“Dame” Gerald: Our very own “Uncle Tom”

He just had to go and open his poisonous gob . . . and just when I’d thought I’d put my Self-Hating Jew series to bed!

I purposely excluded any reference to Gerald Kaufman from earlier posts on Harold Pinter and Alexei Sayle, because I had thought, hoped, that his relative silence on this occasion might be due to his pragmatic assessment that this war – one of self-defence, following eight years of near daily rocket fire – was, indeed, justified. I mean even his “intellectual” bedfellows, in Israel’s doveish Meretz party, were supporting the IDF’s actions this time.

Few opportunists, however, can resist an opportunity. And, true to form, Kaufman was just biding his time . . .

In the House of Commons, on Thursday, the Labour MP for Manchester Gorton launched a diatribe against Israel (full Hansard transcript), so irrational and vitriolic – even defiling the memory of his own grandmother – that it took by surprise even those with bitter experience of this hateful, self-hating, excuse for a Jew.

Some of my best friends are Jews

Some of my best friends are Jews

After a lengthy prologue of self-justification, reminiscent of those who prelude their anti-Semitic sentiments with “Some of my best friends are Jews . . .”, Kaufman invoked the memory of his Polish grandmother, murdered by the Nazis in her sickbed: “My grandmother did not die to provide cover for Israeli soldiers murdering Palestinian grandmothers in Gaza. The current Israeli Government ruthlessly and cynically exploit the continuing guilt among Gentiles over the slaughter of Jews in the Holocaust as justification for their murder of Palestinians.”

The only person guilty of “ruthless and cynical exploit[ation]” is Kaufman himself . . . of his Jewishness, and (seeing as he has little regard for that), even more shamefully, of the memory of his own grandmother. In view of her tragic fate, I suspect that she would have considered a homeland in which Jews could finally defend themselves, following two millennia of persecution by various hosts, a meaningful consolation (if there could be one) for the victims of the Holocaust.

That right of self-defence, however, is the very one that Kaufman, by his wilful perversion of the facts, denies us. If his grandmother had a grave, Kaufman might as well have gone and spat on it.

While Kaufman, 78, a former Cabinet minister, claims to have been “brought up as an Orthodox Jew and a Zionist”, it is incomprehensible that anyone raised with even the most basic of Jewish or Zionist values would have the inclination or insensitivity, not to mention lack of understanding, to make the analogy – as did Kaufman, most despicably, on Thursday – between “the Jews fighting for their lives in the Warsaw ghetto” and Hamas “militants”.

Indeed, one doesn’t have to be a Jew or a Zionist to see the absence of any moral parallel whatsoever between the victims of Hitler’s systematic destruction of European Jewry and those killed in pursuit of their declared aim of destroying the Jewish State.

Judge a person by his friends

Judge a person by his friends

It is most telling that, on Thursday, Kaufman – who once branded Ariel Sharon “a war criminal” (a label which he ended Thursday’s polemic by assigning to the entire Israeli Government) – was keen for the House (and the country) to hear that Yasser Arafat was “a friend of mine”. What a mark of distinction! For someone who read philosophy at Oxford, however, Kaufman employs the most bewildering of moral compasses.

Whilst a student at Manchester University, in the late 1980s, Kaufman, to our immense surprise, answered a call to defend his anti-Israel views to Jewish students at Hillel House. There we lay in wait, all college precocity and naivety, with our clever questions and infallible arguments, to wipe the floor with this “Jewdas”. But, in an awesome display of oratory, Kaufman, without so much as a scratch, left us to wander off to the pub, wondering how we didn’t manage to land even one decent blow. That evening, we witnessed the triumph of rhetoric over truth, presentation over substance, and the skills which the articulate Kaufman has employed in Parliament, to his malevolent ends, so effectively over the past forty years.

O Jerusalem!

O Jerusalem!

In 2002, Kaufman’s BBC film, The End of the Affair, documenting his disillusionment with Israel, was broadcast over Jewish New Year. Kaufman’s arguments were so irrational and full of spite – including that Orthodox Jews were “infesting” Jerusalem (language which Hitler himself would have been proud of), and that Israel’s architectural planners had turned Jerusalem into a eyesore (an argument so ridiculous, even Stevie Wonder chuckled) – that, some days later, on Yom Kippur, he was abused by fellow congregants, even in his most proper and Anglicised of synagogues, St. John’s Wood.

While some British Jews criticized such treatment in a house of worship, I was not amongst them. Only someone so supremely arrogant could have had the temerity to show his face to coreligionists following so ferocious and malicious an assault, not just on Israel but on Jews.

One can only speculate whether the root cause of Kaufman’s self-loathing might have been his lack of acceptance by mainstream Anglo-Jewry (perhaps even more conservative in his native Yorkshire), for the very reason that he is known in Parliament as “Dame” Gerald. Whether mere speculation, or more, Kaufman should at least learn to “mince” his words.

