Whiskey, stetsons, punch-ups, drunkards and mayors

I'm trying to write a few substantive pieces (on Eric Hobsbawm, Spiked, Occupy, militant anti-fascism, anti-anti-Zionism and various other subjects) but they've all stalled.

In the meantime, check out my new side project, Bob's Beats. My plan is to open its pages to other folks as well, and Waterloo Sunset has kicked off in fine style with Stetsons and Whiskey, featuring some of my favourite country singers. If you're interested in participating, you should know how to contact me.

 A couple of places I've left comments lately. At Transpontine, on a far right attack on SWP paper sellers in my local shopping centre, in Lewisham. And I started an argument with Tony Greenstein about Zionist involvement in anti-fascism, but I have no idea why and am withdrawing un-gracefully.

Two recent lovely posts: by Flesh is Grass, pinging the world, and by Noga on the Roma of Europe. Below the fold, loads of Ken and Boris links, cut and paste from my machine-generated Daily newspaper.

The London elections:

London votes (well, Bob just about manages to)

brockley.blogspot.co.uk - I spent my lunch break filling in my postal vote for the London elections. There's three ballots, it's quite fiddly and I've been having a terrible time deciding how to vote, so it took up the whole...

Why this former crony can’t vote for Ken Livingstone

 telegraph.co.uk - “I’ve been told by the mayor’s office to call you.” “Hello.” “You know the deadline’s closed?” “Yes.” “Have you actually applied?” “No.” “And you think you’ll get an interview?”Just before being ap...

Siobhan Benita has received far more coverage than she deserves » The Scoop

 snipelondon.com - Independent mayoral candidate Siobhan Benita has received remarkable coverage in this election.So far she has been awarded numerous TV and radio appearances, positive press from the nationals, and ...

Ken Livingstone's anti-semitic conspiracy smear of Labour government minister

 adloyada.typepad.com - At 3:16 minutes into this clip, you'll hear Ken Livingstone, speaking in 2009 in Tower Hamlets, push this anti-semitic conspiracy smear against  Labour MP Ivan Lewis and a Jewish "they" who he says... 

The limits of party loyalty

yourfriendinthenorth.blogspot.co.uk - As all of you are no doubt aware, elections are to the political junkie what a World Cup or an Olympics is to the sports fan. With Northern Irish voters not due to go to the polls again for another...

Tottenham Court Road terror man was BNP General Election candidate

bigsmoke.org.uk - On Friday Tottenham Court Road was closed off for several hours after a man stormed into offices above Starbucks having strapped on a number of gas canisters. Michael Green was searching for “Abby”... 

Boris accused of being “out of touch with housing reality” as Ken targets Lib Dems

 leftfootforward.org -   . Labour today warned there will be further instances of London councils seeking to export families to the North as the national government’s welfare reforms begin to bite.In a letter to today’s ...

Boris and Murdoch: The ten questions the Mayor still hasn’t answered

 leftfootforward.org - .As polling day approaches, Boris Johnson is coming under increasing pressure to explain the full extent of his relationship with the Murdoch empire – with the Mayor of London losing his rag and swearing...

Paddick's pamphlet porkies part 2: North London's rogues' gallery » The Scoop

snipelondon.com - Following on from this morning’s story about Brian Paddick using Lib Dem activists to pose as “Londoners” in his election leaflet, we’ve just been sent the North London version of Paddick’s pamphlet...

Housing gets a look-in as Boris laughs off cyclist deaths

redbrickblog.wordpress.com - I had the pleasure (?) of attending last night’s Sky debate between the London mayoral candidates.  It may not have been great but it was 1000% better than the Newsnight effort with the awful Paxman... 

Other Londonism:

Fascist attack in Lewisham today

 transpont.blogspot.co.uk - Reports on Twitter and elsewhere that one person was hospitalised with a head wound today when extreme right wing thugs attacked a socialist stall in Lewisham town centre. I didn't see the actual a...

Why Occupy and the church cling together

 spiked-online.com - Patrick Hayes The ongoing love-in between Occupiers and men of the cloth is fitting: both have a pious disdain for the masses.It began with a chance meeting, and blossomed into a lengthy affair...

Primal City – Jack’s alive!

sedgemore.com - Belated Beltane greetings! Yesterday I was out in the heart of the Great Wen, and across the river in Southwark, with the Mayday procession of the Deptford Jack in the Green. It must be a bit of a ... 

