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October 26 2016 4 26 /10 /October /2016 11:55

The nice thing about despair is that you can overcome it.

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August 31 2016 4 31 /08 /August /2016 16:34

The Labour Party members don’t support the people they elected who don’t support the person they want to re-elect so that the wider public will definitely not support or elect Labour at the next election.

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June 30 2016 5 30 /06 /June /2016 18:53

Mr Corbyn quoted as saying: "Our Jewish friends are no more responsible for the actions of Israel or the Netanyahu government than our Muslim friends are for those various self-styled Islamic states or organisations."

It is only ‘OUR Jewish Friends’ that are exempt from responsibility for the ‘actions’ to which Corbyn objects. That would leave a large number of Jews who he does not exempt from such responsibility, because the overwhelming majority of Jewish people, of all political persuasions are not friends of my Corbyn.

It is not worth enunciating the obvious distinctions between Israel, the Netanyahu government and Isis. It is as worthwhile as indignantly setting out the differences between my pet cat and a football referee, even one who might drink milk or exterminate the odd rodent.

I am not your friend, Mr Corbyn, and treat your nonsense with the contempt it deserves. It is more troubling that there are many of your supporters, the grass roots type, who are sufficiently close to the mud to believe, propagate and foster the hatred of those that some might perceive as not being your friends and of being responsible for the Isis-like fantasies that you and others ascribe to Israel or the Netanyahu government. There is no need to apologise for the offence you have caused. It is taken from whence it has come. It is indicative of Mr Corbyn’s attitude to Israel, and whether that is perceived or found or posited by Ms Chakrabarti, or anyone else for that matter to be either anti-Semitic or offensive, or both or none of the above, it is obnoxious.

Personally, but then who am I to say anything, I do not hold all Labour Party members responsible for the offensive remarks of their leader. Nor do I believe that all Labour party members are anti-Semites. It is only those who actually dislike Jews who are anti-Semitic. I am also not responsible for the actions of Israel or any of its governments. That does not mean that I am not filled with awe at Israel’s litany of achievements and more profoundly at how normal and moral Israel is when it is faced with constant vilification and deadly attacks.

It is the people of Israel who should be proud of who they are and what they constantly achieve. To build a functioning economy, democracy with dynamic diverse people is nothing short of miraculous; built as it has been under constant threat of annihilation and economic sanction. Please associate me as a Jew with Israel. It is a source of pride. I wish I was more ‘responsible’ for Israel and its achievements.

I do not hold all Labour Party members responsible for the doings and sayings of Corbyn. They are no more responsible for his nonsense than moderate Muslims are for Isis, than even Jewish non-friends of Corbyn’s may be for Israel and even all football administrators may be for England’s performance against Iceland. Mr Corbyn and his views have been part of the Labour Party for a long time. Those Labour supporters who are not anti-Semites nor vilifiers of Israel have campaigned and marched and allied yourselves to the Corbyn-types for a long time. He has sat in parliament for decades as a Labour member. He is unmistakably one of you!

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June 14 2016 3 14 /06 /June /2016 11:53

One might think that the EU referendum was a debate about whether we wish to be governed by unelected idiots in Brussels or our own elected idiots in Westminster. It is contended that the choice is about which way we will be better off. If that is so this gives you an opportunity to contribute. You can enhance my welfare and ensure that I am better off by remitting the appropriate amount to the following account: 60 09 05/ 70149879. Iban: GB67NWBK60090570149879

Bic: NWBKGB2L

Thereafter, when your side wins the referendum, you will be assured that I, as you correctly predicted, am better off. And if your side do not prevail at least you can have some comfort that not everyone is left worse off.

Please share this with as many as possible.

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June 9 2016 5 09 /06 /June /2016 19:15

Abbas claims that the Bible supports the notion that the Palestinians lived in the Land before Abraham. This is according to the headlines of an article that I have yet to read. Baseless drivel that revises history or recast reality, is a waste of time. He probably may eans the following: Right at the beginning of the whole of the world God says, ‘Let us make man in our image, in our form.’ The classic question, dealt with by ancient Jewish sources who up till now have been considered to have preceded the Palestinians, is to whom was the Almighty speaking when he made this statement. Presumably Abbas has an alternative to the treatment of this question. He must understand that the Creator was speaking to the Palestinians. Who else could He have been addressing? Surely this must be the Biblical reference to which Abbas was referring. The Palestinians and Palestine go back a long way. God would not dare to have moved without consulting the Palestinians first; nowadays no one else does. All of this happened before there were Jews, In the Middle East or anywhere else!

