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December 23, 2014 / 1 Tevet, 5775
 
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘Britain’

The Ties that Bind (and Those Unmentioned)

Sunday, September 7th, 2014

The case of the 1400 girls that were beaten and raped over a period of 13 years in England horrified the civilized world. That such an event could go on at all, and then further, left unchecked by police has rightfully enraged the citizens of England and abroad.

Presumably, actions will being taken to right the wrong that was done to the girls and to prosecute those responsible. As part of the process, people are analyzing what could make people commit such atrocities on young children, and how could the police avoid taking action for so long.

Any decent analysis will examine the history of the cases and look for trends: time; place; individual; community; backgrounds; people and friends involved; etc. Common themes will certainly emerge. Some will be important and others less so.

At this point, reporting from some media outlets consider certain characteristics of the assailants important while others avoid them. Consider:

  • The Telegraph. Initial articles mentioned that the men were from “Asian gangs”. Later editorial-news clearly stated that “All but one of the perpetrators were Muslims of Pakistani heritage”.
  • The Wall Street Journal. The initial two stories mentioned the “Pakistani origin” of the attackers, but did not mention their religion. The third article did not specifically say that they were Muslim, but said that the Muslim community condemned the crimes, adding a quote from a member of the Muslim community that the attackers “are not Muslims.” In the fourth article, it declared that “the abusers were of Pakistani and Muslim origin”.
  • The Guardian. First described the attackers as “Asian”. Later articles mentioned the “perpetrators in the town mostly being Pakistani taxi drivers.”  Editorials in September reverted back to saying the rapists were “Asian”.
  • The New York Times. Has referred to the perpetrators as “men of Pakistani heritage”. To this day, none of their news accounts mention that the attackers were Muslim.

 

There was an evolution of the news flow in the more conservative papers: first the men are described as “Asian”, then “Pakistani” and finally “Muslim”. There are several reasons why this evolution may have occurred: more information about the perpetrators gradually became known, or the relevance of the additional information was viewed as more important as time went on.

The Telegraph and the Wall Street Journal added information that the attackers were Muslim. The Guardian held off, and only obtusely referred to their Islamic faith in an article on September 2nd where it reverted back to describing the attackers as “Asian” but the “growing influx of the far right” had expressed its anger at the “Muslim community”.  The New York Times has avoided mentioning the religion of the rapist in any manner.

By the beginning of September, the common religious background of the attackers was well reported. One must therefore conclude that the New York Times deliberately decided to not point out the attackers religious background because they felt it was not relevant to the story (but somehow their Pakistani heritage was).

Was the fact that the men were Muslim relevant to their actions? Was the fact that they were Muslim relevant to their community’s failure of reporting their actions? Was their religion a factor in the police not investigating the many reported cases? Was there an important distinction between being Pakistani and Muslim? Was this simply a gang that happened to be both Pakistani and Muslim and the religion and heritage of the people had only to do with their kinship and nothing to do with the attacks or cover-up?

Perhaps the investigations will resolve the questions. It will be interesting to see if a divide between conservative and liberal papers shields the perpetrators faith (but not heritage) at that time.

‘Madman’ Beheads 82-Year-Old Woman in London Suburb

Friday, September 5th, 2014

British police have arrested a 35-year-old man who ran wild with a machete in a London suburb.

The man first tried to hack away at two people but missed. He then managed to slice away at two cats and then to behead an 82-year-old woman, according to British media.

Police cornered the murderer, and zapped him with a stun gun before arresting him.

The police have not yet released a description of the killer; however, they did say they are certain that the attack was not related to terror.

The Islamic State (ISIS) jihadist group has “popularized” beheadings with the barbaric murders of journalists James Foley and Steve Sotloff these past two weeks.

The victim in the north London suburb of Edmonton was Palmira Silva, apparently of Italian descent. Police said they have no reason to believe that the murderer had any connection with her.

