There was a time when Zionists claimed that theirs was a socialist movement and that the kibbutzim were examples of socialism in action. Today very few people believe these fairy tales. After all, no socialist institution bars the indigenous people from membership. Today Zionism is of an overwhelmingly and overtly reactionary nature.
There is however one way that you can tell that Zionists, whatever colour they come in – Green, Red, Black or Blue – are cut from the same cloth. With unerring consistency they all sing from the same songsheet. All of them, without exception, cling to the fading libel that anti-Zionism = anti-semitism. And if this is true of the ‘socialist’ Zionists of Poale Zion and Mapam, then it is equally true of the Zionist infiltrators in the Green Party, led by a Goldsmith academic, one Dr Mira Vogel.
Not that Mira is a particularly great academic. She boasts of having a Postgraduate Certificate in Learning and Teaching from Queen Mary College, University of London and a doctorate in 'Web-based health promotion for people with high blood pressure from City University, London.' The high-blood pressure bit I can understand, since her blog is quite likely to make even the calmest person go mad, but the rest seems gobbledydook.
Now I know that the involvement of private industry and moguls seeking a quick profit in the running of education has become all the rage among neo-liberals but I didn’t realise the dumbing down had gone so far. After all I have a PGCE but wouldn’t think to boast of it! And as for a doctorate in web based health promotion, well we may as well have a doctorate in the art of tying back your hair! Come to think of it we probably do! However enough about Dr Vogel’s academic pretensions. Clearly her doctorate is worth about as much as the Reverend Ian Paisley’s certificate from the US’s Bob Jones University.
What is getting Vogel and her fellow green imperialists worked up is the fact that I was invited as a speaker to their fringe meeting at the GP Conference two years ago by Green Left.
So troubled are they that they decide to put up a post that is half fiction and half madness (quite which half Mira belongs to I shall leave readers to decide). Mira complains that I ‘authoritatively reference’ my blog ‘to tell us that all orthodox rabbis are the same, and that we should listen to him because he considers himself a gold plated anti-racist.’
You can already tell by the sneering reference to ‘gold-plated’ anti-racists what the agenda is. Now I know of no one, not least myself who has been described as ‘gold-plated’. But what is equally clear is that Mira’s Green Engage cannot be described as anti-racist of any kind, be it gold-plated or copper bottomed. What is a fact that opposition to the rise of fascist groups in Britain has been the work of the Left not the Right nor Engage, still less the rest of the Zionist movement.
That is why it is not Mira Vogel who is the regular recipient of fascist death threats or targetted on neo-Nazi websites by Redwatch by anti-racists and anti-fascists, but people like myself.
So of course it is a lie, albeit one among many, to say that I ‘urge support for the EDL’. It is hardly likely that I would urge support for those who support Zionism on the one hand and who send death threats to me on the other! And of course it is absurd to say that I urge people ‘to vote yes to cooperating with the EDL’ as she and the increasingly idiotic Bob from Bromley of all places state.
What of course happened was that the Jewish Chronicle ran one of its pathetic polls, asking “Should a rabbi associate with the EDL?” And, albeit with a sense of mischieviousness, I urged a 'yes vote'.
It is of course a topical question. We have had all manner of Zionists, led by our good friend and co-Chairman of the Zionist Federation, Jonathan Hoffman, demonstrate alongside the EDL every 2 weeks. Both oppose the Boycott of Israel and the picket of Israel’s Ahava shop in Covent Garden. But then Mira Vogel and her Green Engage also oppose the Boycott. I don’t know whether Mira also graces Ahava with her academic pretensions but certainly her friends do.
We have even had Ruth Smeed, a spokesperson for the Board of Deputies of British Jews, a wholly Zionist outfit these days, explaining how ‘The BNP website is now one of the most Zionist on the web - it goes further than any of the mainstream parties in its support of Israel.’
In view of the closer and more overtly closer relations between the far-Right in Britain (and of course Europe) I naturally suggested that one obvious answer to the question of whether rabbis should associate with fascists is ‘yes’. And why not.
Now the question didn’t differentiate between Orthodox and Reform/Liberal/Progressive rabbis. It is true that politically there is a difference and that the latter are in general less bigotted than the former, even though they have along the way made enormous concessions to Zionism. Reform Judaism, the Judaism of the Jewish bourgeoisie, was resolutely anti-Zionist until the middle of the last century, because they had fought hard for Jewish Emancipation and Zionist claims that all Jews belong to the same nation/race echoed the themes of those who fought to deny Jews the vote.
I was of course referring to the bastion of racism, the justifiers of Jewish Nazism, the upholders of Jewish biological racism – the Rabbis of Orthodox Judaism today (with the exception of Neturei Karta, the tiny anti-Zionist Hasidic sect). I have never heard any genuinely anti-racist sentiments from this section of the Jewish population. This is the most overtly Zionist section of the Jewish community. They are to a man, because all of them are men, Zionists.
