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)

Thursday 18 August 2011

British Yoofs Wiv Plenty of Nuffink

Leafing through my favourite doorstop, the recently-published Palgrave Dictionary of Anglo-Jewish History, it's not difficult to  find many examples of youths from deprived parts of London, including the very areas in which recent rioting took place, who went on to achieve great things. Indeed, such individuals, typically from immigrant households in which Yiddish, not English, was spoken, are frequently encountered.

Percy Barnett (1859-1941), for example, who had the early misfortune to be placed in London's Jewish Orphanage, was such a brilliant pupil there that he won a place at the City of London School and then went up to Trinity College, Oxford, winning a valuable scholarship despite competition from 40 upper-class boys from England's great public schools. He became an influential educator and author.

Paul Goldberg (c1897-1961), born into grinding poverty in London's East Ham, managed by application and ability to become a top civil servant in one of the Whitehall ministries.

The Billig siblings, Levi (1897-1936) and Hannah (1901-87), the children of Russian refugee parents in Whitechapel, became, respectively, a scholar of Semitic languages (he was cold-bloodedly murdered by an Arab during the troubles in Jerusalem in 1936) and a much-loved physician in the East End who was the heroine of an air raid on Wapping in 1941 when she treated the wounded despite being injured herself (she ultimately made aliya).

Selig Brodetsky (1888-1954), fled a pogrom in his native Ukraine with his parents and many siblings in 1893, settling in the East End.  A brilliant pupil, he won a mathematics scholarship to Trinity College, Cambridge, where in 1908, to the immense pride of East End Jewry, he was bracketed senior wrangler.  He went on to hold the chair of mathematics at Leeds University, and served as president of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

I could go on ...

Such individuals, who overcame poverty and antisemitism to attain their desserts, were born into families in which book-learning was prized and academic achievement revered, both for their own sake and because they were the key to a fulfilling life and to upward mobility.

Alas.  In certain milieus today, doing well at school is equated with being nerdy, uncool, sissy, and automatically invites bullying ...  It was noticeable that in the recent riots no bookshops were targetted, no kindles among the must-have items sought by the plundering mobs.

There are no responsible or respectable male role models in countless families on "sink estates"; teenage pregnancy succeeds teenage pregnancy, and the entire cycle of single mother, absent father, alienated gang-prone child repeats itself over and over and over again.

A gang of looters, hooded and masked for their "exclusive" television interview, and by no means unintelligent youngsters, told Sky TV that they have no remorse for what they'd done - one, aged 16, declared:
"Everything we wanted we could get...I done this basically to provide for my family. I got some stuff for my son and I got some stuff for me, like some clothes, trainers."
When asked whether he regretted his actions he replied:
"No because I'm watching my plasma that I just got. It feels like Christmas came early, ya know?"  Read more:
And see
as well as

The historian David Starkey has incurred the wrath of a leftist lynch mob for stating (on BBC2's Newsnight programme) that in some parts of London:
  "[T]here has been a profound cultural change....The whites have become black. A particular sort of violent, destructive, nihilistic gangster culture has become the fashion.
 Black and white, boy and girl operate in this language together. This language, which is wholly false, which is this Jamaican patois that's been intruded in England.
This is why so many of us have this sense of literally a foreign country." 
See also

It's hard to disagree that "violent, destructive, nihilistic gangster culture has become the fashion" when considering the repellent misogynistic "gansta rap" that pervades much of what passes for modern "culture",  the fact that even sons and daughters of affluent families took part in the looting, the blazing buildings, the casual murders of people protecting property, and such repugnant scenes as the student mugged while injured, or this moped rider viciously pulled from his machine by feral thieves:

Tony Sewell has an outstanding article on the current malaise:

Melanie Phillips notes, inter alia:
'[M]ulticulturalism is the doctrine which says that no culture can ever claim precedence over any other. So there can be no hierarchy of values, and no society can uphold its historic traditions and values against any challenge. It is therefore by definition impossible for a multicultural society to uphold liberal values over their opposite – or, indeed, to uphold the fundamental democratic axiom of ‘one law for all’.  It is also an oxymoron; for without an overarching set of cultural values to which everyone equally subscribes, there is no cultural glue to keep together a society -- which then disintegrates into a war of group against group, value against value and the strong versus the weak.
 It is multiculturalism which has done so much to wreck Britain; it is multiculturalism which has resulted in police neglect of black-on-black murder and gang warfare; it is multiculturalism which has helped create the anomie, amorality and utter absence of attachment to any notion of the common good which manifested itself in the anarchy on the streets of British cities.'
Mark Steyn's piece is superb, but must be read in its entirety to be fully appreciated.  Here's the flavour:
'[O]ne-fifth of children are raised in homes in which no adult works – in which the weekday ritual of rising, dressing and leaving for gainful employment is entirely unknown. One-tenth of the adult population has done not a day's work since Tony Blair took office on May 1, 1997.
If you were born into such a household, you've been comprehensively "stimulated" into the dead-eyed zombies staggering about the streets this past week: pathetic inarticulate subhumans unable even to grunt the minimal monosyllables to BBC interviewers desperate to appease their pathologies.... The great-grandparents of these brutes stood alone against a Fascist Europe in that dark year after the fall of France in 1940. Their grandparents were raised in one of the most peaceful and crime-free nations on the planet. Were those Englishmen of the mid-20th century to be magically transplanted to London today, they'd assume they were in some fantastical remote galaxy....
Her Majesty's cowed and craven politically correct constabulary stand around with their riot shields and Robocop gear as young rioters lob concrete through store windows to steal the electronic toys which provide their only non-narcotic or alcoholic amusement....
This is the logical dead end of the Nanny State.... The United Kingdom has the highest drug use in Europe, the highest incidence of sexually transmitted disease, the highest number of single mothers, the highest abortion rate. Marriage is all but defunct, except for William and Kate, fellow toffs, upscale gays and Muslims....
 Big Government means small citizens: it corrodes the integrity of a people, catastrophically. Within living memory, the city in flames on our TV screens every night governed a fifth of the Earth's surface and a quarter of its population. When you're imperialists on that scale, there are bound to be a few mishaps along the way. But nothing the British Empire did to its subject peoples has been as total and catastrophic as what a post-great Britain did to its own.'


  1. "The whites have become black" is an offensive way to make a point about white British cultural erosion. Starkey was also quite offensive when he said that David Lammy (the black MP) "sounds white", because he was equating whiteness with respectability and morality. I don't think Starkey is or was intending to sound racist, but I do think he could have benefitted from speaking more carefully.

    As ever, Mark Steyn's piece is brilliant.

  2. Thanks, Bunty. I don't think Starkey meant to sound racist - although he doesn't resile from controversy.


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