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April 17, 2014 / 17 Nisan, 5774
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘UK’

Why They Hate Us

Monday, August 19th, 2013

Boy, do they hate America.

I’m on a flight in Tanzania, having left Rwanda where we made a second tour of the genocide sites with the impending twentieth anniversary of the slaughter, when I meet a very fine Pakistani family going on safari.

We exchange pleasantries. They have children studying in the UK, as do many upper-class Pakistani families. My wife and I lived in the UK. We find much to talk about. I relate to them all the Pakistani students I knew at Oxford who were regulars at our events. They tell me of their trip to see the mountain gorillas and how they are enjoying Africa.

Suddenly, the father says to me, “I was in Israel recently. I enjoyed it. But I was disgusted at the treatment of the Palestinians who cannot even go from Bethlehem into Jerusalem.”

I explain to him that the checkpoints are relatively new. “They did not exist when I was a student in Jerusalem. They were set up after a wave of terror bombings killed thousands of Israeli civilians. You can hardly blame Israel from trying to stop the slaughter.”

“The slaughter?” he says, “You mean the way Israel massacres Palestinians every day. And it’s all funded by America, who is the biggest murderer in the world. Just look at the 100 people every day being killed in Iraq.”

I raise my eyebrows, trying to remain calm and provoked. “But that’s being done by Islamic terrorists. What does it have to do with America? We Americans died to liberate the Iraqis. We spent more than a trillion dollars of our national treasure on complete strangers to stop them from being slaughtered by Saddam Hussein.”

He ignores the facts and continues his diatribe. “America is now slaughtering everyone in Afghanistan, just to destabilize the region, and blaming everything on Pakistan.”

“America is trying to save Afghanistan from the Taliban,” I counter, “monsters who brutalize women, fanatics that behead those who don’t conform to their religious extremes.”

“Nonsense,” he says, “the Taliban is infinitely more humane that the Americans and their agents in the Middle East, the Israelis.”

By now I’ve had enough and I go on the offensive.

“Why was Osama bin Laden living in Abbotabad, a mile from Pakistan’s West Point? Who was sheltering a man who killed 3000 innocent Americans?”

And here he makes my jaw drop. “Three thousand Americans dead is nothing, a drop in the ocean, compared to how many Muslims America has killed.”

You may wonder why I am relating this story. It’s an isolated incident, right? But it’s not. It’s a sentiment I encountered in so many parts of Africa where I traveled to Rwanda, to again see the genocide sites and meet with government officials, and then to Arusha in Tanzania, to see the criminal courts where the Rwandan genocidaires were tried.

Readers of my columns will know that I am one of Jewry’s foremost defenders of Islam. I remind Jewish audiences constantly that we dare not de-contexualize the current frictions between Jews and Muslims. Saladin welcomed the Jews back to Jerusalem in 1187 when he captured the holy city from the crusaders who massacred every last Jew. The Ottomans took in large numbers of Jews when we were expelled from Catholic Spain and Portugal. Jews flourished in many Islamic lands where the Koran said they would have to be treated as second-class citizens but should otherwise not suffer persecution. I took Dr. Oz, during our recent visit to Israel together, to see the tomb of Maimonides in Tiberius, explaining that the greatest Muslim ruler that ever lived made the great sage his personal physician. Whenever some of my Jewish colleagues speak of Islam as an inherently violent religion, citing verses in the Koran to prove it, I remind them that there are plenty of verses of our own Torah which can be taken out of context and sound pretty violent. It all comes down to how these passages are interpreted.

But with that being said, there is no question in my mind that Islam is undergoing a modern crisis which perhaps only its clerics and lay leaders can rescue it from. Here in Tanzania there was a terrible story just a week ago when two British female Jewish teenagers were attacked with acid by Islamic assailants.

It’s not that imams and are preaching violence, although many unfortunately do. It’s rather that they preach victimhood. America is to blame for their problems. Israel is to blame for their suffering.

