Is The (Secular) Worm Beginning To Turn In Israel?

Finally turning?

The first signs are there – but the Haredim will not give up without a bloody battle.

“The smallest worm will turn being trodden on”    William ShakespeareHenryVI, Part 3

After decades of being in thrall to the extreme religious minority, can it be that the rest of Israeli society has finally come to the point of declaring: “enough is enough”?

The answer is a definite “maybe.”

English: , alternative as used on the website ...

No separation between Religion and State

The essential problem with the structure of Israel has always been the lack of separation of  “Church and State”  (well, I suppose “Synagogue and State” would be more appropriate!) The concessions made by David Ben-Gurion to the tiny religious minority in 1947/48, may have seemed necessary then, but as we are now in the second decade of the 21st Century, it is fitting that we pause to reflect on whether those considerations should continue to apply.

In retrospect it’s ironic that a substantial number of the visionaries and founders of the new state for the Jewish People were, themselves secular – even Atheist. Most orthodox Jews opposed its formation, demanding that it was necessary to wait for the Messiah to come first (or again, depending on your belief).

However, once Israel actually existed they decided “if you can’t beat them- join them.” Better still, “control them”. And so it came to pass, that by clever political manoeuvering, manipulation of the electoral system, and by invoking the name of God when things got tough, they succeeded in obtaining power and influence out of all proportion to their numbers. (Actually, they don’t ever say God’s name as such, referring always to “Hashem” {“the name”}. When writing, they use only an acronym). The greatest irony is that tens of thousands of them still do not believe that Israel should exist, even whilst living here. Go figure!

Their success in controlling so many aspects of life is also due to the essential tolerant nature of secular liberalism. But it may be that they got too greedy. Not satisfied with what they had, they wanted even more.

I cite one example of many:

Machine matzo produced from shmura wheat in Israel

Only Matzot for a week............

During the period of Pessach (Passover), the custom is not to eat bread and similar “leavened” products made from flour. The consumption of many other kinds of foods and drink is also forbidden.

At one point, the law was changed so that it became illegal for such goods to be openly displayed. In deference to religious sensibilities, the food stores and supermarkets would cover these items with opaque material so that they would not be visible.  However, there was  a tacit understanding that those who wished to purchase the “forbidden” items could do so by simply reaching under the cover and taking what they wanted. This arrangement continued for years; a reasonable compromise you might think. You would be wrong. This word does not exist in the ultra-Orthodox lexicon.

Around two years ago the  ultra-Orthodox tried to put pressure on the leading supermarket chains to not allow the cashiers to accept such proscribed items. They threatened a boycott of these stores if they did not comply. But the practicalities of enforcement defeated them.

Not easily deterred,  they then arranged for a special software programme to be written which could be loaded into the check-out tills. This programme would prevent the bar code readers from identifying products they deemed “not allowed”. So far, they have not managed to bully the retailers into compliance. But every year they try harder. Talk about “food police”!

What was once a voluntary arrangement to accommodate the religious, has moved from “not being allowed to display” to “not being allowed to buy.” In some circumstances it is also forbidden to eat banned items in public. It is only one more small step to making it illegal to consume such items at all, even in the privacy of one’s own home. Fantasy?  Perhaps, but what happens at Pessach is the small tip of a very large iceberg. And for those who don’t believe in the physical manifestations of religious traditions, it feels like being on the Titanic!

Following a number of recent incidents, which took place over a period of a few short months, it is possible to detect the beginnings of a secular backlash. A short summary of some of the more prominent actions, which contributed to this feeling for change, includes:

  • Violent demonstrations by Haredim against young girls in Beit Shemesh, which included spitting on the girls and physically attacking them with everything from sticks and stones to excrement loaded diapers.
  • The complete exclusion of images of women on any advertising signs or billboards in Jerusalem.
  • Also in Jerusalem,  the virtual siege of a bookshop, until a Haredi inspector was allowed to check the inventory to decide which books it would be permitted to sell.
  • Repeated attempts to circumvent the law forbidding segregation  of men and women on public  transport, and abusing and physically attacking women accused of sitting in the male section of the bus.
  • Incidents of religious soldiers obeying their Rabbi and disobeying their officers – again in the sphere of separation of the sexes.
En: An Egged bus in Afula, Israel He: אוטובוס ...