Detective Chief Inspector John Sandlin stated, “This is was a highly visible attack in broad daylight on a residential street. I can understand why this may cause people concern; however we are confident that we are not looking for anyone else at this stage.”

Self-Acclaimed Jew Pleads ‘Not Guilty’ to Assaulting MP George Galloway

Tuesday, September 2nd, 2014

A caretaker who says he is Jewish and was charged with pushing anti-Semitic British Member of Parliament George Galloway in the face last Friday has been remanded to prison, without bail, after pleading not guilty .

Neil Masterson, a former manager for the BBC, allegedly assaulted Galloway when the MP was posing for pictures. Galloway was hospitalized for broken ribs and bruises, including a lump on his head, before being released the following day.

The prosecutor in the case told the court that the Jewish suspect told police, “I didn’t want him to think I’m scared, Galloway is anti-Semitic, and I am Jewish.” However, a post on his Facebook page states he is Catholic.

He is a caregiver for a middle-aged woman, and his defense lawyer told the court that she “would be lost without him.”

One tweet called him a “Zionist terrorist.”

Masterson pleaded not guilty to the charge of an assault that was “religiously aggravated” on Galloway, who recently declared that the city of Bradford that he presents will be an “Israel-free zone.” Police have investigated Galloway for the remarks.

The court denied Masterson bail, and his trial is scheduled for later this month.

Galloway is far from the most popular politician in Britain and is such an embarrassment to the government that the assault was ignored by politicians.

The silence led a London Telegraph columnist to complain, “Galloway has received no public message of sympathy from a single MP from any party – nothing from Speaker Bercow, from the Prime Minister, or from any of the other elected political leader.“

The writer called the assault an ”attack on democracy,” but public figures apparently figure Britain was better off with Galloway out of action, even if for only a day.

British Man Beats Up Anti-Semite George Galloway

Saturday, August 30th, 2014

British police have arrested a 39-year-old man, (not Jewish, we’re not sure if that surprises us or not) for assault anti-Israel and anti-Semitic Member of Parliament George Galloway, who was hospitalized for broken ribs and a head injury.

The attacker was identified as Neil Masterson.

Galloway has been released from the hospital, but it is doubtful that the attacker was able to beat some sense into his head.

The MP, who has built his political career on loving Saddam Hussein and Hamas and hating Jews and Israel, was posing for pictures in west London Friday night when the attacker jumped on him while calling him “Hitler.”

The assault “appears to be connected with his comments about Israel because the guy was shouting about the Holocaust,” said Galloway’s spokesman. The name of his one-MP party is Respect, which indicates his ignorance of the English language.

The party’s name is a very contrived acronym for Respect, Equality, Socialism, Peace, Environmentalism, Community and Trade Unionism. A more accurate acronym would be “Racist, Extremist, Satanic, Pisher, Ethnic=hatingt, Crude and Twisted.

Galloway has been under police investigation since his call earlier this month that the city of Bradford, which he represents, be an “Israel-free” zone that would bar Israeli tourist and place a total ban on anything related to Israel.

We wish Galloway a speedy recovery and hope that some of the medicine he needs is made in Israel.

Dutch Pension Fund Rejects BDS

Friday, August 29th, 2014

The Netherlands’ third largest pension fund, ABP, rejected on Thursday demands from the Boycott Israel movement to disinvest from three Israeli banks that allegedly finance an Israeli presence in Judea and Samaria..

The anti-Israel Avaas organization, along with South African Archbishop Desmond Tutu had pleased with ABP to sell off shares worth more than $75 million in Bank HaPoalim, Bank Leumi and Bank Mizrachi.

ABP decided to follow the example set by another Dutch pension fund, PGGM, in January when it sold off investments in five Israeli banks.

The board of ABP, which is the pension fund for Dutch public workers, said that its investment policy bars holding shares in companies that violate the U.N. Global Compact, AFP reported. The fund’s spokeswoman pointed out that the United Nations, despite its opposition to Israel’s including Judea and Samaria as part of the country, has not declared that the banks are breaking international laws.

