Wednesday, May 24, 2006

And now the good news


The Economist report on Poland paints a picture of a country where the people are doing OK, shame about the politicians.

As a correction to the usual negative foreign reporting of Poland these days, the article points to the fact that it has come a long way in the 16 short years since the Round Table talks in 1989:

# Prosperity (in parts) that ‘many would find surprising’.
# Goods and services often of European quality but at Polish prices
# Booming exports
# High growth (5%)
# High Foreign Direct Investment
# Booming international travel, powered by cheap airfares (take note, greenies).

The report also points to the gulf between the dynamic private sector and a sluggish public sector.

“The private sector is increasingly able to compete with the rest of the world whereas the public sector, wasteful, expensive and bloody minded, is not,” says Economist journalist, Edward Lucas.

The Economist does point to some of the nation’s many problems, however. One in five out of work with only half of the adult population part of the workforce. The terrible infrastructure, particularly roads. The poor standard of public administration.

But most of the criticisms are aimed at the political class. “Suave but sleazy ex-communists’, ‘prickly, eccentric anti-communists’ is a good way to sum them up, although describing anti-Semite, nationalist homophobes as ‘eccentric’ does seem to be a slightly quaint use of the English language.

The naïve and insular character of present coalition government of PiS, LPR and Samoobrona is emphasized in the report. It describes how diplomats, business people and journalists find the rudeness of the administration particularly frustrating:

‘Diplomats and foreign business representatives in Warsaw trade stories of spectacular scheduling mishaps and outbreaks of pomposity over protocol. A dinner for foreign ambassadors is cancelled at short notice, rescheduled, cancelled again at even shorter notice and suddenly switched to a different venue. Senior figures promise to appear but never show up; requests for meetings go unanswered. “There's a limit to the number of times I can remind them that they are meant to be visiting us soon,” says a sympathetic but exasperated ambassador to Warsaw of another post-communist country. Another foreigner, with many years' experience of dealing with Poland, is blunter: “They are amazingly arrogant and amazingly ignorant.” ’

So, The Economist concludes that the constant stories in the western media of a country populated by anti-semites, homophobes, nationalists and other trogs is a misrepresentation. And I agree.

That’s not to say that there are not anti-semites, homophobes, nationalists and other trogs in Poland, but luckily (or unluckily) most of them appear to be in the current government.

Read the whole thing for yourself here

47 comments:

Renegade Eye said...

I think the nationalists must enjoy the international attention, that comes with insulated world view.

Romerican said...

My first reaction was: "Nice legs, shame about the face!"

sonia said...

There is one thing you have to take into consideration when discussing Polish nationalism, anti-semitism, homophobia and religious bigotry: Poles are very eager to make a good impression on the West, but their idea of the West isn't always very accurate. They see how Israel is condemned in Western Europe and they often draw the wrong conclusion. They see how the religious right controls the US government and they naively assume that all Americans will applaud them if they ban gay parades and close abortion clinics.

Rivka said...

Sonia,

Poland is one of Israel's strongest and most devoted supporters in Europe. How are you formulating your opinons? Where are your sources for the claims you make? Read what Tad Taube, president of the Taube Foundation for Jewish Life & Culture and of the Koret Foundation thinks about Polish-Israeli relations in the article entitled Surprise! Poland has become one of Israel’s strongest allies
written on February 10, 2006. As a Jew living in Poland, I haven't seen any noticeable anti-semitism aside from the petty graffiti common everywhere in the world. You can hardly belittle Poland's efforts to mend ties with the Jewish community. Jews must do the same as well. Some comments by Radio Maryja cannot qualify an entire country of being anti-semitic. Your assumptions are unjustified.

Rivka said...

Beatroot, Sonia, and others,

You seem to share the same opinion on every issue in Poland, and defend one another aggressively to the point where it seems like a farce and it is making me and many Jewish-Poles suspicious. It is you here who are instigating an air of hatred with your inaccurate allegations. I recommend you speak to some of us here in Poland to see what we think rather than depicting Poland so negatively on your forum. Drop off your opinion at:
http://joo.com.pl/
Please read what Leslie Binder has to say about Jewish life in Poland and about our forum in her article Joo Life in Poland Today to get a more accurate understanding of Polish-Jewish relations. Thanks.

Henry Grodsk said...

Andrzej Lepper, now a senior member of the coalition government, is on record saying: "The most dangerous nation for the Poles is the Jewish nation. They are everywhere. They are plotting intrigues everywhere" (Nowiny, 18th Dec. 1995). I'm happy to hear that everyday life for Jews in Poland is not punctuated by anti-semitic attacks but you must admit the above statement, when made by a prominent politician, is worrying and newsworthy, even if he claims to have reformed.

