July 20, 2007

Why I resent the Jewish Chronicle...

The reason I resent the Jewish Chronicle my email responding to a David Aaronovitch article from two weeks ago is because the letters editor of the Jewish Chronicle asked me to. Look:
It was strange for her to claim that it was never received because I definitely sent it and it didn't bounce. It was also a strange request because she claims to know from my blog that I sent this:
Dear Sir

Could David Aaronovitch get over the fact that some of us who do not agree with Zionism and the State of Israel are perfectly comfortable with being Jewish and will insist on identifying ourselves as such? If he could then he could refrain from the personal abuse and get on with a meaningful, indeed analytical, debate.

In my blog post that he mentions, I referred to Tony Blair as a Zionist in the context of his being appointed envoy for the Middle East quartet whilst being an honorary patron of the Jewish National Fund which was founded early last century to acquire land for Jews only (and forever) in the then Palestine. It was established by the World Zionist Organisation. The World Zionist Organisation still exists and some of its members clearly wish to retain "Judea and Samaria" as does the person I was addressing in the quote David Aaronovitch lifted from my comments section from April 2006.

I recognise that there are various Zionist orientations but I use the term Zionist at a minimum to mean someone who believes that people of immediate Jewish origin from around the world should have more settlement and citizenship rights in Israel than non-Jewish natives who are there or who are from there. And there are some Zionists I like, I just don't like their Zionism.

For a "heroic correspondent" of the JC and other papers I have only had one letter in the JC and that criticised David Aaronovitch for sneering at Jews for Justice for Palestinians for inviting him to sign their statement and then criticising Independent Jewish Voices for not inviting him to sign theirs. I have also had three letters published in the Observer, again criticising what he had written, not him personally, and in context too. None of the letters refer to my being Jewish. I only mention it if I think it is relevant to what is being said.

On that matter, I'm sure that David Aaronovitch has gone on record saying that he is not actually Jewish and yet he lectures others on when and how one can identify as Jewish. I don't even accept that from other Jews. Why should I?

Still, in these ecumenical times I think it's nice that a non-Jew such as David Aaronovitch can write for the Jewish Chronicle but when he invokes stereotypes like "big noses and loud behaviour" I'd say he's crossed a line. Surely in the JC a Jew's anti-Zionism is preferable to a gentile's anti-Semitism.

Yours faithfully

Mark Elf
Jews sans frontieres

Apologies to those who have already seen the same letter.

So the letters editor of the JC saw my letter on my blog and still she asked me for an email I had already sent and that hadn't bounced back. She didn't acknowledge receipt or raise any issue about it. In fact her email requesting it was the only correspondence I've ever had from her. She asked that I email either her address or the letters@thejc.com address. I was thrilled. I even believed that she hadn't received my letter. I was very polite, even friendly and I was thrilled about what I thought was going to happen next. I emailed both addresses and still this week my letter hasn't appeared. Ok, fine, I've had more letters to the press unpublished than published. The annoying thing is that I was libelled by Aaronovitch in that my motive was impugned and that Miriam Shaviv person has wasted my time and for what? Also, I got my hopes so raised. This was going to be the fifth time I exposed this award winning journo as a liar, an ignoramous and a fool.

Still there's some interesting stuff in the JC this week so perhaps I just got crowded out. For example, there's a front page report on how much per annum zionists are going to have to spend fighting the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement in the UK alone:
a senior communal source said that countering burgeoning boycott moves, particularly in British and Irish trade unions, would cost the community a “ballpark figure” of £1 million a year above normal costs.
"A senior communal source?" That's an interesting concept in a community with no official status. What is "a senior communal source?" Here's a clue:
In his warning to Bicom’s executive, Mr Zabludowicz, its chairman, said he was ready to underwrite a fighting fund, estimated at £300,000, to help cover operations over the next three months.
Ah I see, it's someone who can stump up £100 k a month to defend the indefensible. And that's above the normal hasbara activity.

And there's more. Deborah Maccoby had a letter published. Here's what was published:
Michael Kagan Crumpsall Lane, Manchester M8 David Hirsh and Freddie Fisher attack Richard Kuper for speaking out “as a Jew” (Letters, July 7, 13). Do they also criticise the many Muslims who speak out “as Muslims” against atrocities committed in the name of Islam by people who seek to impose one identity on all Muslims? Deborah Maccoby Sach Road, Clapton, London E5
But that's not all she wrote:
David Hirsh (Letters 06.07.07) attacks Richard Kuper for writing "as a UCU member who opposes the boycott". But it gives added force to Mr Kuper's criticism (Letters 30.06.07) of the hysterical reaction to the UCU debate that he himself is on the side of the debate which opposes the academic boycott of Israel.

Mr Hirsh and Mr Freddie Fisher (Letters 13.07.07) also attack Mr Kuper for speaking out "as a Jew". Do they also criticise the many Muslims who speak out "as Muslims" against atrocities committed in the name of Islam by people who seek to impose one identity on all Muslims? Similarly, the Israeli government claims to act in the name of the entire Jewish people and tries
to impose one identity on all Jews. "I believe that this is a war fought by all the Jews" said Ehud Olmert about last year's attack on Lebanon. The many Jews who refuse to be conscripted in this way need to say so - as Jews.

Deborah Maccoby
And this all is all she wrote. It's bizarre the way the JC published the most outrageous ad hominem attacks on members of the community it purports to be the mouthpiece of.

But it gets worse. Alex Brummer, the Daily Mail's finance editor and the JC's media correspondent, laments the conviction of Lord Black and the gloating over the same by his former prize possession the Daily Telegraph. Actually it is interesting that newspapers do stick the boot into discredited former proprietors harder than on other people and harder than other papers do. The Mirror was the same with another proprietor whose criminality surpassed the minimum requirement of simply cheering for racist criminals. But what is more interesting is that way that this out and out crook's demise is openly lamented as a "blow to Israel's cause." See this:
As far as the Middle East is concerned, the loss of Black and his glamorous and cerebral spouse Barbara Amiel is a huge blow to Israel’s cause. No media couple were more sympathetic to the Jewish state in its hour of need during the second intifada, when efforts to demonise Israel were at their height.
Is such rabid support for Israel a sign of a lack of moral compass? Does it suggest a criminal mind? Is support for Israel a way of avoiding scrutiny? It doesn't matter. The fact that a leading writer with the Jewish Chronicle can openly mourn the demise of a master criminal simply because of his support for Israel is indicative of a serious moral deficiency in zionist circles that doesn't seem to replicate among those who claim to represent mainstream opinion in other communities.

More JC here
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