Glasgow Jewish Educational Forum

The British Government’s policy towards Israel and the Peace Process

Posted by Admin on February 18, 2007

The second meeting in our series of lectures took place this evening, Sunday 18th February 2007.

Jim Murphy M.P. addressed the community on the subject of the “The British Government’s policy towards Israel and the Peace Process”.

Did you agree with his exposition of the Government’s Middle East policy?

We welcome your comments on this issue.

35 Responses to “The British Government’s policy towards Israel and the Peace Process”

  1. Vey very annoyed said

    I attended last night’s meeting on Israel. If there are political meetings in the community I try and go to as many as I can. Last night’s meeting was awful. I may not agree with all Peace Now have said over the years but at least they encouraged people to discuss issues and appreciate what was going on in Israel.
    I understand that some Peace Now people are involved in this new GJEF group. Well I wonder what they must have thought about last night. The analysis was very poor and as I read the flyer that was given out – the aim of this new group is to promote debate and discussion.
    There was no debate. The MP told the audience what he thought they wanted to hear. And no one challenged him, other than one speaker about Lieberman – and all he got in reply was as usual an evasive answer about Israel being a democracy.
    Surely as a community we can grow up. We know that Israel makes mistakes and we know that Israel is not perfect. We don’t need to be told, like we were last night, that there is an excuse for every Israeli wrong – it is all the Palestinians fault, or the Arabs fault.
    It is well known that Jim Murphy will back everything that Tony Blair does. But we as a Jewish community know more about Israel than he does. He tells us what he thinks we want to hear to vote for him.
    The most worrying thing about this meeting is the audience seemed to like this rubbish. Have we sunk so low that we get something out of a meeting even when we know the speaker is at it. I’ll bet even he does not believe most of what he told us or didn’t tell us. At least I hope he doesn’t.
    While I’m at it, another point. Could GJEF please ask whoever is chairing their meetings to ask the speaker to actually answer the question – not go on and on about irrelevant nonsense. By the way the chairman’s cheap shot at that new group – Independent Jewish Voices – was bang out of order as well.
    Let’s hope your next meeting has more content than this one. I hope that this new group are trying to debate what is important for this community because that is long overdue. But let’s have real debate and discussion – this was as bad as a Rep Council meeting and believe me that is bad. I will come and hear Siddiqui and Freedland in the hope they will be better.

  2. Amazed said

    Clearly very very annoyed was at the meeting last night so why didn’t he/she ask some questions to Jim Murphy direct and give him a hard time rather than GJEF.

    After all GJEF just facilitate the meetings, they can have no control over what the speaker says (other than give a topic for the lecture) or the questions posed.

    Ample time was given to quiz Mr Murphy or was he/she just waiting for others to do his/her work for them?

  3. A Beitz said

    There is a problem here. It is not for those organising the meeting to challenge the speaker. It is for those who are attending to participate and argue their position. Some of the organisers have PN sympathies and some have not. However had the PN line been pushed no doubt there would have been claims that the meeting had been hijacked by the PN sympathies of the organisers. There would have been no difficulty about asking Jim Murphy a question disagreeing with the position taken. The organisers can facilitate the meeting but don’t also expect them to ask the questions for you.
    Why did you not take Mr Murphy up on some of his points VVA?

  4. Interested said

    Please correct me if I’m wrong but did GJEF not set themselves up to be something different – to stimulate argument and debate? Surely you have more ambitions than just “facilitating the meeting”?

  5. Ben Avraham said

    I have a confession. I was at the meeting under a pseudonym. When I heard who the speaker was I knew I could not bear the shame and indignity of my friends (the few left after being on this blog) knowing I was there. I went to support the new committee; I went to support the community; guess what, that’s a lie, I went to find out if the rumour was true that five minutes of ‘politics according to Jim Murphy’ was far better than any sleeping potion or anesthetic. The rumour is true. A political heavyweight he ain’t, featherweight would be more fitting. Intellectually, ok, so his strength is his politics. Ask a question, Beitzie? He probably wouldn’t have understood the question and in the unlikely event that he had, he wouldn’t have understood the answer because it would have been some drivel fed to him by an embassy functionary. He bears his soul to the ambassador, his reservations and his worries. He hasn’t found out yet that the Israeli Ambassador to the Court of St James doesn’t speak English. For those sycophants present who lapped up those pearls of wisdom that dripped from his lips like gentle rain from the heaven above, maybe he is a good constituency MP, but as for an intellectual discourse I’m off to talk to my garden gnome.

