Twitter blames #ParisShooting on….Israel! How original..

12 people have been murdered in Paris, when three masked gunmen attacked the satirical publication, Charlie Hebdo.

As Paris saw 50 000 people turn out to show solidarity, and across Europe, media organisations, bloggers, papers and websites offered satirical and meaningful tributes… others had different ideas.

For some low lives on the internet, the murdering of 12 people by three gunmen named as Cherif Kouachi, Said Kouachi, and Hamid Mourad.

Because they appeared to be well trained and effective at what they were doing, many decided that these three men, were infact Mossad agents.

The details are a little bit light, but here is what Twitter thought. 

France voted Yes, and therefore.. Ermm… we’ll wait and see I guess. Still thinking of the rest of the story. 

It seems that there are a number of particularly keen anti-Israel activists, quick to jump on the flotilla of conspiracy.

Didn’t you know?

More hateful and bizarre nonsense.

Keep going..

It all feels a little too close for comfort. A little too familiar.

A long time ago, way way before Israel existed, people liked to blame the Jews.

Those evil manipulative Jews were in the Media, and in Government, and were the Socialists and the bankers. They are everywhere.

If something bad happens, it is the Jews. We’ll figure out why later. It’s them.. It’s always them..

Poppy Hijabs are well intentioned but reinforce prejudice

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Screenshot 2014-11-09 17.55.13In the lead up to remembrance Sunday, a campaign for Muslim women to wear a ‘poppy hijab’ has been run. As well intentioned as it is, as a memorial for Muslims that fought and died, it is ultimately patronising and just reinforces prejudices in the UK about Muslims.

According to Al Jazeera, “a poppy-themed headscarf backed by the Islamic Society of Britain (ISB) and British Future, an integration think tank, is this year offering Muslim women an additional way to support the campaign.” It continues to add that “The scarf is also intended to raise awareness about the 400,000 Muslims, most of them soldiers in the 1.2-million-strong Indian army, who served alongside British forces in World War I.”

Without a doubt, the intentions are completely correct. Many Muslims fought, and died, in the war.

They must be remembered.

But it is unfortunate that this campaign is tinged with politics. It is an unofficial attempt to improve the public image of British Muslims in terms of foreign policy, and that is both insulting and patronising.

Why should Muslims feel the need to wear it? If Muslim women want too, than of course it’s their choice. But there is no campaign for Sikhs to wear Poppy turbans. There is no campaign for British Jews to wear poppy kippot. Why just ‘the Muslims.’

The reason is arguably that the perpetual portrayal of British Muslims as disloyal, foreign and ‘the enemy within’, has to be countered somehow, by British Muslims.

Wearing a popppy hijab is an attempt to counter the public image problem which is created by negative media coverage.

Clearly though, British Muslims should be trying to counter this portrayal of themselves as a threat, not through pandering with symbolic gestures, but through tackling the root of the prejudice.

In submitting themselves to this campaign, there is an implicit agreement that Muslims recognise this insecurity over loyalty. British Muslims feel the need to look patriotic and integrated into British society; which includes celebrating and remembering British history.

The fact is, many Muslims in the UK are second or third generation British-Muslims, and are well integrated into British society already.

Wearing a hijab with a poppy on it won’t change people’s prejudices against Muslims, because after remembrance Sunday, people will still read the same negative news stories that promote discriminatory attitudes, and reinforce anti-Muslim rhetoric.

You can only tackle people’s prejudices through education and challenging their views.

Having a small recognition by British Muslims of embrace of a symbol of the past, of which many have very little direct cultural connection too, is largely hollow and insincere.

The overwhelming vast majority are ordinary citizens that should have nothing to prove. They shouldn’t need to grovel to people’s perceptions of them by wearing some piece of cloth with a poppy on.

A regular poppy is fine.

UKIP defections could infiltrate their anti-establishment narrative

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Farage campaigning voraciously

Despite Conservative MP’s defecting to UKIP, the party will be keen to avoid a trojan horse infiltration by the very politics they claim to be opposed too. 

UKIP staunchly stand upon an anti-political class, (now) working and middle class, anti-EU and populist pedestal.

Everything from their party political broadcasts, featuring their leader; Nigel Farage, joking and poking fun at the political class, to their range of policies which emphasise tax cuts and local sourcing of resources to help natives; it’s clear that they try to appeal to the disenchanted. They appeal to the the middle, that never quite fall into the two main categories of worker and owner.

In presenting both a democratic and economic argument to reclaim power from Europe and bring it back to the people, whilst simultaneously pinning the blame for this on the current political class, they have been propelled into a new political discourse of anti-Establishment politics.

In offsetting themselves against the political class, they become saviours of the country, the deposes of the current rotten politics, and the reinvigorators of democracy in the UK.

So if you were UKIP, what is the one thing you would want, and what is the one thing you would not want?

The ideal situation would be for UKIP to grow in membership, and to begin to develop systems to produce candidates to challenge the main parties. This is of course off the back of populist policies that oppose the mainstream. 

The worst case scenario, would be for a host of stale old Conservative MPs to decide that they can jump on the UKIP bandwagon.

This would utterly diminish the anti-establishment, anti-Political class narrative, because it would pollute UKIP’s grassroots and organic drive. It would totally undermine their new direction with the same old politics, dressed up in a new colour.

Their successful anti-European focus is symptomatic of the distance between the ruler and the ruled in this country. AS Mark Reckless and Douglas Carswell switched from blue to purple, it is clear they are not just switching party.

It’s far more complicated than that.

