Salute to Israel

These are my photos from last weekend’s Salute to Israel parade and festival in London, celebrating the 60th anniversary of the founding of Israel. It was a very good natured event, with a large attendance from a healthily diverse crowd. It also attracted some significant counter-protests by pro-Palestinian demonstrators, some photos of whom I’ve also included.

You’re also very welcome to look at the photos in larger form on my Flickr photostream. London Mayor Boris Johnson’s Director of Arts, Culture and the Creative Industries Munira Mirza hasn’t wiped out all the cultural events she and/or her boss might disapprove of (this, for the easily offended is a continuing reference to the Rise Festival’s being stripped of its relevance on political grounds) , so hopefully along with Pride tomorrow there’ll be many more events like this to come.

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12 responses to “Salute to Israel

  1. You are guilty of a serious libel against Boris Johnson and Munira Mirza.

    You say – “London Mayor Boris Johnson’s Director of Arts, Culture and the Creative Industries Munira Mirza hasn’t wiped out all the cultural events she and/or her boss disapprove of, so hopefully aside from Pride tomorrow there’ll be many more events like this to come.”

    This can only be interpreted as meaning that Johnson and/or Mirza disapprove of the Israel celebrations and the Pride march.

    This carries with it the snide implication of anti-semitism and homophobia.

    I am emailing this URL to both of them at City Hall. Their lawyers (and the courts) will note that you have allowed the defamation to go uncorrected.

    Just because you’re on the internet doesn’t give you the right to smear people with impunity – as you’re about to find out.

  2. Except there’s no implication of anti-semitism or homophobia, who do you think you are?

    That line might have started out sloppily written, but referred directly to the Rise festival, which was a case of a GLA-funded cultural event which Mirza and by extension Johnson didn’t politically approve of. In Mirza’s case she’s said so outright, and even then not on grounds of race. They have prior form for altering or inhibiting cultural events freely supported by the previous administration, on political grounds. In an administration which has made great pains to say they won’t fund anything unless it’s value for money or (now) been politically aligned in a way they approve of, it’s been unclear what their approach would be to any of the cultural events which had been boosted under Ken’s auspices until they’ve actually taken place.

    It’s a relief that the Salute to Israel and Pride were and will be unaffected, the latter particularly because Johnson, for all his support of the gay community now, had quite openly written (or had ghosted) articles quite homophobic in nature. Please explain in that context where I imply he or she is homophobic now. Please explain where I suggest either of them is anti-semitic. I didn’t think so – it just isn’t there.

    Oh and the ‘defamation’ has ‘gone uncorrected’? Really? When you make a terminal threat as your very first contact with me? I don’t think so. I’ve altered the final paragraph to make the points I’ve just elaborated on as abundantly clear as possible, but of course if any reasonable reader thinks I’ve still made a terminological inexactitude then they’re welcome to suggest further improvements.

  3. You changed your post. You wouldn’t have done so unless you accepted that your words could have been interpreted as defamatory.

    Nuff said. Don’t smear decent people just because YOU don’t like them.

  4. You in turn had no cause whatsoever to accuse me of making anti-semitic and homophobic accusations without checking out the truth first – you didn’t and could have. I clarified to the fullest extent what was a reference to Rise, but considering I’d already made my feelings on that clear in an earlier post, I shorthanded the paragraph in question in this one. Maybe that was an assumption on my part that people were smart enough and not so arrogant as to take offence on behalf of others, particularly where no offence was even implied.

    I didn’t smear a soul Ted – you inferred an argument which wasn’t there. And your final sentence indicates why. That Mirza and Johnson are human beings worthy of the presumption of respect is true, because it should be true for everyone. But you also don’t have the right to misrepresent the arguments of people (and threaten them) who think they stink as politicians. Mirza’s treatment of the Rise festival was reprehensible, and Johnson’s past comments on gay rights, specifically civil partnerships and Section 28 have been appalling. I was personal witness to his having had a definitive opportunity to rebut them as past misunderstandings, but he either chose not to or didn’t know how to (and he’s an intelligent man). I saw him at Pride yesterday enjoying himself immensely, and was impressed with the responsibility he showed and the future commitments he made. If he is indeed learning, he should be allowed the freedom to do so. He should also be free to determine his own battles and fight them himself.

