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October 23, 2016 / 21 Tishri, 5777

Posts Tagged ‘Conservative Party’

Former London Mayor Compares EU to Napoleon, Hitler, Ahead of June 23 Brexit Referendum

Sunday, May 15th, 2016

Former London mayor Boris Johnson has told the Sunday Telegraph that the European Union is behaving like Adolf Hitler, striving to create a super-state. “Napoleon, Hitler, various people tried this out, and it ends tragically,” he said.

Johnson is a leader of the campaign to pull the UK out of the EU at the June 23 referendum. At this point the polls show the supporters and opponents of leaving the EU are split almost down the middle. Johnson’s comments received strong criticism from opponents who called them “offensive,” saying he showed a “lack of judgement.”

For his part, Johnson argued that “fundamentally what is lacking is the eternal problem, which is that there is no underlying loyalty to the idea of Europe. There is no single authority that anybody respects or understands. That is causing this massive democratic void.”

A group of concerned British ex-pats and Israelis has launched a public campaign to encourage pro-Israel Britons to “vote leave” in the upcoming EU Referendum. The “Support-Israel — Leave Europe” website focuses on four major reasons why Zionists should oppose the EU and seek to weaken it by encouraging Britain to leave.

The Thursday, June 23 referendum will decide whether Britain should leave or stay in the European Union. Prime Minister David Cameron promised to hold the referendum if he won the 2015 general election, seeing as so many in his own Conservative party, as well as the UK Independence Party (UKIP), argued that UK voters had not been asked since 1975—when they voted to stay in the EU—whether or not they thought this was still a good deal for them. And since the EU has changed tremendously since then, controlling every European citizen’s daily lives, Cameron announced: “It is time for the British people to have their say. It is time to settle this European question in British politics.”

The Brexit (combination Britain and Exit) camp believes the UK is being held back by the EU, which imposes too many rules on business and charges billions of pounds a year in membership fees with little in to show for it (Britain has held on to the Pound, unlike everyone else in the union who have switched to the euro, whose value is being controlled in Brussels).

The Brexit camp wants Britain to take back full control of its borders and reduce the number of people coming over to work. One of the main principles of EU membership is “free movement,” which means citizens of all EU countries don’t need to get a visa to go and live in other EU countries. And, as Boris Johnson has put it so eloquently, citing historic examples, the anti-EU British object to the “ever closer union” and the move towards the creation of a “United States of Europe.”

The Bank of England on Thursday warned that a vote for the UK to leave the European Union would hurt the economy and send the pound sharply lower, MarketWatch reported. The central bank said the “most significant risk” to its economic forecasts concern the so-called Brexit referendum on June 23.

“A vote to leave the EU could materially alter the outlook for output and inflation, and therefore the appropriate setting of monetary policy. Households could defer consumption and firms delay investment, lowering labor demand and causing unemployment to rise,” the BOE said in a statement accompanying its decision to keep its key rate at a record low of 0.5%. The BOE also said the pound is likely to depreciate further, “perhaps sharply,” in case of a vote to leave the EU. The pound has dropped 9% since its November peak, half of which reflects the risks associated with the referendum, the bank said, noting that “there are increasing signs that uncertainty associated with the EU referendum has begun to weigh on activity.”

Nevertheless, Conservative Party MP Iain Duncan Smith, who served as Secretary of State for Work and Pensions until March 2016, defended Johnson’s “historical parallels,” saying, “He talked about this nonsensical idea of trying to drive these different countries [together]. It’s a historical fact of life that if you go through Napoleon, Hitler, everyone else … I think the whole process of trying to drive Europe together by force or by bureaucracy ultimately makes problems.”

The Financial Times Brexit “poll of polls” shows 46% of UK voters want to stay in the European Union, while 43% would like to leave. However, the most recent poll, conducted on May 8 on a sample of 2,005 likely voters, showed almost the reverse picture: 46% want out, 44% prefer to stay, 11% are undecided.


German Rightwing Party Calling for Ban on Islam as Leftists Clash with Police

Monday, May 2nd, 2016

The rightwing party Alternative for Germany has declared that “Islam does not belong in Germany” as part of its new party manifesto which was passed on Sunday. “An orthodox Islam that does not respect our constitution or even contradicts it is incompatible with our legal system and culture,” the manifesto declares.

The Alternative for Germany (Alternative für Deutschland, or AfD), led by Frauke Petry and Jörg Meuthen, is a rightwing, Eurocentric political party founded in 2013. The party won 4.7% of the national vote in the 2013 federal election, just short of the 5% electoral threshold. In 2014 the party won 7.1% of the votes and 7 out of 96 German seats in the European election, and joined forces the European Conservatives and Reformists (ECR) group. As of March 2016 the AfD had gained representation in eight German state parliaments.

