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September 16, 2014 / 21 Elul, 5774
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘UK’

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.”

From Academia to Industry: The Story of Graphene (Podcast)

Tuesday, November 27th, 2012

When Professor Andre Geim, Langworthy Professor and director of the Manchester Centre for Mesoscience and Nanotechnology at the University of Manchester, UK, and winner of the 2010 Nobel Prize in Physics, first appeared on the Goldstein on Gelt show last year, he spoke about graphene, a very versatile material that he developed and for which he won the Nobel Prize. But what has happened since then? Find out why there appears to be a gap between academia and industry by listening to this week’s episode of the Goldstein on Gelt show.

Don’t Worry, Be Happy

Wednesday, October 24th, 2012

Title: The Little Book for BIG Worries
Dealing With Serious Illness
Author: Rabbi Y.Y. Rubinstein
Publisher: Israel Bookshop Publications

Receiving a difficult medical diagnosis can easily spell trauma, anguish, and hopelessness for a patient and his loved ones. Yet even amidst the dark skies of such a situation, Rabbi Y.Y. Rubinstein affectionately known simply as YY assures us that there is still hope.

The Little Book for BIG Worries is a compact guide that offers chizuk and calm to those who have heard worrying news about themselves or someone close to them. The book offers answers to the questions we all ask when bad news arrives. It shows readers how to find the right people who can help them, and how to avoid those who can’t. Additionally, it includes advice from renowned doctors, which can provide direction toward making the often-confusing world of medicine work with and for the patient.

Most of all, The Little Book for BIG Worries will show those going through hard times how they can smile and laugh again… even when they thought they never could.

The Little Book for BIG Worries is informative, engaging and always insightful. Rabbi Rubinstein makes his points quickly and clearly.

Rabbi YY is one of the most sought after speakers in the Jewish world. Now based in New York, he regularly speaks in the UK, USA, Canada, France, Belgium, Gibraltar, South Africa and Israel. He is a regular broadcaster on National Radio in the UK and now USA and has written and presented shows for the BBC. The Independent newspaper cited him as among five people in the UK to turn to for advice. Queen Elizabeth has declared herself a fan of Rabbi YY’s broadcasts saying, “He’s awfully good!”

What Some Islamists Have Been Up To

Wednesday, October 10th, 2012

Sometimes the global efforts of the Islamists pay dividends for them. Sometimes they are frustrated by the authorities. Nothing happens very quickly in the battle against them. And no one can seriously claim they are being defeated; on the contrary. Here are some snapshots.

France

Reuters says one of several Islamists behind a September 19 grenade attack on a Jewish store in the Paris suburbs was shot and killed by police in the northeastern French city of Strasbourg today. Eleven other people were detained in what prosecutors called a “vast anti-terrorist operation”. The dead French man, Jérémie Louis-Sydney, 33, had served prison time for drug-dealing and had been convicted of membership in a radical Islamist movement. When police entered Sidney’s apartment around dawn, he opened fire. He was found to be equipped with a .357 Magnum revolver and reserves of ammunition.

Reuters says that in the course of the round-ups today, the police found Al-Qaeda literature, 27,000 euros in cash, and a list of Jewish organizations in Paris (the French-language reports, according to a friend of ours in Paris, used the archaic term “israélite” leading to most of the news agency reports saying the targets were Israeli, but they were actually French-Jewish) at the homes of the suspects. Among the others taken in by police is a woman described as one of Sidney’s two wives. Three of the others have criminal records for drugs, theft and violence. One of the men was arrested in the Paris region as he returned from morning prayers and was carrying a “ready to fire” 22-caliber pistol.

Australia

Melbourne’s Age newspaper has an interview today (it’s the lead story at this hour) with an Islamist preacher, Abdul Rahman Ayub, who acknowledges that he was sent to Australia in 1997 to recruit jihadists at the request of Abu Bakar Bashir, the notorious Indonesian terrorist currently serving a lengthy prison sentence. The Age calls Bashir “Indonesia’s godfather of terrorism”. Ayub co-founded the Australian wing of Jemaah Islamiah and says he personally “indoctrinated” a group of about 100 people in “the ways of violent jihad”. One of them, an Australian Moslem convert called Jack Roche (alias Paul George Holland) was later convicted in 2002 for conspiring to bomb the Israeli embassy in Canberra. In today’s interview he says he has gotten over his terrorism.

There were about 30 active “radicals” in Australia when he left there in 2002, he says, and while ”I don’t know about their recent development, whether they’re still active or not… I believe they are still there.” Ayub says he is no longer in favour of “violent jihad” and thinks Moslems “should fight only as soldiers in a war zone” whatever that means. Elsewhere in today’s Age ["J is for Jihad"], one of its foreign correspondents in Asia points out that “Indonesia’s prisons are a breeding ground for terrorists, and so are some of the Islamic boarding schools. But despite the ever-present threat of terrorism, the Indonesian state shows little interest in tackling this issue.”

