Wise up, Board of Deputies!


By Stanley Walinets
April 24, 2010
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It's time the Board of Deputies grew up and stopped nit-picking at every perceived threat to our interests. The JC front-page report on April 9th is a case in point. "Election hate row explodes", screams the heading, "Board of Deputies asks Labour Party to withdraw conspiracy-theory MPs from poll". Doesn't the Board realise that if Labour actually submitted to such a demand, what better evidence would our enemies then have that a powerful pro-Israel lobby really does exist, here in the UK?

That aside, why did the Board explode in such knee-jerk fury at these two MPs, simply because they criticised house demolitions in East Jerusalem ? There are plenty of Jews who also feel unhappy about house demolitions. But the Board then went further. It rounds on Martin Linton for his phrase "the long tentacles of Israel". They assume Linton, who isn't a Jew, should have been so familiar with Jewish history as to know that 'tentacles' image has echoes of anti-Semitic writings in centuries past. Undoubtedly it does so echo. But come off it, chaverim of the Board -- ask any ten average Jews if they know of this historic but esoteric connection and nine of us will look at you blankly. Linton's later apology shows he didn't know that, and why should he?

And as to the Board's condemnation of Sir Gerald Kaufman -- get real, for goodness' sake. Kaufman's a Jew who doesn't subscribe to the belief that Israel can do no wrong. Why shouldn't he express that view -- there are many Jews who'd agree with him. Finally, I might point the finger here at a certain bias on the part of the JC, for its apparent selection of the most ugly photo of Kaufman they could find. He even has his hand raised as if about to shout Heil Hitler! But let that pass. My main message is for the Board of Deputies: You'll serve our cause better, chaps, if you think before you leap.

COMMENTS

Joshua18

Sat, 04/24/2010 - 09:50

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You wouldn't recognise our interests if we were all being rounded up and hauled off to the gas chambers.

Here's a letter to the Guardian that Walinets signed in January of last year. It can be best described as unvarnished evil:

'We the undersigned are all of Jewish origin. When we see the dead and bloodied bodies of young children, the cutting off of water, electricity and food, we are reminded of the siege of the Warsaw Ghetto. When Dov Weisglass, an adviser to the Israeli prime minister, Ehud Olmert, talked of putting Gazans "on a diet" and the deputy defence minister, Matan Vilnai, talked about the Palestinians experiencing "a bigger shoah" (holocaust), this reminds us of Governor General Hans Frank in Nazi-occupied Poland, who spoke of "death by hunger".

The real reason for the attack on Gaza is that Israel is only willing to deal with Palestinian quislings. The main crime of Hamas is not terrorism but its refusal to accept becoming a pawn in the hands of the Israeli occupation regime in Palestine.

The decision last month by the EU council to upgrade relations with Israel, without any specific conditions on human rights, has encouraged further Israeli aggression. The time for appeasing Israel is long past. As a first step, Britain must withdraw the British ambassador to Israel and, as with apartheid South Africa, embark on a programme of boycott, divestment and sanctions.'

http://tinyurl.com/9v2fd2


Lanne

Sat, 04/24/2010 - 10:04

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"Matan Vilnai, talked about the Palestinians experiencing "a bigger shoah" (holocaust), this reminds us of Governor General Hans Frank in Nazi-occupied Poland, who spoke of "death by hunger" Trying to compare the situation in Israel to the holocaust where 6000 million Jews died just for being Jewish is disgusting. They are two completely different situations and anyone with real knowledge of Israel would not compare them.


Lanne

Sat, 04/24/2010 - 10:04

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I meant 6 million Jews


Tamar10

Sat, 04/24/2010 - 10:17

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Lanne, Matan Vilnai was the deputy defence minister of Israel when he said the Palestinians risked a 'shoah'. See http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/7270650.stm. You seem to be the one without real knowledge of Israel - it is government ministers that make the comparison and threaten the Palestinians with visiting another shoah on them. Wake up!


Lanne

Sat, 04/24/2010 - 10:40

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"this reminds us of Governor General Hans Frank in Nazi-occupied Poland, who spoke of "death by hunger"."

What I meant was that I don't think that mentioning the holocaust of the Palestinians in a letter like that to the Guardian is appropriate when there is no holocaust.