Their counterparts in Israel contain some of the most virulently racist ideologues alive. Not once have British Orthodox Rabbis distanced themselves from their Israeli counterparts, certainly not under the lacklustre present Chief Rabbi Jonathan Sacks. On the contrary many belong to sects associated with the most racist sections of Israel's orthodox community such as the National Union, Shas and Lubavitch.
We have the author of the King’s Torah, one Rabbi Yitzhak Shapira, being feted and treated as a martyr to free speech, because he was briefly arrested in Israel (not administratively detained indefinitely like Palestinians would be) for arguing that non-Jewish civilians ought to be butchered in cold blood. Shapira explained, Thomas Paine-like, that:
‘There is justification for killing babies if it is clear that they will grow up to harm us, and in such a situation they may be harmed deliberately, and not only during combat with adults.”According to our wise sage
‘“Non-Jews are “uncompassionate by nature” and should be killed in order to “curb their evil inclinations.” “If we kill a gentile who has has violated one of the seven commandments… there is nothing wrong with the murder,”And when his supporters, Rabbi Dov Lior of Kiryat Arba, a fervent believer that Jewish blood is more precious than non-Jewish blood, and Yaacov Yosef, son of former Chief Rabbi Ovadia Yosef, another noted racist, were summoned for interrogation by the Israeli police, they simply turned down the invitation!
As former MK Yossi Sarid commented in astonishment: ‘Something like this has never happened before, even though it seems as if everything possible has already happened - two rabbis being summoned to a police investigation, and announcing that they will not go. Even settlers are kind enough to turn up.’ Just imagine if Palestinians or Israeli Arabs were to refuse to turn up to an interrogation, were the Police kind enough to summon them rather than raid their house in the early morning, what the reaction would be.
Nor are these fringe rabbis or lunatic messianics. As former Sephardic Chief Rabbi of Israel, Mordechai Elihayu ruled: ‘It is forbidden to sell apartments in the land of Israel to gentiles, not a single apartment may be sold.’ [Ha’aretz, 17.1.86.]
Or take this example of rabbinical pearls of wisdom, also from an ex-Chief Rabbi (this time of Western Australia), one Rabbi Shalom Coleman who ‘blasted non-Jews, lesbians and homosexuals in his sermon.’ The venerable rabbi explained that ‘The goyim [non-Jews – TG] have no ethics, no morals, Jews have to show tolerance because goyim don’t’ before moving on to Jews who ‘marry-out’ i.e. marry for love rather than race. They were simply ‘the lowest of the low’.
But unlike sophists like Mira Vogel and her fellow ‘Green’ Zionists, who defend these people, the Jewish Congregation of Childwall, which I used to attend and which was Liverpool’s major synagogue 30 years ago, walked out! [Jewish Telegraph, Liverpool Edition, 1 August 2003]
So when I recommended voting yes, it wasn’t because I wanted anyone to support the EDL but because I support political honesty. I prefer racists who declare themselves as such to those who pretend that they are not racist. It makes sense that those who advocate the racist and murderous views cited above should associate with fellow racists. Why ever not?
And so taken in are some of Mira's fools that one of the posters to her blog, one Fr. Edwards (!) seriously asks ‘Do Greenstein and Fink realise who the EDL are cozying up to?’ Err no Father, do tell! Of course the obvious answer was: ‘Yes I certainly do. It happens every other Saturday when the Zionist Federation counter-demonstrators outside Ahava who support the selling of stolen produce from the West bank stand alongside the EDL!’
Mira, like many a pretentious semi-academic, complains that ‘Tony Greenstein authoritatively references his own blog to tell us that all orthodox rabbis are the same’. I’m not sure which is her major complaint but yes I source my own blog as a shorthand. But everything on my blog is sourced to reputable sources, often Zionist sources, such as the Israeli newspaper Ha'aretz or Yediot Aharanot.
As for all orthodox rabbis being the same, well I guess I’m in a position to know whether this is true. Being a son of one I can say authoritatively that I never heard any of them freely making any anti-racist comments and I was in a better position to know than Ms Vogel, since many of them visited and stayed with us.
It is not a mistake or accident that Mira Vogel and her fellow infiltrators pretend that I have every urged anyone to co-operate with the EDL. Having helped organise the recent demonstration against the English Nationalist Alliance in Brighton, I would hope that no one supported them. And I would hope that no one became a racist. But in a western capitalist society, whose wealth depends on imperialist and colonial relations with the third world, I am aware that this is but an aspiration.
Both the EDL and Vogel’s Green Zionists share the same perspective of the world and that is why we see these continuous get togethers between the Zionists and the EDL on demonstrations. Not once has Vogel and compatriots sought to criticise or distance themselves from Jonathan Hoffman and his merry band of Zionist and EDL demonstrators. We see it outside Ahava today and we saw it last June when both the Zionist Federation and the EDL demonstrated together in support of the murders on the Mavi Marmara of the Gaza Freedom Flotilla.
So a quick question to our ‘Green’ Zionists. Do they support the barbaric siege of Gaza, which ex-President Jimmy Carter has forthrightly condemned or do they support the murdering commandos of the Israeli navy? Or they still chasing any manifestation of support for the Palestinians inside the Green Party (i.e. anti-Zionism)?