Men in the front - Women in the back (but not in Tel Aviv)

Essentially, it all boils down to freedom of lifestyle, and religious coercion. I’m not sure that there was an actual “trigger”. It’s more an accumulation of things that caused non-religious people to move from thinking that the situation had reached untenable proportions, to actually doing something about it.

The decision last week by the Tel Aviv City Council to introduce public transport on Shabbat will, almost certainly, prove to be more declarative than actual, but it is a move that would have been unthinkable even 6 months ago. The obsession with the oft repeated mantra of “maintaining the status quo” must come to an end.

The Ten Commandments, In SVG

Also man made...............

The Ten Commandments may have been set in stone, but the other rules and laws of the Jewish State are all man made. (Well, so were the Commandments, actually, – but that’s  another story)

Also last week former TV presenter, Yair Lapid gave a speech to effectively launch his entry into the political arena. A main plank of his platform was to seek to reduce the power and benefits enjoyed by the Haredim. It seems that the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree. His father, the much admired Josef (Tommy) Lapid fought the same battle for years before he died. The Shinui party, under his leadership, even secured 15 seats in the Knesset, primarily due to his anti-religious stance. This was the most serious threat to Haredi power in recent years.

Lapid the Elder

Unfortunately, the members of his party started squabbling amongst themselves, and, in due course, the party fell apart. Lapid the Elder also found that politics is, truly, “the art of the possible”, and not everything he promised could be achieved. Of course, the Haredim detected that “the Hand of God” was responsible for what happened to Lapid and were outwardly triumphant.

Pundits predict that a party led by, or containing, Lapid the Younger could gain a sufficient number of seats in the Knesset to be a serious coalition partner. Then, the argument goes, a government could be constructed without including the religious parties. This could set Israel on a different path, but, based on past experiences, this scenario is unlikely to happen.

The choice is always between integration – or separation.

Personally, I’m all for separation. Sounds drastic, but the problem with integration is that the compromises required are too one sided. The secular are always expected to accommodate the religious. Until now, this is how it’s worked – and that’s the reason we got to this position.

Even the much publicised recent survey, claiming that a large majority of Israelis still believed in God, also stated that almost 60% -70% of respondents wanted public transport, shops, restaurants and places of public entertainment to be open 7 days a week.  A majority were also in favour of civil marriage. Should any of this ever come about on a national basis, the world will not come to an end. It won’t be Armageddon.

The city in which I live, Eilat, is a popular tourist destination for Israelis and foreign visitors alike. Its hotels, restaurants,coffee shops, attractions, shopping malls and public transport, function almost uninterrupted 24/7. Naturally, the “religious beach”, a newly constructed fenced off enclave within which there are separate sections for men and women, is closed on Shabbat.

So far, the small, but growing, religious groups in this City have not succeeded in changing its character significantly. Which is not to say that they are not trying! This is the problem with integration. Give them a finger and they soon want the whole arm – or body!

I would not feel uncomfortable if the state were to build physical Ghettos for the Haredi sects, in the style of 17th Century Poland, to replace the virtual Ghettos in which they now live. Then they could really feel at home.

For the rest of us, it’s time to acknowledge that this IS the 21st Century, and to start living in it!

Time, in fact, for the worm to start turning!

Andyboy – telling it as it is

Photo Credits

Worm –

Ten Commandments

Lapid –

Others in public domain or GNU free

Related Articles


Towards a Jewish Hezbollah?

The shape of things to come?
photo credit:

Well – probably not!