Current opinion polls give AfD as much as 14% of the vote in the 2017 national elections, a figure that could grow depending on immigration-related events over the summer. Even at 14%, the AfD would make the big parties’ job of coalition cobbling next to impossible.

An estimated crowd of 2,000 AfD members came to Stuttgart to discuss and adopt the manifesto during a two-day party congress that opened Saturday, complete with violent protests from leftist demonstrators. Some 2,000 leftwingers clashed with police on Saturday as they tried to break up the AfD conference. An estimated 500 leftists were detained and 10 police officers were injured, a police spokesman said.

The AfD manifesto includes a ban on foreign financing of the construction and operation of mosques, rejection of minarets and muezzin calls as Islamic symbols of power, and a ban on head scarves for girls and women in state schools. The party congress considered and rejected a proposal to ban immigration, “in particular from foreign cultures.” Instead, the new platform says, “We welcome immigrants who are qualified for the labor market and who are willing to integrate into society.”

The platform calls for the deportation of foreigners with a criminal record. It also bans the slaughtering of animals according to Muslim and Jewish laws.

Ah, well, that was to be expected.


British Labour MP Naz Shah Suspended Over Anti-Semitic Posts

Thursday, April 28th, 2016

British Labour MP Naz Shah has discovered a “heartfelt” apology is not enough to get her off the hook for anti-Semitism, even in the UK, even three times repeated.

The Bradford West parliamentarian was ‘outed’ by the Guido Fawkes political website for serious anti-Israel and anti-Semitic Facebook posts she made two years ago.

In a statement she read this week in the British House of Commons, she offered a “profound apology” which she then also posted on Twitter. Shah said that she “made these posts at the height of the Gaza conflict in 2014, when emotions were running high around the Middle East conflict. But that is not excuse for the oofense I have given, for which I unreservedly apologize.”

Labour Party Jeremy Corbyn, who has caught more than a few critical comments himself in recent weeks for the rising anti-Semitism in his party, warned her about the “offensive and unacceptable posts.”

The Board of Deputies of British Jews said the comments were “simply appalling” and called for an urgent meeting “for clarification of her views on Israel and the UK Jewish community.”

Prime Minister David Cameron, a Conservative Party member, simply called for her suspension.

“Jeremy Corbyn and Naz Shah have mutually agreed that she is administratively suspended from the Labour Party by the general secretary. Pending investigation, she is unable to take part in any party activity and the whip is removed,” said a Labour Party statement that followed.

But being unable to take part in any party activities did not indicate whether in fact Shah would ultimately be allowed to remain as a Member of Parliament.

Minutes before the Prime Minister’s Questions (PMQs), Corbyn had issued a statement defending Shah, saying that her social media posts were made before she became a lawmaker.

“Naz has issued a fulsome apology,” he said. “She does not hold these views and accepts she was completely wrong to have made these posts. The Labour Party is implacably opposed to anti-Semitism and all forms of racism.”

Perhaps, but individual members of the party, more than a few, are not – and the number of those who feel free to express those views is rising, particularly under the leadership of Mr. Corbyn. His own brother, Piers, took aim at Jewish Labour MP Louise Ellman — and brother Jeremy defended his right to do so. At the time, Ellman had called for Labour to clamp down on anti-Semitism in the party – but Piers Corbyn called her remarks “absurd” and said, “Zionists can’t cope with anyone supporting rights for Palestine.”

Nevertheless, there were Labour Party MPs who called for Shah’s suspension, including MP Lisa Nandy. Labour MP Kate Hoey told the BBC that Shah should resign “right away” from the Home Affairs Select Committee, which is tasked with investigating the rising anti-Semitism in Britain.

Prominent British politician Lord (Michael Abraham, Baron) Levy recently sounded the alarm that anti-Semitism is rising in the Labour Party itself, and not in the UK in general, and has threatened to leave the fold if something is not done to stem the tide. A son of observant Jewish parents, Lord Levy warned that Corbyn is presiding over what appears to be a resurgence in the party’s acceptance of anti-Semitism.

Hana Levi Julian

British PM Calls UK Jews ‘British Success Story’ in Passover Message

Sunday, April 24th, 2016

Britain’s Prime Minister David Cameron called the country’s Jewish community a “true British success story” on Friday in his Passover message.

Cameron said British Jews are “excelling in every field and working constantly the build a fairer society for everyone.”

Nevertheless, he said, anti-Semitism spares no Jew.

