Tag Archives: jewish

Anti-Semitism, football and that Daily Mail article.

If you are at White Hart Lane today to see Spurs v West Ham you risk being arrested for singing “Yid Army” or “Yiddoes”, typical refrains of the Spurs faithful.

Not an ounce of malice is intended, but just because a few with fame and influence, like David Baddiel, have complained about “Yid” being used in this context the Metropolitan Police have taken a stand starting with today’s game.

I’m Jewish. I like hearing Spurs sing “Yid army”. No harm is intended. It is a bit of fun. Spurs have a lot of Jewish supporters and have a Jewish chairman, Jewish directors and once had a Jewish manager in David Pleat. Spurs fans are embracing that positively.

It is a far cry from calling someone a “dirty Yid” which is obviously racist. That prefix makes all the difference.

It is sad that the police have been taken in by Baddiel. When playing Spurs certain opposition fans chant “Spurs are on their way to Belsen” (some Leeds United fans) or hiss to imitate the sound of Zyklon B being thrown into the gas chambers by the Nazis (some Chelsea fans). That’s racism. Arrest those racist thugs, but not Spurs fans who intend no racism at all.

It’s not just Baddiel. The British public is being taken in by the likes of Owen Jones and Jonathan Freedland who are crying “anti-Semitism!” due to that Daily Mail article headlined “The Man Who Hated Britain” about Ralph Miliband, Ed Miliband’s father.

Ralph was Jewish. He was a refugee. He was a Communist thinker. Any of these three aspects have been deadly for Jews in the past, admittedly.

But, does this now mean that we cannot criticise a Jewish person with Ralph’s background, or any Jewish person?

This is Owen Jones:

“As others have pointed out, this whole episode reeks of anti-Semitism – of the rootless cosmopolitan Jew with contempt for his country, and so on.”

Even Ed Miliband who has spent the week coming to his father’s defence on radio, tv and in print, doesn’t sense any anti-Semitism in the affair, but to Jones it “reeks” of anti-Semitism? Wow!

Jonathan Freedland digs even deeper in his attempt to make the “anti-Semitic” label stick:

“This is why I…stopped at the reference in Tuesday’s editorial to “the jealous God of Deuteronomy.” That looked like another veiled pointer to both Miliband Sr’s indelible alienness – and his membership of an ancient, vengeful people.”

This is what the Mail actually wrote on that score:

“We do not maintain, like the jealous God of Deuteronomy, that the iniquity of the fathers should be visited on the sons. But when a son with prime ministerial ambitions swallows his father’s teachings, as the younger Miliband appears to have done, the case is different.”

So the Mail is using this biblical reference as an example of what generally shouldn’t happen. That’s all. Based on Freedland’s assertion we should now be careful lest we associate any biblical reference directly or indirectly with a Jewish person. How sad.

And Marc Goldberg is easily influenced by Daniel Trilling’s attack on the Mail in the New Statesman. Trilling writes “The subtext…is that there’s something foreign about Ed Miliband himself”. Goldberg empathises:

“..if even Ralph Miliband, the Marxist who left his Judaism way behind him and sired the head of the Labour Party could come under attack for not being British enough, then maybe the rest could too.”

Even Charles Moore accuses the Mail of “attacking a Jew”!

There are many other examples of this hyperbolic response to the Mail’s attack on Ralph Miliband. Commentators should attack real examples of anti-Semitism before trying to board the “it’s anti-Semitism!” bandwagon.

Alex Brummer, who is a journalist for the Mail, thinks apologies should be made by those who have suggested anti-Semitism by the Daily Mail. He’s right.

As Ed Miliband, himself, said when asked if the Daily Mail was being anti-Semitic:

“I’m always incredibly careful about throwing around the idea that the paper or somebody is anti-Semitic or racist unless there is real evidence for that.”

My appearance on 4ThoughtTV: Are Jews Still Persecuted in Britain Today?