Despite the High Court majority ruling last week that theTal law  (allowing permanent exemption from army service for Haredim) was unconstitutional and could not be extended, there will not be a sudden influx of draftees, tzitzits swinging in the wind,  being inducted into the IDF anytime soon. Or ever!

So the prospect of an army of a Jewish Party of God confronting an army of an Islamic “Party of God” is not going to happen. Which is probably just as well.

August 4, 2006 Hezbollah weaponry found during...

For use in the service of God

The irony of the two protagonists fighting each other, whilst claiming  the support of the same God (just approached from different directions) would be laughable if it were not so tragic. Mind you, in the years that Iraq fought Iran, each side screamed “Allahu Akbar” as they slaughtered the other. And even the Irish managed a considerable number of horrific murders in the name of a Catholic God in their conflict with the forces of the Protestant God, and vice-versa. In the sphere of death and murder committed in His name, God has a lot to answer for!

Anyway, I, for one, am not excited at the prospect of one group of heavily armed religious fanatics taking on another army of equally heavily armed religious lunatics. You can decide which description is most appropriate to each side.

It has suddenly become necessary, and urgent, to decide what to do with the thousands of Torah students who are convinced that their efforts in defence of the Jewish People are equal to, or are of even greater value, than the soldiers of the IDF.


weapon of the Haredim in the service of God

Of course, studying Torah and Talmud for hours and arguing about the true meaning and interpretation of every sentence, phrase or word, whilst cooped up in stuffy classrooms, is really death defying work. Especially when compared with the risk free activities of your average combat soldier. Risking life and limb in the service of God, has a totally different meaning in the Beit Midrash. Students could suffer a wound from contact with the edge of a page and end up with a serious “paper cut.” Maybe a heavy book could fall on their foot. Perhaps, even, a serious case of hemorrhoids caused by too much sitting.

Anyway, nothing is going to cause them to exchange this dangerous way of life for the comparative luxury and comfort of a 3 year stint in the IDF.

Today, the citizens of Israel are asking: “how did we ever get into this situation?” The standard explanation is that it’s due to a mistaken decision of David Ben-Gurion during the period of the formation of the state. In an effort to include a religious element in the governmental structure, he acceded to the demands of the Agudat Israel party on a number of issues.

English: Private David Ben-Gurion, a volunteer...

David Ben-Gurion was once a soldier - as a volunteer in the British Army!

Although an Atheist himself, he was acutely aware of the need for some form of Jewish symbolism in the nascent state. He also understood that Jewish religious life in Europe, and especially in Poland, had been virtually destroyed in the last years of the World War. So, amongst other things, he agreed that the Shabbat would be the designated day of rest;  that only Kosher food would be available in state institutions, and that all matters of civil personal law (birth, marriage, divorce and death) would be under the sole control of the Jewish Religious Court system, The Rabbinate.

In addition,he accepted that a small handful of students – around 400 – would be permitted to study Torah on a full time basis, and would be permanently excused from army service.

He never assumed, not in his wildest nightmares, that some 60 years later, these decisions would lead to the largest controversy in the history of the state. Far from unifying the population, the effects of that agreement is today responsible the biggest split that Israeli society has ever known.

But, to be absolutely fair to Ben-Gurion, the so called “status quo” arrangements that he had negotiated with the religious parties, did not change significantly until Menahem Begin became Prime Minister in 1977. Begin developed different political alliances, which resulted, eventually, in the religious bloc having more power. And they took advantage of this situation with a vengeance!

The Ten Commandments, In SVG

The 11th commandment: "Thou shalt avoid the draft at all costs"

Due to the vagaries of the Israeli electoral system, the religious, and, especially, the Ultra-Orthodox parties were able to extend their influence in successive governments and this has brought us to the situation we are in today. Apart from the multitude of other contentious religious issues, the question of exemption from army service strikes a raw nerve for most Israelis. Actually, this feeling also applies to exemptions for non- religious; but the religious are more high profile. And there are, currently, over 60,000 students, learning Torah, who could have been in the army. This number is increasing at a rate of around 10,000 a year.