They are trying to tap into UKIP’s narrative of putting people back into politics. It is an attempt to detoxify their brand as Conservative MPs.

They are the old guard with a new image. 

But it is clear that Farage is keen to prove he is not just leading a party for ex tories.

He wants to full up his party with Labour MPs too! 

He said told the BBC, as reported recently in the Independent that “Of course there are Conservatives I am talking to but there are Labour people too. There are Labour people who are deeply frustrated with Ed Miliband’s leadership.”’

Historically, the dynamic within the Conservative party surrounding Europe, has been a split between free marketeers that are pro EU, and Nationalists that are anti-EU.

With the new trend of anti-EU MPs joining, or even threatening to join UKIP, the Conservative party will be affected in terms of maintaining a majority on major issues concerning Europe. 

It will only push the mainstream parties further together, and align UKIP even more strongly as the anti-thesis to the mainstream. 

It is thus very important that UKIP do not flood themselves with the political class’s anti-EU throwbacks, if they seriously want to show they are a fresh and nuanced party. 

They want to prove to people that they are thriving off the back of distancing themselves from the hated political class, and reinvigorating a more organic and grassroots type of politics, that touches people’s nerves and gets people angry. 

In may of 2014, Farage was attacked by the two mainstream parties as racist and UKIP as a far right party, in the same mould as Le Pen’s Front National. 

The result of these claims was a massive increase in his popularity, because a lot of so called ordinary people simply didn’t see it. They saw a man drinking in the pub, having a joke and being able to identify with common issues.

Because UKIP still don’t technically have an elected MP in this parliament, they are still not mainstream or part of the political class. 

After this criticism of UKIP by the two main parties, Farage claimed that “First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they attack you … then you win.”

Their rhetoric is about being ordinary, but also being extra-ordinary in terms of how politics is run in the UK.

This could easily be diluted by established politicians jumping on the UKIP bandwagon on the eve of a general election. It would infiltrate its anti-political establishment identity, and embed it firmly within the establishment. 

Why It’s a Bad Idea For George Galloway’s Opponents to Condone the Recent Attack

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George Galloway MP was recently attacked in West London, allowing an insight into views surrounding physical violence in the political process.

The MP for Bradford West is synonymous with Anti-Israel sentiment in the UK, amongst other issues surrounding the anti-war movement, and riles emotions for many.

But even if you are the most staunchly blind supporter of Israel, infact; even if you aren’t, but just disagree with Mr. Galloway because of his, at times, controversial and intimidating opinions, it’s an obstacle to winning a successful debate to promote physical violence.

It allows Galloway to legitimately be a victim.

There is plenty of evidence against George Galloway’s shady political career, and he will use any slight opportunity to detract from that, and play the victim card.

George Galloway’s political discourse is largely to stand up for Palestine, as the victim.  He uses this narrative to present himself as the victim, and the defender of the victim over and over again.

Politically of course he has on many occasions made questionable decisions however, which are inconsistent with his victim card.

When walked out of a debate at Oxford University, because the person he was debating was of Israeli Nationality, he was widely condemned for racism. Likewise, when he declared Bradford to be an ‘Israel free zone’, there were reports of him having been questioned by police for inciting hatred.    If he had have done this with any other Nationality, he would have been called a racist.

Just imagine: “London should be a Chinese free zone because of the Chinese Government’s policy in Tibet”.

It sounds ridiculous.

He has also expressed remarks about rape, which had condemnation from the International Socialist, incase you thought criticism only came from the pro Israel right.

By attacking George Galloway, he gains political capital.

It is counter productive to support Israel through the argument that it is a democratic state, whilst simultaneously supporting an action that is against the democratic process.

An MP is elected into public office and has legitimacy even if you disagree with their substantive views very vehemently.

To attack an MP is to attack the process of democracy, and in this context, it thus gives George Galloway and his supporters and worldview an own goal, as you are doing so in the name of supporting Israel on that ‘democratic state’ argument.

In the Daily Mail, Galloway was claimed to have said that:

“We live in a democracy, and as someone who has been elected as an MP on six occasions, I have a right to voice my opinions.”

Needless to say, he is right in that regard.

It is also worth noting that as a very successful and compelling orator, if anyone could capitalise on an incident like this, it is Galloway.

In that same Mail article, he said:

“Like other politicians who have suffered similar threats and attacks, I am entitled to receive a degree of protection from the State so I can continue to do so.”

In other words, he will turn this into a long term political gain, by having visible police protection when he is in public.

It will reinforce his rhetoric about being the victim, and supporting the victim, even though he is most certainly not the victim on many occasions. He is paid handsomely as an MP and as a host on RT [Russia Today] and Iran’s state television channel, Press TV. He earns plenty of money for his exploits and self gratification.

But he can now deflect it, by citing this threat when he needs to bulk up his rhetoric, with substance.

The reaction that is discerned from the attack can also be made into a political point.

There have been some calls by supporters of Israel and Jews in the UK Jewish community to not support this attack on Galloway [rightly.]

The fact the normally Pro-Israel, staunchly Anti-Galloway individuals are coming to his defence, plays into his hands politically.

He has also received some support from the left.

 

He is receiving support from left and right, which makes this odious man look like he has broad political support. He doesn’t. He is a politician that claims to speak for the many, but who is despised by many also.

In the same vein, there are many who have reinforced the victim card by essentially praising the attack.

It does nothing to bring down Galloway as it offers him a legitimate opportunity to play the victim card. It also highlights the willingness of some anti-Galloway-ers to resort to  anti-democratic ideals, which is also reinforcing of the view that Zionism is incompatible with democracy.