Kaufman is also an outspoken critic of fox hunting, and – knowing that he is often accused of being a self-hating Jew – has seen the irony in being subjected to anti-Semitic taunts by pro-hunt demonstrators.

But, you see, Gerald, there’s the rub –  we Jews, like foxes, can run, but we can’t hide. Your lifetime of sycophancy, and attempts to ingratiate yourself with the British Establishment, by bashing Israel, have fooled no one. Those in it, who don’t like you because you are a Jew, like you even less because you are a cowardly Jew.

But, most tragically, Gerald, your Bubbe would be as thoroughly ashamed of you as we all are.

28 responses to ““Dame” Gerald: Our very own “Uncle Tom”

  1. Mike, if only you had thought of that retort in 1989…

    reminds me of that episode of Seinfeld

    Well put, anyway.

  2. …maybe he just coundn’t justify over 1,100 people being killed – of which a 1/3rd were women and children.

  3. Paul,

    Everyone knows that many more Palestinians died than Israelis (perhaps, some day, you will even acknowledge that Hamas was more than a little culpable in that, using its own people as “human shields”). But do you think you could, for once, address the issues raised in my post? (melchett mike is not the classified football results, read by James Alexander Gordon . . . but rather 606!)

    I realise that facile Holocaust analogies might not offend you, in the way they do a Jew, but can you understand why most UK Jews find Kaufman so offensive?


  4. Reminds me of the classic Alan Partridge line when talking to the school bully – ‘that was a long time ago Alan’ – ‘yes, that’s what the Nazis said’.

  5. I read through the Hansard reports and I was pleased to learn that we have many supporters in British politics. Gerald is really pathetic. Very sad to hear a Jew talking like that. Look at the propaganda of the most extreme anti-Israel haters and you will find arguments like those of Gerald. The anti-Israel crazies are obsessed with the Holocaust.

  6. Time for a cherem.
    There is no defence for terrorists. When terrorists attack from amidst women and children, there is no defence. Unlike you life in lalaKaufmaniac land.

  7. I wouldn’t even dream of compaing the holocaust with the situation in Gaza.

    The Holocause was the attempt of systematic destuction of the Jewish people, using the gas cambers etc as a production line.

    But as you are aware mike – i have never tried to – and never will compare the Holocaust with any other situation.

    But I sometimes feel you have a one sided approach to Jewish history. I find some of your posts not helpful, as any Jewish person who opposes what the Israeli state is doing as in some way un-Jewish! I don’t think this is helpful, it disguises the fact that there are many strands of Jewish opinion – and it is possible to be Jewish and oppose what the state of Israel does.

    It is also, not being cowardly, to raise the issue of abuses and unnecessary killing, and in raising that, it is also not being un-Jewish to do so.

  8. Gerald obviously feels powerful being in the majority. Who would want to see your culture dragged through the shit the way Zionism is in the UK media? So the best way around this is to reject everything that connects you to the minority Jewish UK population. He’s a coward plain and simple. Probably bullied as a kid.

  9. Hi again Paul,

    I don’t think that every Jew who opposes things Israel does is “un-Jewish” . . . but have, rather, blogged about Jews who oppose everything Israel does. It is their “un-Jewish” agenda and motivation that interests and bothers me.

    The unthinking, exaggerated criticism of the Pinters, Sayles and Kaufmans goes beyond specifics.


  10. with regard to Alexei Sayle and Harold Pinter I do not beleive they oppose everything Israel does. (I haven’t a clue about Kaufman).

    The venom reserved for them in your posts is not justified based on your response above.

    I think they have opposed Israel’s actions in Gaza – which many jews and non-jews do. Not because of an anti-jewish sennse but because the response is completely disproportionate!

  11. mebosa ritchie

    well well
    gerald and yasser;the odd couple
    friends-well never leave your friends behind
    yasser died of aids;maybe gerald’s got it as well and this is his death throw bitterness
    i hope so

  12. After reading my post, a Leeds friend’s father (who prefers to remain anonymous) sent his son the following email, which I thought interesting:

    “First of all I was very impressed by your friends Blog,& I would like to see/hear more of his stuff. Gerald was a bright scholar at Lds. Grammar School-he claimed in a letter to the Press that he suffered Anti-semitism, from staff & pupils. Our cousin put him right in that matter in another letter that said he was bullied because he was “a pain-in-the-tochus” to one & all. Not because he was a YID.Hope that puts U in the picture.”

  13. He is a classic self hating Jew. He craves acceptance. His desire is to be one of the “good Jews” trumps all reasoned arguments.

    So while his fellow anti-semites (oops…sorry. I meant to say Anti-Zionists) in the soon to be in opposition Labour Party might pat him on the back in a kind of condescending manner, under their breath they still mutter……”f*****g Jew”!!

