Love Jews, Hate Israel.

Living life as a British Jew sometimes makes me feel like we have regressed 200 years. This feeling is even more pronounced at general election time.

200 years ago a Jewish state was nothing more than a figment of some madman’s imagination. Jews were nothing more than a religious people who were to be looked after, nurtured and cared for by the country in which they resided. Under Muslim rule they were considered “millet“; they could organise their own religious practices just as long as they were loyal to the Empire.

And on 21st December 1789 Clermont-Tonnerre declared in revolutionary France: “To the Jews as a nation nothing, to the Jews as individuals everything.”

Jews were expected to commit wholly to the country they lived in, which they did. There was to be no mention of Jewish autonomy or, dread the thought, a Jewish state.

And so forward 200 years to present day UK.

Our politicians have worked out that by mentioning Jews, but not Israel, they can have it both ways; ingratiate themselves with their Jewish constituents while being able to harness the Muslim vote. The perfect combo.

Just before this general election election was called the three main parties were united in the decision to expel an Israel diplomat after Israel’s, as yet unproven, use of British passports to assassinate a self-confessed Hamas terrorist.

And in the FT of 31 March David Cameron said: “Unlike a lot of politicians from Britain who visit Israel, when I went I did stand in occupied East Jerusalem and actually referred to it as ‘occupied East Jerusalem’”.

Why did Cameron feel the need to call it “occupied”? He was adopting the language of one side, the Palestinians. No one called it “occupied” when it was controlled by Jordan between 1949-1967, when Jewish cemeteries and synagogues were trashed by the Arabs and the most religious site for Jews, the Western Wall, was allowed to fall into total disrepair.

Israeli Jews were banned from visiting the Wall. Had I been around at the time I would have been able to visit it but only by flashing said British passport.

But now the election is on there is hardly a negative mention of Israel, if it is mentioned at all, from the politicians wanting my “Jewish vote”.

David Cameron recently spoke to the Movement for Reform Judaism and failed to mention Israel. He praised the “Jewish people” and said he was appalled by the rise in anti-Semitic incidents. Most worthy was Cameron’s assertion that he will ban preachers of hate and extremist groups that are radicalising British students.

But a little more acknowledgement of why anti-Semitism is on the rise would have been welcome; because of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Israel is unpopular with many British Muslims because of the conflict. But that does not mean that Israel is wrong in defending its innocent civilians from terror attacks. If Cameron was more courageous he would have pointed that out.

The Liberal Democrats’ views on Israel are now notorious. No need to keep mentioning Nick Clegg’s call for a ban on the sale of arms to Israel, so leaving it highly vulnerable to attacks from Hamas and Hezbollah.

But Ed Fordham, their candidate for Hampstead and Kilburn, posted On the Doorsteps of Hampstead and Kilburn on the JC blog in which he goes out on a limb to mention the concerns of “one house of Jewish voters” and his “Jewish friends” as well as his visit to Dennington Park Road synagogue.

Then Labour politician Diane Abbot pops up on the JC website with her blog Fighting for Yemeni Jews. She wants to offer the persecuted Yemeni Jews sanctuary in the UK. Maybe they would like to go to Israel though? For some reason Abbot does not consider this obvious option.

Diane Abbott - Fighting for Yemeni Jews

There is no mention of Israel in her entire post but then again Abbott thinks Israel commits war crimes as you can see in the video below in which she passionately denounces Israel during Operation Cast Lead.

It is hypocritical that although in her post Abbott admits that Yemeni Jews are being persecuted “because of insurgent Islamicism”, when Israel defends itself against said “insurgent Islamicism” she considers Israel to be committing “war crimes”.

So although it is good to see that politicians are so concerned for British Jews, what they don’t realise is that theirs is a job only half done.

For most British Jews, although totally committed to Britain, concern for the welfare of Israel is part-and-parcel of their Jewishness just as for most British Muslims, also totally committed to Britain, their concern for the Palestinians is part-and-parcel of their Islam.

So these politicians need to be courageous enough to express that what Israel is up against is also what many of our own troops are currently dying because of in Afghanistan; said “insurgent Islamicism”.

They also need to speak out against the vicious campaign for boycott, divestment and sanctions against Israel, the latest incarnation of which is the Advertising Standards Authority’s banning of pictures of Western Wall in tourism adverts for Israel, unless the Wall is described as being on “occupied land”. The ASA’s delving into politics is unwelcome and wrong.

But as things currently stand, after some 200 years of enlightenment British politics seems to have regressed to the once extinct ideology of “to the Jews as a nation nothing, to the Jews as individuals everything”. It is a worrying development.

An edited version of this article appeared in the Jewish Chronicle

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63 responses to “Love Jews, Hate Israel.

  1. Richard:

    How many more distortions and exaggerations do you want to cram into one post?

    Our politicians have worked out that by mentioning Jews, but not Israel, they can have it both ways; ingratiate themselves with their Jewish constituents while being able to harness the Muslim vote. The perfect combo.

    Israel and British Jews feature very low on this election’s radar, for obvious reasons. If Israel featured higher you actually might have something to worry about…

    Just before this general election was called the three main parties were united in the decision to expel an Israel diplomat after Israel’s, as yet unproven, use of British passports to assassinate a self-confessed Hamas terrorist.

    You’re regressing: when the passports of the citizens of a sovereign State are being abused by another State, the former has NO choice but to act. Or do you think only Israeli citizens deserve protection???

