We don’t just report off-beat news, breaking news and digest the best and worst of the news media analysis and commentary. We give an original take on what happened and why. We add lols, satire, news photos and original content.
Rod Liddle looks at The Sun’s Page 3, and the prigs who want it banned.
To my mind, Page 3 is is bit naff, a throw back to the say when old the tall and athletic could reach the newsagent’s porn shelf, ‘Continental’ was a euphemism for hardcore and not better coffee and Denmark was the place of adolescents’ sticky dreams.
The Sun could just as easily put one of these Bamforth postcards on Page 3.
Je Suis Grub Street: Salman Rushie and the But Brigade love Charlie Hebdo but hate the British Tabloids
Salman Rushdie has been taking on the ‘but Brigade’, whose newfound committment to free speech after the Charlie Hebdo massacre has been steadily vanishing, who see moral equivalence and relativism in the murders:
“The French satirical tradition has always been very pointed and very harsh, and still is, you know. The thing that I really resent is the way in which these, our dead comrades … who died using the same implement that I use, which is a pen or pencil, have been almost immediately vilified and called racists and I don’t know what else… Both John F Kennedy and Nelson Mandela use the same three-word phrase which in my mind says it all, which is, ‘Freedom is Indivisible’. You can’t slice it up, otherwise it ceases to be freedom. You can dislike Charlie Hedbo. But the fact that you dislike them has nothing to do with their right to speak.”
Morgan Freeman nails Black History Month and ends racism, just like Rosa Parks and her fried chicken did
Morgan Freedman nails Black History M0nth and the obsession with division:
The Republican National Committee has congratulated civil rights hero Rosa Parks for her role in ending racism”.
Meanwhile…over at NBC it’s fried chicken fot all the folks (via):
Such are the facts…
News in the Daily Mail is that a “Muslim gang” has been “barred from gathering in large groups and burning flags after violent outbursts at rallies led by hate preacher Anjem Choudary”.
Choudary is a showy irritant, the familiar face of British Islamism on the telly because gurning loons Omar Barki – the ‘Tottenham Taliban’ – and Abu Hamza – the one-eyed, no-handed purple people eater – have left the country. The British media interviewed all the men who shout at pigeons in the precinct to be the face of Islamism UK and came up with nothing very frightening. So. Image-conscious Choudary stepped forward, a man who ticks boxes to be a radical Islamist but fails to be the full tonto.
Back to the Mail’s news that 12 men have received Asbos.
The great and good are meeting in Davos. It’s the World Economic Forum, dummy, the rich and powerful’s AGM. It’s here they elect what free gifts banks can give customers, who Prince Andrew shags and if attacking Mars is worth it.
We’ve had look at some of the tweets and news emerging from on high.
Grab a bucket. It’s a puke-arama!
The Sun follows it’s return to Page 3 with Nicole from Bournemouth with a Page 3 double spread.
The Daily Mirror is now the same as the Sun for it too has Miranda Kerr on Page 3:
But over in the Daily Star, Sophie (“she loves rowing” – phwoar!!) from Staffs is topless:
Will the Sun now go with or without a topless stunna tomorrow? Will Richard Desmond’s Star be the only place to reach for topless babes on the newsagent’s bottom shelf?
Will readers wonder where-oh-wher they can see photos of naked women if not in the Sun and the Star? And will you all be in tonight to watch Richard Desmond’s hardcore porn shows through Rupert Mudroch’s Sky boxes?
Christina Annesley died on holiday. The young British woman was travelling when she died on the Thai island of Koh Tao. Terrible news. But can the news of a woman’s death from natural caues be spun and sensationalised? Yep:
The Daily Mail reports – and this is the URL of the scoop:
The story runs:
Christina Annesley, 23, from Orpington in south London, was part-way through a four-month trip across south-east Asia when she died on Wednesday.
She was found dead on the island of Koh Tao- the same location where British backpackers David Miller and Hannah Witheridge were found murdered last September.
But Christina Annesley’s death has nothing to do with those murders.
This might be the greatest reason to support global warming:
News on Madeleine McCann, the innocent missing child, has been thin on the ground. But today the Sun has some news:
Find Maddie fund dries up as donations shrink
Donations to the fund have dropped. Well, the Metropolitan Police’s Operation Grange is on the case. So. Why donate to private detectives who have in years of looking and earning come up with zilch? And The Met is having some success, as the Indy reports:
Operation Grange, which is believed to have cost in the region of £7.3 million, has uncovered a number of significant leads.
