Thursday, 22 March 2012

Ken’s fig leaf


I must apologise in advance for another Pinter blog but I really can't be blamed if the Great Man makes it a point of popping up in the paper every other week or indeed every single week. The man is undoubtedly a bow of many strings meeting anyone who matters and sounding off on all and sundry and surely I cannot be faulted for trying to play every note.

This time it's a meeting with Ken, or actually two. The first time was when Ken appeared as guest of honour at a dinner for the Side-by-Side children's charity. According to Geoffrey Alderman the invitation was at the instigation of Pinter who is a trustee of the charity. Our own Yaakov Shi’e Rosner also wrote a letter to the Chronicle denouncing Pinter for orchestrating the invitation.

It should be said that Pinter and Side-by-Side are not natural bed fellows. For several years prior to 2003 Side-by-Side had its premises on the grounds in Egerton Road now occupied by Yesodey Hatorah school and adjunct seminary. Side-by-Side had to be evicted by Hackney before handing the site to the school and the case ended up in the High Court where Side-by-Side lost. At that time Side-by-Side was still run by the redoubtable Mrs Rumpler, a truly inspiring woman who singlehandedly set up the school in the face of much communal derision if not outright opposition.

The charity later hit financial difficulties and was taken over by Yossel Margulies. At which point enter our good friend. Nothing to raise an eyebrow as he and Margulies happen to be first cousins and the intermingling of familial and organisational appointments is a particular feature of that clan’s DNA. The only surprise is that while Pinter pops up on this and that board of trustees ‘his own’ organisations are ring-fenced from communal bigwigs other than for ceremonious rollouts on official visits for the cameras.

As we well know, where there's Pinter there's brass which this time came in the shape of a visit from Ken providing yet another photo-op. Not content with the Side-by-Side event the 'rabbi' went one further meeting Ken with a group of Jewish labour councillors. We know only of a single name that attended and, yes, you've guessed it. We also know that the attendees were not the 'usual suspects' which would make Pinter an unusual suspect. Difficult to argue with that one.

Ken's embrace of extremists is no secret and despite Pinter's pleadings he gave no ground at the meeting. Lest Ken is dismissed as just an anti-Zionist but with nothing against Jews per se here is the full transcript of his verbal abuse when comparing a Jewish journalist to a concentration camp guard. It now turns out that at the meeting Ken also suggested that he did not expect Jews to vote for him because votes for the left usually come from the poor and Jews are rich. By contrast at a speech last Friday at the Finsbury Park Mosque Ken said he wished London to be a "beacon that demonstrates the word of the prophet, peace be upon him.” He also pledged to his audience to “make your life easier, financially.” Milking the rich Jews might be a good place to start.

Wonderful bedfellow Pinter has found himself but then what don't some people do in the name of askonus. It is said that Pinter left Hackney politics at the instigation of his father who was concerned at his cosiness with the system and one wonders what his pa would have made of this.

Ken may have a fetish for beards though it could quite simply be that while embracing extremists like Qaradawi it is convenient to have cover provided by a capacious hat. One can't be accused of having an issue with Jews while simultaneously cavorting with Judaism's smiling spokesman. Let us however disabuse Ken of any notion that Pinter can deliver votes in addition to his head gear and beard. Besides the fact that this community is overwhelmingly Tory and that Boris is a firm favourite round here, Ken is detested for many more reasons than his perceived anti-semitism and actual anti-zionism. Ken's cockiness doesn't go down well in a community where parking tickets are one of the hottest topics of conversation and bus lanes something even Pinter campaigned against.

Pinter too is one of the last people capable of bringing votes for anyone other than for his preferred choice of parent governor. He is rarely seen in the flesh round here and virtually never heard other than in the safety of his own school telling parents about the generation gap that apparently exists outside the chareidi community. He may yet turn up on a soap box outside Sainsbury's alongside loonies yelling for the day of judgement but don't hold your breath.

If there is little in it for Ken the question must be asked what's in it for Pinter. He has taken a flutter on the outcome of the mayoral elections and pawned us in the process but whom exactly is he representing and for what purpose? Besides 'his' collection of schools and trusteeships he is also one of three ne'emanim (treasurers) of the UOHC. So was he representing the UOHC at the meeting? If not, would they care to disassociate themselves because he was definitely not representing the bulk of the UOHC's members who would have nothing to do with Ken even if he turned up in a streimel waving a blue and white flag.

Perhaps Pinter is hoping for an honour should Ken win. He may even have been offered a role in a future Ken administration. If the black community can have Lee Jasper why shouldn't we have our own version in the shape of a 'rabbi' and all the other titles he has amassed?

If that is indeed the case let Ken win and let the fun begin.


Anonymous said...

I think you will find most of the members of the union in SA are satmar inclined. A pity a vote cant be taken on it. A blue and white flag! You must be joking.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous is right. Most of the kehilla is satmar inclined and have no issue with Ken's anti Israel sentiment. Rabbi Pinter is a great guy who has done loads for the community.