Tonight at 7.55pm on Channel 4 I am in 4ThoughtTV’s slot on whether Jews are still persecuted in Britain today, which is the theme of the week.

There are seven contributions in all. Here is the link to mine and the other six:

http://www.4thought.tv/themes/are-jews-still-persecuted-in-britain-today/richard-millett?autoplay=true

1. I spoke about my experiences of harassment at anti-Israel events when I have merely tried to get Israel’s point of view across.

2. Stephen Sizer is an anti-Israel/anti-Zionist Christian Minister. I once went to hear him speak at a Palestine Solidarity Campaign event held in a church. He said, inter alia, that churches that side with Israel have “repudiated Jesus, have repudiated the bible and are an abomination”. On my way out of that meeting I was accosted by an audience member who let out some of the most Holocaust denying anti-Jewish vitriol I have ever heard. She told me, inter alia, that Jews died in the Holocaust from having “had their foreskins chopped off.”

In his 4Thought clip Sizer claims it’s important to be able to criticise certain Israeli policies without being accused of anti-Semitism. Let’s be clear: criticising Israel’s policies is legitimate, just like it is legitimate to criticise the policies of any country.

Sizer and his ilk are accused of anti-Semitism because they want the world’s only Jewish state to disappear. This is completely different to criticising Israel’s policies. Instead, they single out the Jewish state, the collective Jew, for destruction. So, Sizer is being highly disingenuous. If he were truthful he would have admitted he wants the Jewish state removed.

3. Another who wants the Jewish state removed is Ahron Cohen, of the extremist religious Jewish sect the Neturei Karta which believes that Jews should only go to the Holy Land once they have received a direct order from God to do so. The Neturei Karta also embraces Iran’s Holocaust denying President Ahmadinejad who repeatedly calls for the destruction of Israel. Iran’s Supreme Leader Khamenei has referred to Israel as “the Zionist cancerous tumour in the heart of the Islamic world”.

In his clip, Cohen blames Palestinian terrorism “on the very existence of the sectarian state known as Israel”.

4. Mike Marcus has also fallen for the myth that “The Zionist lobby uses the label of anti-Semitism to silence their critics”.

5. Jose Martin correctly blames the media for whipping up anti-Semitism due to its unfair reportage of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

6. Yisrael Abeles, a Holocaust survivor, also blames the media for driving much of what has, these days, become “institutionalised anti-Semitism” as opposed to street anti-Semitism.

7. The most moving clip is by schoolgirl Eden Simones-Jones who says that she still suffers from depression and anxiety due to anti-Semitic harassment. She finishes:

“If people say there is no problem with anti-Semitism, I think they should wake-up, open their eyes and really look about what’s going out there because they’re obviously sheltered in their own little dreamland where everything’s rosy, because anti-Semitism’s everywhere. You’ve just got to know what to look for.”

Sadly, she’s right. Anti-Semitism is everywhere. In Britain today anti-Zionism, an attack on Israel as the collective Jew, is the modern updated version of anti-Semitism, the attack on Jews as individuals. “Anti-Zionism” is a label that has been adopted by many of Britain’s  academics, journalists, politicians, religious leaders and charities to hide their true feelings about Jews. This is the “institutionalised anti-Semitism” referred to by Yisrael Abeles.

Hava Nagila inspires USA’s Aly Raisman to victory at the empy seat Olympics.

Empty seats left and right at North Greenwich Arena yesterday.

Empty seats left and right at North Greenwich Arena yesterday.

Israeli gymnast Valeria Maksiuta disappointed in the Women’s Artistic Gymnastics qualification round at the London Olympics yesterday coming 59th out of 60. It was left to Israel’s proxy, the USA, to step into the breach.

Only two women from each country can qualify for the individual all-round final on Thursday so USA team captain Aly Raisman needed something inspirational in the floor exercise to put her above team mate Jordyn Wieber. And to the tune of Hava Nagila she didn’t disappoint herself as her winning score of 15.325 put her through to the final.