Further afield:

Gaddafi and Sarkozy, DSK (again) and Julien Dray: French Scandals in Cascade

tendancecoatesy.wordpress.com - Colonel Muammar Gaddafi meets President Nicolas Sarkozy in Libya   “In late 2006, Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi offered nearly $66 million, or 50 million euros, to support the 2007 campaign of ...

Pétain Returns to France

tendancecoatesy.wordpress.com - Maréchal Pétain: still beloved by the French Right.* “The Front National is respectable!” These were the words of a Sarkozy supporter about to board a specially hired train to the outgoing President...

Israel at the age of 64, and moving forward

liberalconspiracy.org - contribution by Alex Bjarnason Last week, Israel celebrated its 64th Independence Day, commemorating the establishment of a Jewish homeland in 1948 in accordance with the United Nations partition plan...


modernity's ghost said…

I have said this before, you're too nice by half.

Arguing with TG is a waste of time, he's here, there and everywhere intellectually speaking, jumping from point to point.

I tried it and gave up, after he continued to deny the racist connotation of his usage of "uncle tome" when referring to Pres. Obama.


"By contrast Obama is what used to be know of as an Uncle Tom."
darren redstar said…
I especially enjoyed how tg switches to "I've never claimed zionists never opposed a/s" after that has been what you have arguing about for pages, what a tool!
Waterloo Sunset said…
I do think Luther is overstating it when he says:

And yes, I do claim that UK Jewish leadership has been exemplary in rejection of Counterjihad.

It's too broad a brush. Both the CST and the UJS have been very sound on the issue. I'm not convinced that's been universal.

It comes down to four main things.

1. How you define "UK Jewish leadership".

2. How you define "Counterjihad".

3. What you see as rejection and what you see as accommodation.

4. Ye olde argument (on here at least) about the question of URL linkage.
Waterloo Sunset said…
As reinforcement to my point, have you seen the latest development in the Hoffman saga?

It speaks for itself. From the eyewitness report:

What shocked me was the behaviour of many in the Pro-Israel pen. You had chants fairly regularly proclaiming that “There is no such thing as Palestine”, you could hear clearly a protester shouting at a young Pakistani man filming the protest “go home to Pakistan you Paki, this is not your country”... I’m going to ‘out’ my favourite person in the BIC. The person shouting racist abuse at the young Pakistani man was standing right next to Jonathan Hoffman. Jonathan Hoffman is the leading light of this coalition of nutters. He is also the Co-Vice Chair of the Zionist Federation.

Hoffman's reply:

Pathetic Adam. You didn’t join the demo against the racist PSC but instead choose to round on me – and not for something I did do, but for something I didn’t do!

Can I remind you Adam – it was not a ZF demonstration. It was not my business to police what others in the pro-Israel pen might have been saying.

Plus some abuse, obviously.

Few observations.

There's been the controversy about Richard Millett being excluded from a PSC meeting recently. You don't have to be a supporter in any way of the PSC to think that, actually, maybe excluding Millett from meetings is valid on principle. He's one of the Harvey/Jonathan/Millet triad. So, how do we know that someone associated with him isn't going to start shouting racist abuse? To which his response, if his friends are anything to go by will be "not my problem".

Maybe Hoffman's right and we shouldn't expect the ZF deputy chairman or for that matter the BIC, to police this kind of thing, if the racist is pro-Israel. But it does raise the issue of whether someone needs to police them on this issue. If they aren't going to do it themselves...
modernity's ghost said…
" You don't have to be a supporter in any way of the PSC to think that, actually, maybe excluding Millett from meetings is valid on principle."

So what are you saying? That Millet is Hoffman therefore anything goes?

Isn't that something like the Leninist "ends justify the means"?
Waterloo Sunset said…
Not quite. I'm saying that Millet's involvement in those circles does raise serious cause for concern. That concern may be enough to justify excluding him. I'm undecided on this one, hence I've thrown it out for discussion- "maybe" wasn't a rhetorical trick, it reflects my indecision on this currently.

I am in the direction of ends justifying the means though, which massively predates Lenin as a concept. All ends don't justify all means, obviously. But the specific end of showing disapproval of tolerance of racist slurs may justify the means of excluding someone from a meeting. I think the former is more important than the latter.

I don't think he's Hoffman. But he is an associate of Hoffman and Hoffman almost certainly has access to his footage. That raises serious security concerns. As I think is clear from other stuff I've said, I'm not a member or supporter of the PSC. And I certainly don't propose to become some kind of unofficial security force for them, so this is largely abstract. I'm just not convinced that anti-fascists should bother to take sides in this current spat they're having with Millett.