    Why did Cameron feel the need to call it “occupied”?

    Sigh… because that’s what most Nations and people believe. Try to be consistent for once: forget the legalese for a minute; you want a TSS I heard you say? Simply isn’t going to happen without a Palestinian Capital in E.J’sem. You’re simply sowing the seeds for more unrest and trouble ahead on a whim. Some Two Stater you are…

    But now the election is on there is hardly a negative mention of Israel, if it is mentioned at all, from the politicians wanting my “Jewish vote”.

    Don’t kid yourself: the UK has supported Israel through thick and thin for very long now. But the British Jewish voting bloc is really very small. Priorities lie elsewhere.

    But a little more acknowledgement of why anti-Semitism is on the rise would have been welcome; because of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

    This is simply not a topic for these elections. The problem is too small.

    The Liberal Democrats’ views on Israel are now notorious. No need to keep mentioning Nick Clegg’s call for a ban on the sale of arms to Israel, so leaving it highly vulnerable to attacks from Hamas and Hezbollah.

    Oh man. Honestly. Israel receives this year again USD 3,000,000,000 in no-string-attached aid but a ban of British arms sales would leave “it highly vulnerable to attacks from Hamas and Hezbollah”??? Do you actually realise what Hamas is (or rather what it isn’t)? Pre-Cast Lead an estimated 15,000 fighters [cough!] armed with AK-47s, some RPGs, some homemade explosives and some unguided stovepipehat rockets. No artillery, no tank infantry, no guided missiles, no Navy, no air defences, no air force, no SAMs.

    Hezbollah is a purely defensive organisation, increasingly part of Lebanon integral system of defense (if you can call it that) and a major player in Lebanese politics.

    About Zionists I could say a lot but ‘whiners’ certainly springs to mind too…

    And it is hypocritical that Abbott admits that Yemeni Jews are being persecuted “because of insurgent Islamicism” but when the Jewish state, aka Israel, defends itself against said “insurgent Islamicism” she considers Israel to be committing “war crimes”.

    These statements aren’t mutually exclusive at all. Israel’s war crimes lay in the hugely disproportionate response against a largely defenseless and impoverished people. It wasn’t a fight against ‘Islamicism’.

    So these politicians need to be courageous enough to express that what Israel is up against is also what many of our own troops are currently dying because of in Afghanistan; said “insurgent Islamicism”.

    More dishonest attempts to try and link Israel’s oppression of the Palestinians to the ‘War on Terror’.

    But after some 200 years of enlightenment we seem to have suddenly regressed to the bad old ways of to the Jews as a nation nothing, to the Jews as individuals everything.

    If there’s anything I see regressing here it’s you. Israel exists: it’s a thriving State with the 4th or 5th best army in the world, ranked 6th on the nuclear scale. If you can’t win, cry wolf. Until people stop listening, of course…

  2. modernityblog

    “Hezbollah is a purely defensive organisation… ”

    Honestly, you don’t get to hear such nonsense stated with a straight face nowadays, but there’s a reason for this..

    Gert knows absolutely nothing about Hezbollah.

    Gert knows absolutely nothing about the commencement of the second Lebanese war.

    Gert knows absolutely nothing about the racist pronunciations of Hezbollah leaders.

    Thus, in his ignorance he can concoct any old nonsense and try to foisted on others.

  3. richardmillett

    Modders, i did actually read it with a straight face…..for about 3 seconds.

  4. Gerty's Mate

    Alright
    Enough is enough !
    My mate Gert spends many hours preparing his posting and it seems to me that demanding accuracy in all his claims is going a little too far.
    You don’t seem to understand how important his postings are to him, so I beg of you all to give the man a little leeway and to please stop contradicting everything he says.
    Gerty,
    Don’t you worry mate we’ll get through this together.

  5. Modders:

    Your latest ‘rebuttal’ [cough!] just shows how much you rely on claiming the opposition ‘knows nothing’, ‘is stupid’ or is ‘mentally ill’.

    The chronology of events leading up to Leb II is well understood and documented. The idea that Hezbollah would want to engage in an offensive war with Israel is laughable, to say the least. Hezbollah is well capable of defending South Lebanon and firing rockets into Israel but it could never ‘win’ an offensive war. It is neither designed nor equipped to win a war of conquest. It’s essentially a well developed guerrilla/resistance group.

    As regards the use of racist language, both sides are guilty. I’ve promised you that when the topic turns to Israel or Zionism on your blog, ‘Moddder -watch’ will unearth the racists that always tag along with the Zionists. It’ll be like shooting fish in a barrel.

    You really are one of the more peculiar cases of philosemitism I’ve come across in a while. Julie Burchill has her excuse, what’s yours?

    • david walls

      Abhorently(if you say it posh enough it comes out perfecltly), I’m sub sigh key ‘atrick ass well, my three in one divinity implies I have two much balls+extra one for fun to do, allowing me to jiggle them all day. Assuming for all time that he is Julies excuse, could it , in all realmicity, be that she is his.

  6. richardmillett

    Gert, i fail to see why you bring up someone’s faith, or lack thereof, when discussing I-P. Am i missing something here?

  7. Richard:

    Where am I bringing up someone’s faith? Modders? I claim he’s a philosemite, that doesn’t mean he’s religious or not. I don’t think he sees things merely from a pro-Zionist perspective, rather he sees them from a philosemitic viewpoint. Like Burchill and Newkey-Burden he doesn’t claim to be religious. And I don’t claim he is either.

