Board Executive and Oxfam: Moving the Red Line


By Jonathan Hoffman
May 30, 2013
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When in January the Board of Deputies voted to approve a tie-up with Oxfam, it did so only with the comfort of three ‘red lines’ hastily constructed by the Board’s Executive. If any of those red lines was crossed, the tie-up would be abandoned. That was the wording of the motion that was passed. No ifs, no buts …………. It would be ‘discontinued’ if a red line was crossed.

The red lines and wording of the motion were as follows:

We will discontinue our involvement if OXFAM GB:
1. Supports a boycott of any type of Israeli goods.

2. Partners with or supports any organization that promotes or condones violence.

3. Partners with or supports any organisation that calls for the destruction of the State of Israel.

At Pesach it was reported on a blog that an NGO called Miftah – which Oxfam funds – carried a version of the antisemitic ‘blood libel’ on its Arabic language website:

http://elderofziyon.blogspot.co.uk/2013/04/miftah-blood-libel-update.htm...

Note that “partnering with or supporting any organisation that expresses antisemitism” was not a red line! (Of course it should have been. The fact that it was not simply shows up the haste with which the ‘red lines’ were constructed, in order to ensure the project was approved by the vote in January).

The Board’s Executive delegated the monitoring of the red lines to a group called the “Oxfam Monitoring Group” (“OMG”). Here again is the relevant wording of the motion that was passed:

If in the opinion of the monitoring committee the connection is being exploited in any way to the detriment of the State of Israel then the project will be terminated.

No ifs, no buts … It was to be “terminated” if the OMG thought a red line had been crossed.

The OMG found that a writer called Joharah Baker had written several articles including on the Miftah website which condoned violence against Israel.

For example in July 2006 Baker’s article called “Palestinian Women and the Intifada” was posted on the Miftah website. It was taken down, possibly as part of the response to the antisemitic blood libel article. However, it can be seen here:
http://unispal.un.org/UNISPAL.NSF/0/6B126A625F96D154852571F80071C8B1

The article says:

Fighting Back
Palestinian women have also participated in the resistance. As the conflict grew more intense and young men were recruited to carry out military operations against Israeli targets, several young women also decided to join the ranks of the resistance movement. In January 2002, 28-year-old nurse Wafa Idrees, detonated a bomb in Jerusalem’s Jaffa Street, killing one Israeli and injuring 150 others. She was also killed in the blast.
This marked the beginning of a string of Palestinian women dedicated to sacrificing their lives for the cause. Over the next two years, seven other women carried out similar operations, the most deadly of which was carried out by Hanadi Jaradat, a 29-year-old attorney from Jenin. Hanadi detonated explosives strapped to her body in a busy Haifa restaurant, killing 19 Israelis and injuring 50 others.

The use of the word ‘resistance’ for suicide bombers and the assertion that suicide bombers were “sacrificing their lives for the cause” represents a clear promotion of violence and condoning of violence.

As recently as July 2012, Joharah Baker wrote an article for the Miftah website attempting to justify the Hezbollah murder of five Israeli tourists and one Bulgarian in Burgas, Bulgaria.
http://www.miftah.org/Display.cfm?DocId=25068&CategoryId=3

There is rhyme and reason behind this hostility towards Israel and it has absolutely nothing to do with ‘anti-semitism’ like Israel would love for the world to believe. It has nothing to do with the holocaust either

This also was a clear justification for the use of violence.

More than three weeks ago the OMG decided that a red line had been crossed. Oxfam was deemed to be “partnering with or supporting an organisation [Miftah] that promotes or condones violence”.

As set out above, that should have triggered an immediate termination of the Board’s tie-up with Oxfam. That was what those Deputies voting in January understood. Many of them only voted for the tie-up reluctantly, having effectively been presented with a fait accompli. “But” they said “ at least we have the comfort factor of the red lines.”

But nothing has happened, more than three weeks after the OMG’s decision.

The Board prides itself on being ‘democratic’.