Where are the Islamic leaders and clerics who are prepared to say, “We are responsible for our own problems. We are taking a great world religion and turning it insular and away from secular knowledge rather than finding the balance between the holy and the mundane. We are not empowering women to be the equals of men in all spheres. We Palestinians took the largest per capita foreign aid ever given to a people and we allowed corruption and hatred of Israel to squander the funds on bombs and bullets rather than building universities and schools. We elect leaders democratically who then, like Hamas, or Muhammad Morsi, precede to dismantle democratic institutions. We see the Jews as our enemies rather than using them as an example of what we ourselves should aspire to. They returned to their land after long ago being dispersed by foreign European powers and made the desert bloom. We can surely do the same.”

Rabbi Sacks Attacking PM, Multiculturalism

Monday, August 19th, 2013

Britain’s chief rabbi, Lord Sacks, is blaming British Prime Minister David Cameron for failing to do enough to boost marriages in the UK, and saying multiculturalism in Britain has “had its day,” The Times reported.

Rabbi Sacks said Cameron should recognize marriage in the tax system and do more to support stay at home mothers.

“I think the government has not done enough,” he said. “Although I don’t take a political stance … I don’t think the government has done enough at all.”

Rabbi Sacks, who retires next month after 22 years, said the estimated £9 billion-a-year cost of family breakdown and “non-marriage” meant the state has a direct interest in promoting marriage.

Rabbi Sacks also said multiculturalism in Britain had led to “segregation and inward-looking communities.”

Comparing it to a hotel where “nobody is at home,” he said: “It doesn’t belong to anyone, we’ve each got our own room and so long as we don’t disturb the neighbors we can do whatever we like.”

UK Border Control Gone Berserk? Or Just Anti-Semitic? (VIDEO)UPDATED

Tuesday, July 2nd, 2013

SEE UPDATE AT THE END OF THE ARTICLE, BELOW THE VIDEO CLIP

Is it possible that an American – true, a Jewish one – was detained for nine hours after landing in England to begin what was to be a summer job and then, after being subjected to anti-Semitic comments and threats, was kicked out?  The 23 year old American was kept in a holding cell, denied all but the meanest of basic necessities, had his passport and luggage taken away, was treated to several nasty anti-Semitic remarks, and then was kicked out of the country as if he were a criminal.  All of this happened, it appears, because the young man had several Israeli stamps on his passport.

It is a story that has taken a little while to get its sea legs, but one which people should begin hearing more about.

Louis Schlezinger “Chip” Cantor is from Kansas City, Kansas.  He spent his gap year on a Young Judea program in Israel, and has been there several other times as well.  This fall Cantor will be a senior at Florida Gulf State University.

During the school year Cantor made arrangements to work in London this summer with Shilling Communications.  He left for England late on May 29.

A tale of shocking treatment by airport border security of a western country, one that is ostensibly an ally of both the United States and Israel, was described in an article in Cantor’s hometown Jewish paper, the Kansas City Jewish Chronicle.

After landing in London, Cantor made his way to the customs agent.  Once it was his turn to hand over his passport, everything proceeded smoothly, Cantor said, until the agent saw the stamps on his passport revealing that Cantor had traveled to Israel several times.  With that, according to Cantor, the border security agent walked away with Cantor’s passport, and a long nightmare began.

About 45 minutes later, another border security agent brought Chip to an interview room, which was like a holding cell, and was told that “if he changed any of his answers to any questions, he was going to go to prison,” Chip’s father, Chuck, said.  The father also said that a woman in a burka came to the cell and photographed and fingerprinted the 23 year old.

This same woman, according to Chuck Cantor, said to Chip, “We’re putting your name and fingerprints and photos into a database. From now on it is going to be very difficult for you to ever travel in the United Kingdom or anywhere in the E.U. It will be up to each individual country to decide if they want to admit you.”

Although the younger Cantor repeatedly told the agents that he had not committed any crimes or done anything wrong, he was eventually told he was going to be deported.  It was not until this point that the border agents finally allowed Chip to call his father.  His father told Chip to call the American Consulate or the U.S. Embassy, but the UK security officials refused both requests.

In addition to the initial trigger being Cantor’s passport having multiple stamps showing entry and exit from Israel, several other specific factors led the Cantors to believe that what motivated the shocking treatment of Cantor by the UK airport border security was anti-Semitism.

