Glasgow Jewish Educational Forum

The Jewish Future in Scotland: Engaging with the Scottish Government

Posted by Admin on November 4, 2008

The Glasgow Jewish Educational Forum last week facilitated a meeting between officials from the Scottish Government and Antony Lerman, Executive Director of the Institute for Jewish Policy Research (JPR). JPR aims to advance the fortunes of Jewish communities across Europe by developing ideas for an inclusive Europe where difference is cherished and common values prevail. The discussions covered a wide variety of subjects including antisemitism, Holocaust education, the impact of global events on the Scottish Jewish community and the interaction between European Governments and Jewish communities throughout Europe.

Since the First Minister addressed a public meeting of the Jewish community in April 2008, the Scottish Government have been aware that GJEF has been organising an educational programme for the Glasgow Jewish community over the past 20 months that has brought about discussion and debate. Some of Britain’s leading Jewish academics and thinkers have been brought to Scotland by GJEF. It was agreed that GJEF will, when appropriate, help to facilitate further meetings and consultations with the Scottish Government as part of a wide-ranging advisory process.

Victoria Quay (Medium)

141 Responses to “The Jewish Future in Scotland: Engaging with the Scottish Government”

  1. Surprised said

    I have just got home from work and seen the GJEF e-mail. I have not posted before but this news item indicates a major development in our community structure. I know that some of our community organisations have ignored GJEF and hoped that they would soon not exist. It seems that GJEF are controlling the agenda though. Interested to know what others think.

  2. Bit of a sceptic said

    Sounds very nice, but I’d be interested to know what matters of substance were discussed at such a meeting. If the complaint has been that Scjec doesn’t represent the community, then what mandate does GJEF have all of a sudden?

  3. Not a sceptic said

    Be as cynical as you like post no 2 but if you read the article it states what they talked about.
    Interesting. Very interesting

  4. Bit of a sceptic said

    OK, I can read what it says, but why should the Scottish Government take any notice? Is it not the same argument? Where’s the mandate? Surely GJEF are just as ‘self-appointed’ as Scojec? Organising meetings of an educational nature, no matter how excellent the speakers, doesn’t confer the right to represent the community any more than Scojec. Seems to be double standards here!

  5. Nachman Aaronovitch said

    #4 claims to read what it says but in fact has with an obvious difficulty with textual analysis. Nowhere does GJEF claim to represent the community nor to the best of my knowledge has it ever made such a claim. Surely, instead of petty carping, this is a time to congratulate the five members of GJEF who have been far sighted and passionate in their vision that they have attracted the attention and ear of the |Scottish Executive.

  6. Also a bit of a Sceptic said

    The five members of GJEF may have been far sighted and passionate in their vision and they may have attracted the attention and ear of the Scottish Executive but they certainly have not attracted the attention and ear of the Glasgow Jewish community. My man in the know tells me that less than 15 people turned up to hear Antony Lerman speak on Sunday night.
    So are we seriously to believe that the Executive Director of the Institute for Jewish Policy Research would not have been able to set up a meeting with the Scottish Executive without the assistance of Tony Tankel & Co

  7. Bit of a sceptic said

    Other organisations in the community have attracted support from the Scottish Government and ministers over the years. GJEF has no more (or no less) of a mandate than these organisations. Other than all these speakers, what tangible change has been effected in the community?

  8. Nachman Aaronovitch said

    If the appeal of an educational committee is to be gauged by the attendance at its meetings, why not choose the 200 who attended Dr Duffy, or the packed house at Alex Salmond. Fortunately, GJEF do not attempt to be populist, they bring speakers who challenge and pose awkward questions, sometimes speakers that other groups lack the courage to invite. As for the last meeting, if I had not been in London there would have been 16 and had you not been waiting for a sell out such as the forthcoming meeting with the Foreign Secretary there may even have been seventeen and you would have learned something.

  9. Nachman Aaronovitch said

    #8 is in reply to #6

  10. Interested said

    Does this now mean that Scojec can no longer claim to be the only organisation that can talk to the Scottish Government?

  11. Bit of a sceptic said

    Doubt it. The Scottish Government has a number of years’ experience of dealing with Scojec, whatever we think of individual personalities or policies of Scojec. They are going to put the greatest store by their contacts with Scojec. Not sure what they will achieve by speaking with GJEF.

  12. Surprised said

    How can you be so sure? If you look at the subjects discussed like antisemitism, Holocaust education and the relationship between European Governments and Jewish communities throughout Europe it seems that the Government may be looking for a wider perspective of what is going on in Jewish communities. If Scojec were able to provide this then why would they have bothered talking to anyone else?

  13. Bit of a sceptic said

    Has anyone considered the position of the Jewish communities outwith Glasgow in all of this discussion? Their representatives (from Edinburgh, Dundee, Aberdeen and Argyll & Highlands) sit on Scojec. Will they be happy with GJEF speaking for them?

  14. Nachman Aaronovitch said

    At last we agree Boas. You ask the all important question.”Will they be happy with GJEF speaking for them?”

    Nobody, but nobody has asked if I want Scojec speaking for me.
    Now we have more than one voice with different viewpoints and experience representing us. We are all the richer for such diversity.

  15. A Beitz said

    Are the Scottish Government speaking to GJEF? Or are they in fact speaking with one of GJEF’s speakers, and may engage with others? As I understand it those who were involved in the founding of GJEF do not have a collective view other than firstly they want to encourage debate in the community and secondly that they want to see a strong Glasgow community. A far as the latter is concerned there are different views as to how to bring this about and possibly even about what constitutes such a thing. GJEF also does not, as I understand it, claim to represent the community nor does it have any mandate to do so.
    I think it is excellent that the Scottish Government cosults with diverse elements of the Jewish community and even some who may feel they are not part of the community.. However it must be borne in mind that they do not necessarily represent the Jew not on the 38 bus.

  16. Shalom said

    If I have understood you correctly and I hope I have, I agree with you A Beitz. Scojec, nor any other organisation, GJEF or otherwise, can claim to represent all views within the Jewish Community. No organisation has such a mandate. As others have posted GJEF have never claimed to do so – Scojec have. That is why the statement by GJEF is to be welcomed because it underscores this very point – that we live in a diverse world and have diverse views.

  17. 38 Bus Jewish Users Group said

    Mr Beitz, I should like to point out that the only body entitled to represent the increasing number of Jews using the 38 bus service (that is, the First Bus service – Jewish people don’t go on cheap imitation services) is the 38 Bus Jewish Users Group. Why is the Scottish Government not consulting with this group? Is the 38 not the original Kosher Koach?

  18. Mamie Shenkin said

    When I was a member of Glasgow Young Zionists Glasgow had a population of 15.000 Jews. When my 3 children grew up they married, left Glasgow &, between them had 7 children These children in due course became parents of 11 children. Only 1 remains in Glasgow. For whom are we multiplying community services?

  19. Shalom said

    Welcome to the blog Mrs Shenkin. Of course many people who used to live here have moved on and had families elsewhere. For those of us who still remain here, are we not entitled to improve the quality and diversity of our community life? I would be grateful if you could explain why you think we are multiplying community services.Because there are fewer of us left that does not mean we all think the same and have the same take on every issue.

  20. Nachman Aaronovitch said

    Mamie, I am many years your junior and my children and grandchildren have also moved on. This does not mean that I am stuck in a time warp. Time moves on and attitudes change. There will be other generations in Glasgow and undoubtedly their numbers will be many fewer. Does this mean that formulae that may or may not have worked in the past must be inflicted on our children without question?

  21. Al Chet said

    Welcome, Mamie Shenkin. Some months ago the First Minister Alex Salmond was welcomed to our Community It was a private meeting open only to the Scojec committee members and a few selected outsiders deemed to be suitable for such an occasion.
    He was also the guest of GJEF at an open meeting to which all members of the community were welcome. Indeed, many availed themselves of the opportunity to meet him and question him.
    There may be room for both approaches, but are you suggesting that the latter could be considered a multiplication of community services?

  22. Committed said

    Al Chet is right but I think it’s worth expanding on this.
    It appears to me that there is a difference of opinion regarding how communal affairs are practised.
    One group – Rep Council, Scojec et al – believe that they make decisions in the best interests of the community. Consultation is almost non existence and they purport to represent the community’s best interests at all times. They seem to think they know what is best for everyone but very rarely have any evidence to support their claims. Decisions are taken behind closed doors.
    Others seem to have come to their own conclusions that there can be another method of doing things. Like Al Chet wrote, they believe that the community has a right to hear First Ministers and Foreign Secretaries. They open up debate on many different issues and encourage the community to participate in that debate.
    There is fundamentally two different approaches. Scojec, I am sure, represent the community to the best of their ability.
    But perhaps others strive for something different.
    What is wrong with that?

  23. Bit of a Skeptic said

    Debate and speakers are all very well, but when does this actually translate into action? Sooner or later you need to tackle the question of communal structures and how to change them. Otherwise this is all so much hot air.

  24. Mamie Shenkin said

    In my opinion there are already enough Jewish committees in Scotland to serve the community. Or does the shrinking number of Synagogues indicate an increasing number of Parnassim looking for new organisers’ opportunities? A debateable question: I point no finger, honestly.

  25. Shalom said

    I would have thought post 23 that at least GJEF are doing their bit re a more diverse emphasis in the community relationship with Government.
    What are you doing whilst others are going forward with new initiatives? Accusing others of hot air whilst advocating preservation of the status quo isn’t exactly going to get you recognition as the smartest cookie in the jar.

  26. Bit of a Skeptic said

    What I’m saying is that the ‘new initiatives’ and ‘hot air’ need to be channelled into concrete proposals for change in the community, if necessary attempting to change existing structures from within.

