Thursday, December 20, 2012

LBC's Iain Dale and his knowledge of Judaism

I was listening to the Iain Dale show on LBC (London Talkback) radio last night. The show started off talking about cults and then somehow switched to discussing the Anglo Jewish community. It would have been amusing had it not been so tragic with such dangerous consequences. The untruths which were spouted out about Judaism on his programme went completely unchallenged.

Iain asked his listeners a question. How many Jews live in Britain? He then added that no one would believe it when he told them!  Iain eventually gave a figure of around 266,000 and remarked that the Jews certainly punch above their weight. I wasn’t sure what he meant by this. Was he saying that the amount of Jews who contribute to British society is way out of promotion to the percentage of the UK population (Less than one half of one percent), or was he saying that for a tiny minority, they have an incredible amount of power and influence? Let’s give him the benefit of the doubt and believe he meant the former.
A caller called Keith came on and said that he was from “Jewish extraction” (whatever that means?) and said that although there were “officially” 170,000 Jews, this figure was a count of only Jews who had registered with a synagogue and,  most importantly, this figure did not include (and I quote) – “The Ashkenazis” (who I understood by his comment, were not real Jews!). If you counted them, he informed us, then there were around two and a half million!

He went on to say that he couldn’t believe in a religion that believed that the world was created in seven (sic) days. "Don't get me wrong!", he said, he wasn’t against Judaism or Jews and proved it by saying that he had recently gone to his friend’s Chanukah party which he explained was the commemoration of G-d creating the world in 8 days (sic)!

Iain seemed fascinated by his caller's "knowledge" and seemed to accept everything he said as fact without confirmation or challenge.
I had had enough. I immediately fired off an email via the LBC web site on my mobile phone explaining why Keith was talking total and utter nonsense. I have no idea if Iain even read my email as he never mentioned it during the show and I did not get a reply.
These were the points I made:
The Jewish population of the UK
The Jewish population includes both Sefardi and Ashkenazi Jews.

If we discount those people who wrote round that they were Jewish despite not being so according to Halacha (Jewish Law) and count in those who by choice chose not to answer the Census question on Religion I would guess that the figure would come to around 300,000 Jews left in Britain.
According to Institute for Jewish Policy Research UK, there are around 270,000 Jews who identify themselves as Jewish living in the UK. Most of these, (with the exception of the Orthodox Jewish community), it claims will more likely than not see their children marry non-Jews. The Institute estimates that there were some 450,000 to 500,000 Jews in the Britain around the 1950s.

Chanukah is the commemoration of the civil war and the victory by the Jews of Israel who remained loyal to G-d and His Torah against the Jews who had adopted Greek culture, during the second Temple period. However, most Jewish children in the UK are taught that it was a war between the Jews of Israel and the Greeks invaders in order to avoid the painful issue of secular verses religious Jews.

Therefore, the vast majority of British Jews do not learn beyond kindergarten level Judaism and therefore would not know anything about the civil war. However The Talmud, tractate Shabbat 42-43 states it openly.

The Age of the World
The estimate that the world is millions of years old is totally compatible with Torah Judaism. It is the fundamentalist Xtians who absurdly interpret their Xtian Bibles literally, despite the text which they are relying upon having gone through numerous mistranslations(sometimes unintentional, others intentional) from Hebrew, Aramaic, Greek, Latin, German and various English versions.

It is quite ridiculous to assume that the word “day” in the context of Bereishis (the Genesis) story means a period of 24 hours or even a single night and day period when you consider that the sun was not created until the fourth day!
The Hebrew word used in the Bereishis story is “Yom”. The word consists of three letters. A Yud, Vav and Mem.  The Yud is a tiny vertical line. The Vav is a larger vertical line. The Mem is completed box, the same height as the Vav. Its true meaning is expressed in its graphical format. Tiny, larger and completed. In other words, a process of creation. The word “Yom” simply means an unspecified period of creation.


Another “Jewish” (I use the term lightly) caller phoned in and said that he was very proud that all his family celebrated Xmas, his daughter had married a Buddhist and his son a Xtian. Iain Dale praised him for his open mindedness. The caller remarked that he assumed that the quoted figure of UK Jews was very low due to assimilation or moving to Israel and he would guess that it had been a lot larger at one time. Iain replied that he would check but he was sure that the Jewish population of Jews in Britain had remained steady for generations.
I found Iain Dale’s complete ignorance when it came to Jews and their beliefs staggering and deeply troubling. If this is what the cream of British intelligencer believe then it shows a frightening ignorance of who Jews are and what they believe in, within mainstream Britain which profoundly effects its views not only of local Jewish issues, but also its views of Israel and our historical and religious right to the Land of Israel.

*** UPDATE ***

I received a reply from Iain Dale the next morning:

Thanks for this. I don't think I ever professed to have any great knowledge of Judaism! In the new year we will be doing an hour every Wednesday looking at different religions.

Kind regards


Well, at least he read the email.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Answering the Lies. What every Jew should know.

"From the river to the sea..."
Addressing a crowd in Gaza on 14 December, Gaza prime minister Ismail Haniyeh said,
"Today, we say, in a clear and unambiguous fashion: the armed resistance and armed struggle are our strategic choice and our path to liberate the Palestinian land, from the [Mediterranean] Sea to the [Jordan] River, and to drive the usurping invaders out of the blessed land of Palestine."
He added, "The fact that Hamas, at one stage or another, accepts the goal of gradual liberation - of Gaza, of the West Bank, or of Jerusalem - is not at the expense of our strategic vision with regard to the land of Palestine."
Lie: Israel intentionally targeted civilians.
(IDF statistics)
·         177 Palestinians were killed in Operation Pillar of Defence.
·         120 were ‘engaged in terrorist activity’ and 57 civilian deaths.
·         That total is a tiny number of deaths from 1500 air strikes.
·         A ratio of more than two terrorists for every civilian killed.
·         Afghanistan ratio was 3 civilians for every one combatant killed.
·         Iraq ratio 4 civilians for every one combatant killed.
This is a staggering feat of precision the Israelis achieved.
This is even more astonishing given that the Hamas situated their rockets and ammunitions in the middle of civilian areas in order to get its own people killed to score propaganda points.

