A view from the EDL demo


By Jennifer Lipman
October 25, 2010
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As I boarded the train to Kensington yesterday, I noticed a large group of men and boys; the men mostly with heads shaved, the boys heartbreakingly young, with fair hair and flushed faces. All were wearing heavy black jackets and dark scarves. It was clear they were on the way to something big, something they found exciting.

Were they members of the English Defence League, on their way to demonstrate, ostensibly in support of Israel but really against Islam and a way of life other than their own? Maybe, maybe not. Maybe it was just the paranoia setting in.

Hours later, as I watched 300 EDL members march up to the high street, banners in hand, chants of "no surrender" and "death to Allah" deafening, I felt my earlier apprehension to be justified.

To anyone who says the EDL are moderates, not racist, defenders of a way of life not obstructers of another, I'd challenge you to listen to a massive throng of angry men and women shouting "Death to Allah" and other obscenities.

Make no mistake. These people are not moderates, they are extremists. One I spoke to denied being from a violent organisation, but admitted to me that he would be willing to fight "if that's what it takes". Looking at the EDL yesterday, I have no doubt.

Outside the Israeli Embassy, they came to hijack a cause - support of Israel and the Jewish community - for their own ends. Yesterday their hatred was for Islam, but tomorrow, who knows.

One member of the counter-demonstration, an Israeli called Yossi Bartel, told me he was there to show that "the EDL are not speaking for Israel and the Jews”.

He's right, and more of the Jewish community must acknowledge and advertise that point.

COMMENTS

Anthony Posner

Mon, 10/25/2010 - 09:17

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4 points

Jennifer,

If The Board of Deputies is worried about the activities of The EDL, it cannot sit silent about the recent "Islamist" gains in London.

A credible response to The EDL must encapsulate a forthright condemnation by The Board with regard to the undermining of the British secular democratic tradition in Tower Hamlets. The Board's refusal to speak out will only lead British Jews to conclude that their representatives do not take the dangers posed by Islamic fundamentalism seriously enough


Anthony Posner

Mon, 10/25/2010 - 09:23

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4 points

Jennifer,
I am not a member of The EDL. But has it occurred to you that The EDL might have serious concerns about Isalmic fundamentalism?

I refer you to the attached:

http://frontpagemag.com/2010/10/25/sharia-in-the-uk/print/

Geller: It means Sharia for Britain, and the election of Lutfur Rahman is a significant step in that direction. The IFE says that its agenda is to change the “very infrastructure of society, its institutions, its culture, its political order and its creed… from ignorance to Islam.”
Even the way they got Rahman elected was redolent of life in a Sharia state. The Telegraph reported that Lutfur Rahman supporters were hanging around polling places all over the borough, scolding Muslim women if they were wearing what the Islamic supremacists thought was “immodest dress.” And a major player in the Labour Party in Tower Hamlets said after Rahman was elected that Tower Hamlets “really is Britain’s Islamic republic now.”
In my New York Times interview here, I repeated what I have said and thought for some time — that the first country that will be Islamic in Europe will be the United Kingdom. This terrible election victory just validates my prediction.


Anthony Posner

Mon, 10/25/2010 - 09:42

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3 points

Jennifer,

Instead of worrying about whether a few members The EDL pitches up outside Ahava or the Israeli embassy, Jon Benjamin from the Board of Deputies should be more concerned about asking whether the UK will be the first Islamic country in Europe.

Or perhaps he would brand himself as being "Islamophobic" if he did?

I reiterate.. the British Jewish establishment is selling out. It is about time that they the guts to face the real issues head-on, rather than trying to acquire some "Dhimmi" points with Nick Clegg and David Cameron.


Anthony Posner

Mon, 10/25/2010 - 09:48

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2 points

Jennifer,

You write:

"One member of the counter-demonstration, an Israeli called Yossi Bartel, told me he was there to show that "the EDL are not speaking for Israel and the Jews”.
He's right, and more of the Jewish community must acknowledge and advertise that point."

Who is Yossi Bartel? Which organization does he represent? What was the counter-demo doing?


Anthony Posner

Mon, 10/25/2010 - 10:20

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4 points

Jennifer,

You write:

http://www.thejc.com/arts/film/40156/surfing-rabbi-tells-edl-demo-we-sha...

"Down the high street around 30 people, from organisations including Unite Against Fascism, Jewdas, and Jews for Justice for Palestinians, as well as two strictly orthodox anti-Zionists, gathered for a counter-demonstration.
Siobhan Schwartzberg, a student from East London and a member of the Socialist Workers Party was one of the organisers. She described the EDL as an Islamophobic and racist organisation and said the demonstration was a marking stone for the group."