  8. richardmillett

    You could make the accusation of philosemitism in relation to anti-Zionist Jews also. You seem to know Modders isn’t Jewish. I didn’t, but who cares, it is irrelevant. Play the arguments, not the man. And Hezbollah started Leb II with the ambushing and murder of 7 Israeli soldiers so don’t start with your total garbage about Hezbollah being defensive please. This is supposed to be a sensible discussion.

  9. modernityblog

    Richard,

    Can you see the difficulty here?

    Suppose, if you or I were discussing some aspect of politics, we would probably disagree on **interpretations*** but could agree on the basic facts?

    That doesn’t apply to cranky “Anti-Zionists” like Gert.

    Gert can’t even work out the basic facts of an issue, let alone be competent enough to provide some intelligent interpretation of said facts.

    Most obviously Gert doesn’t know who started the second Lebanon war and why.

    Such is his ignorance that Gert doesn’t even know that Hezbollah **admit** to starting it.

    And so on, pick a topic and Gert will share his ignorance, as we’ve seen before.

    So if you can’t agree the basic facts then there seems little point in arguing over interpretations with him.

    Again, Gert doesn’t know the basic facts concerning the start of the second Lebanon war, therefore he’s incapable of competently providing anything but the most twisted and clumsy interpretation of the issue.

  10. modernityblog

    PS: Gert doesn’t know me, and thankfully I don’t know him either…

  11. Richard:

    I’m not playing the man. I believe that Modders’ philosemitism strongly colours his viewpoint. I think that’s a relevant point to make. Sorry, but you don’t know him like I do.

    No one denies the killing/kidnapping of Israeli soldiers at the start of Leb II (I don’t either).

    Technically this can be seen as an act of war but it’s very clear that Hezbollah’s intention wasn’t to provoke all out war with Israel. Hezbollah wanted to capture Israeli soldiers to be used in prisoner swaps.

    Israel seized the moment in an attempt to try and destroy Hezbollah which it sees as a threat and which the IC expected to be disarmed. Well, that was one of these resolutions no one realistically expected to be implemented any time soon: Hezbollah is increasingly part of Lebanon’s defence system. That point is even becoming a point of national Unity inside Lebanon.

  12. Modders:

    You are indeed increasingly looking like a yip-yapping Chihuahua with your ‘he doesn’t know anything’ ad nauseam. It’s the tactic of a 10 year old. Or of third rate Meircan Conservative bloggers: you’d do well at one of their tea parties, I’d imagine. Screamin’ and hollerin’: “they don’t know nuttin’!”

    You goofball…

  13. modernityblog

    “…it’s very clear that Hezbollah’s intention wasn’t to provoke all out war with Israel.”

    Again, if Gert had the slightest knowledge then he’d know that Hezbollah **admit** starting the war.

    They admit it.

    So to START a war is not being defensive, or so anyone with a moderate competence of English and logic would assume, but not Gert.

  14. You know what Modders, in an attempt to brighten up your day I’m going to concede the point. Hezbollah fired the opening shots. But I already said that though…

    This is not in contradiction with what else I say though. Hezbollah never wanted a full scale confrontation with the IDF, it wanted to kidnap soldiers for a prisoner swap. Only to a semitophilic Zionist hair cleaver and syllable parser like you is there a contradiction. Learn to read inter alia, Mr ‘Genius’…

    Modders also conveniently forgets that Israeli warplanes regularly violate Lebanese and Syrian sovereign airspace, with impunity.

    Hezbollah is the subject of Israel’s right wing mythologies about ‘everyone hates us and they all want to drive us into the see’. Nowadays they say that about Obama too, so go figure…

  15. richardmillett

    Gert, if it wasn’t Hezbollah’s intention to start a war then the massacre of 7 Israeli soldiers is a pretty reckless thing to do. But as Modders points out Hezbollah more or less admitted it. Also, you are a philosemite as much as those who stand accused by you of the same as you love anti-Zionist Jews. You mention them all the time. But I just don’t get your point. Sorry.

  16. modernityblog

    Richard,

    Gert doesn’t concede anything ‘cos he doesn’t know anything.

    http://modernityblog.wordpress.com/2006/07/20/unlikely-allies/

    I covered this four years ago, Robert Fisk confirms that Hezbollah pre-planned this conflict:

    “The original border crossing, the capture of the two soldiers and the killing of three others was planned, according to Hassan Nasrallah, the Hizbollah leader who escaped assassination by the Israelis on Friday evening, more than five months ago.“

    As the Washington Post comments:

    “In a stunning development, the 22-member Arab League criticized Hezbollah for provoking the current crisis. It is unprecedented for the Arab League to criticize any Arab party while it is actively engaged in hostilities with Israel.”

    So Hezbollah are to blame, well that just confirms it!”

    Let’s have that again:

    “The original border crossing, the capture of the two soldiers and the killing of three others was planned, according to Hassan Nasrallah … more than five months ago.