If Millett was filming anti-fascist meetings (which, to be fair, he shows no intention of doing currently), then I'd need to make a proper judgement on this. At the moment, it's not really my problem.

As a more general point, currently, I still would rather not get involved with this. It's still my view that the whole Hoffman issue is best resolved by anti-racist Zionists, like the blogger linked to in my comment. There's some signs of movement in that area, so I think my involvement still would run the risk of being counterproductive.

We'll see though. At the moment, I'm still just watching the situation to see how things develop.
modernity's ghost said…
" I'm saying that Millet's involvement in those circles does raise serious cause for concern. That concern may be enough to justify excluding him."

What? Involved in what circles?

Part of the lobby? The Tories? Someone who knows Hoffman?

What are you saying?

You made a point on principle?

What exactly is the principal and why does it apply to Richard Millett?

You've started with Hoffman and now applied it (somthing) to Millet?

It is unclear what you really mean, please clarify.
Sarah AB said…
There's a bit of mirroring between the sides here. BIC issued a statement condemning racism - JH doesn't seem to have exerted himself to demonstrate his own commitment against racism (I'm not saying he's a racist, just that he didn't exert himself.) On the other side Tony Greenstein includes on his blog a statement from a PSC supporter saying how they directed SS themed taunts at the Zionists. This then elicited the following comment:

"The comment by Azzaam Abdul-Hakeem is totally unrepresentative of the anti-Lieberman protest, which sought to draw attention to the racist policies the Israeli Foreign Minister promotes.

There was no such chanting as people made their way to the station. If that was who the commenter was seeking to imitate, there is no place for him at PSC events.

Ours is an anti-racist movement and such sentiments have no place in it. Sadly, as reported by a pro-Israel, anti-Lieberman blogger, the same cannot be said of Zionist Federation leader Jonathan Hoffman, who stood by as the person next to him abused a pro-Palestinian campaigner as a "Paki".

Ben Soffa,

This seemed fair enough - I'm not a fan of the PSC, but - what more could he say. Then TG said

"not sure what you were referring to re Azzaam. But I agree there was no chanting on our way back to the station.

But when the Zionists started chanting 'IDF' 'IDF' I shouted 'IDF-SS'."

I could imagine Ben Soffa tearing his hair out at that point - although in fact, oddly, TG has now deleted that part of his post, despite not appearing bothered by it.
modernity's ghost said…

This is fascinating, but hardly germane to Richard Millett.

Waterloo made a very specific point:

" You don't have to be a supporter in any way of the PSC to think that, actually, maybe excluding Millett from meetings is valid on principle. "

And I am asking him to clarify his position, what exactly as Richard Millett done?

Is he merely "guilty" for knowing Jonathan Hoffman?

Waterloo's precise point is not very clear, so I would like him to clarify.

Because when you do something "on principle" then surely you have some intellectual underpinning for that principle, whatever it is.

It is unclear what principle Waterloo is talking about and how this relates to Richard Millett.
bob said…
" I'm saying that Millet's involvement in those circles does raise serious cause for concern. That concern may be enough to justify excluding him."

What? Involved in what circles?

Part of the lobby? The Tories? Someone who knows Hoffman?

Hoffman and Millett are obviously friends, but I think they also see themselves as political associates, and they clearly work together. I also find that the community that exists in his comment threads, and specifically the people he is friendly with, have very warm views towards the EDL and in fact there are a few actual EDL activists who turn up there.

Here's one regular, Rubin Katz:
With my background, I could never support the EDL, but If I were a British or French Gentile, I would have backed them or the Front Nationale, without hesitation, in view of the creeping Islamoization of Europe. They reckon that its already too late as far as the sparsely populated Scandinavian countries are concerned. But if the British and French don’t wake up soon and take steps to defend their countries, they will lose them. And if advocating that one stands up for their country and culture makes me a rabid, racist imperialist, then so be it!

I think we need to be, at the very least, pretty wary around this crowd.
Sarah AB said…
Sorry Modernity - I was just gossiping. I find quite a lot about JH off putting to say the least. He started a petition trying to get a lecturer (involved in a marking appeal involving an Israeli student) sacked when it was impossible to know quite what the full story was. He has recently linked very approvingly to a piece which seems to be a kind of apology for Lieberman.


