Flotilla to Scotland, anyone?

Is a pandemic of anti-Semitism about to sweep Scotland? Probably not, but things aren’t good up there (in more ways than one).

First West Dunbartonshire council votes for a full boycott of Israel and, not to be outdone, Dundee Council is due to consider the same.

Liberal Democrat group leader Fraser Macpherson is asking councillors to condemn the Israeli government for its “illegal occupation of east Jerusalem and the West Bank and illegal blockade of Gaza.” The motion was due to be discussed on Monday night, but has been postponed until mid-June.

The motion also likens the treatment of the Palestinians to that of non-whites in South Africa under apartheid.

The motion reads:

“Dundee City Council, proud of its historic links with the people of Palestine and the past support it has given to the oppressed inhabitants of the region, condemns the government of Israel for its continuing illegal occupation of east Jerusalem and the West Bank and the illegal blockade of Gaza. The council recognises that apartheid was not acceptable in South Africa and it is not acceptable in Palestine. The council furthermore notes the government of Israel’s continuing disregard of successive UN resolutions and its continuing failure to comply with the requirements of the Geneva Convention in regard to its treatment of Palestinians living in the Occupied Territories.”

Apparently, a petition with 2500 signatures calling for a boycott of Israeli goods had been submitted by Macpherson’s constituents and a request made that the Palestinian flag be flown from the City Chambers.

Referring to West Dunbartonshire he said:

“It has emerged that another council in Scotland — West Dunbartonshire — is operating such a boycott and officers will be making informal contact with that authority to find out more about it. I would be supportive of a boycott as long as it was found to be legally possible.”

Meanwhile, the Office for National Statistics has just revealed that the adult life expectancy rate in Glasgow is on a par with the Palestinian territories and Albania. When conditions are so bad at home there is no better way to divert attention than by falsely accusing Israel of apartheid.

Maybe the Palestine Solidarity Campaign could arrange a humanitarian aid flotilla for Scotland, although, hopefully, any medication won’t be out of date like that the “humanitarian aid flotilla” wanted to deliver to their Palestinian bothers and sisters in Gaza last May!

No one is naive to think that this sudden upsurge in boycott talk is limited to Scotland.

Liberal Democrat MP for Colchester Bob Russell and three Lib Dem colleagues have just returned from a trip to the West Bank at the invitation of the Council for Arab-British Understanding and Russell now wants the EU and UN “to force Israel to comply with UN resolutions”.

He said:

“I recognise what happened to the Jewish people of Europe in the Thirties and Forties was a crime against humanity. But I do not consider it fair the people of Palestine should pay the price of Europe’s sins by being forced out of their homeland by Israel.”

Judging by that last sentence Russell seems to be calling for the destruction of the Jewish state through the return of the so-called Palestinian refugees to Israel, 95% of which have never lived there.

The Liberal Democrats reneged on virtually every pre-election promise and in coalition are ineffective in this Conservative-led government. Again, what better way to divert attention and to raise one’s own profile than by callously hitting out at Israel.

You can discuss these issues with Councillor Macpherson and Bob Russell MP at:

Fraser Macpherson
2a Argyle Street, Dundee, DD4 7AL
Home Tel: 459378
Business Tel: 434985
Email: fraser.macpherson@dundeecity.gov.uk

and Bob Russell:

48 responses to “Flotilla to Scotland, anyone?

  1. ‘The motion was due to be discussed on Monday night, but has been postponed until mid-June.’ When their guest speaker will be Borat

  2. Sharon Klaff

    Well done Richard. Its all very nauseating – ignorant people using replacement history to further their personal Jew hatred!

  3. Michael Plosker

    Another interesting piece Richard, but I just wish the Jewish Chronicle wouldn’t give Councillor Jim Bollan of West Dunbartonshire Council the oxygen of publicity by putting his picture on the front page of this week’s edition.He must be loving it.

    • richardmillett

      Considering his daughter tragically committed suicide in prison, poor girl, I can’t imagine he can get much pleasure out of anything to be fair.

      • Sharon Klaff

        This does not give him a free passage to prosecute a narrative he has gleaned superficially via intense indoctrination to ehance his Jew hatred. I am sorry he lost his daughter, but then he doesn’t have to see that I lose my right to be a Jew, free and entitled in a democracy as any other person. For him to target Israeli Jews – I am sure he would not target Israeli Christians or Muslims – is a form of hatred that leads to genocide. He is either unware or he conscioulsy propagates the Islamic call for death to Jews where ever they are found. This man has no right to serve as a public servant in a democracy that claims to be multicultural. As a civil servant his job is to serve all of the people all of the time and not to politicise is brief.