    From independent newspaper by Robert Fisk, dated 07/16/06

    http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article14006.htm

  17. The big question is why do Jews still bother to live in Britain?

  18. richardmillett

    Hi Mike,
    Nice to meet you. Very interesting website. I tried to go to an exhibition about blindness at a museum in Holon last year but it wasn’t open when i was in Tel Aviv. Best wishes, richard

  19. Daniel Marks

    Richard,

    Mike Darnell asks (the big question) why Jews continue living in Britain. It’s a riddle that has long baffled me too and I’d be interested to hear any thoughts you on the matter. Interestingly Gamil, in his unique way, raised the same point in a posting before pessach and I notice that it went unanswered there too:

    “I have not any arguments with you because you are living not in Israel. We say that Jews that lives in England or the US or Russia are fine but they don’t have to come to Palestine to live. We have a joke that all good Zionists should live afar way.”

    Any ideas?

  20. Richard:

    Moddy wrote:

    I covered this four years ago, Robert Fisk confirms that Hezbollah pre-planned this conflict:

    The pompous git “covered” this… What’s hilarious is that Fisk is not exactly an Israel Firster and that Modders the Philosemite would in other circumstances automatically dismiss anything the Fisk-the-antisemite has to say about just about anything!

    There are by the way quotes attributed to Nasrallah that state the exact opposite. It’s therefore not written in stone: and with ‘relics’ of the Cross you could build a forest…

    For Hezbollah there was no cui bono apart from the kidnapped soldiers whose bodies were eventually traded in for Samir Kuntar, IIRW. Nothing was otherwise gained or to be gained.

    Reckless? I think you could argue that, yes…

    Modders, when it comes to Israel, Zionism (and in his case also Jews) is a literalist. It’s what makes him sound so ‘certain’ about everything and ‘allows’ him to denounce those who don’t partake in his black-and-white world as ‘mentally ill’. In Mr ‘Boumtastic, Semitophantastic’s’ world there is no room for error or self-doubt, a bit like these annoying mini Chinese puzzles you can never quite get to fit. In Modders’ World everything is ‘tainted’ and only He is Holier than Thou. In short, a wanker.

  21. Daniel Marks:

    It’s a riddle that has long baffled me too and I’d be interested to hear any thoughts you on the matter.

    Well, I’m interested to hear Richard’s answer too but allow me to venture a guess. Of course there isn’t one single reason but a whole range of reasons.

    The main one, IMHO, that the Jewish Diaspora worldwide is riding high: never before have Jews been so secure and successful, as well as in full possession of their rights. Apart from the damage done by some scaremongers a propos of the New New New Anti-Semitism, who conflate criticism of Zionism with antisemitism, there really is hardly anything for modern Diaspora Jews to be afraid of. That puts a great dampener on any motivation to make Aliyah. A few who do experience persecution, a few idealists and some religiously motivated people.

    On top of that, Israel own promulgated image is that of a country under constant threat: not a great advertisement IMHO.

  22. modernityblog

    Do you see the embedded irrationality in Gert’s denial of obvious facts?

    He held one position, then when faced with irrefutable facts, that Hezbollah deliberately planned the incursion into Israel, what does Gert do?

    Anyone rational would admit the facts, but not Gert.

    Thus, if Gert can’t admit the bleeding obvious (particularly when Fisk and the Arab league make the point) then he will never concede anything, he won’t concede the simplest most logical point. He can’t, his character precludes that.

    In short, Gert is dishonest, profoundly ill informed and a poor interlocutor.

  23. You’re a wanker, Modders. Please stop stalking me.

  24. So we’ve put to bed the notion that
    “Hezbollah is a purely defensive organisation… ”

    Yet even with the above evidence, Gert can’t concede this point gracefully.

  25. richardmillett

    oh ffs do you have to be so offensive, Gert! One moment you seem to agree Hezbollah started it and then you change your tune! No wonder Modders is criticising you, but that doesn’t make him a “W”!

  26. You are soooo consistent, Richard; I didn’t hear you complain about the vile abuse from Mike, Daniel and some others, not even a peep. As regards Modders, we have history. You don’t know what kind of abuse I’ve suffered from him and his acolytes…

    Don’t worry, I’m now simply going to ignore the pr*ck.

  27. First off I have no acolytes and second playing the victim is just a way for Gert to avoid admitting the truth about Hezbollah.

    Gert’s hysterical attitude reminds me of the old rhyme:

    “sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me”.

    Clearly, you don’t have to be detached from reality to be a cranky “Anti-Zionist”, but it doesn’t hurt :)

  28. Daniel Marks

    “I didn’t hear you complain about the vile abuse from Mike, Daniel and some others, not even a peep…” – Gert

    I have no recollection as to having abused you. It was you who in an early posting (29/3) raised the issue of Belgian stereotypes:

    “I’m occasionally exposed to….disparaging or belittling remarks with regards to my national origins, …..Belgium befall me..”

    I had no idea what these could have been so I checked out the Belgian Anti Defamation Insitute (BADI) where I learnt that on the plus side you make good beer and are good at maths.

    On the other hand you guys are untrustworthy financially and are not good dancers.

    I also learnt that it is “partially” true that you have poor personal hygiene, short penises and make “shitty lovers”. Again, this is not Daniel Marks but The BADI and if you’re feeling abused, it is to them that your grievances should be addressed.

    Two further interesting points:

    1. Apparently Belgians do not eat Jewish children. I was relieved to hear this and I might add that I spent a very pleasant summer holiday in Belgium in my youth and have no recollections of being eaten.

    Apparently, “The world famous Belgische Judentort no longer contains the meat of ritually slaughtered Jewish children, and hasn’t since the late 19th century. All of the meat in commercially produced Belgische Judentort is from Jews who have died from natural causes and Jewish organ donors”.