The Sun adds:
PUBLIC donations to a fund set up to find missing Madeleine McCann dwindled to just £21,000 in the last financial year, latest accounts reveal.
That sounds pretty generous.
The Find Madeleine campaign made £21,264 from fundraising in the 12 months to March 31, 2014. That figure compares to £70,250 the previous year and £306,393 the year before that.
It raked in £1.8million at its height shortly after Madeleine, three, vanished from a holiday home in Praia da Luz, Portugal, in 2007.
The £21,264 of donations last year were made up of £2,744 in wrist band and T-shirt sales, with the rest collected.
Money for Maddie used to be big. Remember the News of the World’s huge reward? Hey, remember the News of the World?
The Sun goes on:
But administration costs such as accountancy fees and an audit swallowed up £21,005 of that cash.
So much for charity. No-one has to work for free.
But papers filed with Companies House in London last week show the charity’s account still currently has a healthy total balance of £753,056.
That’s a lot of money. If that’s just sitting there, why give more?
That is through unspent money brought forward from previous years and around £1million from mum Kate McCann’s 384-page best-seller Madeleine: Our Daughter’s Disappearance and the Continuing Search for Her.
Madeleine disappeared from her bed in the family’s apartment on May 3, 2007, while Kate and dad Gerry were eating at a nearby tapas restaurant.
A spokesman for the McCanns, who are from Rothley in Leicestershire, said: “Kate and Gerry and the board of directors remain extremely grateful to everybody who has helped in the search for Madeleine by donating to the fund.”
Just last month Kate and Gerry, both 46, said they had been “amazed” by the support they have received.
The organisation, which has six directors including Kate and Gerry, pays for a 24/7 helpline for tipsters to call.
Or you could just call the police…
ON the border between Tijuana and the USA, a drone helicopter carrying six pounds (2.72kg) of crystal meth has crashed. Well, if you’re flying that wasted accidents can happen. Just look at the state of that drugs bot.
Yes, there’s a lot of soap, showbiz and sex – plus, of course, those women in varying states of undress. But this is a paper with an extremely high story count – and many of its stories are important. Some of them even relate to foreign affairs.
Page 3 Stunnas, The Suffragette, Fascist Mary Richardson and the Rokeby Venus at the National Gallery
As Brendan O’Neill writes of the shrill campaing to ban the Sun’s naff Page 3:
All this talk of ridding Britain of the scourge of Page 3 brings to mind the Suffragette Mary Richardson, who in 1914 took a knife into the National Gallery and slashed Velazquez’s ‘Rokeby Venus’. “I didn’t like the way men visitors gaped at it all day long.” Richardson later became the head of the women’s section of the British Union of Fascists.
That story is well told on Flashbak: The Suffragette and Fascist Mary Richardson and the Rokeby Venus at the National Gallery
Prince Andrew and Virgina Roberts share the Sun’s front page. It’s the story of sex and slavery.
It’s the story of “MY SEX WITH ANDY AND 8 GIRLS.” Wow! Prince Andrew had sex with “girls”! Eight of them!
The story begins:
THE “slave” who claims she was forced to sleep with Prince Andrew said he once had sex with her and eight girls.
Robert is the self-confessed ‘slave’ who fled her paedophile captor whilst on a massage learning course in Thailand.
Virginia Roberts, 31, said the orgy took place on his paedo pal Jeffrey Epstein’s private island.
After a very brief hiatus. the Sun has restored topless stunnas to its page 3.
Bring it on Nicole Neal from Bournemouth:
In “SUN GIRL’S DAY FROM HELL”, Amy Jones (size 8) pulls on a fat suit and heads off to: the gym (“A child points and laughs”); the bus stop (“A gaggle of kids point and giggle”); lunch (“customers stare as I order the Steakhouse Meal”); the pub (“no one rushes to serve me”); a saucy lingerie shop (the cut-away playsuit is not in her size); and the Tube (I’m me with accusatory stares”).
Good job fat tourist Amy can pull off her ridiculous rubbery get-up (Why do they stare? Why?) and put an end to the “abuse”. At her Sun desk, Amy says “40 percent of Brits are the target to personal insults at least once a week”. She learns that “criticism is unhelpful when it comes to losing weight”.