  4. Thanks, Richard. Following our discussion about this on my blog (http://matthewfharris.blogspot.com/2011/06/scotlands-council-of-despair.html), I’m pleased that you’ve ‘borrowed’ my gag about sending a flotilla to West Dunbartonshire, imitation being the sincerest form of flattery; after all, this all revolves around things being borrowed from libraries…

    But seriously, I very much disagree with Bob Russell on many matters relating to Israel, just as I also disagree with many Labour MPs about the same things. However, Bob Russell is saying these deeply regrettable things (with which I profoundly disagree) because he believes them to be true, rather than for the reasons that you suggest.

    It’s also interesting to note that Lib Dem Deputy Leader Simon Hughes was on the same trip; this is not remotely Mr Hughes’ first trip to the West Bank or Israel, and it won’t be the last. He actually (http://matthewfharris.blogspot.com/2011/05/simon-hughes-and-road-to-reconciliation.html) has a great history of constructive engagement in efforts to bring about peace between Israel and the Palestinians.

    The Daily Mail (http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1385862/Nick-Clegg-boasts-Lib-Dems-punching-weight-Government.html) says that the Coalition is implementing 75% of the Lib Dems’ manifesto commitments (compared to 60% of the Tories’), so we’re not reneging on our election pledges; we’re actually keeping three quarters of them – it must be true if the Daily Mail says it is.

    Looking at the legislation that is currently going through Parliament, and at what the current UK government is actually doing, what are your criticisms of the Coalition Government in relation to Israel and other issues of Jewish communal concern? One could argue that Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg neatly outlined the Government’s agenda on such issues in this speech in November:, http://matthewfharris.blogspot.com/2010/11/video-nick-clegg-speech-to-friends-of.html: universal jurisdiction, school security and support for American efforts to bolster the peace process – it’s all now come to pass.

    There’s this one as well, by another Lib Dem Cabinet Minister, Michael Moore: http://matthewfharris.blogspot.com/2010/11/michael-moore-speech-to-board-of.html. With all due respect to Bob Russell, he is nothing more (nor less) than a backbench MP.

  5. With classic Liberal efficiency, I didn’t post the link to the Daily Mail that I intended. Here is the one I meant: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1394232/How-David-Cameron-Nick-Clegg-create-policy-Sunday-nights.html?ito=feeds-newsxml

  6. it is sickening – thanks Richard

    People who can’t bear to have some Jews living amongst them successfully accuse Israel of “apartheid”.

  7. richardmillett

    How can anyone believe in Nick Clegg, whatever he says about Israel? He has reneged. Look at university fees, on which the Libs built most of their vote. The Lib Dems are basically anti-Zionist is outlook, i’m sorry. I don’t need to recite the names over and over again. If it looks like a duck and quacks like a duck, it’s usually a duck! As for the coalition there has still been no change on universal jurisdiction and Hiz but-Tahrir is still freely operating, contrary to what Cameron promised. Plus every single politician, apart from Michael Gove, refers to the settlements as “illegal” without citing proof. Do you think they are illegal? And what about Cameron said in Turkey about Gaza? The list is endless.

    • Anyone calling them ‘illegal’ is either an antisemite or has an IQ in two digits (or both, of course, which would probably apply to the foetus if not to Cameron himself).

      Now, I detest the LibDems as much as anyone does – they have many prominent antisemites in that sickening party – but tuition fees are a non-issue in this context. They are the junior partner in a coalition, and expecting them to call all the shots shows a lack of understanding of what a coalition is.

      I never expected from them any integrity anyway. It’s the Tories who have proved to be the greatest liars and hypocrites from day one, as regards the Middle East.

  8. Sharon Klaff

    Absolutely right Richard. This coalition has to be the worst and weekest government ever. Cameron is a yes man to whoever is in front of him and Clegg is a total hypocrite with his party infested with like minded members. And we cannot rely on Milliband who married under protest at an agmostic ceremony but he and his intended crashed a glass in memory of his lost Jewish family that his children will never really know about – perhaps it was in memory of his lost heritage! So what hope is there that any of them will actually do a little reading and research of their own? Its easier for them to settle back and allow never again to be again – they can cry in the aftermath how wonderful a nation they are to refugees – even Michael Howard pulled that one re his “immigrant” family who hapened to a amongst the lucky few who made the quota although he failed to mention that well kept secret! And now we have Theresa May’s Prevent that failed to prevent terrorist organisation hiking their wears to future martyrs. Nice world we live!

