Boycott of Israeli goods is not antisemitism


Since Israel and Egypt sealed the Gazan borders and besieged the Heights, an increasing number of people have started boycotting goods from Israel. And if you scrupulously sift your shopping for Israel-grown olives and Uzi machine pistols, British government members think you’re an anti-semite!

Warning of a “resurgent, mutating, lethal virus of antisemitism”, the Conservative chief whip Michael Gove also claimed those who compare Israel’s actions to Nazi war crimes are engaging in a form of Holocaust denial.

Gove made his intervention in a speech at the Holocaust Education Trust on Tuesday night, in response to findings that there had been a fivefold increase in antisemitic incidents in the wake of Israel’s latest conflict with Hamas.

Citing a historian, Professor Deborah Lipstadt, Gove said there appeared among some opponents of Israel’s actions to be a “deliberate attempt to devalue the unique significance of the Holocaust, and so remove the stigma from antisemitism”.

And even as this relativisation, trivialisation and perversion of the Holocaust goes on so prejudice towards the Jewish people grows.
The Tricycle theatre attempts to turn away donations which support the Jewish Film Festival because the money is Israeli and therefore tainted. In our supermarkets our citizens mount boycotts of Israeli produce, some going so far as to ransack the shelves, scatter goods and render them unsaleable. In some supermarkets the conflation of anti-Israeli agitation and straightforward antisemitism has resulted in kosher goods being withdrawn.

We need to speak out against this prejudice. We need to remind people that what began with a campaign against Jewish goods in the past ended with a campaign against Jewish lives. We need to spell out that this sort of prejudice starts with the Jews but never ends with the Jews. We need to stand united against hate. Now more than ever.

Gove referred to a number of antisemitic incidents that have occurred across Europe over the past few months, and complained that there had been been “insufficient indignation” about growing anti-Jewish prejudice.”

I understand where Gove’s saying, up to the point. If a bunch of anti-semites are inspired to have a go at Jewish communities around the world, that is of course anti-semitic hate crime and should be punished. But equating the movement to boycott Israeli goods with antisemitism is flawed and insulting. The fact is, Israel and its “defence force” are committing outrageous attacks on those trapped in Gaza, and a number of fair-minded citizens of other countries are joining in the boycott – not because they hate Jews, but because they are disgusted at the way the Israeli government is acting. If Israel stopped its surprisingly Nazi-like attitude towards Jews in general and Gazans in particular, the so-called “anti-semite” boycott would largely end. Of course there are some more hard-line protesters, just as there are prejudiced IDF members who kill young Palestinians because they would “otherwise become Hamas or Islamic Jihad members.” FFS.

If Gove wants the boycott to stop, he will get the government to harden its line against against current Israeli anti-Palestinian activity. But remember, this is the same Michael Gove who approved three schools run by creationists leading to concerns about whether Department for Education (DfE) requirements not to teach creationism or intelligent design as science would be met. The same Gove who claimed more than £7,000 on a house bought with his wife Sarah Vine in 2002; shortly afterwards he reportedly ‘flipped’ his designated second home, a property for which he claimed around £13,000 to cover stamp duty. Gove also claimed for a cot mattress, despite children’s items being banned under the Commons rule. Gove said he would repay the claim for the cot mattress, but maintained that his other claims were “below the acceptable threshold costs for furniture” and that moving house was necessary “to effectively discharge my parliamentary duties”. While he was moving between homes, on one occasion he stayed at the Pennyhill Park Hotel and Spa following a constituency engagement, charging the taxpayer more than £500 per night’s stay. Gove’s second home was not in his constituency, but in Elstead, in the South West Surrey constituency. The same Gove who has been the subject of repeated criticism for alleged attempts to avoid the provisions of the Freedom of Information Act. The criticism surrounds Gove’s use of various private email accounts to send emails that allegedly relate to his departmental responsibilities. The allegations suggest that Mr Gove and his advisers believed they could avoid their correspondence being subject to Freedom of Information requests, as they believed that their private email accounts were not subject to the Freedom of Information Act. In September 2011, the Financial Times reported that Gove had used an undisclosed private email account – called “Mrs Blurt” – to discuss government business with advisers. In March 2012 the Information Commissioner ruled that because emails the Financial Times had requested contained public information they could be the subject of a Freedom of Information request and ordered the information requested by the paper to be disclosed. Gove was also advised to cease the practice of using private email accounts to conduct government business. Gove disputed the Information Commissioner’s ruling, something that cost taxpayers £12,540, and proceeded to tribunal, but the appeal was subsequently withdrawn. The same Gove who, with his advisors, destroyed email correspondence in order to avoid Freedom of Information requests. The allegation was denied by Gove’s department who stated that deleting email was simply part of good computer housekeeping. Yeah right.