Where was the ‘democracy’ in presenting Deputies with a fait accompli in January? (there was only a vote because of our motion submitted when we read incredulously about the project in the JC in November)

Where is the ‘democracy’ in ignoring the decision of the OMG , appointed specifically to monitor the red lines?

Is the Executive ‘playing for time’? (the project ends at the end of June).

Do they really think it’s acceptable to ignore the motion that we passed in January – their own motion, moreover?

COMMENTS

happygoldfish

Fri, 05/31/2013 - 09:14

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jonathan, have the omg asked oxfam about this, and what has been their response?

("omg"? omg!)


Ben F

Fri, 05/31/2013 - 10:43

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-2 points

Rich Armbach

Fri, 05/31/2013 - 10:51

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I guess there is a difference in principle between Jew only days and whites only beaches o:)


Advis3r

Fri, 05/31/2013 - 11:24

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1 point

The Amusement park's policy is against Israeli Law - not that that would interest the mentally challenged and blinkered trolls, and it faces possible prosecution. If there was apartheid it would not be in breach of the Law would it dummies?


happygoldfish

Fri, 05/31/2013 - 11:26

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1 point
as ben says, this is a good illustration of how there is no apartheid in israel

Ben F: No apartheid here

… this racist policy has already been condemned by amram mitzna mk, the chair of the knesset education committee, which will hold a special meeting on it on monday

no country's citizens and private companies are perfect, and it is reassuring to know that minorities in israel have the protection of swift intervention from government …

unlike the rest of the middle east!

(superland says "The requests were made in order to ensure public order and to prevent violence and confrontations between groups that have occurred in the past." …
but there are other ways of preventing disorder than simply giving in to racists )


Harvey

Fri, 05/31/2013 - 11:28

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New BDS / antisemitic fail

BDS Movement Suffers Mega Defeat in TIAA-CREF Divestment Battle

Dear xxx

The anti-Semitic BDS movement suffered a major defeat this week when the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) authorized pension fund giant TIAA-CREF to exclude a resolution calling for divestments from Israeli companies from the ballot at the fund’s upcoming shareholders meeting. The resolution, put forward by a small band of extremist shareholders, would have allowed TIAA-CREF‘s full membership to vote on the resolution at the meeting in North Carolina in July. In the wake of the SEC ruling, however, the resolution will now not be presented to the shareholders and will not be voted upon at all.

Following the submission of the divestment resolution, TIAA-CREF officials had written to the SEC requesting that it be permitted, due to its biased and anti-Israel political content, to “take no action” on the resolution. Essentially, it was asked that they be allowed to leave it off the ballot completely and ignored.

Shurat HaDin sent a warning letter to TIAA-CREF last month informing its leadership that the boycott resolution was a violation of both federal and New York State law and that any effort by the pension fund to implement it would be illegal. The letter noted that New York law defines boycotts as "unlawful discriminatory practice" and that any decision to “refuse to buy from, sell to or trade with, or otherwise discriminate against any person, because of the…creed…[or ]national origin" is unlawful and even places secondary actors, aiding the policy, under liability.

Moreover, we warned the fund that should it pass and actually undertake to boycott Israeli companies, we would file suit on the companies' behalf against TIAA-CREF, and ask both federal and state law enforcement agencies to take action against the fund’s leadership. We stressed that if the anti-Israel resolution passes, and TIAA-CREF does not expressly disavow it and refuse to comply with it, Shurat HaDin will be ready to immediately bring TIAA-CREF to court to ensure the enforcement of state and federal anti-discrimination and anti-boycott laws, and to ensure that Israeli companies and businesses are not harmed as a result of TIAA-CREF’s newly-adopted policy of discrimination. We also demanded that the extremist boycott resolution not be presented at all.

Last week, American counsel for Shurat HaDin contacted the SEC and discussed our concerns over the divestment resolution noting its anti-Semitic nature, the fact that it only targeted Israel and that it was a violation of the anti-boycott laws. We pointed out to the SEC that the TIAA-CREF's corporate charter limits its proper function to conducting business 'to aid and strengthen nonprofit colleges, universities'. As such, we could not understand how a biased and malicious resolution like this can properly be presented to their membership. The resolution violates standing laws, is contrary to public policy and must be abandoned.