UK and US

The one-eyed Sunni Islamist cleric with a hook for a hand, Abu Hamza al-Masri (sometimes known as Mustafa Kamel Mustafa), was finally extradited to the United States on Friday after his eight-year legal battle to avoid deportation ended in failure. He was jailed by the British for incitement to murder (of “non-believers”). He became famous for his hate-filled sermons in the years that he was the imam of the Islamist hot-bed, the Finsbury Park Mosque, in north London. He loved the UK, calling it “a paradise, where you could do anything you wanted” [source], and he meant it.

British taxpayers have contributed several million dollars to the man in the form of welfare payments and government-funded legal services. The Americans have charged the preacher with hostage taking, conspiracy to establish a militant training camp in the US state of Oregon and calling for holy war in Afghanistan [source]. The British prime minister [source] marked the occasion with a brief appreciation of the man and his achievements:

I’m absolutely delighted that Abu Hamza is now out of this country. Like the rest of the public I’m sick to the back teeth of people who come here, threaten our country, who stay at vast expense to the taxpayer and we can’t get rid of them. I’m delighted on this occasion we’ve managed to send this person off to a country where he will face justice.

Visit This Ongoing War.

From the US to the UK, the Left Delegitimizes any Criticism

Wednesday, September 19th, 2012

How does the political left win so many arguments? More than any other cause, it seems to be that the political right ends up time and again fighting on terrain which has been set out for them to lose on. Take two recent examples, one from the U.S. and one from the U.K.

In the U.S. last week Sandra Fluke addressed the Democratic Party’s convention. Ms. Fluke, it will be remembered, came to fame earlier this year when Rush Limbaugh criticized her congressional testimony. Ms. Fluke had appeared before the hearing to argue over whether she should pay for her birth control – as a student in her thirties – or whether someone else should pay for it. Being criticised by Limbaugh gave her a certain fame; by the time she stood in front of the Democratic party last week she was able to portray her opponents as not merely opposed to her, but opposed to women as a whole. Indeed worse.

The mandatory references to the idiotically wrong remarks about rape made by GOP Senate candidate Todd Akin were used to suggest that the GOP was actually a pro-rape party. Indeed in Fluke’s version it is even worse than that: according to her, the GOP rapes women twice over, seeking to deny them most, if not all, basic rights.

So Fluke’s stand became not over who should pick up the bill for her birth control, but what must be done to keep the Republican party from power. She was cheered to the Democratic party’s rafters for explaining how the Republicans “shut out” and “silence” women, whereas the Democratic party gives them microphones. She had “spoke[n] out,” she said, and suggested that this November “each of us must speak out” by voting for Obama.

It is true that almost any battle between two conflicting political ideologies can be made easier if you can frame the disagreement between you and your opponents as the difference between people who are in favour of rape and those opposed to it. If you do it fulsomely enough, you can even assume the wonderful aura of sanctimony Fluke did as she presented the political divide in this way. But whether originating from left or right, this is the shoddiest way to go about things. The right in America, however, is set on the run by this. So instead of it being the Democratic party which has to answer questions about why anybody but Ms. Fluke should pay for her birth control, or why a serious political party would put her on stage at their convention, the question remains whether Republicans are secretly or not so secretly in favour of rape.

This summer the U.K. saw a similar manoeuvre thanks to one of the most popular victories that the left could hope to achieve. Since the post-war Labour government, one of the main battle-grounds of British politics has been, as with America, the fight between Big State and Small State. For the British left this has been epitomized by not just gratitude for, but a kind of veneration of, the National Health Service (NHS). It doesn’t matter how many times you get bad treatment on the NHS, how many times the service fails you, or how many people you know die from avoidable infections in its hospitals – the British left will continue to tell you that the NHS is “the envy of the world.” It certainly is the envy of the third world, but there are few people from other first world countries who envy the NHS when they experience it. There are many criticisms to be made of the NHS, despite some of the excellent people who work in it. But those criticisms and the necessary corrections can never be performed as long as it is made not into a publicly-funded institution but a religion.

Knowing this, the political left continues to interpret any criticism of the NHS as tantamount to baby-killing: an expression of an obvious desire to see as many people die on the streets as possible. And this summer they got one of their best advertisements for the idea.

In the opening ceremony of the Olympics, directed by the movie director Danny Boyle, the NHS was not simply praised, it was worshipped, albeit in a strange nineteenth century version. Actual nurses played fake nurses in Victorian nursing costumes. There were no slovenly orderlies or people who had never paid into the system pushing their way in the waiting lists past those who had. What there was, instead, were these Mary Poppins-like figures smoothing down the bed-sheets of delighted, happy children.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/opinions/from-the-us-to-the-uk-the-left-delegitimizes-any-criticism/2012/09/19/

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