Yvetta

Sat, 04/24/2010 - 10:45

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Good work, Joshua.
A letter like that is certainly not conducive to "our interests", Stanley Walinets.


Lanne

Sat, 04/24/2010 - 10:46

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"this reminds us of Governor General Hans Frank in Nazi-occupied Poland, who spoke of "death by hunger"."

The letter was making a comparison between the holocaust were 6 million people died and the situation in Israel.


Joshua18

Sat, 04/24/2010 - 10:53

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"You seem to be the one without real knowledge of Israel"

And your knowledge came from where exactly, The Protocols of the Elders of Zion, Der Stürmer, The Guardian? I missed one? The BBC? Ah, yes, that explains it.

I'll let the very distinguished Professor Emeritus of Government at the University of Manchester, Norman Geras, take up the story about what he charitably refers to as "this shameful letter":

"Matan Vilnai could certainly have chosen his words better than he did when he used the word 'shoah' last week to refer to the disaster that Israel could bring upon Gaza. The word in Hebrew means, precisely, disaster, but is now also linked by longstanding usage with the Shoah - the attempted destruction of European Jewry by the Nazis. Vilnai has subsequently acknowledged that he might have chosen a different word. That he did not is a culpable oversight for an Israeli politician. He invited misunderstanding in a context where there are many people only too ready to misunderstand.

But what is one to call it when a group of more or less well-known signatories several days later, when there has been ample time to register the danger of a misconstrual of Vilnai's meaning, when the ambiguity of reference has been widely aired, can write, brazenly, as follows?

'In a clear threat of genocide and ethnic cleansing the Israeli deputy defence minister, Matan Vilnai, has said that the Palestinians are risking an invasion of Gaza and a "shoah" (Hebrew for disaster).'

Despite showing their knowlege of the word's general meaning, they are happy to run with 'a clear threat of genocide'. These signatories include such upstanding exemplars of leftwing solidarity with the persecuted and oppressed as Victoria Brittain, Mike Marqusee and Michael Rosen. They and their co-signatories are unembarrassed to associate themselves with a disgusting symbolic inversion through which it is the Israeli Jews today who... conduct themselves like Nazis.

There is more that could be said about this shameful letter but I have said much of it here and here already."

http://tinyurl.com/33cv7tb


Joshua18

Sat, 04/24/2010 - 11:03

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A note: Norman Geras was actually referring to another earlier shameful letter by the same type of suspects. Having now read it, my only reaction is that Stanley Walinets' poisonous epistle is far worse. If the earlier letter is "shameful" then his letter is, as I remark above, can best be described as unvarnished evil. The fact that they could still be perpetrated this myth over the "shoah" comment all those months later really beggars belief. They really do have absolutely no scruples and no shame.


Stanley Walinets

Mon, 04/26/2010 - 18:03

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Joshua -- I find your very angry response to my 'Wise up, Board of Deputies!' post very difficult to follow. Apart from anything else, you make no comment whatever on what I actually wrote.
Instead, you quote a letter you’ve found I once signed up to in the Guardian as somehow being ‘unvarnished evil’. (Incidentally, I do wish people of your views could stop using words like ‘Guardian’ and ‘Left’ as words abhorrent to self-respecting Jews. Many self-respecting Jews read the Guardian; and many Jews do not hold Right-wing views – indeed, just remember it was Socialist Jews in London's east end who famously organised against the Mosley Fascists, way back when perhaps you were very young. So please drop that ‘leftie sneer’ habit.)

As to the ‘unvarnished evil’ you say that that Guardian letter contained. You quote from it: “When we see dead and bloodied bodies of young children, the cutting off of water, electricity and food, we are reminded of the Warsaw Ghetto.” Such scenes are indeed the sort of things that happened in the Warsaw Ghetto. And if similar scenes are created by other governments at other times (eg now and in Gaza), they are still horrific – even if they are created by a Government claiming to act in our name. Evil, Joshua, is evil, whoever commits it, even if we pretend it’s not evil because it’s our people who are doing it. I certainly agree the horrors of the Ghetto and the Holocaust were on a hugely bigger scale than the horrors Gaza suffered during ‘Operation Cast Lead’. But a horror is a horror is a horror – just ask the victims.