The Boycott Israel movement, often terms BDS for Boycott, Disinvestment and Sanctions, has caused some damage to Israel and is a long-term threat, even a strategic threat, but its effect is exaggerated by isolated “victories.”

Selling off shares in banks and companies such Caterpillar, which sells equipment to the IDF, has had a marginal effect in depressing the price on the stock market.

BDS’s “successes” often get more attention than they deserve, and one of the reasons is the inherent bias against Israel in certain media.

The New York Times ran an article on Thursday under the headline “With Gaza War, Movement to Boycott Israel Gains Momentum in Europe.”

The “momentum” referred to a British grocery store’s removing kosher products from its shelves, a London theater’s decision to boycott film funded by the Israeli government, and a plug for Britain’s national embarrassment, known as Member of Parliament George Galloway, who declared that one city in England will be an “Israel-free zone.”

Anti-Israel activists undoubtedly used the war in Gaza to fuel some local boycotts, but the exposure of Hamas for what it is – a regime of war criminals – has mooted the anti-Israel sentiment to some effect.

The anti-Israel spin on the war convinced some governments to reconsider their sales of weapons to Israel, but the long-lasting effect is questionable, especially in light of the chaos among ISIS and fellow Islamic radicals in Syria and Iraq.

After quoting several experts on the threat of a large-scale boycott of Israel, the Times admitted that “the economic impact has been small” and that “the European Union, which has been looked to for leadership on the issue, does not support the idea.”

The most harmful damage so far has been Judea and Samaria, whose products my not bear the stamp “made in Israel” in some countries.

Echoing Cease-fire, Britain’s Jews and Muslims Call for Peace

Thursday, August 28th, 2014

In the wake of an Israeli-Gaza cease-fire that may have been forced on both parties, Britain’s Jews and Muslims have issued a joint call for peace.

The Board of Deputies of British Jews “exists to promote and defend the religious and civil liberties of British Jewry,” according to the mission statement on the group’s website. “As the community’s democratically elected cross-communal organisation, the Board connects with Government, media and wider society, providing a unique means through which all British Jews can be heard and represented.”

The Muslim Council of Britain (MCB) “is an independent body established to promote consultation, cooperation and coordination on Muslim affairs in the United Kingdom.” The group describes itself in a statement on its website as a “non-sectarian body working for the common good without interfering in, displacing or isolating any existing Muslim work in the community. It is a broad-based, representative organisation of Muslims in Britain…pledged to work for the common good of society as a whole…”

The joint statement issued by the two groups was unprecedented and condemned anti-Semitism and Islamophobia. It was entitled, ‘British Jews and Muslims Call for Peace, Wisdom and Hope over Conflict in Israel and Palestine.’

The text of the statement, released Wednesday, read as follows:

There is no doubt that Muslims and Jews have deeply held views about the conflict in Israel and Palestine. We acknowledge that our communities may disagree about the origins, current reasons and solutions to end the conflict. But there are also points of agreement.

The death of every civilian is a tragedy, and every effort should be taken to minimise such losses. The targeting of civilians is completely unacceptable and against our religious traditions. We pray for a speedy end to the current conflict and for a lasting peace for all.

In spite of the situation in the Middle East, we must continue to work hard for good community relations in the UK. We must not import conflict. We must export peace instead.

Whilst everyone has the right to voice their political opinion, be that in a rally or on social media, we must be mindful of how we convey our protest. There can be no excuse for racism, violence, or other forms of intimidation, when expressing views in the media, on the streets, outside shops or online.

We condemn any expression of Antisemitism, Islamophobia or any form of racism. We call for Muslim and Jewish communities to redouble efforts to work together and get to know one another.

We need constructive dialogue to limit our disagreements and identify the widest possible range of areas for cooperation. There are more issues that unite us than divide us.