We are very grateful that the SEC has now authorized TIAA-CREF to exclude the divestment resolution and not allow it to be voted upon.

The BDS movement is reeling from the SEC decision. They were really hoping that the TIAA-CREF shareholder meeting in July was going to provide them a big public forum for a discussion of their anti-Semitic opinions and their efforts to scapegoat the Jewish State. They believed they had the momentum this time to get a boycott resolution passed by a prestigious fund like the TIAA-CREF but the SEC ruling has put an end to all that.

So chalk up another victory for Israel’s supporters and another colossal failure for the BDS movement. May all their extremist efforts meet the same fate.

Yours,
# BDS fail


Harvey

Fri, 05/31/2013 - 11:33

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Harvey

Fri, 05/31/2013 - 11:37

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happygoldfish

Fri, 05/31/2013 - 11:47

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from http://www.jpost.com/Middle-East/MKs-respond-to-Superland-amusement-park... (yesterday)

Justice Minister Tzipi Livni asked Attorney-General Yehuda Weinstein to look into whether there was discrimination.

Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon voiced shock at the matter.

“I ask myself how would one of us react if in any other country, the director of an amusement park were to tell us they have separate visiting days for Jewish schools and other schools?” he wrote on his Facebook page.

Education Minister Shai Piron called Shakra on Thursday and expressed his outrage.

“I am shocked at this serious phenomenon and hope that this is the last time you will experience discrimination of any kind,” he told the teacher.

Such bias “has no place in Israeli society,” Piron said.

The country’s Declaration of Independence was based on equality, partnership and tolerance, he said.

Meretz MK Esawi Frej said, “I hope the attorney-general wakes up,” and will have “more of a fighting spirit” over this incident and not be silent over the racism at Superland.

Knesset Education Committee chairman Amram Mitzna (Hatnua) called on local authorities to weigh legal measures against the park. He urged schools to refrain from sending students to outings at the venue pending a legislative review of the incident.

The committee will discuss the incident in a special meeting on Monday.

MK Reuven Rivlin (Likud Beytenu) called for Piron to investigate the incident.

“If the reports are true, the education minister must instruct all educational institutions not to visit [Superland],” Rivlin said. “We need to stop the spread of racist nationalism, which is influenced by the atmosphere in the Knesset. We must take this seriously.”

even the national student union has demanded that superland "renounce this criminal act" …

The National Student and Youth Council said in response to the discrimination of an Arab school at Superland that "it is contempt of the Israel democracy. We call on school principals to cancel any agreements with Superland and demand the company operating the park to renounce this criminal act."
 The council further added: "Here, on our piece of land, to which we returned after many years of persecution and discrimination, it is inconceivable we would do the same thing."

joshua789

Fri, 05/31/2013 - 12:44

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-1 points

I see the tone hasn't changed much here. Still the same loud pitched shriek.

The taxi driver is busy posting his nonsense (again)
And by taxi driver I don't mean broody, handsome Robert De Nero type. I mean short, podgy has to drive for a living


Rich Armbach

Fri, 05/31/2013 - 12:47

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@ happy Always good to see you kept busy o:)


Rich Armbach

Fri, 05/31/2013 - 12:51

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Harv that is not according to Haaretz that is according to Amiel Ungar, a man with an opinion. Everyone has one.

Must do better.


joshua789

Fri, 05/31/2013 - 12:53

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Apartheid:

March 2013:

Aid minister Alan Duncan told MPs this week it was "essential" that Israel eased its restrictions on the Palestinian economy and that the UK and other international donors continued to support the Palestinian Authority in a consistent manner.

Movement and access restrictions, such as the Israeli wall, 540 roadblocks in the West Bank and the blockade of Gaza, were the only reason why the Palestinian Authority needed to be supported by international donors.

