxious about prejudice than elsewhere in Europe. But that is no cause for conceit, because last year we witnessed our own surge of antisemitic incidents.
Jews were spat at in the streets, intimidated and physically attacked. Cemeteries were desecrated, and the walls of Jewish homes daubed with vile and offensive graffiti. In July and August, there were more antisemitic incidents than the entire previous year.
These pernicious crimes have been accompanied by a creeping cultural acceptance of antisemitic attitudes and behaviour. A Jewish film festival was banned on the basis of Israeli policy in Gaza. A branch of Sainsbury’s cleared their shelves of kosher food to appease anti-Israeli protesters. During the Paris attacks, a respected BBC journalist started questioning a Parisian Jew about Israeli policy, as if she somehow bore responsibility.
These acts of antisemitism were almost casual, and their symbolism extremely troubling. The people and organisations involved eventually offered apologies, sometimes partial and begrudging, but I was dismayed by the initial denial and incomprehension that their behaviour was antisemitic.
The history of antisemitism shows the worst atrocities can begin when ordinary people turn a blind eye to small acts of discrimination, and minds drift lazily towards a mainstream, even fashionable, acceptance of prejudice.
Even some left-wing councils have jumped on the bandwagon. Labour-run Leicester considered it acceptable to play student union politics and ban Israeli-manufactured products. The Mayor of Tower Hamlets tried to create his own municipal foreign policy by flying the Palestinian flag. These public bodies should use their position of authority to promote community cohesion – not to grandstand and stir up tensions.
There is no excuse for this behaviour, or discrimination of any kind. Britain is a country where people of all faiths, and all backgrounds, can live peaceful and prosperous lives. British Jews have made and continue to make a huge contribution to national life: in business and commerce, the arts and literature, through volunteering and charities.
Britain without its Jews is not Britain at all, and this Government will remain at the centre of efforts to combat antisemitism. Last month, my department published a report about what we’re doing. That includes paying for extra security at Jewish schools, punishing online hate crime, and tackling anti-Semitism in football.
We are also ensuring all schoolchildren are taught about the Holocaust, so the next generation understands the horrors caused by inaction, and challenges any attempt to dilute the British values of tolerance and mutual respect.
Extremist behaviour has no place in modern Britain. It is a direct challenge to the values that define our nation. These values are very precious to us, and this Government will ensure they are never surrendered at the expense of British Jews. Freedom of religion is a hard-fought British liberty, and it is one that we will robustly defend."
According to this report Israel is even less popular in Britain than Iran.

The video of the magificent speech in Israel's favour given by Baroness Deech in a House of Lords debate on recognising a Palestinian State the other day is posted on this blog's Facebook page (link at the top of my sidebar) and on many other blogs.  Baroness Deech, a distinguished British educator,
is the daughter of Josef Fraenkel,  a renowned Yiddishist and co-author of Theodor Herzl, which appeared in 1943.  She is the lady about whom BDSer and ageing rocker Roger Waters made a grubby little crack drawing attention to her maiden name a couple of years ago.