Dawid said...

Henry,

What about the statement made in 1992 by the then prime minister of Israel Yitzhak Shamir, who used the expression "they suck anti-Semitism with their mothers' milk" when he spoke about Poles. That statement caused a wave of protest in Poland, which Shamir never addressed nor apologized for. Only a few years later he explained that he "had not accused the entire nation." Until today, he has yet to withdraw his comment. Did the Jewish community condemn this action or insist on him leaving his post? What Shamir said was on the same level as Lepper. A critic must always look in the mirror.

Nice website Rivka, the debate seems to be open and honest.

beatroot said...

Welcome Rivka:

I think you are being very unfair to suggest that myself and others are ganging up and agreeing with eachother about everything on this blog. A simple look through the past few months of posts will show that we usually argue like cats and dogs about most things.

On the situation in Poland and Jews. Maybe the US diplomatic mission in Poland got it right in its last report late last year.

Surveys over the past several years showed a continuing decline in anti-Semitic sentiment (in Poland), and avowedly anti-Semitic candidates have won few elections. However, anti-Semitic feelings persisted among certain sectors of the population, occasionally resulting in acts of vandalism and physical or verbal abuse.

Read the report here:

http://usembassy.state.gov/poland/antisemitism_eng.html

Rivka said...

Thanks Beatroot. I still think you all agree and defend one another on the issue of Polish-Jewish relations in an obviously clannish fashion, and your views appear to be one sided when it comes to that particular topic. There are indeed Poles that dislike Jews, and it should be mentioned that there are just as many Jews who despise Poles and Catholics. It goes both ways and must be stressed in all honesty. As a Jew living in Poland, I haven't experienced any problem with my Jewishness here. It is more of an alarming issue in France or England. To support (and enhance) the US Embassy's statement (your provided link), according to the article Jews in Poland Speak of Shoah Remembrance as a Curse by Jane Ulman, April 21, 2006,:

Latent (present and capable of becoming though not now visible, obvious, or active) anti-Semitism does persist, especially among less-educated segments of the population. More historical than political in nature, it’s typically expressed in the form of graffiti and verbal slurs rather than actual physical harm. It’s also in decline, according to a 2005 report by the U.S. State Department, and officially condemned.

Polish Jews interviewed for this article ("The Jewish Journal") say they feel safe in Poland. They are comfortable publicly identifying as Jews, telling strangers they meet that they are Jewish and wearing kippot or Stars of David. Their synagogues do not have visible armed guards at the entrances, as in Sweden and other European countries. According to Ashkenazy, even Chasidic Jews, in full religious garb, feel safe traveling alone.

Furthermore, Poland is a solid friend of Israel. One of its first moves, when it became a democratic country in 1989, was to establish diplomatic ties. Since then, Poland has officially apologized for crimes that Poles committed against Jews and made denying the Holocaust a crime. It entered into an agreement to purchase $350 million worth of Israeli anti-tank missiles and has allocated land and $26 million for the building of a Jewish museum in Warsaw.


The above article is a must read for you Beatroot and friends. It tackles an issue which should more often be discussed in public. Too many foreign Jews come to Poland and view the dark history instigated by the Germans that took place on Polish soil. (March of the Living). They rarely bother to interact with Polish Catholics, or see the beauty that Poland has to offer. More insulting, they almost refuse to recognize that we do have a flourishing Jewish community, it's members being very happy here. After the trip of viewing nothing but gloom, they travel back to sunny and cheerful Israel. This isn't only my opinion, it's an issue being debated now by the Jewish community. Tad Taube expressed it best when he said, "...local (Polish) Jews say they feel safer wearing a yarmulke on the streets of Warsaw than on the streets of Paris".

Two sides of the coin have more value than one.

beatroot said...

you all agree and defend one another on the issue of Polish-Jewish relations in an obviously clannish fashion, and your views appear to be one sided when it comes to that particular topic.

We do not gang up in a 'clannish way', Rivka. None of us has even met eachother and we do not conspire.

I am glad that you have not had negative experiences in Poland but the suggestion that things are worse in England is ridiculous. I lived in that country for decades and anti-semitism is not an issue at all there - even though there are quite a few MORE Jews in England than in Poland where there are very few.

I have found the attitudes to Jews here primnitive to say the least, and race in general is talked about in a way that is unfamiliar to me and would be more familiar to someone living in the 1930's.

That us my honest opinion. I blame communism for stunting cultural development here.

Rivka said...

Beatroot states: "...the suggestion that things are worse in England is ridiculous. I lived in that country for decades and anti-semitism is not an issue at all there..."

Then you better check out the statistics now Beatroot, because your opinion is apparently biased and it's time to educate you. Let's examine very closely the figures the Stephen Roth Institute reported from 2004, both for the UK and Poland.