  9. A reform to the law on universal jurisdiction is currently making its way through Parliament, as part of the Police Reform and Social Responsibility Bill 2010-11 (http://services.parliament.uk/bills/2010-11/policereformandsocialresponsibility.html), which is being taken through the House of Lords by a Lib Dem minister, Lord McNally.

    Do you really believe that most of the 6,836,824 people who voted Liberal Democrat at the General Election last year were motivated by university fees? Those Lib Dem voters being 23% – i.e. roughly one in four – of all the people who voted. Where is your evidence for that? None of the academic studies of the election have said that student fees motivated most of this roughly seven million people to vote Lib Dem in 2010, so I’m not sure where you’re getting that from.

    http://matthewfharris.blogspot.com/2011/03/my-dinner-with-david-cameron.html tells you what I think of David Cameron in this context. Given how awful things are for the Palestinian people who live in Gaza, what is wrong with the Prime Minister having said so, in Turkey? http://matthewfharris.blogspot.com/2011/05/gaza-new-thinking-on-this-total-mess.html is what I think about Gaza; http://matthewfharris.blogspot.com/2010/12/peace-talks-and-settlement-freeze.html is what I think about settlements.

    Ed Miliband might have been a university contemporary of mine, although I don’t believe that I have ever met him. Sharon Klaff’s remarks about Mr Miliband drip with spite. What business is it of yours whether or not Mr Miliband chooses to get married? So, he’s not a religious person – that’s his choice. This is England, not Saudi Arabia. OK, so he had a non-religious upbringing – so what? Given that he had two foreign-born Jewish parents who had come to Britain as refugees from Nazi persecution, the chances are that he grew up with an awareness of being Jewish. There’s more to being Jewish than religious observance.

  10. Cameron calling Gaza an Open-Air Prison in Turkey after Erdogan had shown himself favourable to the Flotilla was a sign of common diplomatic nicety. To hell with NATO, signing up to the gospel of the looney left was so much more feel-good. Disgusting! And that from the UK, the one European country I still have hopes to come to its senses, after all they once proved that they know how to.

    A NATO-member supporting an attack by paramilitary thugs on a co-western state was made entirely business as usual.

    When it turned out that the “Gazans are starving” meme crumbled “they” tried next to establish “obesity is just as bad”.

    Preferably in photos accompanying MSM-rants they like to show sorry looking donkeys instead of plush stuff from Gaza-city. And they are exactly the same people who pay heaps of money to visit foreign places were they ululate about seeing a donkey getting worked to exhaustion as back to the natural life.

  11. and while I am at Turkey, here is my latest: (for those who aren’t familiar with Claire Berlinski yet, here is a recent interview with her by Michael Totten
    Surely a country Mr. Cameron should prefer to suck up to.


    Turkey: Last Exit Before the Toll
    Claire Berlinski, Ed. · 1 minutes ago
    So, according to Anthony Shadid, writing for the New York Times, Turkey’s democracy is “increasingly vibrant and healthy.” He adds that “unlike past politicians, Turkey’s current leaders reflect the people they speak for.”

    Nice of him to decide this before Turkey’s had a chance to vote.

    For an alternative perspective, here’s Anonymous. Shadid may want to ask why this is the author’s name. In fact, that’s a real person, with a real name, expressing views I am certain to be widely held in Turkey. You’ve got to ask yourself: If that’s an “increasingly vibrant and healthy democracy,” why does Anonymous feel it’s the better part of wisdom to remain anonymous?

  12. Sharon Klaff

    The breaking of the glass at a Jewish wedding serves as an expression of sadness at the destruction of the Temple in Jerusalem, and identifies the couple with the spiritual and national destiny of the Jewish people. A Jew, even at the moment of greatest rejoicing, is mindful of the Psalmist’s injunction to “set Jerusalem above my highest joy.”
    I understand that Ed Milliband supports the negotiation proposal to partition Jerusalem between Arab and Jew, so please tell me why he breaks the glass commemorating Jewish Jerusalem? He might have been to Jewish parents, but he does not practice Judaism and has married a non-Jew, his children are not Jewish and at that rate, should we all follow his example, there will be no Jews left at all and therefore no rituals to use at whim in our ceremonies. So Matthew Harris, nothing spiteful or dripping about what I wrote, just a little reality in a world so hung on spin and few facts. But I guess we can all judge wrongly – like I get the feeling you are taking credit for providing Richard with the idea for this article, but then I could just as well be wrong.