  6. stupid but saveable said

    Dear Interested

    What would you have GJEF do actually?

    Surely by giving you the opportunity to ask deep and meaningful questions a la Ben Avraham (who’s garden gnome doesn’t speak english either) and bringing speakers to you to question then GJEF are trying to do something.

    You know its so easy to be destructively critical, how about some constructive criticism for a change or better still ask the speakers searching questions and see what response you get from them.

  7. debbie said

    It’s the same old story – sit on your a**e, wait for others to do the work and then criticise because it is not to your liking.

  8. Wellsaiddebbie said

    Debbie you sound like my kind of girl any chance we could get together later

  9. A Beitz said

    Too old. She’s got a 16 year old daughter.

  10. Wellsaiddebbie said

    Thats not old! You should look in the mirror sometime.

  11. Ben Avraham said

    Quite right Debbie. It was wonderful. It was absolutely fantastic. Why not make the next meeting the same and you’ll get 50 people, and the one after that you’ll get 25 and after that we’ll all go to a Rep Council meeting for light relief. On the other hand maybe beneath my vitriol ( I think relatively articulate vitriol but Mrs Avraham says its playing havoc with our social life) there is a message that could be learned. I think the initiative by the GJEF is timely and necessary and I anticipate some very interesting times ahead but don’t let it flounder because of complacency. That meeting was just plain awful. Oh, by the way, I was brought up to call an a**e an arse so if you want to say something why not say it loud and clear.

  12. Very Very annoyed said

    I looked at he blog to see if my comments had got a reaction and I was pleased to say that there has been.
    Let me explain further.
    I am delighted that GJEF has started this programme to promote debate within our community. My comments about the other night were my reflections on that meeting – which was very dull. Jim Murphy obviously believes that is what most people wanted to hear – and that is a sad reflection on us and him. No doubt that hopeless crew on the Rep Council who think they are our representatives have encouraged this nonsense. Thankfully,almost everyone knows that they are clueless.
    My advice to GJEF is make sure your speakers want to debate and discuss, and not simply use your meetings for their own ends. It is your meeting so make sure they talk about what you want them to talk about. You obviously have further meetings arranged and your flyer claims there are others in the pipeline. So go for it.
    I know from my friends that many people read this blog without writing their own comments. I really urge you all out there to support these lectures. Please make sure you go along and give your opinion.
    The Mona Siddiqui meeting looks really excellent.

  13. NLL said

    listen to you all.

    It took two 16 year old to ask the only searching questions of the evening – and as has been noted they didn’t exactly get a satisfactory response. Could one of you oh so smart and articulate folks not have followed up or asked something else meaningful? I have it on good authority that Paul had plenty other questions he could have asked, but as he had the microphone and there were other people asking questions, he didn’t feel it was appropriate.

    Bet Jim Murphy went home and said ‘whew’ – he might have actually thought he was going to be put through his paces on Sunday…………………..

    NPN is chairing the meeting with Mona Siddiqui, and has publicly offered to collect questions in advance to ensure a good debate – why not take him up on this? I’ll certainly be suggesting a few more 16 year olds attend.

  14. wellsaiddebbie said

    Well what can I say Ben Avraham, like my friend Martin Buber, I think you are acting like an arse.You were at the meeting too, how come you couldn’t raise yourself off your arse an ask a question or do you just save yourself for anonymous blogs. It’s awfully brave of you to use your undoubted use of the English language in a blog like this when you could have so eloquently phrased a question to Tony’s boy, Jim that maybe even you yourself would have applauded, let alone the rest of us sycophants.

  15. Interested said

    You are right NLL to praise the 16 year olds, but surely the chairman has to ensure the MP answers the questions.

  16. DN said

    Having just listened to the news tonight, indicating that the Prime Minister will tomorrow be announcing the departure date for British troops from Iraq, one can only be concerned for the political future of Jim Murphy. Did he not say on Sunday night that it was ridiculous of Ming Campbell to say that troops should come out on such and such a date and that this was politically naive and dangerous? Jim is obviously off message.
    Despite my disagreements with Ben Avraham on the IJV issue, he is actually spot on with his comments oabout this meeting. It is unfair always to rely on the same few people to challenge speakers that treat this community as idiots when talking about Israel. Far more people should take on that responsibility.