He has also used social netwoking websites to smear opponents anonymously. In February 2013 The Guardian launched investigations into connections between Gove’s ministerial advisers and what they described as “allegations that members of his department have used the social networking site Twitter to launch highly personal attacks on journalists and political opponents and to conduct a Tory propaganda campaign paid for by the taxpayer.” The article suggested that an anonymous Twitter account called @toryeducation was regularly used to attack critical stories about both Gove and his department and to launch highly personal attacks on opponents of Gove and his policies.

It was further suggested that the knowledge of imminent but unpublished government policy demonstrated by the Twitter account called @toryeducation indicated that it was very likely to come from within the Education Department, implying the involvement of special advisers paid for by taxpayers.[103][104] Issuing party political material and indulging in personal attacks would both be clear breaches of the special advisers’ code and the civil service code

Evil Michael Gove.  Starve his supporters please

Evil Michael Gove. Starve his supporters please

Ignore Gove. Boycott Israel. Here’s an unfortunately small list of Israeli goods affected:

Check out the site – – for more info on Israel’s products to boycott. And remember, it’s not antisemitic to oppose Israel’s “foreign policy” (basically bullying its enemies). Some Jews are good, some are bad. It’s just a shame that Israel is led politically by vicious, cruel people.

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“Historic” or “Historical”… which is it, Mr Guardian?

Tory MP Nigel Evans.  Not a rapist, historic or historical...

Tory MP Nigel Evans. Not a rapist, historic or historical…

I’m a tad confused by the way the media is using the terms “historic” and “historical”. If we turn to wise Google and ask it to define:historic, it tells us:

famous or important in history, or potentially so.
“the area’s numerous historic sites”
synonyms: famous, famed, important, significant, notable, celebrated, renowned, momentous, consequential, outstanding, extraordinary, memorable, unforgettable, remarkable, landmark, groundbreaking, epoch-making, red-letter, of importance, of significance, of consequence, earth-shaking, earth-shattering

whereas define:historical produces:

a. Of or relating to the character of history. b. Based on or concerned with events in history. c. Used in the past: historical costumes

So something like the Potsdam conference, for instance, would be called historic, whereas the false rape allegations against Tory MP Nigel Evans would be historical. Right?

Well, I thought it was pretty simple. But then we see in the Guardian that the Evans rape allegations are called “historic allegations”. WTF? Google just told me…

So, what is it? Historic or historical? Some folk might think me mad using the Grauniad to argue such a point. But it ain’t just them: historic and historical seem to have become interchangeable terms so far as the papers are concerned. At least, that’s how it appoears to me…

Please, if anyone can explain wtf is going on, tell us in Comments. Serious and ridiculous explanations are equally welcome. Someone must know what’s going on in the editors’ heads, right? Right?

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Is Maggie in heaven with Jesus and the angels now, Mommy?