As to my original blog. You utterly condemn it, yet you don’t say why. So please read it now. Read the first paragraph especially. I wrote:--

" ‘Board of Deputies asks Labour Party to withdraw conspiracy-theory MPs from poll’. Doesn't the Board realise that if Labour actually submitted to such a demand, what better evidence would our enemies then have that a powerful pro-Israel lobby really does exist here?”

Can you really not see that, Joshua? If Labour, or any other Party, actually did sack a candidate because some lobbying group didn’t like him, the clear message to the world would be that that Party is under the thumb of a powerful lobby-group. You must see that. And when the Board of Deputies pushes for that, it’s shooting itself in the foot. And us with it.

Other aspects of my blog are equally valid. Why should Sir Gerald Kaufman, a Jew like you and me, not be an MP simply because he thinks Israel’s Government is doing things it shouldn’t? Many Jews agree with him, they really do. The Board of Deputies does us no favours by pretending we all think as they do. In the long run – and mark my words Josh – anti-Semitism will grow and grow, not because everyone hates us but because Israel’s behaviour is getting all of us a very bad name. It’s time you ‘Righties’ woke up to that, before you bring us all down with you.

Other respondents also seemed to ignore what I actually wrote. Among them was Jonathan Hoffman, who simply passed over it and joined you in condemning the Guardian letter you mentioned – then went further to condemn me as “a demonstrator” at a recent Israel-sponsored public meeting presenting Israel’s green credentials. If he was talking about the Zionist Federation meeting at the London Institute of Education, I wasn’t there. But certainly I heard about it. And was certainly disgusted to read of the behaviour of Mr Hoffman’s close friends of the “Community Service Trust” (a charity which incidentally is well-financed to the tune of over a million, tho’ where that money comes from, the CST doesn’t detail). And I’m aware of a reliable report of that event from a lady who also had the temerity to seek to ask a question of the on-stage Panel.

Her experience certainly reflects badly on Mr Hoffman’s CST friends. She recorded “There were 10 to12 black-clad, sturdily built men in the foyer, ostentatiously kitted out with communications devices and asking people as they arrived where they were going. I assumed they were CST.” When a slightly built, middle-aged, scholarly man attempted to ask a question about Israel’s role in depleting the main source of water for West Bank Palestinians, and the effluent discharged on their land from Israeli Settlements, he was actually grabbed and carried out bodily, by two members of the Community Security Trust. When this woman also tried to ask a question, these gentlemen marched her out of the Hall, accompanied by jeers from the rest of the audience, earnest Zionist seekers after truth that Mr Hoffman would presumably claim they were.

I hope you’ll think about all this, Joshua. It does you no credit to simply ignore what you don’t agree with.

Stanley


Jonathan Hoffman

Mon, 04/26/2010 - 18:47

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" .... then went further to condemn me as “a demonstrator” "

My comment was deleted [why??] but I didn't. I wasn't there myself. You must be confusing me with someone else.

The Board has democratic legitimacy. Are we to infer from your article that you are not a big fan of democracy?

Instead of whining from the sidelines like Stadtler and Waldorf, why not get yourself elected to the Board and change the things you don't like?

Oh I forgot - you don't do democracy ....


scampben

Mon, 04/26/2010 - 22:11

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At what point are grossly offensive comments like Linton and Kaufman's unacceptable in your book?


Jonathan Hoffman

Mon, 04/26/2010 - 23:40

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"If Labour, or any other Party, actually did sack a candidate because some lobbying group didn’t like him, the clear message to the world would be that that Party is under the thumb of a powerful lobby-group."

Only in your grotesquely warped view of the world

"Many Jews agree with [Kaufman], they really do."

Now let's remember what Kaufman said (I was in the room):

"Just as Lord Ashcroft owns most of the Conservative Party, right-wing Jewish millionaires own the rest"

Please name me one other Jew who agrees with that .... let alone many.

Do you?


Stanley Walinets

Tue, 04/27/2010 - 10:47

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Mr Hoffman – I’m relieved you mention that the part of your comment naming me as ‘a demonstrator’ was deleted: it was, wasn’t it? When I couldn’t find it two days later (tho’ I did find the rest of your comment), I thought it must be my incompetence, as I’m very new to the blogging world. I’ve no idea who must have deleted it, have you?
Anyway, thanks for confirming that’s what you originally wrote.

