A little local difficulty


By iainlrabbak
December 10, 2009
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The Board of Deputies treasurer Laurence Brass has told BBC Manchester Radio that he is not just the person who looks after the purse but is able to influence and steer the direction of the board.
"I want to steer the board in a particular direction, although you might think the treasurer is the man that just looks after the purse, he does have the opportunity to influence the politicaldirection the board is taking and that is something I feel quite strongly about," Brass said.
Brass was asked in the BBC interview about the recent settlement freeze announced by Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu.
"That was good news," Brass said. "I would like to have seen it extended to Jerusalem."
Brass said he wanted to make sure the board is not seen as a wing of the Israeli Embassy, accusing previous incumbents of the board of being so. "I'd be quite keen to underline with my colleagues that we should not be seen as an extension of the Israeli Embassy, which I think previously regimes have been, and I think we would be more appreciated by our community if we are shown to be quite objective in what we stand for in that sense," he said. About time someone had the gumption to say that.
But what's this? The diaspora cavalry is coming over the hill in the shape of he chairman of the far right Likud-Herut UK, Zalmi Unsdorfer, who wrote to the Board of Deputies President Vivian Wineman, accusing Brass of abusing his position.
"Laurence Brass continues to abuse his position and the trust of the Jewish community which the Board claims to represent," he said.
This is an outrage, and totally incompatible with the Board's role and constitution, he said.
"The board was never intended to be a political organization [except, of course, when it sides with Israel] and its officers should not be pontificating in this way when representing the board and presuming to 'deputize' for Jews in this country," he wrote.
Unsdorfer said that Brass should be dismissed if he cannot be prevented from making statements outside his remit as treasurer.
"Your rules expressly state that no board member is authorized to make statements to the media without your approval. Having been so effusive with his opinions in the few short months since his election, Mr.Brass should have rung alarm bells with you and your colleagues before this.
"He must be instructed to desist from making statements outside his remit as treasurer. If he will not undertake to do this, he must be dismissed. Your role and duty is to ensure that does not happen - either in our community's name or the Board's," he said.
Responding to his critics, Brass said, "It's clear to me that there are some deputies who are seeking to encourage the idea of a 'siege mentality' as part of their own right-wing agenda to persuade the Board to be less sympathetic to constructive criticism of some aspects of Israeli policy. This attempt to steer the Board towards a more hawkish approach has to be resisted."
Hang on, now the tanks of the Jewish National Fund [now a wing of British Herut, apparently] have just invaded the Board's lawn. Samuel Hayek, chairman of the Jewish National Fund UK, said that "Laurence Brass is entitled to his views, which clearly do not represent the views of the Jewish community, which stands firm behind Israel. He is not entitled, however, to espouse his views when representing the Board of Deputies
"Mr. Brass should not making public statements that are unrepresentative and are not within the policies of the Board of Deputies."
Responding to the accusations, the board issued a statement that said: "The Board of Deputies of British Jews stands full square behind the State of Israel and in particular in its quest for security [damn right it does]. The Board does not formulate positions on particular aspects of Israeli government policy, including, in this case, on the issue of a settlement freeze [not if it knows which side its bread is buttered, it doesn't]. These are matters for the democratically elected government of Israel, and for the citizens of Israel who elected it.
"As an organization representing the breadth of the British Jewish community, each of our 260 Deputies, themselves elected by their constituencies, will have their own particular views on Israel , and on all manner of other issues. However, unless and until such individual views are discussed and endorsed by the entire Board, they cannot be taken as constituting the policy of the Board."
Quick, everyone to the shelters, here comes the ZF infantry. Andrew Balcombe, chairman of the UK Zionist Federation, said: "The ZF made representations on this matter to the board and is pleased to see the board's statement. The ZF hopes that in future officers of the board will keep their personal opinions private, if they conflict with their constitutional obligation to "advanceIsrael's security, welfare and standing"
Responding to the board's statement Unsdorfer said: "If the freeze needs to be extended anywhere, it is to Mr. Brass's abuse of his position on the board. By the board's meek statement, it seems clear that Mr. Wineman is not in control of his board and that its long-standing principle of supporting the government ofIsrael, in good times and bad, is not safe in his hands."