On the other hand, there are those that argue: “what is the army going to do with thousands of Haredim?  Currently there are less than 1200 of them in the IDF. They usually work in non combat situations, and there is no complaint about their work ethic. The problems are connected to things like dietary requirements, relationship to female soldiers, working on Shabbat, etc.

A huge number soldiers from, what is called, a “National Religious” background serve in the army, and always have. Their religious demands are on a considerably more accommodating level, and they are heavily represented in the officer corps.

The IDF has always been touted as a unifying force for Israeli society. It brings together youth from every possible ethnic and social background and tries to mould them into a cohesive entity. Historically, it has more than succeeded in this ideal, and the backbone of Israel today was formed in the IDF.

The fear is that, if Haredim in great numbers are conscripted, then their demands will create separation, not unification, in a force that has always prided itself on its values of equality.

I don’t think that it is beyond the ingenuity of the IDF to come up with some formula. But it is difficult for them when confronted with the Rabbis who defend the exemption system, and threaten that, under no circumstances, will they allow “God’s soldiers” (they mean the students) to exchange their Black and White uniforms for army Khaki.

At this time of writing, no obvious solution presents itself. Doubtless, there will be the usual political skullduggery, and a deal will be struck. There will be no substantial change to the present system.  The soldiers of the IDF will continue to fight and die for their country. The Torah students will continue to bewilder each other with obscure interpretations of some Rabbi’s opinion about the real meaning of a phrase.

And God will breathe a sigh of relief that his messengers will live to fight another day.

In their way!

Andyboy – Telling it as it is

Photo Credits

Torah (Photo credit: quinet)

Christmas Quality – Hanukkah Pricing

Whatever happened to the much vaunted Jewish sense of humour?

Over sensitivity to jokes involving Jews reached a peak a few months ago in New York when a company advertising its Vodka was forced to remove this billboard advertisment:

I think it’s witty, clever and gently amusing.

The New York Regional Director of the Anti Defamation League, Ron Meier, didn’t agree. He is quoted as saying: “To use the Jewish Holiday in dealing with issues of money is clearly insensitive and inappropriate.” He obviously hasn’t heard of  Hanukkah Gelt.” Due to pressure from him, and other organisations, the billboards were taken down in less than 24 hours.

English: Chocolate, gold-foil covered coins. M...

"issues of money are insensitive" - and what about Hanukkah Gelt?

Brian Gordon, the advertisement designer, who also happens to be Jewish, said: “We thought people would perceive it as ha ha quirky.” Well, I do – but that’s me.  Sometimes I think we Jews are just too damn thin skinned. After all, between ourselves  we tell many jokes against ourselves, and make fun of real or imagined Jewish traits. We just get so uptight if non-Jews tell the same jokes.

Were it not for racial or ethnic jokes about Jews, Blacks ,Poles, Irish, Italians and maybe half the peoples of the world, where would stand up comedians get their material? One of the most successful films and shows of recent times was “The Producers.”  Not only does it highlight the dishonest actions of two Jewish characters, but the musical , within the plot,  features the classical number Springtime for Hitler which pokes fun at Nazism and World War Two, in a song and dance routine. Of course, there have been complaints that this trivialises the suffering and tarnishes the memory of the dead. Is parody only acceptable if it doesn’t involve Jews?

Anyway, this particular billboard thing happened last November, so why am I mentioning it now? It’s only because the same company previously attracted a lot of media coverage with this gem:

picture credit: ABC New York

Given the recent obsession of certain members of the Knesset with the evils of prostitution, I am just waiting for the posting of defamatory billboards to be added to the list of criminal activities.

Andyboy – Telling it as it is!

Do YOU think this is funny?

So – What’s So Wrong With Profiling?

English: Malpensa New Check-In Area

Israeli Arab journalist switches airline after ‘humiliating’ El Al security check

Nazareth-based women’s magazine editor Yara Mashour tells Haaretz she felt as if she was ‘raped’ by airport security agents in Milan airport.