  13. Daniel Marks

    The discussion between Matthew and Sharon regarding the essence of Judaism or “What is a Jew?” if you like, excited me greatly. There is a halachic injunction forbidding us from enjoying something that was produced on Shabbat by another Jew, but I allow myself to savor their delicious comments all the same.

    I do not know Ed Miliband at all either politically or as a fellow Jew. Since the time of Ezra Jewish men have been forbidden to have sex with non-Jewish women. The “marriage” between two such people has no halachic standing and thus the question as to whether they had a ceremony, or what type of ceremony it was is irrelevant.

    Unfortunately, there are many Jews in exile and even here in Israel who understand nothing about being Jewish. The Talmud compares such people to Jews who were kidnapped as by non-Jews as babies and were thus unable to serve G-d as commanded. Such people are naturally not held answerable for the pig they have eaten or the Sabbaths they have unknowingly desecrated.

    The story is told of Rabbi Yisrael of Salant who took his shoes to be repaired. The shoemaker worked on them but it was getting dark and his candle seemed to be nearing its end. Rabbi Yisrael asked him whether he would not prefer to stop and carry on the next day, “No,” answered the shoemaker, “As long as the flame burns, I can repair.” Rabbi Yisrael took this as a sign and adopted the shoemakers’ words as his motto in life. Every Jew has a spark within him, it may be faint and its light may be dim, but as long as it burns he can repair.

    Sharon is right that if a Jew does not convert his children, or them themselves, they will remain non-Jews and to us that is a tragedy. However Matthew is equally right when he says that “There’s more to being Jewish than religious observance.” There’s so much more to being a Jew than occasional ceremonies or empty rituals. Being a Jew is a lifetime’s adventure of repairing the world in the Kingdom of Heaven. It is about sanctifying G-d’s name and being a light unto other nations.

    Like I said I do not know Ed Miliband nor Tony Greenstein the Jewish anti-Zionist from Brighton or the seemingly deranged “rabbis” of Neturei Karta, but I know three things.

    Firstly, they are all to me as kidnapped babies who know nothing of authentic Judaism and thus, should not be blamed for their actions.

    Secondly, they are all my brothers and they all carry a heavenly spark, somewhere deep down, often under much filth.

    Lastly, I know that as long as the flame burns, they can repair. All of them can.

    • “Being a Jew is a lifetime’s adventure of repairing the world in the Kingdom of Heaven. It is about sanctifying G-d’s name and being a light unto other nations.”

      You stick to your medieval version and fairy-tales, Daniel, and I’ll stick to being a perfectly good and proud Jew and an atheist.

      • Im with you on that Leah

      • Daniel Marks

        “…medieval version and fairy-tales..” – Leah

        Rabbi Yisrael of Salant lived from 1810-1883 and was the founder of the Mussar movement. Read a book or two, it won’t kill you. It’s great that you’re a proud Jew. Just imgine how much greater it would be if you knew something about the subject!

        Have a great week!

      • And you know that I don’t because …, you pretentious silly man?

  14. Sharon Klaff

    That’s a great reply Daniel. I am making no judgement as to Milliband’s personal life and I imagine that maybe at least one of his children might find that connection to a heritage that the father has not found. I only wonder,as one who is wedded to my Judaism in all those ways that you say are not religious and certainly wedded to Israel and the Jerusalem of the yearning of the Jews, how is it that a person who politically can conceive of Jerusalem not be being the City of the Jews by throwing it into a negotiating pot with the enemies of Judaism, can use a ritual that identifies him with the Jewish people and Jerusalem. Could it be that he is posturing to his Jewish constituency or is there the slightest hint that the candle might be unknowingly burning?

  15. Daniel Marks

    “..how is it that a person who politically can conceive of Jerusalem not be being the City of the Jews …..can use a ritual that identifies him with the Jewish people and Jerusalem?”

    While your explanation regarding the glass-breaking is the generally accepted one, the origin of the custom (Misha Brachot) was actually to calm down participants at a wedding. Originally various rabbis who were guests at weddings took expensive glasses and broke them publicly to remind people that complete happiness is only to be found in the world to come. The first mention we find of the glass breaking being in memory of the destruction of the temple was as late as the 13th Century.