Richard Millett attracts dodgy commenters. I do not read his blog systematically, but I don't remember problems ATL. I don't remember reading anything dodgy from Harvey either.
modernity's ghost said…

I got all of that, does that mean, supposedly *if* Jonathan Hoffman is guilty of something (yet unspecified) that said guilt is transferred to Richard Millet?

And if it did, how would those who attacked Millet and barred him from attending public meetings know this?

Do they have access to a time machine ? To whip forward in time, thus see said instance (which is unclear & not fully explained) then popped back in time and that used as a justification to bar Richard Millet from meetings and physically attacked him?

I am afraid that Waterloo hasn't made a particularly good case, in principle.

PS: Just to declare my interest I have had any number of discordant exchanges with Jonathan Hoffman. He is a Tory activist and makes many questionable political decisions, in my view.

That's not the issue here, it is how does this all relate to Richard Millett? Guilt by association?

If you are saying a particular thing, in principle about a specific individual, then it's good to actually be able to say what you mean.

I'm afraid that Waterloo Sunset hasn't made a very good case, conceivably he might want to retract his comments or at the railings to clarify them.
modernity's ghost said…
"Richard Millett attracts dodgy commenters."

Agreed, which is why I removed him from my blog roll.

But the same could be said of Harry's Place.

I haven't visited it in years, but I'll bet I could find some anti-Muslim racism, general xenophobia and bigotry within 10 minutes.

Should HP be blamed for its commenters or will the excuse of "complete freedom of speech" be used?

If you're going to apply that to Richard Millett's blog (and I think there's a strong case), thing you get to use it universally, on HP, Socialist Unity, etc etc

Sarah, wouldn't you agree for the sake of consistency?
Sarah AB said…
Certainly, Modernity. I was simply stating a factual point, not having a go at RM, and explicitly said that I had not noticed any ATL problems. My sense (from sporadic visits) is that he does not comment much BTL and I assume does not delete much - that's up to him. At HP there is, I think, quite a bit more intervention BTL.
richard millett said…
Maybe I should close off all comments so I won't get slammed for that. Maybe I should then have no friends, acquaintances or colleagues so I won't then get slammed for that. Maybe I and others should just not blog so then BobFromBrockley can have the field to himself and he can then decide who is allowed to comment on his blog and exactly what they are allowed to say. How utterly ridiculous.
modernity's ghost said…
"I was simply stating a factual point, "


Surely, there was some implication there?

No doubt, I could without much trouble find more extreme comments on anarchist blogs or Leninist web sites?

Certainly, they would be no problem finding xenophobia or crass stupidity within the comment boxes at Harry's Place

But would you blame the authors for that? in principle?

However, all of this brings us away from Waterloo's original point, he still undecided whether not Richard Millet should be banned from public meetings?

Or that it is acceptable for Richard Millet to be assaulted at such public meetings?

I wonder if Waterloo could enlighten us on these principles?
Sarah AB said…
Modernity - I did not mean to imply anything, truly, and would certainly not be advised to have a go at him on account of the comments seeing as there are a few dodgy ones at HP, as you point out.

I was drawing a contrast, or that was my intention, between JH, on the one hand, and RM and Harvey on the other. This does not mean that I think JH is completely evil/horrible or that I see eye to eye with the other two about everything. But, for me, there is a difference.

I certainly do not think RM should be banned from going to any public meeting. I emailed him after the recent events at SOAS to express sympathy in fact. Why would you think I had anything against him? I am sure I have linked to, or drawn on, his posts myself.
Bob said…
Thanks for visiting Richard. To be clear, I do not in any way defend the physical abuse RM got from PSC activists. I admire his temerity and courage in working to uncover the racism in the PSC scene. I take the "typical Israeli" comment at him as a racist one.

The racism in the PSC scene is not rendered less significant by the racism in the BIC milieu, such as the man attacking PSC activists as "Pakis", apparently with neither Hoffman nor anyone else in the anti-anti-Lieberman picket either censuring him or moving away from him.

However, my jaundiced view is partly informed by the time I left comments critical of the EDL (whcih included no personal attacks) at RM's thread, which were deleted or not allowed past moderation, in a thread in which Roberta Moore poured out fascist vitriol at mainstream Jews. Although RM regulars were dismayed at her description of the Board of Deputies as "kapos", the general mood towards her was one of chumminess, and there was clearly a personal familiarity from the Ahava demo from several of the RM regulars. In general, I find the attitude towards the EDL in the RM thread, from regulars to whom he is friendly, very worrying.