Without the restrictions the Palestinian economy would be 78% larger, he said, citing a report from the International Monetary Fund.

Removal of the Israeli restrictions would boost Palestine's gross domestic product by £4,200 million a year ($6.3bn) and "that would remove its dependence on aid", said the minister.


joshua789

Fri, 05/31/2013 - 13:03

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MK Reuven Rivlin (Likud Beytenu) called for Piron to investigate the incident.

“If the reports are true, the education minister must instruct all educational institutions not to visit [Superland],” Rivlin said. “We need to stop the spread of racist nationalism, which is influenced by the atmosphere in the Knesset. We must take this seriously.”

''which is influenced by the atmosphere in the Knesset''

Israel is racist and discriminates against people who are not Jewish. And this begins at the top.


happygoldfish

Fri, 05/31/2013 - 13:26

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joshua789: … “We need to stop the spread of racist nationalism, which is influenced by the atmosphere in the Knesset. We must take this seriously.”

i've already quoted that, above

joshua789: Israel is racist and discriminates against people who are not Jewish. And this begins at the top.

amazing how racists manage to turn everything upside-down when they're criticising israel!

the citizens of all countries are racist to some extent

israel is no exception

the test of a country is how well, and how fast, it deals with racism

here we have a clear example of almost all parties in israel's parliament, and several ministers, leading from the top against racism (within 24 hours)

rivlin is making a party-political point, criticising one party of making matters worse (i don't have information to judge the merits of that attack)

but joshua sees that as evidence of "the top" generally causing racism, when it's publicly and emphatically doing the exact opposite!


Advis3r

Fri, 05/31/2013 - 13:41

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Joshua another of the mentally challenged trolls who infest this website does not appreciate (how could he?) that the problem is there not here.

Israel is cracking down on what happened at Superland which was misguided at worst when one looks at the facts not the lies you are spinning.

Taking quotes out of context is the usual BDS ploy.

Discrimination is against the Law in Israel and this incident will be dealt with severely. it is not apparently the case in the UK. viz.

Yossi Benayoun: antisemitism from Chelsea fans was 'worse'

Better clean up your own anti-Semitic filth before making unfounded and lying claims of apartheid in Israel troll!


joemillis1959

Fri, 05/31/2013 - 14:14

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Unfortunately, what Jonathan omits to mention is that miftah apologised for the anti demotic remark which was removed. It's a shame that he and his minority are still fighting a battle they lost conclusively in january


joemillis1959

Fri, 05/31/2013 - 14:15

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Unfortunately, what Jonathan omits to mention is that miftah apologised for the anti demotic remark which was removed. It's a shame that he and his minority are still fighting a battle they lost conclusively in january


joemillis1959

Fri, 05/31/2013 - 14:19

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Unfortunately, what Jonathan omits to mention is that miftah apologised for the antisemitic remark which was removed. It's a shame that he and his minority are still fighting a battle they lost conclusively in january


joemillis1959

Fri, 05/31/2013 - 14:22

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Re:Superland. It is gratifying that the condemnation from the top was swift, unequivocal and almost unanimous. Although this is a welcome start, more needs to be done to counter institutionalised racism in israel.


Harvey

Fri, 05/31/2013 - 15:58

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Millis
It comes under the heading of Taqiyya as well you know . Offer excuses and apologies once discovered and exposed and wait for the controversy to fade away . It's a totally acceptable tactic among Islamists and fundamentalists and has been readily embraced by their far left acolytes within the BDS . Read the text . Miftah apologise while the original version remains in place .
http://unispal.un.org/UNISPAL.NSF/0/6B126A625F96D154852571F80071C8B1

Of course this is the life blood of the far left / BDS who are schooled in lying agit prop from early years .


joemillis1959

Fri, 05/31/2013 - 16:06

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Garfield, Sunnis don't practise Taqqiyeh, Shia Muslims and Druze do. Miftah is Sunni. It's a shame Jonathan has pulled the rug from under his feet by omitting to mention the apology for and removal of the antisemitic remark.