Surely supporters of Israel, the one democracy in thew middle east wouldn’t want to support that?

Shockingly, there has even been a site set up to help the attacker’s legal fees.

By emphasising it was a good thing, and by presenting this attack as something he ‘deserved’, it offers him political ammunition.

The attack was thoroughly wrong in a democratic country, and if you are an opponent of George Galloway, you are not going to win this debate by claiming it was a good thing.

 

Labelling #ISIS as ‘EVIL’ Is Done To Recalibrate Western Morals

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Using ‘evil’ to identify ISIS, is to present their actions as outside the bounds of human capacity.

Their actions are abhorrent.

But to dehumanise and moralise is to pretend that humans are incapable of doing bad things.

‘EVIL’ represents the worst of the worst, and it is also a way to strip an ideology of its political character.

The evil terrorists out to kill everyone are much harder to comprehend as a group and an ideological force, than one with a clearly defined political character. It’s harder to create fear when there are known quantities.

ISIS could be presented politically, but they aren’t. It would bring to realisation the fact the last four Presidents of America have engaged in intervention in Iraq, and it’s in part, America’s own making. Not wishing to become a self loathing westerner, it’s undeniable that ISIS are using American funded weapons and the Huffington post claims that James Foley Was Tortured By ISIS Militants Using CIA Techniques.

They are reflecting our own barbaric intentions in a sense, using ‘our’ weapons and ‘our’ methods, against us. Damn it, some of them even are ‘us’, as western Muslims travel to Iraq and Syria to participate.

By dehumanising their actions, it gives them an ideological pass. Almost as if we expect them to do bad, so that when they do, it is not a surprise. Oh, and a justifiably inhumane response can be afforded to stop this evil, with no recollection of the arming of the likes of the taleban, Saddam etc, before they suddenly turned on ‘us.’

It’s easy to forget that supposedly ‘evil’ people gain power, make plans, deploy armies, coerce, kill, propagandise and indoctrinated people, using human agency. The way it is presented, one would be forgiven for thinking that ISIS act through black magic or through raising mutant orks out of Mount Doom like in Lord of the Rings.

The application of this term – ‘evil’ – serves to present a person, or an idea, or a group, as so bad, that is is no longer human. They are beyond comprehension.

After all, ‘we’ are incapable of ‘Evil.’ By ‘we’ I mean the West, but of course.

By default, those doing the othering, calling people ‘evil’, are presented as the anti-thesis.

The good.

US comedian, Stephen Kruiser expressed this fallacy the other day:

If you are claiming that you can overcome evil, by nuking someone, the term evil loses its value as a demarcator of good and bad.

Nowhere more clearly can this be seen with contributors to the project for the A-Bomb, Albert Einstein, Eugene Wigner and Leo Szilard.

All were all European Jewish refugees that fled to America, and all later became critics of the proposed use of the atomic bomb. It is worth considering that as Europeans, if they had not fled, they could have helped Hitler get that A-Bomb first, and it would have been very different.

Leo Szilard wrote in an interview entitled ‘President Truman Did Not Understand‘, that if it had been Germany that had dropped the atomic bombs:

 ..We would then have defined the dropping of atomic bombs on cities as a war crime, and that we would have sentenced the Germans who were guilty of this crime to death at Nuremberg and hanged them

Of course that is hypothetical, but the principle is the same. The action of a ‘goodie’, no matter how barbaric or indiscriminate, is not evil, because the agent is supposedly not evil. The other protagonist, in this case Japan, but in another case, perhaps ISIS, are Evil. Any means justifies the ends according to this logic. Nuking included?

Killing hundreds of thousands of people was not hypothetical. It happened. Yet it was not presented as a war crime or a crime against humanity at the time, because it was in the context of war, and done by the victorious side, so it was done by ‘the good’ against ‘the bad.’

ISIS or ISIL or IS whatever we are now calling them, have on multiple occasions been branded as ‘evil.’

Their tirade of pillaging Iraq and Syria, beheading, massacring, besieging, raping murdering, threatening and indoctrinating has been horrific to watch unfold.

It has been a new enemy that is widely identifiable.

But why is their barbarism deserving of being evil, when for example; America nuking Japan is not evil. After all, the latter was far more indiscriminate and deadly?

In the LA Times, there was an article written by Jonah Goldberg asking ‘If ‘evil’ doesn’t apply to Islamic State, what does?’. In this article, there is an emphasis on the term evil having been used historically in two ways. 

Firstly, for ‘American Self Loathing’, such as the emphasis on American racism and capitalism being evil and sinister, whilst hiding behind the image of American exceptionalism. Secondly, as a cartoon, almost a parody-esque term, that reduces the sophistication of the argument, to make a A ‘baddie’ in a movie.

The article outlined that sanitising language is appropriate when people don’t pay attention. But clearly people are paying attention to ISIS, and therefore it is necessary to de-sanitise ISIS. We need to apply a harsh term, because they are.. well… Evil.

In response, American News station, CNN, dedicated a piece on the issue, questioning ‘Should we call ISIS ‘evil’?‘, and in the New York Times, Michael J Boyle wrote a piece about the moralising of the ISIS-EVIL debate, in ‘The Problem With ‘Evil”.

The general theme of the debate is that ISIS’s action constitute something barbaric, and deserve the term evil.

Jonah Goldberg asks ‘Who are you saving the word for if “evil” is too harsh for Islamic State?’.

This presents a readiness to criticise those who question the application of the term ‘evil’, as defenders of ISIS somehow.

