Wednesday, 17 January 2018

The Catch-22 of anti-Semitism in the Netherlands

Dutch Jewish organizations and Dutch Jews are outraged that the attack on the Jewish restaurant in Amsterdam is not being treated as a hate crime. This was the straw that broke the camel's back, as routine incidents of verbal and low-level physical attacks on Jews by Muslims are not even investigated by the police.

The determining questions are, why are Muslim attacks on Jews not classified as hate crimes and why are they not investigated?
The answer is a Catch-22 reasoning.

Muslim attacks on Jews are “a priori” considered to be motivated by the existence and/or actions of the state of Israel. Therefore, the motivation for the attacks is not the victims’ adherence to the Jewish religion or their Jewish ethnicity, but the attackers’ perception that identifies the victims with the state of Israel.
For the Dutch authorities these kinds of attacks are not hate crimes.

Religious animosity towards Jews expressed during the attacks makes no difference.
The Islam is a peaceful religion. Therefore, the attackers’ misconception of the Islam is presumed to be the result of the existence and/or actions of the state of Israel.

The “a priori” (presupposed) determinant that the attack is not a hate crime is important.
Because of this, for an attack to be classified as a hate crime, it must at first be established that there is no “Israel” component in the attackers' motivation.
Accordingly, the conclusion that the attack was a hate crime can only be reached after an investigation.
In Amsterdam only 40% of complaints are investigated. Hate crimes, like attacks on Muslims, have priority and are investigated. As explained, verbal and low-level physical attacks on Jews are not considered to be hate crimes. Therefore, they have no priority and are not investigated.

Verbal and physical attacks on Jews by Muslims are a priori not considered to be hate crimes. They can only be classified as such after investigation.
However, as they are a priori not considered to be hate crimes, verbal and low-level physical attacks on Jews by Muslims have no priority, and are not investigated.

Tuesday, 16 January 2018

Long live the Lilliputians

There is this old American film director.
He is very famous and still making a film a year. Most of them are not that good anymore. Because he is so famous, actors and actresses work for him for almost no pay.

He has often been accused of being a licentious sod.
Recently, accusations by his adoptive daughter have resurfaced. These specific accusations were investigated 25 years ago by “sex abuse experts” at the Yale-New Haven Hospital in Connecticut. They found no evidence of abuse.
However, nobody cares about the trifling issue of evidence and the New York Times and other mainstream media have been rigorously pushing the accusations. Pouring petrol on the blazing fire of moral outrage.

If you are accused of male licentious behavior, you are damned for life. Your name must be struck from the annals of film history.
Therefore, I cannot mention the name of this old American film director on my blog. I have had to find an alias for him.

He is licentious, neurotic and a Jew, but there are quite a number of Hollywood sexual miscreants who fit that description. No hope there for an alias.
Eventually, I just translated his original surname, Konigsberg, into Hebrew. His alias became “Har Hamelech”. The wonder-feminist Gal Gadot has paved the way for the use of Hebrew names in Hollywood.

Hamelech has a new film coming out. Three young actors are now sorry they performed in his film. They are donating their salaries to anti-abuse charities.
Lucky that Hamelech does not pay much.

The most famous actor with ex post facto regret is Timothee Chalamet. He has been tipped as an Oscar-candidate for his performance in “Call Me By Your Name”.
His rejection of the old, licentious Hamelech has created a positive buzz for him.
He is donating his “entire” salary to Time’s Up, the LGBT Centre in New York, and Rainn (the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network).

The second sorrynik is Rebecca Hall. She is donating her salary to Rainy Day and Time’s Up.
She apologizes to other women and calls her donation a “small gesture and not one intended as close to compensation.”
Hall made her name in “Vicky Cristina Barcelona”, one of Hamelech’s better films. I suppose she regrets that as well.

The third actor on the list is Griffin Newman. Nothing special about him. Trashing Hamelech is his first moment of glory.

It is now quite possible that Hamelech’s new film may not be released. I wonder if they will burn it?

Monday, 15 January 2018

He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named, Canadian-style

Charles Édouard Dutoit is an 81-year-old conductor who was born in Switzerland. He has had a very successful career.
He enjoyed much respect in Canada. In 1995, he was named a Grand Officer of the Ordre National du Quebec for his inspired musical direction of the Montreal Symphony Orchestra.
In 1997, he was made an honorary member of the Order of Canada.
At the end of 2017, Dutoit was accused of a number of sexual assaults and one rape.
He denied the accusations: "Whilst informal physical contact is commonplace in the arts world as a mutual gesture of friendship, the serious accusations made involving coercion and forced physical contact have absolutely no basis in truth."
After the accusations, no orchestra wanted Dutoit anymore.
The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation mulled banning his recordings with the Montreal Symphony Orchestra.
However, they found this too extreme as, “the recordings of the Montreal Symphony Orchestra make up an important part of our Canadian classical repertoire on CBC Radio Two.”
The head honchos found a solution to the problem: they decided to no longer credit him as conductor during broadcasts of his recordings.
Dutoit is now the He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named of CBC Radio Two.
Can you imagine the future in Canada?
Art galleries without the names of the painters. Books without the names of the authors.
An intellectual trou à merde.