For one thing, as Chip Cantor explained in a television interview on local station KMBC, one of the agents said he wanted to see his wallet, because he expected there would be a lot of money in it.

Another was that when Kevin Shilling, the owner of the media company at which Cantor was going to work this summer, called to try and intervene while Cantor was being detained, the customs agent told him that Chip should have lied to the customs agent, adding, “A Jewish kid would find that easy,” Shilling told the Jewish Chronicle.

The border security agent also told Shilling any additional attempts to aid Cantor would be useless and “the little Jew will be on his way back to his rich daddy,” in a matter of hours.

When Cantor was finally escorted onto a plane to return to the U.S., the escort refused to turn over the American’s passport until they were on the plane, and only then, loudly and in full view of the rest of the passengers, the escort said to an airlines employee, “here is this man’s passport. Do not give him his passport until you land in the United States.”

Pamela Geller Banned from England

Thursday, June 27th, 2013

British media sources are reporting that the bloggers Pamela Geller (Atlas Shrugs) and Robert Spencer (Jihad Watch) have been banned from entering the UK. They were banned as their entry was considered to be “not conducive to the public good,” following a campaign by left-wing activists to block their entry into the country.

The two bloggers were planning on attending and speaking at a rally in Woolwich organized by the right-wing EDL (English Defense League). Woolwich is the location were British soldier Drummer Lee Rigby was beheaded by a Muslim man in May.

The EDL is a street protest movement which opposes what it considers to be a spread of Islamism, Sharia law and Islamic extremism in the United Kingdom.

But Geller and Spencer shouldn’t think themselves exceptional here. Likud MK Feiglin is permanently banned from entering the UK, while other Israeli government officials have been afraid to enter England under threat of arrest. At one time that even included the left-wing Minister Tzipi Livni, for her involvement in defending Israel against the attacks from Gaza.

Teva to Sell Generic Viagra in UK, and Move Patent Filing to Switzerland

Sunday, June 23rd, 2013

Teva, the world leader in generic medication will be soon be launching a generic version of Pfizer’s Viagra in the UK and Europe.

Pfizer’s Viagra patents expired this past week in the UK and parts of Europe, allowing other manufacturers to move in.

In the US, a court ruling has prevented Teva from introducing generic Viagra until at least 2020.

Teva also announced that it will stop filing its patents in Israel, and will now be filing them instead in Switzerland.

The reason for the move are Switzerland’s patent related tax laws, and subsequent tax breaks and benefits they will provide Teva.

Teva said that if Israel were to change its tax codes to make them more competitive with other countries, they’d be happy to move the IP registrations back to Israel, according to a report in Globes.

Antisemitism in the UK, Then and Now

Sunday, June 9th, 2013

After the vicious murder of British soldier Lee Rigby by Muslim terrorists several weeks ago, there were several instances of vandalism against mosques, as well as a few small demonstrations organized by the English Defense League, which were met with opposition from “anti-fascist” protesters. But the predicted “wave of anti-Muslim sentiment” did not materialize.

Gordon Ross relates British reactions to another perceived ‘outrage’, one that happened in 1947.

By Gordon Ross

There can be no comparison between the 1947 anti-Jewish riots in the UK and the very recent 2013 anti-Muslim demonstrations.

In August 1947, consequent upon retaliatory actions taken by Jewish militants of the Irgun Zvai Leumi (so-called “terrorists”) against the occupying British mandatory authorities in the land of Israel, there was a serious backlash from sections of the indigenous UK population against Jews in the UK in anti-Jewish riots which were at their worst in Glasgow, Liverpool and Manchester. Synagogues, Jewish shops, centres and individuals were attacked, and demonstrators called for violence against Jews. There wasn’t any significant protest against the riots from outside the UK Jewish community.

Daniel Trilling described them thus:

In Birkenhead, near Liverpool, slaughterhouse workers had refused to process any more meat for Jewish consumption until the attacks on British soldiers in Palestine stopped. Around Merseyside, the anger was starting to spill on to the streets as crowds of angry young men gathered in Jewish areas.