Antisemitic activity in Poland:

The level of antisemitic activity in Poland remained fairly stable. A few incidents were recorded, including the daubing of swastikas as well as a Star of David on the walls of the Tempel synagogue in the Kazimierz Jewish quarter in Krakow in June. In October Angora, a tabloid-style weekly news digest, plastered anti-Jewish posters on its offices in central Lodz.. Despite protests from the Israeli embassy in Poland, the posters were removed only after a month.

Jewish visitors to Auschwitz suffered abuse on a few occasions. In August French tourists shouted antisemitic and anti-Israel insults at a group of Israeli students, while in October three young Poles shouted “Zhid, Zhid” at a Swedish Jew.

The government-owned company Ruch sells hard-core antisemitic literature of Leszek Bubel, a veteran antisemitic publisher who has produced, among others, pocket editions of The Protocols of the Elders of Zion. The UN Committee for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (CERD) condemned the wide circulation of racist propaganda in its March 2003 report on Poland.


Keep in mind, no violence or beatings. Add to that some shameful but insignificant comments made by Radio Maryja and it adds up to harmless. Now let's take a look at the UK.

Antisemitic activity in the UK:

The CST (Criminal Security Trust) recorded a total of 532 antisemitic incidents during 2004, a 42 percent increase over the previous year (375 incidents). Significantly, the focus for the hatred was not Israeli institutions in the UK but Jewish ones and Jews themselves, especially synagogues and Orthodox Jews. The number of violent assaults rose by 54 percent (83 incidents) over 2003 (54 incidents). Damage and desecration of communal property decreased by 26 percent from 72 incidents in 2003 to 53 incidents in 2004. Vandalism of Jewish institutions and synagogues has been a feature of the wave of antisemitic incidents in Britain since the start of the second intifada, but this is the only category in which there was a decrease, perhaps partly explained by the introduction of improved security measures. Cases occurring during the year included arson attacks in June at South Tottenham Synagogue, causing extensive damage, and at the Aish Hatorah Centre in north west London, where the fire was kindled using Torah scrolls that were ripped up by the perpetrator; the smashing, in August, of 60 gravestones at the Witton cemetery in Birmingham, where the perpetrator was subsequently caught and convicted (see below); and the daubing of swastikas and SS insignia on gravestones at the Aldershot cemetery, in November, and again in January 2005.

Verbal and written threats to members of the community rose by 323 percent from 22 incidents in 2003 to 93 in 2004. The increase was partly fuelled by the activities of Riaz Mohammed Burahee, who was convicted of making multiple threats to north London synagogues (see below), but even without his activities, the number of incidents in this category would still be more than double the 2003 total.

Abusive behavior increased by 29 percent, from 211 incidents in 2003 to 272 incidents in 2004. This category encompasses the full range of low-level, often spontaneous antisemitic abuse and is usually taken as an indicator of the level of antisemitism in society. The number of such incidents has risen in recent years, but the likelihood of under-reporting in this particular category makes firm analysis difficult.

The targeted distribution of antisemitic literature increased by 94 percent from 16 incidents in 2003 to 31 incidents in 2004.


Poland is a much safer country for me than the UK, where economic opportunities are much better. For me, safety is more important. I can do without the likes of David Irving and company.

Please take a good look at comments about British anti-semitism made by Jonathan Rosenblum, entitled UK Anti-Semitism.

Last year the number of anti-Semitic attacks in England rose alarmingly by over 40% -- the steepest rise in Europe -- to its highest level ever. But it is not the level of street attacks that I find most frightening. Rather it is the openly expressed loathing for Israel and Jews among a large swath of Britain's elites. It was the complete collapse of German elites before Hitler and his lumpenproletariat followers that allowed Hitler's rise to power in the most civilized nation in Europe. The German elites were infected with the same anti-Semitism as the uneducated sign painter.

A few years back, Penelope Wyatt reported in the Spectator the remark of a liberal peer, "Thank God, we can once again say what we want about the Jews." More recently, a liberal commentator tried to reassure Melanie Phillips that there has been no upsurge in anti-Semitism. No, he explained helpfully, the anti-Semitism has always been there. What is changed now is that the taboos against its expression have fallen.

"What you have to understand is that we are just so relieved that we don't have to worry about the Jews any more. Ever since the war we were told that because of their suffering, the Jews were above criticism. But now that's no longer the case," he said.


Beatroot, Poland has enormous culture, both Jewish and Polish, and society is far from primitive. You are invited to join the "Joo Life" forum where you will certainly encounter more of the same opinion.

Romerican said...

the openly expressed loathing for Israel and Jews among a large swath of Britain's elites.