“As Jewish communities unite to celebrate the festival of Passover, our thoughts will turn to the increasing number of abhorrent anti-Semitic attacks over the past year,” Cameron said.

“Jewish communities, wherever in the world they are, must not be left to live in fear. Sadly, even here in the UK, we still see cases of anti-Semitic abuse.

“I am determined to do everything in my power to stamp it out,” he said. “Part of that is remembering the horror of the Holocaust, because to ignore history is to risk repeating it.”

Cameron, who leads the Conservative Party, has called Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn a “threat to national security.” Corbyn has in the past referred to himself as a “friend” of Hamas and Hezbollah, and has refused to condemn anti-Semitic statements made by his brother Piers.

Recently a number of prominent Labour Party members have expressed dissatisfaction with the rise of anti-Semitism within the central party leadership. Some have begun to distance themselves from the party as a result.

Hana Levi Julian

Game Changers

Thursday, April 8th, 2010

While it’s not too early for Republicans to start feeling optimistic, they need to realize this kind of resurgent mood isn’t unlike the ebullience of markets bouncing off a bottom. As market pundits like to say, even a dead cat will bounce when it’s tossed from a great height. After having fallen so low in public esteem during the last days of the Bush administration, it only makes sense Republicans’ spirits would surge at an impending reversal of fortune.

But Democrats haven’t given up as they look for new ways to enact policy prescriptions a majority of Americans are clearly uncomfortable with. The national Tea Party movement, initiated as a grassroots reaction to overspending in Washington, has gathered supporters disgusted with both sides. While you might think these folks would naturally be more sympathetic to the GOP because of Republican calls for fiscal conservatism and smaller government, that’s not enough anymore given how Republican politicians have so often fallen off the wagon of fiscal and moral probity. Nor are Tea Partiers the only ones in open revolt.

According to David Bodamer, a 37-year-old high school history teacher and football coach from upstate New York and president of the New York State branch of the recently founded national Conservative Party, his group “doesn’t feel the Republican Party is ever going to return to a Conservative position.”

That’s the reason, he explains, they decided to found a party of their own, despite the sorry record of third party movements in this country historically (with the exception of the Republicans themselves, of course, who began as just such a movement).

“We’re challenging the Republican Party status quo,” says Bodamer, “because the Republicans have left Conservatives out in the cold…. People are sick and tired of the status quo and are looking for something else…. People are telling us this through Tea Parties, Town Halls and in other ways. We’re not a small insignificant group of ‘wackos’ as the mainstream media portray us.”

Besides his role at the state level of the new group, Bodamer is also national party treasurer and a board member of the new organization that has affiliates in at least eighteen states across the nation (up from ten only a few months ago). Bodamer identifies himself with a kind of Glenn Beck conservatism though he doesn’t endorse Beck across the board. “Personally I’m comfortable with that comparison,” he says, “(but) I don’t know him well enough to say we’re on the same page 100% of the time . . . overall we agree on many key positions, especially about the improper size of the Federal Government.”

Cutting government back down to size and a return to a stricter understanding of the Constitution are the cornerstone issues of Bodamer’s new national Conservative Party. How does it differ from New York State’s own long established Conservative Party (since the two groups share a name)?

Bodamer notes that New York State Conservative Party leader Mike Long recently indicated “he was looking to attract Conservative Republicans to win some congressional seats for New York. But, Bodamer stresses “we’re looking to establish a Conservative Party that has Conservatives in office, not conservative Republicans…. I understand it will take time for Conservative politicians to leave the comfort of the RNC but that’s our direction.” According to Bodamer, the new party isn’t focused on pushing the existing New York Republican Party to the right as the Mike Long Conservatives are. They want to replace it. Can they succeed?

Bodamer again: “It only took the Republicans six years to win their first presidential election in 1860 (with Abraham Lincoln). I’m not saying that we’re trying to accomplish this now… In today’s world it’s not possible at this stage. However, we can begin to make a difference. We’ll start locally and grow from there. The Republicans are split…even the Democrats are splintering and there’s an outcry for Conservative leadership…a void that needs filling. ”

Bodamer says his group is very comfortable with the Tea Party movement and believes the two organizations are moving in the same direction. “We have a lot in common with those who follow this movement and we’re letting them know about us as they have let us know about them. There’s a lot we can accomplish together.” The new nationwide Conservative Party, says Bodamer, aims to replace Republicans state by state, starting at the most local levels to build a new national party organization that will finally represent the longtime conservative principles of small government, individual freedom and lower taxation and spending.

Stuart W. Mirsky

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/opinions/game-changers/2010/04/08/

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