Saturday, August 27, 2011

Anti-Semitism at St Andrews University

On the left is 20-year-old Gentile Paul Donnachie; on the right is 18-year-old Jew Chanan Reitblat - both students at St Andrews University.

On the evening of March 12th, a drunken Mr Donnachie entered Mr Reitblat's room in the halls of residence, rubbed his genitals and then wiped his hands on an Israeli flag displayed proudly upon Mr Reitblat's wall. Mr Donnachie said: "Whilst in the room at the student residences of an individual who I considered a friend, Chanan Reitblat, I placed my hands down the front of my jeans and onto an Israeli flag which belonged to him, accompanied by comments to the effect that Israel is a terrorist state, and is guilty of many civilian deaths."

He continued, "The action was not malicious. However, it sparked a great deal of political debate amongst our group of friends within our Hall of Residence, whereby the nature of the State of Israel was discussed."

But Mr Donnachie has been found guilty of racial abuse, and has been expelled from St Andrews University.

Cupar Sheriff Court in the county of Fife is not really a happening kind of place, but it was packed throughout the two-day trial, with friends of the plaintiff and members of the Scottish Palestine Solidarity Campaign (SPSC) among those in attendance. There were cries of 'shame', 'disgrace' and 'scandal' from the public benches after Mr Donnachie, who described himself as a 'political activist', was found guilty by Sheriff Charles Macnair.

Sentence has been deferred until September 13th, with Mr Donnachie vowing to appeal the verdict. He maintains that he was protesting against the state of Israel rather than offending any individual.

The case turns on whether or not critism of the Israeli flag amounts to anti-Semitism. According to artist Carlos Latuff, the Star of David is a legitimate target when placed on the Israeli flag:
Since visiting the West Bank in 1999, Latuff has become known for his support of the Palestinian cause; some campaigners claim his work is antisemitic. “Part of the supposed ‘evidence’ for my antisemitism is the fact that I’ve used the Star of David, which is a symbol of Judaism,” he says wearily. “But check all my artworks – you’ll find that the Star of David is never drawn alone. It’s always part of the Israeli flag. Yes, it’s a religious motif, but in Israel it has been applied to a state symbol; and it’s the institutions of the state – the politicians and the army – that I’m targeting. Including the flag of Israel in a cartoon is no more an attack on Judaism than including the flag of Turkey would be an attack on Islam.”
But Harry's Place exposes the lie: Latuff is a high-grade anti-Semite, and the prejudice just pours out of his artwork.

The St Andrews case is indeed interesting, not least because the University's own Chaplaincy Centre has a web page to advise Jewish students, which warns: 'A continuing and on-going concern of all Jews is the manifestation of anti-semitism.' They didn't quite expect to find it with their own halls of residence. But despite the Sheriff stating that the case has a 'significant and very legitimate' public interest dimension, you'll only find the story reported in a local newspaper or in the Jewish press. When you consider all the fuss and bother (and cash) expended on campus 'Islamophobia', is it not rather anti-Semitic of the mainstream media (pace the BBC) not to have dedicated just a few column inches to the story?


Blogger Ultimo Tiger said...

Obviously it's all a Mossad plot your grace. OBVIOUSLY.

In fact, everything's supposed to be Jewish/Zionist/Mossad plot these days. I'm waiting for the morons at VeteransToday to claim Isreal/Jews/Zionists/Mossad wiped out the Dinosaurs.

27 August 2011 at 11:35  
Blogger Johnny Rottenborough said...

I’d have more sympathy for the Jews if they hadn’t devoted so much effort to closing down free speech. Question a detail of the Holocaust and you’re a Nazi. Question Israel’s treatment of the Palestinians and you’re anti-Semitic. Wipe your hands on an Israeli flag and you’re a racist. Freedom of speech is a sine qua non of freedom itself and Jews do us, and themselves, no favours by employing political correctness to restrict it.

Perhaps I’m influenced by the memory of some news footage shot during the intifada of the 1980s. One Israeli soldier was holding the arm of a Palestinian boy of ten or eleven while his comrade-in-arms repeatedly crashed a large rock down on the elbow to shatter it. I suppose Chosen People can justify any action, whether it’s censorship or violence.

27 August 2011 at 12:11  
Blogger Cam Ma said...

The Jews are for ever condemned to suffer antisemitism, whether it is at the hands of the far right, or it comes from the multitude of useful idiots on the left.

No other state comes in for this kind of treatment for defending itself against armed aggressors, of which there are many.

Thank goodness the Scottish sense of justice has prevailed at least in this case.

27 August 2011 at 12:24  
Blogger Dreadnaught said...

It must be possible to be critical of Israeli foreign policy without being branded an anti-Semite.

Religious affiliation must always be separate from statehood, but we are steadily slipping away from having the ability to maintain the difference.

Stupid laws that pander more to personal sensitivities than genuine material offences have not made 'good law'. The Jew should have thumped the Gentile and have done with it - he was after all in his own room - (witnesses?), then got on with his studies instead of running to the authorities or the police.

Sticks and Stones.

27 August 2011 at 12:30  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

Your Grace

Donnachie was guilty only of gross bad manners and immaturity. Both misdemeanours the university could have dealt with singularly. Hopefully his continued university education would have gone someway to remedying both faults.