    However, I doubt that this would be Milliband’s explanation. More likely he knows it to be a simple non-demanding little ceremony after which many, who do not understand its meaning, foolishly shout “Mazal Tov!” as if the glass breaking is the fun bit.

    If Milliband had asked me about breaking a glass at his anyway meaningless “wedding”, I’d say, “Why not?” If he can afford the glass, what harm can it do?

    • my mother had a superstition i.e. when a glass would break inadvertently for her that was a sign that soon something bad would be happening.
      The German saying is:

      “Glück und Glas, wie leicht bricht das”
      = Luck/happyness (we use one word for both) and glass, how easy they break.

      Also there are people who think that the shattering of a mirror introduces 7 years of misery.

      • Daniel Marks

        There’s a TV show here every Friday when people call in and ask questions of a quite well-known rabbi. Recently, a lady phoned and explained that her mirror had broken,she asked what she should do.The rabbi suggested that she pick up the large pieces carefully, sweep up the others and buy a new mirror.

        Actually Silke, you’d be surprised but the ceremonial and ritual side of Judaism that is often more custom than law is often more important to less orthodox Jews. I remember when Amichai was a few days old (before his circumcision) my father and I took him for a long walk. Our neighbors who neither kept Shabbat nor kashrut were horrified and warned me of all manner of evil spirits, etc.

        I do my best to adhere to halacha which means Jewish law (or way of life) but when it comes to traditions and folklore I try to be as open-minded as possible. If the Milliband or he Taliban want to break a few glasses, and as long as they’re not my glasses, I say, “Good luck to them all!”

  16. Sharon Klaff

    If Milliband had asked….

    Sure why not, but also why carry out a Jewish ritual at a wedding that in terms of Judaism is meaningless. And it appears he was trying to connect this to Judaism as he seemingly also spoke of the victimhood of his family in WWll. If he feels that then why try to destroy Israel by latching on to this Palestinian narrative? Furthermore why can he not understand what is really taking place. It can’t be too difficult for a chap with a reputation for being clever to read around the subject. Like checking out the Hamas charter or understanding what led up to the 6 day war in 1967. If he did that he would be proud of his Jewish roots and speak up for the only place on eath that Arab Nationals are safe and free rather than working for it’s demise. Like most politicians in the UK he needs to lose his desire to be a member of the camal brigade club, check out these boycotts in Scotland and indeed in all of the UK and work with the right side to stop all those who perpetrate propganda Hitler would have been proud of. He like Cameron, needs to stand up and be counted. This is not a time for a Chaimberlain moment. What is at stake is far too important for heads in sand or fiddling as did Nero.

    • richardmillett

      Sharon, I really don’t think that Ed is going to be around that long to have to worry about him. He is absolutely useless and invisible. He will soon be sacked as leader I expect.
      Sent from my BlackBerry® wireless device

      • I understand Sharon’s point in a more general way – it is baffling, they want to eat the cake and keep it. They reduce rituals which I assume mean a lot to Daniel to some quaint little bit of folklore.

        And as an unrelated remark let me point out, that they wouldn’t dream of daring to misappropriate any muslim stuff like that.

        Recently one of our smarter academics found it necessary to come up in connection with Israel with alt-testamentarisch (old-testamentarian) and an eye-for-an-eye. The one thing the episode was good for, it taught me a lot. But other than that is that whoever does this Christian reading of the Hebrew Bible lacks respect galore. And that despite one of our 10 commandments saying that you shall honour father and mother. Lots of honouring, if you put lies in their mouths.

      • Sharon Klaff

        According to today’s paper it will be sooner rather than later.

      • Yes, I have rarely seen anyone in high office who was a more perfect embodiment of useless nerdiness – unless it was his brother.

  17. The internet (or my laptop) seems to be swallowing my posts, which are disappearing into the ether…Anyway, I’ll have one more go! I imagine that Ed Miliband chose to include a Jewish element in his wedding ceremony because he has a Jewish identity that is part of who he is. Breaking the glass therefore would have meant something to him. The children of a Jewish father (and a non-Jewish mother) are descended from generations of Jewish forebears, whose surname they bear. Half of their family history and heritage is therefore Jewish. It is a huge part of who they are, despite their not being halachically Jewish; incidentally, at least one of this country’s non-Orthodox Jewish movements would accept such children as religiously Jewish by virtue of their father being Jewish, even if their mother is not Jewish. Regardless of the religious aspect, a person with a Jewish father (even a non-religious Jewish father) is Jewish (or maybe half-Jewish) even if their mother is not Jewish, just as a person with an Irish father is Irish (or maybe half-Irish) even if their mother is not Irish. The Jewish people is a lot more than just a religious community.

