Sunday, February 26, 2006

PONJO night

Another Freedmanslife acronym for you, as the term goy is in some parts (prissy Yanks perchance?) considered to be derogatory. A PONJO is a Person Of Non-Jewish Origin. So last night was a double bill of PONJO parties, taking place in Pimlico and Clapham, neither area being renowned as centres of Talmudic study or homes to good shawarma places. I noticed some subtle differences about how Jews and non-Jews party:

1. Jews bring any old bottle of crap wine, knowing that it won't be drunk anyway; PONJOs bring any old bottle of crap wine, knowing that it will be drunk anyway.
2. Jews provide masses of delicious food, because that's what people are most interested in; PONJOs provide some light snacks to soak up the alcohol, and some nice grub for their Jewish guests.
3. Jews stress interminably about how many people will turn up, inevitably overcater regardless, and then are wracked with uncertainty about what this means for their popularity; PONJOs seem not to care either way and carry it off just fine (one party was small but maintaining an average IQ north of 140, the other was so crowded and loud that the Environmental people showed up because of noise complaints).
4. Jews have some dinner first, then show up at JMT (ie the stated time plus 30-60 mins), and leave around midnight, or certainly by about 1am because they always have "something on" the next day; PONJOs pitch up quite early and stay until dawn or the drink runs out, then sleep through Sunday.
5. At the end of the party, Jews say goodbye without leaving; PONJOs leave without saying goodbye.

Please submit any other differences that Freedmanslifers have spotted.

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

The Apprentice: bad apples

Welcome to the first edition of a weekly spot on The Apprentice, series II. The UK version stars Sir Alan Sugar and his sidekicks Nick and Margaret, with 14 wannabe bootlickers vying for a job with the Big Grump himself.

Before we start, I should confess that I tried out for last season's show, and got through the first 4 interview stages before being shown the door (sans punchline). As it turns out, I wouldn't have been able to take part because filming was over Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, and in Sugar's immortal words from last year, "well I'm Jewish and I couldn't give a toss". During the course of the interview day, I chatted to dozens of other candidates, but one stood out as being particularly unexciting and process-driven, fitting the stereotype that BP folk have of Shell employees.

That was Lindsay, and she got on the show, whilst some of the more interesting and clearly innovative people I met never did. She garnered (according to a Daily Telegraph interview with Saira, another fired wannabe) a reputation for steamrolling dissenters. Sir Alan fired her for her constant bleating about her beloved data (where was she when Shell "misplaced" a few hundred million barrels of reserves last year?) which led her to push the unloved semaphore game in her particular task, instead of following the wishes of her team and the kids who tried the toys.

I mention this because my first reaction on seeing this year's line-up was that most of them were lightweights. I was slightly wrong; some of them are (one of them will even be dismissed later in the series with "you're a lightweight and you're fired"), and some are just fragile and potentially slightly nuts. Is it mere coincidence that the candidate fitting that description most aptly is an HR Manager?

Anyway, onto my impressions of this week's episode. The task was to buy fruit at New Spitalfields and sell it on for the most profit at a market in Hackney.

Well, the girls won it by using their sexual charms and female allure to get their fruit for free and sell it in bulk, then got a bit cross when Sir Alan pointed out that this was not the kind of method taught either on an MBA course or at the Amstrad School of Barrow-Trading. Funny, I think that the girls are to be applauded for making this tactic work for them, as with perhaps a single exception, they have the personalities and physical attributes to counter even the largest overdose of Viagra.

The boys were led by Ben - charming but a bit too posh and polite; kind of how they carried out the task. They sold plenty, having bought it for a good price, but were collectively unimaginative and lacking any daring in how they went about the task under his management. He had several run-ins with Syed, the cocky upstart who is apparently obsessed with the A-Team, but ultimately was ousted instead of Syed or that nice but quiet Jewish chap, because he was dull and a bit feeble.

So the show was off to a good start - Jo is clearly unstable, Syed is going to get a fat lip from someone (my money's on Margaret landing a haymaker on his pretty little face), Nargis dug a hilarious hole for herself by using the argument that the fruit they sold was substandard, and will no doubt produce some other pearls in future weeks, and most of the others look fairly lightweight as mentioned. Except for Ansell and Paul, who are clearly heavyweight by body shape if not by intellect and acumen.

I look forward to watching sweet Sugar rooting out more bad apples in weeks to come...

Saturday, February 18, 2006

Did you hear the one about...

Did you hear the one about the 3 fascist antisemites? The first one has a hooked hand, the second one was let off the hook, and the third one expects the public to swallow his recantation hook, line and sinker.

