Stephen Oryszczuk is the Jewish News Foreign Editor. Afew weeks ago he wrote, and the Jewish News published a piece about Jonathan Hoffman entitled ” You can’t put lipstick on a pig.” After about a week it was taken down but not before many people had taken screen shots. It seems to have done the trick since Hoffie hasn’t been seen around those parts for a good while.
Here is the text…………..
When I was young, my favourite prayer was one by St Francis of Assisi. It begins: “Lord, make me an instrument of thy peace. Where there is hatred, let me sow love; where there is injury, pardon; where there is doubt, faith; where there is despair, hope; where there is darkness, light; where there is sadness,…….
These days, I am reminded of this prayer whenever I read anything by a blogger who seems to be taking up ever more air in the newspaper I love.
Let’s call him Yonatan Scoffman.
Mr Scoffman (heretofore referred to as Scoff, for brevity) can put an argument together. But his arguments are bigoted and his actions embarrassing. He disrupts meetings, screams abuse, waves Israeli flags and gets dragged out by security.
Often these meetings offer legitimate discussion on Israel, with open-minded audience members looking on, but to Scoff nuance and reason are the enemies of slander and character assassination, and must therefore be slain.
To him, people are either haters (of Israel) or idiots (supporters of Israel who just aren’t as passionate as he is). He dismisses fellow Jews who don’t agree with him as ‘As-a-Jews,’ simultaneously dismissing the reasons he behaves as he does.
To be sure, Scoff is a bigot in bigot’s clothing, but for some reason (his bigotry, possibly) we keep publishing him. I’ve tried everything – hacking the site’s homepage, wrestling the editor to the ground, turning all the office lights off and pretending to be out. Still we persist. So, in the absence of alternatives, I’ll aim to do as St Francis advises, and try to sow love, pardon, faith, hope, light and joy in Scoff’s hate-filled garden of injury, darkness, sadness and despair. I’ve been given about 500 words to do it in.
In one recent op-ed, Scoff details the young Ilford MP Wes Streeting’s treachery after Streeting points out that Gaza is suffering a humanitarian crisis (sorry, Wes, you have to pick a side). In his vehemence, Scoff lays waste to a Scottish breast surgeon who’s saved lives in Gaza, a Palestinian schoolgirl who, aged 12, really should know better, and CAABU, for using the term “occupied territories” as per the government’s own designation (but hey, who’s counting).
Scoff then says Wes “clearly didn’t like the fact that we pooped his anti-Israel party” (I suspect Wes just doesn’t like it when people go in to shout down those they disagree with, but who knows). Wes then calls Scoff “yobbish,” which is no less hurtful for being true, but where there is darkness, Scoff, let us sow light.
Rather than trampling on free speech in the name of it, why not attend calmly and rationally, making the case for Israel without standing, shouting, waving, hurling, unfurling, marching or speaking over the speaker? In short, why not be normal? Make your point, question, be prepared to listen, and others will respect you, and in turn, Israel’s supporters, who are all otherwise sullied by your antics.
Just an idea.
In another op-ed, Scoff discusses a survey on anti-Semitism, having a go at Reform Judaism for covering up the fact that Britain is a hotbed of seething Jew hatred, then taking aim at the Institute for Jewish Policy Research (JPR) for setting the anti-Semitism bar too low, because why count just those who hate Jews when you can count Israel-haters too
Scoff then re-imagines the survey to suit his own inclinations, whereupon the proportion of left-wing anti-Semites balloons from three percent to 23 percent. He says this proves that JPR’s work should be cast asunder, adding – with a semi-automatic firing of adjectives – that this “misbegotten ill-conceived fatally flawed work should never have seen the light of day”.
Breathe, Scoff, breathe. Where there is darkness, let us sow light. Let us hoist those stats up to the sun and let our eyes adjust such that, when the sting abates and our focus returns, we see that 79 percent of British left-wingers do NOT hate Jews, as you claim, and that disagreeing with Israeli policy towards Palestinians does not a person racist make. Or words to that effect.
In another op-ed, Scoff hacks away at the CST’s argument that “anti-Zionism is not the same as anti-Semitism”. Really, CST? REALLY? R-EA-LLY? To Scoff, anti-Zionists (those who disagree with Zionism) are one and the same as anti-Semites (those who hate Jews because they are Jews). It matters not to him if you are an established charity with decades of experience in protecting Jews and tackling anti-Semitism whose opinions are sought and respected by the police, CPS and government – you are wrong. WRONG! And he’ll say it in bold italics with double-underlining if he has to.
Scoff then says he has “never met” an anti-Zionist who is not an anti-Semite. Yes, Scoff, when you equate the one with the other you won’t have. Then, having left the CST gasping its last breaths, Scoff has a pop at the Jewish Leadership Council for “badmouthing” the Campaign Against Antisemitism for saying that British Jews have packed their bags and bought their tickets.
Then, suddenly, as if not to be pigeon-holed, Scoff turns and has a go at the CAA for having a go at Kevin Myers, the Irish columnist who said “Jews are not known for selling their talent at the lowest possible price”. This, to Scoff, is not anti-Semitic. That the Board of Deputies, senior rabbis, Jewish MPs, the former head of BBC News, the editor of the Financial Times, the Jewish press and Jewish radio personalities all thought so just goes to show how right he is. The whole ‘Jews and money’ thing from Myers was just “idiosyncratic,” says Scoff. Why defend Myers? Because Myers is usually nice about Israel. There are some lines you just don’t cross, and attacking Israel supporters is one of them.
To Scoff there is no hate-filled world view not worth highlighting in thick black marker, nor any bad point made repeatedly in one op-ed that cannot be repeatedly made yet again in another. Good for him that he does not shirk from commenting on his own articles after publication, in some cases several times.
It is gratifying to note that, for Scoff, there is no irony or hypocrisy worth worrying about. Scoff can, in the same breath, showcase a left-wing racist and tarnish everyone left of the EDL with the same brush, while simultaneously commenting on a “strategy to attribute to all Zionists the action of one. If any Jewish Zionist said or did anything negative… X uses the example to reflect the action back on all Zionists”. How interesting. The strategy seems vaguely familiar, but for the life of me, I cannot think from where.
Scoff then returns to his raison d’etre, his core defining campaign: to tell the world that people who hate Jews and people who object to Israeli policy are THE SAME! You remember 2014, at the height of the Gaza conflict, when 200,000 people marched through the centre of London protesting Israeli action? You remember them? All anti-Semites. All.
And that’s just the tip of the anti-Semitic iceberg otherwise known as Britain.
Don’t even get Scoff started on God. Israel and God are the same. “Show me an anti-Zionist,” says Scoff, “and I’ll show you someone who tries to separate Judaism from Zionism.” Not to him is one a religion and the other is a movement to create a Jewish state in the Middle East. “Show me someone who doesn’t like pears,” Scoff adds, “and I’ll show you someone who tries to separate pears from apples.” I jest. He doesn’t. But he may as well do.
Where there is doubt, Scoff, let there be faith. Where there is hatred, let us sow love. Where there is… Oh, sod it. Lord, I hate to break it to you, but that ship has sailed. As Scoff himself writes, in bold and italics: “You can’t put lipstick on a pig”.
Here is just one example of what Oryszczuk is talking about ( there is a whole library)