Tag Archives: judaism

Shlomo Sand’s sickening Guardian article slams both Israel and Judaism.

sand

Cross-posted at CiFWatch.

There are times when something is so obviously wrong that it shouldn’t even need pointing out. That the Guardian thinks there is no problem promoting someone who wants to “resign” from Judaism shows how little respect its editors have for Judaism.

Last Saturday the Guardian allowed Shlomo Sand, a Tel Aviv university professor, to write a lengthy piece in its pages about how he has had enough of being Jewish (see above).

Sand is relatively unknown in the UK. This might be a news story in Israel, but in the UK? In the UK it isn’t news, but will only incite anti-Semitism. The Guardian wouldn’t dare treat another religious minority in such a demeaning manner.

Sand writes in his article:

“I am often even ashamed of Israel, particularly when I witness evidence of its cruel military colonisation, with its weak and defenceless victims who are not part of the “chosen people”.”

How can this often repeated “chosen people” mantra be anything but anti-Semitism? I have personally been on the receiving end of it. The RMT’s Steve Hedley, disliking my questioning of his violent rhetoric at an anti-Israel event, told me in a derogatory manner that I was one of the “chosen people”. He meant Jewish.

When, in the Guardian article, Sand complains of Israel’s “ethnocentrism” he is really complaining about Israel’s Jewishness. Would the Guardian allow another country to be attacked because it is Islamic, Christian, Hindu, Buddhist?

For the Guardian it is par for the course to have articles containing unsubstantiated attacks on Israel. It has become so blase about this that the Guardian’s editors are now unable, or unwilling, to notice when their newspaper steps over the line into promoting racist diatribe that attacks Jews and Judaism.

Meanwhile, Sand’s crackpot theory is simple: He believes that today’s Jews have no connection to Israel because the Romans never evicted the Jews from the Holy Land and, therefore, the Jews have no right to return there. It was early Zionist thinkers who twisted the facts to argue that Jews be allowed to return to Israel. Sand claims that today’s Jews are merely descended from a north African tribe that converted to Judaism.

Last year at SOAS Sand described Israel, among other things, as “a shitty nation”.

Sand’s overall rhetoric is poisonous and racist and could cause a backlash against Britain’s small Jewish community with its strong affiliation to Israel and obvious adherence to Judaism.

On reading the headline to Sand’s piece in the Guardian Shlomo Sand: ‘I wish to resign from being a Jew’ I thought of those times a Jew might have wished to resign from being Jewish. As Jews were being herded by the Nazis onto trains headed for Auschwitz-Birkenau some may have liked to declare “I wish to resign from being a Jew” to try and save their own and their family’s lives.

Had Sand been around back then and submitted his resignation to the Nazi in charge of the Jew-herding he would have been mocked before being sent on his way to Auschwitz.

This may be a game to the Guardian and Sand but publishing this article was crass and on a par with writings at the extreme ends of the political spectrum.

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Extremists fail to disrupt Closer To Israel 65 in London’s Trafalgar Square.

A group of 30 extremists failed to dampen spirits as some 3,000 Jewish and non-Jewish pro-Israel supporters came out to show their support and appreciation for the Jewish state at the Closer to Israel 65 event in London’s Trafalgar Square today. Even the sun finally shone!

The 30 extremists were from the Islamic Human Rights Commission (IHRC), the tiny Jewish religious sect the Neturei Karta, the Palestine Solidarity Campaign and Jews For Justice For Palestinians.

A favourite racist chant of those from the IHRC was “Judaism yes, Zionism no, the State of Israel must Go”. How awfully nice of Islamic Human Rights Commission members to allow Judaism to be practiced. Now, all one needs to know is how much tax British Jews must pay to be allowed to continue practicing their Judaism.

Here are some IHRC members allowing Jews to practice Judaism in the UK in 2013. We can only thank them:

The hate of the extremists was drowned out by the words of Chief Rabbi Lord Sacks who declared that if the Jewish people had to choose between world criticism of or sympathy for Israel they would choose world criticism rather than be homeless and defenceless with the sympathy of the world:

Here are the photos of the day with some commentary. First, the good people:

The coolest person at Closer To Israel 65. Dig the glasses.

The coolest person at Closer To Israel 65. Dig the glasses.

A Spurs "Yiddo" at CTI65. It's not racist, it's an affectionate nickname!

A Spurs “Yiddo” at CTI65. It’s not racist, it’s an affectionate nickname!

Harif's lovely Michelle Huberman doing what she does best at CTI65. Bellydance!

Harif’s lovely Michelle Huberman doing what she does best at CTI65. Bellydance!

The brilliant and handsome Kasim Hafeez at CTI65.

The brilliant and handsome Kasim Hafeez at CTI65.

Yours truly and superb political commentator and author Carol Could at CTI65.

Yours truly and superb political commentator and author Carol Could at CTI65.

This cool lady was spotted just dancing to the extremists' racist chanting.

This cool lady was spotted just dancing to the extremists’ racist chanting.

A packed and sunny Trafalgar Square for CTI65 listening to the Chief Rabbi.

A packed and sunny Trafalgar Square for CTI65 listening to the Chief Rabbi.

Taking a break from CTI65 to face down the extremists.

Taking a break from CTI65 to face down the extremists.

Israel supporters come face to face with extremism on the streets of London.