Not very funny.

So Abu Hamza went down, Nick Griffin squirmed out, and David Irving is likely to be enjoying Austrian hospitality a little longer than he intended. The key seems to be that if you're going to say unpleasant things (funny how Jew-hatred is a recurring theme), you have to be careful. Here is a checklist:

1. If you want to deny the Holocaust, don't do it in Austria or Germany
2. If you want to big up suicide bombers, don't do it in Britain
3. If you want to be vile about Asians etc, do it in a plummy Home Counties accent

Whilst we're here, a quick reason why Holocaust denial is nothing short of antisemitism. Follow the logical thought process: if it didn't happen, then the Jews have coordinated a massive fabrication including thousands of "survivors" with cover stories, and used it to extort millions in reparations and an entire nation from the rest of the world. That's pretty much a libel against the Jewish people.

So here's a summary of what we have learned about how to say bad things. Put on a Home Counties accent and word it vaguely so you don't make any threats and your audience makes the necessary interpretations of what they think you are implying:-

"Wouldn't it just be a terrible shame for justice if the three fascist antisemites were to meet with painful and ultimately fatal accidents?"

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Valentine's Day

The end of another Valentine's Day is nigh, and barring some last-minute arrivals from a courier, I have successfully evaded the clutches of the many women who are secretly in love with me (or lust after my pert rear and cuddly tummy). It's not been the same since LG got married and my mother realised I could recognise her handwriting. Anyway, the five other women I'm secretly mad about (Bausch, Birdpoo, Juicebox, Peanut and Skunk - order is alphabetical rather than by preference) will have to wait another year to declare they feel the same way too.

Happy Valentine's Day!

Sunday, February 12, 2006

Welcome to Hamastan

Many freedmanslifers have asked me why I think it's wonderful that Hamas won the PLC elections. Commentators on the hawkish side of the aviary share my view that it either forces them to reform, moderate and negotiate, or shows them in their true colours and absolves Israel from having to deal with them.

But I go one step further. It shows that the Palestinian people themselves are not ready for peace. They voted overwhelmingly for a terror organisation, largely because of their stance on Israel, ie its total obliteration. Of course the liberal media here and in Israel has bought the Hamas spin that they won on a ticket of anti-corruption and welfare. But nobody on the ground is under any illusion, least of all the voters themselves.

The reason I am grateful for this is that it gives the lie once more to the idea that the Israelis are the warmongers who use their democratic rights to elect generals and persecute Arabs whilst the Palestinians use theirs to eke out a pathetic existence alongside its bullying neighbour.

It's time for the Western world to continue its uncharacteristic solidarity (Russia apart) in giving Hamas the cold shoulder. This not only shows its displeasure at the Hamas government but it underlines to the Palestinian people that they must be more responsible with thir democratic choices.

Without this continued show of force, the major downside is that it sends a discouraging message to the rest of the Arab world that democratisation is only welcome if the right people win.

But as long as the EU, UN and USA hold their nerve in facing down Hamas, they send a message that democracy can only go hand in hand with recognition and respect, if they want the rewards that come with it in the form of proper relations with the West. If the world backs down, we lose another battle in the clash of civilizations - terror wins by capturing democracy and making it another weapon in its armoury.

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Before Israel dies, it must be humiliated

The following are extracts from an address by Hamas Political Bureau head Khaled Meshaal at the Al-Marabat Mosque in Damascus on February 3 2006 (Al-Jazeera TV).

“Many of the Western countries which seek to eliminate terrorism are actually pouring oil on the fire of terrorism on a daily basis.”

“Do they not see that democracy works against them? They spend their money in order to undermine Hamas and to defeat it.”

“We say to the West that you have been beaten in Palestine and the defeat has already begun. Israel will be vanquished, and all those who have supported and continue to support it will also be vanquished. America will be defeated in Iraq. The nation of Muhammad will triumph in Palestine and Iraq and on all Arab and Muslim soil. Tomorrow, our nation will rule the world; this is a fact. Tomorrow, we will rule the world.”

“Our beloved Muhammad revealed to us that Allah promised us victory on the soil of Palestine against the Jews and the Zionist aggressors. The revelation is now being realised and we are witnessing its fulfilment.”

“Before Israel dies, it must be humiliated. Before they die, they will experience disgrace and humiliation. They relied upon Sharon and he has left them, and today they have defeated leaders.”

“Israelis thought that they could control the region through nuclear weapons, and then Pakistan obtained nuclear weapons. Now, Iran and other Arab states have chemical weapons. Israel has begun to sense that it no longer has supremacy in the region.”

