Bird news from England

This video from the Czech Republic says about itself:

Little crake trapping

These birds are caught for scientific purposes – bird banding.

From RSPB Minsmere in England on Twitter:

Little crake still present today but elusive. Great white egret and otter at Island Mere. 12+ stone-curlews on Westleton Heath.

White-fronted geese autumn migration

This video from England is called European White-fronted Goose at RSPB Saltholme.

Translated from the Dutch SOVON ornithologists:

Friday, October 3, 2014

On October 2, the first wave of white-fronted geese arrived in the Netherlands. At bird counting sites more than 90,000 flying individuals were total counted. The geese are slightly later than last year, but still very early. The last decade on average white-fronted geese arrive earlier and earlier.

English Defence League nazi salutes again

This video from Britain is called EDL Nazi Salute Compilation.

By David Peel in England:

Racist Ukip supporters attack protest

Monday 29th September 2014

Stand Up to Ukip march met by nazi salutes, writes David Peel

RACIST fans of Ukip leader Nigel Farage gave nazi salutes as they attacked a peaceful march on the party’s conference by local people opposed to its divisive politics.

Hundreds of trade union members and anti-racists converged on Ukip’s Doncaster conference from across Yorkshire.

People from groups scapegoated by Mr Farage also came from across Britain at the Stand Up to Ukip rally.

Campaign spokeswoman Jo Caldwell told the crowds: “Nigel Farage says he is standing up for the working class in this country.

“But when I look around at all the trade union banners here in Doncaster we know that he does not.

“We must continue to make sure workers’ organisations like the trade unions join us in this fight.”

The peaceful protest faced a barrage of abuse from street thugs who were pictured making nazi gestures — in front of an Israeli flag.

The far-right mob, thought to be members of the EDL, threatened violence and hurled abuse as the demonstration made its way through the town’s narrow shopping streets.

They chanted “paedo, paedo” at demonstrators in a desperate bid to spark violence.

But police moved in to isolate the group as their threats escalated.

Hundreds of Doncaster shoppers stood on the pavements photographing the protest and watching families with children walked past.

Stand Up to Ukip organiser Gareth Sparks told the Star: “The EDL turned up and were chanting “Ukip, Ukip, Ukip.”

Anti-racist protesters replied with chants of “Farage is a banker” and “say no to Ukip.”

Mr Sparks said the 1,000-strong rally was a huge success in spite of the racist attacks.

“I think it went really well, had a lot of people clapping and giving us thumbs up as we went down the streets,” he said.

“It is an amazing sight,” said one student and migrant minimum wage worker, who travelled from London to take part.

Another described it as a “moment of hope” for the many migrant workers contributing to the British economy and keeping the NHS and other public services from complete collapse.

British Islamophobe’s hatred of lesbian rabbi

This video, with Rabbi Elli Tikvah Sarah from England, is called Women in Judaism seminar – Part 1/2.

This video is the sequel.

From daily The Independent in Britain:

What did this lesbian rabbi do to make Julie Burchill mad?

A lesbian Jewish leader says she has endured years of vitriol from the writer renowned for her strident style

Emily Dugan

Friday 26 September 2014

Rabbi Elli Tikvah Sarah had been warned that welcoming one of Britain’s most controversial writers into her synagogue might have its pitfalls.

But when Julie Burchill, who lists “spite” among her hobbies, showed an interest in the Brighton and Hove Progressive Synagogue in spring 2009, the rabbi was keen to give her a chance. “I thought she was a very good writer and I knew she was interested in Jews,” Rabbi Sarah recalls. “I also knew that she was a bit of a loose cannon but… we don’t try to label people.”

Things began well. Burchill attended the Saturday shul regularly and was talking about converting. After a few weeks Rabbi Sarah and her civil partner, Jess Woods, even had the journalist and a friend over for a Shabbat dinner at their home.

But a couple of months later the rabbi got a sharp insight into her new congregant’s views. An email had gone round asking whether people would help with the synagogue’s 75th anniversary celebrations. Burchill replied: “No, because your rabbi respects PIG ISLAM”.

“I could have done a big public exposure,” Rabbi Sarah told The Independent this week. “But what I did was email her and said: ‘Julie, firstly this is deeply, deeply offensive. Both Jews and Muslims don’t eat pig. I don’t know what you’re doing but this is really unacceptable and offensive. I was incredibly polite.”