Thatcher’s dead.
Don’t watch TV.
Everyone in their eulogies
Is spouting shit like “she loved the poor.”
Mining industry? Not a word.
Privatisation? Not a peep.
I’m just glad she’s gone to sleep
And will never wake again
From the racks and the torments of her hellish pain.*

Then again, she’s probably having a drink with Saddam, Gaddafi and the rest of ’em. How many WMDs do you reckon Reagan shoved up her rear entrance during their “special relationship”?

So she’s having a good time… so why shouldn’t we (apart from the fact that the ConDems have made fun a luxury, reserved only for the rich). We ought to make 8 April a public national holiday? Get pissed, have a laugh, wear Spitting Image Thatcher masks. Then at nightfall we can congregate around bonfires and burn effigies of the Beast.

Margaret Thatcher, milk-snatcher.  1925-2013... took bloody long enough didn't she!

Margaret Thatcher, milk-snatcher. 1925-2013… took bloody long enough didn’t she!

An afterthought: do we burn effigies of Guy Fawkes because of “gunpowder, treason and plot”? Or is it cos he failed to exterminate the scum? Just asking…

*”Thatcher’s dead” poem by me. (OMG how talented am I? No nasty replies to that plz)

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Thatcher’s dead

Margaret Thatcher, milk-snatcher.  1925-2013... took bloody long enough didn't she!

Margaret Thatcher, milk-snatcher. 1925-2013… took bloody long enough didn’t she!

Margaret Thatcher, the once-powerful creature who all but killed the “working class” by the destruction of the coal, steel and manufacturing industries in the UK and the wholesale privatisation of publicly-owned services and industries, has finally died, after years of drooling dementia. Am I sorry to see her go? No! As the title of this blog says, I hate hate. And “Lady” Thatcher was the personification of hatred. She despised the poor simply because they were poor. And huge swathes of the UK population hated her right back. She destroyed communities by closing down the coal and steel industries (and now we have to import most of our fuels and steel – good job Mags!

And now she’s going to be given a funeral like Princess Diana’s? When will the Tories pull their heads out of their arses? Thatcher may have been a heroic figurehead for them – but she was/still is loathed. She wasn’t the “people’s prime minister”, she was hated by so many people.

I hope and expect that the funeral procession will face heavy resistance and disruption. The bitch Thatcher must never be allowed to “rest in peace”. Rather she should face unrest in pieces, as have so many of her victims. It would be a good idea if her funeral procession took a detour through Liverpool! Soon see how beloved the old troll was then, wouldn’t we! Ronald Reagan’s loyal bitch-pup on the world stage, while in Britain she genuinely hated the vast majority of her own people.

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Bullingdon Boys burn £50 note in front of the poor… what nice fellas, eh?


Bullingdon emblem

I saw this story on the Guardian website about “uproar” concerning the Oxford University Students Union debating whether to boycott Israel. Ho hum. But what really got my goat was a little comment near the end of the story:

Not all students have immersed themselves in this debate. The Oxford Student newspaper reported that a member of the Bullingdon Club was fined for setting off a firework at a nightclub earlier this month. According to the paper, the student was accepted into the club after an initiation ceremony which included burning a £50 note in front of a tramp.

I know that the Bullingdon Club is an exclusive, expensive, ostentatious group who lord it around because of some twisted sense of humour. But burning a fifty pound note in the face of a “tramp” (I expect they mean a poor homeless person)… really? Being in the Bullingdon Club is a route to the top later in life: Bullies include prime minister David Cameron, chancellor George Osborne, London Mayor Boris Johnson… this is how political figures – especially Tories – get into positions of power. By sneering down at the poor. Is it any wonder they’re known as the Nasty Party?

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Benefits cuts will kill the poor


Today, the House of Commons voted through government spending cuts that will cut benefits to the poor for at least the next few years. The Conservative/Liberal Democrat Coalition government won the vote easily. Labour voted against it, and former leader of the Liberal Democrats Charles Kennedy led 6 Lib Dem rebels to oppose the government (which must have upset deputy prime minister and Lib Dem leader Nick Clegg) – but it easily passed, 324 to 268. And this was after Whitehall published their “impact assessment” that showed the very poorest in Britain will suffer disproportionally from these cuts.