I don't know anything about Harvey, although he was very forthright in his denunciation of the EDL the most recent time it came up at RM's place.
modernity's ghost said…
"Why would you think I had anything against him?"


I was only reading your comments, which seemed less than expressive. I take your point now.

But surely this leads us back to another issue?

Even if (and that's clearly not the case) Richard Millett was the nastiest person under the sun, had halitosis, athlete's foot and questionable taste in dental floss, should the PSC and other anti-Israeli fanatics bar him from public meetings?

Should he'd be physically assaulted, for existing?

And these are questions that Waterloo had better address:

1. Are you merely guilty because of what someone supposes you might think?

2. Are you guilty because you associate with political idiots, the vacant or sometimes thoughtless?

3. Or are we culpable for our own **actions**??

I can understand that Waterloo and others might be reluctant to address these issues, because whatever applies to Richard Millet could equally be applied to WS and his anarchist comrades, etc

Critically, when you're talking about a point of principle, you'd better know what that principle is in the first place and thought it through.
Harvey said…
Im somewhat late to this blog but as someone who Waterloo sunset describes as part of the Millett, Jonathan, Harvey triad (better than the axis of evil but not as fitting as the 3 musketeers , i would just like to clear up a few misconceptions .
First and foremost is a comment made by yourself Bob, regarding Rubin Katz
Rubin is a Holocaust survivor and now well into his 80s . He sees striking similarities between the rising tide of antisemitism emnating from the Islamosfascist and far left alliance and that of the formative years of Nazism . While not dismissive of the far right tendency exemplified by the BNP / EDL , he is absolute in his belief that the main thrust of contemporary antisemitism in the UK is through the alliance previously referred to .
If you read some of his earlier comments ,you will note his concern over the steady blurring of lines between fair and legitimate criticism of Israeli policies and the demand for Israels total dismantlement . Such a denial of the Jewish right to self determination at the expense of Palestinian self determination is indeed antisemitic .
I know that he is also well aware that organisations such as the Palestinian Solidarity Campaign are systemically antisemitic . An organisation that has as its mission statement and mantra ' From the river to the sea Palestine will be free, ably demonstrates this assertion .
Can you think of any other organisation that finds it necessary to hold an EGM in order to divest itself of one such antisemite and inveterate Holocaust denier and then finds that almost a fifth of the electorate vote against his removal with an untold number voting in line in order not to meet with the same fate .
I have met with Rubin and his charming wife on a number of occasions primarily outside Ahava when it was being systematically and obsessively targeted by the BDS .He lived through the Nazi boycott of Jewish owned shops and he told me how similar this boycott was to that era ie leafleting of passers by persuading them not to enter Also the daubing of the shop with paint .
Anyway the nub of it is,that it is very easy to paint a picture of a person without knowing all the facts .
Rubin is one such person who has lived through unmentionable experiences .We need to see one off remarks in the context of those experiences .
bob said…
Thank you Harvey. I share your concerns, and Rubin's concerns, with the systematic racism of the PSC, with the danger posed by Islamist-inspired racism, and with the sinister boycott movement. I did not intend to claim that I know anything about Rubin from my superficial reading of his comments. I can understand (or at least, I think I can) why he would feel these fears particularly intensely. He is also clear that he does not and would not support the EDL.

But it seems to me that in Richard's comment threads, a lot of people are very soft on the EDL, and, as far as I can tell, this rarely gets any kind of response from Richard or his close associates. You, Harvey, were very eloquent in a recent comment thread when the EDL came up:
The EDL are nothing more than a rebranded off shoot of the British National Party . A sort of BNP lite for want of a better description .
Their focus is on Islamism . My guess it is all Muslims . Scratch beneath the surface a little , and you will find their xenophobia extends to Hindus , Sikhs , blacks and of course Jew hatred .
Their is a temptation felt by a very few to team up with these people . It comes from a sense of frustration and despair as we regard the hatred and barely concealed antisemitism emanating from the Islamofascist s and their far left / green party supporters . There is a natural desire to grab on to anything which resembles a friend in the struggle against this malignant cancer .
However ,EDL and all that it stands for and its purported support for Israel and Jews is an illusion and a very dangerous one .
They work on the premise that the enemy of my enemy is my friend . They are not our friends .
They play a duplicitous nonsensical game when they turn up at demos with Israeli flags .
It’s not out of a love of Jews or Israel but the knowledge that such a display further exacerbates the gulf between the two sides , Zionist and antizionism .

and more recently: Seeing psc and other assorted Jew haters defiling the streets of Hendon , makes me realise how appalling it must be for ordinary Muslims when the EDL attempt to march through predominantly Muslim neighbourhoods

I was really pleased to see this. But it is the first time I can remember (maybe I'm wrong; I don't go to deep down many comment threads) this sort of real condemnation of the EDL. When Joe Meilis tries, people ridicule him. Much more typical is the response from people like Daniel Marks "what's so despicable about them?" When I tried to argue with Roberta Moore, my comments were deleted and hers weren't so I gave up, even though I kept it impersonal and she was personally very offensive.