She said she’s proud to use the traditional Jewish tune “because there aren’t too many Jewish athletes out there” among the world’s top gymnasts.

Check out her spectacular winning routine from yesterday and……enjoy!

Team GB’s Beth Tweddle was equally sensational. Had the Greenwich Arena been filled to capacity yesterday the roof would have come off and the foundations would have been rocked when Tweddle somersaulted off the uneven bars at the end of her routine:

It was thrilling to be at the North Greenwich Arena and see such incredible performances. Woman’s gymnastics is drama, theatre, art and sport combined.

London was also buzzing. The Olympics is a rare chance for a country to have a positive shared experience. Those heading to events feel part of something special so it was especially sad to see so many empty seats.

LOCOG had intentionally whipped the British public up into a ticket buying frenzy, which left so many disappointed. Hours of people’s lives were wasted online.

Only now has the truth been revealed. Tickets were allocated to sponsors and the “Olympics family” who haven’t bothered showing up for the qualifying rounds of events. No doubt they’ll be there for medal events.

Television viewers are seeing swathes of empty seats across many events and it was the same at the gymnastics yesterday. LOCOG even brought in the army as seat fillers. The last time I saw so many military watching an event was, literally, at Yugoslavia’s Marshall Tito FA cup final in 1987 in Belgrade!

Now there’s talk of somehow retrieving unused tickets and handing them out to school-children and the unemployed, meaning that those who have spent hours online and who are desperate to go will miss out again.

Seb Coe and LOCOG really don’t get it.

It is unforgivable.

More photos from yesterday:

Army brought in as seat fillers yesterday.

Army brought in as seat fillers yesterday.

Team Canada posing for photos yesterday.

Team Canada posing for photos yesterday.

Israeli flag for Valeria Maksiuta

Israeli flag for Valeria Maksiuta

Building the atmosphere yesterday.

Building the atmosphere yesterday.

Pappe, Nebulsi, Cushman: The Circus of Israel hate sweeps back into British universities.

A "Palestinian refugee" speaking last night.

A "Palestinian refugee" speaking last night.

A new term and thousands of brand new students to brainwash and so it was to the University of London Union last night where Ilan Pappe, Karma Nebulsi and Mike Cushman spent two hours spreading poison and lies about Israel.

The event was called Why we need a boycott of Israel on our campuses. There must have been some 300 students in the hall at the beginning, although this had considerably thinned out by the end.

Cushman seemed particularly charged up. So much so that at the end of the two hours he siezed the microphone to hysterically shout “Free Palestine”:

But the saddest aspect of last night was the presence on the panel of a Palestinian refugee. The footage you are about to see is shocking in the extreme. If you don’t wish to see images of a scared, emaciated, poverty-stricken woman fleeing for her life please look away now. This woman shames those cowardly Syrian civilians fleeing across the border into Turkey in order to escape being machine-gunned down by Assad’s army. But brave Rafeef Ziadeh repeatedly told us that she will eventually return to Haifa. This footage is bound to turn even the staunchest Zionist anti-Israel:

Mike Cushman lectured us on the difference between an Israeli, a Zionist and a Jew. He said he was “a Jew because my mother was a Jew. I didn’t have a choice in the matter”.

For Cushman being Jewish is just about eating smoked salmon bagels.

He said if you think that a “Jewish Israeli Zionist is scarey” wait till you meet a Christian Zionist:

“They want to gather the Jews together so they can be wiped out. They don’t want to tell the Jews that.”:

Karma Nebulsi cannot get through a sentence without mentioning “the right of return”. She is so obsessed with this one aspect of the conflict one can almost imagine her in Starbucks ordering “a tall latte with an extra shot and a right of return to go”.

Finally, we had the “ethnic cleansing” maestro himself, Ilan Pappe. He said that it is important to know who benefits from “the occupation” and he called for the “racist, apartheid public in Israel to be replaced by a free state for all; those that live there and those who used to live there”.