And what planet is this chap living on, praytell?

rivka - as an outsider, I appreciate your efforts to show that Poland is not overrun with goose-stepping jackbooted thugs. I also think you may be overanalyzing countries based on what may be overzealous reports from biased technocrats. I would be curious to learn more about the raw data behind the assertion of a 40% rise in anti-semitic behavior in the UK. Roth (et al) states 83 events in 2004 were deemed to be anti-semitic. Such fluctuations might be normal in a 30 year view of general crime stats or possibly attributed to the increase in post-intifada activity (as per the analysis) which while interesting would hardly be worth one getting one's panties into a wad. Now, 300 versus 500 increase involving non-islamist Brits would be a trend that concerned me. I certainly hope the trend reserves itself.

Given Britain's exemplary role in Jewish holocaust commemoration, I'd like to learn more about this so-called "swath" of elites. It could be a media conspiracy, but no significant noise from acknowledged elites have reached these ears. I wonder if we're making a mountain out of a molehill here.

Quite frankly, I see more anti-islamic rhetoric than inflammatory rants on "the Elders."

If I were to take at face value comments such as


What you have to understand is that we are just so relieved that we don't have to worry about the Jews any more. Ever since the war we were told that because of their suffering, the Jews were above criticism. But now that's no longer the case," he said.


then I would submit to you that being able to criticize a people is, per se, a healthy development in intercultural discourse. I trust the speaker meant no more than what he said and I base my comments on that assumption. It certainly doesn't seem to go as far as Sarah Silverman's recent (and mostly funny) film/performance poking light at Jesus and niggers (used in context).

On the sources you provided, I couldn't find any interesting data on America. My suspicion is that the raw numbers would appear to show the US as being far more anti-semitic than either Poland or the UK. And yet, it would be flatly untrue. What I suggest is that there is some context to the numbers that must be taken into consideration.

This blog (beatroot) has pointed out what appear to be high-ranking officials with direct ties to or recent history of anti-semitic involvement. Should Tudor ever get elected or appointed to a significant post in Romania, I'll be sure to be like beatroot... standing at the forefront, finger extended, pointing toward the stench. Hopefully, you won't begrudge me that.

And with that, my friends, I'll step aside and watch the remainder of your discussion.

Henry Grodsk said...

Re: Jonathan Rosenblum's comments, referred to by Rivka, above.

First, they are just that: comments. Rosenblum refers to a 40% rise in anti-Semitic attacks in Britain but does not provide the source of information. It is possible that the British authorities are more scrupulous in recording the motivations of crimes than the Polish.

As for a "large swath of Britain's elites" being anti-Semitic, here is the relevant sentence from Rosenblum's comments: "Rather it is the openly expressed loathing for Israel and Jews among a large swath of Britain's elites." That is, Rosenblum's includes people who disapprove of the policies of the Israeli state under the heading of anti-Semites. It is not anti-Semitic to disapprove of Israel's foreign policy any more than it is anti-Polish to disapprove of Poland's war on Iraq.

The Stephen Roth Institute report referred to above begins: "The level of antisemitic activity in Poland remained stable in 2004. The antisemitic League of Polish Families more than doubled their share of the vote in the June 2004 European Parliamentary election." Surely this is worrying news to anyone concerned about anti-Semitism.

This is not to say that Poland is more or less anti-Semitic than the UK; only that care must be taken when approaching statistics. Anyway it's Friday night: shouldn't we all be in a pub agreeing with each other?

Pat Patterson said...

Actually this description sounds remarkably like the County of Los Angeles but since its run by the Democrats it couldn't possibly anti-Semitic or homophobic.

Rivka said...

First, I will begin my reply with Beatroot's appallingly controversial quote, since it is quite an understatement to the truth and should be wedged into our memories for infinity.
"...the suggestion that things are worse in England is ridiculous. I lived in that country for decades and anti-semitism is not an issue at all there..."
Not an issue? Where did you live, on a small uncharted island off the English coast? The next step is to provide to Beatroot, Romerican, and Henry even more evidence that not only does the UK harbor excessive anti-semitism, it ranks near the top of the list in all of Europe (Poland as shown previously by an independent monitoring group, had only several minor incidents and is a drop in the pond). The earlier proof that was provided is questioned by you as non-reliable or opinionated, even lacking an appropriate source. Do you think the CST (Community Security Trust) of the UK lacks credentials for such data? Please have a look. A political analyst who lectures us on Poland's anti-semitism, but fails to acknowledge any problem with it in the UK, his home country (I assume he was raised there)...something must be wrong. This begs the question of credibility as to his opinion on the Polish issue if he doesn't acknowledge the problem in his own country of origin at all. As a Pole of Jewish origin living in Poland for most of my life, I rightly feel qualified to give an opinion on the situation here and in Europe in general.