I’m really depressed about this. I know people whose lives will be harmed by the cuts. The government have tried to make the British people believe that benefit claimants are “shirkers” or “skivers” sponging off society. And this propaganda has worked on a lot of people – there have even been reports of hate crimes against disabled people, who have also been declared the “undeserving poor”. In fact, I’m so depressed I can’t face writing about this at length. So I’m going to cut and paste in some of the best readers’ comments about this, from the Guardian. Sorry. I promise to behave tomorrow.

First, here are some statistics posted by “thenewscritter” to try to disprove what the government’s black propaganda has been saying:


– On average people think that 41 per cent of the entire welfare budget goes on benefits to unemployed people, while the true figure is 3 per cent.

– On average people think that 27 per cent of the welfare budget is claimed fraudulently, while the government’s own figure is 0.7 per cent.

Next up is “stayingalive”:

i am also sick of reading that “pensioners and the disabled will be protected”. Disabled people will NOT be protected, according to the government’s own figures, and for any media to continue to simply regurgitate the Government’s spin is an offence against journalistic integrity.

People who have somehow managed to get found not fit for work by ATOS, despite the demeaning, woefully inaccurate systems, receive ESA. The main component of ESA will be included in this cut.

People who have been found “fit for work at some point in the future” and placed into the Work Related Activity Group (WRAG) of ESA will find all of their income is included in this cut.

People who have been found to be “incapable of any work, now or in the future” and placed into the Support Group will find most of their income included in this cut, so that they are likely to receive an increase of 1.4% overall, far below inflation levels.

People who currently receive DLA – a payment to reflect the additional costs of disability and paid whether people are in or out of work provided they are substantially disabled – will be gradually switched over to Personal Independence Payments (PIP) from October. The Government have written the new rules to totally redefine what “disability” actually means.

At present, if you cannot walk 200 m you can receive low rate mobility DLAt; if you cannot walk 50 m you can receive high rate of mobility

DLA. From October if you can walk 50m IN A DAY you will be regarded as having NO MOBILITY restrictions and lose DLA.
The changes to the care component of DLA are complex, but equally very draconian and far more stringent.

And given that the new PIP is being assessed by ATOS “health care professionals”, who are making enormous numbers of patently wrong decisions on ESA, there is little cause for any sense of security for “genuinely disabled people”.

In addition, from April disabled people who have one or two “spare” bedrooms and are in receipt of Housing Benefit will have their HB cut by 15 or 33% of their rent, REGARDLESS of whether there are any suitable adapted smaller properties for them to move into. This extra housing cost is somehow supposed to come from monies paid to cover disability or illness needs.

In addition, from April disabled people are no longer going to automatically receive credits for Council Tax. The Government has reduced the amount available by 20% and passed it to local authorities to each make their own decisions as to who receives help, but ringfencing the Council Tax credits for pensioners. As a result, far less will be available to all other groups (people in low-paid work, families with children, disabled people, unemployed people) who will receive bills for a “tax” they have until 31 March been deemed too poor to pay.

Quite HOW is the government protecting disabled people, from anything? And if i know this, why do not the Guardian, Channel 4 news, the BBC ….?

i despair of the future. How many wheelchair users have to lose their jobs through losing their ability to travel to work from DLA; how many terminally ill people have to lose their homes through rent arrears; how many blind people have to attend food banks before this is taken seriously and properly reported??

A good question, “stayingalive”.

Next up, “maxivory”:

Its pretty clear that many Tory MPs, none of whom have ever known any form of hardship themselves, are relishing the chance to put the boot into “people on benefits” who are they consider to be a homogenous group of workshy skivers with no motivation to better themselves. No matter that 68% of those claimants affected have jobs, the important thing is to ‘set an example’ and score a politcal victory over Labour. Never mind that the government defict reduction is wildy off target and that we still borrow 2.5bn a week, the poor MUST be made to suffer so that the Treasury can rake in another 5bn over two years.