If you disagree with someone’s opinion, don’t have them hauled before the courts. Fight your corner with intellectual gusto, and maybe in a quiet moment, your opponent will reflect on his position....

27 August 2011 at 12:33  
Blogger Span Ows said...

Much as it it easy to agree with the Inspector General re bad manners and immaturity, there is more to this than simple groin-flag

27 August 2011 at 12:51  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

Thank you for the link Span Ows

Permanent ejection from the halls of residence and a few weeks suspension from college. We are talking of young men here...

27 August 2011 at 13:04  
Blogger Paul McConville said...

Your Grace,

The matter was covered by the BBC news website on both days of the trial.

The charges that both accused faced, one of whom was acquitted, were to the effect of:-

"Acting in a racially aggravated manner intended to cause alarm or distress to Mr Reitblat by placing their hands on their genitals before rubbing them on the Israeli national flag while making comments of an offensive nature."

There was an alternative charge which alleging they behaved "in a threatening or abusive manner likely to cause a reasonable person fear or alarm."

27 August 2011 at 13:32  
Blogger steve said...

There is Islamophobia on UK campuses? Really? Can anybody supply any links to any stories?

My recent experience of life on campus at a top third red brick would suggest that Muslims students have a privileged place in uni' society. They can say what they want, do what they want, and rewarded more than other section of the body. You could see that with a bit more mass they would have virtually have run of the campus. It was interesting to compare them to the Chinese students who kept their heads down, were polite to everybody, and were on the whole self-effacing.

27 August 2011 at 13:36  
Blogger Archbishop Cranmer said...

Mr Paul McConville,

His Grace acknowledged (and linked to) the BBC coverage. The question is why no national daily newspapers have picked up on it.

27 August 2011 at 13:37  
Blogger Paul McConville said...

Sorry I missed that!

27 August 2011 at 13:40  
Blogger carl jacobs said...

What has Carlos Latuff to do with this trial? Why are his opinions and cartoons of any relevance? Is he an expert witness? Did the defendant appeal to Latuff as an authority on the matter? Or is the defendant simply being tarred with Guilt by (vague and perhaps non-existent) Association? The argument ...

1. The Defendant wiped his hands on an Israeli flag.

2. Some anti-Semitic Brazilian cartoonist named Latuff thinks insulting the Israeli flag is a politically appropriate act.

3. Therefore the defendant is an anti-Semite.

... isn't much of an argument. The case must be made against the defendant specifically.

The case turns not on whether 'whether or not critism of the Israeli flag amounts to anti-Semitism.' (Such criticism is self-evidently not anti-Semitism.) The case turns instead on the intent behind the actions. Could it have been an expression of anti-Semitism? Absolutely. Could it have been a drunken act of social stupidity motivated by childish political opinions? Absolutely. But there is no prima facie case to be found in the mere act itself.


27 August 2011 at 13:53  
Blogger OldSouth said...

You mean the cretinous young man couldn't be tossed simply for drunken incivility, breaking into another student's room, and vandalism?

I don't get it.

27 August 2011 at 13:54  
Blogger Roger Pearse said...

I'm not quite sure that we have the whole story here. It may be that there is more to it.

But if we do, then the story should raise all our hackles, surely? For it tells us that some opinions are permitted, and others are not. Hold the others, or be accused of them, even, and you become a non-person, an outlaw, the victim of any kind of spite or malice.

As has been rightly said, the real offence was drunkenness, breaking and entering, and vandalism. Let him, by all means, be punished for this. But isn't everything else just thought-crime, of a kind known in Soviet Russia but not, hitherto, in our green and pleasant land? We need to stop focusing on the identity politics, and refuse to play along **whoever** is involved on either side, whether we agree with the complainant or not.

For what, pray, was this student expelled from the university, if not for his opinions?

I do not share them. I am pro-Israeli, myself, and I believe that the anti-Israeli camp mean ill to all of us. It is undoubtedly the case that the pro-Palestinian lobby protests the case, not because of the basic moral injustice involved, but as a power ploy, in order to establish their right to attack Jews as Jews.

Now I have voted in every election for 30 years. But I don't remember ever being asked to vote whether or not Jews should have a special privilege of the kind presumed here (or, indeed, whether it should be withdrawn!). Nor was I ever asked whether I wanted "racism" to be a crime, or not to be. Nor was I asked to vote these privileges to Moslems, nor homosexuals, nor any of the other ever-lengthening list of groups, each professionally offended, each demanding the right to inflict the most extreme penalties upon anyone who offends them in the slightest. All this stuff has been enacted without the consent of the electorate, and with a conspiracy among the governing classes to silence any opposition.

Let's look at the "offence". We need not bother to ask whether the offender was "antisemitic". It's not an adjective of description, but rather a catch-phrase, nothing more. Like all political thought crimes, it is intentionally defined vaguely, in order to be of most use to settle scores rather than to protect the victims of violence.

Imagine that these events had taken place against an American, with a US flag on his wall? That the offender had been a member of one of the privileged groups? Would anything have been said? Surely we all know that it would not. If the American had complained, he would have been given the runaround and then ignored.