    All this debate is all very well, but nothing really changes.

    And I’m not even sure that Anthony Lerman talking to officials of the Scottish Government is accomplishing much at the government end.

  27. Progressive Pete said

    What a wonderfuuly constructive person you are “Bit of a skeptik”.
    Your argument reminds me of someone who refuses to throw out food when it is past its sell by date and whose fridge and cupboards are full of old food that has gone off and gone stale.
    Such a person never comes to terms with the idea that some things have to be discarded because their time has gone.
    What insight do you have that allows you to think that the Scottish Government are not gaining much from their talks with Antony Lerman?
    I would suggest that you are bitter because you called it wrong and rather than admit that you don’t know what is happening you pretend that you do.

  28. Bit of a sceptic said

    Firstly, I don’t accept your analogy, but if I did, I would say that if I was starving, stale food might be better than nothing, unless I could think of a way of getting something better.

    Secondly, I am not bitter. And my insight comes from the fact that I work for the Scottish Government and I’m just surprised that no official has seen fit to file a note of this meeting with Anthony Lerman. What actually are these officials doing with their newly acquired insights?

  29. Nachman Aaronovitch said

    Of course you are right, BOAZ, stale food might be better than nothing. For you and your peer group who are obviously starved of ideas, you have no alternative. However, there are those such as the five members of GJEF who have had the vision to offer a ‘brave new world’ and there are many of us able to recognise the value of what they offer.

    As for your lack of knowledge of the Lerman meeting, I am sure you are not suggesting it didn’t actually take place. Therefore, one can only presume that your position lacks the status to be informed of such higher level meetings.

  30. Bit of a sceptic said

    Again, you are always presuming to be so smart! Scottish Government files are open to all staff unless, in a very very very few cases, they are top secret confidential, and why would such a meeting be so confidential?

    I’m not suggesting the meeting didn’t take place, I just wonder what the officials are doing with their insights.

    All I am asking is when does this ‘brave new world’ translate into action, rather than just lots of debates and speakers?

    Are you suggesting that those who attend GJEF meetings are going to establish an alternative structure for running the community? If so, can we hear what there ideas are?

  31. Progressive Pete said

    I suggest that your attitude Boaz makes you part of the problem, not the solution.
    You suggest that the meeting with Tony Lerman was unimportant to Scottish Government officials and had little meaning.
    If this meeting is of little consequence – who knows – why do GJEF write at the beginning of their statement that they ” will facilitate further meetings and consultations with Scottish Government as part of a wide ranging advisory process.”
    GJEF must be aware that there will be other meetings in the future and they could not have said so without the consent of Government officials.
    So what’s annoying you Boaz?
    You are bitter. You have outed yourself – ” I work for the Scottish Government “. And because no one has told you about what has been going on – you try to establish some credentials that you know what you are talking about.
    I don’t think you do. I think you always thought that the Scojec party would continue and you would be part of the establishment feeding off the scraps. You and Scojec are made for each other. You keep banging the drum about the need to establish alternative structures for the community when it is happening before our and your eyes.
    Maybe we need to spell it out for you in large capital letters –
    SCOJEC PREVIOUSLY TOLD THE COMMUNITY THAT THEY WERE THE ONLY BODY THAT SPOKE FOR THE WHOLE COMMUNITY TO THE SCOTTISH GOVERNMENT.
    THIS IS NO LONGER THE CASE BECAUSE GJEF HAVE JUST TOLD US THAT THEY ARE ALSO TALKING TO THE SCOTTISH GOVERNMENT.
    I hope other Government officials are brighter than you because we are all in trouble if they are not.

  32. Bit of a sceptic said

    what nonsense you write! I merely pose the question as to why such an umportant meeting is not documented on the Scottish Government side, the way eg a meeting with STUC would be documented

    I am NOT ‘bitter’ – I just think it’s easy to preach a ‘brave new world’, but nothing will change on the ground just because a London speaker has some nebulous talks with unnamed Scottish Government official.

    You level criticism against Scojec that it is unelected – so where does GJEF mandate come from?

  33. Progressive Pete said

    You are bitter and unfortunately not very bright.
    Various people have told you GJEF do not claim to represent the community. They have never said they do. They have a view and are entitled to put that forward if they wish and facilitate meetings with their speakers and Government when required.
    Scojec claim to represent all of us but they have never asked our views or our permission to make this claim.
    What don’t you understand?
    It isn’t rocket science?
    Perhaps you should do a refresher course in basic comprehension of the English language.

  34. Nachman Aaronovitch said

    “There are none so blind as those who will not see”, Boaz.
    So let’s go back to the very beginning of GJEF. The first meeting was attended by 200 members of our Community where the future of primary education within a Jewish ethos was discussed. This was a critical meeting with the then Head Teacher of Calderwood Lodge answering to the grass roots. It is almost incredible, indeed, almost criminal that such an essential meeting had not been facilitated by any of the then existing organisations. At present I will not expand on why they had not facilitated such a meeting. The fact is they hadn’t. Would you like me to expand at length on some of the other meetings?
    So stop the “hot air” nonsense. You want structure. There are plenty of committees with structure. They spend much time trapped in their dated structure and forget those whom they are supposed to represent.
    I am attracted to GJEF because they are not restricted, because they do not claim to represent the community, only various viewpoints. A previous blogger criticised them because they came with five different viewpoints. To me, that is their strength. Maybe, you would prefer them to meet in secret, insist on only one voice, and threaten to throw out anyone showing dissidence. If that is what you want, it is out there for you and best of luck. If not, you change it. If it’s so changeable from within, why hasn’t it been done?

    As for mandates, GJEF claims no mandate nor has ever claimed a mandate. That claim appears to be the preserve of others. As I began, “There are none so blind as those who will not see”, Boaz.

  35. Bit of a sceptic said

    PP – there’s no point in my wasting time arguing with someone who is patronising and insulting!

    I suspect that the Scottish Government officials in question are playing the old game of ‘pretending’ to listen to views ‘out there’, but will not take any notice really, much less file a report.

    So go and change the community YOUR way – and I look forward to seeing the fruits (but I don’t have any high expectations!).

  36. Shalom said

    Your employers must be thrilled with your loyalty Boaz.
    You accuse your employer – The Scottish Government – of “pretending to listen to views out there ” and ” will not take any notice “.
    If I employed you which I thankfully don’t – I would give you your P45!

  37. JPR admirer said

    I am acquainted with the work of JPR and I would have thought that this organisation’s experience and ongoing work would be of enormous benefit not just to the Scottish Government but to the Glasgow Jewish Community as well.
    Those of you who take a genuine interest in communal affairs should have a close look at what JPR are doing. Those of you who value research and who want to develop a community that will in JPR’s words – ” include and empower all, rather than ostracise and denigrate” should welcome JPR’s advice and input.
    The Glasgow community will be better for it.

  38. Only Negative when Necessary said

    I agree. JPR could help our community understand what’s going on in other Jewish communities.

  39. NLL said

    If anyone’s interested?

    Rally for Peace, hosted by ‘One Voice’Glasgow

    Mon 10th Nov at 6.15pm followed by reception

    Glasgow University Chapel – Main Building, West Quadrangle

    Special guests Charles Kennedy MP & youth activists from Israel & Palestine

    see, http://blog.onevoicemovement.org/one_voice/2008/11/onevoice-israel.html

  40. Memo from Israel said

    Interesting development from today’s Ha’aretz newspaper in Israel about Hamas accepting a state in 1967 borders

    “The Hamas leader in Gaza, Ismail Haniyeh, said on Saturday his government was willing to accept a Palestinian state within the 1967 borders.

    The Hamas leader spoke at a meeting with 11 European parliamentarians who sailed from Cyprus to the Gaza Strip to protest Israel’s naval blockade of the territory. Haniyeh told his guests Israel rejected his initiative.

    Clare Short, who served in the cabinet of former British prime minister Tony Blair, asked Haniyeh to repeat his offer. He said the Hamas government had agreed to accept a Palestinian state that followed the 1967 borders and to offer Israel a long-term hudna, or truce, if Israel recognized the Palestinians’ national rights.

    In response to a question about the international community’s impression that there are two Palestinian states, Haniyeh said: “We don’t have a state, neither in Gaza nor in the West Bank. Gaza is under siege and the West Bank is occupied. What we have in the Gaza Strip is not a state, but rather a regime of an elected government. A Palestinian state will not be created at this time except in the territories of 1967.”

    Is there an Israeli politician who will seize this possible opportunity or will we again have another missed opportunity?

  41. Can we trust them? said

    So much of this depends on trust. How can Israel be sure that this offer is genuine? Will Hamas amend its constitution which, as well as repudiating the very idea of an Israel, refers to classical anti-semitic stereotypes like the Protocols of the Elders of Zion. In some ways, the anti-Israel references are secondary. It’s the anti-semitism as policy which worries me more.

  42. Can we trust them? said

    And of course – will they trust us?

    I’ve just read a disturbing report on the BBC about plans to build a new museum in Jerusalem over part of an old muslim cemetery. If this was a Jewish cemetery in Europe, we would be horrified. What are they thinking of?

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/middle_east/7715921.stm

  43. A Beitz said

    Meantime still in Jerusalem…

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/middle_east/7718587.stm

    I hope this sort of thing isn’t going to become a habit.

  44. emet said

    What a great link-I know I will be condemned by some for saying it but that is about the funniest thing I have seen for ages -all these frumers battering each other-better than an old firm match that is !!
    Brilliant ,absolutely brilliant !