Israel supporters come face to face with extremism on the streets of London.

An Israel supporter defiant in the face of hate and lies.

An Israel supporter defiant in the face of hate and lies.

The extremists:

Praying for the Jewish people to experience more bloodshed just because Israel wasn't directly created by the Messiah?

Praying for the Jewish people to experience more bloodshed just because Israel wasn’t directly created by the Messiah?

I agree with this placard. But the Palestinian children are being murdered by the Hamas government.

I agree with this placard. But the Palestinian children are being murdered by the Hamas government.

As I was saying this Palestinian father's grief (see placard) was finally proven by the UN to have been caused by a stray Hamas rocket that killed his young son.

As I was saying this Palestinian father’s grief (see placard) was finally proven by the UN to have been caused by a stray Hamas rocket that killed his young son.

I wonder if this lady is standing up against real evil currently taking place in Syria.

I wonder if this lady is standing up against real evil currently taking place in Syria.

I actually felt sorry for this poor kid. He looks unhappy being pushed to do the vile bidding of his elders.

I actually felt sorry for this poor kid. He looks unhappy being pushed to do the vile bidding of his elders.

Thanks for coming. I hope you all managed to fit into the minivan for the trip home.

Thanks for coming. I hope you all managed to fit into the minivan for the trip home.

An anti-Israel agitator pointing out yours truly to a new recruit.

An anti-Israel agitator pointing out yours truly to a new recruit.

Yes! We've also had enough of Jews For Justice For Palestinians!

Yes! We’ve also had enough of Jews For Justice For Palestinians!

Liberal Judaism and the state of “Palestein”

Richard Kuper (JFJFP), Jeff Halper (ICAHD), Rabbi Danny Rich (Liberal Judaism)

For most Jews it might seem incongruous to attack Israel from in front of the Aron Ha-Kodesh but not for Jews for Justice for Palestinians and not for some from Liberal Judaism which hosted Jeff Halper of Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions (ICAHD) at the Montagu Centre.

Halper is an American who has lived in Israel for 40 years. His talk was titled The Problems of a Peacenik in Israel: Attacking the messenger.

Before Halper spoke Rabbi Danny Rich made the following statement:

“Jews For Justice For Palestinians have booked the Montagu Centre on a number of occasions. They pay more than an economic rent. It is not our custom to censor speakers. We have come under pressure both formally and informally to cancel this meeting. It is not appropriate to cancel this meeting as JFJFP have booked our hall many times before without any problem and we do not believe that calling for a one-state solution, and I believe that Jeff does not call for that anyway, is anti-Semitic.”

So Halper does not call for a one state solution? Some of his his words:

“There’s only one government in Israel and Palestine which is an Israeli government. There’s only one army, one electrical system, one highway system and one water system. Israel has made that, now we can’t blame the Arabs for that. They accepted the two-state solution publicly in 1988. We made this a binational state and we have to accept responsibility for what we do. We made our bed and we have to lie in it, which means a one-state solution which is either binational or a democratic unitary state. I’m not advocating it. I think a one-state solution is a challenge, I think it’s just, I would like to go that way. You can’t keep advocating for a two-state solution when Israel has eliminated the two state solution.”

Extraordinarily, at the end Halper came over to me to specifically state for the record that he “supports boycott, divestment and sanctions against Israel” and he agreed that he is going round British universities both calling for those and describing Israel as an apartheid state.

As for the rest of his talk Halper:

1. Quoted General Petraeus’ recent statement on Israel’s behaviour in not allowing the West to make an accommodation with the Muslim world: “Judaizing Jerusalem isn’t some local issue. Jerusalem is the epitome of the clash of civilisations. It has tremendous implications in the world.”

2. Said the population of Israel is only 70% Jewish. 30% are not Jewish including Russian immigrants and foreign workers and their families. Adding four million Palestinians has made Israel a binational reality. Jews in the diaspora must let Israel go. What Zionism did to the Jewish people was terrible. It negated diaspora Jews.

3. Told us that if diaspora Jews respect Israel they have to respect its right to evolve as a country and find its own place in the Middle East. It isn’t in Europe. After World War One Chaim Weizzman said: “We want the Land of Israel to be as Jewish as England is English.” That made sense in 1919 in England but England could evolve and go somewhere else. England has become a very different country. Bradford has a majority non-white population. You can now become British even if you are from China.

4. Said he thinks Israel intends to keep “Judea and Samaria”: “I can’t explain why we did that if we want a Jewish state. Whoever planned these settlements must be the most anti-Zionist of them all, possibly Ariel Sharon.”

5. Stated that the majority of Jews have always lived in the diaspora and that their national identity is based on the Torah and the book of Joshua (the book of conquest) which is tribal and genocidal and which is where Zionism took its Judaism from. The prophets, however, articulated human rights and liberal humanism. The values Israel talks about are unacceptable to diaspora Jews and that Jerusalem should be Jewish is a racism people would never accept in Britain.

Halper never mentioned the spectre of Islamic Fundamentalism, twisted history by saying the Jews had rejected a two-state solution in 1948 and said that Jewish children were being “brainwashed” by the likes of Birthright Israel. This brainwashing accusation is becoming a common theme against anyone who puts forward Israel’s position.

Finally, after two-hours of advocating a one-state solution, despite his ridiculous denials, Halper even gave us its name: Palestein.