For Pittsburgh

Ra’anana held a rally last night (after Shabbat) in support of the community in Pittsburgh. There were several speakers, including Daniel Shapiro, former USA ambassador to Israel who is now a Ra’anana resident. Another speaker was a nephew of Jerry Rabinowitz, one of the victims. All spoke from the heart, but the nephew was clearly in pain. The well attended event finished with Havdalah and Hatikvah.

Apparently, this rally happened not because of the Ra’anana Council, but from a Facebook post by a former Pittsburgh resident who wanted to do something to show solidarity and support. The post went viral, and the rally duly took place. Video of the event was sent to those sitting Shivah. Sometimes, social media makes a positive difference.

I hope it’s the last time I go to such an event. I hope it’s the last time there is a need for such an event.

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No Israeli Offer Will Ever Be Good Enough

Man of something beginning with “p”. Source: Wikimedia

Abbas’ dreadful, spiteful, poisonous, antisemitic speech of hate should be seen as a true indication of the character of the man so enthusiastically promoted by many dreamers as a partner for peace. Attila the Hun or Genghis Khan have a better claim to that title. Unfortunately, the situation is now even more of a vacuum: there is no credible Palestinian partner for peace, and there is no credible Israeli alternative plan. If Bibi were a true statesman, this would be the time he would rise to the occasion. But I am not optimistic. It wouldn’t be easy, but – in the words of Dov Lipman – we have to try, because we need to be able to look our kids in the face and tell them we did at least that. The size of the challenge can be measured by this closing comment from the ever excellent David Horovitz in his article Abbas couldn’t make peace with the Jews; he believes his own lies about us:

“The UN can vote itself blue in the face against Israel. Foolish nations can unilaterally recognize Palestinian statehood — to the detriment of the Palestinians, since such “support” merely deepens their obduracy. But the only route to Palestinian independence runs via a negotiated settlement with Israel.

The Olmert offer of a decade ago showed how far Israel was prepared to go to partner the Palestinians to statehood. The despicable, tragic, self-defeating Abbas speech of Sunday night showed that so long as the Palestinians blind themselves to the fact of Israel’s legitimacy, no Israeli offer is going to be good enough.”

Note this key element:

“so long as the Palestinians blind themselves to the fact of Israel’s legitimacy”

If that analysis is right – and I am inclined to agree – where is the change in Palestinian attitudes going to come from? I cannot see it. Perhaps the ground level, grass-roots initiatives that (almost unbelievably) are working and building real connections between the communities, will create something. Beyond that, what else is there? Who can make the Palestinians see sense?

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Radiohead Report

As you may have heard, Radiohead‘s Tel Aviv concert went ahead. By all accounts (locally) it was a great success.

This is how the Guardian chose to headline its report:

This is how the Guardian, had it been a bit more frank, should have headlined its report:

And this is how the Guardian, had it been completely honest, should have headlined its report:

The Guardian’s (rarely seen) honest face

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Quote of the Week

From the Elder of Ziyon:

“Everyone who has tried to explain historic antisemitism and its more modern version of anti-Zionism has missed the issue. The real answer is that some people simply are consumed with hate that is so pervasive, and so delusional, that it overrides any other human attribute including self-preservation. It cannot be explained any more than schizophrenia can be explained. It may be chemical.”

Harsh? Not after you have read the shocking narrative here.

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Can it get any worse?

Harry’s Place reports:

Jackie Walker readmitted to the Labour Party

Jackie Walker said some foul things about Jews (see here for background) but, so far as the Labour Party is concerned, that’s OK.

The Guardian reports:

Jeremy Corbyn ‘failed to reply’ to Israeli Labour on fears of antisemitism

Jeremy Corbyn faced fresh criticism over his handling of antisemitism allegations after Labour’s sister party in Israel said it had had no reply to a letter its leader sent to him a month ago expressing dismay and inviting him to Jerusalem to see the Yad Vashem Holocaust museum.

Labour MPs said they were shocked that no response had apparently been sent and added that it was further evidence of the party leadership’s slow and inadequate response to the crisis.