I have to admit, as a freeborn Englishman, that I object intensely to this system of special privileges for special interest groups, not least because I don't fall within any of them, and I doubt any of us do. Why should we defer to these creeps? All should be equal before the law, and no-one whatever their status, should be penalised or penalised more severely simply because of their opinions, or -- worse yet -- because their actions might be construed as involving a particular religious or political opinion.

If the story is correct, then the university should be ashamed of their illiberal attitude. A liberal does not punish people for disrespect to well-organised pressure groups -- whoever they may be, and however much one may support them. At the moment their attitude is no different to punishing a plebian student for being disrespectful to the son of a Duke.

27 August 2011 at 14:41  
Blogger Oswin said...

It seems to me that a very silly boy has attempted to save his own, rather grubby skin, by politicising his drunken, ill-bred and unhygienic antics. In doing so, he has allowed himself to be used by those of a wider agenda.

The whole sorry, sweaty affair ought to have been dealt with 'in-house' by some stern, headmasterly Don, doling-out a thorough wigging.

27 August 2011 at 15:52  
Blogger stephen said...

The miscreant should at least be forced to watch BBC2's documentary tonight (20:00 BST) about Hans Litten, the lawyer who stood up to National SOCIALIST violence.

27 August 2011 at 16:23  
Blogger English Viking said...


Please tell me you haven't gone in for all this 'Protocols of the elders of Zion' shite.

The Jews in Israel are fighting the front line of a war which is soon to be played out in a street near you.

The IDF is one of the most disciplined military forces in the world. It amazes me that they have such restraint, I know I wouldn't.

The Jews rock, and the sooner they take over the world, and wipe out the 'palestinians', the very much better it will all be.

On the matter of the moron and the flag, surely a punch in the face would have been a better way of dealing with it?

It is ridiculous that a man can face criminal charges just for being a nob. If we are going to start locking people up for saying stupid things, we're going to need an awful lot more prisons. I'll probably need one all to myself.

If this 'desecration' of a flag is criminal, how come those dopey rag-heads that burn the Union flag at Wootton Basset haven't been nicked yet?

Oh yeah, I nearly forgot - freedom of speech extends much further when dealing with muzzies.

27 August 2011 at 16:27  
Blogger The Way of the Dodo said...


There's a thin line between firmly held political conviction and intolerance/hatred towards people who are different. Sometimes the latter is masked by the former; other times indistinguishable.

In my experience, Scottish Sheriffs are not daft and Charles Mcnair must have concluded there was sufficient evidatence, beyond a reasonable doubt, that the actions of this young man were deliberately racially aggravated and intended to cause alarm or distress.

Without knowing precisely what was said it is hard to judge if the behaviour was an attack on the politics of the State of Israel, on Jews as a people or on their religion. The Sheriff having weighed the evidence, formed a view and it is subject to a right of appeal.

"Mens rea" - what was the intent?

27 August 2011 at 16:31  
Blogger Bred in the bone said...

In what way is Paul Donnachiele a Gentile, the terminology you use is of a biblical origin.

What if Paul belongs to a tribe that do not believe themselves to be a biblical nation and define themselves otherwise.

Perhaps Pauls tribe believes they are a people chosen by God and therefore should be allowed to get away with shit nobody else would dare to do.

Remember the Israeli flag for some represents Rothchilds and bankers, people are mad at the bankers, perhaps that was his motive.

27 August 2011 at 17:28  
Blogger Johnny Rottenborough said...

@ English Viking (16:27)—The ‘Protocols’ play no part in my thinking. I’m wary of groups who set themselves apart and claim special treatment, be they religious communities or the gay lobby. When you have the Jews claiming to be the Chosen People and Allah telling the Muslims they are ‘the noblest nation that has ever been raised up for mankind’ (Qur’an 3:110), my instinct is to wish a plague on both their houses. Nothing too unpleasant; just enough to knock some common sense into them.

27 August 2011 at 17:42  
Blogger English Viking said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

27 August 2011 at 17:49  
Blogger English Viking said...

Totally O/T but never mind.

I bought a new mouse today (the last one died when I lobbed it in a fit of pique) and it really is rather good.

Cordless jobby, very good. The only downside it that it is easier to lob without wires attached.

27 August 2011 at 17:54  
Blogger Johnny Rottenborough said...

EV—There’s something in the Old Testament (Leviticus?) about giving a slave of seven years the chance to go free; if he chooses to remain your slave, you have to nail him to a door by his ear. If that’s ‘Chosen’, I give up.

27 August 2011 at 17:57  
Blogger Gallovidian said...

So if a non-Christian student, for whatever reason, attacks a flag containing the crosses of three Christian saints, what will they be charged with? not racial abuse! and no expulsion either!

Not a level playing field I think.

27 August 2011 at 17:58  
Blogger Man with No Name said...

'Antisemitism' is suspicion of, hatred toward, or discrimination against Jews for reasons connected to their Jewish heritage.

Such hatred toward Jews in its extreme form defames them as an inferior group and denies their being part of the nation in which they reside. Antisemitism may be manifested in many ways, ranging from expressions of hatred of or discrimination against individual Jews to organized violent attacks.

Antisemitism or drunken stupidity?

27 August 2011 at 18:02  
Blogger Dean Roberts said...

Interesting article, Your Grace.
I'll be interested on a follow up of this story.