This does not in any way mean that Richard is someone who should be assaulted or removed from meetings or boycotted. I will continue to link to his posts. But it limits my sympathy for him, and leads to attitudes like Waterloo Sunset's above.


Oh, one other thing re Richard's comment about me deleting who I like: regular readers will confirm that I err on the side of generous rather than deletion, and that I have almost certainly deleted far more comments from anti-Zionists than Zionists or even EDL supporters.
Josh said…
I am a Zionist. I agree with what Rubin is saying about the PSC. But I think that BIC and the ZF (as represented by Hoffman) are bad news for Zionism, however well meaning they are. What on earth were they doing counter-demonstrating against demonstrators against Lieberman? This is real ammunition for anti-Zionists. Maybe Lieberman deserves free speech, but so does David Irving and we don't picket people who picket Irving do we?
Harvey said…
The next misconception I would like to tackle is the alleged involvement of the EDL and our small group of pro Israel grass roots activists .
For strategic interests, and specifically not wishing to disclose full rebuttal evidence which I have meticulously researched and filed away in the event that it is required for a demonstrable defamation by a substantial individual or organisation , Im happy to paint a few broad brush strokes .
The EDL together with Roberta Moore showed up on several occasions at our regular counter demos outside Ahava . They were not invited ,were not wanted and were asked to leave or stand seperate from our group.
We were all well aware that their motives for being there were nothing to do with any concern for Israel or love of Jews but were a fairly transparent attempt to further the discord between both sides . A sort of mailgn enemy of my enemy is my friend sort of thing.Except no one on our side was buying it. I asked the police to remove them and was firmly told that unless they were creating a disturbance they were free to demonstrate where they wished .
It was at this point where the bds filmed their proximity to us and in true Stalinist fashion used lies and disinformation to promote their political agenda . Their excellence in this is evidence of painstaking training down at politbureau headquarters under the leadership of Greenstein and his fellow miscreants .
A left leaning Jewish newspaper was sent photos and printed a scurrilous editorial linking us to the EDL . A vicious lie which was rebutted the following week in my printed letter .
Unfortunately the adage that a lie is half way round the world before the truth is out of bed is so very true .
There is much more to say on the subject but suffice to say I am resolved to keep my powder dry in the event it is required in the future .
Harvey said…
Id forgotten the comment you referred to but stand by every word . Unlike some ,Im well able to differentiate between the vast majority of Muslims who are an integral part of British society and that of the minority of extremists that form part of the Islamist / far left alliance .
I have ,on several occasions made my own unilateral protest in Tower Hamlets against the EDL when they tried to march through this predominantly Asian area . The last time I went I hadnt realised the march had been cancelled .
I emphasise my unilateral protest as the thought that I would stand with the psc ,a mirror image of the EDL ,would be an utter anathema .
My presence was also a mark of respect to my late father and uncles who fought the Battle of Cable Street against Mosleys black shirts and prevented them from entering the predominantly Jewish neighbourhoods . Today it is the turn of the Asian community . Some things never change. Except that their cause and interests have been commandeered by latter day fascists and racists .
A final point . Most of the individuals commenting on Richards blog are no more supportive of the EDL than me . Again Its important to differentiate between outright support of this political entity , and occasional blow hard comments borne out of a sense of growing alarm and frustration at what they perceive as the rising tide of overt antisemitism which threatens both Israel and diaspora Jews .
Perhaps I am just a little more detached and able to identify these differences so as to distinguish between misguided support for the EDL and loathing for the antisemites of the psc tendency .
Bob , I can assure you that the former are a tiny minority . The Jewish experience makes it impossible to present itself
in any other way .
bob said…
Thanks Harvey. One other thing, which I can't remember if I've said before, is that (as at Harry's Place) a lot of the commenters more supportive (or less critical) of the EDL seem to be doing so from afar, from the US or Israel, whereas fewer British Jews seem to be taken in.
harvey said…
I have not really thought of it that way, nor have I seen any empirical research that would prove your assertion although you may well be right . I know more about Israel than I do about the US having lived there and also through work related .
I should start by saying that the vast majority of Israelis have obviously never experienced antisemitism of the type we in the Diaspora occasionally experience .
Theirs has been till now , solely of an existential nature either through outright warfare ,or incessant terrorist attacks especially during the second Intifada . Having failed to achieve their goals thus far ,those intent on Israels elimination have supplemented earlier attempts through the use of BDS by utilising mass media and social networking. Organisations such as MEMRI and Palestinian Media Watch , monitor the degree of demonisation not only
by the statements of individuals such as Ahmedinejad and Nasrallah but also the indoctrination of the population as a whole and children in particular. Im sure you are well aware of the Hamas Charter and so i will not go into chapter and verse over its parallels with Nazi ideology .
So where does this leave us . The few comments that Ive seen from Israelis on UK blogs tend to be fairly nuanced . As I said earlier ,I am aware of few who are in any way sympathetic to the far right . When it does occur , it is out of a total lack of understanding of the far right and their methods and objectives . For these few individuals , they mistakenly see the right as some sort of bulwark against radical Islam ,the instigators and proponents of the only antisemitism they have ever experienced .
It is naive and based on a lack of contact with the far right .
British Jews are far more aware of the dangerS of the EDL etc Equally,it should made clear ,that contemporary antisemitism is no longer confined to the far right but is very much part of the DNA of radical Islamism and their far left lackeys .
Finally , for the most part Israelis are oblivious and fairly dismissive to all the machinations and posturing of the bds movement , UK Islamists etc .They are far too busy working and creating a thriving industrious country and able to enjoy the fruits of their labour .Its a source of constant amusement ,especially among those in the Telecoms and Hi Tech fields, that while the BDS are busy clearing the shelves of a few grapes and oranges ,they are using Israeli technology in order to coordinate their actions .
Anonymous said…
"JH doesn't seem to have exerted himself to demonstrate his own commitment against racism"