I have a good idea who benefits from “the occupation”: Pappe doesn’t do badly for a start. The Palestine Solidarity Campaign does beautifully thank you very much. And walking in last night on every seat there was a glossy brochure produced by War on Want with the words Boycott Divestment Sanctions in red, white and green on the front cover. Amongst the chapter headings were Crisis in Palestine, Gaza: the world’s largest prison, Apartheid Walls, and Water Wars.

The Palestinian refugee industry is undoubtedly a billion pound industry out of which academics and charities have enriched themselves.

Here is Pappe on the Gilad Shalit deal saying how much more it benefits Israel as it allows the Israelis to feel that they have reclaimed a sense of morality:

When I had a chance with the microphone I explained how the BDS campaign is simply racist for targeting one country alone. Then I asked each panelist if they would ever accept Israeli medicine if they fell ill.

Cushman called it “a non-question” and said: “Would I take medicines? Of course I would. It’s not saying that knowledge doesn’t exist. It’s saying how do we use our academic resources to support or not support the continued occupation of the Palestinian people. It’s really quite simple.”

Rafeef Ziadeh could only reply: “I hope I don’t get sick anytime soon but if I keep hearing this question I might”.

Nebulsi refused to even to address the question. Pappe refused to answer it instead taking the opportunity to claim that Palestinans would be forced to spy for Israel in return for cancer treatment:

My question and the answers last night on accepting Israeli medication.

Meanwhile, Ziadeh refused to accept that BDS was racist saying they were against all forms of racism, including anti-Semitism. Apparently, stating that one isn’t racist is enough evidence in itself these days.

At least on the way out two female students, one wearing a “Free Palestine” badge, told me they had left the event early as they didn’t like the vicious rhetoric about Israel.

More photos:

Pappe last night.

Pappe last night.

Mock Palestinian prisoners outside ULU last night.

Mock Palestinian prisoners outside ULU last night.

Those “disloyal Jews”.

Matthew Gould: Britain's new Ambassador to Israel

Matthew Gould: Britain's new Ambassador to Israel

Middle East Monitor (MEMO) is one of those nasty anti-Israel think-tanks which aims to win the ear of the political establishment.

It describes itself as “an independent media research institution founded in the United Kingdom to foster a fair and accurate coverage in the Western media of Middle Eastern issues and in particular the Palestine Question.”

Fair and accurate? Pull the other one.

They won’t even let you into one of their meetings if they disagree with your views.

Now MEMO asks: Is Britain’s new ambassador to Israel really going to be objective?

The question under discussion is: “Can a Jewish ambassador to Israel ever be truly objective when advising his home government on relations with the Jewish state? That is going to be the big question for Britain’s new ambassador to Israel, Matthew Gould, who has just taken up residence in Tel Aviv.

This is not the first time the someone’s Jewish background has been held against them recently in the media. When respected historians Sir Martin Gilbert and Sir Lawrence Freedman were appointed to the panel of the Chilcot Enquiry to investigate the Iraq War Oliver Miles, a former British ambassador to Libya, wrote in The Independent:

“Both Gilbert and Freedman are Jewish, and Gilbert at least has a record of active support for Zionism. Such facts are not usually mentioned in the mainstream British and American media, but The Jewish Chronicle and the Israeli media have no such inhibitions, and the Arabic media both in London and in the region are usually not far behind. All five members have outstanding reputations and records, but it is a pity that, if and when the inquiry is accused of a whitewash, such handy ammunition will be available. Membership should not only be balanced; it should be seen to be balanced.”

Should being Jewish really disqualify them from all aspects of political life involving Middle Eastern matters?

And yet I wish I had a pound for the amount of times that someone’s Jewish background has been utilised to make a political point when it is to Israel’s detriment.

Richard Goldstone, who in his shabbily investigated report into Operation Cast Lead found Israel guilty of war crimes, has repeatedly had his objectivity placed beyond reproach solely because he is Jewish.

Then people who call for boycotts against Israel and march through London holding Hezbollah and Hamas flags think themselves beyond reproach with regards to anti-Semitism because they have a few communist Jews and the extreme religious Jewish sect of the Neturei Karta marching alongside them.