May the God of Abraham grant our World more peace, wisdom and hope.

Reportedly there was, however, some disagreement over one line of the text: that which condemns the targeting of civilians.

Both groups agree that such behavior is “a tragedy” and “completely unacceptable and against our religious traditions.” But the Jewish group said it was willing to sign the document because it had no reference to mutuality of targeting civilians, since “it’s a known fact the IDF does not deliberately target civilians.” The Muslim group said it was willing to sign because it believed the document held both sides responsible for the same behavior.

 

 

British Police Arrest Jew for Fighting PA Flag Wavers at Kosher Deli

Sunday, August 24th, 2014

Police in Greater London arrested a Jew last week for scuffling with more than dozen demonstrators waving a Palestinian Authority flag and chanting anti-Semitic remarks outside a Jewish deli.

No one was injured in the incident at Flax’s Kosher Deli in the Borough of Bushey Heath, on the outskirts of London.

The only one who was arrested was the 47-year-old Jew, who along with other deli customers barged out of the store to confront the protesters.

Jewish man has been arrested in Bushey Heath after a fight involving socialists who produced Palestinian flags as they marched past a kosher deli.

Police investigators asserted that “no evidence was found that any race or religious hate crimes had occurred,” according to Britain’s JewishNews online website, but witnesses’ remarks indicate that the police investigation was not very thorough.

Among the “non-hate” remarks were, “Jews aren’t safe – we’re coming to get you.”

The demonstration was ostensibly a “March for Jobs” protest, with Palestinian Authority flags. The connection between unemployment and waving the PA flag outside a Jewish deli is not clear, unless the anti-Zionists were demanding that they work in the Kosher deli, assuming they understand Jewish dietary laws.

“That flag, in this area, with all that’s going on in the world in Gaza, it was bound to cause trouble.” said deli manager Mitchell Swillman. “ It escalated as they made their way down to Bushey village. From what I understand these guys were being quite anti-Semitic.”

 

The conclusion by police that there was not hate speech may explain why out of 240 anti-Semitic incidents registered last month, only 20 of them were followed up by an investigation or arrests.

London’s Community Security Trust (CST) blog stated, “The actual data is bad enough, but cannot convey the mood of the Jewish community, with many people telling us that they have never felt so bad, have been under such pressure, nor worried so much about what the future may hold.”

The Jews are worried. They sit and worry and come up with reasons why not to move to Israel.

Donna Rachel Edmunds, a councillor for Lewes District Council and founder and editor of UKIPDaily.com, wrote on her Breitbart.com, “I’ve lived my life entirely in the south east of England… As a libertarian, I’m proud to call thinkers such as Smith and Hume my fellow countrymen….

“I’ve never really thought of myself as being is an immigrant although technically I am – albeit second generation….Another label I’ve never meaningfully attached to myself is ‘Jewish’, although, again technically, I am.

“Yet I’ve never stepped foot inside a synagogue. I think I once took part in a Passover meal when I was very young, but other than that my mother made no real effort to educate my sister or myself on our Jewish roots. Our only tangible link to our maternal heritage is through soup: chicken noodle when we’re feeling ill; borscht when we want something filling….

“So I was as surprised as anyone when I found myself uttering six loaded words recently. And by ‘recently’ I don’t mean once, dropped into a passing conversation. I mean at least a dozen times, in a dozen such conversations over the past few weeks. Those words were “Maybe we should move to Israel….

“Not, primarily, because I worry about the rise in anti-Semitic attacks affecting me personally. As a church-going Christian I wear a cross on a necklace, and am more often assumed to be Spanish, if anything, so I doubt I would be targeted on the street….

“The reason that I’m seriously considering a move to Israel in the next few years is because I’m developing a strong suspicion that Israel is going to be one of the safest countries on the planet to live in over the next few decades….

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/british-police-arrest-jew-for-fighting-pa-flag-wavers-at-kosher-deli/2014/08/24/

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