Tuesday, 9 January 2018

Dirty books

I was reading that last year an estimated 10,000 books were challenged in the US.
A book is challenged when someone requests it be removed from a library or that access to it be restricted.
This brought back memories of the successful fight against book censorship in my youth.

In 1960, Penguin books were prosecuted for publishing “Lady Chatterley’s Lover” by D.H. Lawrence. According to the Crown, the book was obscene.
Penguin books were acquitted.
No other jury verdict in British history has had such a deep social impact.
This was the prologue to the later legalization of homosexuality and abortion, abolition of the death penalty, removal of theatre censorship, and reform of the archaic divorce laws.

Notwithstanding all this, I still think it is a crappy book.
When it was legalized, I was at a (boys only) grammar school in Brixton. There was a copy that went around the class. When it got to me, I did not have to read the whole thing, as the book opened of its own accord onto the salacious pages.
What a disappointment. The sex was boring and you had to be fluent in country yokel to understand what the “lover” was talking about;
"It isna horrid," he said, "even if tha thinks it is. An' tha canna ma'e it horrid. Dunna fret thysen about lovin' me. Tha'lt niver force thysen to `t. There's sure to be a bad nut in a basketful. Tha mun ta'e th' rough wi' th' smooth."

However, the acquittal did lead to the legalizing of better indelicate works. Henry Miller, for example, who even gives some useful tips in his writing.

Nowadays the banning of books is back again. Not only for the politically or morally incorrect content, but also for the perceived moral turpitude of the authors.
The clock is going backwards.

Time to stock up on “dirty” books.

Wednesday, 22 November 2017

Only victims count

Let me set the scene. You are lounging about with other old people, making polite conversation.
In the beginning you swap stories about your physical ailments. After that you start talking about the past.

How long have you been together?
47 years.
Wow, that’s a long time. Was it love at first sight?
Then my partner tells her story.

She was sunbathing near the swimming pool with her travelling companion, the sister of a journalist who later became a junior minister in a Dutch government for three days. (That is another story).
The swimming pool, like the rest of the kibbutz, was built on strategically higher ground.

They looked down and saw a big cloud of sand approaching.
What is it?
At a certain moment the cloud started to fade, and the first thing they saw was me, riding without a saddle and stirrups on a black Arabian horse. I was only wearing shorts and sandals.
Behind me was a large flock of sheep.

They looked at each other and said, “I want him”. They made a bet about it. My partner ends the story with, “I won”, and I smile sheepishly.

There are glaring inaccuracies in her account. An example, the horse was brown, not black. But I let them ride, as it does illustrate how wonderfully independent and liberated my female peers were.

However, I have been having doubts about whether it is wise to continue telling the story.
Willem Melching, a Dutch historian whom I admire, wrote recently that we live in an age that reserves the most admiration for victimhood. So, in the future my partner will get less admiration from young people, because she is not a victim in the story.

Then there was that tweet from the trendsetting vicious, sanctimonious, snowflake daughter of Erica Jong. She had seen photos of Putin and Alex Jones riding a horse shirtless. Therefore, she had decided that all men who ride horses shirtless are fascists.
I am now a fascist because I did not wear a specific piece of clothing when I rode a horse for my work.

No, the story has not aged well. It belongs to a different era. Perhaps, I should forget the fun of empowerment in Israel and stick to the Diaspora discrimination stories.

Saturday, 11 November 2017


Chanan is podgy.
That is what I thought when I first met him in 1968. He had come for a short visit to the kibbutz during his school holidays. In a few years he was going to "make aliyah" (move to Israel).
He was Dutch, from the next, younger European group of Hashomer Hatzair (Marxist-Zionists). Had a vibrant Italian girlfriend with him. She was always smiling.

Chanan and I hit it off well. We were both very political-theoretical and had long discussions. Neither of us was Marxist.
He was a shy, optimistic young man. I think he looked up to me.

He made aliyah with his girlfriend after I had left the kibbutz, and was eventually drafted into the army. 
The armoured car he was in was blown up by a roadside bomb. 
He lost both his legs.

We were living on the tenth floor of a flat in the Bijlmermeer, a neighbourhood with blocks of flats on the outskirts of Amsterdam.
We were poor and our flat was furnished poor arty-farty. Our couch was the duo front seat of a "deux chevaux" (Citroen 2CV).
I received a call. Chanan was in Amsterdam and would like to come and visit. Fine, I said.

He was in a wheelchair. I sat down on our deux chevaux couch and he was seated opposite. My couch was lower than his wheelchair, so I was looking up to him.
I was looking up at two stumps where his legs should have been.
Every now and then he moved one with his hands. I do not know why.