  45. Speaker's Corner said

    I pity you Emet. Have you ever thought that at this moment in time, when Obama has been elected as President of America, that you are out of step with what’s going on in the world and the violence that you enjoy is not something to celebrate? Are you into blood sports as well?

  46. Armchair Analyst said

    This brawling monk stuff is a sideshow. They’re not involved in solving the ME problem and they haven’t got a brain between them.

    The big question is, will Hamas renounce their avowed intention to destroy Israel and replace it with a Muslim theocracy, in return for a seat at the Peace Table? The Hudna offer isn’t going to cut it with any Israeli government, IMHO.

  47. Memo from Israel said

    On 10.11.08 Israeli newspaper Haaretz published an editorial which calls for talks between Israel and Hamas…It was entitled ” Listen to Hamas ”
    Sometimes opportunities arrive that have to be explored. Hopefully the next President of America will use his undoubted influence to push forward meaningful peace talks.

    http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/1035971.html

    Editorial:…………………

    “Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh, the ousted prime minister of the Palestinian Authority, described “the territories of 1967” as the territory of the Palestinian state “at this time.” He told Haaretz correspondent Amira Hass that the Hamas government had previously made it clear that it was willing to accept a Palestinian state that followed the 1967 borders and to offer Israel a long-term hudna, or truce, if Israel recognized the Palestinians’ national rights, as Haaretz reported Sunday.

    At first glance, it appears Haniyeh was not saying anything fundamentally different from what he said two years ago. But Haniyeh’s comments are imbued with special significance against the backdrop of recent events in the Gaza Strip and the exchanges of fire that put the current lull at risk, along with the presidential election results in the United States and Khaled Meshal’s statements that Hamas is willing to negotiate with the new American government. This is also the case in light of the efforts to foster a reconciliation between Fatah and Hamas and the nearly completed term of Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas…………………
    To achieve this, the Palestinians must have a national reconciliation, and Israel must recognize any government established with Palestinian approval – even if its members belong to Hamas or other factions. The Israeli illusion that the West Bank will be able to continue to be calm while Gaza is blockaded and shelled will end up being shattered.

    None of this is an alternative to political negotiations or concessions that Israel and the Palestinians must make to reach a final-status agreement. But Israeli recognition of any Palestinian government that is established is liable to lay a practical and stable foundation for cooperation, and perhaps even for deeper confidence that will advance the political process. Israel must therefore turn an attentive ear to the statements coming out of Gaza, and reexamine its policy”

  48. NLL said

    Great meeting hosted by One Voice on Monday night. Brilliant young speakers from both Israel & Palestine, passionate about putting the past behind them and urging politicians on both sides to find a way forward.

    All very articulate and easily able to respond to left wing rhetoric from the floor. Best contribution from the floor, a Palestinian who told the left wing do-gooders to stop parachuting in and then going home to their comfortable lives and let the people of Palestine speak for themselves.

    The the co-chairs of One Voice in Glasgow are two young students, one Jewish & one Muslim who were introduced to One Voice during the ScoJec pilgrimage this summer and have come home and done something positive – their commitment puts the older generation to shame.

  49. A Beitz said

    Didn’t make it to Monday’s meeting although I am told about 150 attended. For those interested in what One Voice has to say

    http://www.onevoicemovement.org/?gclid=COGjg9yL75YCFQgrlAodiEn3rw

    Looks to me a really worthwhile initiative. It has a Glasgow group and maybe GJEF should host a meeting at a more convenient time and place than Monday’s meeting which was at Glasgow Uni at 6pm.

  50. Community Member said

    Groups like One Voice have a part to play and the more people who rally behind the peace banner the better.
    Perhaps I’m becoming cynical but I think the reality at present is that not enough Israelis or Palestinians are prepared to make the necessary sacrifices for peace. I don’t think the majority of Israelis really get it that in return for peace they will have to give up territory and I mean a lot of territory. I don’t think they understand that Jerusalem will have to be shared. And I believe that the demise of Fatah and the collapse of Oslo have left the majority of Palestinians entirely unconvinced that Israel is really interested in a peace agreement. The continuation of settlement building has drained confidence and made many, me included, very cynical about realistic prospects of a peace agreement.
    The ” left wingers do gooders ” as NLL comments are not the real problem. It is the Israelis and the Palestinians.
    The only hope in the next few years is that Obama drags both parties to the negotiating table and through economic and political pressure pushes them into compromises.
    But I’m not optimistic that enough people on both sides really want it.

  51. Armchair Analyst said

    I agree with CM’s depressing assessment.

    Here is another interesting but so far very small activist group of recent former fighters from both sides who certainly have earned the right to talk about peace:

    http://www.combatantsforpeace.org/

  52. NLL said

    Actually CM the young speakers on Monday night said the opposite – they feel the majority of ordinary people on both sides have had enough and it’s the politician’s who are out of step.

    As an organisation, they don’t attempt to put forward any solutions, their members have diverse views. In fact the Israeli office and Palestinian office work in parallel, rather than jointly to put pressure on their respective leaders to listen to what people, particularly the younger generation have to say, to become less entrenched and to start thinking more imaginatively about ways to end the conflict.

  53. Community Member said

    I don’t think the evidence is in their favour NLL.
    It is very easy to claim that ordinary people have had enough but results in both Israeli and Palestinian elections show the opposite. Parties that are deemed to be too positive towards the peace process have not done very well.
    If this group doesn’t put forward any solutions then it would appear that their influence will be very limited.
    I think most people know how to move towards ending the conflict – they know what needs to happen – but not enough want it sufficiently to bring it about. It is very easy to say that you believe in peace but not so easy to compromise in order to achieve it.

  54. Shalom said

    Beitz and NLL are full of strange ideas. If you think One Voice is worth promoting why not ask your friends in Scojec to run this meeting. They don’t do very much so they might as well start somewhere.

  55. A Learned Friend said

    Nachman Aronavitch on 3rd November posted on this blog that multiple copies of Dr Kenneth Collins’s book had been destroyed in a toilet flood in the Jewish Community Centre.
    Perhaps someone might tell us whether that edition – a Scojec publication – with the unsubstantiated allegations- -was also withdrawn from any places where it could have been sold.
    Has the new amended edition – as can be seen on line-been reprinted? Who might have covered that expense?
    I think the community should be brought up to date because my investigations are on going.

  56. In the Public Interest said

    The next set of Scojec accounts which will be available on line at OSCR may be interesting.
    A Learned Friend will be able to scrutinise the following:
    1. Cost of reprinting ” Scotland’s Jews.
    If it wasn’t reprinted then the whole exercise in publishing the thoughts of a certain Dr Collins will have been futile, expensive and ultimately not in the best interests of the Scottish Jewish Community.
    2. It will be interesting to note the legal fees involved in defending the organisation against court action.
    3. Were damages paid by Scojec to another party as a result of all of this?
    Maybe the next time messrs Collins and Borowski see fit to publish their communal thoughts, delights, fantasies and tribulations they will do so as private individuals rather than pretend that what they do is in the communal interest when it obvious that it is not.

  57. NLL said

    Unless ITPI knows something about intended changes in the OSCR website, then I understand the only info that is available re accounts is; date of year end & annual income, date annual returns forms issued & date received & checked. Accounts & Constitutions must be requested directly from the organisation

  58. In the Public Interest said

    Yes NLL. But the charity has an obligation to pass on their constitution and their most recent filed accounts. And they cannot refuse.
    As Scojec willingly accept public money they will I’m sure have no problem in supplying the said information.
    After all by accepting money from the public purse they have a responsibilty to be transparent about their expenditure.
    If money was paid out to rectify mistakes made by office bearers in the Collins’ book debacle will this be covered up to protect those involved or will the organisation behave with propriety and make it clear that those involved will be suitably admonished.
    Failure to do so leaves a very large question mark over future public funding. Would you not agree NLL?

  59. Nachman Aaronovitch said

    ITPI is correct though OSCR suggests that inquiries should be by those with a genuine interest. Scojec’s accounting period is the year ending 31st Dec so the lates accounts available to inquiry will be until 31/12/2007. Those due at the end of Dec 2008 may not be available for up to nine months, the period of grace, ie 31/9/2009 after which Scojec would be in breech of their trusteeship (or whatever the term is) if the accounts were unavailable.

  60. Nigel Allon said

    Tonight I was privileged to attend a fascinating meeting organised by GJEF. The speaker, Jonathan Boyd, came with excellent credentials, and did not let his audience down as he went through the salient factors affecting the Israel/Diaspora relationship. The attendance was limited and those who regard themselves as community leaders and Zionists, with one notable exception, were absent. I hope the absentees will appreciate my scepticism when they parade themselves with their love of education, their Zionism, their Wizoism on their sleeve for all to see. There was no personal benefit from attendance other than the love and use of knowledge, no honorary titles, no supping at the table of functionaries and ambassadors. Each one of the absentees may have had a valid reason to be absent but as a community group they are shameful.