About the Board’s ‘democratic legitimacy’ and your suggestion that I ‘don’t do democracy’.
I take it you’re referring to the criticism in my original ‘Wise up, Board...’ comment. Certainly the Board is democratic. And it is perfectly legitimate to criticise a democratically elected body – you yourself have been known to criticise our democratically elected Government.
So I’d appreciate your apology for suggesting that I ‘don’t do democracy’. (I trust that part of your latest comment won’t mysteriously get deleted like the other one did!).
You suggest I get myself elected to the Board. I hadn’t thought of that. Would you like to nominate me?

You criticise me for saying that many Jews agree with Kaufman, by inviting me to name one Jew who agrees with what you tell me he said about Lord Ashcroft, Jewish millionaires, etc.

Please read again what I wrote. I made no mention of his views on Ashcroft, I knew nothing of them. What I did say was
“Kaufman's a Jew who doesn't subscribe to the belief that Israel can do no wrong. Why shouldn't he express that view -- there are many Jews who'd agree with him.”
That is surely a fact. Isn’t it?

Mr Scampben’s question yesterday alongside your’s, is on a similar issue. “At what point”, he asks me, “are grossly offensive comments like Linton and Kaufman's unacceptable in your book?”.
I’m sorry Mr Scampben but please read again what I wrote. When someone is critical of house demolitions in East Jerusalem, as Linton and Kaufman were, then I sincerely find their criticisms justified.
If some Authority came and demolished the house you and your family have been living in for fifty years or so, wouldn’t you be critical of their actions, to say the least? And if they said they were justified in pulling your house down, because their ancestors regarded that piece of land holy a thousand or so years ago, would you say “Oh – that’s alright then...” and let them get on with it?

Stanley


Jonathan Hoffman

Tue, 04/27/2010 - 11:04

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Me:

" .... then went further to condemn me as “a demonstrator” "

My comment was deleted [why??] but I didn't. I wasn't there myself. You must be confusing me with someone else.

You:

the part of your comment naming me as ‘a demonstrator’ was deleted

FOR THE SECOND TIME: I WAS NOT THERE; HAVE NO IDEA WHO THE DEMONSTRATERS WERE; AND NEVER MENTIONED THIS IN MY (DELETED) COMMENT


Jonathan Hoffman

Tue, 04/27/2010 - 12:32

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"Would you like to nominate me?"

You clearly do not know how the Board works.

http://www.boardofdeputies.org.uk/page.php/Structure/108/2/1

Interesting that before pressing the "send" button to post your article you didn't bother to take the time to find this out.

Why am I not surprised... ...


Stanley Walinets

Wed, 04/28/2010 - 10:07

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Jonathan Hoffman
27 April, 2010 - 12:04
Me:
" .... then went further to condemn me as “a demonstrator” "
My comment was deleted [why??] but I didn't. I wasn't there myself. You must be confusing me with someone else.
You:
the part of your comment naming me as ‘a demonstrator’ was deleted
FOR THE SECOND TIME: I WAS NOT THERE; HAVE NO IDEA WHO THE DEMONSTRATERS WERE; AND NEVER MENTIONED THIS IN MY (DELETED) COMMENT
_______________________________
Jonathan – this matter will just have to go down as one of life’s unsolved mysteries I guess. It seems we both have a recollection that your original comment mentioned that I’d been “a demonstrator” at a particular meeting; and that that part of your comment subsequently disappeared, apparently deleted. Certainly, I couldn’t find it again, and evidently neither could you. And I have no idea who could have deleted it, and apparently neither do you. Maybe Mr Webmaster can help?

It would anyway be more fruitful for you to comment on the serious issue this was about in the first place – which you seem to have avoided by concentrating on this mysteriously deleted side issue. So I’ll copy now the two relevant paragraphs from my original 26th April comment to Jonathan 18, and I’d appreciate your response to what I then wrote. Those two paras were as follows:-

