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 10 February 2013

The Aussie Anti-Israel Arena Acquires A Star Performer

Compare and contrast these two letters, which appeared in the same British newspaper (one not noted for its love for Israel) on the same day:

'The real problem with the Gerald Scarfe cartoon [which, of course, appeared in another British newspaper, the Sunday Times, on 27 January, sparking outrage] is that it perpetuates the "big lie" about the Jewish state.
Not the blood, not the hook-nose: that's what all his cartoons look like. It promotes the idea that Zionism/Israel/Netanyahu/Jews (take your pick) are singularly at fault for the plight of the Palestinians.
Israel is not blameless, but what about Palestinian division and rejectionism? The ethnic cleansing of Jews from the Arab world? The rabid anti-Semitism throughout the Middle East? Last Monday, the day after the cartoon was published, 10 Palestinians were killed just as Scarfe had prophesied... but they were murdered in Syria, a conflict that has claimed more lives in two years than the entire Arab-Israeli conflict.
That is why the cartoon could be described as anti-Semitic even though its author is not.'
A reasoned and entirely reasonable view of the matter, written by a Jewish individual in Hertfordshire.

His letter followed this one, authored by 28 Jewish and apparently Jewish individuals, plus (or are they all members of?) the Brighton-based Jews for Boycotting Israeli Goods, which reads:
'The suggestion by Zionist supporters that Gerald Scarfe's cartoon in The Sunday Times was anti-Semitic is a classic example of the abuse of the term. It drains the term of all meaning and, like the boy who cried wolf, desensitises people to anti-Semitism when it does rear its head.
Jennifer Lipman's grudging defence ... of Gerald Scarfe described the cartoon's portrayal of Palestinian blood cementing the Separation Wall as "profoundly offensive" because the intention of the Wall was to prevent suicide bombing. We disagree. Palestinian blood is being shed and the security pretext for the wall was a means of further confiscating Palestinian land. That was why the wall didn't follow the 1967 Green Line.
On 23 January, without warning or excuse, Israeli soldiers killed student Lobna Hannash, 21, outside al-Arroub Agricultural College. On 17 January a boy of 16, Saleh al-Amareen, was shot in the head at a refugee camp in Bethlehem. These are but two examples of why the cartoon was extremely pertinent.
Those who constantly raise the bogus cry of "anti-Semitism" whenever Israel is criticised are trading on the memory of the past oppression of Jews in order to justify the current oppression of the Palestinians.
As Jewish opponents of Zionism and racism we wish to declare that we do not believe that there was a trace of anti-Semitism in Gerald Scarfe's cartoon. Holocaust Memorial Day was indeed a fitting time to signal the evils of racism. As the Prophet Micah said: "They build up Zion with blood, and Jerusalem with iniquity." (Micah, 3:10).'  [My emphasis]
Several of the signatories to that putrid statement are seemingly ubiquitous anti-Israel activists.  Their names appear on most if not all "as-a-Jew" denunciations of the imperilled little Jewish State.  At least two participated in the despicable disruption of the IPO concert in the Albert Hall in 2011, and, if my memory serves me correctly, have been involved in similar stunts.  The signatories include three out of the four academics who recently implored Cliff Richard to cancel his forthcoming visit to Israel.  Another signatory has addressed Al Quds Day crowds in London as a featured speaker.  Yet another posts anti-Israel messages on a certain social networking site with almost manic frequency and zeal, messages which are sometimes so shockingly intemperate (and attract shockingly intemperate messages of support in return) that the mind boggles at the discovery that the person in question is a Jew.

There's a stand-up comedian on the list, the halachically Jewish son of Communist parents.  His name appears immediately below that of the first signatory, the well-known actress Miriam Margolyes.

Ms Margolyes, the subject of this memorable post by blogger Ray Cook, needs little introduction to readers in either her native Britain or in Australia, where she has maintained a home for some years.  An inveterate critic of Israel, she took part Down Under  in Caryl Churchill's controversial Seven Jewish Children: A Play for Gaza, a play seen by many as antisemitic.  That performance, which also starred the well-known Aussie actor and comedian Max Gillies (husband of a prominent critical-of-Israel Jewish publishing executive whose academic press has published anti-Israel works by Antony Loewenstein and Jacqueline Rose) was held to raise money for Australians for Palestine.

Last month, Ms Margolyes (pictured, receiving her naturalisation certificate from prime minister Julia Gillard), became an Australian citizen, and told the Sydney Morning Herald:
'Her desire to become a citizen crystallised when she wanted the right to vote against the former prime minister John Howard [whom I, Daphne, once had the privilege of meeting and who is, incidentally, outstandingly pro-Israel], whom she described as a ''pillock''.
On her agenda as a new citizen are joining the Australian Labor Party, getting to know more indigenous Australians and improving her knowledge of the ''other Australia'' beyond the middle class.
Quoting John F. Kennedy's famous line, ''Ask not what your country can do for you; ask what you can do for your country'', Margolyes said she wanted to help ''Australia become a nation of thinkers''....
She is also worried about the surge of nationalism and ugliness towards foreigners. While she plans to be a loyal citizen, she does not plan to follow blindly.
''This sheila is not going to shut up,'' she said ....'


  1. Miriam Margolyes. She was in 'Harry Potter and the Crematorium of Sobibor'.

  2. OT
    I'm surprised Miriam didn't turn up here as well.
    Hundreds Turn Out in Support of Assad, Hezbollah at Australia Rally (VIDEO)

    1. I think she'd baulk at that! Thanks for the link, Ian.
      Am desperately trying to put the finishing touches to preparations to move (back) to Oz myself!

  3. Australia's loss is Britain's gain.

    1. Ah, but there's such a thing as straddling two continents, you know!
      There's at least one British-based Israel-demoniser who has been known to sign Aussie Israel-demonising statements on the basis of former residence (no names, no pack drill) as well as British ones.

  4. Replies
    1. I'm in the Mother Country, and hope to depart in a few weeks.
      Apologies for the delay in replying - have been busy with the move!


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