  61. Eye in the Sky said

    There are many who sit on communal committees who claim that they only work so hard and have been there for so long because there are no volunteers to replace them.
    Others have suggested that there are some of our communal leaders who do not attend GJEF’s lecture series because they don’t like the organisation. This may well be true but I think it goes further than that.
    I don’t think they like the message either.
    The message is quite clear. Regular speakers appearing at public meetings in Glasgow highlight their own deficiencies.
    So many subjects covered that have not been properly discussed before.
    And that is really the route of the problem. The Zionist organisations don’t turn out to hear the relationship with Israel discussed because its not happening under their own banner. Community organisations like the Rep Council and Scojec don’t go for the same reasons. Its so petty that they are actually harming the community they are supposed to serve.
    My understanding is that GJEF will continue to bring speakers to Glasgow to provide an educational programme that has been missing for years. The last person who even tried to do something similar was a Shaliach called Benzi Yariv, and that was 25 years ago.
    Those that have described GJEF as a radical organisation with a radical programme that endangers the communal fabric are mistaken. Look at the subjects discussed – Israel’s relationship with the diaspora, Calderwood Lodge, Jewish Education.Holocaust, antisemitism etc etc.
    It is only perceived as radical because it highlights deficiencies and inadequacies prevalent elsewhere.
    Most of the community are blameless. They have been bored to tears for years by those who have been running things in Glasgow and have voted with their feet. Unless it is a BIG name they won’t turn out. Eventually though they will and those involved in running communal organisations will find themselves in a lonely place – charged with neglect and poor leadership for far too long

  62. Not Another Macher said

    GJEF should be flattered if people think of them as radical – is that not the point? To look at things from a different view point, to do things in a different way and eventually to effect some sort of change?

  63. Eye in the Sky said

    Ask many of those involved in our communal institutions if they have an interest in what is happening in this community and they will tell you that GJEF have a radical agenda that upsets the status quo. The literal meaning of radical is as you describe NAM but I guess that I was referring to the negative connotations put on the GJEF programme by those who claim some sort of communal leadership legitimacy. I don’t doubt that GJEF will continue to succeed in presenting a different communal perspective than what has been offered for far too many years.
    I think though that they could be helped in achieving this if some people who know that what GJEF are trying to do is long overdue and very much needed, would properly support them now.
    Those that sit on committees , or for that matter chair them, should explain to their colleagues who are either uninformed or uncaring that the rules are changing. And the community will be better for it.
    It is quite evident that what GJEF are doing is recognised by the number of speakers who are prepared to come to Glasgow to tell their story. Many of them are busy people who are not short of invitations, yet they willingly travel to Glasgow,
    happy to be part of this educational project.
    It is also evident that the Scottish Government know what GJEF are doing and the briefings by Tony Lerman etc
    is evidence that they are listening to another perspective on communal life in Glasgow.
    And I guess that the Foreign Secretary, David Miliband, is not looking for things to do on winter evenings and does not need to come to Glasgow to address the Jewish community, yet he is another politician who has accepted GJEF’s invitation.
    In my opinion there are far too many people involved in Glasgow communal life who have too many conflicting interests and continually have to balance what they do for reasons of communal expediency. It seems that just doing what is right is the hardest thing to do.

  64. A Beitz said

    Tony Lerman is a good guy with an interesting alternative perspective upon things. However I don’t see he can provide “another perspective on communal life in Glasgow”. He lived here for a year many years ago and has visited a few times. I doubt Tony himself would think he can do that. He can certainly provide a different vision on London Jewish life in particular but he has no experience or mandate to do so for Glasgow.

  65. Community Member said

    Who is advocating that Tony Lerman ” provides another perspective on communal life in Glasgow? ”
    GJEF are capable of doing that.
    As far as I am aware he is one of several speakers who have visited here to discuss specific subjects. In addition, because of his expertise he has been asked to brief the Scottish Government on specific subjects.
    Am I missing something or are you Mr Beitz?
    GJEF’s educational programme has proved that there are subjects that are discussed elsewhere in the Jewish world that are relevant to the Jewish Community in Glasgow. And Glasgow can learn from what’s going on elsewhere.

    We do not live in a goldfish bowl even if many of those involved in communal affairs in Glasgow think that we do.
    Are they scared that they might learn something?
    Please explain what you mean by mandates because I don’t get it.

  66. A Beitz said

    EITS referred to briefings by Tony L as “evidence that they[the Scottish Government] are listening to another perspective on communal life in Glasgow”. There have also been complaints about whether the Rep Council/SCOJEC have a mandate to represent Glasgow Jewry. Maybe they do, maybe they don’t. However what one does Tony Lerman have?
    I think it is a good thing the Scottish Government hear from a broad range of Jewish voices. However it is going too far to suggest that Tony L is in a position to give them substantial perspective on communal life in Glasgow.

  67. Community Member said

    A mandate is only required if one claims to be representative – like the Rep Council do and Scojec do as well.
    If you are merely giving your point of view then I don’t believe it is necessary.
    Nevertheless, I think Tony Lerman is sufficiently qualified to discuss issues like antisemitism, trends in Jewish communities throughout Europe etc etc. He is certainly more able and better qualified to do so than those who have been trying to do this job in Scojec. One only has to look at the harm caused to our community by Kenneth Collins and Scojec with their book to know that.
    Has it occurred to you why the Scottish Government are seeking alternative viewpoints? Could it be because they no longer feel confident that the Scojec perspective is either the right one or even a reliable indication?
    I repeat what I wrote earlier. Tony Lerman is able to give a perspective on a range of issues whether he lives here or not. Some things don’t stop or start just in Glasgow. And for local knowledge GJEF can give their opinion as well.

  68. Another Community Member said

    I can’t quite work out where Beitzy is coming from. Does he not realise that the Scottish Government are entitled to trust whoever they want to and by deciding to talk to Tony Lerman or GJEF they are making their position crystal clear. Scojec can no longer claim to represent the entire community. It isn’t relevant Beitzy whether you think someone has a mandate to do this or not to do it. The reality is that is happening.

  69. Guardian Reader said

    Very interesting article from today’s on line Guardian about President Peres’ address to British Jews.

    The writer seems genuinely surprised that his talk achieved little and the UK community and Peres could offer nothing more than mutual back slapping.

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2008/nov/22/israel-palestine-shimon-peres

  70. Ex Rep Council Delegate said

    Seems that “mutual back slapping” must be a nationwide interest. Our own Rep Council are renowned for this kind of behaviour. Everyone tells everyone else what a wonderful job they are doing and the sad thing is they really believe it.

  71. Nigel Allon said

    Last night I saw a remarkable film at the GFT. By remarkable, I don’t mean that it was a particularly enjoyable experience but it was one that all Jews, particularly those who consider themselves Zionists, should see. It was a brilliantly produced animated Israeli made film called ‘Waltz with Bashir’ The subject was the personal and national amnesia regarding the massacre at Sabra and Shatila during the invasion of Lebanon and the efforts of the author to deal with the resurfacing images and nightmares all these years later. However, the amnesia has also spread to the Diaspora. Considering it was a film of Jewish interest, there were no familiar faces in the audience. I doubt you will find it on the Jewish got to see lists or at showings by the Jewish cultural (?) aficionados. But see it you must.

  72. Likudnik said

    Nigel, why should we get too concerned about a film about the massacre of Palestinians perpetrated by Lebanese Christians? What’s it got to do with us?
    Despite the Kahan Commission Of Inquiry into that war against Arafat, Israeli public opinion properly understood what Israel was trying to achieve and eventually elected the architect of the war, Ariel Sharon as their Prime Minister.

  73. Do We Kno said

    So that makes it alright then does it Likudnik?

  74. Likudnik said

    It certainly does. Why blame Israel when others commit atrocities?

  75. Nachman Aaronovitch said

    You miss the point Likudnik. This was not just about the horrific Christian massacre of Palestinians under the careful watch of the IDF. This was about the cynical brutalisation and moral destruction of a generation of young Israelis by their own officers and politicians.

  76. Likudnik said

    No you miss the point Aaronovitch. Once again we see the Glasgow branch of Peace Now having a bash at poor Israel defending herself against vicious enemies. This blog is full of these wishy washy leftists.
    Apart from the well known culprits – Goldberg, Allon and Tankel we have read similar nonsense on this blog from Emet and Beitz.If awards were handed out for promoting the good side of Israel these people would be last in the queue. We have also had to put up with some guy called armchair analyst who posts at 4 in the morning, spouting Shalom Achshav drivel. He calls himself an analyst – he needs to visit one.

  77. Armchair Analyst said

    Dear Likudnik,

    Israel has indeed much to commend it, but the deliberate trapping of previously ethnically cleansed Palestinians inside a wretched walled compound by the IDF under the butcher Sharon, (who subsequently got a slap on the wrist), for the sole purpose of allowing Israel’s heavily armed Fascist Lebanese Phalange allies to go in and wage unhindered wanton slaughter for hours, is not in this category.

    Likudniks for Human Rights = Vegetarians for Meat

  78. A Beitz said

    Nigel, the film in question has had great reviews and I fully intend seeing it. Likudnik, go and see it. You mght not agree with it but it sounds as though it will make you think. It is possible to go the cinema without necessarily subscribing to every point the filmaker is propounding. If I go and see Hunger, another film which is apparently excellent, it doesn’t mean that I agree with everything or indeed anything the IRA hunger strikers did.
    Incidentally whilst carrying out a massacre is obviously culpable those who provide access to do it when they knew or ought to have known there would be bloodshed are morally and legally also responsible. Or does Likudnik think that the Israelis understood the Falange were going in to provide gifts and flowers and to hold a friendly memorial service for their recently assasinated President Bashir Gemayel?

  79. Likudnik said

    Beitz, you and I have history on this blog. I thought you had improved but alas you have plummeted even further in my estimation.
    Can you not think for yourself? Can you not work out which films are worth seeing on your own without pandering to the choices of Peace Now Nigel?
    And maybe you and Armchair Analyst will please tell us why you are so concerned about Palestinians that were slaughtered by Lebanese Phalange 26 years ago. Yes 26 years ago this happened. Are you so taken in by the Israeli Peace Movement that you think this merits our attention when Jews are still being held attacked everywhere? Bibi Netanyahu knows how to deal with these enemies of Israel and he will be elected as Prime Minister shortly. It’s a crying shame that you Peaceniks in Glasgow just don’t get it. Beitz, Allon, Tankel, Goldberg, Emet, Armchair Analyst, and the other misguided lefty – Stein. Is anyone else prepared to admit to being a member of this disreputable club?