Amy Jones may care to flick through back copies of the Sun and learn that a fat suit is one thing but get fat and – look out! – her collegues will be on her:
There is Fat Wayne Rooney, who is mocked-up and mocked by the Sun:
And a few more examples of “nightmare abuse”:
The NUJ’s general secretay Michelle Stanistreet was on the ‘Je Suis Charlie’ march following the murders of Chartlie Hebdo staff. The NUJ made this announcement:
“This is not the first time that enemies of press freedom have attempted to muzzle journalists who use their pens to ridicule all purveyors of hatred. Beyond the massacre committed at Charlie Hebdo, the principles of liberty of expression are at stake: freedom to criticize, the caricature and to denounce. It is appropriate to quote Albert Londres: ‘Our job is neither to please people or to do them wrong, it is to use our pens to go to the heart of things even if it hurts.’…
“The extraordinary upsurge of solidarity in France and in many other European countries is a wonderful boost for defenders of these treasures liberties – above all the freedom of expression.”
The Daily Express has news: “80% want to quit the EU.”
On December 10, the Express brought news:
Some 46.6 per cent would vote “out” while just 34.3 per cent would vote “in”, with 19.1 per cent undecided.
In December 2014, the Express has other news.
46.6% became 51% is now 80%. Things move fast in Eu poll-ville.
The Express is getting mroe and more in-tune with its readers.
The Express and UKIP are in chorus:
Nigel Farage sees the 80% and tweets:
But what about that 80%? Martyn Brown notes:
BRITAIN is marching towards the EU exit door today after eight out of 10 people voted to leave in a historic poll.
That eight in ten:
Some 14,581 people voted – 11,706 of them want the UK to quit compared with 2,725 who want to remain part of the EU. The mini-referendum – the first on the issue since 1975 – was organised by two senior Tory backbenchers and a prospective Tory MP.
Three Tories conducted a poll. Who was polled?
The Tory poll was organised across three neighbouring parliamentary constituencies by Peter Bone, MP for Wellingborough, Philip Hollobone, MP for Kettering, and Tom Pursglove, who is standing as Tory candidate for Corby and East Northamptonshire at this year’s general election.
So. A poll of three constituencies speaks for the entire UK?
Following the count, carried out in the London offices of the Daily Express yesterday, Mr Bone said: “Eight out of 10 people who took part want to come out of Europe – that is extraordinary.
“It is very, very, very clear they want to come out.”
So. Of the people who actually replied to the poll, 780% want out. How many did not respond to the poll?
The voting exercise was the biggest poll on the issue since the national referendum in June 1975.
Ballot papers were delivered to 100,000 households in the three constituencies between May and the end of last year.
There were a total of 150 spoiled papers.
11,706 people of 100,000 in Northamptonshire wants to leave the EU. That’s 11.7%.
PS: The Express previously reported: “Ballot papers will be delivered to 150,000 households in the three constituencies after the polls close for the European Parliament elections on May 22.”
The Chilcot Report has been mired by delay. The feel is that we are witnessing a cover-up. But do we need an inquiry to tell us that invading Iraq was wrong and based on iffy evidence? Do we need an inquiry to tell us that Tony Blair was just the head of a group who, allegedly, cooked-up reasons for what had been decided?
We know the WMDs did not exist.
We know the ‘dodgy dossier’ was cribbed from the internet. Google ‘WMD’ and present it as fact.
What are we looking for? Do we just want Blair and George Bush’s heads, to bury them and the past with it?
We should asks: why did Tony Blair and New Labour lead Britain to war in Iraq?
Well, when the question of invading Iraq was put to the elected represensatives of this country on 18 March 2003, 412 British MPs voted in favour of military intervention and only 149 voted against. Jack Straw, then the foreign secretary, says “intelligence and facts were being fixed around the policy.”
We went to war becsause we wanted it. Why? Well, I’d suggest mixture of pride, greed, desperations and a policy to unite the country and for Labour to look ‘good’ and ‘ethical’.
This website says www.arrestblair.org. But why only him? Are you anti-Blair or anti-democratic?
Westminster paedophiles: PIE, Grafton Close dies and ‘allegations of unnatural sexual proclivities’ on file
Westmisnter paedophiles: a look at the story of child abuse in VIP circles in the 1970s and 1980s.
Tom Parmenter tells Sky News viwers:
A secret Government file has been unearthed that documents “unnatural” sexual behaviour taking place when the Westminster paedophile scandal was at its height. It has been kept under lock and key for 35 years on grounds of national security – but will now be released to the child abuse inquiry established by the Government.
Aren’t those claims of a Westmisnter paedophile scandal? And isn’t the Westmisnter peedophile scandal at its height now?