Romerican states:

And what planet is this chap living on, praytell? (referring to Jonathan Rosenblum, who is a columnist for the Jerusalem Post and Israeli director of Am Echad) on his comment, the openly expressed loathing for Israel and Jews among a large swath of Britain's elites.
If you had read his article in full, provided in my earlier response, you would see who he was referring to. If you are still confused, then I suggest you send him an e-mail and ask him for additional information. I'm sure he wouldn't mind at all.
Romerican and Henry state:
rivka - as an outsider, I appreciate your efforts to show that Poland is not overrun with goose-stepping jackbooted thugs. I also think you may be overanalyzing countries based on what may be overzealous reports from biased technocrats. I would be curious to learn more about the raw data behind the assertion of a 40% rise in anti-semitic behavior in the UK.
First, they are just that: comments. Rosenblum refers to a 40% rise in anti-Semitic attacks in Britain but does not provide the source of information. It is possible that the British authorities are more scrupulous in recording the motivations of crimes than the Polish.
I am not trying to promote Poland’s Jewish life, just presenting the facts as they are.
First please read the Guardian headlines for the year 2005, Anti-semitism in UK 'unacceptably high' by Hugh Muir, Friday February 3, 2006.
Jewish community leaders yesterday described the level of anti-semitism in Britain as unacceptably high as it emerged that the number of incidents last year was the second highest on record.
Romerican, the CST of UK are "biased technocrats"? Please let them know, or I can do that for you if you wish. The CST website has the data in complete detail for the year 2005 (Anti-Semitic Incidents Report - 2005), which doesn't differ much from the year 2004. This includes a breakdown of every single incident, categorized very accurately
Romerican, I'm not 'overanalyzing' anything. The CST is an independent group within the UK, just as Poland has independent Jewish organizations carefully monitoring activity here as well. Henry, try not to pass off Poland's low anti-semitic incidence rate as being a result of unscrupulous reporting. That's certainly not the case and a poor argument to say the least.
Note that in the UK in 2004 & 2005, anti-semitic incidents which were categorized as 'extreme threats' (life threatening) numbered 4 and 2 respectively (page 14 of 16 lists all years and breakdown). Read the entire document carefully, and you will be shocked. Violent acts represent the most serious threats, and Poland never had one. In fact, please look at the CST document Terrorists Incidents against Jewish Communities and Israeli Citizens Abroad, 1968-2003 to see well documented statistics on extreme violent acts against Jewish communities around the world. On page 42 of 44, there is a breakdown by number of incidents in each country. Here is a sample from that report:

France 51
Argentina 35
USA 34
Italy 33
Germany 31
UK 24
Austria 19
Turkey 18
Poland None


Henry writes
That is, Rosenblum's includes people who disapprove of the policies of the Israeli state under the heading of anti-Semites. It is not anti-Semitic to disapprove of Israel's foreign policy

Correct, fair criticism of Israel isn’t deemed to be anti-semitic. Here is the quote once again: “ the openly expressed loathing for Israel and Jews among a large swath of Britain's elites.
It did mention “and Jews” as well.

Romericann writes:
Given Britain's exemplary role in Jewish holocaust commemoration, I'd like to learn more about this so-called "swath" of elites. It could be a media conspiracy, but no significant noise from acknowledged elites have reached these ears. I wonder if we're making a mountain out of a molehill here.

Do you really think Britain’s holocaust commemoration is in a class by itself? I don’t believe so. All European countries equally commemorate the holocaust in respectable ways. Rosenblum’s comments are factual based on objective data, and not a conspiracy. It would be a great idea to e-mail him for more intricate details of this ‘swath of elites.’ It is Beatroot who is making a mountain out of a molehill when in almost every one of his write-ups, he links Poland with anti-semitism, nationalism, and homophobia. Ditto, isn’t it? Overdone? Yes. Perhaps he should speak more with Poland’s Jewish community about how they feel living here or just read Midrasz, or Joo Life. Poland’s Jewish community is alive and healthy, and we feel well living in Poland.

Romerican, criticism surely is healthy. It shouldn’t be overdone or exaggerated though. The US is also full of anti-semitic incidents. Since Beatroot chose to say “ …anti-semitism is not an issue at all there… (in UK)”, it had to be proven that it is indeed an issue, and not to be swept under the rug. So, the comparison chosen was UK and Poland, not the US. Statistics and facts had to be presented to him. I won’t begrudge you at all for being critical of Romania’s political atmosphere because I don’t live there.