    2. Finally, The BADI makes the good point that your reputation for being “shitty lovers” may be connected to your little Willy Wonkers and also to the fact that “Belgians are famous for bitching, moaning, and complaining”. I would add that improved personal hygiene may help you to improve in this department too.

    Gert, on a personal note I hope that you will take all this as constructive criticism to be taken in the spirit of friendship and understanding and if I have offended you I, it goes without saying that I apologize.

  29. Gert,

    It has been noticed that you call Modernity a wanker with all vowels and consonants included but when saying pr*ck you bashfully leave out the letter i. In light of earlier posting I would have thought that you’d be the last one to be shortening that, of all words.

    Is there any rhyme or reason or is your self-imposed censorship or is it all just random? Care to elucidate?

  30. richardmillett

    Resh and Daniel, please stick to the subject in hand! Despite Gert’s total bias and the lack of substance in his arguments he does try to stick the the actual subject.

  31. modernityblog

    If Gert can stick to the subject, perhaps he could tell us about Hezbollah’s leaders and their racist pronunciations?

  32. Daniel Marks

    In fairness I did ask, in the context of “the subject in hand”, what Anglo Jews are still doing in exile. Gertie wrote an interesting response, which I find hard to dispute.

    I was wondering if you had an opinion.

    As far as Resh is concerned, I think he’s a bit of a bandit.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shimon_ben_Lakish

  33. Excellent post Richard. It is good to see attention being drawn to David Camerons unfortunate comment about the East Jerusalem

  34. richardmillett

    Roger, some of us are actually honest unlike Liberal Democrat activists who scratch around anywhere they sniff a vote.

  35. Richard,

    You seem rather touchy today. Are you calling me dishonest as well as well as clueless. It seems the more I praise your comments, the more you insult me. Is it standard Conservative activist policy to insult people purely because they belong to a different party?

    It was you who sought to raise the issue of Mr Camerons comments. I didn’t mention my affiliations here, I merely sought to congratulate you on your blog, so I’ve no idea why you are getting so upset.

    Not all of us leave comments on blogs solely to grub for votes. If that was my intention, I’d have left my full name, my affiliation and details of the ward that I’m standing in. As it was I merely left the comment under my usual blogging name. Anyone who recognised it probably already knows what a wonderful chap I am.

  36. richardmillett

    Well excuse me, Roger! Actually if you read it again I wasn’t calling you dishonest, but Liberal Democrat activists generally. And general doesn’t mean all either. The notorious policy guidance of the Lib Dem party to its activists is well known. I don’t know you so i wouldn’t say you are dishonest, just totally disingenuous from what I have read. Your sole interest in my blog is to do with Cameron’s quote. The much more serious considerations I address seem an irrelevance to you and the rest of the Liberal Democrat party.

  37. I do hope that the Lib Dems will pass on my comment concerning Tonge and David Duke.

  38. richardmillett

    Well, as we have the ear, so to speak, of a Liberal Democrat maybe you could post it here, Modders. I would say you could post it to his website but nasty Tory as I am, just like nasty Zionist as I am, I actually think that would be unfair.

  39. Richard,

    As you don’t know me, you don’t know what my interest in your blog is. You are not being honest when you say my sole interest in your blog is “Camerons quote”. You know this full well as you’ve left comments on my blog where I quoted you on a completely different subject.

    For the avoidance of doubt, let me just fill you in. I am interested in your blog as it is a Barnet based blog that covers politics. I link to many such blogs and leave comment on many such blogs.

    Most Conservatives do not start foaming at the mouth when this happens and are quite polite. If you bothered to look when you visited my blog you will see that I link to Conservative leaning blogs by David Miller, Richard Weider and Roger Evans (leader of the GLA Tories) amongst others. I recommend all of these blogs as they are an interesting read.

    If my sole interest in your blog was Camerons quote for political gain, I would have written a blog about it and said “local Tory Richard Millet agrees with me”. I didn’t do this, did I?

    As to your comments on parking, I linked to your blog to allow readers who were interested to read the full blog and appreciate the context. According to my stats 14 people so far have chosen to do this. I have no earthly idea why you have taken such umbrage.

    My views on everything are pretty well documented in my blog. None of it is based on “Lib Dem policy guidance”.

    Please correct me if I’m wrong but all of these insults seem to be based purely on the fact that I pointed out the fact that you didn’t win in Mill Hill? I sincerely hope that if I lose in Mill Hill and John Hart starts winding me up about it, I don’t start foaming at the mouth in rage and take it in good part.

  40. richardmillett

    Roger, I don’t mind losing in Mill Hill, although at the time i was bitterly disappointed as we came so unexpectedly close in the end. I was annoyed at your insinuation that Mill Hill voters agreed with you when you also know the nature of target wards, which Mill Hill wasn’t. I just thought that considering we don’t know each other that was below the belt.

    And then your congratulating me on Love Jews, Hate Israel seemed more concerned with congratulating me just on the Cameron quote when, in reality, the Liberal Democrats have far, far worse to answer for and no one in your party wants, or cares, to address the issue.

    Sorry if i misinterpreted you though.

  41. Richard,

    Strange as it may seem I thought your blog was quite interesting. I congratulated you as it was even handed for a Conservative in mentioning the Cameron quote. Too many people solely choose to cherry pick the quotes they use for party political advantage.