There is a whole army department whose job it is to warn Palestinians of an impending attack. Amongst other things, they phone families in surrounding buildings of a target and warn them to evacuate. No other army does this.

Lie: There is a cycle of violence which only Israel can stop.
Hamas attacks are not caused by ‘frustration with the blockade’. The blockade is only there because of the murderous attacks by the Palestinians.
The cycle is only driven by one side. There is Palestinian aggression and Israeli defence and prevention!
Lie: All the Palestinians want is a state of their own.
The media fail to understand that the real goal of the Palestinian rulers is not the establishment of a viable independent state but the destruction of Israel.
Even a cursory investigation would prove this:
  • Palestinian media outlets shout out this message every day.
  • Official public recognition for terrorists who murdered Jewish civilians as national heroes.
  • Religious leaders on public radio and TV preach hatred and incite to murder on a daily basis.
  • Palestinian schools teach this as well as children’s TV.
  • They define occupied land as the whole of Israel, not just “The West Bank”.
Just a search in YouTube for “Palestinian media watch
Go to
Lie: There is an Israeli Blockade which is starving the Palestinian people.
·         No one ever talks about the Egyptian border! The media forgets that there are in fact two borders. It is Egypt which keeps its border with Gaza sealed not allowing any aid, yet turns a blind eye to a free flow of weapons being smuggled in over the border.
Mysteriously the Hamas isn’t firing rockets at Cairo!
·         Israel only restricts certain goods from coming in on security grounds.
·         Israel not only allows in a huge amount of humanitarian and medical supplies each and every day, it provides a large percentage of that aid itself.
·         Most importantly however, Israel insures a two way free flow of trade goods 24 hours a day.
·         Due to signed trade agreements, Israel is the biggest buyer of Palestinian exports.
Look at YouTube videos showing Palestinian markets and shopping centres, restaurants and cafes.
Lie: The core obstacle to ME peace is the illegal Jewish Settlements on Palestinian land.
The core obstacle to peace between Israel and any Arab nation is the Arab’s refusal to recognise the State of Israel as a Jewish State. There will never be peace so long as the central policy of the Palestinian rulers is not the establishment of a Palestinian state with peaceful borders (as the world media keeps telling you) but the destruction of the State of Israel.
Note also that the central goals of both the Palestinian Authority and Chamas are the same.
Even a cursory investigation would prove this:
  • Palestinian media outlets shout out this message every day.
  • Official public recognition for terrorists who murdered Jewish civilians as national heroes.
  • Religious leaders on public radio and TV preach hatred and incite to murder on a daily basis.
  • Palestinian schools teach this as well as children’s TV.
  • They define occupied land as the whole of Israel, not just “The West Bank”.
Just a search in YouTube for “Palestinian media watch
·         Jewish settlements on land over the 1967 border constitute just fewer than 2% of the entire land.
·         Israel is offering to give up on 98% of what is historically, the heartland of the land of Israel.
The question itself assumes that the settlements are in fact illegal whereas in fact they are legally disputed!
See for various expert legal opinions.
·         The Jews have the legal – as well as the moral and historical right to settle within Judea and Shomron, historically the heartland of the land of Israel, a right given to them by the Great Powers after the First World War on account of the unique historical claim by the Jews to the land then called Palestine. This Jewish right to settle anywhere in that land was entrusted to Britain to deliver under the terms of the Mandate for Palestine – an obligation which it proceeded to break. Yet this history and law are denied or ignored by European and United Nations legal experts.
·         Judge Stephen Schwebel, former president of the International Court of Justice, determined that Israel’s presence in Judea and Samaria was rooted in self-defense and therefore did not constitute “occupation.”
·         Eugene Rostow, former dean of Yale Law School, former undersecretary of state and co-author of U.N. Security Council Resolution 242, which sets out the criteria for Israel-Arab peacemaking said U.N. Resolution 242 does not call for withdrawal to the pre-1967 boundaries; Israel’s withdrawal from Sinai amounts to a 90 percent withdrawal from post-1967 areas; the legality of Jewish settlements in Judea and Samaria “cannot be terminated except by a recognized peace between Israel and its neighbors, and perhaps not even then, in view of Article 80 of the U.N. Charter, ‘the Palestine article,’” which upholds the 1922 British Mandate for Palestine. This 1922 international legal instrument considered Judea and Samaria part of the Jewish national homeland: “Jews have the same right to settle [in Judea and Samaria] as they have to settle in Haifa.”
·         The 1993 Oslo Accord does not prohibit the construction of Jewish settlements in Judea and Samaria.
The Real Solution.
There would be peace between Israel and the Palestinians which would include a Palestinian State living peacefully with Israel if the Palestinian Authority would declare, in Arabic as well as English, that it accepts the right of the state of Israel to exist as the nation state of the Jewish people, and announce to its own people (in Arabic and English) that their policy is no longer to wage a war of destruction against the Jewish State of Israel.
If the Palestinian Authority were to say that and to match those words by actions, for example, by ending the constant message that their aim is to capture the incitement in the educational materials and media under its authority, to hatred and murder of Jews and Israelis, then there would be peace and a state of Palestine. This would happen despite right-wing Israeli objections because Israel is a democracy and the overwhelming majority of Israelis favour a compromise over land for a true long lasting peace.