Nonsense. I have denounced racism on many occasions.


I fight against racism against Jews and others. I was instrumental in fighting the visit of Griffin and Irving to Oxford University Union Society. I spent hours campaigning and I went there for the demo. (It's my University).
There are plenty of other examples.

Sarah, I really thought better of you!

As for not admonishing someone at the Hendon demo last week, my defence (though I do not need to defend myself) is in the Langlaben site.

He alleged: "The person shouting racist abuse at the young Pakistani man was standing right next to Jonathan Hoffman”

My response: "Actually I was moving around. You are wrong again. I heard one comment from someone who seemed to be Israeli but that was it. By the way I suffer from tinnitus and my hearing is not great. But of course you would not know that."

I have no intention of devoting my life to rebutting smears on the internet, from the vile Greenstein and his ilk. But I would be grateful if apparently decent people such as Sarah didn't give those smears legs. I find this attitude on parts of the Left that if you don't denounce racism you must be one to be so anti-intellectual. It's a 'gun at head' mentality. No-one seems to be prepared to call it ridiculous.

Some of us have lives beyond websites.

See you all at the Globe the next two nights supporting Habima.

Jonathan Hoffman
Sarah AB said…
Well - I am sorry if I put all that too strongly, and I am sure you have spoken against racism on other occasions. I do often seem to disagree with you about things - but not about everything (and I'll be at the Globe tonight).
Gert said…
For those wanting to pass judgement on Millett and his questionable friends, checkout this comment, on his blog:


Daniel Marks | May 25, 2011 at 1:23 pm |
The Marks family spent a charming few days one summer in the Golan, hosted (very reasonably priced) by Michael Ben Horin, self declared president of the State of Judea and about as extreme as they come.

On our last night sipping on home-made something or other, Ben Horin explained to me his philosophy. The man is an aeronautical engineer and nobody’s fool. He knows he’ll never lead Israel. He explained that his job is to make the moderate Israeli Right look good. They can point to me and say, “We’d like to be more flexible, but we have the crazies like Ben Horin to consider too.

Such is the role of the EDL and Roberta Moore, who I have learned to respect and become quite fond of in recent days. If a Zionist speaker is talking and the Left or fundamentalist Moslems think of disrupting, there should be several nasty, chunky looking tattooed gentlemen there to put the fear of (our) G-d into them. If need be, the speaker should make it clear that he never invited the EDL along and disagrees with their behavior (nudge, nudge, wink, wink). Similarly if, hypothetically, some EDL members should disrupt an anti-Semitic speaker or just wait for him outside and kick his head in (steel tipped boots are always good) such actions must be squarely condemned by all official Jewish bodies.