Security and intelligence expert Dr Chris Murphy stumbled across it last November while searching documents at the National Archives in Kew. He was immediately alerted by the title: “PREM19/588 – SECURITY. Allegations against former public [word missing] of unnatural sexual proclivities; security aspects 1980 Oct 27 – 1981 Mar 20.”
Dr Murphy, a Lecturer in Intelligence Studies at Salford, says:
“I was looking through the ‘PREM’ Prime Minister file series for the 1980s. I think I did a double-take and then started wondering what the potential implications of the title, which is a little vague, could be.”
Do we know? We can guess:
It is highly likely then-Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher saw the documents, and was briefed on the security implications, but the identities of those within them remain secret.
Facts are pretty thin:
Dr Murphy added: “The fact that this file is concerning the Prime Minister and these allegations are being taken to the Prime Minister I think would strike anybody of being potentially of some interest.”
Yes. That much is true.
A Cabinet Office spokesperson says:
“In this case, the file was kept closed and retained as it contained information from the security services and advice from the Law Officers. These classifications are reviewed periodically. We are clear that any files that are pertinent to the historical child sex abuse inquiry will be made available to the panel.”
Mrs Thatcher’s former press secretary, Sir Bernard Ingham, responds:
“I asked him [a Government minster] about it [allegation of depravity] and he denied it, so no, I didn’t do anything else. What was the alternative?”
If it was illegal, we’d answer: go to the police.
Simon Danczuk MP, without whom no story of Westminster paedos is complete, adds:
“I think it is right and proper that the Government now open up this document, let us know what is in there. I think there is a culture within Government departments of not releasing information and that has caused some of the problems we now have in getting to the bottom of who was involved in this paedophile network and who was involved in covering it up.”
That would be the alleged network linekd to alleged deaths at Dolphin Square, goings on at the Elm Guest House and other matters.
The Cheddar Valley Gazette has other news:
A BRISTOL paedophile is being investigated over child abuse in the 1970’s. Douglas Slade, 73, left Britain after being exposed as a sexual predator. But detectives are working on a case which could see Slade extradited to the UK for offences linked to a nationwide paedophile network. Wealthy businessman Slade who lived in Bristol during the 1970s and 1980s, was a founder of the reviled child sex advocacy group Paedophile Information Exchange (PIE).
He left Britain in 1985 for Angeles City in the Philippines, where he has been accused of molesting boys as young as eight. Before he left, Slade is suspected to have abused numerous underage boys passed between PIE members who tracked down youths for illegal sex…
One man allegedly abused by Slade and other PIE members, who is not part of the current UK investigation, contacted the Daily Mail to describe how he was molested by Slade and then passed between paedophiles from 1979, when he was 14.
The 50-year-old man said he was introduced to Slade by another prominent PIE member, former racing car driver Christopher Skeaping, who was jailed in 2009 for sex attacks on a boy aged 12 in the late 1980s.
The alleged victim says:
“Skeaping rode a huge BMW 1100 and had big American cars. For kids of 13, 14 and 15, those are exciting things. Douglas Slade turned up at his home one day. I was a very quiet child and he just picked up on me and I ended up going to Bristol several times. Apart from the sexual side of it, Slade was actually very nice to me. He made me feel special. He was doing nice things for me and it all seemed quite a good thing. I suppose if that’s what grooming is, I was being groomed… I was affected by what happened to me for some years, but I got over it by being positive and coming to terms with it…”
If you wait long enough, they all die:
A former children’s home manager has been found dead just weeks before he was due to stand trial over alleged historical sex abuse. John Stingemore, 72, was discovered at his home in St Leonards-on-Sea, East Sussex, on Wednesday afternoon… Stingemore was due to stand trial next month at Southwark Crown Court charged with a string of indecent assaults on young boys. The charges came following an investigation into alleged abuse at Grafton Close Children’s Home in Hounslow, west London.
One allegation is that boys from Richmond Council-run care homes such as Grafton Close were supplied to Elm Guest House to be abused by VIPs.
Such are the facts…
A man has stabbed many peopls on a bus in Tel Aviv. The stabbings are riding high on the news cycle. But what happened?
Ynet news reports:
Over 10 people were wounded Wednesday morning in a terror attack in central Tel Aviv. At roughly 7:15 am a terrorist boarded Dan Line 40 bus on Begin Road in Tel Aviv near the Beit Maariv Bridge and stabbed the bus driver and a number of passengers before fleeing the scene. He was then shot and captured by forces who were present in the area.