  80. Peace Now Member said

    Okay Likudnik – how many members or supporters have you got in Glasgow who share your views?

  81. Observer said

    If Likudnik won’t give us the names of
    people in this community who are supporters of right wing parties in Israel the following names come to mind.
    If any of them believe that their selection is a mistake if they post in to the blog I will duly apologise.
    In no particular order of extremism here goes.
    Perhaps others will add to the list…
    Kenny Davidson
    David Links
    Walter Sneader
    Mickey Green
    Aron Soudry
    Linda Davidson
    Ellis Simpson

  82. A Beitz said

    Likudnik I do find it interesting that you think that since 26 years have gone by the matter is no longer worthy of note. Many of those in the party you profess to support seem to invoke what happened 2000 years ago as a justification for settling the West Bank etc.
    Are you really a supporter of Likud? Some of what you say is sufficiently irrational that it would not surprise me if your politics are quite different and you are actually engaging in satire.

  83. Likudnik said

    Yes Beitz, I am a supporter of Likud. Nothing that I have written is irrational.
    I do not believe that we should focus on giving land back to the Palestinians until they acknowledge that Israel has the right to live within secure and peaceful borders.
    I believe that the settlement movement is legitimate and the difference between us is that you try and paint Likud as extremists and try and cover up to the world that all Israelis Governments, bar none, have supported the building of settlements in Judea and Samaria because whether Labour or Likud, they believe in it.
    Are you aware Beitz that Israeli President Shimon Peres supported the building of settlements from the beginning?
    Or are you going to keep your head buried so deep in the sand that you don’t even recognise what is going on around you. Last night Jews were targeted in Mumbai and some are still being held as hostages. Yet you and your colleagues in Peace Now want to bleat on about the damage to Israeli society that occurred when Christians attacked Palestinians and want to waste your time watching a film that is irrelevant to the world today.
    Please get real. My argument is not satire. Yours would be comedy if it wasn’t so dangerous.

  84. Armchair Analyst said

    Likudnik, lets not go back into ancient history like 1982 to justify our positions, or in the case of you and your settler friends, 361BCE.

    Let’s talk about the present and Gilad Shalit. Israel holds 7000/8000 Palestinian prisoners/hostages depending on who is counting. Many of them are certainly murderers or would-be murderers of civilians, just like a significant number of hitherto unpunished scot-free IDF personnel. How many of these Palestinian prisoners/hostages who are not convicted murderers should Israel magnanimously release for Gilad in your opinion?

  85. Likudnik said

    That’s a very easy question Armchair Analyst. I would have hoped you could have done better than that.
    The lives of Israelis obviously take precedence over other lives. It has always been that way. Even dead Israelis have always taken precedence.
    As all Israelis know, if you serve in the IDF, the country will always do what it can to get you home dead or alive. That is one of the most crushing failures of Olmert. Watch this space and see how quickly Bibi resolves the Gilad Shalit situation.
    Next question please.

  86. A Soudry said

    A word of advice to Observer 29 Nov.
    I think you belong to a group that makes judgements on appearances, at best. I am nevertheless satisfied that forming an opinion and drawing a conclusion is not a gift God endowed you with. Had you had the courtesy to ask me if I am a Likkudnick I would have told you that the future of Israel as a Jewish sovereign state is in a 2-state solution (may be 3 now)as I might have written in my JT defunct columns some years ago.
    What you don’t know dear Observer, is that many in Israel are likudnicks not because of the territories, but because of the liberal economic adn fiscal policy which pleases the rich.
    I think you could do more on learning about Israel, and please have the guts to unmask yourself. don’t forget your letter of apology.
    A Soudry
    Shabbat sahalom + Chodesh Tov

  87. emet said

    Observer-I think it is wrong to name individuals-who may or may not be supporters of Likkud ; let those who wish to , come on and debate ,but it is not right to draw up hitlists-smacks of …well dare I say it a L
    Likkudnick !
    Rev.Soudry has a point -it is often forgotten that the majority of Israelis have always put the economy very high up in their reasons for voting this way or that way-the rationale was that all parties would put up a robust defence in military terms-especially the left wing.
    I wonder if that has changed ?

  88. Observer said

    A Soudry doesn’t say whether he is a supporter of Likud or if he isn’t so if he won’t categorically deny it then why should I apologise.
    Emet, it wasn’t a hit list. Likudnik gave the names of local Peace Now supporters – I note you are included.
    I responded by pointing out who I believe are supporters of right wing parties in Israel. Nothing wrong with that.
    If A Soudry is embarassed to admit his political sypathies that is up to him but I think it is pretty obvious whenever he has spoken on the subject that his views are right of centre.

  89. emet said

    Yes I smiled at that-me and Peace Now…I don’t think so !
    Me and common sense…that’s more like it.
    I am now off to start a fight with one if Glasgow’s finest Peace Now Niks and he knows full well mwhat I think of them !
    Still it doesn’t get in the way of a shared shabbos chicken !

  90. Radio 4 listener said

    Did anyone else hear a Radio 4 Today Programme report from Hebron this morning?
    Remember a certain Mr David Wilder, spokesperson for the Hebron settlers movement and honoured guest of Ephraim Borowski’s holiday trip for Scottish tourists to Israel and the West Bank.
    This was debated for many weeks on this blog. Those that defended Scojec’s meeting with Wilder against those that thought it was shameful included if my memory is reliable a certain A Beitz, Nan, Stamford Hillbilly and others.
    The substance of the report was that the Israeli Supreme Court has ruled that several families living in a Hebron House have 3 days to leave, permitting the government to use force to evict them if they refuse.
    Isn’t it interesting that Beitz, Hillbilly and their colleagues believe that it is legitimate for Scojec to take uninformed Scots to hear a man like Wilder and don’t even understand that such a visit is highly contentious within Israel.
    Accordingly, I think Likudnik must be mistaken if he thinks for one minute that Beitz etc are supporters of Peace Now. They are much closer to Likudnik’s politics than Peace Now. Now that Emet has declared where he stands politically –
    Observer can add him to his list – maybe Beitz will confirm that he is in the same camp.

  91. emet said

    You are making an illogical assumption-if I am not for Peace Now (and you are right I am not )then I may not necessarily be to their right….maybe I am to their left !
    Who are you to assume where I stand !

  92. Armchair Analyst said

    I wouldn’t be at all surprised Likudnik if the Israeli military and secret services know exactly where Gilad is being held, albeit under heavily booby-trapped conditions.

    If Bibi gets back in and he puts an immediate total stranglehold or launches an all-out assault, or both, on all of Gaza, then we’ll have to wait and see how this plays out for Gilad.
    Next expert prognostication please.

  93. A Beitz said

    You may be a Radio 4 listener but clearly logic is not your strongpoint. I’ll try to explain.
    1 It is not impossible to believe that Wilder is a horrific character but also to consider that hearing him could be an education not least as to why his type are an impediment to peace. It does not mean you support him or come to that Likud. Listening to those with whom you disagree can be an education.

    2 It may have escaped your attention but court decisions are based upon the law and not whether something “is highly contentious”. The two are of course not necessarily mutually exclusive but legal rulings are not based upon populism.

    3 Reverting to the last sentence of number 1 I see GJEF’s role as making people think. So why not get speakers who are on the right of the spectrum eg Melanie Philips etc. I don’t need to be protected from speakers whose views I might find anathema.

  94. Community Member said

    There is a difference between inviting a right wing speaker who is able to give a cogent analysis and Melanie Phillips who would be unable to do this. Her shrill rhetoric and pandering to the basest of instincts make her an unworthy and unsuitable speaker for GJEF.
    Given the calibre of speakers that have appeared on GJEF’s platform over the last 2 years it would thankfully appear that GJEF have higher standards and principles than descending to Melanie Phillip’s level.

  95. emet said

    Melanie Philips would be a great choice : surely though she is too big a personality for GJEF to attract-after all she’s not on the scrounge for electoral endorsements.She’d be a damn site more entertaining than some others-she would provoke some good chat/debate and best of all she would have the Peace Now Brigade choking on their organic tea whilst simultaneously bringing Likudnik and his bootboys to new levels of fantasy fuelled ecstasy.
    WE WANT MEL * WE WANT MEL * WE WANT MEL* WE WANT MEL* WE WANT MEL* WE WANT MEL ….ETC….ETC.

  96. Nachman Aaronovitch said

    At the risk of losing any street cred I may have left, I agree with Emet. I abhor most of what Melanie Phillips stands for, but she is a legitimate voice that reflects many of the opinions of right wing Anglo Jewry. As such, GJEF should offer her a platform and the debate should continue.

    As to Beitzie, he really has got himself stuck up his own whatever in his attempt to worm his way out of a ridiculous attempt to claim that Scojec’s visit to Wilder was of educational value. It wasn’t. It was a piece of crass stupidity by at best, unthinking do-gooders. And if, Beitzie, you want a relevant analogy, try suggesting that first time visitors to the UK should be taken to Nick Griffin for an insight into the essence of being British.

  97. Community Member said

    Perhaps there is some confusion over what GJEF stands for Nachman. It is not to give a voice to everyone and anyone. It is to give a voice to those who GJEF believe should be given a platform because they have something worthwhile to say.
    Melanie Phillips has nothing to say that would add anything positive. That is probably why she has not received an invitation.
    And Emet really is a very silly. One moment he claims he is left wing, the next he salivates at the impossibility of Phillips appearing on a GJEF platform. I think you need to understand the terms of the debate and realise what the debate is actually about Emet before you will understand what side you are on.