Like a small child that has a new pair of shoes that he is desperate to wear, Jonah Goldberg is looking for a reason to use evil.

Why?

Because using evil sets off them against ‘us’, and let’s face it, America needs a bit of good press lately. There is an eagerness and panic by those seeking to label ISIS as evil, to build an identity and a character profile, that everyone can relate too, and sooner rather than later, someone can swoop in and be the hero by acting against. 

It’s hard to act against an agent that you have no mandate yo act against. Branding them as evil is creating that mandate. It’s creating a legitimate moral grievance to act. 

The underlying theme is that some need to be outraged over ISIS, because ISIS are doing terrible things, and as santisised westerners we struggle to identify with it.

Calling them evil is symptomatic of our need to define ourselves in the west through others barbarism. We have not held up our own standards for a long time, and we thus look for any opportunity to re-assert who is the good guy, and who is the bad guy.

They aren’t a characters in a movie. They are an Islamic movement, who want to establish a caliphate, and kill people who won’t do as they want. They are a political enemy, not a protagonist in a film, and the longer we insist on presenting them in a trivial way, through good and evil, the harder it will be to overcome.

What Would Rambam Have Thought of the #iceBucketChallenge?

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The Ice Bucket challenge is sweeping the internet, but how would it be viewed during the times of Rambam, who outlined eight levels of charity?

According to Maimonides [Rambam] certain kinds of charity are more meritorious than others.

All charity is good, but as outlined in The Talmud, but there is a sequential level of giving. Maimonides lists his Eight Levels of Giving [Hilkhot matanot aniyim (“Laws about Giving to Poor People”)].

These levels begin with helping someone back onto their feet and being self reliant, and ends with the lowest form of charity, giving in sadness /out of pity/unwillingly. It is designed to gear charity towards selflessness and helping those in need for the sake of helping them.

However, the Ice Bucket challenge is a cynics dream.

It involves pouring a bucket of water on your head, videoing it, and parading yourself on the internet to show everyone in order to raise awareness. In the process, you essentially bathe yourself in glory about how much you are helping, and then you nominate someone else to pressure them into doing so to.

Everyone knows who you are, who you are helping, and even who you will nominate to do the same.

If Rambam argued that charity should be done for charities sake, then surely there is a conflict with doing this? It is dependent upon exposure and attention, not selflessness.

Regardless, it is helping.

Causes such as Moto neurone disease, ALS [ disease amyotrophic lateral sclerosis], and Macmillan Cancer benefit massively. 

According to Macmillan, when completed, you can send a donation of £3 by texting. You can also sign up for a donation here

ALS have a donation portal here, which can be done with a minimum of £5, and does not need to be done with cold water being poured over one’s head.

You can also donate by sending any one of these codes and the amount you wish to donate to 70070. 

There is no inherent good in the act of pouring water over one’s head.

But, ALS have raised $79.7 million in donations compared to $2.5 million during the same time period last year.

In other words, however cynical you may about these fads plastered all over your newsfeed, it is helping by raising awareness and donations.

Some may argue it is merely concentrating donations into one charity, and they should be more evenly spread. That is certainly a legitimate criticism, and there will need to be an investigation into whether this has actually increased charitable donations, or merely moved them into one particular stream for a cause.

As Rambam was not aware of social media orientated charitable crazes, this will attempt to do his work for him.

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Starting from the top

level 8 – Enabling the recipient to become self-reliant

Because the Ice Bucket Challenge has a direct and an indirect recipient, this would have to be looked at in two ways.

By doing the challenge and donating money to the charity, it is unlikely that my funds would allow that charity to become self reliant.

It is also unlikely that a small donation that I would be able to give would help the beneficiaries of that charity to become self reliant, as there are many of them, and one of me.

In order for a charity funding research into diseases to become self reliant, they would need to concretely identify exactly how much they need to find the respective cures. Clearly that is near impossible, and in this sense, giving is not in order to allow the charity to become self reliant, but the beneficiaries of that charity.

The reason that Rambam argued this is that if one enables a recipient to become self reliant, they no longer need charity. A donation to a charity trying to solve a disease may be successful in curing someone, and thus ultimately allow them to become self reliant.

Needless to say, if someone is doing a video and doesn’t donate, they are not assisting in becoming physically self reliant.

level 7, 6 and 5

Level 7 Giving when neither party knows the other’s identity.

Level 6 – Giving when you know the recipient’s identity, but the recipient doesn’t know your identity.

level 5 – Giving when you don’t know the recipient’s identity, but the recipient knows your identity

This deals with intentions for giving. Level seven promotes charity in secret, and giving for the sake of giving, not for the sake of satisfaction. It would be impossible to do an Ice Bucket Challenge, and maintain secrecy of your identity or the charity in theory. The challenge is a public stunt to allow exposure of a cause, and thus is to an extent actually dependent upon this rule being broken.

Ultimately, the donator will know the charity, and if they donate the charity will know who donated [unless it is explicitly anonymous]. But, in an indirect way, the donator does not know where that donation will be allocated too, or who it will help. In that fashion, neither party knows the other’s identity.

The level that most most will fall into is level six, as the donator knows the identity of the charity, and in most cases the charity cannot trace the donator if you ask for anonymity.

Again however, if it is a charity that distributes those funds, then the eventual beneficiaries will have no idea it was you, nor indeed will you know how your money is spend.

It is highly likely that if you are making a video to promote charitable giving, you are going to post up which charity you are giving too, and thus level five is very difficult to fulfil.

level 4 – Giving before being asked

If you have donated due to seeing these videos, whether you have taken part in the challenge or not, you fall into this category.