When this newspaper asked Burchill about the email, she replied: “PIGS AND APES are what some Muslims call Christians and Jews, by the way. Even in school textbooks! Google it.”

Burchill is not Jewish but describes herself as a Philo-Semite,

‘Philo-Semites’ of the Burchill type are basically anti-Semites turned inside out. They want to use Jews as battering ram cannon fodder in their Islamophobic violent crusade fantasies. If Jews don’t want to play along with these delusions, then these Jews become objects of hatred by these ‘Philo-Semites’.

Let us imagine that Islamophobic racists like Burchill succeed in their aim of cleansing all Muslims, supposedly the cause of all problems in Britain, ethnically from the United Kingdom. Then, people would find out there would still be problems. And who would people like Burchill blame for that, now that the Muslims were gone? Wouldn’t they blame ‘the Jews?’

and has become a vociferous defender of Israel. In a book out next month, The Unchosen, she charts her love affair with Judaism – but ends with an acerbic 23-page rant against Rabbi Sarah, whom she dubs “Call-Me-Elli” for her informal style.

In one of many withering put-downs, Burchill writes: “When not boasting about being gay and cool, she was – via the scenic route – boasting about how tolerant she was by ceaselessly ramming the merits of Islam down the collective throats of her captive audience.”

Looking at a copy of the book for the first time, in the home she shares with her partner overlooking the South Downs, Rabbi Sarah is appalled by Burchill’s words. “What do you do about somebody who has such vile attitudes which really stoke Islamophobia?” she asks.

She reads aloud a phrase about her partner Ms Wood, where she is described as “the partner-in-petting during that fateful Shabbat dinner” – and yelps. Burchill makes many more overblown references to the couple’s “canoodling” at the Shabbat dinner and whether it would “turn into a full-on Sapphic free-for-all”.

Rabbi Sarah is mortified. “It’s outrageous. In good faith I invited her into my home. My partner and I – anybody will tell you we’re not like that at all. On Shabbat what you do is greet everyone. Everybody is kissed and she will have been too. If you met my partner – I mean, how were we in our home? We are so not outrageous. We’re so ordinary and boring and middle aged. Do me a favour.”

Burchill’s deconstruction of the meal extends to the drinks the hosts did (and did not) serve, after Burchill brought bottles of champagne. “Surely I started to dislike Call-Me-Elli at the moment she substituted her homebrew for my Veuve Clicquot,” she writes.

For Rabbi Sarah, the critique epitomises the writer’s betrayal of their hospitality. “It’s such an invasion… We served the elderflower [wine] that my partner had actually made,” she says. Burchill is unrepentant, telling The Independent: “I don’t call giving someone home-brewed elderflower filth when they’ve brought two bottles of Bolly ‘hospitality’.”

Rabbi Sarah had tasted public criticism from Burchill before the book came out. In a Jewish Chronicle column in December 2009 the polemicist complained about the rabbi’s sermons, but did not name her. Ms Wood, Rabbi Sarah’s partner, who has an MBE for her charitable work with young LGBT people in Brighton, even took Burchill to the Press Complaints Commission over claims that Christians are persecuted all across the Muslim world. She lost the case because the article was judged to be fair comment.

As one of the first two lesbians to become Rabbis in Britain, 25 years ago, and as a Jewish supporter of a two state solution, Rabbi Sarah is used to being pilloried. But few have made their attacks so personal – or so concerted. Her chief crime, in Burchill’s eyes, was “nagging about the Palestinians” and using “her pulpit to hammer home the joys of Islam”.

The rabbi believes Burchill’s religious views are dangerously simplistic. “The problem is she doesn’t have any in-depth knowledge. I can imagine her endlessly watching the film Exodus with Paul Newman. She’s got a kind of Hollywood view of Jews. You know, ‘Jews are so clever, we’ve survived…’,” she says.

After five years of abuse in print from Burchill, Rabbi Sarah has come to the conclusion that the author is fixated on her. “One has to question Julie Burchill’s psychological motivation,” she says. “Here’s someone who claims she loves Jews who’s actually persecuting an individual Jew. She’s being a persecutor.”