July 19, 2015

What's this starry-eyed Arafat fan doing in the P5+1?

I’m always suspicious about acronyms; they tend to hide a certain ugliness or deceit that lies beneath.

Take CDO and ABS which, less than 10 years ago, almost cast the entire world into financial ruin.  Those collateralised debt obligations made up of asset-backed securities were really toxic debt, sugared, perfumed and gift-wrapped into something that ‘smart’ bankers would happily trade until the music stopped.

To my mind, P5+1 is another toxic nomenclature. Only this time it’s not our money that’s at risk but the lives of our children and grandchildren, who may not live to continue paying off the can of debts we’ve kicked down to them from the CDO/ABS era.

Neville Chamberlain, at least, attached his name, his country and his photo to the disastrous deal with Hitler in 1938.

Not so with the P5+1.

So who are these characters and what are their special interests? Supposedly it’s the UN Security Council’s permanent (veto) members: America, Russia, China, Britain, France … and the plus is Germany. It would be nice to think their main motivation was stopping Iran’s nuclear bomb and cutting its funding of world terror. But as the saying goes: 'all politics is local politics' and the vested interests are clear.

For America, Kerry is there to deliver Obama’s presidential legacy and to collect his own peace prize. For Russia it’s all about helping Iran’s Al Quds force prop up their mutual client Assad in Syria not to mention the lucrative weapons trade vital to Putin’s flagging thug-conomy. China - happily untouched by Islamic terrorism - wants only to restore deliveries of Iranian crude oil. Britain will always follow America’s lead whilst France is the country which hosted Ayatollah Khomeini in exile and provided his springboard to 35 years of tyranny over the hapless Iranian people. As for Germany there are huge exports needed to pay for the crippling Eurozone bailout.

Which leaves the little girl in the picture: Federica Mogherini.

This so-called ‘High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy’ seems to make it P5+2.
So who put her there?
What qualifies this slip of a political appointee to negotiate with the world’s most dangerous terror state?
Whatever the answers, it does appear that - like her 'most high' predecessor Catherine Ashton - Iran’s laughing foreign minister Zarif sees her as a pushover. When the interim agreement was signed in 2013 the FT reported that, after initially wanting to deal only with the foreign ministers, Zarif said he now wanted to deal ‘only with Ashton’.

Well, G-d help us all!

According to their Wiki pages, Ashton started out as treasurer and vice chairman of CND, the British campaign for unilateral nuclear disarmament, famous for its picketing of American air bases during the Cold War. Mogherini started out as a member of the Italian Communist Youth Federation. That background may have something to do with the soft stance on Russia’s invasion of Ukraine which Baltic leaders accused her of in opposing her 'most high' appointment. She also seems to have a fascination for Islam, which was the subject of her graduation thesis. This photo with Yasser Arafat was recently taken off her social media page. Called the MogBlog, it has been lampooned by the Italian press as the immature diaries of a teenager.

And this is what the Free World puts up to negotiate with the blood-spitting apocalyptic tyrants of our age.

It’s no wonder Netanyahu’s ex‎pression looks as dark as I’ve ever seen it. It may not be the fact of Iran’s nuclear ascendancy, nor the billions which will be released for their furtherance of world terror.

What’s gloomiest of all is this hopelessly naïve and invertebrate excuse for leadership of the Free World.

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July 05, 2015

A Mountain out of a Bonehill

For weeks it was the talk of our Jewish shtetl.  
A group of neo-Nazis planned this Shabbat’s provocation in the centre of Golders Green, to protest the so-called ‘Jewification’ of the neighborhood.  Government and police seemed powerless to ban what was not to be a Skokie-style march, but a ‘static’ demonstration just within the legal limits of freedom of ex‎pression. Community rabbis were at odds in their sermons over the last two weekends; some urging large numbers to stand and be counted amongst the many anti-fascist groups whilst others asked their members to ignore the scum and honor the Shabbat instead.

The Nazi ringleader is 22-year old Joshua Bonehill who, not long out of short trousers, has already developed an aversion to Jews breathing the same air as he does.  I could understand if he felt so racially stifled living in Golders Green or the heavily black-hatted enclave of Stamford Hill where he planned his first protest. But no – he hails from Yeovil in Somerset, 130 miles away from London. I don’t know if any Jews have ever lived in that tiny Saxon parish but  it would be like an Eskimo having issues with a tribe in East Timor.

Despite all the community angst, the threat to our Shabbat and community peace was ultimately lifted by the Nazis themselves. You see they just couldn’t resist the idea of goading Jews even more, with threats to burn copies of the Talmud and by publishing the most vile posters invoking the Holocaust, gas chambers and caricatures from Der Sturmer. This led to Bonehill’s arrest days before the event and a police order moving his demo far away from Golders Green; to Whitehall in fact, just opposite Downing Street. In the end, just 20 of Bonehill’s lackeys turned up and were pilloriedby hundreds of antifascist demonstrators of every racial and cultural stripe.

The ‘Mountain’ I captioned is not all the fuss that was made in the shuls and among our community groups. Undoubtedly all of that was well-intentioned and the work of the CST and Jewish leadership was particularly commendable.

I am talking about a mountain of community strength, cohesion and solidarity. Bonehill’s threats activated, almost overnight, a ‘GoldersGreenTogether’ committee which prepared a counter-protest rally and had volunteers festooning the area in ribbons of gold and green. The entire community was ready to come out in force, united against these vile bigots.

I have a client who is a prominent and devout member of London’s Muslim community and the UK’s leading expert on Halal food. We became friendly and have often discussed Kosher and Halal issues, notably when British supermarkets were found selling horsemeat.  When I mentioned the Nazi demonstration, he immediately contacted local imams who said they would send groups of their young men to march with me down to Golders Green Station. ‘We will not allow these people to harm any Jew’ he said.

This fits with my own personal experience as a Londoner, in that the only incidents of antisemitism I have experienced have not been from Muslims, but from WASPs. It’s true that Muslims can be violent to Jews and others in society – but most of the time that is traced to incitement, which is the greatest evil we all face. 

By contrast, the anti-Semites in media, academia, NGOs and trade unions never needed any incitement.
He may be only 22 years old, but Bonehill is already a dinosaur.  Today’s anti-Semites don’t turn up with swastikas and SS motifs.  

They use Palestine.

Meanwhile for us it was, thankfully, a Shabbat Shalom.
דְּרוֹר יִקְרָא  

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