    I am appalled by many comments such as Jenny Tonges (a Lib Dems). I am also highly concerned about some of the members of far right groups the Tories sit with in Europe. This is not so I can raise it on the doorstep, but because these people are dangerous and I think they should be given the cold shoulder by mainstream respectable parties (which strangely enough I consider the Conservatives to be).

    I seek to raise this not so that people will suddenly vote for me, but because I’d like to see members of the Conservative, Lib Dem and Labour party work to ensure that anti semitism is comprehensively rejected and far right parties and policies marginalised.

    My opposition to such policies far predates my affilliation with any party. I would urge members of all communities to take an active interest in politics and ensure that anyone making stupid or divisive statements are left in no doubt of the fact that these statements are unacceptable. As you raised the issue and clearly get the problem, I have no issue with you on this.

  42. modernityblog

    Richard, as requested:

    http://modernityblog.wordpress.com/2010/04/21/the-lib-dem-baroness-her-patronage-and-david-duke/

    “Baroness Tonge has many duties and is probably canvassing for the Liberal Democrats as I write, but one of her sidelines is as the patron of the Palestinian Telegraph.

    She presumably agrees with much that it writes, even when it indulges in the Offal libel and openly pushes anti-Jewish racism.

    She presumably even reads it once in a while?

    So I wonder how will she react when she sees David Duke’s face on the front of the Palestinian Telegraph’s web site?

    Will she condemn it? Or will she try to excuse it away?

    I would hope that even Baroness Tonge is familiar with David Duke, neo-Nazi and onetime grand wizard of the Ku Klux Klan?

    Surely she would realise why it is a very bad idea for the Palestinians’ cause to be associated with such a despicable professional racist and arch antisemite.

    What type of editorial process goes on in the Palestinian Telegraph which means it finds it acceptable to post a David Duke video ? Unbelievable. What racist filth.

    [H/T: Michael Weiss]

    Update 1: Just in case there is any doubt, here’s a screen shot:

    David Duke at the Palestinian Telegraph.

    Update 2: I wrote this tongue in cheek guide about 2 years ago, but it seems even more relevant nowadays.

    For UCU Activists – How To Avoid Re-posting from Neo-Nazi, Ku Klux Klan or White Power Web Sites.

    Update 3: A few years back Andy Newman did a rather good guide to Duke’s racism and why it must be opposed.

    THE HAZARD OF DUKE”

  43. richardmillett

    Well, I’ll take you out for a commiseration beer on May 7th to discuss all, Roger ;-)

  44. Richard,

    Thanks for the kind offer. I never turn down the offer of a free beer, but I think your safe :^)

    I was surprised you guys didn’t stand again in Mill Hill. Thought you ran a good campaign last time and did well to get John in.

  45. modernityblog

    Rog T,

    So do you have any comments on Baroness Tonge’s patronage of the Palestinian Telegraph and the issue I pointed out in my post?

  46. Israel’s Conservative antisemitic friends:

    For example Israeli Ambassador to the United Kingdom Ron Prossor was more than happy to share a platform at the Conservative Friends of Israel with Michal Kaminski of the Polish Justice and Freedom Party. Kaminski is notorious in Poland for openly opposing the call for an official apology for the 1941 massacre of hundreds of Jews in the Polish village of Jedwabne.

    Last month, Israel’s Ambassador to the European Union, Ran Curiel, paid the first visit by an ambassador to the Kaminski-chaired European Conservatives & Reform (ECR) Group in the European Parliament. As quoted in a 13 October news post on ECR’s website, Curiel told the assembled audience that “‘After years of “megaphone diplomacy” between Israel and Europe, an open dialogue is the best thing we can do now.’” Furthermore, “He highly appreciated the support of the ECR Group for the two-state solution to the ‘peace process’ which would fully ensure the security of the State of Israel and respect the border of national states.”

    Curiel’s visit followed an earlier visit by Kaminski to Israel with the European Friends of Israel organization. It was Kaminski’s first visit to a non-EU country as Chairman of the ECR. According to a 25 September post on the Conservative Friends of Israel’s website, at a dinner held by the organization Kaminski explained that Israel was deliberately chosen as his first trip so that he could “‘deliver the message that there is a group in the European Parliament that will be a true friend of Israel.’”

    Similarly in the UK, Kaminski’s Zionist allies rushed to his defense last month. As the Jewish Chronicle reported on 15 October, several members of the Jewish Leadership Council were outraged when Board of Deputies President Vivian Wineman wrote a letter to David Cameron, leader of the Conservative Party, questioning the Tory alliance with Kaminski and his far-right Justice and Freedom Party in the European Parliament. Andrew Gilbert, one of a number of deputies who believe the letter to Cameron ill-judged, stated that “‘Nobody in the Jewish or political community did enough research either to say that Michal Kaminski or Roberts Zile have suspect views, which means we should shun them, or to clear them.’”

    Nor is the Conservative party alone in embracing Israel’s fascist allies. The British National Party is a growing party, with more than 50 local councilors and two members of the European Parliament. On 22 October 2009, its leader, Nick Griffin, appeared on the BBC’s premier program Question Time, to a wave of protests. How did he explain away his anti-Semitism and support for holocaust denial? By explaining that though he might not be too fond of Jews, he was a strong supporter of Israel, stating that “there are Nazis in Britain and they loathe me because I have brought the BNP from being frankly an anti-Semitic and racist organization into being the only political party which in the clashes between Israel and Gaza stood full-square behind Israel’s right to deal with Hamas terrorists.”

