US. (site launched November 2001)
This site was established by a group of creative Editors who regarded themselves as 'culturally Jewish.' Recently we have been joined by non-Jewish Contrubuting Editors with many viewpoints. Perhaps we should be ashamed to admit we have never been rabid Zionists. Many of us have only been on holiday to Israel and rarely attend synagogue or church.
However, what has brought us together
has been the relentless and completely out-of-proportion attacks
on the Jewish people and on Israel in the British media in
the past year. Some of us have been drawn closer to our Judaism
because of verbal attacks in the workplace - especially those
of us in network television, which people mistakenly believe
is 'run by Jews, which it isn't! - and because of an upsurge
in distasteful articles proliferating in the British press
long before the tragic al-Aqsa Intifadah.
For example, one of our Editors attended
the dedication of the small commemorative Anne Frank bust
at the new British Library building two years ago. It was
a sombre occasion attended by distinguished people of all
races and faiths. Shortly thereafter, AN Wilson wrote a piece
in the London 'Evening Standard' newspaper decrying the event
and complaining that Anne Frank had never 'read' at the British
Library, so why a bust? Some may say, 'Oh, so what?' but this
sort of cruel sarcasm is a short hop from the kind of jibes
every Jew has experienced some time in his or her life. It
does not take much for one jibe enjoyed by many to metamorphose
into a Kristallnacht..
Would that Anne Frank and the other six
million had lived out their natural lives - who knows what
great minds would have 'read' at the British Library, a place
Mr Wilson seemed to feel had been besmirched by the bust of
a girl whose writing has inspired generations.
may be wondering why we chose the quotation from Isaiah. The
site's Editor was devastated when the Taleban ignored pleas
from around the world and destroyed the historic Buddhas in
Afghanistan. Our dream was to see these statues rebuilt, and
indeed there is now talk of restoring the Buddhas. The quotation
also refers to the terrible situation in Israel and suggests
the rebuilding of lives on both sides of the conflict. We
are idealistic enough to have a vision of a flourishing Middle
East where violence will be a thing of the past and commerce,
creativity and scientific discovery will bring all of its
We are not a 'left wing' or 'right wing' mouthpiece. Our site's
goal is to discuss issues but in addition to provide a variety
of features: we will occasionally review plays, books and
films, and write humorous commentaries on life in Britain,
which we hope visitors from all over the world will enjoy.
We also encourage debate and therefore welcome your comments
by email on firstname.lastname@example.org.