Archive | December 8th, 2010





Yediot’s legal editor cites Nuremberg Laws, Eichmann trial, in critique of new Rabbinical ruling


Rabbis’ disgrace

Analysis, Boaz Okon, Yediot, December 8 2010 [front-page; Hebrew original here and at the bottom of this post]


In 1834, a clothes salesman in London refused to sell an article of clothing to a customer.  The refusal stemmed from the fact that the buyer was “just a Jew.”The Jewish buyer sued the salesman, but the court in the Timothy case supported the salesman.  It was not a just trial, but the judge employed a sacred principle, the freedom of contracts, according to which a person can choose with whom he wants to enter into a contract and whom he does not.  This sanctity was a disgrace and a refuge for ugly prejudice.

The court’s non-intervention only supplied ammunition to the strong and violent versus the human and the weak, and the usual outcome of giving “freedom to wolves,” as Prof. Isaiah Berlin put it, is “death for sheep.”  Since then, the sanctity of the freedom of contracts has been made subject to the demand of good faith.  It can no longer serve as a refuge for racists.  In the Israeli ruling in the case of Naamne vs. Kibbutz Kalia, Judge Miriam Mizrahi ruled that one cannot rely on freedom of contracts to prevent Arabs from entering a water park.

Now Jewish clerics are using a different sanctity, the sanctity of the Torah, to cover their racist shame.  They will find that the sanctity cannot legitimize the ugliness.  Their prejudice will also be consigned to the dustbin of history, along with the ridiculous ritual that surrounds it.

The infamous Nuremberg Laws forbade, in 1935, mixed marriages between Jews and Germans, and barred Jews from employing German maids (under age 45) and laborers.  This prohibition was intended to portray the Jews as a kind of pest, not quite human.  They became a persecuted bloc on the basis of generalizations and slander.

Gideon Hausner, the prosecutor at the Eichmann trial, would later say that in Israel, “we do not make ethnic distinctions.”  But here, rabbis, who receive their pay from the state coffers, forbid people to rent apartments to Gentiles, to Arabs, because it “causes evil and makes the public commit the sin of intermarriage,” and because they have among them “enemies and people who persecute us to the point of endangering lives.”

Posted in Middle EastComments Off on ZIO=NAZI RACIST SHAME




Students across the city have been leading energetic protests against plans to raise university fees and to cut provision and support. We are writing to add our voices to these protests.


The Coalition Government has expressed its agreement with the recommendations of the Browne Review of university funding, with the minor amendment that universities will be able to charge no more than £9000 per year for undergraduate courses. This represents a three-fold increase in fees. Recent studies have confirmed the view of many in the sector, that this level of cost will dissuade many able low-income students from attending university at all.


At the same time, the government plans to slash funding to colleges and to scrap the Educational Maintenance Allowance (EMA). Without access to a local further education college and the support for travel and basic costs of the EMA, further study becomes impossible for many.


The review of university funding not only passes the costs of degrees onto students, the proposals also seek to end state support for the majority of courses. Whereas previously HEFCE (the university funding body) would allocate places to courses and institutions, ensuring a fair spread of university places across regions, now universities and cities are encouraged to compete against each other.


For Birmingham, this is disastrous. We know that the city and region face challenges in skills – without access to further study, these issues cannot be addressed. Government acknowledges that courses and entire universities will go out of business. The loss of any of the city’s important universities – or even the loss of significant numbers of courses from our local universities – will damage our ability to rebuild the skills base of the city and to meet the aspirations of local people. Importantly, the decline of our universities and colleges will also lead to a loss of revenue and jobs to the city. Further and higher Education is important employers in Birmingham and student communities bring a large amount of business to the city.


Birmingham has devoted considerable energy to attracting students to the city in recent years. Funding proposals that threaten universities, colleges and courses in this city will destroy this work and damage Birmingham’s ability to meet the economic and social challenges ahead.


We call on the leaders of Birmingham City Council and the city’s MPs to lobby government to defend the educational infrastructure of the city and to meet with us, ordinary staff from across the city’s universities and colleges, to defend

Educational provision for Birmingham, both now and in the future.

Posted in EducationComments Off on JUST SAY NO TO UNIVERSITY FEES




Gaza Quiz



Quiz front page


If you’d like to find out more about Gaza, including what materials have been denied access, check out the new online quiz Caabu has produced for Al Fakhoora


Jam-packed with all sorts of fascinating facts, it is designed to test and develop awareness about the situation on the ground. Through a series of questions on Gaza’s past, present and possible future, it not only provides an in depth understanding of current conditions but the roots of the ongoing crisis.  


Illustrated throughout with photos, maps and artwork, the quiz is a great introduction to an issue that is often considered difficult. Written in a clear, accessible style, it is suitable as part of a lesson, for personal research or as a stimulus for discussion.   


The Gaza quiz can be used by anyone, from secondary school students onwards. Visit the Al-Fakhoora website and see how much you know!


CAABU works to promote a positive approach to Arab-British relations by providing an unrivalled forum for a diverse range of politicians, journalists, opinion formers and members of the public to co-operate on issues relating to the Arab world.Founded in 1967, CAABU is jointly chaired by a British Member of Parliament from each of the three main parties and has over 120 Parliamentary members. 


1 Gough Square

Tel: 0207 832 1321
Fax: 0207 832 1329

The Council for the Advancement of Arab-British Understanding Limited, Company Limited by guarantee. Company Number: 5047247
Registered in England and Wales, Registered Office: 1 Gough Square, London EC4A 3DE

Posted in Middle EastComments Off on GAZA QUIZ: WHAT DO YOU KNOW ABOUT GAZA?

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