COMMENTS

Honest Blogger

Thu, 12/10/2009 - 14:26

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Trolling is a game about identity deception, albeit one that is played without the consent of most of the players. The troll attempts to pass as a legitimate participant, sharing the group's common interests and concerns; the newsgroups members, if they are cognizant of trolls and other identity deceptions, attempt to both distinguish real from trolling postings, and upon judging a poster a troll, make the offending poster leave the group. Their success at the former depends on how well they — and the troll — understand identity cues; their success at the latter depends on whether the troll's enjoyment is sufficiently diminished or outweighed by the costs imposed by the group.
Trolls can be costly in several ways. A troll can disrupt the discussion on a newsgroup, disseminate bad advice, and damage the feeling of trust in the newsgroup community. Furthermore, in a group that has become sensitized to trolling — where the rate of deception is high — many honestly naïve questions may be quickly rejected as trollings. This can be quite off-putting to the new user who upon venturing a first posting is immediately bombarded with angry accusations. Even if the accusation is unfounded, being branded a troll is quite damaging to one's online reputation.

"Troll Alert" Finally "Curse Your God" has been flushed out in the open. I suppose that its just a coincidence that "Curse your God" in Arabic is In al rabbak iainlrabbak"


iainlrabbak

Thu, 12/10/2009 - 14:31

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So, Honest Bloger, when will you stop trolling? And why are you so afraid to reveal your identity?


Honest Blogger

Thu, 12/10/2009 - 14:35

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"Troll Alert" Finally "Curse Your God" has been flushed out in the open. I suppose that its just a coincidence that "Curse your God" in Arabic is In al rabbak iainlrabbak"


iainlrabbak

Thu, 12/10/2009 - 16:30

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HB, stop hiding behind a pseudonym, or are you Jonathan Hoffman's or Jon-i-Cohen's sock puppet?


Honest Blogger

Thu, 12/10/2009 - 19:24

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"Troll Alert" Finally "Curse Your God" has been flushed out in the open. I suppose that its just a coincidence that "Curse your God" in Arabic is In al rabbak iainlrabbak"


DLeigh-Ellis

Thu, 12/10/2009 - 19:29

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Honest, if you continue to post the same statement over and over again, I am going to click the 'flag as offensive' button.


Jonathan Hoffman

Thu, 12/10/2009 - 21:07

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Don't feed the trolls!


DLeigh-Ellis

Thu, 12/10/2009 - 21:10

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same goes for you Mr Hoffman, please comment productively or leave the discussion.


moshetzarfati2 (not verified)

Thu, 12/10/2009 - 21:36

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Looks like Mr Hoffman has learned how to cut and paste, too.


DLeigh-Ellis

Thu, 12/10/2009 - 22:39

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yup.... I think he learnt how to do it before he learnt how to write.. Either that or he thinks the art of cutting and pasting is as valid as writing something constructive.


Jonathan Hoffman

Fri, 12/11/2009 - 12:26

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Don't feed the trolls! They are dullards which is even worse.


Honest Blogger

Fri, 12/11/2009 - 13:06

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@Dleigh-Ellis You make a valid and worthwhile contribution to this blog, but we ask you not to endorse troll activity. Thank-you


iainlrabbak

Fri, 12/11/2009 - 13:16

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DLE, I see Jonathan's little helper is back with his bully-boy tactics.


Yvetta

Fri, 12/11/2009 - 13:30

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The Board was in the hands of the Anglo-Jewish elite until Selig Brodetsky staged his coup, and the firm commitment to Zionism ensued. Mr Brass is fully entitled to his views on the settlements, but there are enough underminers of Israel around without the Board adding to their number. Still, perhaps judgement is premature.


Honest Blogger

Fri, 12/11/2009 - 14:48

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To Inal Rabbak
Why do you choose to use a pseudonym meaning "Curse your god" in Arabic on a Jewish website? Your persona and anti-semitic posts are provocative, divisive and discordant, exposing you as a classic internet troll. I don't know anyone that takes you seriously. Go and find a new pastime.


iainlrabbak

Fri, 12/11/2009 - 14:50

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"Honest" 1, Why do you use a pseudonym? 2. I am not, that's my name -- Iain Leopold Rabbak (apparently derived from Rebuck), hence iainlrabbak 3. I see you are bringing up the old anti-semitism chestnut. Is it antisemitism for an Israeli Jew who did three years military service and miluim to question Israeli policies? Is it antisemitism to poke fun at a claim that by a boxer who was outclassed in 76 seconds that he was floored by abuse? If the answer to the last two is yes, then you have no idea what antisemitism is.