As with all these challenges, it has to start somewhere though, and has to be initiated by someone. If you are one of those that makes one of these challenges without having been nominated, then you are getting the ball rolling.

Although, by posting it all over the internet and nominating people, you may be doing the act because it is fun, rather than because it is right. If you give money, it’s still a Mitzvah, but it is not as good as giving according to the previous levels.

This will also mean that if you are donating to charity without having been prompted, you are potentially saving that charity the effort of asking, and you are saving the recipients of that money the potential humiliation of having to ask to give.

Level 3 – Giving after being asked

If you are doing the challenge due to being nominated, and you donate as a result, you fall into this category. Well done, as you were prompted to give to charity.

It would be better according to Rambam if you are giving off your own convictions and because you want too, for the sake of giving. But, the most important thing is that you give.

level 2 – Giving less than you should, but giving it cheerfully.

According to Rambam, people should try to tithe 10% of their income to tzedakah, and give for the sake of giving, not for the feeling of satisfaction or for looking charitable and noble.

It would be highly unlikely that the ice bucket challenge would include 10% of anyone’s income though, especially if they give other kinds of charity. This would thus call into question how much someone ‘should‘ give in a donation.

There have been different views as to how much should be donated, and by whom. Initially, it was $10 for participants, and $100 if you refuse to do the challenge. If that was the case, it would be impossible to give anonymously, because everyone would know you have refused or accepted.

Under £3 can be considered as reasonable as a bare minimum. Anything below that may be considered as inadequate, unless someone is exceptionally poor.

Level 1 – Giving begrudgingly

If you have been nominated by someone, and then had to be nagged and nagged into doing a video, you may fall into this category.

A good example is Jeremy Clarkeson, who was not going to do it, but was then woken up by his children pouring water on him.

He did so unwillingly, but hopefully this will offer exposure, and ultimately more people to give to charity.  

Racists Posing as Anti-Zionists – The Return of The Blood Libel

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This war on Gaza has brought out racist vitriol, coaxing those that hide behind claiming to be Anti-Zionist to remove their disguise, and reveal their sinister hatred of Jews.

It goes without saying as with in the other posts attempting to highlight and expose Anti-semitism posing as Anti-Zionism, that the link is not universal.

Most Anti-Zionists are not Anti-Semites, from my experience. Jews, of all different stripes and forms hold strong and vocal opposition to Israel. But unfortunately, in amongst the liquorice all sorts of rabid Anti-Zionists there will always be a few racists that get through the net.

It has become increasingly apparent that there has been a resurgence of despicable conspiratorial rubbish that underlies so much of the historical Jew hatred of the last 1000 years.

That Jew hatred is based on a number of conspiracy theories and myths, which are utterly fabricated, and designed purely to install an irrational hatred of Jews.

This includes blood libel, global conspiracies, and of course the wandering jew, seeping into everyone else’s country and pulling the strings like some evil puppet master. There have also been references to the protocols of the elders of zion, which as we know, is a load of nonsense once again.

It’s called racism. And it should be unacceptable in the 21st century.

But it goes on, and it is continuously not called out, because if it is; the exposer will be ‘accused’ of supporting Israel.

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Blood Libel. 

There is a genuine legitimate grievance that some Anti-Zionism is clearly fuelled by Anti-Semitism.

The Blood Libel is an ancient and false myth that Jews used to kill Christian babies and use their blood for Passover offerings of Matzah.

It’s obviously a vicious and baseless lie, but it has been the root cause of some of histories worst hatred towards Jews.

For example, In the 12th century, a rumour that Jews had kidnapped a 12-year-old Christian boy, William of Norwich, and stabbed his head to simulate Jesus’s crown of thorns was used to justify persecution of Jews [BBC].

This lie has been used to justify pogroms and riots against Jews in Europe for a long time.

It has also been depicted within propoganda before too. For example, the ADL outlines this poster being used to depict Ariel Sharon, drinking from a goblet labeled “The Palestinian Children’s Blood.” sharon_blood_libel If you don’t agree with what Israel is doing right now, then fine. I don’t either, and I am a Jew, and a supporter of Israel’s existence.

But expressing your opposition with a depiction of blood libel is unacceptable, surely?!

Like this one?

At this point, if it was a regular conversation with an Anti-Zionist, I’d usually be accused of trying to cover up Israel’s crimes with Anti-Semitism.

I’m not. I’m clearly just trying to expose the depiction of Israel through a medi-evil myth that inbred hatred towards Jews for a very long time.  If people want to come up with conspiracy theories about global zionist plots to control what people are thinking, then quite honestly they can do that until their heart’s content. It’s not got anything god o with this.

This modern blood libel smear implies that there is a deliberate targeting of children. That Israel goes out to kill children, on purpose. Of course the argument that Gaza is a densely populated largely civilian area, at this point; is put to one side. It’s far more compelling to claim that these attacks that lead to non combatant deaths are due to deliberate targeting.

And there are a few brave souls who are willing to call people out on this idiocy.

The stream of attacks on Israel through depictions of old blood libel taunts has not only been through propoganda though. It also manifested through actual attacks on Synagogues, smearing child killers for example.

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If you want to support Palestine, or oppose Israel, then that’s fine, obviously.

If you want to oppose racism, hatred and Anti-Semitism, that is also obviously a good thing.

But if you claim to support Palestine, but refuse to acknowledge the use of blood libel references especially, then you’re a walking contradiction.