Of course the Rabbis would have suppressed the real meaning of this verse! Jews, anti-Semites and others love to blame the Rabbis for distorting everything, particularly the religion they practice.

You might have thought, applying an immature and disingenuous logic, that Abbas was trying to create the impression that the Biblically mentioned Philistines, who lived in the neighbourhood at least at the time of Abraham, were and are the Palestinians. But Abbas would not make such a crass and unsupportable claim, no Palestinian would. Everyone knows that although this ancient people lived in and around Gaza they disappeared long before the events in the Jewish Bible had concluded. The Greeks occupied the area. They made no mention of the Palestinians in their literature. The Palestinians of that time, who must have existed if Abbas and others are to be believed, left us no historical or archaeological record of their stance towards the Greek imperialists, among the various items they neglected to leave behind.

Josephus makes no mention of the Palestinians. Presumably his Zionist sympathies, dating back to before the Jewish people were exiled from Israel, make him erase any mention of the Palestinians in an act of shameless revisionism.

The Romans themselves make no mention of the Palestinians. They do make a mention of the Jews and do build an arch in Rome to commemorate their removal of the Jews from Israel, the destruction of the Jewish Temple, which stood, ironically on a location known throughout the ages, until the contemporary Palestinians put us right, the Temple Mount. Maybe the Romans wanted to destroy Temple to free it from occupation to give it back to the dispossessed Palestinians. After all the Romans renamed the country then called Israel, previously known as, not Palestine but Canaan, as Palestine. Of course the Romans renamed the capital. Mysteriously they did not call it Al Quds! Aelia Capitolina was a city built in a Roman colony. Nobody of the time mentions the Palestinians, even though the Romans call the country Palestine. Dreadful imperialist revisionism. Their Zionist sympathies, despite war and devastation wrought upon the Jews, prevented the Romans from recognising the actual Palestinians. From the writings of the Romans, the early Christians and other contemporaries one might believe there were no Palestinians in the area called Palestine at the time.

That part of the world comes under Muslim domination within a few hundred years. One would anticipate a sympathetic approach and appropriate recognition of Palestinian national aspirations. But nothing comes the way of the Palestinians in the first millennium. Nobody, not even the Muslim historians, find it necessary to mention them.

As the Middle Ages unfold the western Christian world takes a new found interest in Jerusalem and the Holy Land. Crusades to liberate the land take place. Perhaps the Crusaders, like many modern Christians, thought the area should be restored to the Palestinians and wanted to throw out Egyptian, Turkish and other Muslim occupiers. If modern commentators, like Ken Livingstone, are to be believed the Palestinians have been there for two thousand years. (He does not go as far back as Abbas has now done). Yet the historical records of the time, stories and even legends, not only fail to notice the existence of any Palestinians in the area, they never describe a single refugee camp. Unlike our modern reports of and from the Middle East, there are no Palestinian commentators. No professor at any Western university champions the plight of the Palestinians. Richard the Lionheart was not imprisoned with nor did he meet any!

But none of this really matters. Even though the Palestinians elude history until nearly the end of the second millennium, they are, Biblically, so Abbas, the scholar tells us, the ancient people of days of yore. Let us forget that both Jewish and Muslim sources ascribe Abraham as the father of the Arab peoples. The Palestinians are more ancient. They precede their own progenitor. Let us ignore the Muslim ‘narrative’ that rejects the ‘Bible’ as authentic. The Bible is a corruption of what is actually the Koran. The Bible is not reliable, but if I can squeeze in an interpretation of any aspect of the Jewish scripture to support a ridiculous and false claim, then boy, the Bible is Gospel truth!

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May 27 2016 6 27 /05 /May /2016 14:45

Hiroshima was horrible. The aftermath was awful. There is peace today with Japan, which is an integral part of the democratic world. We should cherish and celebrate that peace and welcome the contribution Japan makes to the world’s economy and technology. One should never forget that the Japanese regime of the time was savage and fascist. A pacifist approach of let’s sit down and sing songs around the campfire was never going to work with the Imperial regime. They were allied with Hitler. Their massacres in China tend to be obscured by the horrors of the gas chambers.

They gave the world suicide bombers. Kamikaze flyers targeted military ships and not civilians, but the tactic has been adapted and developed far more effectively by today’s fascists. Willingness to wear the suicide belt does not merely kill many non-believers, it also emphasises how awful your enemy must be if you are willing to blow yourself up. Japan fought the War aiming to fight to the death. The Imperial Fascists, like today’s Islamists, did not know compromise. It was you or us: one has to die.

