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 24 November 2011

"Marks & Spencer Stands For Misery & Suffering; Marks & Spencer Stands For Murder & Slaughter" (video)

"Don't ask the price - it's a penny."   Thus did  Michael Marks (1859-1907), an immigrant to Leeds from Slonim in the Tsarist Empire, where his father was an impoverished tailor,advertise the goods on display at his clothing stall in the Yorkshire city.  As is well-known, Marks & Spencer had its origins in the business partnership that the enterprising Leeds stallholder made in 1894 with the non-Jewish Thomas Spencer, who retired in 1903.  By the time Marks died, the firm already had 60 clothing stores in various parts of Britain, and was well on its way to becoming one of the staples of the British High Street, known for offering goods of high quality and reliability at a reasonable price.  Its flagship store in London's Oxford Street opened in 1938

Following Michael Marks's death the firm was run by his son, Simon (1888-1964, who was knighted in 1944 and raised to the peerage as the first Baron Marks of Broughton in 1961), and by his son-in-law Israel Sieff  (1889-1972, who became a life peer, Baron Sieff, in 1966), the son of a Lithuanian-born Manchester textile manufacturer and husband of Simon's sister Rebecca (1890-1966).  Marks and Spencer, an enlightened employer which enjoyed excellent staff relations, arguably reached its peak under the leadership of the Sieffs' son, Sir Marcus Sieff, Baron Sieff of Brimpton (1913-2001; knighted in 1971 and given a life peerage in 1980).  Its fortunes declined after the Marks and Sieff families requished control, although it remains, of course, a legendary giant of British retailing.

Simon Marks and Israel Sieff , who knew Chaim Weizmann when he was a scientist in Manchester, were prominent supporters of the Zionist movement and investors in the infrastructure of the Yishuv.  Simon Marks was President of the Joint Palestine Appeal and Honorary Vice-President of the Zionist Federation of Great Britain.   Israel Sieff was during the 1930s President of the Zionist Federation, and subsequently its Vice-Chairman for many years.  His many other positions relating to Jewry and to Israel included the longterm presidency of the Anglo-Israel Chamber of Commerce.  Lady Sieff, Simon's sister, was one of the founders of WIZO, the Women's International Zionist Movement, and a lifelong champion of Zionism and Israel.  Baron Sieff of Brimpton was also an active Zionist.  For example, he was President of the Anglo-Israel Chamber of Commerce, Hon. President of the Joint Israel Appeal, and Chancellor of the Weizmann Institute in Rehovot.  The well-known Zionist Harry Sacher (1881-1971) who helped to win over the Manchester Guardian to the Zionist cause, and who played a not inconsiderable part in the talks leading to the Balfour Declaration, was married to Simon's sister Miriam (1892-1975), who was equally devoted to efforts for the Jewish Homeland and shared Harry's involvement with the Weizmann Institute.

Needless to say, the attachment of the Marks and Sieff families to the Zionist cause did not go unnoticed by Israel's enemies.  In 1973 Israel Sieff's brother Joseph Edward "Teddy" Sieff (1906–1982), who chaired the firm from 1967-72 and also served as Hon. Vice-President of the Zionist Federation, survived a bungled assassination attempt in the bathroom of his London home by no less a personage than the notorious Carlos the Jackal, firing a gun on behalf of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine.

For years, certainly since the first Intifada, there have been regular pickets from BDS maniacs outside Marks & Spencer stores, notably in Oxford Street, London, and Princes Street, Edinburgh.  In 2009 the Islamic Human Rights Commission in London launched a boycott of the celebrated retailer.

I've been concentrating on the repugnant spectacle and sound of the BDS movement in Australia (especially against chocolateer Max Brenner) so much recently that I overlooked a manifestation of the same on London's Oxford Street in September on the occasion of the 11th anniversary of the Intifada.  In the video below, produced by, we see a remarkable display of hatred directed not only against Israel but against Marks & Spencer.   It's no less than vilification, and extremely vicious - one of the two nastiest anti-Israel videos I've seen this week (the other is of ETA propagandists poisoning the hearts and minds of little children in Navarre).

In the video we see at first an overwrought Israel-vilifying girl, who later in the video blares the words in my header.  There's a plummy-voiced middle-aged woman bellowing at passers-by the mendacious charge that Israel is an apartheid, racist state.  There's a well-spoken pony-tailed youth whose speech is reminiscent of the subsequent "Occupy" madness; he also cries "It is murder! It is slaughter!"  There are accusations of "torture" and of "genocide" and other slurs.

And the footage is interspersed at intervals with each of ten reasons (supported by out-of-context quotations) why Marks & Spencer should be boycotted - all to the sound of a vilifying rap-type song. 


  1. We've had a Palestinian Arab demonstration, every Saturday afternoon, (A table with leaflets)outside the Birmingham UK M&S for some years now. I have yet to see any Arabs running it. I tend to worry when the demo is NOT there!

  2. Thanks, Darrin and Ian. The lack of Arabs at the London demo is quite striking too.

  3. In August there was a Muslim social worker (I think she was, or anyway a local community spokeswoman of some kind) and she said the kids should loot from M&S and Tesco not the ships they were looting. I thought she might have mentioned the first big shops that came into her head but now I'm not so sure.

  4. Thanks for the interesting history of M & S. People of humble beginnings with such dedication, commitment to hard work and a passion for what they believed in.

    The scumbags outside......

  5. Hard to tell, Anon.
    The words anodes and cathodes come to mind, SG.

  6. I couldn't bear to watch the whole video, but what I saw was enough.

    Each time I see the preponderance of females at those ugly hate feasts, I move a little closer to becoming a real misogynist - but that would be emulating them. After all, what female who doesn't hate women, could possibly support a culture where women are officially much less worth than men, that genitally mutilates little girls, "marries" children off to old men, etc.


    While London (and Melbourne and Sydney) seem to become uglier and uglier, in Paris, France, the light at the end of the tunnel might not be the headlight of an oncoming train...

    Naa na na naaa na...pokes tongue out at Lee Rhiannen and her ilk...

  7. The females involved seem to wear skimpy tanktops, Rita - often while wearing a keffiyeh. It looks so strange.


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