Snap! What united Jonathan and Roberta, divides David and Jonathan
YOU know how it is. There you are innocently sitting drink in hand near someone at a simcha, or waving your flag near them on a demonstration, when snap! Flash go the cameras, and before you know it tongues are wagging, suggesting you've got some sort of relationship. It happens to us celebrities all the time, and it has happened to Jonathan Hoffman.
There he was, in London's Covent Garden on August 14, the vice chairman of the Zionist Federation, waving his Israeli flag outside Ahava, which markets skincare and cosmetic products based on minerals harvested from the occupied Palestinian shore of the Dead Sea. There too, to help repel the pro-Palestinian boycott campaigners, was Roberta Moore, Brazilian-born, ex-Israeli supporter of the English Defence League (EDL), the same blue and white flag knotted tres chic round her neck.
Ms.Moore, a spokeswoman for the EDL's much-vaunted "Jewish division", says she used to support Rabbi Meir Kahane's far-right Kach party in Israel (so far to the right it was banned by the Israeli authorities, which takes some doing for a Zionist outfit). That started out in America, co-incidentally, as the "Jewish Defence League". Another interesting coincidence was that both Rabbi Kahane and black preacher Louis Farrakan were at one time FBI informers.
It looks like a very un-Jewish tattoo on her right tit, but then as Ms.Moore told a reporter from the Israeli paper Ha'aretz , she did not respect these religious rules. She had nothing against Muslims either, she explained, having once had a Muslim boyfriend, though he wasn't religious, " He drank and ate pork like everyone else". She has business friends from Iraq and Pakistan, but thinks Muslims "should go back to their own countries" - though not Brazilian-born Israelis, it seems.
As for the right tit next to her in the photograph, although it was not the first time the Zionist Federation and the EDL had found themselves together on a demonstration, Jonathan Hoffman insists there is no collusion, and has threatened to sue blogger Tony Greenstein for allegedly suggesting otherwise.
People who don't like Zionists and have it in for Mr.Hoffman are making much use of this photograph.
It could not happen to a nicer fella.
But Jonathan Hoffman has had an up and down relationship in his adventures with the media. When he staged a demo outside the Hackney Empire to protest the Skies Are Weeping concert (dedicated to Rachel Corrie), the BBC let him have the last word on it. After a story that he had been subject to anti-Jewish barracking during a meeting in SOAS, the BBC accepted complaints that this was not true, and withdrew the story (the Jewish Chronicle, whose editor Stephen Pollard seems to think highly of Jonathan Hoffman, let it run). When Mr.Hoffman was ejected from a meeting in the House of Commons after heckling Holocaust survivor Hajo Meyer two people 'phoned the BBC with the story, but it did not make it into the news. It was left to Hoffman to boast afterwards in his blog that he had "debated" Hajo Meyer, whose " knowledge of Jewish history and of antisemitism is poor".
It must be frustrating for a wise man like Hoffman facing such poorly informed opponents. Latest was Ha'aretz journalist Gideon Levy, an Israeli who lives in Israel and has been in the Occupied Palestinian territories, and written a book about the Gaza onslaught. Hoffman accused him of not knowing the facts.
Let it not be said that Jonathan does not admit when he is wrong, however. He has had to do so over the photograph above, which was as it happens taken by another Hoffman, one David. I don't suppose they are related, and I doubt they are friends, though David and Jonathan in the Bible were a watchword for loyal friendship. But it appears from this below that at least Jonathan Hoffman has started to learn he should treat people like David Hoffman with respect.
By Jonathan Hoffman
August 24, 2010
On my Jewish Chronicle blog I described a photograph taken on 14 August
2010 at the pro-Ahava demonstration as "fraudulent". I also wrote "That
photo was 'Photoshopped' -- and it is bloody obvious that it was
'Photoshopped' I do not discuss but I do identify lies and fraudulent
These statements were entirely without foundation and I had made no
attempt to check their accuracy. I accept that the photo was absolutely
genuine and had not been tampered with in any way. The photographer,
David Hoffman, is a well known and respected photojournalist and I
apologise to him unreservedly for my hasty and unfounded comments and
for the distress and embarrassment caused.
I would not normally make a song and dance over something like this, but I thought it would be nice and appropriate to round off here, courtesy of Billy Eckstine, with some words by Al Hoffman:
David Hoffman photo gallery:
- According to an East End Anarchist blog, some energetic EDL supporters from Croydon who had been to defend Ahava thought they would make up their day with a meeting in Essex before winding up with some leafletting in the East End. This last proved an ill-fated move and one of them wound up in hospital with head injuries, but "nothing serious". I'm sorry to hear that. http://whitechapelanarchistgroup.wordpress.com/2010/08/15/croydon-edl-division-beaten-at-whitechapel-tube/
- The EDL are threatening to invade Bradford on Sunday, August 29, although the police have banned all marches. A rally, We are Bradford, celebrating unity, will be held to oppose the racists and fascists.
Assemble: 12 noon at Exchange Square, Drake Street, Bradford city centre, Saturday 28 August.