Anonymous said...

Most of the kehilla satmar inclined? The largest single section within the community is Satmar. But not most of the community.

Anonymous said...

Satmar inclined does not mean satmar chasidim. To go through them Ger isnt. Wisnits I would think most of them are especially the English older ones. Old Belz is, new Belz isnt. 69 I would think is and so is their offshoot chareidim. Of the smaller ones I think they all are. The older lub isnt the meshiachist are not part of the union. The only ones who have been refused because otherwise the old ones will leave. I say let them leave. You dont find any of the others which have two refusing each other. Bobov is also officially Satmar bent. Whom have I missed out. But the tide seems to be turning. The aaron clan are slowly moving away from being anti zionist and meeting up with new belz. They have accepted favours from the Israeli government of land which the zalmans refused. This year will be interesting.

Anonymous said...

Mentioned this post to Rabbi Pinter on Shabbos. All he wanted to know was whether his name was spelt correctly.

You gotta love the guy!

Anonymous said...

"Write anything you want about me as long as you spell my name right" Harry Truman.

In Hebrew there is a saying:
תהיה חכם, לא צודק...
Be clever, not right...

Pinter has great merit in our town and like him or hate him, he has brought benefit to everyone. Let him do his thing and we can judge by the outcome instead of trying to destroy any connections he is trying to create and then scream blue murder when our needs are not met.

Anonymous said...

Given the amount of whinging you do, even if you do it well, you ought to rename your blog ifyouprickus, or just "prick".

Re Pinter, I would bet my bottom dollar that he is an avid reader of prick's blog.

Anonymous said...

You all keep calling him Rabbi Pinter has he ever shown anyone his semicha.

PinterFan said...

"Nothing to raise an eyebrow as he and Margulies happen to be first cousins and the intermingling of familial and organisational appointments is a particular feature of that clan’s DNA."

So has there been any reports of fund embezzlment? or do you just have your sunglasses on again? Perhaps, unlike many others in the community, this is indeed a family of selfless people? Is this not beautiful that two lovely people (together with many others) are willing to help a fantastic organization. Or should Rabbi Pinter not have agreed to get involved as it is not appropriate for two cousins to be involved together in charity?! This reminds me of your "smoking gun" "damning" piece on YHS that they had actually been so corrupt as to actually underspend their budget!

Haters will always hate.

I know you may not post this, but this is a message to you!

Mr Evil, GET A LIFE!

Anonymous said...

I dont know whether he actually has semicha, but I remember him when he lived in Yerushalayim as a yungerman and he would be up every morning at 4.00am learning diligently in the Gerrer Beis Hamedrash by the Beis Yisroel and he was known to be a big yadden and a charif. Dont know if that justifies the title of Rabbi, but he definitely knows a lot more than you need to know for smicheh.

Rabbi is now used loosely and even psycotherapists are refered to as Rabbi this and that, so no need to get carried away.

Sheigetzel said...

Pinterfan, if you call yourself something a little less ambiguous people may take you seriously :-)

No harm in a little post-purim fun.

ifyouTickle, I do think you are unfair on pinter and you clearly have a bone to pick with him. Pinterfan is correct that when it comes to pinter you turn into a ridiculous conspiracy theorist and scratch the bottom of the barrel to twist positive things into negative ones. Its a shame, as this is clawing away at your integrity and many use this blog as a window into the community.

There is more than enough to blog about our community. Happy blogging.

Anonymous said...

>he was known to be a big yadden and a charif.

Hahaha, ROFL, you really have made my day, have you ever heard Abraham speak? The guy can hardly recite a posuk chumash to save his life, what are you smoking?

Anonymous said...

Mr ROFL, you obviously never heard Rabbi Padwa speak ROFL. Learn the difference between a good speaker ROFL, and a Talmid chochom ROFL.

What you smoking ROFL?

BTW, what does ROFL mean?

Anonymous said...

Mr Anonsense, R' Padwa IS a talmid chacham and indeed that shines through despite his very poor elocution. Pinter - on the other hand - is not a bad speaker on the radio and at public meetings. But he is a light weight and an empty barrel who has a rudimentary grasp of anything kodesh and that is obvious to anyone who has heard him speak.

Besides, I don't know who is feeding you with this nonsense but he never was a diligent student and in fact consistently underachieved as a school student.

Anonymous said...

>vot meeense ROFL?

u shold goggle it, but it iz meanink "Reb Osher Freund lacht.

Anonymous said...

I must agree with you. Reading the kol mevaser mazeltovs every week and whom they call 'rav' I am sure RABBI Pinter also qualifies.
Lately some wall paper has come out against mobiles in shuls with the names of every Tom Dick etc. Like someone said would you ask any of them a shaalo and most speak themselves in shul on mobiles. Typical hypocrisy of todays so called rabbonim whom no one trusts anyway. They are all a shame to the trade.