17 people were wounded in the attack, four are in serious condition, 3 moderately, 6 lightly and the rest suffered from anxiety. One of the wounded was the bus driver, Herzl Biton, 55, who fought with the terrorist and sustained two wounded to his chest. He is in moderate condition and currently undergoing surgery.
The report ends:
The last terror attack in Tel Aviv was also a stabbing, and took place in November and saw IDF soldier Almog Shiloni murdered after he was gravely wounded struggling with a Palestinian who attempted to grab his weapon at the Haganah Train Station in Tel Aviv.
12 Israelis wounded in stabbing attack on Tel Aviv bus. Four wounded in serious condition; assailant, a 23-year-old male from the West Bank city of Tulkarem who entered Israel illegally, was shot in the leg by police.
The driver was the first victim of the attacker, so he was unable to open the doors of the bus, which was full during the rush hour, according to an eye-witness report. It was one of the passengers who managed to open the doors and let the frightened people out
We hear of other attacks:
Last November, a 25 year-old Israeli woman was stabbed to death at a bus stop in the West Bank, local media reported. The perpetrator was shot and died from his injuries. There were two other victims in that attack, who were taken to hospital.
On November 10, a young Israeli Defense Forces soldier was stabbed by a Palestinian at Haganah train station in Tel Aviv. He was taken to hospital, where he died of his wounds.
In another November incident, a 3-month-old baby girl was killed and eight people were injured, when a car crashed into a light railway station in Jerusalem in a “run-over terror attack”.
And now the BBC:
Israeli police say they have shot a Palestinian man from the West Bank who stabbed at least nine people in an attack on a bus in central Tel Aviv.
And then the attack is couched in a selective spot of fact bringing that no other organ includes:
“The suspect is a 23-year-old Palestinian from Tulkarem,” police spokeswoman Luba Samri said. Tulkarem is a town in the occupied West Bank.
He’s not the foreigner. They are.
Israeli police say there has been a pattern established in recent months where individual Palestinians, without sophisticated weapons, have attacked civilians at random, the BBC’s Kevin Connelly in Jerusalem reports. In November, an Israeli soldier was killed in a knife attack in Tel Aviv, while an Israeli woman was stabbed to death in the West Bank in a separate attack.
So. If they had sophisticated weapons…?
Our correspondent says the latest round of tensions began to increase last year, after the summer conflict in Gaza and disputes over access to religious sites in the old city of Jerusalem. More than 2,100 people were killed in Gaza during the Israel-Gaza conflict, a majority of them thought to be civilians. Sixty-seven Israeli soldiers, and six civilians in Israel, were also killed.
So. It’s not a foriegn luantic on a bus trying to murder as many Israelis as possible. It’s just numbers. And one Palestinian was wounded, being shot in the leg trying to escape. Maybe the BBC should reports: “Palestinian shot in Tel Aviv”?
How does this editorialising of facts help the situaion where ever life lost on all sides is a life too many?
Well, Israel’s enemy should likes the BBC’s report:
Izzat al-Risheq, a senior Hamas official, said the stabbing attack “against Zionists in Tel Aviv is a brave and heroic act.” Hamas Spokesperson Sami Abu Zuhri said the event was a “natural response to Israeli terrorism.” And that it was the natural response to the ongoing Israeli crimes against the Palestinian people.
Such are the facts…
So. The Sun caved into pressure from the righteous and dropped Page 3. Punters keen on tabloid news with a dash of topless stunna will be forced to read the Daily Star (or watch Sky TV with subtitles whilst surfing the web for bewitching breasts).
Sun readers have been saved from themselves. They will no longer see women’s naked breasts as arousing sex objects. They will go to arthouse cinemas and see naked breasts as part of the plot. They will see a star’s bare bosoms on the telly and understand that the plot demanded it. They will read National Geographic. They will know better.
Glamour mo-dels have been spared the shame of Page 3 and all those tawdry tabloid-readers’ eyeballs and raise their aspirations to, say a French beach, the top shelf or The Guardian.
Eveything wrong has been made right.
The censors won! Long live the censors!
Hurrah for bansturbation!
Artwork by Happy Toast.
Saudi Arabia is an ally of the UK, the country whose leaders cry “Je Suis Charlie”.
Is Saudi Arabia a dangerous place? No. So long as you stop thinking, it’s fine. The Foreign Offices advises travellers:
There is a heightened threat from terrorism….
Cases of Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) in patients from Saudi Arabia continue to be reported to the World Health Organization. For the latest information and advice, see the website of the National Travel Health Network and Centre (NaTHNaC).