Full time workers havent had 2.5% pay rise, so apparently its unfair to increase benefits by this amount. What facile logic. If you have a full time job earning 26,000 a year (average wage) you are infinitely better off than anyone on benefits, even if you receive no pay rise at all. Also, a 1% rise (£260) woud be materially more than a 2.5% rise in a family’s paltry £200 a week benefit (£104). They are not comparing like with like, and 99.9% of those on benefits would like.. a job.

And finally, an excellent comment from “PaulTreloar”:

I warn you. I warn you that you will have pain – when healing and relief depend upon payment. I warn you that you will have ignorance – when talents are untended and wits are wasted, when learning is a privilege and not a right. I warn you that you will have poverty – when pensions slip and benefits are whittled away by a government that won’t pay in an economy that can’t pay. I warn you that you will be cold – when fuel charges are used as a tax system that the rich don’t notice and the poor can’t afford.

I warn you that you must not expect work – when many cannot spend, more will not be able to earn. When they don’t earn, they don’t spend. When they don’t spend, work dies. I warn you not to go into the streets alone after dark or into the streets in large crowds of protest in the light. I warn you that you will be quiet – when the curfew of fear and the gibbet of unemployment make you obedient. I warn you that you will have defence of a sort – with a risk and at a price that passes all understanding. I warn you that you will be home-bound – when fares and transport bills kill leisure and lock you up. I warn you that you will borrow less – when credit, loans, mortgages and easy payments are refused to people on your melting income.

If Margaret Thatcher wins on Thursday, I warn you not to be ordinary. I warn you not to be young. I warn you not to fall ill. I warn you not to get old.

That was then and this is now……

Thanks for that “PaulTreloar”.

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Secret courts, FFS – Now tell me the Tories aren’t Nazis!


The government’s proposed justice and security bill, which they are trying to get through Parliament, will enable them to cover up any involvement in torture – past, present and future – as well as denying defendants any right to a fair trial.

As an example: British resident Binyam Mohamed, who was seized in Pakistan in 2002 and rendered to Guantamano Bay, went to court to get compensated for the cruel and brutal treatment he got from the CIA with the full knowledge and complicity of the UK intelligence services. The high court ruled that CIA information that revealed MI5 and MI6 knew of Mohamed’s ill-treatment should be disclosed. The ruling provoked a storm of protest, with some in the government claiming the US had threatened to withhold intelligence from the UK.

At the same time, to avoid further incriminating evidence being disclosed, the UK government paid undisclosed sums, believed to amount to millions of pounds, in an out-of-court settlement to British citizens and residents who had been incarcerated in Guantánamo Bay.

So now, the government’s proposals will prevent the disclosure of any information in the hands of the security and intelligence agencies from being disclosed in civil cases. The Tory ex-justice minister Kenneth Clarke said that it was necessary to keep evidence secret from the defence – otherwise “you would have terrorists in the public gallery, lining up making notes.”

And now Prof Juan Méndez, the UN’s special rapporteur on torture,is expressing “deep concern” about the government’s plans. He says they will allow intelligence services to be party to torture without any fear of disclosure of their role. Many people who have been tortured by “third party” countries allege that MI6 officers were giving the torturers lists of questions they wanted the torture victims to be asked.

The “war on terror” is enabling governments in supposedly free democratic countries to strip their citizens of any rights. Secret courts and torture should have no place in our institutions. The treatment meted out to Binyam Mohamed should have been stopped. But things have only got worse over the past decade. All the government needs to do a bit of hand-waving and mention the word “terrorism” and bang! There goes another fundamental human right. What is the matter with us? Why do we allow our evil governments to exist? Something needs to be done about it.

Some relevant links:

Please have a look at them. This is important!

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