Henry, LPR and Lepper are great concerns for the Jewish community. Far worse than their ‘words’ are actions, and physical threats or violence against the Jewish community is what is feared. Poland hasn’t had any sort of this type of threat for a long time. In the UK, it occurs frequently as the report can prove. The parties are being watched closely and so far nothing drastic has happened. I think Kaczynski will keep to his word and prevent any ugly anti-semitism. He was, after all, instrumental in the Jedwabne investigation.

One last word about UK’s CST, it was ”formed in the 1930’s to combat Oswald Mosley (Roman Dmowski equivalent or worse) and his followers.”

Beatroot, are you familiar with Oswald Mosley? From answers.com:

Oswald Ernald Mosley, (November 16, 1896 – December 3, 1980) was a British politician principally known as the founder of the British Union of Fascists. Mosley had found problems with disruption of New Party meetings and instituted a corps of black uniformed paramilitary stewards who were nicknamed blackshirts. The party was frequently involved in violent confrontations, particularly with Communist and Jewish groups and especially in London. At a large Mosley rally at Olympia on 7 June 1934, mass brawling broke out when hecklers were removed by blackshirts, resulting in bad publicity. This and the Night of the Long Knives in Germany led to the loss of most of the BUF's mass support. The party was unable to fight the 1935 general election. In October 1936 Mosley and the BUF attempted to organise a march through an area with a high proportion of Jewish residents, and violence resulted between local and nationally organised protestors trying to block the march and police trying to force it through, since called the Battle of Cable Street.

Beatroot, Henry, and Romerican…the beer idea is starting to sound tempting, but I prefer wine. Thanks for your comments. It’s a very healthy discussion.

beatroot said...

Rivka: You quote the Guardian as saying: "The Community Security Trust recorded 455 anti-Semitic race hate incidents throughout the UK in 2005, continuing the rising trend since 1979 when 219 instances were reported."

OK, while I am not for one moment saying that there has not been some incidents of anti-Semitism in the UK (such as scrawling graffiti on graves etc) this, I am afraid is a feature of modern day life all countries where there is a Jewish population and even within Israel itself!

See http://advant.blogspot.com/2006/05/israel-russian-youth-attack-synagogue.html

But separate attacks like these do not make anti-Semitism an issue. The Guardian compares figures from 1979 with figures today, which show that 455 incidents took place an increase of 100%..

What you probably don’t know, Rivka, is that the method of defining race related incidents used by the police has changed since 1979. In those days the police decided what was and what was not a ‘hate’ crime. These days – and this is crucial – the ‘victim’ of the incident defines whether it is race related or not.

In those circumstances, 455 incidents a year is remarkably small. And taking into account the different way that these incidents is calculated, plus the rise of religious fundamentalism all over the world, then this shows that anti-Semitism is not the issue that you claim it to be in the UK.

This is already too long a comment so I will compare the Polish attitude to the British attitude to Jews next time.

Romerican said...

Henry - in fact I fibbed. It turns out I didn't quite reload this page a dozen times per minute in eager anticipation of rabid responses, but instead took myself out for the beer you suggested (telepathy?). It's been a fun discussion but I sense it is now approaching dead horse status.

pat - beats riverside co!

rivka - I read all the articles you linked to. Please do not confuse my logical disagreement with some points made by you and/or the authors to be mere ignorance. Thanks. I think you've made your point that you believe the UK is dangerously anti-semetic relative to the panacea of Poland. As you gather, I (and perhaps others) find it worrisome that outspokenly intolerant xenophobes seems to have gained noticeable power in Poland while the UK has had a slight uptick in the activities of a handful non-British hooligan residents. Interestingly, the increased PR noise on the part of white nationalists (of UK *and* elsewhere), who are anti-semites, has actually driven by roiling anti-muslim sentiment. Now, I tried to keep it short so we can move on... syrah?

beatroot said...

Syria? Let's keep it in Poland.

Henry Grodsk said...

Rivka wrote: "Romerican and Henry state: rivka - as an outsider, I appreciate your efforts... etc"

I did not say that. Romerican did.

Rivka also wrote:
'Correct, fair criticism of Israel isn’t deemed to be anti-semitic. Here is the quote once again: “the openly expressed loathing for Israel and Jews among a large swath of Britain's elites.' It did mention “and Jews” as well.'

That does not have any bearing on the point I made, which is that if you include criticism of Israel under the heading of "anti-Semitism" it will dishonestly swell the incidence of "anti-Semitism".

Rivka wrote: "Henry, try not to pass off Poland's low anti-semitic incidence rate as being a result of unscrupulous reporting. That's certainly not the case and a poor argument to say the least."

I did not try to do so. I suggested the possibility that the UK reports the motivations of crimes more scrupulously than Poland. You have not shown that this is not the case. If, as Beatroot points out, the victim in the UK defines the motivation of the crime then it is a very strong argument indeed -- _if_ this is not also the case in Poland. I do not know what the procedure in such cases is in Poland. Please tell.