  98. Disgusted from Newton Mearns said

    Emet, your post no 95, is disgusting. I have had flashbacks to Jonathan Ross interviewing David Cameron all afternoon, when he accused the Conservative Leader of onanism when looking at pictures of Margaret Thatcher. Obviously Melanie Phillips has the same effect on you.
    Have a cold shower and behave yourself and find another medium to indulge your sordid fantasies.

  99. Likudnik said

    My good friend Aharon Soudry will appreciate that our support of Israel requires us to use different tactics when necessary. Whilst Aharon finds it helpful to position his argument as essentially being non political I on the other hand believe we have to be more up front about where we stand and how we present Israel’s case.
    What is beyond doubt – and anyone who has talked to Aharon over the last 25 years or so will confirm – we are colleagues in the defence of Israel and we stand side by side in confronting the dangerous politics of the Peace Now movement.

  100. A Beitz said

    The problem, CM, is that “something worthwhile to say” is at best a value judgement and I would be interested to know if all the GJEF members share your view that she has nothing to contribute. At worst, and I think this is more likely, it is a euphemism for “views GJEF agree with”. Again however I think this assumes everyone in GJEF is of the one mind.
    I quite enjoy attending meetings where the speaker’s views are entirely different to mine. However it amy be that GJEF will not provide these meetings.
    NA you may be right that the visit to Wilder was stupidity but the difference in my view between Griffin and Wilder is that the latter seems to have the tacit support of various Israeli government personnel.

  101. Nachman Aaronovitch said

    I think,Beitzie, the recent leak of BNP names and addresses showed some worrying revelations as to breadth of support. As to tacit Israeli Government support for Wilder, I am sure you are right. Are you suggesting that is justification for the antics of Scojec and their use of Scottish public money. I would say it is an indictment of the Israeli Government.

  102. Armchair Analyst said

    Likudnik, so you and presumably Aharon stand side by side in confronting ‘the dangerous politics of the Peace Now movement’.

    Your ideology has resulted in the seventeen year occupation of South Lebanon with the resulting alienation and radicalisation of the Shi’ite population and the deaths of 900 IDF personnel.

    Your ideology has resulted in the creation of an entity in the West Bank which has some of the hallmarks of Apartheid, and at the very least has created two separate and very unequal populations.

    Your ideology of decades of arrogant abusive occupation in Gaza has resulted in the rise of Hamas.

    However we both have an interest in self preservation, if very different views of how to achieve this. Therefore the question of Iran looms large.

  103. Likudnik said

    You are so predictable Armchair Analyst.
    According to your logic Israel defending herself from Hizbollah and other fanatical fundamentalist groups in Lebanon has caused the deaths of 900 Israeli soldiers.
    According to your logic Israel’s hold over Judea and Samaria has created an apartheid entity. Well Armchair, perhaps you will tell us who excactly you would like to hand over this territory to now? After your failed Oslo process which would have handed power to Arafat and his corrupt Fatah cronies who would you like as your powerful neighbour now?
    Hamas? Of course you forget that the Palestinians were given the opportunity to elect a government that would pursue peace and work to increase prosperity for their people. Instead they chose Hamas and initiated a bloody civil war.
    You forget that Israel withdrew from Gaza, pulled down settlements and offered the Palestinians a real chance. And they have squandered the opportunity.
    You forget that the only time Israeli Governments have offered the Palestinians anything tangible has happened under the watch of Likud Governments, Menachem Begin and Ariel Sharon.
    What you Armchair and your fellow lefty comrades can’t accept is that you have a violent unpleasant enemy who would destroy you if they had the opportunity.
    Iran will not be allowed to have nuclear weapons. If the International community won’t stop them Bibi will. Is that clear enough?

  104. A Beitz said

    Likudnik, if your views are that you consider the settlements are required along with the wall and the siege of Gaza for security purposes only and that you would be happy to remove them in the event a lasting peace could be entered into I can see where you’re coming from. I don’t agree with it all but the future and the intentions of the neighbours is certainly by no means certain. If on the other hand you want the West Bank, or Judea and Samaria as you call it, for ideological purposes then it seems to me that occupying another country or territory simply to give you more land is reprehensible.
    Either way your vision is a pessimistic one since at best it presumably assumes walls, sieges and hostility either forever or until you are satified about the Palestinian and Syrian intentions and you may never be able to satisfy yourself on that. Whether you like it not the present situation is sapping Israel’s morality. We are besieging one group, we are sending boy and girl soldiers out who are coming back horrified with themselves and what they have to do. The economy is undermined by the constant state of war. I’m not sure that Israel can keep this up morally or economically for many more years.

  105. Observer said

    I’m afraid A Beitz that you have revealed your true position.
    It does not help security to place civilian population next to fortified military zones. It actually harms and endeangers security and makes it much more difficult for the IDF to protect people. Settlements are for ideological reasons, not security considerations.
    Quite frankly you seem a liitle confused and closer to Likudnik than to Peace Now. I am no longer surprised that you endorsed the Scojec trip to Wilder and Hebron – you probably have no ideological objections to either.

  106. A Soudry said

    Not only Observer (28 Nov) puts labels on people and compartmentalize them, but it is clear that Observer lacks the talent to observe that Likkud’s policy is to hold on to territoriwes.
    For all my opinion is worth, and it ain’t, I already wote above for Observer’s info that the future of Israel as a Jewish sovereign state lies in a 2-state solution (may be 3 now). Since, however, drawing conclusions is not Observer’s forte, let me spell it out to him/her straight: I am not likkudnick.
    Now Observer forhte last time unmask yourself and send your letter of apology to me @ 318 Ayr Rd G77 6AP.

    A Soudry

  107. Observer said

    What’s the problem Mr Soudry? I must confess I’m very sorry – not for describing you as a supporter of Likud – which I believe you are – but rather because I don’t understand
    why you believe that I “lack the talent to observe that its the Likud policy to hang on to territories.”
    Where did you get that from?
    I’m sure Likudnik will throw some light on Likud policy today towards the Palestinians but in my opinion, I’m sure they probably realise that some Palestinians will have some sort of territory one day that could be described as a state, albeit with numerous qualifications.
    Perhaps though you could throw in your opinion – do you believe that such a state would be independent and do you believe it should be a separate entity from Jordan?

  108. Armchair Analyst said

    So, Likudnik,

    I certainly was predictable in 1982 when I naively believed that ‘Operation Peace for Galilee’ was a temporary excursion desgned to drive the PLO out of South Lebanon, even though there had been a cease fire in effect for eleven months. The cover story then was the shooting of Israeli Ambassador Shlomo Argov in London. Little did I know that the bombing of Beirut would kill thousands of civilians for no good reason and the Shi’ites who welcomed the Israelis would be so alienated by the decision to remain for so many years with their Christian proxies. There was no Hezbollah in 1982. According to Wikipedia:

    “Hezbollah first emerged as a militia in response to the Israeli invasion of Lebanon, also known as Operation Peace for Galilee, in 1982, set on resisting the Israeli occupation of Lebanon during the Lebanese civil war”.

    I doubt that the Palestinians were given the ‘opportunities’ you suggest given the history of abusive Israeli occupation, but it is true that the PA were sufficently corrupt to make the current Israeli crop of bent or indicted political rulers strictly junior league. And it is true that Hamas are the mirror image of the settlers, religious bigots who want it all.

    I sharply disagree with you that Begin or Sharon offered the Palestinians anything tangible at all. Begin neutralised Egypt as a military threat and then proceeded to walk all over the Palestinians. Sharon retreated in disgrace from the failed colonial Gaza venture, leaving a severely disturbed, alienated and abused population there.

    As for Iran, I’m totally with you there on the need to stop them. I just hope it won’t have to be Bibi doing the stopping.

  109. A Soudry said

    RE 107

    Observer writes in 81 “If any of them believe that their selection is a mistake if they post in to the blog I will duly apologise.” Well? so far I told you twice, I posted it twice, as you requested. Where is your apology? Oobviously you know me better than I know myself since you add in 107 – “which I believe you are” – ie a likkudnick, in other words you believe I lied to you.

    Do you know that rightwing and 2 0r 3-state solution is oxymoron?

    Stop dithering and hiding behind a pseudonym, and send you apology NOW!!!. Until then I will add cowardice to your distinguished attributes. Have the guts to admit you are wrong, such admission could make you a great person, and let’s make an end to this stupid story, and from your mistake you will have learnt a lesson. I have nothing else to add.

    A Soudry

  110. A Beitz said

    I can scarcely be bothered replying to Observer and his attempt to put me in one camp but if he can’t understand my last post disagrees with Likudnik then I’m sorry. It is quite a jump from understanding where someone is coming from to agreeing with him. Maybe if he tried showing a bit more understanding of other people’s postions his posts would be more worthwhile.
    I will say it once more for the hard of understanding. I accept that people such as Likudnik have genuine fears and concerns about the neighbours. I don’t however accept that occupation is the way to resolve the problem however sincere the motive may be.

  111. Peace Now Member said

    Unlike A Beitz, I think the blog is very interesting at the moment.
    We seem to be on the verge of recruiting a new member – A Soudry –
    who has come out so strongly in favour of not 1 but it would appear 2 Palestinian States.
    Before we forward a membership application form perhaps A Soudry would be good enough to confirm that he believes in Palestinian rights to self determination.
    Are you also in favour of talks with Hamas and no more settlement building?
    With the possibility of one new recruit in the last 24 hours it is unfortunate that someone whom we believed was in our camp is wavering.
    To state that you understand where Likud is coming from re the settlements and to accept their terms of argument – namely security not ideology – is a very big mistake.
    You did not even state that you think that such an argument is flawed and misleading and left your position open to doubt.
    Ah well, win one, lose one. Nevertheless very interesting.