    One of the funniest things I ever heard was about an incident involving Noam Chomsky (US Academia’s primary self hater. In fact, he makes our Gerald look like Yitzchak Shamir). Anyhow, he’s off on one the many Muslim hate rallies and he gets the shit kicked out of him by his fellow Anti-Zionists (or is it now safe to call them Anti-Semites), because he is a Jew….even while he is with them holding up anti-Israel placards.

    This is what dear Gerald and other self hating scumbags around the world will one day come to discover. Hamas, Hezbolah and various other Islamist fascists around the world make no distinction them and a right wing Zionist, between the orthodox and the secular, and as we all know, between adult and child.

    But Gerald and others like him don’t get it. So what do they do? They over-compensate in order to convince the Goyim, who hate them regardless, that they are in fact the “good Jews”. They’re not like us “bad Jews”, you know the nasty Zionist ones! They’re OK, so please be nice to us.

    So their condemnations have to become more and more shrill and hysterical. They have to go that extra mile just prove that in spite of that unfortunate accident of birth, they really really hate Israel too.

    If their was a parliamentary debate on Chicken Soup, I can just imagine Gerald making the following speech:

    “I want the record to reflect that I don’t even like chicken soup, and that’s for darn sure
    All over the world the Zionists control the chicken market in order to perpetuate this disgraceful Zio-Chicko Holocaust of the worlds defenseless chicken refugees.

    The Zionists have usurped and murdered chickens in their millions in order to satisfy their lust and greed for their Zionist cuisine.

    Begins to chant…………Free free Chicko Chickens….free free Chicko chicken…..come on…everybody….free free chicko chicken…..
    My Bubeh….I mean my Grandma did not die so……..”

    Anyway you get the picture.

  14. Has anyone ever asked Kaufman whether he considers that Israel has a right to exist as a nation state? I would like to know where to start with him. I have two other thoughts besides – one is that criticizing him just for homosexuality immediately puts you with the nutters. The other is that he could hardly remain an MP, given his constituency, without some strong critique of Israel’s actions on occasion. And an MP is all he is.

  15. I certainly don’t recall “criticizing” the Kaufman runt – or anyone for that matter – for being gay . . .

  16. Thing is he is right. The Israeli state does use massive military hardware to kill Palestinians in large numbers. They started the latest round by assassinating a Hammas Official In Gaza. They killed more people in that attack than the entire toll of all Palestinian rockets since. Yet for some reason they then say the Palstinians started it and kill over 100 more Palestinians.

    it is not anti Semitic to point this out. But if you do then people confuse criticism of Israel with anti semitism. personally I think the only solution is to equip the Palestinians with the same military hardware, including nuclear weapons and tell the Isrealis to get off all illegally occupied land. Hopefully then neither side would dare attack the other, or we would have a massive one off conflict and the disgusting behaviour of Israel could no longer justify terrorism around the globe.

  17. The words “wit” and “nit” spring to mind, Woodywing . . . though I fear you would struggle, without assistance, to get them in the correct order.

  18. Fred Robson

    You are correct in your condemnation of trite comparisons between Nazism and Zionism. However your snide homophobia (Dame and mince) does your cause no favours.

  19. Childish, perhaps. Homophobic, never. I have several friends who mince. Indeed, if your accusation were correct, I think you would have found me using something more akin to “gay cunt” to describe Kaufman.

  20. A vile self-hating Jew. Someone must have dropped him on his head when he was a child at cheder

  21. Hey Mike, what are you up to these days ? I miss your insightful blogs, especially the Hasmo stuff.

    There must be Hasmo matters you haven’t yet covered ?

  22. Guy betrayed everything he was to keep hold of his seat. He had nothing else. Lost himself, poor bastard, and symptomatic of all that’s wrong with Labour.

  23. Danny: I have heard from the father of a friend – who was a contemporary of Kaufman, growing up in the Jewish community in Leeds – that he was hateful even then. As for my blogging, I have sadly had a bad bout of writer’s block for the last few years. Hopefully it will all come gushing back out some day soon!

    Estel: I don’t think Kaufman’s vileness had anything to do with the good folk of Manchester Ardwick and Gorton . . . he was just an old-fashioned self-hating Jew.

  24. Here’s the mamzer’s funeral notice:

    “Sadly I have to inform you of the death today of Etz Chaim member Sir Gerald Kaufman, uncle of Brian Selby. The funeral will leave Etz Chaim Synagogue tomorrow, Tuesday 28th February at 3pm for New Farnley Cemetery, 717 Whitehall Road, LS12 6JL.”

    “Sadly,” my arse.

  25. I meant that his constituency had a large number of muslims and he had to accommodate them to keep the seat. But maybe I’m wrong in this assumption. I always thought that is why he had to go the way he did.

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