    • Daniel Marks

      Hi Matthew,

      Miliband’s children may be wonderful human beings, they may even be saints.However, according to Jewish law they are not Jewish.

      Because we are not racists we say that there is nothing wrong about a person being a non-Jew,they too were created in the image of Almighty G-d, their lives have meaning and they must adhere to the Seven Commandments that were given to the sons of Noah that include:

      Prohibition of Idolatry
      Prohibition of Murder
      Prohibition of Theft
      Prohibition of Sexual immorality
      Prohibition of Blasphemy
      Prohibition of eating flesh taken from an animal while it is still alive
      Establishment of courts of law

      I imagine that this is plenty for them to be going on with and as sons of a British politician they may find numbers 3, 4 and 5 quite challenging.

      Because they are not Jewish, they have no additional restrictions such as keeping Shabbat and Kashrut, which I’m guessing is for the best, and they are completely free to live their lives as they wish, marry who they want,etc.

      If one of them, one day,is fool enough as to want to be a Jew, to keep 613 laws instead of seven and to spend his days being a slave to G-d, like any other non-Jew he is free to apply for membership. If he is serious and persistent, he’ll probably get in.

      However,the process of becoming a Jew is a long,difficult and thankless journey and I would recommend it to nobody who wants a quiet peaceful easy life .

  18. Thank you, Daniel. You’re talking about the (very important) religious aspects of being a Jew. I’m talking about the cultural and ethnic aspects of being a Jew.

    When it comes to their cultural and ethnic heritage (and their family history), a person with one Jewish parent is at least half-Jewish, even if their mother is not Jewish. And, I repeat: at least one of Britain’s non-Orthodox Jewish denominations does recognise all children of Jewish fathers as being religiously Jewish (without the need to convert), regardless of whether or not the children’s mothers are Jewish.

    One friend of mine grew up with a Jewish father and a non-Jewish mother and has always had a very strong Jewish identity, not least because his father was a refugee from Nazi oppression, and my friend closely identifies with that family history. He has always known that his Jewish heritage is part of who he is, despite not being halachically Jewish, and despite not leading a religious lifestyle. He is Jewish in the way that an Irish American is Irish, because half of his ancestry is Jewish – and that has nothing to do with religion.

  19. Daniel Marks

    Hi Matthew,

    Thank you for that reasoned response. I note that according to your own excellent blog you were the Liberal Democrat Parliamentary candidate for Hendon in the General Election of May 2010. All I can say is that those voters don’t know what a thoughtful intellect they missed out on.

    You accredit me with talking of the “religious aspects of being a Jew”, but it is not by chance that I never used those words or anything like them. You might define me as an orthodox Jew, but that is neither here nor there. Nowhere in the Torah or in any authentic Jewish texts are we called or do we call ourselves a religion. The term religion is a relatively modern Christian innovation used to separate a man’s nationhood, language, culture and way of life from the way in which he “worships” his god. As you correctly state an American may talk English, sing Irish songs and worship a Christian God. He compartmentalizes his life and rightly sees no contradiction. In time of war he might kill other Christians or be killed by other Irishmen.

    I am a Jew because I belong to the Jewish nation. I am a Jew not because of how I choose to worship my G-d but because of the mission that He has given to me and you. Neither culture nor ethnicity has anything to do with it. I prefer British music, Indian food and Italian art. However, they do not define me and I will not fight or send my children to kill or maybe be killed for any of those.

    I have had similar friends to yours. I’ve known Druse soldiers who have loved Israel and made sacrifices for her as few British Jews have. They speak Hebrew as well as most Israelis and know of our culture and history as well as many of us. It may be that ethnically and culturally my children have more in common with their children than with yours, but you are a Jew and they are not. A nation with a purpose and a mission cannot have its membership determined by subjective feelings or whims. “Today I like chicken soup, so I am a Jew.”