    As the Guardian reported in April 2008, Board of Deputies spokesperson Ruth Smeed let readers know that “The BNP website is now one of the most Zionist on the web — it goes further than any of the mainstream parties in its support of Israel.”

    But Kaminski and Roberts Zile, of the Waffen-SS supporting Latvian Freedom and Fatherland Party, are not the exceptions. Dutch far-right anti-Islam politician and Member of Parliament Geert Wilders is another figure who combines virulent racism with Zionism. As reported in the Israeli daily Haaretz on 18 June, Wilders claimed that “Israel is only the first line of defense for the West. Now it’s Israel but we are next. That’s why beyond solidarity, it is in Europe’s interest to stand by Israel.”

    Wilders is facing criminal charges for inciting hate by comparing the Quran to Adolf Hitler’s Mein Kampf. After winning five seats in June parliamentary elections, Wilders’s Party of Freedom is now the second largest political party in the country. Wilders has also found common cause with the right-wing openly racist political party of Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman. Of Lieberman’s Yisrael Beiteinu party, Wilders explained that “‘Our parties may not be identical, but there are certainly more similarities than dissimilarities, and I am proud of that,’” (Haaretz, 18 June 2009). He added that “‘Lieberman’s an intelligent, strong and clever politician and I understand why his party grew in popularity.’”

  47. Modernityblog,

    I’ve made many comments on Tonges comments. Without wishing to repeat them all saying pretty disgraceful would sum it up.

    I don’t think her interventions have been helpful to anyone.

  48. Fair enough Rog, perfectly sensible.

    But did why the Lib Dems feel the need to defend her and more importantly the essence of what she said?

    Surely, they should have thrown her out after her racist remark 4 years ago:

    “Ms Tonge said: “The pro-Israeli lobby has got its grips on the western world, its financial grips. I think they’ve probably got a grip on our party.””

    Why?

    It gives the impression that a Lib Dem Peer could basically come out with any old veiled racism and nothing would happen to them?

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/5366870.stm

  49. Modernityblog,

    In answer to your question, those people who have spoken out probably did it out of a sense of misplaced loyalty. Tonge was sacked from her position of responsibility, so I don’t think you can say “nothing would happen to them”. I think it’s fairly clear that if you come out with such statements you become a very marginal figure.

    I’ve got to say that I find the Conservatives alliance with the far right in Europe to be a far more serious issue. This was sanctioned at the heart of the Leadership. David Camerons comments about east Jerusalem also ring alarm bells. Whilst Tonges statements are clearly far worse, she will clearly have no responsibility for anything in any circumstances. The alliances of the Conservatives and the possibility that Cameron, with his views of east Jerusalem could be Prime Minister mean we have to ask the following question, which it seems to me no one has asked. If a future British government which is lead by David Cameron is trying to rally support within his European alliance, what compromises will he make with his allies? At the UN will David Cameron seek to force Israel to make concessions to organisations who have never dropped their stated aim to destroy Israel.

    Organisations such as Hamas consider themselves at permanent war with Israel. When their fundraisers are holding guns at the heads of local Palestinian businessmen to demand “donations”, they can quite rightly say “Even the Leader of the British Conservative Party agrees with us about East Jerusalem”.

    I’ve no idea whether David Cameron thought through his comments or how organisations such as Hamas are likely to exploit them. I do know that if you are a guest in another country it is the height of bad manners and stupidity to start insulting your hosts.

    I wouldn’t urge any Conservatives to resign from the party as a result. I would urge them to seek to ensure that Mr Cameron is made aware of the likely effect of his comments. I take the same view of my role in the Lib Dems with relation to Jenny Tonge.

    As to the wider issue of how this affects peoples votes. I would urge people to ascertain the views of candidates and consider this before casting any votes. The best possible thing is to ensure that you cast your vote for people who are willing to stand up and be counted and lobby within their own party for what is right.

    I would urge anyone who is reading this blog to ask any candidate for local or parliamentary elections what they think of Tonge if they are a Lib Dem. I would also ask them what they think of Camerons statement and the Conservatives ultra right partners if they are a Conservative.

    I really do think these issues are too important to ignore and are fundamental issues for the election.

  50. modernityblog

    1 out of 2 eh Rog, thanks for the political answer.

    I covered Tories in Europe ages ago, but that’s not the question here and I doubt I’ll get a straight answer out of a Lib Dem so I’ll leave it at that.

    Shame the Lib Dems don’t kick people out for antisemitism…

  51. Hi Modernityblog,

    Erm, maybe we read a different blog, but the one I commented on above raised the issue of Camerons views on East Jerusalem. It’s not exactly off topic to discuss his views on the subject.

    I suspect that your accusatuion of giving a political answer translates to me not giving you an answer which suited you. Don’t see much of a straight answer to the questions I posed either, but never mind. I didn’t expect one.

  52. Daniel Marks

    As much as I have a right to represent Israeli public opinion, I would urge all Jews still living in UK exile to vote according to their own self interests and according to the interests of Great Britain as they perceive them.

    For all of you who have not noticed, the empire is no more and Britannia no longer rules the waves. The influence of the UK on Israel is truly negligible, and I can think of no decision that Israel has made since 1956 when the policy of Her Majesty’s government has had the slightest importance. Perhaps the arms embargo in 1973.

    More importantly, purpose of UK elections is to decide which government is best for the UK, not Israel. We have our own elections for that – G-d help us!

