- Jonathan Hoffman
Feb 21, 2013
At the last Board of Deputies meeting I suggested that until the LibDems deal properly with David Ward MP, decent people should have nothing to do with the LibDems and should not vote for them. The next speaker was Jonathan Davies who is a Vice Chair of LibDem Friends of Israel. He accused me of being 'party political'.
Nothing is further from the truth.
I am on record as speaking out against antisemitic remarks from members of all three Parties.
- Jonathan Hoffman
Feb 20, 2013
The good news is that Shlomo Sand (at the Frontline Club in London on Tuesday night) has become so extreme that he will convince no-one. Only a hardened antisemite could possibly find him credible, and that only because he appears to give that prejudice an intellectual underpinning.
Maybe it was Simon Schama's ridicule that pushed him to the extreme:
Feb 19, 2013
Did you visit SCoJeC’s website last year, perhaps to read back issues of "Four Corners", participate in our "Being Jewish in Scotland" project, find out about events taking place around Scotland, use the interactive "Jewish Way of Life" teaching resource, or look something up in the "Guide to Jewish Facilities in Scotland"? If so you weren’t alone, as the website received more than half a million ‘hits’ in 2012 (557 433 to be precise!), and, we’re delighted that you’ve taken the time to tell us, amongst other praise, that it’s “very interesting and impressive”, “superb!”, “comprehensive and easy to use”.
Feb 18, 2013
MEMO 340 A weekly overview of information of interest to minority ethnic communities in Scotland, including parliamentary activity at Holyrood and Westminster, new publications, consultations, forthcoming conferences and news reports.
Feb 14, 2013
To Jennifer Lipman's very interesting article on David Ward (http://www.thejc.com/news/uk-news/102445/lib-dems-could-remove-whip-jews...) can be added an intriguing PS: Mr Ward's latest "Israel" blog posting (http://davidward.org.uk/en/article/2013/659668/guardian-continues-the-ho...) was written not by Mr Ward, but by a Mr John Hilley, who blogs at "Zenpolitics" (http://johnhilley.blogspot.co.uk/?m=1 http://johnhilley.blogspot.co.uk/?m=1). Mr Ward credits this "source" at the bottom of the piece on his site, and there on Mr Hilley's site (http://johnhilley.blogspot.co.uk/2013/02/guardian-continues-hounding-of-...) is indeed the very piece that Mr Ward reproduced word for word on his own site, all about how Mr Ward is apparently being "hounded" by Zionist liberals who write for the Guardian. Who in Mr Ward's office can possibly imagine that this was useful to his cause? One must assume that Team Ward saw Mr Hilley's piece and thought: "At last! A commentator who has written supportively about David Ward!" What is there to say?
- Leon A Smith
Feb 14, 2013
It’s always startling to see the extent to which the government find it necessary to leak/trail the announcement of any new policies in an attempt to soften the impact of a stark announcement in parliament. The coalition government’s response to the recommendations of the Dilnot Commission would surely win a prize for the “All time greatest leak”. It was leaked extensively, repeatedly and with a very considerable degree of accuracy. Therefore when the news was announced in parliament on Monday, we already knew everything that there was to know. I have long been extremely cynical at the attempts of successive governments to stall on the question of funding long term care by setting up repeated commissions of enquiry and then sitting on the often unpalatable results of those enquiries. That’s what happened with the Royal Commission in the late 90’s and to a lesser degree that’s what’s happening now. The coalition government came into power in 2010, yet any changes to the funding system will not take place before 2017 – which is after the next general election. Who knows which party may be in power at that time!
Notwithstanding this and not wishing to be churlish, the government’s acceptance of some of the principles of Dilnot are to be welcomed – the principles being (a) a cap on any one individual’s liability for fees; (b) a raising of the absurd and artificially low limit at £23,250 – above which people have to pay for their own care. I would like to examine first the £75,000 cap. The first thing to recognise is that this is not a “cap”. It’s £75.000 plus the costs of what might be termed as “hotel costs” – a combination of food etc, which could easily come to another £15,000 per annum. If for example somebody were to stay in a care home for 3 years, the real costs to the individual would therefore be £120,000. Jeremy Hunt has said that “nobody will have to sell a property”. The detail has not been published and therefore it is difficult to understand exactly how this is going to be achieved.