On Sunday afternoon the trouble reached Manchester. Small groups of men began breaking the windows of shops in Cheetham Hill, an area just north of the city centre which had been home to a Jewish community since the early 19th century. The pubs closed early that day because there was a shortage of beer, and by the evening the mob’s numbers had swelled to several hundred. Most were on foot but others drove through the area, throwing bricks from moving cars.

Soon the streets were covered in broken glass and stones and the crowd moved on to bigger targets, tearing down the canopy of the Great Synagogue on Cheetham Hill Road and surrounding a Jewish wedding party at the Assembly Hall. They shouted abuse at the terrified guests until one in the morning.

The next day, Lever said, “Cheetham Hill Road looked much as it had looked seven years before, when the German bombers had pounded the city for  12 hours. All premises belonging to Jews for the length of a mile down the street had gaping windows and the pavements were littered with glass.”

By the end of the bank holiday weekend, anti-Jewish riots had also taken place in Glasgow and Liverpool. There were minor disturbances, too, in Bristol, Hull, London and Warrington, as well as scores of attacks on Jewish property across the country. A solicitor in Liverpool and a Glasgow shopkeeper were beaten up. Nobody was killed, but this was the most widespread anti-Jewish violence the UK had ever seen. In Salford, the day after a crowd of several thousand had thrown stones at shop windows, signs appeared that read: “Hold your fire. These premises are British.”

There were no Jewish clerics in the UK preaching hatred, incitement to violence, murder and treason from the pulpit, no young UK born ‘disaffected’ Jews demonstrating against the UK and burning its national flag in the streets, setting explosives here or travelling to the Middle East to join or train with the militants there, as has been the case in recent years with a number of Imams and other UK born Muslims.

In 2005 there were the 7/7 London Islamist bomb outrages, resulting in many dead and injured.  Since then there has been an ongoing Islamist terror campaign, with Islamist demonstrators calling for violence against and murder of non-Muslims, and a continuing barrage of complaints and demands issuing from the Muslim community, including the demand for the introduction of shariah law!  In 2010, a Muslim woman was put on trial for the attempted murder of an MP.  She stabbed him in the stomach because he had supported the war against Saddam Hussein’s Iraq.  She would not plead against the charge because she refused to recognise the jurisdiction of the court, and a plea of ‘Not Guilty’ was accordingly entered by the court on her behalf.  Fortunately the jury found her ‘Guilty’. In May this year, Islamist extremists murdered a British soldier on the streets of Woolwich, London, in full view of passers-by.

This latest Islamist outrage has provoked some anti-Muslim demonstrations and attacks, which the authorities here and other appeasers have been quick to condemn, but nothing that can in any way be compared with the anti-Jewish riots of 1947, and there were no significant demonstrations or protests from any section of the ‘indigenous’ UK population against the earlier Islamist extremist attacks and demands.

The only demonstrations staged here before were in support of Islamist terrorist groups like Hezbollah (in August 2006: “We are all Hezbollah now”) and Hamas, and those against the Jewish nation-state of Israel when it dared to defend itself against enemies dedicated to its destruction and the destruction of all Jews everywhere. Such demonstrations have often been led by prominent public and political figures such as former London Mayor, Ken Livingstone (whose inclination is to welcome and embrace known extremist Islamic cleric hate-mongers), gorgeous George Galloway (of ‘Big Brother’ fame) and senile radical left-winger, Tony Benn (complete with Arab keffiyah around his scrawny neck), and have persuaded some people in the UK to the view that ‘Britistan’ is truly on the way!

© Gordon Ross 2013

Gordon Ross is a non-practising (retired) solicitor, currently living in north London.  After practising law in London for almost 30 years, both in employment and on his own account, he immigrated to Israel in 1983 and re-qualified as an attorney at the Israel Bar.  In 1987 he returned to London, solely in order to take up employment as an in-house lawyer in commerce, which position he held until retirement towards the end of 2008.

He is keenly interested in history, both ancient and modern, and in international politics, particularly where Israel and the Middle East are concerned.

Visit Fresno Zionism

No ‘Respect’ for Racist Demagogue

Sunday, February 24th, 2013

I’m going to devote today’s post to one of my least favorite humans, George Galloway.

My U.K. readers already know probably more than they want to about him, but it occurred to me that others, Americans in particular, don’t know who or what he is. So I’ll do my best to remedy that.