From an article by Jack Khoury ( Ha’aretz  headline today)

Now this young lady’s profession indicates that she is good with words – so her description of the incident is very graphic. It may well be that the events unfolded exactly as she described them – there is no reason to doubt her. The response from El Al security is also predictable;  El Al said it operates “in accordance with the instructions of Israeli security agencies,”
Of course, this is not the first time that there have been complaints about treatment by security staff, and for sure it will not be the last. For those on the receiving end, the security clearance experience can be humiliating, degrading, insulting, or just plain tedious. But the questions that must be asked are:  who is to blame, and how did we arrive at this situation?
The answer is, regrettably, simple, and can be summed up in the aphorism:
” Whilst it is true that not all Muslims are terrorists, it is also true that most terrorists are Muslim.”  
From this basis arises the necessity of profiling. The logic is so obvious that all the screaming about human rights abuses won’t change it. In the ” Politically Correct”  atmosphere of the Western World, the security agencies are seeking a technological solution; machines that will replace people. In this scenario, everyone will be screened by the machines, thus ensuring that everyone is inconvenienced equally.
The reaction of the security agencies – outside of Israel – to each new attempt to ” beat the system” would  be laughable if the circumstances were not so potentially tragic. The paranoia that gripped America after 9/11 resulted in the introduction of new levels of airline security – presumably the thinking was ” better late than never.”  But the obsession with personal rights and freedoms prevented, and is still preventing, the systems from operating  efficiently. How can they, if they don’t adopt fully the Israeli system? Their actions are always re-active, rather than pro-active. Three examples:
A mugshot of shoebomber Richard Reid

The shoe bomber

In December 2001, Richard Reid, a British Muslim,  flying from Paris to Miami, attempted to set off explosives concealed in his shoes. As result, all future passengers were obliged to remove their shoes for inspection at check in. (in America I think even to this day)

In August 2006, British police uncovered a plot by other British Muslims to blow up 10 aircraft using a sophisticated mixture of liquid chemicals. Immediately people were prevented from taking liquids on board – even the mineral water they had just purchased in the airport was confiscated. (It happened to me)

English: Photo 2 of Umar Mutallab

the underwear bomber

In December 2009 (on Christmas Day!), Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, a Nigerian Muslim, on a flight from Amsterdam to Detroit, attempted to detonate explosives concealed in his underwear. Surprisingly, in this case, the agencies did not respond with a demand that passengers submit to an inspection of their underwear – while they were still wearing it! On the other hand, external body “patting down” became more intrusive, giving rise to the phenomenon known as ” Groin Groping” by the security staff.

The Israeli system operates from a different perspective – more psychological than physical. Much reliance is placed on intelligence, meaning advance knowledge of as many personal details of each passenger as possible. Also there are many “rings of observation and studies of the individual” starting from the moment of entering the terminal to the moment of being seated on the plane. And, after that, there are still the Sky Marshals travelling on every flight.

English: Transportation Security Administratio...
seeking to adopt the Israeli system

In May 2008, the US Department of Homeland Security announced that it would adopt many of the Israeli measures. A number of US domestic airports have already done so – but they are still hung up on the profiling issue.

The fact is that no plane departing from Ben Gurion Airport has ever been hijacked. The attack inside the terminal in 1972 by Japanese terrorists which killed 24 people, and the attack in 1985 on the EL AL ticket counters in Rome and Vienna Airports which killed 19, led to an upgrade and rethinking by Israeli security agencies. Who knows how many other attempts have been thwarted by the application of procedures that unashamedly include profiling?

English: The entrance to Eilat's Airport

You can still get hassled here.......