Rivka wrote: "The next step is to provide to Beatroot, Romerican, and Henry even more evidence that not only does the UK harbor excessive anti-semitism..."

You do not have to convince me. I have not defended the UK's record on anti-Semitism (because I know nothing about it).

beatroot said...

The so-called 'loathing of Isreal' by British elites is not the same thing - even it were true - as anti-Semitism.

Being against the occupation of large parts of Palestine is not anti-Semitism (if it is, then call me anti-Semite).

Michael Farris said...

"Being against the occupation of large parts of Palestine is not anti-Semitism (if it is, then call me anti-Semite)."

At the risk of escalation, I'd say that depends on how you define 'Palestine'.
A lot of the more ... anti-Israeli activists define it as everything between Egypt Lebanon and Jordan, I'm assuming (hoping) you're not one of those.

Romerican said...

Syria? No, no... a bottle of syrah to share with our friend rivka.

beatroot said...

Ooops, sorry.

beatroot said...

Mike: at the risk of escalation too, I am against the two state solution. I believe in a one state solution, where the land is shared equally by Jews and Arabs.

But that is not anti-Semetism. And I get really pissed off with people using cheap tricks such as equating criticism of Isreal with anti-Semetism. That is just a weak attempt to close off debate.

Michael Farris said...

"I believe in a one state solution, where the land is shared equally by Jews and Arabs."

And I believe in free ice-cream and ponies for everyone. As far as I can tell there are no major players on the ground there on either side that want anything of the kind (for somewhat different reasons).
So getting back to reality, we're stuck with some kind of two state solution, not ideal but possibly workable for the foreseeable future.

But that's getting away from the topic of this blog so I'll be happy to drop the subject with all possible speed.

beatroot said...

Mike: there is a move from within the palastinian community for that kind of politics and it will be on the agenda very soon and something you will be hearing about.

Palastinians know that the 'state' that they are being offered is more of a reservation...

The plans when they whole thing falls through will be to embark on a Ghandist campaign for equal rights within Isreal...civil resistance etc...this will be a very hard campaign to resist. International preasure will be massive on Isreal to start treating these people as equal human beings in an Isreal/Palastine.

I promise: it will ne on the agenda very soon.

Zaratustra said...

Few short points:

- Rivka / Sonia are very right in noting the emergence of a newer and more subtle form of anti-semitism: the 'antisemitism of the elits'. Israel-bashing has been a popular game amongst the western 'intelectuals' over last several years: noticeably, no other country with same or higher level of human rights abuse receives as much attention of academics, students, and various amnesty-international-like organizations as Israel does.

- Poland's anti-semitism which I consider very mild is to a very large extent a product of recent historical events and does not reflect the history of tolerance that this country had, the led to the most flourishing Jewis community on the continent.

Someone here made a comment that this is a peasant society. It is indeed. A better term would be: a society with a head chopped off. Poland lost over 6 million citizens (hald of them Jews), who were the best and brightest in World War II. Add to that another several millions of the brightest after the war - this gap had to be replaced by peasants and will take time to recover from.

Hence, the tolerance level that allowed for pre-war Warsaw to have over 30% of Jewish population and pre-war Lodz to have much more, may still be there, but the culture and elits both Polish and Jewish that led to that vanished.

- Finally, I find it mildly amusing being schooled on racism-related and discrimination-related topics by the British. For all practical purposes, Britain can claim to have invented modern racism and modern apartheid, with successful state-legalized implementations in both commonwealth countries and ex-colonies in-action until as recently as 1980s ( Australia - incidentally the 'stolen generation' day was celebrated on Friday, South Africa's apartheid, USA's apartheid, etc etc).

Furhtermore, few European countries if any are as class-concious as the British society, though it hides very well under the shallow cover if politeness. Racism / class-consious behaviour includes not just the same race (recent attacks on Polish immigrants that you blogged about) but even - and this is based on anecdotal evidence only - the very close cousins: several Irish co-workers of mine, now partners and managers at a 'Big 5' accounting firm, claim they have had no chance of advancing career / making a partnership in Britain where they started carrers, due anti-Irish (or perhaps anti-all-non-British) discrimination. But that's just an anecdote.

How does it go ... people in glass houses should not throw stones?

beatroot said...

My mum is Irish, who came to the UK in the 1950s. She actually remembers signs in windows of houses looking for tenants as saying, "No dogs, no blacks, no Irish'...

Scott Arthur Edwards said...

Hi my friends! I'm writing to you because I just came across a business that I think has great potential. It lets you save money on almost everything. Make money from almost everything, Including home loans- plus... help lower your taxes--best of all--it requires absolutely no investment. I thought you might be interested and like to check it out...