Honest Blogger

Fri, 12/11/2009 - 15:05

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Yes it is anti-semitism- anyway I wasn't addressing you. I was addressing Inal Rabbak-its just that you chose to reply.


iainlrabbak

Fri, 12/11/2009 - 15:09

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"Honest" some people have lost the plot, especially those who think it antisemitism to question Israeli policies and poking fun at a boxer who claims that antisemitic abuse (if there was any) caused him to lose a fight in 76 seconds. So what's your real name, "Honest"? Is it Jon or Jonathan?


Honest Blogger

Fri, 12/11/2009 - 15:27

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So what is it that you love about Judasim?

And what is it that constitutes anti-semitism to you?

Why do you like to poke fun at any claim of anti-semitism?

Why do you loathe Israel so much?

Why do you take so much pleasure in posting all of this on a Jewish website?


iainlrabbak

Fri, 12/11/2009 - 15:40

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"Honest" -- what's your real name? Judaism means a long tradition of diversity and openmindedness (although for some, obviously, it doesn't) Antisemitism is hatred of Jews qua Jews. I don't poke fun at any claim of antisemitism, only at those that are patently funny and meant to cover up the inadequacies of those who fail in one way or another (pace crap boxers). I don't loathe Israel at all. I have severe disagreements with some of its self-defeating settlement policies. I don't wish to see a single-state solution, but that's what's gonna happen if Israel continues to hold on to the Occupied Territories. And, by the way, do you have a teudat zehut or a mispar ishi from Tzahal, because I do. And why do you post on a Jewish website and when did you stop beating your wife Jonathan? Or is it Jon?


Honest Blogger

Fri, 12/11/2009 - 16:01

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So you are Conservative voting, pro-jewish Zionist ?


iainlrabbak

Fri, 12/11/2009 - 16:22

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I hate labels, Jonathan/Jon/Honest, but I do vote Tory and in Israel have voted for Labour and Shinui (when it was led by Tommy Lapid).


Honest Blogger

Fri, 12/11/2009 - 16:28

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What makes you think I am Jonathan or Jon? This is pure paranoia. There are circa 15 million other Jews in the world !


iainlrabbak

Fri, 12/11/2009 - 16:40

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There are circa 13 million Jews in the world and your style is that of Jonathan or Jon, but if you find that insulting…


Honest Blogger

Fri, 12/11/2009 - 16:52

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Your behavior on this website is quite franky-shameful. Jon, Jonathan and hundreds of other fair minded jewish people and organisations are trying to defend the minority position of the jews and Israel. Your approach is to belittle, poke fun, and undermine our community, and is most unwelcome.


iainlrabbak

Fri, 12/11/2009 - 16:54

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Fair-minded? I note your comments and choose to treat them with the contempt they deserve.


Honest Blogger

Fri, 12/11/2009 - 17:05

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You have said it all-you have contempt for our community. All you do is mock, criticize, and deride it.


DLeigh-Ellis

Fri, 12/11/2009 - 17:06

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Honest, you and Jonathan call me a troll too, am I an antisemite also?

I think your definition of an antisemite is somebody who doesn't agree with your own warped worldview.

It is possible to simultaneously be a Jew and remain critical of things one believes to be morally abhorrent. I would in fact argue, that such a process is integral to being a Jew. It's called rational thinking, you should look it up someday, but heres a clue, and your first lesson too, stop the name-calling. If you disagree with someone, present your case to them, don't resort to petty insults. It just lowers the chance of any of us ever taking you seriously.


iainlrabbak

Fri, 12/11/2009 - 17:12

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"Honest" you have delusions of grandeur. You are not the community. You represent, if anything, only a minority within a minority of the community. And I mock, criticise and deride only those deserving of it.


Honest Blogger

Fri, 12/11/2009 - 17:20

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DLE-- your comments are fair and balanced. You are not driven to undermine or ridicule anyone.


iainlrabbak

Fri, 12/11/2009 - 17:22

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Bet you are well chuffed, DLE, at that.


Honest Blogger

Fri, 12/11/2009 - 17:32

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Don't bootlick DLE to try to justify your disruptive behavior on this blog


iainlrabbak

Fri, 12/11/2009 - 17:41

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"Honest", meet irony. Irony, meet "Honest". And speaking of bootlicking, what's this?

DLE-- your comments are fair and balanced. You are not driven to undermine or ridicule anyone.


DLeigh-Ellis

Fri, 12/11/2009 - 17:51

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I know.. I'm too confused to bother with this argument anymore....

Good shabbos all


iainlrabbak

Fri, 12/11/2009 - 17:54

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Shabbat Shalom

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