“Today, we have imposed a new equation in the war. In this equation, we have stronger weapons, and we will therefore defeat them. We will defeat them psychologically and destroy their security before we defeat them militarily in the field. Gaza is the first triumph, and the elections are the second stage – and so it will continue.”

“I know that every Arab leader deeply desires the victory of the resistance in Palestine, and that Palestine will be liberated and we are therefore extending out hands and opening our hearts to the entire nation at the official level and at the popular level.”

“(German Chancellor) Merkel stated that democracy is not sufficient. A Hamas victory in the elections – how can it be seen as legitimate? When we said that resistance is legitimate, you said that it was terrorism, and now when we say that there is legitimacy in democracy, you deny it.”

“We are not scared of their threats. They demand that we recognise Israel. Really? They do not demand that the murderer recognise the right of the victim, but expect the victim to recognise the murderer. We will tour the Arab states, and we will meet with Arab and Muslim leaders.”

“We in Hamas have a system that can conduct the political campaign in the same way that it led to the military campaign, but in a different language and with other tools, and recognition of Israel is not one of them. The surrender of our rights is not one of them, and neither is the surrender of our right and our weapon of resistance. The people charged us with the liberation of our land, the restoration of Jerusalem and the holy places, the release of 9000 prisoners, ending aggression and returning five and a half million uprooted Palestinian refugees to their homeland.”

“I say to America, Europe and the West: You have an interest in improving relations and changing your policy toward the Arab and Islamic nation, as well as maintaining ties with the victors instead of with the defeated. Israel will be vanquished and the Arabs will triumph. The Muslims will win. Palestine will win. Change your policy immediately.”

Monday, February 06, 2006

Why extremists treat us with contempt

From the Daily Telavivigraph (hat tip: Laurie)

British subjects march through the streets of the capital calling for their fellow citizens to be "beheaded", "massacred" and "annihilated". A two-year-old girl born in this country is dressed up in an "I Heart Al-Qaida" cap. Demonstrators call for "a real holocaust", with the horrible insinuation of holocaust-deniers everywhere: that the genocide never took place, but that it should have done.

There was a time when all this might have been dismissed as empty rhetoric. But the past five years have swept away any such innocence.

British boys have left Tipton and Wanstead and Beeston to fight and kill their fellow citizens - whether in Iraq, Gaza, Afghanistan or London. When these Islamist protesters dress up as suicide bombers and revel in the "magnific! ent" attacks of 9/11, they are not engaging in a harmless daydream: they are encouraging murder. And, to be fair, the police did eventually arrest two people for breaching the peace - not Islamist protesters, you understand, but two counter-demonstrators who were apparently provoking trouble by carrying images of Mohammed.

Now you might argue that the Met was right to lay off: that we live in a free country, however loudly the demonstrators decry that freedom, and that we should tolerate even the most noxious and deluded of opinions. The trouble is that we don't. We live in a country where you can be arrested for reciting the names of dead soldiers at the Cenotaph, heckling at a Labour Party conference or making slighting remarks about Osama bin La! den. We live in a country where a pensioner can be charged with "racially aggravated criminal damage" for scrawling "free speech for England" on a condemned wall.

Asked why it had not arrested any of the demonstrators, the Met refused to answer - or, to be precise, it said "the decision to arrest at a public order event must be viewed in the context of the overall policing plan and the environment the officers are operating in".

Might there be a connection between this cowardice and the contempt some Muslims feel for us? Is it not at least possible that the self-loathing they encounter, from the moment they go to school, turns some boys from Tipton and Wanstead and Beeston against their country?

After all, the question of whether it is possible to be a good British Muslim is not a new one. Hundreds of millions of Muslims lived peacefully under the British Crown, in India, Sudan, Malaya and elsewhere. They saw no conflict between their faith and their civic loyalty, fighting for Britain even when we went to war against the Ottoman Caliph. The difference is that, in those days, we had confidence in ourselves, and conveyed this confidence to others.

Compare that attitude with the apologies we heard yesterday from the Foreign Secretary, Jack Straw, the former Met chief Lord Stevens and others, all of whom seemed to ! be more upset about the depiction of the Prophet in Jyllands-Posten than about the fact that a tiny minority in this country seems bent on the murder of the rest of us. This newspaper has a deep regard for Islam, that purest and most abstract of the monotheistic faiths, to whose tenets we recently dedicated a series of colour supplements.