  112. JNF Watcher said

    I see that Observer has really caused a bit of a stooshie. How can David Links be named as a supporter of Likud. He is a distinguished servant of JNF, an organisation respected by everyone with Israel’s interests at heart. JNF are known to be middle of the road.
    Observer should apologise.
    Am I wrong?

  113. Observer said

    I’m waiting very patiently A Soudry for your answers to post 111.
    I am not a member of Peace Now but I think A Beitz should respond as well.
    I have nothing to apologise for JNF supporter.
    David Links may be a supporter of JNF – perhaps even a distinguished servant – but he still has right wing views.
    And if there is any doubt JNF cannot be described as middle of the road. They have bought land in Israel for years and only sold it to Jews, not Arabs. What does that make them?

  114. Reb Paul Wynn said

    And it came to pass on the blogosphere during the final year of the reign of the pretender Ehud, that a new voice entered the chamber, one who was not one of the brightest candles in the menorah.

    Book of Aharon, verses #106, #109

  115. David S Links said

    Observer you are somewhat misinformed.
    The people on your list may or may not be supporters of Likud. As far as I know none have a vote in Israel

    Those listed are no doubt to a man and a woman united in their disinterest in Peace Now but that does not mean that they support Likkud. I do believe one should do all one can to support Israel in every way possible. I also refrain from knocking Israel in public and see little benefit from being involved in Iraeli politics and will only do so when I have earned the right to place my vote in their ballot boxes.

    That does not preclude me from reading, watching and listening to every snippet of Israeli news which I can lay my hands on.

    Perhaps someone will be good enough to unveil those who hide under pseudonyms and who are stupid enough and with nothing better to do than guess other peoples political allegiances.

    I am delighted to be listed alongside those whom I suspect most freethinkers in our community would elect to support.

  116. A Beitz said

    I think #114’s post crosses a line. We can agree or disagree, use pseudonyms or not. However I think insults re a person’s intelligence should be removed.

  117. Onlooker said

    I think you should note A Beitz that it was the writer of posts 106 and 109 who suggested that a previous blogger ” lacked talent. ”
    Why did you not believe that this crossed a line if you are upset about post 114?

  118. A Beitz said

    Come off it. There is a world of difference between saying someone “lacks the talent to observe” something and a generalisation suggesting someone is quite simply stupid. It demeans this blog when someone does that.

  119. Elhanan said

    It demeans this blog when community members simply sling mud at each other instead of having mature discussions and arguments.

    From my understanding, GJEF aims to promote debate within the community and has achieved some notable successes so far. Indeed, this blog has the potential to facilitate important, interesting and thought provoking discussions. Unfortunately, as this thread demonstrates, many a potentially interesting debate is side-tracked by posters unable to sustain a mature and respectful level of debate.

    Might I suggest to the GJEF organisers that a forum for which one has to register in order to post may help improve this. Posters who cannot argue in a mature fashion can have their posting rights removed for a day, or a week, or entirely to facilitate mature debate. This would be reserved for those who make unsubstantiated personal attacks on members of the community or other posters. One problem may be abusive posters signing up under several pseudonyms, but I hope that this suggestion may at least help to improve the blog.

    As I have said on a previous thread: please tackle the ball rather than the man – it will allow for a far higher level of debate and more effective exchange of ideas on the future of the community. These are, after all, the aims of the blog.

  120. A Beitz said

    I’m with you, Elhanan. Agree 100%. If you could only use one pseudonym per email address that might also stop multiple postings or at least mean that people who do it regularly would have to acquire email addresses. Name and email address and password would also help albeit having registered these people could choose one user name.
    This blog can still be a positive force but not people continue to be abusive and personal and post on one topic using several pseudonyms.

  121. Likudnik said

    My good friends David Links and Aron Soudry should be proud to be associated with Likud. This is a badge of honour and a source of pride. Likud will very likely be the next Government of Israel.
    Armchair Analyst is wrong again. Sharon did not retreat in disgrace from Gaza and as you describe it ” a failed colonial adventure “. That is how the Palestinians wanted the world to see it. The reality was somewhat different. He offered the Palestinians an opportunity to be in control in Gaza – an opportunity to do something for themselves, take some control over their own lives. And Armchair you know as well as I do that they squandered it completely. There began a civil war and they murdered their own people.
    And your solution – Give them more territory. That will make Israelis sleep soundly, won’t it.
    Why does it never bother you Armchair
    that there is only one small Israel whilst there are so many Arab states?
    You push for Israeli concessions without understanding the consequences of further withdrawals.
    Incidentally, I don’t need your understanding Beitz. You don’t like occupation – either do I. Stop prevaricating and offer another solution other than Israeli control over the territories. You remind me Beitz of the Israeli Labour Party. You actually agree with what Likud are proposing. You accept our security concerns and understand why we need to have settlements. You just don’t have the balls to stand up for what you believe in and tell it like it is. Instead you want people to understand your concerns and would like Israel to be more lovable. Well hear it now – its a rough, tough world Israel are living in – and Israel needs to stand up for itself. Popularity comes later, if ever.

  122. Observer said

    A Soudry demands an apology because I outed him. David S Links believes I am stupid because I have correctly guessed his political allegiances. Reb Paul Wynn’s amusing contribution has caused us to be subjected to heaps of moralising and lectures on proper blogging behaviour and procedure.
    Anyone who uses the pseudonym
    “A Beitz” has undoubtedly forfeited any rights to be taken seriously. I don’t agree with hardly one word that Likudnik has just posted but there is a serious discussion going on and good debate.

  123. Armchair Analyst said

    I do happen to sort of agree with you Likudnik that a side effect of the retreat from Gaza, a colonial enterprise made even more untenable by the second Intifada for which Sharon was at the very least an agent provocateur and catalyst, was that the Palestinians had the ‘opportunity’ to govern themselves at the local level, while Israel held all the cards with a wraparound military stranglehold controlling the movement in and out of Gaza of all essential goods and services, to be turned on and off at will. They were unable to capitalise on that local government ‘opportunity’ under pressure cooker conditions because Hamas provided essential social services that the PA were unable to implement themselves due to massive corruption.
    I’m not impressed with the Gaza electorate, but as has been pointed out ad nauseum to those of us who don’t live in Israel with regards to the wisdom or lack of it of the Israeli electorate, I don’t live in Gaza.
    I’m not interested Likudnik in the tinpot dictatorships and retarded Islamic theocracies that make up so many of the Arab states, all of whom your ‘one small Israeli state’ can destroy at will. The Arab refugees of Palestine who are not there already are not going there, any more than the Jewish refugees or emigrants from the Arab states are going back there either. We are dealing with the situation that exists, and what to do about it that will improve the quality of life of both peoples in the area. If there was no occupation past and present, there would no doubt be a completely different set of problems to deal with. I happen to believe that the occupation has long become extremely corrosive to the collective Israeli soul.
    While there are no easy answers, I’d prefer to see an end to occupation. Israel holds the high cards, and sees no incentive to make any meaningful moves towards the Palestinians as long as the US administration is not pressuring it to do so and Hamas are in power in Gaza. Why Hamas allows those rockets to fly at Sderot is beyond my comprehension.
    I don’t think there is a clever solution I can offer, Likudnik, and that is just the way Sharon, Likud and indeed most Israeli regimes of the past thirty odd years have planned it.

  124. A Beitz said

    Likudnik and I agree on some things. We don’t like the occupation. We want a thriving Israeli state. We have security concerns.
    After that we diverge. Ocupation is not working, does not work and morally saps. Withdrawal is a must but it has to be negotiated and not unilateral. Had Sharon left Gaza through an agreement rather than unilaterally I firmly believe that woud have reinforced the PA, avoided the impression Israel was running away and the election of Hamas would have been much less likely albeit they and Likud have much in common in that their electorate does not necessarily vote for them based upon their hardline military stance but also due to economic domestic issues.
    Israel should embrace the Arab League plan as a basis for negotiation. If it leads to withdrawal and good faith I firmly believe that the state of war will come to an end. If there is withdrawal and either side breach things I am not convinced if the breaches are on the Palestinian side that Israel will be much worse off. If necessary the fence/wall can be rebuilt but this time on the border. However as was the case for a while after Oslo the attitude on the ground may well mean that even whilst there will be the odd dissident group there will be little support for them.
    Israel also has to keep its side. After Oslo the Labour government continued to build settlements and did nothing to reach a final agreement. Confidence broke down. The fault was on both sides.
    It’s also fair to point out that from a purely pragmatic view the occupation as well as being wrong, engenders huge amounts of hostility and in this day and age rockets and other weapons, remember the Iraqui scuds, can be fired from outwith the Occupied Territories. You can’t occupy most of Asia and Africa. So occupation for security is a fallacy.

  125. Armchair Analyst said

    Beitz, Likudnik says in post #83 ‘I believe that the settlement movement is legitimate’. You say above that both you and Likudnik ‘don’t like the occupation’. So your idea of what is in store for the ‘settlement movement’ may be very different from Likudnik’s. Perhaps you can both elaborate?

    In the rather unlikely event of a ‘peace deal’ looming, perhaps those so far heavily subsidised settlers who wish to remain in a newly formed Palestinian state can do so, and a similar number of Palestinian refugees who wish to return to to what is now Israel can do so with appropriate compensation.

    The Arab League plan does not to the best of my knowledge address the question of compensation for Jews expelled from the Arab States. Comments?