I hope to see you marching with us on Sunday at the Closer to Israel parade. Or will you be among the JNF boycotters? I hope not


Harvey

Fri, 05/31/2013 - 16:08

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To reiterate There was no apology in the Arabic language website of Miftah, where the blood libel appeared.

And as Jonathan says, the red line that was crossed was nothing to do with antisemitism, it was to do with violence.

Do keep up Joe


Harvey

Fri, 05/31/2013 - 16:09

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-1 points

I dread to think where you will be standing Millis


Harvey

Fri, 05/31/2013 - 16:14

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joemillis1959

Fri, 05/31/2013 - 16:19

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Garfield, I'll be with those taking pride in the fact that israel is trying to live up to its Declaration of Independence. And you? With the one-staters of the JFJFP? I hope not. Of course, you've learnt the lesson of why it is bad to stand with the far right EDL/BNP. For which we are all grateful. סתאאאאם!


Harvey

Fri, 05/31/2013 - 16:26

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Looking forward to seeing the Wooden Horse float from you and your friends from Yachad in that case Millis . Pit stop at South Africa House ?


Harvey

Fri, 05/31/2013 - 16:29

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Which is why you were booted out of UJIA


joemillis1959

Fri, 05/31/2013 - 16:33

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Garfield, well that's an acknowledgement that the far right sees those who support Israel and its Declaration of Independence as a Trojan horse. Why are you trying to split the community on the eve on this wonderful unifying event? That's not very nice and most unjewish.

Will you be in Whitehall tomorrow with your (former) mates?


joemillis1959

Fri, 05/31/2013 - 16:36

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Oh and there was no apology in Arabic, garfield, because the miftah website is in English. Do try to keep up, or are you the organ grinder's sub-contractor's spokesman? Shame Jonathan can't post here during office hours any more, coz no doubt he'd like to correct his omission.


Harvey

Fri, 05/31/2013 - 16:47

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-1 points

Why was your UJIA tenure so short ?


Harvey

Fri, 05/31/2013 - 17:05

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Keep digging Millis

http://www.miftah.org/arabic/


joemillis1959

Fri, 05/31/2013 - 17:11

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I guess those who stood with the EDL/BNP had problems. Well, more than the identity problems that usually beset them. Standing with neo-nazis. Tut, tut, tut.

By the way, how's your Arabic, Garfield? Can you show us where the original piece is and where there is a lack of apology. A hint: the offending piece appeared only in English and therefore the apology and removal could only be on the English language site.

אהבל נשאר אהבל.


Rich Armbach

Fri, 05/31/2013 - 17:11

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As I have previously pointed out if your last win was in the egg and spoon race at primary school you would be desperate too.

Harv after I have been outside for a well deserved fag, oops I mean cigarette, don't want to tip Hoffie into another homophobic rant, I am going to be writing about you.


joemillis1959

Fri, 05/31/2013 - 17:15

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I'm sure you'll be on the telly tomorrow night with your (former) mates. You can run from the truth, but you can't hide


Harvey

Fri, 05/31/2013 - 17:29

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Why do you always defend the indefensible Millis . Here is more on Miftah

http://elderofziyon.blogspot.co.uk/2013/03/passover-blood-libel-in-hanan...


Harvey

Fri, 05/31/2013 - 17:33

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You go ahead Armbach . A gutless troll pouring out lies and defamation from a blog which is read by a couple of his equally anonymous sycophants .


Rich Armbach

Fri, 05/31/2013 - 17:45

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"which is read by a couple of his equally anonymous sycophants" .

Really ?