    Finally, as I have said this usage of Nuremburg legislation to define who is a Jew sickens me like little else. “If he was a Jew in Hitler’s eyes because his father was Jewish, then we must adopt the Nazi definition.” There is nothing wrong, shameful or demeaning in not being Jewish. They can still eat the food and hear the music and read our books, nobody is stopping them. If one of Miliband’s kids wants to break a glass at his wedding too, or pledge phoney allegiance to Jerusalem or dance “Hava Nagila hava”, why not? If that’s enough to make him feel like a Jew, let him feel. As you said, according to at least one movement he’s Reformed Jew already – and hell, that’s without even eating the gefilte fish.

  20. Not really surprised about Dundee. That dreadful place has been a sewer of antisem … sorry, genuine love for the poor downtrodden ‘Palestinians'(TM) for decades.

  21. Daniel Marks

    On a serious note Leah, our opponents do not spew any more than we do. And even if they were to do so, this would not be our objection. We oppose them because of what they say, not because of the manner in which do so. Likewise, Dundee doesn’t suddenly become a “sewer” because of the words or actions of a number of its residents and leaders. Nor, for that matter do human beings suddenly become “pond scum” because of their viewpoints.

    If we do not agree with somebody’s point of view, we seek to refute it. I understand that this entail knowledge, information and often the ability to analyze matters. I am also aware of the fact that that name-calling is much easier and less intellectually challenging, but if we are to be honest with ourselves, it achieves very little.

    There is also another problem when we say silly things that aren’t really true. That being; the first time one of our loyal readers ambles off to bonny Dundee to see the “sewer” in which all the “pond scum” are forever “spewing”, only to arrive there and find no such things, he may begin to question how reliable we Zionists are as sources of information and ideas.

    We thank G-d that our arguments are strong and that truth, history, morality and common decency are our side too. Leah, why not make use of all of these wonderful gifts from our Maker, rather than perpetually seeking to prove to one and all, Jew and Gentile alike, what a foul mouth you have?

  22. “We oppose them because of what they say, not because of the manner in which do so.”

    The two things are linked. Deranged antisemites are, well, deranged. Or are you claiming that Hitler and Goebbels were perfectly normal human beings, they just happened to hold different political views from you?

    ” Likewise, Dundee doesn’t suddenly become a “sewer” because of the words or actions of a number of its residents and leaders.”

    Nobody said ‘suddenly’. It has been one for years. It was pro-‘Palestinian'(TM) back in the 1980s.

    “Nor, for that matter do human beings suddenly become “pond scum” because of their viewpoints.”

    Being a genocidal antisemite is not a “viewpoint”, all your self-righteous posturing notwithstanding.

  23. Oh, and stop talking down to me, you silly man: it just makes you look ever more ridiculous.

  24. Daniel Marks


    It’s not about talking down to you.I talk the same way to everyone. I treat a duchess as if she was a flower girl and a flower girl as if she was a duchess. The problem is that when you spend your life wallowing in the gutters,it seems that everyone is talking down toy you.If anything I was trying to help you elevate yourself, and it’s not easy going.

    I have no intention of relating at length to your absurd comparison to Hitler and Goebbels that,to my mind,borders on holocaust denial. “If the Jews themselves are comparing the action of some barmy Scottish councilman those of Hitler and his henchmen, I guess Auschwitz couldn’t have been that bad.”

    The comparison is outrageous and disgraceful and if in the past I saw you as someone with limited literary talents, but whose heart was basically in the right place, your last obscene posting has caused me to reconsider this judgement.

  25. Daniel

    I think I get what you are aiming at when you say and I think it is one of several ways of trying to get it across:

    … our arguments are strong and that truth, history, morality and common decency are our side too.

    My real life experience is that in cases of mobbing, harrassment, slander all the above isn’t of much help or plainly no help at all. Once the “get them”-mood has set in, they have become unconvincable.

    Calling them “scum” may help to make somebody curious about the facts. It sure did for me when I was young and my co-Europeans called me fascist (not for my views mind you but for whatever typically German they thought they could detect in me). Showing up in the company of well-muscled well-booted guys may convince others. Being sober-minded and rational may make another one think.

    The author of a new book on truthers Jonathan Kay is currently making the rounds. In his interview with the BBC he said that in the 2,5 years he wrote that book he has talked to innumerable truthers of all kinds. None of his arguments hit the mark with any of the people he talked to i.e. he drew a blank with whatever he tried. He said he concluded that one has to get them before they catch the confusion.

    … and please keep talking down to me – it makes it so much more fun to try to find holes in your arguments 😉

    hugging you online

    • Daniel Marks


      Thanks, and I ditto everything you said about Silke.