Galloway, 58, is a member of the British Parliament for Bradford West, located in Yorkshire in north-central England. He was elected in 2012 by a landslide, receiving 56% of the vote; his nearest competitor got only 25%. Galloway, formerly a garden-variety leftist, was kicked out of the Labour party in 2003 because of his aggressive attacks on Tony Blair over British participation in the Iraq war.

In 2004, he joined a new left-wing party called “Respect,” which he and his faction shortly came to dominate. Galloway was the first M.P. elected by Respect, whose official ideology seems to be a sort of leftish populism.

Galloway has made it more than that, adding elements to appeal to Muslims (Bradford West was 38% Muslim in 2001, and is probably much more than that now). The party began to downplay some of the traditional left-wing causes like women’s and gay rights, while emphasizing opposition to the wars in Iraq an Afghanistan. Galloway himself may have converted to Islam (he is coy about this, perhaps to keep the few non-Muslim working-class votes that he receives). But he makes no pretense about appealing to Muslim interests — and prejudices.

What distinguishes Galloway from other many other demagogues — even in the U.K. — is his particularly vicious hatred of Israel, which extends to support for the Jew-hating Hamas. In 2009, he played a leading role in the “Viva Palestina” convoy to bring ‘aid’ to Gaza, which resulted in his being deported from Egypt. He often speaks against Zionism and Israel on his several radio/T.V. programs — in the U.K., on a satellite channel linked to Iran and Syria in Lebanon and the U.S. (on Pacifica station WBAI New York).

Hizballah, too, meets with his approval. “Hizballah is not and has never been a terrorist organisation. It is the legitimate national resistance movement of Lebanon,” he tells us. Ideology isn’t important as long as someone wants to kill Jews.

Galloway is always good for a rousing stump speech on the evils of Zionism and that “little Hitler state on the Mediterranean.” Just search for him on YouTube.

In short, Galloway is a man who has built a political persona and a career on hating Israel. Since explicit racial or ethnic hatred for groups of people is unfashionable — at least, in some parts of the West, although it is making a comeback — he must focus on abstract objects of hatred, like Zionism and Israel. His supporters aren’t deceived, and neither am I.

Galloway’s latest thuggish expression of hatred came with very little provocation. In response to an Oxford student who called for a peaceful, mutually agreed upon two-state solution, he suddenly asked “are you Israeli?” When the student answered in the affirmative, Galloway announced that he doesn’t debate Israelis, he doesn’t recognize the state of Israel, and stomped off — followed at a respectful few paces by his wife.

Visit Fresno Zionism.

Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis the Next Chief Rabbi of the UK

Tuesday, December 18th, 2012

Britain’s chief rabbi-designate is Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis of Finchley Synagogue, the Jewish Chronicle reports. Rabbi Mivris, who is is not British-born, will be England’s 11th chief rabbi.

Rabbi Mirvis, 56, was born in South Africa, the son and grandson of religious leaders. He has spent a large part of his career serving Anglo-Saxon communities. He was Chief Rabbi of Ireland from 1985 to 1992, and before that was minister of Dublin’s Adelaide Road Synagogue.

Rabbi Mirvis’s grandfather, Rev Lazar Mirvis, was a minister in Johannesburg. His father, Rabbi Dr Lionel Mirvis, led the Claremont Synagogue and also the Wynberg Hebrew Congregation in Cape Town. His mother, Freida, was principal of the Athlone Teachers Training College, which, during the apartheid years, was the only college for black teachers of pre-school instruction in South Africa.

Rabbi Mirvis is married to Zimbabwe-born Valerie Kaplan, a former senior social worker with Jewish Care, who now works for a local authority in the same capacity.. The couple have four sons.

Since 1996 Rabbi Mirvis has become synonymous with the ever-growing Finchley Synagogue, one of the biggest congregations in London.

A member of his congregation told the Chronicle: “The congregation is torn. They know he is the best candidate to be chief rabbi. But they will miss him desperately. They think he is irreplaceable.”

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/rabbi-ephraim-mirvis-the-next-chief-rabbi-of-the-uk/2012/12/18/

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