27 August 2011 at 18:18  
Blogger OldSlaughter said...

I am very much of the 'if in doubt support Israel' stripe. However, 'Israel' does not yet equal 'Jew'. If it did, many of the arguments in favour of Israel would no longer be valid.
Yes anti-Zionism is usually a codeword for antisemitism but usually ain't enough.

I would have chinned the individual for being so rude to my country and my property whilst in my room. But that is another issue.

27 August 2011 at 18:54  
Blogger Man with No Name said...

Sentencing Donnachie, Sheriff Charlie Macnair said:

"This flag was his personal property. I consider that your behaviour did evince malice towards Mr Reitblat because of his presumed membership of Israel.

"I'm satisfied that you said Israel was a terrorist state and the flag was a terrorist symbol and I also hold that you said that Mr Reitblat was a terrorist."

27 August 2011 at 19:22  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

Do we have a lawyer present ?

The Inspector General (resident in England) is loathe to critise further lest he spend his remaining years rotting in a Scottish gaol having been convicted of contempt of court...

(...which is more than an infamous aircraft bomber is now able to claim...)

27 August 2011 at 20:12  
Blogger Gallovidian said...

"I'm satisfied that you said Israel was a terrorist state"

And after the King David hotel, Lavon Affair, USS Liberty, Dr. Bull, you can go to prison for saying this?

27 August 2011 at 20:51  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

Tis right Gallovidian

In the UK, a judges court is sacrosanct. To criticise the court can mean a sentence greater than what the convicted miscreant gets...

27 August 2011 at 21:14  
Blogger Serpents and Doves said...

"I consider that your behaviour did evince malice towards Mr Reitblat because of his presumed membership of Israel."

"I also hold that you said that Mr Reitblat was a terrorist."

Presumption, malice and personal abuse.

The comments referenced Israel's present policies towards Palestine. Donnachie, a member of the Scottish Palestine Solidarity Campaign, entitled to hurl personal abuse at an Israeli, call him a terrorist because of his presupposed nationality, then scrath his balls, remove a pubic hair and run it across the flag of his presumed country?

27 August 2011 at 21:16  
Blogger Man with No Name said...

Office of Inspector General

Oh go on!

Are you a man or a mouse?

27 August 2011 at 21:25  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

Sheriff Charles Macnair.

‘Man with No Name’ (...but easily identifiable through Google..) would like to make the following the statement regarding your judgement...

(Go on boy, your time has come...)

27 August 2011 at 21:35  
Blogger Bred in the bone said...

A Judge only has the law to go by, the trouble with the law is that yet again, we find ourselves second class citizens in our own land.

Why, because subversive Jewish ideologies have ruined Britain.

B'nai Brith have links to Scottish rite Freeasonry, so the Scots should look closer to home for the problem.

27 August 2011 at 22:04  
Blogger bluedog said...

It's a storm in a tea-cup, Your Grace. Nae matter.

More important matters await. What of the UN vote to admit the Palestine Authority as a state? What of the slow demise of the Israel-Egypt peace accord? These are the things that matter.

Your communicant observes developments in the Sinai peninsular with interest following the well coordinated attacks on Israeli positions at Eilat last week. Sinai has been a cordon sanitaire protecting Israel's southern boundary since the peace treaty with Egypt, but the post-Mubarak regime seems to be taking a different view. If Egyptian Sinai becomes a forward position from which Hamas or Al Qaeda sponsored terrorists can threaten Israel, there is only one option for the Jewish state. That option is to retake Sinai and create its own sanitised buffer zone on the southern border. While Syria is in disarray, the northern borders are safe, so now is the time to act.

27 August 2011 at 22:04  
Blogger English Viking said...


I suspect that you have Googled The Bible, instead of reading it, as you have also done with the koran.

I've read both, cover to cover.

It just won't do.

Not one little bit.

27 August 2011 at 22:23  
Blogger The Way of the Dodo said...

Did the behaviour of this young drunk show strong partiality for his own politics.

Was he intolerant towards the presupposed opinion of the victim of his juvenile behaviour?

Did his actions and words evidence prejudice, intolerance and/or hatred towards a person because he supposed he was from another ethnic group or nation?

He invaded this young man's room, set upon his property, made verbal and threatening remarks and caused the boy fear and alarm.

Personally, I say "Well done Sheriff Macnair!" You've stood up for decency and proper conduct.

This young Jewish visitor to Scotland, a stranger in a foreign land, was entitled to more civilised treatment. He would have been perfectly entitled to have used reasonable force to defend himself and his property but this was not required. He did not take matters into his own hands to exact revenge or to stir up further contention. Instead, quite properly, he complained to the correct authorities and they have taken the action they consider appropropriate.

There appears to be no record of Mr Donnachie ever having apologised or expressed regret. Instead he defends himself by saying:

"This is a ridiculous conviction. I'm a member of anti-racism campaigns, and I am devastated that as someone who was fought against racism I have been tarnished in this way."

No doubt his fellow members of the Scottish Palestine Solidarity Campaign agree. They booed, tutted and shouted "scandalous" as the Sheriff rose to leave.