The British Embassy receives regular requests for help from pilgrims performing Hajj or Umrah, particularly in relation to disputes and dissatisfaction with tour operators. The Saudi Ministry of Health has advised certain groups of people to postpone undertaking the Hajj and Umrah pilgrimages in 2014 in light of the MERS virus cases. It has also provided advice for those that are undertaking the pilgrimage to minimise the risk of contracting and spreading the virus. See Pilgrimage and the National Travel Health Network and Centre’s Advice for pilgrims: Hajj and Umrah.
Take out comprehensive travel and medical insurance before you travel.
The big threats are from foreign agents of terror, MERS and a lack of travel insurance. And:
You should respect local traditions, customs, laws and religions at all times and be aware of your actions to ensure that they do not offend…
Thoughts on anti-semitism. One thing a Jew cannot do is fail. The other thing a Jew can always do is be held responsible for what their co-religionists do.
Rev. Bruce Shipman echoes the BBC’s man on the scene in an open published in the New York Times:
To the Editor:
Deborah E. Lipstadt makes far too little of the relationship between Israel’s policies in the West Bank and Gaza and growing anti-Semitism in Europe and beyond.
The trend to which she alludes parallels the carnage in Gaza over the last five years, not to mention the perpetually stalled peace talks and the continuing occupation of the West Bank.
As hope for a two-state solution fades and Palestinian casualties continue to mount, the best antidote to anti-Semitism would be for Israel’s patrons abroad to press the government of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for final-status resolution to the Palestinian question.
(Rev.) BRUCE M. SHIPMAN
Groton, Conn., Aug. 21, 2014
Bruce Shipman is Episcopal chaplain at Yale.
Jews will spot the codes in his letter. Jews must pay for whatever another Jew does.
Anti-Semitism is justified.
His words and his tone are not untypical of the ‘knowing’, they who can empathise and set about teaching the Jew how to see suffering.
Mrs May said the attack on the supermarket in France was “a chilling reminder of anti-Semitism, not just in France but the recent anti-Semitic prejudice that we sadly have seen in this country.
“I know that many Jewish people in this country are feeling vulnerable and fearful and you’re saying that you’re anxious for your families, for your children and yourselves.
“I never thought I would see the day when members of the Jewish community in the United Kingdom would say they were fearful of remaining here in the United Kingdom”…
“Without its Jews, Britain would not be Britain, just as without its Muslims, Britain would not be Britain – without its Sikhs, Hindus, Christians and people of other faiths, Britain would not be Britain.”
She said she was “deeply distressed” by the YouGov survey showing a large proportion of Britons holding antisemitic views.
Antisemitic views have been shown to be rampant among British people according to the results of a new polls.
One in four Britons were shown to believe that Jews ‘chase money more than other people’, according to a poll by YouGov.
Meanwhile the new survey showed that 17 per cent of respondent believe that Jewish people think themselves better than others.
A similar proportion felt that Jewish people have too much power in the media.
A separate poll also revealed that more than half of all British Jews feel that antisemitism has begun to echo the widespread anti-Jewish hatred of the 1930s, according to the Campaign Against Antisemitism (CAA).
France has the largest Jewish community remaining in Europe, but Norman Lebrecht, a French Jew whose family has been in France at least since 1727 (when the first records exist), decided last week that he is leaving. Nor is he alone…
French Jews are leaving for two main reasons: because they don’t feel welcome, and because they don’t feel safe. They don’t feel welcome because a rising tide of anti-Semitism has poisoned the atmosphere in France over the past couple of decades. It’s not so much the old anti-Semitism of the pre-War variety as a new anti-Semitism brought on by a wave of Muslim immigration, though the two have reinforced one another.
And they don’t feel safe because of attacks on Jews. As the Chief Rabbi of France,Haim Korsia, notes, it’s not just last week’s attacks on a Kosher deli and on the Charlie Hebdo news weekly: “Jews have been killed and there were the shootings in Toulouse and in Brussels. In general, Jews feel vulnerable in our society. The Jews who were murdered were targeted specifically because they were Jewish.”
… European nations are facing population deficits, and they’ve replaced those missing Jews with Muslim immigrants who — unlike the Jews — are for the most part far less educated, don’t really consider themselves part of European society, and have no particularly strong desire to integrate into it, which bodes poorly. As Eugene Volokh — himself an immigrant to the United States — observes, in a democracy, when you let in immigrants, you are letting in your future rulers.