And now MEMO highlights the new British Ambassador to Israel’s Judaism as being a possible hindrance to his objectivity and raises the age-old issue of Jewish loyalty to the country in which they are citizens.

MEMO writes:

Despite Matthew Gould’s claim to be “a career diplomat”, his previous service as the principal private secretary to Labour’s David Miliband (also a member of North London’s increasingly influential Jewish community) when he was Foreign Secretary suggests that Conservative Mr. Cameron is indeed playing the Jewish card with this appointment. But for whose benefit: Britain’s or Israel’s?

This despite Cameron recently calling Gaza a “prison camp”!

Apparently Gould lost eight close relatives in the Holocaust and the MEMO article continues:

“Without wishing in any way to diminish the significance of the Holocaust on the psyche of Jews in Israel and the Diaspora – and the need to ensure that “never again” will a powerful militarised state be able to commit genocidal acts without being called to account for its actions – it is this “visceral” link which surely calls into doubt Matthew Gould’s ability to be a critical friend of Israel.”

But politicising the deaths of six million Jews in this way does “diminish the significance of the Holocaust”!

This is all despite Matthew Gould being a model British citizen, serving Britain to the best of his abilities and paying his share of taxes to support Britain’s needs.

Now the only apparent problem is that he’s Jewish.

And because he is Jewish MEMO perniciously describes Gould as “in all but name, a person with dual citizenship rights”.

In 1883, with Jews scattered across the globe and vicious pogroms against them the norm in Eastern Europe Moshe Lilienblum wrote in “The Future of Our People” the following prescient piece about smearing Jews:

“The opponents of nationalism see us as uncompromising nationalists, with a nationalist God and a nationalist Torah; the nationalists see us as cosmopolitans, whose homeland is wherever we happen to be well off. Religious Gentiles say that we are devoid of any faith, and the freethinkers among them say that we are Orthodox and believe in all kinds of nonsense; the liberals say that we are conservative and the conservatives call us liberal. Some bureaucrats and writers see us as the root of anarchy, insurrection and revolt; and the anarchists say we are capitalists, the bearers of the biblical civilization, which is, in their view, based on slavery and parasitism. Officialdom accuses us of circumventing the laws of the land – that is, of course, the laws directed specifically against us….Musicians like Richard Wagner charge us with destroying the beauty and purity of music. Even our merits are turned into shortcomings: “Few Jews are murderers,” they say, “because the Jews are cowards.” This, however, does not prevent them from accusing us of murdering Christian children.”
(The Makings of Modern Zionism, Shlomo Avineri, 1981)

In employing someone’s religious background so gratuitously in order to try to smear that person ignorant organisations like MEMO display that, for some, Lilienblum’s thesis is still intact today, 127 years later.

(For more commentary see here and here).

Anti-Semitic attack in Golders Green

Two male teenagers attacked an 18-year-old Jewish man outside the Nat West Bank on Golders Green Road, North-West London today.

A black male teenager hit the Jewish man over the head with a bottle before he cycled off with his friend who, according to a witness, screamed, “Algeria, Algeria, F*ck the Jews”.

The attacker with the bottle was later caught in a nearby park.

It had all started when the two teenagers cycled passed a couple of parked cars and when they saw that the teenagers inside were wearing kippahs one shouted “Allahu Akbar” (Allah is the greatest) at them.

Then when the Jewish teenagers got out of their cars to remonstrate the cyclists came back, dropped their bikes in the road and ran towards the Jewish teenagers who ran off through Golders Green.

When another Jewish teenager came to help his friends the black teenager was now holding a large bottle that he had taken from a nearby shop. He turned around and struck the Jewish teenager over the head with the bottle.

The police and an ambulance were called. The Jewish teenager who was hit with the bottle was bleeding from behind his left ear and had a possible broken left hand.

He was taken to hospital in an ambulance where he is recovering.