    I do hope you’re going around the internet threatening the authors of the multiplicity of articles I’ve just scanned who say outright that Boris Johnson is a bigot (rather than the point I make) with similar lawsuits for defamation, just so you don’t appear inconsistent or overzealous here.

  5. Ted said…”You wouldn’t have done so unless you accepted that your words could have been interpreted as defamatory”

    I certainly didn’t interpret them as defamatory, even before the blog writer made a few minor adjustments (which were no doubt specifically aimed at people like you who stomp around the Internet nitpicking when someone has the temerity to say something which comes into conflict with your view of the World).

    One wonders if you police the rest of the Internet with such hyper-sensitivity or if this is just a personal grudge because the Author may have a number of conflicting views which breech your level of tolerance.

  6. It may be worth checking the IP address of Ted’s comment to see if it matches that of your other abrasive commenters.

  7. I wonder if the lovely Ted (who’s suddenly gone conveniently mute) has also noticed the WordPress blogs which were opposed to the Salute to Israel celebrations. Maybe he should refer them to the CHRE for anti-semitism, again if only to prove he doesn’t pick on specific, decent people just because he doesn’t like them.

  8. I get the distinct impression that Ted could do with learning what libel and defamation are. And what vexatious complaints are.

    He could probably also do with learning that criticising Israel is not even slightly the same thing as antisemitism.

    I’d suggest you ignore ill-informed words from someone who appears to be an idiot*.

    * Just a hint: That’s not libellous either.

  9. Let me explain.

    You talked about the Israel celebrations and then said – “London Mayor Boris Johnson’s Director of Arts, Culture and the Creative Industries Munira Mirza hasn’t wiped out all the cultural events she and/or her boss disapprove of, so hopefully aside from Pride tomorrow there’ll be many more events like this to come.”

    The inescapable inference of that sentence is that Boris and Mirza disapproved (or MIGHT have) of the Israel celebration. You made it clear that if they HAD wiped out all the events they disapproved of then “events like this” wouldn’t be happening. Show me one word either of them has said or written attacking Israel. So why would they disapprove?

    So what DO they disapprove of?

    The reality is that they disapprove of the Communist disctatorship in Cuba, as any decent democrat would, so they didn’t fancy allowing Castro’s uncritical apologists in the CSC to host a stage at Rise. Is that ‘censorship’? Or is it merely decency?

    They also didn’t fancy co-hosting Rise with NAAR, an extreme Trotskysit group that peddles the politics of division and anti-British recrimination.

    As for Pride, Mirza has never made any remarks hostile to gay people and Boris made some humorous remarks that could be interpreted as homophobic but has surely made up for them by his enthusiastic participation in Pride.

    I just don’t get your hostility.

  10. Boris made some humorous remarks that could be interpreted as homophobic but has surely made up for them by his enthusiastic participation in Pride.

    Are you really trying to tell me that this is a humorous remark:

    ’if gay marriage was OK – and I was uncertain on the issue – then I saw no reason in principle why a union should not be consecrated between three men, as well as two men; or indeed three men and a dog.’ (Friends, Voters, Countrymen p96)

    I think it’s downright offensive and there’s only one possible interpretation of it. If you really want to argue the point about Rise you’re more than welcome to argue it on the thread I presented my thoughts clear on. My thoughts from the day I wrote it are unchanged.

    There’s not much more point in discussing your wilful misinterpretation and appalling attack on me any further, because you’ve clearly ignored my response to your unnecessary threats, not to mention the contributions of others. You don’t get my hostility? Now that’s one giant sized backtrack – you could complete it by just going away.

  11. Certainly.

  12. didn’t Ted refer to gays as abominations? isn’t that a bit hostile? I mean describing a fellow citizen as a birthed monster that sprang from their mothers womb isn’t hostile I don’t believe you understand the nature of civil discourse.

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