An exodus of French Jews is already underway and accelerating rapidly. In 2012, there were just over 1,900 immigrants to Israel from France. The following year nearly 3,400 French Jews emigrated; in 2014 approximately 7,000 left. For the first time ever, France heads the list of countries of origin for immigrants to Israel, and the ministry of immigration absorption expects another 10,000 French Jews to arrive in 2015.
That would mean more than 22,000 Jews fleeing France for Israel in the space of just four years, nearly 4.5 percent of the country’s Jewish population. The departure of 100,000 French Jews might once have been inconceivable. No longer. In a survey last spring of France’s Jewish community, the largest in Europe, three out of four respondents said they were considering emigrating.
These are staggering numbers — all the more so in a “Jewish community that has been in place for centuries and feels itself deeply attached to being French,” as Daniel Jonah Goldhagen has written. But what is driving so many Jews to leave “is not Israel’s pull…. It is France’s push.”
Over the past 15 years, that “push” — violent eruptions of French antisemitism — has grown relentless.
Many of your fears about becoming a victim of terrorism are invented. So long as you are not Jewish.
Whenever Martin Niemöller’s warning is quoted, it is always used in the past tense. But as the Paris attacks proved, they are still coming for the Jews. In reality, they have never stopped coming for the Jews…
The reaction from outside the Jewish community follows the same pattern. Like Simon Jenkins and Polly Toynbee, we try to hide behind a veil of self-centered proportionality. Or, we cry “look over there!” Yes the Jewish community is under threat, but what about the “revenge” attacks being launched against the Muslim community? Or we deploy the “some of my best friends are Jewish” argument. Yes some Jews are being targeted. But look at what’s happening to the Palestinians. Should we really be surprised? Yes, obviously we must condemn the “terrorists”. But don’t we have an obligation to try to understand them as well?
And what lies at the heart of this response? If we’re honest, if we’re really honest, it’s that those of us who are not part of the Jewish community have subconsciously – and shamefully – come to the view that being a target of terrorism is merely one of the occupational hazards of being a Jew…
We need to say: “They came for the Jews. And I spoke out. Because I am not a Jew”.
A lot of progressives seem to think they are immune from anti-Semitism, or even being tolerant of anti-Semitism, because they have neither racist nor Christian antipathy to Jews, the two most recently prominent forms. They, in other words, do not consciously hate, or even dislike, Jews. But when the Left has decided that colonialism, fundamentalist religion and ethnic nationalism are the great evils of the modern world, and then so many “progressives” focus on Israel as the exemplar of these evils, despite many, many other more worthy choices, one wonders if they fully understand what anti-Semitism is really all about.
Matti Friedman wonders why Israel is always at the top of the news cycle. Why Hamas, a group that pledge to kill every Jew, is not framed as an enemy to things we should hold dear.
For centuries, stateless Jews played the role of a lightning rod for ill will among the majority population. They were a symbol of things that were wrong. Did you want to make the point that greed was bad? Jews were greedy. Cowardice? Jews were cowardly. Were you a Communist? Jews were capitalists. Were you a capitalist? In that case, Jews were Communists. Moral failure was the essential trait of the Jew. It was their role in Christian tradition—the only reason European society knew or cared about them in the first place.
Like many Jews who grew up late in the 20th century in friendly Western cities, I dismissed such ideas as the feverish memories of my grandparents. One thing I have learned—and I’m not alone this summer—is that I was foolish to have done so. Today, people in the West tend to believe the ills of the age are racism, colonialism, and militarism. The world’s only Jewish country has done less harm than most countries on earth, and more good—and yet when people went looking for a country that would symbolize the sins of our new post-colonial, post-militaristic, post-ethnic dream-world, the country they chose was this one.
When the people responsible for explaining the world to the world, journalists, cover the Jews’ war as more worthy of attention than any other, when they portray the Jews of Israel as the party obviously in the wrong, when they omit all possible justifications for the Jews’ actions and obscure the true face of their enemies, what they are saying to their readers—whether they intend to or not—is that Jews are the worst people on earth. The Jews are a symbol of the evils that civilized people are taught from an early age to abhor. International press coverage has become a morality play starring a familiar villain.
Some readers might remember that Britain participated in the 2003 invasion of Iraq, the fallout from which has now killed more than three times the number of people ever killed in the Israel-Arab conflict; yet in Britain, protesters furiously condemn Jewish militarism. White people in London and Paris whose parents not long ago had themselves fanned by dark people in the sitting rooms of Rangoon or Algiers condemn Jewish “colonialism.” Americans who live in places called “Manhattan” or “Seattle” condemn Jews for displacing the native people of Palestine. Russian reporters condemn Israel’s brutal military tactics. Belgian reporters condemn Israel’s treatment of Africans. When Israel opened a transportation service for Palestinian workers in the occupied West Bank a few years ago, American news consumers could read about Israel “segregating buses.” And there are a lot of people in Europe, and not just in Germany, who enjoy hearing the Jews accused of genocide.
