Tag Archives: moses

The Guardian’s Nicholas Lezard uncovers why us Jews are kleptomaniacs.

(I wrote this for CIFWatch which monitors anti-Semitism and the assault on Israel’s legitimacy in The Guardian)

I have an admission to make. You see the place where I live, and in fact the place where I am writing this piece, I have no rights to. That’s right I’m a trespasser, a squatter, a thief, or whatever you think is an appropriate word for a rogue such as me.

You see it all happened about 20 years ago. I had nowhere that I really wanted to live until I spied a nice little place in a London suburb one night. The light was on and pensioners Roberta and George Smith had just settled down to watch Coronation Street with a hot cup of cocoa in their hands.

As soon as they became engrossed in Corrie I barged in and told them to leave. I gave them 10 minutes to pack up their belongings and get the hell out.

I have been living here ever since and very nice it is too. The local council has passed a motion that the Smiths have a “right of return”, but I refuse to budge. You see it isn’t my fault, I tell the council. The problem is I’m Jewish and that is what us Jews do. If there is something we want, we just take it.

I mean we did it in 1948 too, I tell them. There was this already fully functioning state called Palestine full of millions and millions of people who had lived there since the dinosaurs, and the Jews (who hadn’t lived there since the dinosaurs) suddenly appeared from absolutely nowhere and took over their houses, farms and businesses and told them to get the hell out.

But it wasn’t those Jews’ fault either, I said. Just like a Tourette’s sufferer can’t help himself when swearing so us Jews just can’t stop ourselves from thieving.

Thanks to Nicholas Lezard, literary critic for The Guardian, I have recently discovered an explanation for all this; thieving might actually be in our DNA.

Lezard has uncovered a dirty little secret that has been kept hidden from us Jews and which explains a lot; one of our great forefathers, Moses, was a bit of a tea-leaf himself.

In his Guardian review (Jan. 3) of Intolerable Tongues, which describes Dr Donald McCollum’s journey through British Mandate Palestine towards the end of the 1930s, a novel by Ellis Sharp (and which is classed as “history” by The Guardian), Lezard concludes:

“And beneath all this rumbles history – not only that which is yet to come for the area, but all that has gone before. ‘I have always found it a bit rum that Moses parcelled out land that already belonged to others,’ muses McCollum at one point, which might seem like a piece of thumpingly unsubtle irony; but then sometimes that’s how history works, and it’s important to be reminded of it from time to time.” (added emphasis by me)

So now, thanks to Lezard, the truth is out; Moses, like me and probably you if you are Jewish, also stole land that wasn’t his.

You see when Moses led the Jews out of slavery in Egypt he led them to this already fully functioning state called Canaan full of millions and millions of people who had lived there since the dinosaurs and the Jews suddenly appeared from absolutely nowhere and took over their houses, farms and businesses and told them to get the hell out….

Lib Dems launch Mezuzah War

A mezuzah.

With the general election and the Jewish festival of Passover both approaching it is ironic to see some politicians making the same decision the Almighty made when smiting the first born son of each Egyptian family to persuade Pharoah to release the Jews.

Thousands of years ago Jewish families marked the front of their own homes so the Almighty would “pass over” and leave their own first born sons unharmed. It worked and Moses was allowed by the evil Pharoah to finally lead the Jews from slavery to freedom.

This time it is the Lib Dems who are deciding which houses to “pass over” but with a view to entering not so much the Promised Land as the House of Commons.

But there’s a problem. Camden council contains the two parliamentary constituencies of Hampstead and Kilburn, where the MP is Glenda Jackson, and Holborn and St. Pancras, where the MP is Frank Dobson.

In Hampstead and Kilburn the election will be close. In 2005 Jackson got 14,615 votes and the Conservatives and Lib Dems received 10,886 and 10,293 votes respectively.

Jackson was elected as Labour MP in 1992 and with her majority on the slide ever since it is highly probable that she will be out of a job after 6th May.

In Holborn and St. Pancras in 2005 Dobson secured victory for Labour with 14,857 votes. The Lib Dems came second with 10,070 votes.

And so the Lib Dems are in with a chance of not only being in control of Camden council but they could turn Camden completely yellow if they take these two parliamentary seats as well.

But the Lib Dems are already not fighting fair before the general election has even been officially called.

Chris Philp, the Conservative Candidate, has written about the different leaflets put out by the Lib Dems depending on whether a family is Jewish or Muslim.

Chris Philp (right) at a Conservative Friends of Israel event

We know how horrendous the Lib Dems are about Israel.

Without needing to mention Baroness Jenny Tonge, Chris Davies MEP and Sarah Teather MP the most hostile of all to Israel, because he is the one who ultimately makes the decisions, is Nick Clegg MP, the Lib Dem leader.

Clegg advocates Israel being left without any defence against Hamas rocket barrages by calling for Israel to be disarmed.

So if Nick Clegg becomes Foreign Secretary, a distinct possibility with recent opinion polls implying a hung parliament, Israeli citizens could be fearing for their lives.

Clegg’s hostile attitude is now reproduced in Lib Dem leaflets in Holborn and St Pancras, with its large Bangladeshi community, where Israel is continuously vilified by Jo Shaw, the Lib Dem candidate.

“Stop Arming Israel” screams her leaflets.

Jo Shaw's leaflet in the Holborn and St Pancras constituency

But if you are living in the adjoining constituency of Hampstead and Highgate, with its disproportionately high Jewish population, the story is completely different.

There, Ed Fordham, the Lib Dem candidate has inserted into his leaflets photos of himself in Israel and has even included Hebrew. These leaflets are aimed at placating the Jewish households.

Chris Philp thinks that the Lib Dems might “have compiled a list of Jewish people in the area”.

It is much easier than that. All these crafty Lib Dems need do is see if there is a Mezuzah on the front door. If there is then through the letterbox goes the Israel-friendly leaflet. If there isn’t then that letterbox gets “passed over”.

Ed Fordham (left) in Israel

Sadly, attempting to manipulate the feelings of religious minorities has paid off before. In the 2005 General Election Lorna Fitzsimons, the then Labour MP, lost in Rochdale.

The 2006 Report of the All Parliamentary Committee into anti-Semitism found that the Muslim Public Affairs Committee, in order to help unseat Fitzsimons, distributed leaflets stating “she had done nothing to help the Palestinians because she was a Jewish member of the Labour Friends of Israel”.

One problem, Lorna Fitzsimons is not Jewish.

A similar deligitimising campaign is already underway against Luciana Berger who is standing as the Labour Party candidate in the Liverpool Wavertree constituency. She has already been labelled that “well-known Zionist”.

I am sure that the average voter is savvy enough not to be fooled by Lib Dem mind games but at least when Jewish families are sat around their passover tables and they hear that political leaflet drop on to the mat they will finally be able to answer that all important Passover question:

Why is this political leaflet different from all other political leaflets?

Luciana Berger: Liverpool Wavertree's Labour Candidate