It's worth savouring her speech in print:
My Lords, with unfortunate timing, this debate is taking place two days after International Holocaust Remembrance Day. In the 70 years since the liberation of Auschwitz, despite the millions spent on Holocaust education and remembrance, the museums and memorials and the school visits to concentration camps, there is a gap in memory and education that needs to be bridged. The desire and opportunity to murder 6 million people of a different religion whose presence on his territory the murderer resents must not arise again. The message Jews took from the Holocaust was that their nationalism was necessary. It has been a success. Israel is not Saudi Arabia; it is not North Korea, Iran or Pakistan. It is a flourishing and democratic outpost in the desert with an astonishing record. It is a safe haven, an imperative for existence that can be applied to no other country in the world.
Yasser Arafat declared an independent state of Palestine in 1988 and recognition followed from 100 states. The subsequent failure to change anything on the ground demonstrates the truth of the international law on recognition: namely, that statehood has to be founded in fact, not in numbers of recognitions.
As far as this Motion goes, almost every word of it is dubious. There can be no contribution towards a two-state solution because recognition of Palestine, falsely based, will only make the situation more dangerous. There can be no two-state solution unless Palestine recognises Israel, which she has steadfastly refused to do. There is no statehood attaching to Palestine in international law because it does not meet the criteria. A sovereign state of a Muslim Palestine has never existed—not before 1948, and not before 1967. It was Egyptian and Jordanian territory. Ehud Olmert’s offer of a state was rejected in 2009. The intention of many of the players in the region has always been the elimination of a Jewish presence in the area, not the establishment of yet one more Muslim state. The problem with Israel is not that it has displaced anyone; according to its neighbours, the problem is that its population is largely Jewish.
The practical result of a premature state of Palestine would simply be to free up the import of arms into the new state. The aim underlying this move is the takeover of Israel. Why is there no preparation by the Palestinians for statehood? There is no governance structure, no independent administration, no industrialisation and no negotiation of trade agreements with its neighbour, Israel. The state would not be a state in any recognisable form. Its leaders have declared that the current residents, whose status as refugees defies all logic, would remain defined as refugees. They would not be granted citizenship, nor would the state of Palestine open its doors to the Palestinian diaspora—those Palestinians whose miserable lives in Syria, Egypt, Lebanon and elsewhere in the region are worse than the lives of those in Gaza and the West Bank. It has also declared that it would be a Judenrein state, unlike the 1.8 million Arab residents of Israel who have chosen to stay there.
So if a state has no citizens, and will not grant them citizenship in defiance of international law, what would it be for? It would be for a closer jumping-off point for the demolition of the State of Israel in pursuance of the alleged right of return. As other noble Lords have said, Fatah and Hamas want a one-state solution. Why should Israel recognise Palestine if there is no reciprocity but only a step towards elimination in return?
In the climate of extremism that is sweeping Europe, why should a country want to take a step that risks feeding it more? The only purpose is manipulative—to allow Palestinians to pursue claims against Israel at the UN and other international bodies. In the face of what is happening in Europe, what agenda do the proponents serve? Would it not be a good idea to examine the excesses of this position and turn to state building on the ground as an alternative?
Israel’s antagonists often accuse her of apartheid. In the worst times of genuine apartheid in South Africa, Mandela was planning his future independent country’s constitution, educating its leaders, preaching peace, not vengeance, and acting as a statesman. In the early days of Zionism, before statehood, the Jewish residents of what was to be Israel prepared their governance structure, set up the organs of a state, created universities, made the desert bloom, prepared a legal system and a free press, trade unions, hospitals and charities. None of this is present in the Palestinian leadership; nothing is readied. It is not a state under international law, but I have no time to describe that.
The worst element, of course, is that the residents will not be citizens but will be regarded as refugees whose aim is to return to a different state—Israel—rather than establishing citizenship in their own state, and the new state would be wholly dependent on international funds. For it to be recognised now—by the General Assembly, for example—would simply send the message to every other non-state entity in the world, such as the Basque country, Northern Cyprus, the Kurds and even Scotland, to bypass normal laws and claim to be a state. Let there be a two-state solution by all means if the Palestinians will create a homeland, accept the refugees, lay down their arms and be a country of peace.
And this insightful article about media bias against Israel, an article now getting the publicity it deserves, is very much worth reading. 

5 comments:

  1. Will Stephen Sizer be leading this march
    Anti-Semitic Rally Opposing ‘Jewification’ of Britain
    http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/anti-semitic-rally-opposing-jewification-of-britain/2015/02/01/

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    Replies
    1. How repulsive. Surely they won't be allowed to proceed.

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    2. I'm sure they'll claim it's "free speech"
      An interesting side note:
      Neo-Nazis Plan Rally in London Jewish Neighborhood
      The event's poster claims to show a menacing-looking "Shomrim" volunteer, but is in fact a scene from Woody Allen's spoof movie "Faded Gigolo" featuring actor Liev Schreiber.

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    3. Thanks as always, Ian.
      Off to the land of nod. Will look tomorrow.
      (You're amazing, Sherlock Holmes!)

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