27 August 2011 at 22:32  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...


If you get a procession of young Zionist Jews knocking on your door weeping, you’ve only yourself to blame...

27 August 2011 at 22:46  
Blogger Serpents and Doves said...

bluedog said...
"It's a storm in a tea-cup, Your Grace. Nae matter."

We all have a moral duty to confront wrong on our own doorsteps.

This has not created a storm despite its significance.

27 August 2011 at 22:54  
Blogger The Way of the Dodo said...

Office of Inspector General


Hardly likely is it? My questioning of Israeli approaches to the Palestinians has led to me being labelled antisemitic on more than one occassion!

27 August 2011 at 22:57  
Blogger Johnny Rottenborough said...

EV—Googling the Qur’an wouldn’t do me much good because, as far as I know, the best English translation isn’t available online. I do, though, consult a website that parses the Arabic, verse by verse. Most of my study is done through books, which I find easier than reading a computer screen; I’m currently wading through 800 pages of a difficult, but rewarding, book that examines the history and contents of the Qur’an.

27 August 2011 at 23:02  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...


My earlier proposal to the inglorious situation...

"Permanent ejection from the halls of residence and a few weeks suspension from college. We are talking of young men here..." 27 August 2011 13:04

And seriously, a young Jew proudly displaying the Israeli flag is to some people the same as a German proudly displaying the swastika eighty years ago. All depends on your point of view, but in the the Inspector's opinion, if you support a controversial state, keep it to yourself, or expect trouble.

27 August 2011 at 23:09  
Blogger Celtic Viking said...

Young hoodlum. If he'd crossed my threshold and insulted me and my country I'd have shown him what terror really was. Drunken eejit should have his arse kicked.

27 August 2011 at 23:10  
Blogger The Way of the Dodo said...

Office of Inspector General

His support for a controversial state?

Come now. He's entitled to have his countries flag on his wall in his private space, without some drunken yob threatening and insulting him.

He also wears a kippar as a sign of his faith. Should he remove this?

27 August 2011 at 23:16  
Blogger The Way of the Dodo said...

Should women dress 'decently' so as not to arouse the passion of men?

27 August 2011 at 23:19  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

Hapless flightless bird – His country ?? I thought I read he was a US Jew.

The kippar is no problem – why should it be ??

And yes, women should dress decently. The Inspector is hot blooded and easily aroused...

27 August 2011 at 23:28  
Blogger The Way of the Dodo said...

Office of Inspector General

My mistake if he is an American.

I'm not sure it changes my essential point though. If I had a Papal flag in my room and a young drunken Congregationalist entered my room and behaved this way, is it any different?

So maybe he is a religious Jew and the Star of David signifies Zionist beliefs. So what?

By the way, the Sheriff hasn't passed sentence and I'm sure it will be reasonable. They don't go in for political correctness in the Sheriff Courts.

As for the University, I agree they have over reacted and the punishment does not fit the crime. A year's suspension like his co-offended would suffice. 'Not proven' in Scotland is tantamount to a Sheriff saying I think you're guilty but there just isn't enough evidence for me to safely convict you.

27 August 2011 at 23:41  
Blogger The Way of the Dodo said...

Office of Inspector General

I should also add that I consider religious Zionism in combination with political Zionism to be a very dangerous ideology. Nonetheless, the lad in question is entitled to express support for it - if that was indeed what he was doing.

The comparison with the symbols of Nazi Germany is not an appropriate one. Mind you, so far as I am aware it is not an offence in Britain to have a swastika on your wall at home.

27 August 2011 at 23:55  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...


Young drunken Congregationalists are a particular problem in my town. Recommend a boot to the balls , followed by a forearm smash – works every time.

If you don’t believe the swastika is an acceptable appropriation to the Israeli flag, then, as the American ladies would put it ‘You ain’t alive honey’

By the way, how much do they charge for the ‘Guardian’ these days....

28 August 2011 at 00:05  
Blogger The Way of the Dodo said...

Inspector General

The Guardian? No idea. I'm still searching for a replacent for the NotW. Would you recommend said paper?

It all comes down to self-control. By your own admission you are a hot blooded male easily aroused. Oh, to have those days back again! Loosing control in the face of 'provocation' from a scantily clad beautiful woman is not a legitimate defence for acting on impulse, drunk or not.

28 August 2011 at 00:33  
Blogger Celtic Viking said...

"This flag was his personal property."

"I consider that your behaviour did evince malice towards Mr Reitblat because of his presumed membership of Israel."

"I'm satisfied that you said Israel was a terrorist state and the flag was a terrorist symbol."

"I also hold that you said that Mr Reitblat was a terrorist."

Banged to rights.

28 August 2011 at 00:48  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...


IG gets his hot bloodiness from having a bit of Malta is his blood. Yes, he was raised a papist !

For all Englishmen reading this, make your woman know she is the only woman, the preferred woman – she’ll love you until you die...