Like today’s Islamists the Japanese of World War Two had no respect for human rights or human life. Prisoners of war were to be tortured and humiliated. My Jewish uncle, captured by the Germans in North Africa, was accorded the privileges and protection of the Geneva Conventions. While the Japanese did not attempt a wholesale destruction of any group, they certainly used starvation, torture and wanton cruelty on prisoners. They were not giving up. They would fight until the last one was dead.

One hopes that no government uses nuclear weapons again. One hopes that no government or leader needs to utilise military solutions again.

The leadership of that time understood the enemy. The enemy, in the guise of Japan, was determined to fight until utter destruction of either themselves or their foes, the Allies. We should mourn the victims of war. The people of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the civilians, were not the perpetrators of the megalomaniac war and its cruelties. We should cry for them. But President Truman understood that his enemy was never going to seek an understanding. Conventional defeat would take years of relentless fighting and more destruction of Allied lives. A homicidally determined enemy will not surrender. Such an enemy must be defeated. That is painful and ugly in the extreme. Soldiers do not emerge from war stable, kind and sensitive. Brutal enemies who hide behind civilians must be pursued and defeated. The war against those who would dominate the world with terror is a long battle. Elusive enemies hiding and obscured are difficult to fight. Countless others are inspired to join their nihilistic war. More combatants emerge yet they must be defeated.

If Harry Truman had not bombed Hiroshima and Nagasaki it can be argued that Barak Obama would not be visiting Hiroshima today. He might never have been born, let alone been able to become the president of a great democracy. The Japanese Imperialists sought world conquest and showed ruthlessness in their quest. Had they not been defeated, albeit in a brutal and tragic way, what would have become of our world, let alone Japanese society? Japan today is not run by cruel and murderous militants. Japan is a peaceful and successful country.

Harry Truman understood this. Winston Churchill understood this. Barak Obama does not.

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May 25 2016 4 25 /05 /May /2016 14:41

I plunged into the depths of my soul and saw all the stuff that everyone else was kvetching about.

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May 23 2016 2 23 /05 /May /2016 23:27

There is something very delicious about the Scottish National Party members who want independence from the United Kingdom but want to remain part of the European Union! They don't want to be dictated to from London, rather Brussels.

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May 20 2016 6 20 /05 /May /2016 09:58

The requirement that justice must be seen to be done has come to mean that it must be made to look as if it has been done.

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May 3 2016 3 03 /05 /May /2016 12:36

Recently I addressed a letter to the BBC about the slur against Jews made by it in a report on the conviction of Yishai Schlissel, by describing him as ‘Ultra-Orthodox. This is what was written:

“Dear Rabbi Levin

Reference CAS-3797190-LGY47N

Thank you for contacting us regarding the BBC News website.

I understand you felt that it was unnecessary and offensive for the report entitled ‘Jerusalem Gay Pride: Ultra-Orthodox Jew convicted of murder over stabbing’ to state that Yishai Schlissel is an “ultra-Orthodox Jew”.

Whilst I appreciate your concerns, this report does not imply that the actions of Yishai Schlissel had any extensive support and it certainly does suggest that any Rabbis or ultra-Orthodox leaders advocate the use of violence against members of the LGBT community in Israel.

Yishai Schlissel was the author of a number of anti-gay pamphlets and attempted to justify his actions on religious grounds – for example, calling on Jews to “risk beatings or imprisonment” in order to stop the Jerusalem Gay Pride parade.

However, our previous reports on this particular incident have made abundantly clear the widespread condemnation right across Israeli society for his actions:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-33726634

Nevertheless, I would like to assure you that we value your feedback. Please know all complaints are sent to senior management and news teams every morning and we’ve included your points in our overnight reports.

These reports are among the most widely read sources of feedback in the BBC and ensure that your complaint has been seen quickly, by the right people. This helps inform their decisions about current and future reporting.

Thank you once again for getting in touch.

Kind regards

Terry Hughes

BBC Complaints

www.bbc.co.uk/complaints

NB This is sent from an outgoing account only which is not monitored. You cannot reply to this email address but if necessary please contact us via our webform quoting any case number we provided.”