Are British Jews who support Israel now to conclude that the above groups are their real allies?

Should we all join up with The SWP?


telegramsam

Mon, 10/25/2010 - 10:33

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0 points

Jews do not stand with the edl Nazis. End of.


Anthony Posner

Mon, 10/25/2010 - 11:02

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4 points

Jennifer,

I note that you interviewed Siobhan Schwartzberg, a student from East London and a member of the Socialist Workers Party.

But why didn't you ask her what she thought about the latest Islamist coup (Lutfur Rahman's election) in Tower Hamlets? After all, Ms Schwartzberg is evidently living in that neck of the woods. I would have thought that a journalist, who was really on the ball, might have posed the question. It is a pity that you didn't, because it would have given your blog the sort of perspective that it lacks.


Anthony Posner

Mon, 10/25/2010 - 15:45

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4 points

Jennifer,

I note that your blog includes nothing about what happened or was actually said at the demo. I suppose you believe that it would be politically incorrect to do so.

In the circumstances I include the attached:

http://atlasshrugs2000.typepad.com/atlas_shrugs/2010/10/us-rabbi-joins-t...


stephenb

Mon, 10/25/2010 - 16:48

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-3 points

Am I having a bad moustache day or is Anthony coming over increasingly desperate ?

Jennifer hit nail right on the head. Today muslims , tomorrow who knows. These guys are hopeless inadequates that have a need to be on a hate campaign against someone.

wake up and smell the roses for freaking hell sake


Anthony Posner

Mon, 10/25/2010 - 17:09

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4 points

stephenb,

My point is quite simple... The British establishment (and the British Jewish Establishment) is NOT addressing/confronting Islamic fundamentalism. In such circumstances, I find its criticsm of The EDL quite hollow.

Moreover, extremists from The Socialist Workers Party are being quoted by Jennifer Lipman as if they were the voices of moderation and good sense. You might nearly believe that these leftists have Israel's best interests at heart. Of course, the truth is that they are in a holy alliance with The Islamists to destroy Israel.

To summarize.. I find Jennifer's analysis worse than naive.


stephenb

Mon, 10/25/2010 - 17:56

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-3 points

I wasnt aware that jews were hob nobbing on demos and elsewhere with Islamic fundamentalists......Your finding Jeniifer's analysis naive is hardly likely to cause her or anyone else sleepless nights. The simple point is that if jews associate with such people it can only be to their detriment and no amount of whataboutery will change the the obvious wisdom of that " analysis "


Anthony Posner

Mon, 10/25/2010 - 18:34

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3 points

steve,

Whether Jen gets sleepless nights or not ain't exactly the issue.

Of course, you don't find her analysis "naive" (btw I am certain that most people will concur with you.)

However, I will stick to my assessment. As I have tried to show in my various comments and recent blogs.. the issues are a bit more complex than one might, at first, imagine.


Anthony Posner

Mon, 10/25/2010 - 18:51

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3 points

To pose the question simply so that everybody can understand:

'Which poses a greater threat to Israel... The Socialist Workers Party and its allies or The EDL and its allies?"

I believe The SWP and co are far more dangerous. Actually, incomparably so.

And for that reason, I conclude that Jen's analysis is worse than naive, since she seems to be unaware where the real danger lies.


Adrian Shir

Mon, 10/25/2010 - 18:59

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3 points

Jennifer, you wrote:
'These people are not moderates, they are extremists. One I spoke to denied being from a violent organisation, but admitted to me that he would be willing to fight "if that's what it takes" '

Thank heavens most Israelis takes the same view.

I can only imagine that you decry such a statement if you believe that there is nothing to defend.
This is precisely the same kind of mud slinging that the Tea Party is facing in the USA. There is simply no way to filter out the wanton bad apples at a public demonstration - and there is every possibility that some elements who jump on the bandwagon are looking for the latest place to vent - but you cannot consign every individual to the trash heap for the belief that essential freedoms are under threat from an ideology which *openly declares its aims.*


Anthony Posner

Mon, 10/25/2010 - 19:14

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2 points

Tom Hickey of The SWP...

ttp://www.thejc.com/news/uk-news/26284/ucu-under-fire-institutional-racism


stephenb

Mon, 10/25/2010 - 19:28

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-2 points

stop compicating it Complexity is thye last refuge of the scoundrel ( apologies to oscar wilde ) if British jews ally themselves with Nazis it will be to their eternal detriment why is it always about Israel ? Lets talk about the quality of life in Britain for jews and every freaking body else. If British jews ally themselves with fruit loop racists then they are on a very slippery slope.