  126. A Beitz said

    As far as the settlers are concerned AA I would go in for compulsory purchase or similar of their homes. Anyone who has not moved by a deadline would lose both the right to compensation and the protection of the Israeli army. The only exception would be if a peace treaty sees some sort of swap with land which is within the green line being transferred to the Palestinians and in return some land on the West Bank going to Israel.
    I don’t see the situation of Jews from Arab lands as being relevant. That does not involve the Palestinians in that they were not responsible for the expulsions. There may be a separate issue as to whether compensation should be paid to them but the responsibility for that does not lie with either party to the Israel/Palestine conflict.

  127. Armchair Analyst said

    I know that the issue of compensation for Jews from the Arab countries is not directly linked Beitz, but in the event of peace talks becoming serious and that compensation for lost Palestinian property will surely be on the agenda, there will correctly be vociferous shouts for linkage, or at least actively dealing separately with it.

  128. Nachman Aaronovitch said

    AA and A Beitz, I find your positions disappointing. You have allowed Likudnik to set the terms of the debate and are now reduced to arguing about minutiae, such as compensation for refugees should their ever be a Peace. There are many obstacles to be overcome on the road to peace, but strangely in this world of credit crunches, finance is not, nor ever has been, one of them.
    Let us examine Likudnik’s (from now on L’s) recent arguments.
    Sharon, he claims, did not retreat in disgrace from Gaza, he says, “instead he (Sharon) offered the Palestinians an opportunity to be in control in Gaza – an opportunity to do something for themselves, take some control over their own lives.”
    This, of course, is absolute nonsense. Sharon retreated from Gaza for cynical reasons. As long as Gaza was occupied, Israel had legal obligations as the occupying power to maintain services and generally be responsible for the welfare of the population. By retreating, he controlled them from the borders and left the population to rot within. Hamas was the creation of Shamir who saw them as a balance to the then influence of the PLO; thanks to Sharon’s myopia they gained political power in Gaza. Remember, this is the same Sharon who also created a political vacuum in Lebanon and hence Hezbellah. Most people remember that it was the Likudnik Sharon who was barred from public office by the Kahane commission (1983). It is arguable that the two main thorns in Israel’s flesh, Hezbellah and Hamas, the two entities that Likud would now save us from are both creations of Likud. Just as an aside, it was also the hero, Sharon, that against orders (Oct 1956) attacked the Egyptians at the Mitla pass and lost 43 dead and 120 wounded. Given that Israeli lives are cheap in Sharon’s book and he was not cashiered for his military crime, it is no surprise that by Lebanon he was even more adventurous and as has recently be noted, the casualties were eventually horrendous.

    When it comes to the question of land for peace, L responds with “Give them more territory. That will make Israelis sleep soundly, won’t it.”
    This is soapbox rhetoric and AA and AB allow L to escape unscathed with an argument fit only for Gorgeous George. It was the Likudnik, Begin, who negotiated the return of Israel’s largest buffer, Sinai, to the most dangerous enemy, Egypt. In the almost twenty years since, not a single Israeli soldier has been lost on the Southern border and for better or worse, it is still a venue for Israeli holidaymakers. On the other hand, the Shtochim or Judea and Samaria or whatever you would label those territories have, over many years, been stuffed with settlers. Therefore, there is no buffer; the population have been systematically transferred nearer to the enemy and in time of war, precious manpower must to be expended protecting them from a majority antagonistic population. On the surface, it seems strange that Likud would cede Sinai yet retain the Shtochim. The answer is simple. It has little or nothing to do with security; it has to do with fundamentalism. Sinai was never part of biblical Israel and was therefore expendable. In their book, it is ‘land before people’.

    Finally L says “its a rough, tough world Israel are living in – and Israel needs to stand up for itself. Popularity comes later”
    Absolutely, so lets start looking after Israel’s interests rather than those of a band of fundamentalist maniacs along with their fellow travellers, the carpetbaggers who see the territories as an opportunity for cheap housing and luxury beyond their means elsewhere.

  129. Armchair Analyst said

    Nachman, L has never once to my knowledge brought up the issue of compensation for refugees, I just did that all on my ownsome. It’s a side issue as you say, but my little soapbox.

    Following on to the matter being discussed though, I agree with everything you say in post #128. L has not responded so far to my request earlier today that he elaborate on what he thinks should become of the settlers (and their carpetbagger hangers-on) if a peace deal looms.

  130. A Beitz said

    Nachman, I agree with all you say other my being reduced to minutiae. AA raised the question of Jews from Arab lands which I indicated was irrelevant. Hardly arguing about it. I’ve indicated a broad basis for a peace treaty. Is ther anything you disagree with in #124. I don’t see my view which relates to the broad resolution of matters and yours which deals mainly with historic specifics as being incompatible.
    I understand security worries but don’t agree in any way with L’s solution which in my opinion simply excacerbates the current problems and with it makes things less secure.
    Put it this way if the Palestinians are free and economically prosperous then there will be a real chance of peace working. Keeping them besieged, oppressed and in some cases without the basics for day to day living simply leads to hatred and hopelessness and in turn war.

  131. Loud & Proud said

    I wonder if there is a blogsite In Israel where the members of each political party are blogging about the merits of the Glasgow Rep Council & Scojec and whether the GJEF lot are worth a tuppence!

    After all they have as much right to do that as Armchair Analyst, Likudnik, A Beitz, Nachman, Observer and all the others who are debating what Israel should or should not do from the comfort of their homes outside of Israel.

    Having said that I have enjoyed the charge and counter charge over the past week or so just don’t expect Israeli society to take much notice of your thoughts.

  132. A Beitz said

    Comfort of their homes outside Israel? You obviously haven’t been in my house.

  133. Loud & Proud said

    How do you know Mr Beitz I haven’t been in your house?

  134. Armchair Analyst said

    It doesn’t matter a tuppenny stamp to me L&P that somewhat fewer than 27,473 people in Israeli society are taking much notice of my thoughts.

    I don’t remember any other mostly sensible ongoing and inclusive dialogues about this subject taking place in Glasgow before the GJEF blog came along. The days of being a supplicant spectator at an annual Rep. Council meeting open to the public being given two minutes of the Council’s valuable time to make a comment on the subject of Israel before being silenced by some arrogant insider instructing Mr. Chairman ‘to move right on to the next matter’ are long gone!

  135. Observer said

    A personal apology to David S Links:

    I posted on 27th November – post no 81 – that Mr David S Links was a supporter of right wing parties in Israel. I thought that perhaps Mr Links was a supporter of Likud. I should have known better.

    On 1st December Mr Links responded – post 115 – declaring that he ” saw little benefit from being involved in Israeli politics.” He also accused me of being “stupid enough to try and guess his political allegiances. ”

    He was right. I got him wrong and I should have known better.

    In the last 48 hours I have been passed two emails which have been circulated by David Links around this community. They are inflammatory and disgraceful and no sincere or true friend of Israel would pass around such rubbish.

    Mr Links tried to give the impression in his post that he was above the political debate surrounding Israel. There are only two possible explanations that I can come up with. Either he doesn’t properly understand what he is doing when he sends emails of this sort within this community or his political allegiances are far more right wing than I could have even imagined.

    Which is it Mr Links?

    I would add that I know people in Israel that I would consider to be good and very loyal friends and who I consider as family. They are staunch supporters of Likud and have been for many years. I disagree with their politics and they disagree with mine. I know they would never in a million years either send out or identify with such poison.

    So Mr Links, what are you up to?

  136. emet said

    Observer what on earth are you on about ?
    Can you print the text of the emails so we know what you refer to ?
    Otherwise it smacks of a petty , personal attack which is not what we really want on theis blog . On the other hand if what you refer to is so earth shattering that we deserve to know then share it with us ?

  137. Observer said

    No. I won’t print the text of these emails sent by David Links because I think to do so would be wrong. The material is inflammatory and disgraceful.
    Emet, I assure you that my post is not petty and it is not personal. As I said previously Mr Links either doesn’t understand what he is doing or his political allegiances are far more right wing than I could have imagined.
    Whichever one it is – and I asked Mr Links to tell us – it is completely unacceptable.

  138. Armchair Analyst said

    Well, Sunday has passed and David Links has chosen not to respond to you Observer, as is his right.

    I for one have no idea what you are talking about. You claim to have two emails originating from Mr. Links that, I think I’m correct in saying, you describe as being too far to the extreme right for your various Likudnik friends in Israel. ‘I know they would never in a million years either send out or identify with such poison’. Frankly, we the general readership have no way of judging your objectivity in evaluating to these two emails, rendering your posting #137 full of innuendo and rather ridiculous.

    I suggest that you publish the unexpurgated text in order that we can form our own conclusions. Alternatively, will you allow those of us who are interested, and I for one am very interested, to individually post our real name and email address on the forum so that we may each individually receive a copy?

  139. Observer said

    Armchair Analyst – this is no innuendo,
    I wouldn’t dream of posting these articles from David Links on this or any other blog. Then I would be as gulity as he is.
    I have given Mr Links the opportunity to respond and as you state he has the
    right to not respond.
    But, he knows that if he passes round this kind of material his name will come up in discussion on this blog again. So hopefully by raising the subject he will have got the message and will think more carefully before he does it again.
    I’m content to leave it at that for now.

  140. Armchair Analyst said

    Observer, you allege that Mr. Links, posing as a ‘Supporter of Israel’ who makes his own statement here ‘I also refrain from knocking Israel in public and see little benefit from being involved in Iraeli politics’, is actually disseminating his own racist? bigoted? inciteful? poisonous? material over the Internet.

    How then can you the whistleblower be ‘as guilty as he is’ if you expose this? Are not whistleblowers surely a benefit to a healthy society where inciteful racist activity is going on unhindered?

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