Exactly as anticipated the letter fails to answer the substance of the complaint! Ah! What an excellent thing it is to have realistic expectations! The complaint is reduced to a critique of the offendee’s perspective: “I understand you felt that it was unnecessary and offensive for the report … to state that Yishai Schlissel is an “ultra-Orthodox Jew”.

Reduce your guilt by restricting the offence to the percipient’s sensitivity! The complaint was that the writer and editorial staff clearly felt that it was relevant for the readers to identify the religious persuasion of the convicted offender.

The next paragraph, the attempt to whitewash, may just contain a rather unfortunate Freudian slip: “, this report does not imply that the actions of Yishai Schlissel had any extensive support and it certainly does suggest that any Rabbis or ultra-Orthodox leaders advocate the use of violence against members of the LGBT community in Israel.” (Emphasis added)

The writer wants me to accept that there is no ‘extensive support’ fort the actions of Yishai Shlissel. This leaves open the suggestion that there may be some support. Where is this support? Where are the responsa from ultra-Orthodox Rabbis (or other Orthodox Rabbis) calling for, promoting or condoning the stabbing of anyone? Where in the Jewish Code of Law, the Talmud, The Torah itself is there any support for Yishai Shlissel as taught and understood for thousands of years?

The writer and the BBC miss the point of the complaint entirely! The perpetrator may have written pamphlets or even treatises or limericks for that matter. His own deluded and sick point of view cannot superimpose a religious justification onto his actions.

But more fundamentally the letter exposes the substance the complaint: “You shamelessly identify him as an 'Ultra-Orthodox Jew', as if this has something to do with the crime for which he was convicted. Your organisation would never identify any other religion even when large numbers of adherents of that religion commit atrocities in the name of that religion. In fact your organisation will go out of its way to point out that the suspect(s)/perpetrator(s) and their crimes/misdeeds/terror have nothing to do with the religion in whose name the suspect/perpetrator has claimed to act.” (Emphasis added)

The writer of the letter, the writer of the original headline and various other editors and whoevers remain of the conviction that the purported religious persuasion of the perpetrator is relevant to the offence.

On today’s BBC News web page a story about a death in a fight in Luton, where a local man has died the article ends: “A man has been arrested in connection with the incident and is being questioned by officers..”

It may well be that the BBC have no information about the religion of the arrested individual or access to his literary efforts.

Did the BBC report on Oscar Pistorius’s religion? Dr Shipman’s? The guy who was convicted for destroying Barings?

On 14 January 2015 the BBC website includes the following in its reporting on the Charlie Hebdo massacre:

“France is emerging from one of its worst security crises in decades after three days of attacks by gunmen brought bloodshed to the capital Paris and its surrounding areas. “

Gunmen attack Charlie Hebdo offices”

“Once inside, the men - now known to be brothers Cherif and Said Kouachi

The report says, fairly, “Witnesses said they had heard the gunmen shouting "We have avenged the Prophet Muhammad" and "God is Great" in Arabic while calling out the names of the journalists.”

And:

“French media say Cherif was a convicted Islamist who was jailed in 2008 and had long been known to police for militant activities.”

The BBC is very careful to point out that the BBC itself is not ascribing religious motivation to the attackers!

On 08 January reporting on how Parisians were taking to the streets the BBC says:

“Security has been stepped up across France in the wake of the attack, which is believed to have been carried out by Islamic militants.

Many French Muslims were among the demonstrators on the streets, keen to show solidarity with the victims and their families.”

The BBC distances the atrocity from the religion in whose name it was perpetrated. Headlines of “Gunmen” do not carry the same impact or implication as “Ultra-Orthodox” BBC, you are not heroes for doing the damage in your headlines. You know the impact of headlines, implications and associations.

It is abundantly clear that, either the BBC writer has ignored the main thrust of the complaint, or it can be argued that he and the BBC, having been afforded the opportunity to correct the inaccuracy chooses not to do so.

Your meaning BBC, very clearly, is that the attacker’s religious motivation makes his purported membership of a particular religious grouping relevant to his crime. Albeit said elsewhere he was misguided and deluded and not overly popular with the main stream of his particular lunatic fringe, his religious persuasion is relevant to you. Ultra-Orthodox Jews, BBC, believe, quite resolutely, in the Biblical Injunction of the Ten Commandments, not to commit murder.

If some nutter donned a black hat, tzitzit, a black kippa and said he was going to eat a pork sandwich in the middle of Trafalgar Square on Yom Kippur, would you, BBC, describe him as (a) Ultra Orthodox, (b) an apostate or (c) as a nutter?

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