I know that it sounds like a rather thankless task, but that is the best service the EDL can provide the Jewish community as well as the future of Western Civilization. Nobody is going to award anyone knighthoods for their actions, but I do believe that both my grandchildren and theirs will be extremely proud and grateful one day.

Daniel Marks is one of Millett’s friends and a settler from Ma’ale Adumim. From Millett re. this comment? Not a PEEP!
Joseph said…
I am glad to see Harvey has changed his tune on the EDL. Even more glad that Jonathan H seems to have realised that there was no mileage in keeping schtum on the joint demos.
One point though. I was at the Globe last night for the excellent performance by Habima of The Merchant of Venice. The production was astoundingly good, the acting was superb and Yaakov Cohen is probably the best Shylock of this generation. I think the pro-habima demo was joyful, positive and well done and was able to unite rather than divide.
Contrast that with the caterwauling of Debora Fink at the PSC demo.
And there's the rub (a different Shakespeare play, I know). More often than not, the right wing of the Zionist movement have indulged in attacks on those who do not believe in their way. Not only the PSC, but usually those of the Zionist left. They also have a bit of a blind spot when choosing allies. Sometimes, the enemy of my enemy is not my friend; the enemy of my enemy is a manipulative bugger who will use and then discard you like a second-hand Kleenex.
Their actions have done themselves no favours and have done Israel a disservice.
bob said…
Thanks Joseph. Apologies to Joe for my rendering of Millis as Meilis above.

I don't think that Richard Millett can be held responsible for Daniel Marks' views, but as Gert says, when Marks says this kind of thing (quite regularly) he gets no censure. Mod, don't you think that matters?

I'd like to think there could be a shift, and that we can hear more from the Zionist right in the vein of Harvey's denunciation of the EDL. But until that becomes the norm rather than the exception, I personally will steer very clear of the whole crowd.
Joseph said…
This comment has been removed by the author.
Joseph said…
Joe and Joseph are the same person, I can reveal.
Gert said…
”I don't think that Richard Millett can be held responsible for Daniel Marks' views, but as Gert says, when Marks says this kind of thing (quite regularly) he gets no censure.”

Bob, I agree. If in the name of freedom of speech he wants to allow nutty comments then that’s his right. But most people would distance themselves from such texts. A simple ‘I don’t endorse these views in any way, shape or form’ would suffice to me. But he doesn’t do that.
Harvey said…
True . Richard does allow Daniel Marks to comment . But then again he allows you as well as Rich to comment freely . Both inveterate trolls and traducers .
So you cannot accuse Richard of lack of balance .
Gert said…

You've no idea what 'Internet troll' actually means, do you?
bob said…
OK, no more accusations or counter-accusations of trollery, true or untrue. Any more will be simply deleted. I don't want this to be a place for personal snidery and rudeness, however passionate people feel. If you can't be civil, you're not welcome.

However, please do (civilly) debate the actual politics of this, because I think this is important.
bob said…
One thing I meant to pick up on, but forget. Harvey said:
[Israeli and American Jewish soft EDL support] is naive and based on a lack of contact with the far right .
British Jews are far more aware of the dangerS of the EDL etc

I think this is true. I am less worried when American/Israeli Jews say positive things about the EDL: they are out of basic ignorance of the local situation. (Although I am worried to the extent that they exert considerable influence on the agenda in the UK, and to the extent that they might fund the counterjihad network.) I am more worried when British Jews support the EDL, precisely because they should be more aware of the dangers of the EDL, as Harvey is. I hope that his view prevails here, and not Daniel Marks'.

This is exactly why I think it is important that people like me continue to raise this issue (and why I am especially gratified when people from the Zionist right like Harvey do), and not leave it up to the anti-Zionists perceived as wingnuts by most mainstream Jews.

The bottom line is that any association with the EDL and its like is bad in itself, and is bad for the defence of Israel, and is bad for British Jews. If members of BIC, the Ahava picket or the ZF consort with the EDL, or even tolerate their presence, than they become part of the problem.
Anonymous said…
Bob, I agree. If in the name of freedom of speech he wants to allow nutty comments then that’s his right. But most people would distance themselves from such texts. A simple ‘I don’t endorse these views in any way, shape or form’ would suffice to me. But he doesn’t do that.
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