28 August 2011 at 00:57  
Blogger English Viking said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

28 August 2011 at 01:33  
Blogger pounce_uk said...

So many people feel the uni over reacted . However what hasn't been said is the full story.
For a start both lads did barge into the room looking for the victims room mate. They did wipe the flag after touching their bollocks, they then pissed in the victims sink, threw abuse at him on his Facebook page and then to make sure he got the message they left more abuse in a letter they slid under the door. The lad who was chucked out, wrote on his Facebook account that he didn't care what the uni did as punishment . The original hearing was set back when the guy who got kicked out sacked his brief. Thus messing the American about by having him fly over again from the States.
In other words in typical left wing mess everybody about style he did his best to drag things out in which to inconveience the American Jew. Unfortunately for him listening to his anti isreali advisors cost him a decent education.

28 August 2011 at 04:36  
Blogger ENGLISHMAN said...

Is the jew dead?have his bones been broken?are there bruses on his body,maybe he can show us his "scarred mind"and if he can do none of these things is it not just vindictive invention for political capital?.Natural justice would dictate a smack in the mouth,should have been easy for this jew girl,after all this person was pissed,and drunks do not move very fast,what we have here ,is a poof.

28 August 2011 at 09:03  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

"The case turns on whether or not critism of the Israeli flag amounts to anti-Semitism."

It sounds more like victimisation to me. If I were the victim then I'd have asked the university to deal with it and left it at that, unless it was systematic.

I'm not a great fan of laws about giving offensive. However, if strangers are chased down a street by groups giving racist abuse then others will fear for their safety. Upping the sentence because of racially-aggravated factors seems sensible.

It's similar to sexual orientation issues. I expect my company to act against people victimising someone because they're gay. People peacefully making offensive remarks or expressing anti-gay opinions in public is fine. But so-called queer-bashing is worse than just assault.

28 August 2011 at 09:17  
Blogger Celtic Viking said...

Anglo Viking
I'd sooner share a pint of the good old black stuff with you and settle any differences we have amicably. Maybe a game of darts? Or an arm wrestle if you really must display your virility.

28 August 2011 at 12:33  
Blogger English Viking said...


OK, but none of that funny dancing. Or Guinness.

Dreadful stuff.

28 August 2011 at 14:46  
Blogger Avi Barzel said...

Interesting, how whenever the subject of Jews rears up in topic, people's characters comes out. I'm impressed by some here, disappointed in others. They all know who they are. Anyhow, as the sole Red Sea Pedestrian in residence here, I suppose I must wade in on this one. In the spirit of good blog diplomacy I will do so not by succumbing to my base instincts by figuratively pishing in the eyes of a few scheisskopfed posters here, but with a healing sermon on the sorry wages of personal violence and the blessed virtues of correct and civilised behaviour in a complex, diverse and multiculturally sensitive society.

Having been in a similarly silly situation quite a few years ago at one of our university pubs, an incident involving a drunken dork trying to flick my kippa off my head, I am familiar with the anger and humiliation a young man can feel when confronted with bare hatred and low-life scumminess. I too could have and should have acted wisely and responsibly like my coreligionist in Scotland did. Had I been at least somewhat sober, I might have applied my superior brains, lofty morals and legendary common sense to live up to my philosophical ideals and our social contracts and to engage the forces of law and order. Had I acted intelligently and lawfully, I would have avoided an uncomfortable night and a day at the courthouse guestrooms, curled up and shivering on a bare concrete shelf bunk, bright lights on all the time, with an inflamed and throbbing wrist and only a few paper cups of tepid orange juice to treat my hangover from Hell with. I would have been spared the nausea of being subjected to the sights, sounds and smells...o, those smells... of fellow room mates from the streets nattering or howling at the walls. Then there was the shame and disgrace I brought on my respectable family. My poor suffering parents, ready to disown me and too embarrassed to appear in court on my woeful behalf even when the charges were dropped on the grounds of self defense thanks to the brilliance and dedication of a pretty public attorney.

In a civilized society with functioning and fair systems of justice, violence can never be the answer. It creates needless injury, pain and misery. It rends the fine fabric of our social order and disrupts the amity between peoples of all backgrounds and persuasions. Worst of all, it upsets Mom and Dad. Also, as an aside, using one's fists in the manner of cowboy movie yahoos is utterly moronic, especially when perfectly good objects such as chairs, beer steins and ashtrays present themselves within easy reach. A broken wrist, let me confirm, hurts like a sonofabitch and can lead to months of inability to play the guitar, a situation resulting in an additional tragedy; the loss of hard-earned calluses. Some of you here who've advocated thoughtless, reactive and violent solutions to the Scottish yob's actions have obviously not considered all the facets of your atavistic remarks and should be ashamed of yourselves.

On the other hand, in the interest of honest disclosure, the long-lasting and technicolor-vivid memory of the physical evidence of my youthful indiscretion on the bovine face of my antagonist is, as the Visa commercial goes, priceless.

28 August 2011 at 15:33  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

Avi Barzel – What a self indulgent pitiful whine !

You’re Jewish alright, that’s for sure...

28 August 2011 at 16:10  
Blogger Avi Barzel said...

Office of Inspector General,

The training for your self-appointed position has evidently not included basic English language comprehension any Level 2 or 3 ESL student could claim. Off to EMT (English as a Mother Tongue) with you, you silly little biggot!

28 August 2011 at 16:50  
Blogger The Way of the Dodo said...


The 'b-word' is NOT allowed on this blog.

You'll have Mr Cranmer after you! You must use reason - not abuse.