Many people paying fees in care homes do not have assets of any significance other than their property. Quite how somebody in their late 80’s is suddenly going to raise £120,000 is something of a mystery! There was a vague hint – details of which have not yet been specified – that perhaps the government or more likely local government will “cash flow” the care paying the fees on behalf of the client so that they do not have to sell their home and later claim back what is owed to them from the estate when the client passes on. It is heartening to think that by 2017, local authorities will have sufficient cash to be able to do this.
Feb 12, 2013
Top marks to the gay Jewish parents who have written to the Lib Dem MP Sarah Teather to dissent from Ms Teather's opposition to equal marriage (http://www.thejc.com/news/uk-news/102435/gay-jewish-parents-slam-catholi...). Slightly lower marks, perhaps, for the headline about "Catholic MP" - or am I being over-sensitive? Yes, I believe that Sarah Teather is indeed a Roman Catholic, and it is perhaps reasonable to mention her Catholicism in the context of reporting her views on gay marriage, but headlining it "Catholic MP", as if her Catholic identity was the only factor...Would we like it if the Catholic Herald gave a "Jewish MP" headline to a story about liberal Catholics writing to a Jewish MP to complain about the MP's conservative stance on gay marriage? I wonder. Incidentally, since last year's reshuffle, Sarah Teather is no longer, as the story would have it, a minister.
Re:- David Ward, by the way, I have written:
There's an old joke in which a beggar asks a distinguished gentleman for money in the street, and the distinguished gentleman pompously replies: "'Neither a borrower nor a lender be' - William Shakespeare." To which the beggar responds: "'F**k you' - David Mamet."
I am reminded of this joke by the fact that, while David Ward has called in aid a quotation in his defence from Noam Chomsky (http://davidward.org.uk/en/article/2013/658628/noam-chomsky-defends-davi...), Mr Ward has inadvertently omitted to also inform his readers that Elie Wiesel, whom Mr Ward had previously also quoted in his own defence (http://davidward.org.uk/en/article/2013/654457/bradford-mp-condemns-isra...), has said: "Although he (Mr Ward) quotes me correctly, I am outraged that he uses my words at the same time he utters shameless slanders on the State of Israel" (http://www.thecommentator.com/article/2576/exclusive_nobel_laureate_elie...).
- Rabbi Aaron Gol...
Feb 11, 2013
I do admit that in my contribution to these pages, I have at times been critical of the leadership of the Jewish Community in this country. I did so as a critical friend and supporter when I disagreed strongly on certain issues but one who will definitely keep paying his subs to the Board via my Synagogue through thick and thin!
However, today I am delighted to congratulate the leadership of Anglo-Jewry, the Board of Deputies, the Jewish Leadership Council and all the organisations who have responded so appropriately to the grotesque Gerald Scarfe cartoon published by the Sunday Times on National Holocaust Memorial Day. I feel pride at the manner of the Jewish Community’s response and thankful to them for eliciting the “unreserved apology” of the newspaper and remarkable personal apology from Rupert Murdoch to Benjamin Netanyahu.
It is concerning that it was the second time in a week that Anglo-Jewry had to appeal for penance from those whose remarks or actions fall into the category of ‘alibi anti-Semitism.’ This phrase coined by the renowned political philosopher Norman Geras is applied to comments whereby Israeli actions are used as a veil for anti-Semitism. The words of David Ward MP were a despicable example of a phenomenon that at any time, let alone around Holocaust Memorial Day, has become too common in public life. I commend the work of our Jewish communal leaders that has set a positive example for those in other communities.
Feb 11, 2013
MEMO 339 A weekly overview of information of interest to minority ethnic communities in Scotland, including parliamentary activity at Holyrood and Westminster, new publications, consultations, forthcoming conferences and news reports.
Feb 3, 2013
MEMO 338 A weekly overview of information of interest to minority ethnic communities in Scotland, including parliamentary activity at Holyrood and Westminster, new publications, consultations, forthcoming conferences and news reports.