Fortunately only a handful of fruitt loop jews like koffman and anthony do so


telegramsam

Mon, 10/25/2010 - 19:48

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-2 points

Stephen, it was dr Johnson not Wilde. And only Jonathan, Anthony - who has no standing in the community -- and a few of their friends align themselves with the edl Nazis, so thankfully not all the community is tarred. Even jonathan appears to have been slapped down over it (hence his letter).


Anthony Posner

Mon, 10/25/2010 - 20:08

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1 point

steve,

Complicating it?? I couldn't have made it simpler!

I have shown that Hickey and his SWP comrades, who tut tut about the EDL, are Israel's real enemies. Ironic eh?

I thought that patriotism was the last refuge of the scoundrel. Perhaps you are getting confused again? Oh dear.


Anthony Posner

Mon, 10/25/2010 - 20:21

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2 points

Complexity? Try this one for size...

Prof David Hirsh cogently argues that Hickey's academic boycott is inherently anti-semitic. So Jews must recognize that the extreme anti-zionist Left are their real enemies.


Watchful Iris (not verified)

Mon, 10/25/2010 - 21:15

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-1 points

"This is precisely the same kind of mud slinging that the Tea Party is facing in the USA. There is simply no way to filter out the wanton bad apples at a public demonstration - and there is every possibility that some elements who jump on the bandwagon are looking for the latest place to vent"....

Oh dear.....what would Sarah Palin think if she knew she was sharing a blog reference with the likes of Jonathan Hoffman.


Adrian Shir

Mon, 10/25/2010 - 22:24

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2 points

"Death to Allah"

What a perfect example of the bogus moral equivalence one finds in articles like Jennifer's.
Shock, horror! Death to a deity. It is, no doubt, a horrific thing for a Muslim to have to hear, but the worst one can really say about such a death threat is that no one will ever stand in the dock accused of the murder of 'Allah'.
No doubt they could chant 'Death to the ideology, with a thin veneer of religion pasted over it, founded by Mohammad and which claims, via the angel Gabriel, to be the word of 'Allah' and from which springs Sharia which declares that us Kuffar have no rights except those prescribed by Sharia'.......... but it's a mouthful isn't it?
Would anyone like to post from the myriad blood curdling statements made on the streets of the UK in which screams for the blood of individuals and entire nations is the norm? Now THAT you *could* end up in the dock for.

'Death to Allah'? So what?


haya malka

Mon, 10/25/2010 - 22:43

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2 points

So civilised, so logical, heaven forbid we should make waves. Sounds like the German Jewry who couldn't believe that a country like Germany could have such terrible plans in the pipe line. I'm in my eighth decade and have seen too many wars, and take it from me, I'd sooner trust the EDL than my fellow Jews who crawl before the moslems and weep about the hardships of the'palestinians'. Quislings, who think they are buying time for their pettylittle lives.


Anthony Posner

Tue, 10/26/2010 - 08:23

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0 points

http://www.thejc.com/blogpost/edl-videos-the-jc

I note that The JC is posting EDL videos on the website. Perhaps the editorial staff imagines that its readers are queuing up to join, and as a result, must warn them that some shaven heads (and hooligans) will be encountered. Or maybe the JC blog hopes to attract some Millwall supporters?

But on an editorial basis, how does it decide which videos to show?

And are we going to be provided with videos on the activities of other political groups?

How about The Taliban stoning a woman to death? Or executions in Iran? These, after all, might give some context to the EDL activities.


Macairt

Tue, 10/26/2010 - 10:19

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0 points

Posner:

'I am not a member of The EDL. But...'

...what follows suggests you have some sympathy with them.

You, Posner, are an enemy of British Jews. And I speak as someone extremely sympathetic to Israel and Zionism.

British Jews should disassociate themselves from the EDL, and from fencesitters like you who mess with racists. You are as dangerous as miserable anti-Semites like stephenb (stalking Jonathan Hoffman, who has disassociated himself and ZF from the EDL, time and again) who hang about on the JC website because no one else in the world will 'talk to' them.


Macairt

Tue, 10/26/2010 - 10:21

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0 points

'Death to Allah'? So what?'

Try 'Death to Zionism'.


Anthony Posner

Tue, 10/26/2010 - 11:33

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0 points

Macairt,

Neither am I a supporter of The EDL.

However, I believe that the issues are extremely complex, especially with regard to how the EDL is reported, and I have done my best on my blogs and comments to elucidate the reasons; it might not be PC to do so, but I am prepared to point out
the various traps that have been set. Of course, you are free to fall into them.

I am neither a fan nor an enemy of British Jews. To be quite honest, I am indifferent towards the vast majority of them.


Anonymous

Tue, 10/26/2010 - 13:59

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0 points

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