Touched to hear you are an acolyte of mine Harv o:)


Rich Armbach

Fri, 05/31/2013 - 17:46

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-1 points

My pet hamsters retarded cousin knows better than Jonno and Harv.


joemillis1959

Fri, 05/31/2013 - 17:49

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Now, now, Rich. That's totally uncalled for. As the Clash album is almost called, All You Have To Do Is Give 'Em Enough Rope. No need to descend to their level of name calling


Rich Armbach

Fri, 05/31/2013 - 17:54

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happygoldfish

Mon, 06/03/2013 - 13:19

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joemillis1959: Oh and there was no apology in Arabic, garfield, because the miftah website is in English. Do try to keep up, or are you the organ grinder's sub-contractor's spokesman? Shame Jonathan can't post here during office hours any more, coz no doubt he'd like to correct his omission.

Harvey: Keep digging Millis
http://www.miftah.org/arabic/

joe, the arabic-version link is clearly on the top right of every page of the (english) miftah website

why do you think you know better than harvey?

why do you think you know better than jonathan?

why don't you use a modicum of common-sense, and if you can't trust your powers of observation or detection, then just ask harvey "if there is an arabic version, can you please provide a link to it?"

is it because you want criticisms of israel, or of people defending israel, to be true so much that you have to just say them anyway?


Mary in Brighton

Mon, 06/03/2013 - 13:42

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Jonathan used to post in office hours ? But isn't he a public employee ?


Banacek

Mon, 06/03/2013 - 13:56

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An extremely helpful analysis on the Church of Scotland issue by Revd Stephen Sizer:

http://stephensizer.blogspot.co.uk/


Ben F

Mon, 06/03/2013 - 14:08

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The plank and a thick one too

http://wp.me/P3pxXH-4D


joemillis1959

Mon, 06/03/2013 - 18:57

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Really? Seriously? Elder of Ziyon is creditable? Since when? It's about as creditable as the Elders of Zion conspiracy theory book, after which the blog appears to be named. And it's only a blog, that is one man's opinion. Spouting that kind of stuff without accountability or anyone fact checking has been the bloggers' perogative through the ages of blog.

I could also ask you, Garfield, why did you do the indefensible and stand with the neo-Nazis until it became embarrassing? And then came the pathetic excuses.

Such a divisive move, much like attacking those who took part in the Closer to Israel event. You are just like the PSC/JFJFP/Neturei Karta swivel-eyed loons across the road. Did you join them after?

I see that Jose/Blacklisted/Goldfish/Posner was there too with his ridiculous Portuguese flag and numpty beret with military badges which he bought in a joke shop.

Anti-community Splitters, as the good film almost says


joemillis1959

Mon, 06/03/2013 - 18:57

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1 point

I am pleased to introduce a new Olympic sport for Rio 2016: Syncronised Addressing the UN

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bc8LZgVrZJE


Harvey

Tue, 06/04/2013 - 12:38

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Happy this is likely to stir up racial hatred since
i] it accuses falsely british zionists of being anti-muslim (ie not just anti-palestinian)
ii] it falsely accuses british zionists of an alliance with the far right.

Why do you suppose British Zionists to be anti Palestinian ? You should revise this comment . Anti terrorist and Palestinian enabler of terrorism yes others no .


Rich Armbach

Tue, 06/04/2013 - 16:56

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"this is likely to stir up racial hatred since
i] it accuses falsely british zionists of being anti-muslim (ie not just anti-palestinian)
ii] it falsely accuses british zionists of an alliance with the far right"

o:))

Good luck with that one


happygoldfish

Tue, 06/04/2013 - 17:00

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ben correctly draws attention

Ben F: The plank and a thick one too
http://wp.me/P3pxXH-4D

… to stephen sizer's calm anti-zionism in the following malaysian tv interview (june 2011) …

"The irony is that the far right in Britain is forming an alliance with Zionists, because their common enemy are the Muslims. And it's ironic that the very people who favoured the work of Hitler are now working with the Zionists, the English Defence League for example, against the Muslims because they share, they view them as a threat."

this is likely to stir up racial hatred since
i] it accuses falsely british zionists of being anti-muslim (ie not just anti-palestinian)
ii] it falsely accuses british zionists of an alliance with the far right

Harvey: Why do you suppose British Zionists to be anti Palestinian ?

i don't (mostly)

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