Sunday, 2 June 2019

UK Labour Party Antisemitism


It has been reported that the British Labour Party has suspended Pete Willsman, a member of its ruling National Executive Committee (NEC), after he was recorded saying, that he believed, that the Israeli embassy, had been behind the claims about Corbyn’s Antisemitism.  

Willsman is a devoted Corbyn ally and supporter and as such hated by New-Labour (Blair & co.). He may – I have no idea – also be an Antisemite and the Party should ask itself whether someone holding antisemitic views should be a member of its executive board.

Let us, however, now look at the facts of this latest claim:

1.   Labour’s leader, Jeremy Corbyn, is – and has been for many years – extremely critical of Israel and very supportive of the Palestinian cause.

2.   Jeremy Corbyn as British Prime Minister would therefore be an unwelcome change for Israel.

3.   It is the role of embassies to work politically to promote the perceived interests of their countries. They should work within the laws of the land and if they don’t, they should not be caught doing it.

So, why is it not reasonable to believe that the Israeli embassy in London is furthering negative propaganda about Corbyn? And why should this claim be defined as Antisemitic? Does the fact that some Antisemites believe in a Jewish conspiracy to rule the world, mean that one may not make a political assessment about perfectly normal goings-on, just because the subject has an Israel angle? Israel and some of its supporters would like this “license to kill” anything which is deemed by them to be uncomfortable. Going down this road is, however, totally dishonest.

Diaspora


Warning! This is a generalisation: 

How does one explain the phenomenon of diaspora Jews, who often feel that Israel is so important to them, that they need to act as ambassadors for the country, and yet, do not feel that their attachment to Israel should motivate them to criticise that country’s failings. Their love for Israel seems to stop at the point where the country should perhaps be prevented from descending further down the moral spiral. Let me be clear, I am talking about Jews, who in private conversations may be very critical of Israel, its positions and its politics. Publicly they keep stumm.

This is evident in an abundance of social media postings with positive stories depicting Israeli successes or negative ones putting the blame for the situation in the Middle East on Palestinians.

A couple of years ago, an Israeli army spokesman explained that they maintain mailing-lists of supportive diaspora Jews, whom they carpet-mail with messages they want spread. This has proven to be a successful ploy.

Verjaardagskalender


Once a year, around my birthday, I am reminded that the world is divided between people who work with well-organised diaries and those who don’t.

Verjaardagskalender was the perennial, which we had in Holland in my childhood. Nowadays, it’s all in the computer. Or not.

Misleading Duchy ?







The beneficial owner of the Duchy of Cornwall is The Prince of Wales. It is a substantial landowner. It also produces and markets a variety of food products under the Duchy brand. The goods are all stated to be “organic”.

I was somewhat surprised to find out that Prince Charles allows his brand to be used for produce imported from other countries. He has, on various occasions, spoken out on environmental issues and buying local should be part of that story. Shipping (perhaps even air-freighting) blueberries from Spain is not what I expect under the Duchy brand.

Sunday, 26 May 2019

The Mossad and Austria’s VICE…chancellor


As soon as the story emerged about the entrapment of Austria’s Herr Strache, rumours started circulating that the Mossad is behind it.

In the past, rumours about the Mossad being behind a variety of clandestine operations, the outcome of which was deemed to be in Israel’s interest, pleased some, amused others, made some Israelis and diaspora Jews proud and probably strengthened the preconception about Israel’s all-powerful secret service. Antisemites who believed in a Jewish world domination conspiracy will also have had this pet theory of theirs reinforced.

These days, it has become fashionable to see Antisemitism everywhere and one finds various commentators speaking of this Mossad rumour as antisemitic. Relax, it ain’t necessarily so.  

Whoever did it, Israelis generally are pleased by the notion of a successful Mossad that gets whatever it wants. Moreover, the Mossad itself has been said to occasionally take credit for operations that were not theirs. Planting false stories in international media is all in a day’s work for secret services.  

Monday, 20 May 2019

EU ELECTIONS


At this time when Putin from Russia and Steve Bannon from the USA are working to break Europe up – it is in all our interest to strengthen our still democratic and liberal European home. If you have a vote: GO and VOTE. We do not want to end up as a Putin Russia or a Trump USA.

Vote for a pro-European party: in the UK this is not easy, and the best bet is to vote for the Liberal Democrats. In Germany, there are more choices. So take your pick and VOTE.

A Question to Mrs Merkel


FRAU MERKEL: If you take a wine bottle from the supermarket shelf and notice that it was produced in a Jewish settlement in the Occupied Territories, would you buy it or put it back on the shelf?