We share the admiration of Rousseau, Carlyle and Gibbon for the Prophet, which is why, on grounds of courtesy, we have chosen not to cause gratuitous offence to his followers by reproducing the cartoons at the centre of this row. But that is a different thing from saying that such images ought not to be published. All respectable Muslims should be horrified at the antics of the ignorant loudmouths who paraded through Knightsbridge at the weekend. At best, they have disgraced their religion. At worst, they have incited terrorism and, in so doing, condemned themselves to an infinitely worse fate than they need fear from our courts.

"The actions of each man are bound about his neck," says the Koran (17:13). "On the Day of Resurrection, he shall be confronted with a scroll spread wide open."

Thursday, February 02, 2006

British newspaper prints anti-Semitic cartoon

London, 1st February 2003

A rally of over 50,000 Jews marched today from Trafalgar Square to the offices of the Independent newspaper, carrying banners such as "The world needs another Holocaust - for the goyim" and "Hashem bless Baruch Goldstein" (a reference to a settler who massacred over 50 Muslims in a Hebron mosque). Police refused to intervene and remove the offensive material from the marchers, many of whom were wearing Israeli army uniforms and carrying replica Uzi machine-guns.

The march took place following the publication of a cartoon on Holocaust Memorial Day (27th January) of Ariel Sharon biting off the head of a Palestinian baby, evoking, according to the Jewish community, the anti-Semitic blood libels of yore. The Independent had refused to apologise or remove their editor. When the editor himself appeared on the steps of the newspaper's office to speak to the crowd, several hundred members of the mob, by now whipped into a frenzy by Hebrew chants claiming the greatness of Zion, stormed the building, seized him and beat him to death, eventually throwing him from an upstairs window and waving their bloodstained hands at the gathered crowd.

In response, Gerald Kaufman, Labour MP and also a Jew, said "The labelling as anti-Semitic of Dave Brown's cartoon, which depicted the Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon as a naked, child-eating ogre, was entirely spurious - but entirely predictable. Nor is it surprising that the lynch-mob was led by the Israeli embassy in London, once a respected diplomatic mission, but now the instrument of Israel's worst-ever Foreign Minister, Binyamin Netanyahu."

Tel Aviv, 2nd February 2003

Tens of thousands of Israelis today rampaged through the city, after hearing an inflammatory address by hitherto left-wing intellectual and writer Amos Oz in the city's Rabin Square. Oz concluded: "Our sufferings have granted us immunity papers, as it were, a moral carte blanche. After what all those dirty goyim non-Jews have done to us, none of them is entitled to preach morality to us. We, on the other hand, have carte blanche, because we were victims and have suffered so much. Once a victim, always a victim, and victimhood entitles its owners to a moral exemption."

The incensed crowd, with the apparent complicity of the police and military, attacked the British Embassy as well as the diplomatic missions of several other countries whose media had republished the cartoon first seen last week in the Independent depicting Israeli prime minister Ariel Sharon eating a baby.

These incidents were replicated by angry Diaspora Jewish communities in cities around the world. The British Foreign Office warned that all UK citizens should be wary of entering Jewish neighbourhoods alone and after dark, and urged all gentile citizens to leave Israel as soon as possible.

Asked if the attacks were justified, moderate Anglo-Jewish lawyer Anthony Julius said the cartoons were "anti-semitic, in a fantastically irresponsible way, at a particularly volatile time". The UK Press Complaints Commission, rejecting the complaint, said it was "reluctant to come to a decision that would in any way compromise the ability of newspapers to make critical or satirical comments about nations or governments through the use of cartoons".

New York, 3rd February 2003

The World Congress of Chief Rabbis today asked the Jewish community around the world to hold a "Day of Anger" in response to the publication and subsequent republishing of what it said were "anti-Semitic and inflammatory" cartoons in the international press. As Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon called for the Zionist press to organise a competition for the best "Muslim Holocaust" cartoon, the rest of the mainstream media was swift to condemn the outrages being perpetrated by the Jewish-Zionist community as a gross over-reaction.

The United Nations, European Union and American Congress swiftly convened today to echo the emergency powers being drafted by British Parliamentarians today to allow the police to arrest "Zionist provocateurs" carrying or wearing any item deemed to glorify Israel or its army.

As synagogues are shut down by police in response to the "Day of Anger" led by so-called moderate Jewish preachers, many are wondering whether there is a future for Diaspora Jewry given their obvious clash of values with the West.

The newly-appointed Independent editor Jill Ands-Posten pointed out that "the world is not afraid of the Jews; if it was the Muslim community reacting, that would be a different matter entirely. We would have had to retract and issue an apology - after all, we all understand about ORFTORFU."