The Divided Kingdom Of Hebrews And Jews Returns

The current situation in Israel is like a knotted rope; the harder this rope is pulled, the tighter it gets.

In approximately 928 B.C., upon the death of King Solomon, the tribes of Israel split into the houses of Judah and Israel. The Jews and the Hebrews.

Separated, the twelve tribes were weaker, and were both conquered.

After thousands of years of institutionalised Jew hatred in Europe due to the scattering of the wandering Jews, in 2014; the Jewish people are still split.

No longer into houses, but into Israel and the Jewish Diaspora. A state, and a people.

There is immeasurable crossover, and increasingly conflict, but separated; the Jewish identity is weaker.

There is an explicitly open wound that is there for all to see, with diaspora Jews now being set against Israel more and more.

This conflict has enflamed the politicisation of supporting Israel in the Jewish community around the world.

This has been made relational to the unanimity in Israelis support of the operation ‘protective edge’, as shown The Israeli Democracy Institute, here Post by IDI – Israel Democracy Institute.

In other words, a significant contrast has been built up between the Jews of the diaspora and Israel. This is a wearing down of the assumption that Jews have a connection to Israel, and that Israel is a state for the Jews.

This operation has caused Jews to distance themselves from Israel as a Jewish State, because people don’t want to be associated with it’s actions.

Just the other day for example, there was a post from 225 Jewish Holocaust Survivors and their descendants; in condemnation of the ‘Massacre of Palestinians’.

You can read the full article, here.

Amongst Jews in the diaspora, there have been bountiful groups of anti-Israel Jews speaking their mind and gaining exposure.

Some of these groups are JFJFP [Jews For Justice For Palestinians].

B’Tselem the Israeli human rights organisation.

NIMN [Not In My Name].

The infamous Neturei Karta.

And a highly compelling article regarding the Union Of Jewish Students, by students who are not satisfied with their representation from the Union of Jewish Students and many others.

Rabbi Michael Lerner recently posted an article entitled ‘Israel has broken my heart: I’m a rabbi in mourning for a Judaism being murdered by Israel’; outlining that there is now a requirement for ‘Jews worldwide to be honest, not nationalists.’

There has been a Hashtag – ‘#notinmyname’ which has been running on twitter. [It has also been used in regard to the Iraq crisis.]

It is clear that there has never been greater amount of global attention given to the relationship that Jews and Israel have.

Perhaps not since the death of Yitzchak Rabin, the fundamental underlying assumption that Jews support Israel’s existence, and have an inherent relationship with it, is up for challenge.

But in addition to the rise in the prevalence of Anti-Zionist Jewish voice, there has also been a rise in genuine Anti-Semitism.

That is people who hate Jews for being Jews.

 

In France, and infact much more widely in Europe, there IS rising anti-semitism. It is documented comprehensively HERE

You can also read about rising Anti-Semitism in South America, HERE.

To deny it is to put your head in the sand.

To imply a blanket explanation that Israel’s actions are deterministically causing this phenomenon is also false. Anti-Semitism predates Israel. Anti-Semitism comes from the left and the right. It is one of the most deeply embedded hates of our world.

Now of course. Sometimes Anti-Semitism does manifest through Anti-Zionism. Very often it doesn’t. Very often Anti-Zionism is entirely sincere as a political view, rooted in opposition to Israel’s policies.

As stated before, Jews take this view too, so even if there are some instances of Anti-Semitism covered up by Anti-Zionism, it is not a universal link.

Holocaust survivors and other ‘self hating Jews‘ opposing Israel, is not being Anti-Semitic. It sounds insincere, insecure and quite frankly desperate to just smear all opponents of Israel as Anti-Semites; and it is losing the debate.

We need to call out real Anti-Semites, and separate that from opponents of Israel on political or humanitarian grounds; including the the Jewish opponents, who obviously can’t be against their own identity.

But when someone draws upon the blood libel during an Anti-Israel protest, they are most definitely being Anti-Semitic.

When People call for Jews to get out, not because of Israel; but because of Jews, they are being Anti-Semitic.

The relationship between Jews and Israel is obviously under strain, not only due to people’s waining support for Israel as an entity, or for its policies, but also because of what it has outlined as its intentions.

Benjamin Netanyahu has continuously said that all must recognise Israel as a Jewish State.

It is one of the predetermining factors that time and time again, he has applied in order to justify military action.

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Even if, like me, you support Israel as a peaceful and democratic state, and oppose its right wing Government, I don’t feel comfortable with this.

Infact even the early Zionist leaders would have had an issue with it.

In the Balfour declaration, it states clearly ‘that nothing shall be done which may prejudice’…:

1) The civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine..

2)..Rights and political status enjoyed by Jews in any other country.

Israel was never meant to be exclusively Jewish.

It was meant to be a safe haven from Anti-Semitism.

This Gaza crisis is now challenging Jews in the diaspora, because Israel is defaulting on its purpose, trying to fuse religion with a State, and most Jews utterly reject it.

Most Jews would not want to live in a State that is made up of ‘One Nation Only’.

Israel is supposed to protect World Jewry from Anti-Semitism, but its actions at the moment are serving to marginalise Jews around the world, by politicising their support or opposition to Israel, as Jews.

The worst possible position for Jews in the diaspora, and for Israel, to be in; is to look divided.

The Jews and the Hebrews are back, and they are more divided than ever.

Ed Miliband’s Conviction Politics Must Be Backed Against Consensus Politics

Ed Miliband is often cited as being weak, but those who do so; fear his strong convictions against a backdrop of consensus politics.