Here I have a home business site/blog. It successfully covers home business related stuff and almost everything else!

Come and check it out if you get time, Scott.

Joe Berenguer said...

I am here because of search results for blogs with a related topic to mine.
Please,accept my congratulations for your excellent work!
I have a cheap travel Armenia site.
Come and check it out if you get time :-)
Best regards!

Paul Adams said...

I am here because of search results for blogs with a related topic to mine.
Please,accept my congratulations for your excellent work!
I have a cheap travel Azerbaijan site.
Come and check it out if you get time :-)
Best regards!

Anonymous said...

hydrocodone pharmacy

Anonymous said...

brutal dildoes

Anonymous said...

http://atalara.com/news/categ-Betting_picks-46.html Betting picks
Betting picks

Anonymous said...

http://pic-lolita-bbs.freepicsgirls.com/index.html lolita bbs
lolita bbs

Anonymous said...

websearchtravel.com
Cruise Tahiti
Acapulco Hotels
Accommodation Mallorca
Africa Travel
Air Tickets
Air Travel
Airline Fares
Brussels Hotels
Car rental
Europe Travel

Anonymous said...

websearchtravel.com




Grand Bahamas Hotels

Anonymous said...

http://roorex.net/en History of Education

http://roorex.net/reg-Chittagong-53842.html Chittagong
Chittagong

Anonymous said...

http://erotic.artmam.com/ - erotic art

http://fine-art.artmam.com/ - oil painting art

http://sensual.artmam.com/ - erotic drawing


http://artmam.net/Dir-Golf.htm Golf
Golf

Anonymous said...

This is very interesting site... film editing classes

Anonymous said...

Excellent, love it! »

Anonymous said...

Hello !.
You re, I guess , perhaps curious to know how one can make real money .
There is no need to invest much at first. You may begin earning with as small sum of money as 20-100 dollars.

AimTrust is what you need
The company represents an offshore structure with advanced asset management technologies in production and delivery of pipes for oil and gas.

Its head office is in Panama with offices around the world.
Do you want to become a happy investor?
That`s your choice That`s what you really need!

I feel good, I started to get real money with the help of this company,
and I invite you to do the same. It`s all about how to choose a correct partner who uses your savings in a right way - that`s the AimTrust!.
I earn US$2,000 per day, and my first investment was 500 dollars only!
It`s easy to get involved , just click this link http://edyporukyf.mindnmagick.com/xuwypyw.html
and go! Let`s take our chance together to feel the smell of real money

Anonymous said...

[url=http://rastimores.net/][img]http://rastimores.net/img-add/euro2.jpg[/img][/url]
[b]store finder software, [url=http://rastimores.net/]coreldraw graphics suite x4 keygens[/url]
[url=http://rastimores.net/][/url] crm microsoft software discount microsoft office 2008
purchase used software [url=http://akreoplastoes.net/]autocad pdf converter lines overwrite[/url] buy windows software online
[url=http://akreoplastoes.net/]adobe photoshop softwares[/url] buy office 2003 enterprise
[url=http://rastimores.net/]buy macromedia 8[/url] download acdsee pro free
superkids educational software [url=http://rastimores.net/]free adobe editor software[/url][/b]

Anonymous said...

[url=http://sapresodas.net/][img]http://vioperdosas.net/img-add/euro2.jpg[/img][/url]
[b]microsoft oem software, [url=http://vioperdosas.net/]software resellers canada[/url]
[url=http://sapresodas.net/]virtual office software[/url] buy adobe photoshop uk Standart Edition Mac Retail
computer software to buy [url=http://sapresodas.net/]list of educational software[/url] academic licensed software
[url=http://vioperdosas.net/]best educational software[/url] educational software com
[url=http://sapresodas.net/]oem software be[/url] oem software package
academic software no [url=http://sapresodas.net/]discount software for you[/url][/b]

Anonymous said...

ночной секс клуб
секс порно 3jp
порно клипы бесплатно
море сиськи фото
лечение заболеваний сексом

Anonymous said...

At last, I found this article again. You have few [url=http://tipswift.com]useful tips[/url] for my school project. This time, I won't forget to bookmark it. :)

Anonymous said...

Hi!
You may probably be very interested to know how one can make real money on investments.
There is no need to invest much at first.
You may commense to get income with a money that usually goes
for daily food, that's 20-100 dollars.
I have been participating in one project for several years,
and I'm ready to share my secrets at my blog.

Please visit blog and send me private message to get the info.

P.S. I make 1000-2000 per daily now.

http://theinvestblog.com [url=http://theinvestblog.com]Online Investment Blog[/url]