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Sunday, March 11, 2012

JFJFP and the Failure of Hasbara

The local mayor visited our synagogue for a civic service. It was a measure of the mutual respect enjoyed by the political administration and the Jewish community that this event took place. But it appears that we were at best misled and at worst, conned by the mayor.

Returning from my synagogue the following week I was interested to see an exhibition / series of stalls near to the local mall.  There were stalls by Fair Trade, the Conservative party and a number of youth organisations. And then I heard an announcement for Palestine. Their stall was occupied by ‘jfjfp’ an organisation that purports to be a group of concerned people of Jewish religious faith supporting ‘justice for the Palestinians’. I found the presence of this organisation at a locally funded public event at best disingenuous. I felt it represented an act of deliberate racist incitement by our mayor.

I wrote to the Local Government Minister to enquire of the legality of this abuse of taxpayer’s funds and the Mayors’ representation at an event that was clearly socially divisive and politically biased.

Reading jfjfp’s manifesto leaflet I could argue that jfjfp are intellectually dishonest and religiously reprehensible for some of the key points they make even when they preface their propaganda by three words at the beginning, “we believe that”. This does not however excuse the involvement of my local council or its mayor in its participation in this event alongside of jfjfp. I asked the mayor whether he had invited someone from ‘the other side’ to provide balance to jfjfp. He refused to answer, even when I repeated the question.

In May 1948, Jerusalem, both east and west, had enjoyed a Jewish majority since approximately 1828; that is, for 120 years prior to Israel’s War of Independence.  A British funded, British armed and British officered military force captured the Old City of Jerusalem and the remainder of Eastern Jerusalem.  It proceeded, one must assume with British Foreign Office agreement, to ethnically cleanse the city of its Jewish residents and then to obliterate any physical evidence of a Jewish presence within the areas controlled by the Arab Legion.  This followed on from a massacre some two weeks earlier, just outside of Jerusalem, at Kfar Etzion on May 13, 1948 again, by British funded forces.  Over 100 Palestinian Jews and a Palestinian Muslim family living in peace and co-existence amongst their Palestinian Jewish brothers and sisters were murdered by a unit of the British officered Arab League.

In the case of a massacre carried out by British forces Britain suffered only momentary diplomatic embarrassment but it was also a message of what Britain was offering its Arab friends in support against Jewish self-determination. Britain was in fact, one of only two nations at the UNO that recognised Jordan’s subsequent expropriation (annexation) of the captured lands.

Until Arab defeat in the 1967 Six Day War, Arab archaeological and cultural vandalism continued without interference; the excision of any evidence of a Jewish presence in the Old City and East Jerusalem was ignored by the UN, by the clergy here in Britain and of course by our cultural and political elite here in the United Kingdom of England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. All this was in open contempt of Article VIII of the 1949 Armistice Agreement which demanded Israeli Jewish access to the Western Wall).

It was only after 1967 when Israel recaptured and began to restore the Jewish presence in the area that that silence miraculously evaporated.

I have been a supporter of Palestinian rights since before the practical Palestinian renunciation of the three no’s of Khartoum (no peace with Israel, no negotiations with Israel and no recognition of Israel).  Self determination and independence for all communities including Coptic Christians, Kurds and many other fragmented and persecuted minorities present within the Arab world will never be achieved by either blaming it all on the Jews or the Zionists; or by stating that Israel is to blame for the violence and corruption, the greed and the hatred of the Arab world. Nor will peace be achieved when organisations such as jfjfp declare that Israel is responsible for the “corruption of Judaism’s humanitarian values” (as one of the jfjfp leaflets given out by the mayors apparent proxies declared).

To be brutally frank, I do not blame the Christian world for the wars in which countries that proclaim their Christianity, participated over the last 120 years, nor do I blame Christianity for some 250 million violent deaths during that period of history. Nor do I blame Islam for this. But if I defer to jfjfp philosophy I should. The Muslim world, with its racist missionary goals and its exposition (by its extremists) of ethnic cleansing and genocide could as easily be assigned the blame for all the suffering that believers of the Islam faith have caused during this same 120 year period of time.  I do not blame the extreme left or Islamists for the violence that is too often perpetrated against people like me with whom, they disagree. Similarly, it would be breathtakingly offensive of anyone to state that Britain is globally responsible for the corruption of humanitarian values because of people with views such as those mentioned in this paragraph.

But an organisation that states publically its opposition to any nation based on religion is not only offensive, it is also racist. And I would be happy to argue the polemics of this definition if my local council or any other group would like to be involved in this dispute.

That I find jfjfp to be offensive and intellectually superficial in its arguments does not preclude its presence in my area, it does however when its presence is formally officiated at by the local mayor, who was identified as such and wearing his chains of office.

The mayor has committed an unforgivable abuse of his position as representative of all of our citizens and tax payers, not just its political and religious racists to which the mayor’s office has clearly given its support.

Please therefore investigate both the circumstances of jfjfp’s presence in my area under the auspices of the local mayor and any possible abuse by the mayor’s office.

Please also inform me whether any other ethnic or religious groups have been offered the same access provided to jfjfp and if not, why not?

As a final point of order, in 2011 on the 10th anniversary of the Islamic attack on 911 that resulted in some 3,000 innocent human beings being murdered, all of our local council’s political parties were represented in a celebration that took place on that same day. The date was in no way a coincidence.  The inauguration of an enormous mosque in the centre of town opposite City Hall was a huge police operation as the area became a virtual police state in order to ensure the day went without incident. Uniformed and plain clothes police were at every entrance into town and their visual presence throughout the city was not meant to reassure anyone who lived here.  The anticipated right wing protest did not occur as anyone looking remotely ‘suspicious’ was denied entry to the town! The only thugs that made their presence felt were the trouble makers bussed in from outside London some of whom were allegedly seen to have concealed nail studded weapons in their mosque clothing.  Fortunately this potentially lethal show of triumphalism came to nothing. Nevertheless it is morally wrong that our counsellors turned a blind eye. The police also saw and did nothing to intervene.

When the state by its inaction encourages a violent demonstration of identification we may justify it by labelling our supposed protectors as cowards, but when cowardice has become public policy then governance, even when it is local governance, becomes state sanctioned prejudice.

The question must therefore be asked, has prejudice here become public policy?

3 comments:

  1. How many of these anti-Zionist Jews were there? Did you confront them about their policies?

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  2. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  3. There was one woman. I did confront her and all she could say was "read the leaflets". They claim to be all kinds (religious, secular and Zionist) but in most cases they have a sufficiently defective understanding. That is why they blame Israel for "Judaism's failure of humanity" - this is their excuse. It provides the reason to opt out of Judaism while it bestows on them the right to and the stick with which they can demonstrably identify with anti-Semites. They can put their hand on their heart and proclaim their Britishness by reference to their attachment to an identifiably internationalist anti-Jewish cause. Marx and this woman follow a time honoured route.

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