"Other respondents also seemed to ignore what I actually wrote. Among them was Jonathan Hoffman, who simply passed over it and joined you in condemning the Guardian letter you mentioned – then went further to condemn me as “a demonstrator” at a recent Israel-sponsored public meeting presenting Israel’s green credentials. If he was talking about the Zionist Federation meeting at the London Institute of Education, I wasn’t there. But certainly I heard about it. And was certainly disgusted to read of the behaviour of Mr Hoffman’s close friends of the “Community Service Trust” (a charity which incidentally is well-financed to the tune of over a million, tho’ where that money comes from, the CST doesn’t detail). And I’m aware of a reliable report of that event from a lady who also had the temerity to seek to ask a question of the on-stage Panel.
"Her experience certainly reflects badly on Mr Hoffman’s CST friends. She recorded “There were 10 to12 black-clad, sturdily built men in the foyer, ostentatiously kitted out with communications devices and asking people as they arrived where they were going. I assumed they were CST.” When a slightly built, middle-aged, scholarly man attempted to ask a question about Israel’s role in depleting the main source of water for West Bank Palestinians, and the effluent discharged on their land from Israeli Settlements, he was actually grabbed and carried out bodily, by two members of the Community Security Trust. When this woman also tried to ask a question, these gentlemen marched her out of the Hall, accompanied by jeers from the rest of the audience, earnest Zionist seekers after truth that Mr Hoffman would presumably claim they were."

If you did read those two paras, Jonathan, I'd be interested in your comments now.

Stanley


Jonathan Hoffman

Wed, 04/28/2010 - 10:16

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"It seems we both have a recollection that your original comment mentioned that I’d been “a demonstrator” at a particular meeting; "

I have no such recollection and I never wrote that I had.

For the 3rd time: I was not there so how would I know?


Stanley Walinets

Thu, 04/29/2010 - 09:32

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"Me:

(1) "My comment was deleted [why??] but I didn't. I wasn't there myself."

(2) "I have no such recollection and I never wrote that I had."

(3) "For the 3rd time: I was not there so how would I know?"

I'm sorry Jonathan, I can't explain this any better --I just find your original 26th April comment too unclear to understand:- "My comment was deleted [why??] but I didn't...."

So as I've said, it's simply an insoluble mystery as to what's happened re this apparent deletion. I'm happy to let it drop. I'm much more interested to have your comment on the serious basic issue in what I wrote originally.
I copied those two relevant paragraphs to you yesterday (28th April) and I'd be most interested to hear your response.

Stanley


Jonathan Hoffman

Thu, 04/29/2010 - 09:52

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I cannot possibly comment on something I didn't see.


Stanley Walinets

Thu, 04/29/2010 - 17:48

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Jonarhan -- I don't understand what you mean by
"I cannot possibly comment on something I didn't see", when I copied the two paragraphs to you only yesterday. I'm sorry if I didn't make that clear enough.

So here again are the two paragraphs from my original 'Wise up, Board...." comment, which I copied to you yesterday and referred you to again at 10:32 this morning. Please read them and let me know what you think.

"Other respondents also seemed to ignore what I actually wrote. Among them was Jonathan Hoffman, who simply passed over it and joined you in condemning the Guardian letter you mentioned – then went further to condemn me as “a demonstrator” at a recent Israel-sponsored public meeting presenting Israel’s green credentials. If he was talking about the Zionist Federation meeting at the London Institute of Education, I wasn’t there. But certainly I heard about it. And was certainly disgusted to read of the behaviour of Mr Hoffman’s close friends of the “Community Service Trust” (a charity which incidentally is well-financed to the tune of over a million, tho’ where that money comes from, the CST doesn’t detail). And I’m aware of a reliable report of that event from a lady who also had the temerity to seek to ask a question of the on-stage Panel.
"Her experience certainly reflects badly on Mr Hoffman’s CST friends. She recorded “There were 10 to12 black-clad, sturdily built men in the foyer, ostentatiously kitted out with communications devices and asking people as they arrived where they were going. I assumed they were CST.” When a slightly built, middle-aged, scholarly man attempted to ask a question about Israel’s role in depleting the main source of water for West Bank Palestinians, and the effluent discharged on their land from Israeli Settlements, he was actually grabbed and carried out bodily, by two members of the Community Security Trust. When this woman also tried to ask a question, these gentlemen marched her out of the Hall, accompanied by jeers from the rest of the audience, earnest Zionist seekers after truth that Mr Hoffman would presumably claim they were."


Yoni1

Sun, 11/28/2010 - 12:38

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Stanley seems to have form as far as pathetic dhimmitude is concerned.

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