28 August 2011 at 16:56  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

Avi Barzel – Look old chap, just think of it as ‘constructive criticism’. You can’t call me a bigot (note, one ‘g’) just for that, now can you ?

28 August 2011 at 16:57  
Blogger Archbishop Cranmer said...


Mr Avi Barzel,

'Biggot' is spelt with one 'g' in the UK, and His Grace doubts it is any different in the US. That aside, it is not a word His Grace likes to see bandied around on his august blog, which he tries to make a place for erudite debate; not that sort of ad hominem comment. Shalom.

28 August 2011 at 16:58  
Blogger Archbishop Cranmer said...

Ah, His Grace is appreciative that his communicants have addressed the issue with Mr Barzel seconds before he did. Bless you both.

28 August 2011 at 16:59  
Blogger Celtic Viking said...

English Viking

Have you never had a Guiness mixed with Cider? Put hairs on your chest. If you prefer we can share a rare, fine Irish Malt. Dancing? Not in my local. A peat fire, comfortable seats and cheerful conversation.

28 August 2011 at 17:04  
Blogger Avi Barzel said...

Your Grace,

My profuse and sincere apologies for my trespasses; house rules-wise and for my bad spelling. In my defense, I reacted to a generalizing slur ("You are Jewish, that's for sure") and I was not aware of your policy. No matter, ad hominem attacks and ignorance of the law are a poor defense.

28 August 2011 at 17:11  
Blogger The Way of the Dodo said...

Mr Cranmer

To be fair, the Inspector General's comment was 'abusive ad hominem' too.

"What a self indulgent pitiful whine! You’re Jewish alright, that’s for sure..."

He insulted Avi Barzel to invalidate his argument. Insults about Avi's character or faith had nothing to do with the merit of the argument he had made.

28 August 2011 at 17:19  
Blogger Avi Barzel said...

Thank you Dodo; you bring out a valid point, but the fact remains that I acted as a bad guest on His Grace's blog and my spelling error is indisputable.

28 August 2011 at 17:26  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

For shame Dodo !

Your criticism, it hurts...

Avi Barzel laid open a part of his life, and at the same time revelling in his Jewishness. An open invitation to comment presented itself !

If the piece had any merit to it ( MY all important opinion...), then perhaps I would have said so. But it didn’t.

The Inspector seeks assurance from the Archbishop, in as much as there are no communicants above criticism, or those that cannot be, and that we are all equal before him, as we are before our Creator.

Avi Barzel, as a token of my respect for you, I hereby waive the apology that God knows you owe for using that awful word...

28 August 2011 at 17:50  
Blogger The Way of the Dodo said...


I have to admit you did over-egg the central point you were making:

"In a civilized society with functioning and fair systems of justice, violence can never be the answer."

I have to say it did come over as a bit self indulgent and somewhat pitiful and whingey. However, to impute this to your being a Jew was unacceptable and I can understand your reaction. It may well have reflected some underlying intolerance towards Jewish people.

28 August 2011 at 17:51  
Blogger Oswin said...

Office of Inspector General:

I reckon you merit an extra 'g' - given your ghastly manners; for once I agree with Dodo.

28 August 2011 at 18:05  
Blogger Avi Barzel said...


The "over-egging" was my evidently poor and not easily comprehensible attempt at humorous hyperbole and sarcasm. I thought my closing remark would have made that obvious. I will now seek refugee by whining that English is the fourth language I was forced to struggle with and that it took the stuffing out of me.


Without accepting the propriety of your statement, I will still offer my personal apology to you for my loss of control, mainly in the spirit of outreach in these significant days before our upcoming High Holy Days. In times past, I would have probably chucked rabbinic advice and taken up the opportunity to throw down a glove and lawfully resort to dueling swords or pistols. Alas, times have changed.

28 August 2011 at 18:08  
Blogger Oswin said...

Oh no, I retract all! Dodo is now employing his Jesuit stiletto, as is his wont...

28 August 2011 at 18:11  
Blogger Oswin said...

On reflection, perhaps I should have said 'thread-pic' rather than ''stiletto'' ... don't want him getting above himself, what.

28 August 2011 at 18:23  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

Avi Barzel – your apology graciously accepted. Just in case you follow up your duelling suggestion, IG will oil his old service revolver tonight.

Dodo – In my experience, I have found that Jewish writers do lay it on a bit thick, and tend to revel in despair at times. A rather charming trait that Jewish comedians themselves use in their acts. Believe me, I have no “some underlying intolerance towards Jewish people.” with the one exception of Israel.

You will be happy to know that your responses have validated my criticism and that I am feeling particularly smug at this moment.

28 August 2011 at 18:37  
Blogger The Way of the Dodo said...


I'm intrigued, please elaborate as I haven't made any further contribution?

28 August 2011 at 19:06  
Blogger Avi Barzel said...

Goodness, IG, shake your head, please. You are joking, right? You're not seriously implying that I threatened you here, on a public forum before thousands, with an armed duel, are you? In any case, I had you figured for a swordsman.

28 August 2011 at 19:34  
Blogger Oswin said...

Dodo: I've now lost the will to live, just leave it at that.

28 August 2011 at 19:38  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

Avi Barzel - Twas only humour, my good chap...