You don’t need to be a history professor, or a psychiatrist, to understand what’s going on. Having rehabilitated themselves against considerable odds in a minute corner of the earth, the descendants of powerless people who were pushed out of Europe and the Islamic Middle East have become what their grandparents were—the pool into which the world spits. The Jews of Israel are the screen onto which it has become socially acceptable to project the things you hate about yourself and your own country. The tool through which this psychological projection is executed is the international press.
The first head of the hydra-like monster of medieval anti-Semitic conspiracy theories was the implied parallel between Israeli treatment of Palestinians and Nazis’ treatment of the Jews. This is a de facto cousin of Holocaust denial, as it diminishes and trivialises what really happened then…
Since 9/11 and Iraq, a millenarian cauldron of old-fashioned anti-Semitic conspiracy theories claims that secretive Jews (the wicked “neo-cons”) are controlling Bush, Blair and the media, and even arranged 9/11. Anti-Americanism, anti-Zionism and anti-Semitism have become interchangeable…
Until 9/11, Anglo-Jewry had become accustomed to prejudiced coverage of Israel. But if you were not a Zionist, as many Jews are not, you did not need to worry. Since 9/11, and particularly post-Iraq, we have witnessed a sea change. It is as if, in the mythical scale of 9/11, al-Qaeda had unlocked a forgotten cultural capsule of anti-Semitic myths, sealed and forgotten since the Nazis, the Black Hundreds and the medieval blood libels. Just words? But words matter in a violent world. This weird and scary nonsense is an international phenomenon, not a British one. Despite it, Britain retains the easygoing tolerance and pragmatism, the sources of her greatness. It is still better to be a Jew in England than anywhere else
And that’s true…
It’s Health Tuesday in the Daily Mail. What news ways to fall ill and die are there this week?
Page 5: “Do your knees hurt as you climb up the stairs? It could be the first sign of arthritis”
Pages 34-35: ” How Docors Keep Young. They will do anything to steer clear of other doctors! And you can learn from them by avoiding medicines and ops you don’t really need.”
These are the “secrets” doctors don’t want you to know.
There follows a litancy of causes for worry:
Death by Trial: “Trials of a new treatment that have produced a positive result are more likely to be published than reports about trials of the same drug that didn’t have a positive result.”
Death by screening: “Laboratory, screening or radiological investigations often produce what are called false positive results, suggesting that disease is present when it is not. This can lead to unnecessary follow-up tests and treatments, which could be risky and harmful.”
Death by scanning: “CT scanning raises the risk of cancer because of radiation.”
Death by medicine: “Any medical intervention – a test, operation or drug – will have harmful side-effects for some people, even when carried out by the best doctor in the country.”
Page 36: Street lighting give you cancer: “Women loving in the area withy the brightest outdoor light at night ‘may be at the incresed risk of breast cancer”
Oh, and “female night-shift workers have a higher risk of breast canecr.
So, yeah, that crappy job is kiling you. Maybe.
Page 45: “The patients told they are depressed or anxious when a simple virus is to blame”
The doctor is making you depressed and anxious.
Page 47: “How safe are your valuables in hospital?”
Your, er, crown jewels?
“There no worse time to fall victim to theft – but as our investigation shows it’s heartbreakingly all too common”
Hospitals are full of bad (yet youthful) doctors and thieves!
Page 48: “Why I fear GPs are losing the skills they need to care for patients,” writes ‘The Mail’s GP”
Page 50: “The hygiene products that prey on female fears”
Page 51: “Mum was right! Going out in the rain CAN give you a cold”
Rumours are that The Sun newspapers will not logner feature topless stunnas on its Page 3. Birds and babes will remain on the page but wearing scanties. No nipples.
A pressure group No More Page 3, has “demanded” the paper owned by News UK ) “stop conditioning your readers to view women as sex objects”.
But what about the women who wanted to be topless in the paper?
They needed saving from themselves, clearly. Good job that right-on, intelligent women who prefer their tabloid news without nipples were there to demand silly girls stopped appealing to bestial men.
It’s all gone. Maybe.
You can read the history of Page 3 here.
(The rest of you can read the Daily Star…)