  17. Ben Avraham said

    #15 That’s much better, Wellsaiddebbie. It’s almost as if you’ve started to get some fire in your belly. For now though, stick to a**e, it’s not just what you say but how you say it, such a waste of good Teutonic when you ruin the effect with bad timing. Of course, I could have asked a question, searching, I doubt it, because that depends on one of three possibilities. Firstly, the speaker must be willing and able to be searched; or secondly, the Chairperson must be prepared to badger the speaker; or thirdly, I must be prepared to take on the Chairperson and speaker and most likely a very sympathetic audience as well. The first two were non starters and as for the third, I’ve got the t-shirt and all the accompanying medals so don’t need the recognition. I thought with this brave new GJEF initiative the baton was being handed on. Maybe I was wrong. For the sake of the future of this community, I hope not.

  18. Incognito said

    So basically what you are saying is that GJEF should have badgered the speaker that they invited to speak to you the audience. In that case GJEF should just invite speakers to address them only. Don’t you think that is a bit of a waste with such as you who could vent your anger on the speaker or were you just scared to?

  19. Incognito said

    #18 was addressed to Ben Avraham.

  20. Ben Avraham said

    #19 yes. no.

  21. Incognito said

    Well given that you didnt ask any questions it feels like you were from where I’m typing. It seems you are giving GJEF a hard time when you should have been giving Mr Murphy it!

  22. Very Very annoyed said

    The absense of any real talking points made in the speech by Jim Murphy surely tells the true story. His talk told us nothing about what is happening with Israel and the Peace process. He told us what he thought we wanted to hear and he obviously thinks that we are all daft.
    He told us nothing.
    That is not an indictment on GJEF – it is though an indictment on Jim Murphy and whoever advises him.

  23. Interested said

    Who do you think advises Jim Murphy about communal affairs in the Jewish Community?

  24. Ben Hershnachman said

    Sorry, pops, you’re on your own!

  25. Ben Avraham said

    Oh dear, children nowadays, so undependable!

  26. notablogger said

    Another blog without much discussion?

    Can GJEF explain clearly how these meetings relate to the future of the weegie community (apart from the obvious 1)? A direct and clear answer would be good, rather than the feeble political nonsense we are peddled normally.

  27. Shlomo said

    The silence is deafening in response to #26. I thought that the organisers of GJEF would be able to provide a crystal clear answer within a week to a reasonable question, didnt u?

  28. pat the plumber said

    Shlomo you posted yesterday, aweek would be eh in 7 days so you have plenty of time for an answer.
    Shabbat Shalom Shlomo

  29. Einstein said

    Shlomo obviously spent some time in the same school of mathematics as that Gerry the Joiner guy.

  30. shlomo said

    Actually I went to Calderwood Lodge and it was (and thankfully still is) a wonderful school… but rather than get involved in your pathetic jibes Pat and Einstein…. why dont you just answer the legitimate question raised by #25 if you represent GJEF or go back to the school playground if you do not.

    You obviously both have as much to contribute to the greater good of our community as Jim Murphy did at our meeting last week. Better for you both to keep your fingers off the keyboard and let us wonder if have something positive to offer than type your trash and remove all reasonable doubt

  31. pat the plumber said

    I see Shlomo has resorted to the old tactic of being abusive if he doesn’t get his on way. Maybe the organisers of GJEF are leaving it up to the intelligent people like yourself to decide what relevance these meetings have to the future of our community.

    My personal take on it (as a plumber) is that the meetings are set up to debate issues close to our communities heart i.e Calderwood/Israel from a British Govt perspective/Israel from a Jewish Reporters perspective/How local Muslims view us/ Moral & Ethical Values.

    I like you (probably) hope that we will get into more communal issues,like the Calderwood meeting, on things like the actual makeup of our community in Glasgow, the use of communal buildings and funds, the role of the Rep Council etc.

    How about you? What do you think GJEF should be tackling in the future. After all, if GJEF want to still be here in a year’s time they will need bums on seats or it wont be worth it, will it?

    Oh and incidentally #25 is about Ben Avraham rebuking one of his vhildren.

  32. A Beitz said

    Interesting article by Benjamin Pogrund in the New Statesman which in many ways accords with my own views for whatever that’s worth.

  33. shlomo said

    Still no comment from GJEF on #25….. and a week has now passed!

  34. shlomo said

    or even #26!!

  35. Incognito said

    How about you make up your mind just like me and everyone else.

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