My guess would be that Merkel would put the wine back and my second guess is that she will try not to have to say so loudly. If that is the case, then Mrs. Merkel and all other politicians who act similarly, are moral cowards. 

Can a journalist be found to ask that question?

Germany and its warped Relationship with the Jews


Nothing seems to have changed. Only the direction of its pathological warpedness. A recent decision of Germany’s parliament is a point in case: In its immense wisdom, the Bundestag decided to define BDS as antisemitic. BDS is a Palestinian civil society movement calling for unarmed actions, such as boycott, divestment and sanctions, to fight Israeli occupation.

BDS – perhaps deliberately – is an unclear entity, some believe that it calls for the State of Israel to cease to exist, others that it aims for a departure of Israel from those areas it conquered in 1967 and has been occupying since and in which it has settled more than 600,000 of its own (Jewish) citizens. I doubt not that there are many Arabs who would prefer for Israel not to exist – a wish that I do not share. I do, however, share the wish for Israel to get out of the occupied West Bank. One may not share the demand, but there is nothing antisemitic about the demand to penalise Israel for the occupation. Let a thousand Bundestags repeat the folly: it can also decide that the earth is flat or that it was created by God in six days, 5779 years ago.

Whatever BDS’ aim may be, they do not try to achieve it by with armed violence. Instead, they try to get Israel boycotted into submission. An effort which has up to now, not been very successful. The Israeli government, however, has been panicking about BDS and together with several Jewish lobby organisations is bullying whoever they can into delegitimizing BDS. The instrument used to vilify BDS is one frequently used by Israel to shut up critics: blaming the critics of Israel or its actions as anti-Semites. What has happened last week in Germany is a spectacular success of the Netanyahu regime. In an obscure joining of souls, Angela Merkel’s CDU has, together with its coalition partner, the SPD (social democrats), joined forces with the ultra-right-wing AfD, in handing this coup to Mr. Netanyahu.

Germany’s political class still operates with a need to show that they atone for the country’s past and in this case, the price is paid by the Palestinians: Germany is helping Israel to eradicate Palestinian civil society’s agitation for their cause.  

More than only Schadenfreude?


Everyone (I know) seems mighty pleased about the fact that Austrian FPÖ’s leader Strache was forced to resign, after a secret video showing his alleged entanglement in a serious corruption scandal, came to the light.

I do not share this feeling of satisfaction, beyond my natural shadenfreude, at the fall of a member of the mighty: let many others fall in his footsteps.

The real issue with Austria is not that one politician was found out to be corrupt. The real problem are the right-wing tendencies of its population – a phenomenon that can best be explained by Austria’s historical refusal to accept responsibility for its fascist and Nazi past. They always saw themselves as victims of Nazi Germany instead of accepting the truth, which is that they were part of the Nazi machine in ideology, in action and in fervour. As a result, there is a lot of the same still to be found in that country. FPÖ had 26% of the popular vote in the last general election and was evidently a natural bed-fellow of the country’s conservative party, Sebastian Kurz’s ÖVP (31%).

Now, the Chancellor has called for a snap election. Will we find that Austrians are longer attracted by racism, Islamophobia and populist rhetoric? I doubt that. There is, as yet, nothing to be happy about. Much work still needs doing.

Sunday, 21 April 2019

DEPORT BANNON NOW





Having helped Trump in his election campaign, Steve Bannon is now doing his utmost to destabilise Europe. I do not know who finances his activities, but I do know that he should be stopped.

Except for France, which has historically taken great pleasure in granting political asylum to troublemakers, most European countries try not to let them enter. So, for example, a Palestinian woman, who fifty years ago, carried out a terrorist attack, sat in an Israeli jail and now lives in Jordan, had her German visa revoked recently and was not permitted to give a lecture in Berlin. Bannon is more dangerous to our future than an old former terrorist.

The extremist AfD party has now invited Steve Bannon to talk at their conference inside the Bundestag, the German parliament.  

The man is dangerous and should not be allowed to enter, let alone be politically active, Europe. One cannot rely on the likes of Poland and Hungary to deny him entry, but there is no reason why we should permit a foreigner, who is working to dismantle liberal democracy, to enter our countries. He is a foreign agent and should be treated as such.

We have seen what Trump is causing. We see the sad deterioration of Hungary and Poland. We see the dangerous mood in Italy. 

WRITE TO YOUR MEMBER OF PARLIAMENT AND DEMAND THAT THEY ACT NOW.