Politicians need to appeal to people, not just to get elected, but to create an identity that people can trust.

Getting a message across needs a mixture of style and substance, which means either good communication, or having something to transmit.

Or a bit of both.

Ed Miliband has been continuously labelled as weak, because of his supposedly dull character and social awkwardness that fails to ignite political passion.

His aesthetics are not complementary to a modern political age, and he is presented as someone without the necessary steel to lead the country as a result.

But if he is weak, then it’s only a certain kind of weak, in terms of image and perception.

Even Ed admits it, if the Sun is to be believed.

He has admitted he is weak in terms of image and presentation, here.

But he isn’t weak politically as some have argued. In our political era, dominated by an airbrushed Blairite political class, we should welcome conviction politics over image politics.

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Whatever your views of Ed’s aesthetics or charismatic talent, it is clear that he’s politically ruthless. Some despise him for that.

Upon ruthlessly defeating his Blairite brother; this supposedly weak politician stood up to Rupert Murdoch, then the Unions, then Cameron over Syria and now finally Gaza. He has announced plans to stand up to energy companies too.

In 2011, he said this, as quoted in The Guardian:

Screenshot 2014-08-14 23.31.58 Ed piled on the pressure, calling for Rebekah Brooks to go. He called on Rupert Murdoch to face MPs for a judge led public inquiry, and he scuppered the BSKYB Bid by News Corp, which was eventually withdrawn.

In addition to taking on his Blairite Brother, he has taken on another Blairite.

The Prime Minister, David Cameron:

He stood up to Cameron’s accusations about Union influence, and in doing so, he has also been one of the only Labour leaders to actually address the issue.

At the meeting in London surrounding the Union issue he wanted to “open up our policy-making, clean up the lobbying industry and take the big money out of politics. We want to let people back in.”

This is not being weak. This is dealing with internal and structural political problems head on. It takes guts. More than anything, it is taking on the people that elected him, supposedly; which shows, once again, political ruthlessness.

Weak?

I think not.

And on Syria? He spearheaded the argument which prevented Cameron from arming the rebels.

Syria caused his popularity to go UP, because in spite of the vile criticism of aesthetics, he is standing for things people identify with. He is speaking up for a popular opinion. It’s not a beauty contest.

Damn it, Ed even went the whole nine yards and called for Iran to be invited to the negotiating table.

If ever a politician could NOT be seen as weak or dithering, it is to call for Iran.

And on Gaza, he was also largely praised.

He has been consistently the figure levelling criticism of David Cameron’s silence.

For some internal members, this has made the situation uncomfortable, because sometimes Politics gets in the way. Sometimes when people speak their mind, they lose support, because they actually stand for something.

Infact Labour’s supposedly weak leader was so dominant on Syria, The Guardian have even argued this led to a ‘character assassination’ by the Tories.

That’s right.

Weak, funny looking and speech impediment ridden, Marxist, Jewish, bacon eating, Wallace lookalike, needed a ‘character assassination’?

It begs the question, in what regard is he weak, and why would he need a character assassination if he was weak?

Even upon a consistent personal assault or character assassination, Ed has admitted that he is not going to win the battle of image which has been committed against him.

More importantly, he doesn’t want to.

He wants to win the battle of politics.

But rest assured, the news that dominates is that of image and character.

Some MPs are even willing to bail over Ed. Trying to save their own skins. They do this, because in today’s world; looking right and sounding right, is much more important than being right.

There are still politicians willing to stand up for another politician if they are doing the right thing though, even if it means a loss of support from some.

page separatorHere is a determined politician who has been ruthless throughout his political leadership.

He took on his brother, Murdoch, Unions, Cameron, Blair, and the Gaza Crisis.

But all he receives is analysis about his appearance and style, and accusations of weakness.

This poses a much more sinister questions about the symptoms of a failing political system, dominated by the media and by shallow image; over substantial policy on the one hand.

On the other hand, it also suggests that what is needed is a concerted attempt at re-politicising politics

Many reject Cameron’s airbrushed media style politics, as out of touch and insincere, but at the same time, there is criticism for Miliband for being the antithesis of just that.

He is sincere and inherently political, and he wants to change politics from politics, not from image.

So let’s back him.

Is Exposing Anti-Semitism Now Seen As Supporting Israel?

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In Europe today, the growing undercurrent of intolerance towards Jews is fuelled by the fear of being ‘accused’ of supporting Israel if you expose it.

There are many supporters of Israel who conflate Judaism and Zionism as the same thing. I try my best to keep Judaism and Zionism separate, although I am Jewish, and support Israel’s existence.

I recognise that sometimes there is a crossover. I also recognise that sometimes they are totally unrelated.

From my experience, most of the time, protests against Israel are not against Jews. Indeed much of the time, they bring attention to the participating Jews to outline how non-Anti-Semitic they are.

Good on them for ensuring they are not hating upon Jews.

In the most recent rally in central London outside of the Israeli Embassy, one of the speakers was loudly heard chanting:

Are we Anti-Semitic?’, To which the vast crowd responded with a resounding ‘no.

People are going out of their way to not be against Jews.

The unintended consequence of this phenomenon, is that Pro Palestinian supporters have convinced themselves that Anti-Semitism never plays a part in people’s opposition to Israel. There is such a strong watertight guarantee that it is not a factor, that anyone claiming it is, has an interest in arguing that. They are trying to conflate Anti-Zionism and Anti-Semitism.

There is genuine Anti-Semitism, as I posted about recently here: SIGN | Rising Anti-Semitism Must Stop 

So why are people choosing to brand people being Pro-Israel when they expose real Anti-Semitism?