28 August 2011 at 19:53  
Blogger Jack D. said...

So, let me just check that I've got this right: to perform an insult toward the Israeli flag is "antisemitism", but to print insulting or offensive cartoons of the prophet Mohammed is "free speech"? What's good for the goose..............

28 August 2011 at 22:40  
Blogger The Way of the Dodo said...

Oswin said...
"Dodo: I've now lost the will to live, just leave it at that."

Oh dear! I'm sure you'll regain it soon enough.

29 August 2011 at 01:48  
Blogger peedeel said...

Drunk or sober the young man’s behavior is unacceptable. As to sentencing, who knows how it’ll go?

You may recall the case earlier this year of John White, a 63 year old Christian, with mental health issues. Mr White pleaded guilty in court to leaving pork products outside his local mosque; he also left similar products outside worshippers' homes. Mr White has been held in custody without bail since July, and will continue to be held until his sentencing in September. Mr White, it is claimed, acted in response to Muslim “Poppy” burning the previous year.

Also in July there was the case of Taha Osman. Mr Osman, a 36-year-old, Iraqi Kurd, living in Britain and working as a cab driver, ranted racial abuse outside a Jewish school; he shrieked, ‘All Jewish children must die!’ outside King David School in Crumpsall. He also shouted that Jewish people were ‘animals’ who ‘should not be allowed in this country’. Parents, children and staff were terrified by this man’s ranting and intimidating behavior. Mr Osman was found guilty of “causing religiously aggravated harassment, alarm or distress” and was sentenced to a community order – the Judge said it was a ‘particularly nasty offence’ – but did not warrant a jail sentence.

A rasher of bacon wrongly placed results in incarceration; ill-tempered and irrational threats of death to Jewish children and their parents – well, that only calls for community order.

29 August 2011 at 09:34  
Blogger Roger Pearse said...

>>'"The case turns on whether or not critism of the Israeli flag amounts to anti-Semitism."

>It sounds more like victimisation to me. If I were the victim then I'd have asked the university to deal with it and left it at that, unless it was systematic.'

Well said. You're probably right.

Mind you ... in practice organisations -- i.e the petty bureaucrats -- do nothing about victimisation except harass the victim, demand he "prove" stuff, and so on, and generally make the victim feel like he's being a trouble-maker. I speak from experience, having been subjected to harassment on a recent job and complained several times (in vain).

This is why people prefer to use the thought-crime legislation -- it works better for their purposes.

Of course it works just as well if the claim is unjustified. I remember one Nigerian being sacked for repeated incompetence and refusal to follow instructions on a job. The guy was a menace, and his manager had to actually unplug his PC from the wall while he was using it, to stop him deleting stuff when he was instructed to leave! He went down the road to the gate, escorted by security, yelling about "racism". I'm sure all of us have seen members of privileged groups try to deploy this tactic, unavailable to ordinary folk.

29 August 2011 at 09:50  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

"He also shouted that Jewish people were ‘animals’ who ‘should not be allowed in this country’."

A sense of irony has bypassed the man it seems.

29 August 2011 at 10:21  
Blogger The Way of the Dodo said...


Point of information:

The judge refused White bail, a man with a long history of mental health problems, because:

"It appears to me there is a substantial risk you are, at the moment, in a volatile and unpredictable state of mind and it seems to me if you are suffering from a psychiatric disorder it would be rash of me indeed to release you back into the community when there continues a risk you might behave in this way or launch into another campaign."

29 August 2011 at 14:36  
Blogger Silver tongued diplomat said...

Your Grace,

I have to take issue with the last paragraph of your article:

"The St Andrews case is indeed interesting, not least because the University's own Chaplaincy Centre has a web page to advise Jewish students, which warns: 'A continuing and on-going concern of all Jews is the manifestation of anti-semitism.'"

A study of the said page leads me to conclude that:

a) It is no more than a general warning to students of the kind found in every welcome booklet given to students on registration advising them, for example, of the bad areas of town to avoid, and

b) It was clearly penned by the Rabbi of the Northern Region for Jewish Students, who is also the Rabbi at St. Andrews and who, to judge from his posts, has something of a political agenda:

In that context the warning to Jewish students about anti-semitism is no more, and no less, than a general comment and certainly not related to a specific threat against the Jewish community.

Having said that, I agree with Roger Pearse and Johnny Rottenborough's comments about the policing of thought in the western world.

The young men who fought and died for the ideal of freedom in the last war in particular must be turning in their graves as they see the freedoms for which they fought being eradicated by successive political classes.

The rot set in, ironically, immediately post-WW2 with the 'cradle to the grave' philosophy of the Attlee government. In isolation no bad thing, the result has been a nation unwilling and increasingly unable to take care of itself. The philosophy "they should do something about it" has become the norm, with no-one ever specifying who 'they' are. What about doing something for ourselves?

We must, as a nation, take back control of our lives from the politicos, and the bearded weardie sociologists who have visited this mess upon us. We must stand up and say that the policing of thought is an unacceptably dangerous practice in a democracy.

Poor Mr. Reitblat needs to man up and learn the sticks and stones lesson from infants school. What a big girl's blouse! This is a case that should never, under any circumstances have come to court.

The question is, what will we do about it?

17 September 2011 at 17:41  

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