After Ken Livingstone was suspended from the Labour party at the end of April for making highly controversial remarks about Hitler and Zionism, Isaac Herzog, leader of the Israeli Labour party, wrote to Corbyn saying he was “appalled and outraged by the recent instances of anti-semitism by senior Labour party officials in the United Kingdom”.

The whole piece is here.

Isn’t that an Impressive display by Labour? Impressively incompetent. Impressively ignorant.

Can it get any worse? I fear it can.

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Look down

Probably the post of the week, Jewish Labour Mole has On looking down, not up.
The subtitle previews the content:

“There is wilfull blindness to the top-down institutional propagation of Labour’s Antisemitism.”

It starts as follows:

I was brought up to beware the following set of circumstances: an economic recession; the emergence of a populist leader with an antisemitic following and the inexorable flow downwards to an increase in antisemitic abuse, violence and murder. That sequence is no fable: it’s history on repeat, and it’s happening now.
It’s true that Antisemitism is a society-wide phenomenon: but it rarely flourishes unless sanctioned by leaders and institutions. The caveat in this classic narrative is that the conditions required for that evil to triumph is that Good Men Do Nothing.
I was given to believe that never again would ‘Good Men Do Nothing’. I was sold a pup.

It’s a must read.

It’s very worrying that the political scene in the UK seems infused with antisemitism, and it’s getting worse.

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Kingdom of Jew Hatred

Yesterday, I blogged about a sharp cartoon in the Jerusalem Post about Saudi Arabia, and the west’s attitude to it. (Think ‘disconnect from reality,’ or see the cartoon.)

Today, the incomparable Elder of Ziyon has an amazing post about what happened in Saudi last month. And it could not be more demonstrative of western blindness, or a head in the sand attitude. Check it out.

Isn’t it about time that the USA behaved like a mensch and actually did something about this antisemitism?

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A quiz about Facebook’s community standards.

OK, here’s your quiz; it’s just one question, and it is multiple choice. Are you ready? Here we go:

Is the blood libel against Jews, a violation of Facebook’s community standards?

Possible answers:

A: What community standards?

B: Yes.

C: No.

D: Depends who is asking.

E: Depends who at Facebook is investigating.

F: Depends how much media attention the complaint gets.

What is YOUR answer?

Made a choice? Want to know the correct answer?

The correct answer is: C…

Don’t believe me? See here:

Facebook investigates, decides blood libel does not violate community standards

Whatever the limits to free speech might be, you can be assured, if not exactly comforted, that Facebook is at the sharp end, ensuring Jew hatred can continue.

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Labour or Society?

In the current Vicki Kirby controversy, it seems to me there is one important aspect that has been overlooked. By way of summary, here’s how Harry’s Place puts the overall position:

Vicki Kirby, then Labour’s candidate for Woking, was suspended from the Labour Party in 2014 following a string of antisemitic tweets. Now it seems that she has not simply been reinstated by Labour, but appointed as Woking’s vice chair.

The story was broken by Guy Fawkes’ blog. That blog also highlighted that Kirby and the Woking Labour Party chairman:

“have been publicly sharing content suggesting ISIS is a CIA conspiracy and joking about their own anti-Semitism.”

The latter behavior occurred after her 2014 suspension.

It’s all very well for the Labour Party to take a long look at itself, and wonder how they managed to reinstate her, and appoint her as a vice chairman. And it is right and proper that questions are asked about the Labour Party’s procedures, principles, and it is given the opportunity to learn from its mistakes. (Again.) But the further question is, why was the story only broken by Guy Fawkes’ blog? Given the public nature of Vicki Kirby’s social media postings, why didn’t other Labour Party members raise the alarm?

One possible explanation is that such behavior is not seen as offensive or objectionable within the Labour Party. (And there is plenty of evidence to suggest this is the case.) Another, much more troubling possible explanation, is that such behavior is not seen as offensive or objectionable within British society as a whole.

So, is it the Labour Party that has a Jewish problem, or is it British society?

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