      I agree wholeheartedly with your “different strokes for different folks” attitude. Certainly in a military conflict it would be absurd to replace bullets with words. I could add other examples, but do not wish to involve the author of this excellent blog in any legal troubles.

      However, this is not really a battleground. It is a forum for conversation and exchanges of ideas and therefore I rarely see much need here to put away my pen and take out my sword.

      As I have said many times, cursing and insulting each other are the great equalizers of debate. Put the biggest fool into the ring with a genius and if they just swear at each other it’s anyone’s victory. Who said the last rude word? Who could be the nastiest? Who cares?

      If nothing else, then for tactical reasons, it is easier for me to persuade my opponent while talking in a civilized way. It makes both of us more receptive to reason and less defensive. It’s hard to admit that the other guy may be right about what he’s saying if he’s also calling you daft names.

      However, the truth is that I’d prefer to talk politely to Arab propagandists, Brighton anti-Zionists and Bridlington chemists. It makes for much more interesting conversations and there is not one poster on this blog from whom I have not learnt. I’m forever joyful to be here and proud to be associated with you and all the other wonderful characters on this blog. If this means being stalked by an occasional Leah or Yoni, it’s truly a modest price to pay.

      Hugs returned

  26. Daniel, as a regular reader here (and very occasional poster), I just want to say how much I appreciate your posts. Even when I don’t agree with them, I admire the way you express yourself calmly (with the possible exception of responses to Leah) and your determination not to be dragged into hyperbole.

    Silke, I read your posts here and at other blogs and very much enjoy them too.

    • thanks for the compliment cba – you sure made my day – I’m off into the sunshine now and I hope people will not call the ambulance to take me away because I won’t stop grinning from ear to ear for no detectable reason.

  27. Thanks, Daniel. I take your point about Judaism not actually being a religion as such; that is a really interesting reflection. I agree with you that being a Jew is about being a member of the Jewish nation, or, as some people prefer to put it, the Jewish people. For you, your membership of that nation or people is very much bound up with your relationship with God and I respect that entirely. For me, being a member of the Jewish people is not only about about whatever faith in God a Jewish person might or might not have, but also about that person’s family history, cultural identity and, yes, ethnicity. So I do believe that, while someone with a Jewish father (and a non-Jewish mother) is, obviously, not halachically Jewish, there is still an important sense in which they can be Jewish (or maybe half-Jewish), especially if they choose to embrace that part of their identity, which many such people do. On this point, I guess that we shall have to agree to disagree.

  28. I somehow doubt that Milliband’s posturing with the glass and his Jewish background has any more substance than Obama’s sudden discovery of an Irish heritage.

    It may come in useful in the future to claim his attacks (or support of an attack with his parliamentary vote) on Israel are somehow the well meaning if reluctant position of someone speaking ‘as-a-Jew’ for the Jews own good.

    Hypocritical but stand politician’s behaviour.

  29. Daniel Marks

    Hi Matthew,

    I’m not sure we’re even disagreeing that much. We both agree that only those born of Jewish mother’s are halachically Jewish and we both agree that those who are not halachically Jewish have every right to their claim to Jewish ancestry as well as to enjoy Jewish culture. The only real point of contention is as to what we might call such people, however, that hardly seems a point worth arguing about.

    I wish you all the best and would be delighted to continue this discussion next time you’re over local wine or imported beer (apparently we’re boycotting Scotch).

  30. Michael Goldman

    Hi Matthew
    I’ve got to say I find myself more or less in agreement with you.
    As you said, you are describing
    ” the cultural and ethnic aspects of being a Jew. “,which is fine and I have no argument with you.
    Yes anybody is free to appreciate these aspects wheather they are Jewish, “half Jewish”, quarter Jewish or any other fraction.
    In fact I see no reason to have any Jewish heritage in order to appreciate or imitate whatever fecets of Judaism take one’s fancy .
    It’s a bit like me prancing around the house in my Jalabiya.
    It doesn’t make me an Arab but it’s a lot of fun.

    I think that Daniel is more concerned with being a Jew.

  31. Thanks, Daniel, I’m always up for local wine – local to where? are you in Israel? Anyway, the news from Dundee: http://matthewfharris.blogspot.com/2011/06/hooray-for-democracy-in-dundee.html

  32. I think somebody needs to send these guys a copy of The Daniel Project DVD…there are still SOME straight thinking Scots up here!