He was bitter. Kept on making cruel jokes, mainly about himself. The shyness and optimism were gone. He explained that those discussions with me had taken away his last doubts about making aliyah. Was he blaming me? I do not know. 
After a few hours he left. 
I never saw him again.

Many years later I learned that he had picked up the pieces.
He had gone to university and later became a professor. He married his smiling Italian girlfriend. They had no children.

Sunday, 5 November 2017

An Indecorous Coming Of Age Story

1964. A-levels are over. Some school friends are going to university, some are doing an extra year. I am going to live like a modern-day Kropotkin on a kibbutz.

It is the summer holidays. My short stay on the Hashomer Hatzair “training” farm is coming to an end.
Graham, one of my school friends, has enrolled at a polytechnic, forgotten the name. Instead of commuting every day, he has rented a house near to his POLY with three girls. That was unusual then.
Some friends and I are staying over with him for a long weekend.

It was a full house. His housemates also had visitors. Most of the people came from outside London. We had a pleasant first evening with lots of agitated discussions.
For a few of them I was a bit exotic. They had never met a Jew before and I was going to live on a communal farm in the desert.

Several of us slept in sleeping bags on the floor of the front room. I was still awake when a sleeping bag with one of the girls inside started shifting in my direction, in a kind of bouncing slither. As the sleeping bag covered her head as well, I had the impression of a giant caterpillar coming towards me.
She moved a bit, stopped, and then started moving again. Eventually she was pressing up against me.
I thought it must be something like sleepwalking and tried not to move a muscle, as I did not want to wake her, whoever she was. I fell asleep and when I woke up she was gone.

The next day I struck up a conversation with a girl who, like me, was visiting. She was the black stockings and black skirt type. A very intelligent and witty art student. It clicked between us.
She told me that her last boyfriend had been a Palestinian Arab.

In the evening we all went to the pub and came back a bit tipsy. The black stockings girl and I were lying next to each other in a corner of the room. The others had fallen into an after-booze sleep.
I plucked up my "Dutch courage" and kissed her. That was the start of our relationship. We did not do much then as someone might have woken up. 
She was not wearing underwear and explained that was because all her underwear was in the wash.
With hindsight, I think she may have been my caterpillar. At the time I did not think to ask.

The following day we did not tell people we were a couple. We left separately in the early evening, but met up nearby and went back to her place. She had a room in a big house and told me to be quiet because she was not allowed to have men in her room.
As we came in the phone began to ring. She picked it up. It was Booker, one of my school friends who had been at the house.

The evening before in the pub, he had tipsily confided in me that he was in love with her. He asked for my advice. I said he should go for it.
Now he was calling to ask for a date. I was standing next to her and could hear the nervousness in his voice. She was very nice to him. Said that she was too busy just now, but would get back to him.
The strangeness of the situation flashed through my mind. He was calling her on my advice, and after the call was over I was going to have sex with her.

Her room was very untidy with washing hanging all over the place.
I had read the necessary books, so I thought I knew what to do. Then she asked me to punch her in the stomach. This had not been in my books and was not really my thing. I patted her stomach a bit hard, which was enough for her.

My first relationship was with a girl who often wore no underwear because it was in the wash and who got off on being punched in the stomach. 
You cannot get more British than that.

From then on we saw each other as much as possible. We could not go to her room as her landlady had heard us. Fortunately, she had lots of friends and always found a bedroom for us.

Time cannot be stopped and the day to say goodbye eventually arrived. It was the day before I left for Israel.
Besides being a warm, intelligent and witty person, she was also possessive and prone to hysteria and melodrama.
I suspected that she would break down when we said our final goodbyes.
So I planned the separation on a platform at Piccadilly Circus tube station and asked a friend to meet me there. I hoped that a public place like a tube station and the presence of another person would be a constraint on her hysteria.

It did not work. She started screaming and crying. I asked the friend to leave and I sat there with her for hours on that platform. Shades of Thomas Hardy.
When she was finally exhausted from crying, we did say our farewells. I got onto my train and we went our different ways. Or so I thought.

She wrote to me on my kibbutz. She wanted to come. I told her not to.
Then I received a long letter from her. She had tried to come.

She had taken the ferry to France and tried to hitchhike down to Marseille. 
It was very difficult for a girl on her own, she did not get far. Drivers groped and sexually assaulted her. One tried to rape her.
Besides that, the little money she had soon ran out.
She was really down, exhausted and very hungry. 
Fortunately, a British couple stopped to give her a lift. They took her back to where they were staying and looked after her until she had recovered her strength again. Then they gave her money for the fare back to England.

Back in England she had taken stock of the whole situation and decided to give me up and get on with her life. Her long, last letter was her goodbye,

I hope she had a fantastic life.
It is a pity I cannot remember her name.

Fare thee well.