And the complaint that Israelis don’t suffer in the same way is not totally true, although the degree might be different. Maybe it’s because I’m a “New Immigrant” (of 25 years and counting) but I still get hassled almost every week by security when I’m flying domestically. Only last week in Eilat airport – after my (Israeli!) ID card had been taken to a supervisor for inspection, and the details checked against his handheld computer, was I given an ultimatum by the young officer checking me. If I would not agree to have my small hand luggage checked in for storage in the hold of the plane, it would have to be opened. For me this was no problem, and certainly better than waiting at the baggage carousel  in Tel Aviv. Thus it was subject to a chemical inspection and the contents displayed for all who might be interested. This after the regular plethora of questions about who packed the bag, did anyone give me anything to deliver, was it all my own stuff, where had it been since I packed it, did I understand why I was being asked these questions etc.

Perhaps it has something to do with the fact that my Hebrew is still so bad. But it does seem to contradict everything that I have said, and believe, about profiling. After all, I’m a grandfather with a son and a daughter and grandchildren all living in Israel. My daughter is even in the Air Force!

Maybe the profile now includes Anglo-Saxon septuagenarians? Who knows?

One benefit of not being in the first flush of youth is that I can still remember the days when there was no such thing as airport security. I suspect that not too many people have had the experience of just turning up at the airport and getting on a plane, as if it were a bus. No hassle, no questions. no three hour pre-checkin time. Can you believe that life was once like that?

Those were the days before ” the cousins” created the hijacking threat. They have much to answer for!

Andyboy – Telling it as it is!

Related articles

Update 17th February 2012

Umar Farouk Abdulmutalla sentenced to life imprisonment in America after pleading guilty to all charges. He showed no remorse and said he would do the same thing again, given the opportunity. Truly deserving of this front page:

“Andyboy Has Been Banned” – Again!

Well, I don’t really make a habit of it. This is only the second time!

Since discovering the Blogosphere, about  six months ago, I found myself drawn to sites having a large number of contributors dedicated to attacking Israel, Zionism and Jews. I am not sure how many of you are aware of the battles taking place every hour of every day in Cyberspace.

I am not referring to the recently highly publicised “Wars of the hackers”, but to the long-term insidious phenomenon of anti-Semitic and anti-Israeli rhetoric saturating the internet. I discovered this quite by accident, and was horrified to slowly learn the extent and depth of the hatred being spewed out so regularly.

Al Jazeera English

A forum not for the faint hearted

Somehow I felt an obligation to reply to the (mainly venomous)  talkbackers, and to put the alternative viewpoint. I started slowly, with what I might define as the “soft porn”  forum in Ha’aretz. I graduated to the harder stuff produced daily in Aljazeera, and then found myself in the “hardcore” website of Robert Lindsay. This was interesting to the extent that Robert allowed people the freedom to use whatever language they liked, with virtually no limits, just a few restrictions on subject matter.

It quickly became clear that I was dealing with a different breed of commentators. All, apparently, highly educated, and exuding the kind of intellectual superiority that a university education seems to inspire, well, at least in America. Of course, their “gurus” were the likes of Ilan Pappe, Norman Finklestein, Noam Chomsky, Stephen Walt and John Mearsheimer, so you may imagine their perspective on the Israeli – Palestinian conflict.

It disclaims state of Israel

Zionists not welcome

To be fair the exchanges were, in the main, reasonably civilised and much of the banter was not vicious. I don’t think that I succeeded in influencing mindsets one iota. They had, without exception, swallowed the Palestinian narrative,“hook,line and sinker.” Their viewpoint of the situation was the only valid one. Any opposing  view was simply Zionist propaganda, or Hasbara, having no merit.

As we all know, historical narrative is never absolute truth; it is always open to interpretation. Since their interpretation depended, to a large extent, on the writings and teachings of the left wing protagonists listed above, their position on the issue was fixed and inflexible.

Apart from the conflict itself, there were two other subjects which constantly recurred. The first was about world domination by the Jews. The usual canards about Jewish power, control of the banking and finance sectors, control of all media – the regular rubbish. Secondly, as an extension of the first, was the Jewish influence on American politics, particularly in the sphere of foreign affairs. There was really great resentment about the perceived actions of the”Jewish lobby” and their results.