  53. Rog,

    Please, let’s not take the piss.

    I suspect we are both familiar with politics and how politicians answer questions.

    An example might be, taking the nub of a question as a hook to then hang some other issue on.

    Forgive me, it is an old trick but sadly politicos don’t appreciate how many of their mannerisms are fairly transparent.

    And I say that not just being critical of you, but it is true across the political spectrum, from my own part, the Left, as well.

    It is a common tactic, almost instinctive but it doesn’t satisfy the average punter, which is probably part of the reason why politicians and politicos are held in such contempt.

    I missed your question? If you have a genuine one I more than happy to answer :)

  54. Michael Goldman

    I would just like to join Dan in urging all the Jewish Brits to vote according to their own collective and personal conscience.

    I would however like to add that if things don’t work out as planned (and even if they do) you are all welcome to join us here.

  55. Hi Modernity,

    As you’ve said you’d be happy to answer a genuine question, can you tell me whether you think that Hamas and Hizbollah will find David Camerons quote “helpful” in their “fundraising activities”?

  56. Rog. T:

    I can’t believe I’m reading this:

    If a future British government which is lead by David Cameron is trying to rally support within his European alliance, what compromises will he make with his allies? At the UN will David Cameron seek to force Israel to make concessions to organisations who have never dropped their stated aim to destroy Israel.

    Organisations such as Hamas consider themselves at permanent war with Israel. When their fundraisers are holding guns at the heads of local Palestinian businessmen to demand “donations”, they can quite rightly say “Even the Leader of the British Conservative Party agrees with us about East Jerusalem”.

    So it’s not the Tories’ rapprochement to unsavoury characters like Kaminski that worries you but the taking of a position on Occupied E.J’sem that is held by much of the Western world, including the President of the country that is Israel’s closes and most long standing ally, the US ????

    And this on the basis that this position is also held by some of Israel’s foes???

    Sir, have you gone stark raving bonkers or do you simply not know your arse from your elbow when it comes to I/P? Do you understand that even most Israeli Zionists of the Left believe J’sem must be shared and consider E.J’sem to be indeed Occupied Territory, as does also the United Nations?

    Dear G-d, you end up squabbling with one of British Zionism’s pimps (Modders, you Plonker!), a blogger who sounds like a thoroughly broken record when it comes to antisemitism, which he clearly sees underneath each bed…

    I hope you aren’t anything to go by when it comes to the Libdem’s position on I-P and that perhaps you’re just a lone weasel, afraid to take a clear position on a straightforward issue?

    Long live democracy, may it elect many more imbeciles and clueless laymen to further muddy the waters…

  57. Gert,

    Where did you get the idea that I’m not concerned with Camerons alliance with the hard right? I specifically said that I was worried about what he’d have to do to ensure their support. I am more concerned about this than anything else.

    As to your other comments. You may well think I’m a broken record, an imbecile and clueless, that’s up to you. Given that I haven’t actually used the term antisemitism until now I don’t see how I could possibly sound like a broken record. But then again reading your comments, it doesn’t look like rational analysis forms too much of a part of your debating technique.

    I don’t think Camerons statement had anything at all to do with antisemitism. I think it was all about ill advised political grandstanding.

  58. Rog. T:

    Which part of:

    Dear G-d, you end up squabbling with one of British Zionism’s pimps (Modders, you Plonker!), a blogger who sounds like a thoroughly broken record when it comes to antisemitism, which he clearly sees underneath each bed…

    … didn’t you understand? I was specifically referring to Modernityblog, to whom you now seemingly hold up your arse so high, ready for the taking…

    Cameron “grandstanding”??? By considering, as most decent people do, that E.J’sem is Occupied Territory and reserved as the capital of a future Palestinian state??? Ding dong!

    Stick to sorting out train fares in Barnet…

  59. Rog,

    “can you tell me whether you think that Hamas and Hizbollah will find David Camerons quote “helpful” in their “fundraising activities”?”

    ha ha, is that really a genuine question ?

    I am afraid as an average punter and certainly no friend of Cameron or the Tories that is a strange question, but I am game, so I’ll answer :)

    There is several ways to look at this, in reality I suspect that Hamas or Hezbollah don’t need David Cameron’s words to aid them in fund raising, their backers will support them as long as they are against the Israelis, irrespective of David Cameron’s opinions.

    Frankly, I have never found Cameron particularly impressive, despite his privileged upbringing, expensive education and dollops of PR, to me he doesn’t seem to have the gravitas or confidence to be a Prime minister

    Then he’s not alone the shadow front bench is full of mediocre characters, which is why they brought back Ken Clark.

    If the Tories win, then it won’t last, their natural tendency to pander to xenophobia and Daily Mail readers and conflicting attitudes toward Europe will eventually bring them down.

  60. PS: like you I think what you hear from political leaders (of all shades) is grandstanding and often telling people what they want to hear

  61. Dear Gerd,
    Sorry if I couldn’t understand your blatherings properly, I stand corrected. As to your “Stick to sorting out train fares in Barnet” comment. Nothing makes me happier than being put in my proper place by someone such as yourself who is clearly cleverer, wittier and far better looking than me. I will nip off to the station immediately to assume my proper place in the gutter of society with all the other festering petulant plebs who lack your superior insight and intellect ….

  62. Rog,

    If I ever say anything nasty to you, please remind me of your comment to Gert and all will be forgiven :)