 

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There is now such an exaggerated assurance by Pro-Palestinian supporters that they do not have a problem with Jews; that they will never be Anti-Semitic, that is now ludicrous to even imply that they are. Even when they actually are.

This has even extended to some arguing that supporting Israel is infact being Anti-semitic, because Palestinians are Semitic; and therefore one can’t be against something they support.

So, basically; how dare you accuse them of being Anti-Semitic. Because, now that means Palestinian. Jews don’t even experience hatred do they?

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It is clear that numerous tactics are being employed to occupy the post of ‘Anti-Semitism’, as a term which is not allowed to have any relation at all to Israel at all. This is very dangerous, because sometimes genuine Anti-Semitism is the direct result of opposition against Israel. Much of the time it isn’t as well; but there are a lot of opportunistic racists out there that cling onto anything as a vehicle to hate.

Both need exposing; whether connected or not. But it is increasingly difficult to expose Anti-Semites, if every time one does; they are accused of spreading Hasbara, because ‘Anti-Semitism isn’t the same thing as opposition to Israel.’

If there are Anti-Semitic sentiments during a Pro-Palestinian rally, they are covered up by the generality of Anti-Israel sentiment. Anybody exposing this, is immediately pounced upon by the dogma of Pro-Palestinian activists, as they screech, that Anti-Semitism is not the same as Anti-Zionism, and therefore your claims of Anti-semitism are illegitimate, and infact, you are trying to conflate the two for your own personal gain.

As a result, those that try to expose genuine Anti-Semitism, such as myself, here and here after the use of numerous disgusting hashtags such as #hitlerwasright, are branded as zionists trying to spread Hasbarah. page separator

Exposing Anti-Semitism has become seen as trying to defend Israel.

Exposing Anti-Semitism is now seen as an attempt to fuse hatred of Jew with opposition to Israel.

This is It is highly dangerous, because it means that for certain Palestinian supporters, exposing Anti-Semitism is now an extension of supporting Israel, and nobody can say anything; or it is hasbarah.

There is somewhat of a neglection of the fact though; that some, not all, but a minority of Anti-Israel activists, hold their views because they hate Jews. Exposing these people is not equivalent to supporting Israel.

Exposing an Anti-Semite for being an Anti-Semite is just that, and it shouldn’t be dismissed as something else.

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Why is this dangerous?

Firstly, the real Anti-Semites out there now have a free pass to act upon their hatred, under the guise of supporting Palestine. They know that if anybody condemns them, they can smear them with ‘it’s not Anti-semitism, it’s Anti-Israel’ cover.

Secondly, slowly but surely; the pro-Palestinian cause is becoming increasingly characterised as a hostile and closet racist movement. Brendan O’Neill summed this up brilliantly in his article; ‘There’s something very ugly in this rage against Israel’. He outlined that ‘The line between anti-Zionism and anti-Semitism gets thinner every day’, and that;

Israelis (not Israel in this case) are ‘disgraceful’, ‘murderous, racist’, ‘inhuman scum’, ‘pigs’, etc, said angry tweeters.

One racist magazine publishing the Sderot picture under the headline ‘Rat-Faced Israeli Jews Cheer and Applaud Airstrikes on Gaza Strip’.

But, you must not say anything.

In the era of the new McCarthyism, calling out Anti-Semites that pose as Anti-Zionists means you are trying to conflate the two yourself.

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There have been numerous practical examples of this new phenomenon as well.

In Paris whereby a Synogogue was firebombed, and a hate mob trapped the Synogogue’s inhabitants inside, during a Pro Palestinian March.

After the march was banned thereafter, the protestors decided instead, to burn and pillage a Jewish neighbourhood. All in the name of the Palestinians; but of course. It has nothing to do with virulent Jew-Hatred.

In the Independent, the opening paragraph of the report on this attack on Jewish shops is quite shocking. It states:

Fears are growing that the Gaza conflict could transfer to the streets of France after Jewish-owned shops were burned and pillaged last night during a second violent pro-Palestinian demo in the space of two days.

When criticising these individuals for firebombing a Synagogue or doing a Quenelle, I was told that I was spreading Hasbarah, and supporting a racist state.

And they also brought out some inverted Nazi salutes [Quenelles] just for good measure.

They aren’t racist of course. They just do Nazi Salutes and firebomb Jewish Prayer houses, to show their anger against Israel.

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People are willing to overlook this racism however, and merely claim it is Anti-Zionism.

It should be rejected and unacceptable.

Yet already, people are excusing it; and it is no surpass there is a Jewish-Zionist conspiracy theory in there somewhere. I am a little light on the details, but then again; most are.

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There are many genuine supporters of Palestine who utterly reject this catch 22 lunacy.

In Europe today, Anti-Semitism is genuine, and some sincere supporters of Palestine recognise that. Some agree that exposing Anti-Semitism is necessary, and unrelated to supporting Israel. But especially on social media, it is becoming increasingly difficult to argue that Anti-Semitism exists, because when it is outlined; the individual doing so is merely accused of trying to fuse hating jews with opposing Israel.

Pointing this out is a Anti-Semitism does not constitute supporting Israel, as such. When people attack Jews under the guise of opposing Israel, it is both Anti-Semitism and Anti Zionism. When they just attack Jews, it is Anti Semitism, and when just Israel, it is Anti-Zionism.

I am not going to apologise for exposing Anti-Semitism because some intolerant idiot thinks that constitutes supporting Israel.