English: Governor Mitt Romney of MA

"Obama threw Israel under the bus"

My standard response was that each nation acts only in its own best interests. For as long as those interests are satisfied, the nation will continue to do what it feels is right for it. The moment it stops feeling that, it will do something else. In the case of Israel, even America, or its President, will, as Republican presidential hopeful, Mitt Romney so eloquently expressed it “throw Israel under the bus” when it considers the time is right. No amount of lobbying will prevent that.

I mentioned that the exchanges were reasonably civil most of the time. But not all of the time. The site hosted a fair number of hostile anti-Semites, not afraid to express themselves in the most primitive language. I was invited to “fuck off and die” and to “fuck off back to Jew-land”. One commentator volunteered the information that he“spent all last night ripping up pieces of toilet paper…  it has the Israeli flag printed on every piece”. I was also variously described as a “gonorrhea dripping penis”and a “gay ass fucker.” If you decide to enter the internet world to speak on behalf of Israel, you need a thick skin.

After a few months of this I decided that my time could be more usefully utilised on developing my own blog and writing elsewhere, and this what I did. From time to time I would glance at Robert’s site, but it was pretty much “same old, same old” so didn’t feel that I had much to add. But a few days ago I came across this gem:

“The black slave trade over the Atlantic from Africa to America was a JEW ONLY monopoly. All the slave ships was  owned by jews.All the captain’s on all the slave ships was jews.  The biggest slave owner was jews. 

Watch any jew made jewish propaganda bullshit movie made in jew ruled Hollywood and what do you get? Jewish bullshit telling ignorant and stupid white people that is was the white man behind the black slave trade” (his grammar) .

I could not resist the desire to respond. Robert had written a piece about political correctness, with which I agreed, and I told him so. I then said: “On the other hand I see that you have acquired another raving lunatic, foaming at the mouth anti-Semitic nutcase. Well, I guess there’s no shortage of those – I just wonder why they gravitate to your site. I suppose it’s because you don’t mind providing a forum for the “Jews are the cause of every evil that has ever befallen the world brigade.”

Robert’s response was the following:

“Andyboy Has Been Banned

Andyboy, the beloved British-Israeli commenter who charmed and delighted so many of you on this blog, has been banned for “hostile attitude.” This was a very difficult decision. I realize that most commenters were endeared to him, and the longtime commenters especially loved him very much. I realize that by doing this I will enrage many of my commenters, and even many longtime commenters will probably leave, but I had to do it anyway. He got too nasty with me one too many times, so it’s back to Tel Aviv or wherever for him.

I hope some of you will stick around. As the rest of you don’t live in Tel Aviv, I doubt a similar fate awaits you. The rules are the rules, and they have to be enforced. I hope you all will forgive me for this necessary but very painful action.”

Last time I checked, there were 50 responses to his decision: Not all them negative towards me.

You can judge for yourself the nature of his blog, and the level of the discussion as I’m giving him a free “Plug”.  Just click on these links:

Feel free to form your own conclusions – and let me know your thoughts.

Oh – the other “banning”?

English: The Daily Mail clock, just off Kensin...

Times have changed in the UK!

That was 6 months ago and had nothing to do with Jews or Israel. I commented on the London Daily Mail website about the London riots which had just ended. I pointed out that political correctness in the UK had reached such a level that the media studiously avoided mentioning the self evident fact that most of the rioters, arsonists and shoplifting thieves were, actually, Black. Or Brown.

I was unaware that it was no longer possible in 21st century Britain to call a spade a spade. (Pun intended). So I was surprised to receive a notification that I was “banned for life”  from their site with the threat of serious reprisals if I ever tried to comment again. To this date I have been unable to obtain from the Mail any explanation, or justification for their action. My assumption is just an assumption. You can click on the link below for fuller details:

Andyboy – Telling it as it is!

(or trying to if not banned!)