Iran: missiles and nuclear sites

4 views

The news that Iran had another previously secret nuclear site came out last week. This site at Qum is apparently completely peaceful despite western concerns. Due to its completely peaceful nature there is presumably no need to be remotely concerned that Iran has test fired missiles with a possible 1,200 mile range (Iran seems quite into missiles).

The rest of the world has reacted pretty negatively to the news of the nuclear plant and there is the possibility thought by no means certainty that sanctions might be approved by China and Russia; the effect of the missile test is currently unclear. The Israeli reaction will of course also be critical. Previously the Israelis’ appeared to be preparing for possible military action against Iran. In 1981 they destroyed the Iraqi Osirak reactor possibly setting back Iraqi research on a nuclear weapon (though that has been denied by others) and intriguingly may have had some Iranian assistance. In addition last year Israel destroyed a possible Syrian nuclear site.

What will happen this time is of course highly unclear as although the Americans would no doubt be delighted to have Iran’s nuclear ambition thwarted (and the Israelis always present a useful and highly efficient proxy for such attacks) there are problems. If Washington is managing to bring together a consensus against Iran, an Israeli strike might well shatter that at least publically (the Russians and Chinese might be more sanguine privately). In addition an Israeli strike might actually help enhance Iranian President Ahmadinejad’s popularity at home at a time when his position has been weakened somewhat by the recent hotly disputed presidential elections.

A nuclear armed Iran would clearly pose a major threat to Israel which as everyone knows has nuclear weapons despite its sphinx like answers to such questions. The Arab world would also be likely to be concerned by Iranian nuclear weapons yet could not really support an attack on Iran least of all by Israel. The solution here is neither clear nor simple.

  • Jo

    I find it interesting that extreme TUV type unionists have such an interest in Israel and that country’s firepower and its apparent willingness to use it.

    It strikes me that there is a quasi relgious overlay to something like envy – a self image of a beleaguered, hard done by, people – though of course the Israelis don’t compare themselves to Ulster Prods at all.

    Its scary to think what might be the case if the slavering right wingers ever had access to the sort of firepower that the Israelis possess – it strikes me that the ushering in of Armageddon is exactly what such people would desire and given the opportunity, would indeed hasten its arrival.

    Perhaps we should be grateful that armed Unionism, in its most recent manifestation, did not go looking for tactical nuclear weapons – but restricted its treasonable activity to dealing with South Africa in trading Shorts missile secrets for guns.

  • Wilde Rover

    Jo,

    “I find it interesting that extreme TUV type unionists have such an interest in Israel and that country’s firepower and its apparent willingness to use it.”

    I think this guy might have something to do with it.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Nelson_Darby

    I suppose it was inevitable that a paddy would be involved in all of this.

    Remember, global nuclear war is a good thing when you believe that God will beam you up to heaven when it happens.

  • Jo

    Yes, the “rapture”.

    Not that all fundies of the Christian variety believe in this, but the generic “born agains” would claim they’ve nothing to fear from world destruction.

    Thankfully, sufficient numbers remain immune from this disease and engage in strategies to try and prevent it – like negotiation, diplomacy, persuasion – all those Satanic practices.. :)

  • Brit

    “It strikes me that there is a quasi relgious overlay to something like envy – a self image of a beleaguered, hard done by, people – though of course the Israelis don’t compare themselves to Ulster Prods at all.”

    The identification is certainly one-way, as far as I am concerned and I think the logic behind the analogy is in large part a reaction to the Republican support for Palestinian nationalism and its freedom fighter / terrorists. A kind of enemy’s enemy approach. There are some other comparisons but the two peoples, histories and conflicts are hugely distinct.

    “Its scary to think what might be the case if the slavering right wingers ever had access to the sort of firepower that the Israelis possess – it strikes me that the ushering in of Armageddon is exactly what such people would desire and given the opportunity, would indeed hasten its arrival.”

    I say this as a critical supporter of Zionism and a some time defender of the state but it is not exactly unknown for right wingers to have access to Israeli’s nukes. The current government and its leader plainly fall within this description.

    That said is is a rational, secular and democratic state and I don’t think there is any prospect of it using nukes unless they were being used against it. The Iranian leadership on the other hand….

    I would dispute that Israel “always present a useful and highly efficient proxy for such attacks” on behalf of the US. Whilst there are strong links and overlapping interests, not to mention financial and military support, between the two Israel is not just a US puppet in the middle east. It has its own agency and its own agenda and will go beyond what the US wants it to do, and conceivably even do what the US strongly doesn’t want it to do it it thought it was under imminent existential threat.
    The truth is that, were Israel to knock back Irans military programme this would be welcomed by much of the anti-Zionist arab world, particularly the Saudis, who are fearful and hostile to the Shia mini superpower.

  • Turgon

    I am sorry to disappoint but despite being a fundie nutter my interest here is political and I can see that it is extremely complex. I suspect quite a number in the Arab world would like to see Iran’s nuclear ambitions thwarted but cannot say so let alone if there is the danger of Israel doing the thwarting.

    The Americans would also find doing it themselves very politcally difficult; hence, maybe Israel as a proxy.

    As to the rapture, I have absolutely no doubt that a number of my friends and relatives are preparing sermons on that issue as we speak and that they will explain that this episode shows how close the rapture is.

    I remember being terrified as a teenager by such sermons. Personally I believe that Revelation is extremely difficult to intrepret and it is better to get on with one’s life remembering that Our Lord said that “No man knows the day nor the hour”

    Darby’s views are of course very popular in Brethren cicrles and gained significant popularity more widely in the 1980s and 1990s but a lot of that was the world will end by 2000 stuff. There has been something of a move away from Darby’s analysis within fundieism in the last few years but I will not bore you with that. Incidentally I did a blog a long time ago on the subject.

  • Dread Chtulhu

    Jo: “I find it interesting that extreme TUV type unionists have such an interest in Israel and that country’s firepower and its apparent willingness to use it.”

    The parallax view is equally interesting — that the more militant Republicans have such an interest in the Palestinians and that their asymmetric warfare and willingness to attack soft targets.

    Jo: “It strikes me that there is a quasi relgious overlay to something like envy – a self image of a beleaguered, hard done by, people – though of course the Israelis don’t compare themselves to Ulster Prods at all.”

    Given the last seventy years of history, who would the Israelis have to compare themselves to?

    Jo: “Its scary to think what might be the case if the slavering right wingers ever had access to the sort of firepower that the Israelis possess – it strikes me that the ushering in of Armageddon is exactly what such people would desire and given the opportunity, would indeed hasten its arrival.”

    Britain has had the bomb for decades, Jo. Even if you gave the most rabid TUV members a few neutron bombs and told him lay on, I’d doubt they’d go for it — too small a place and too big a foot-print. The principle applies to most of the other weapons. Israel can do what it does partly because no one has a good answer to terrorist groups armed with heavy mortars and rocket artillery in the hands of non-state actors… although one of these days Hizbollah isn’t going to be able to tap-dance fast enough around their inside-outside relationship with the gov’t of Lebanon… :/

    Turgon: “I suspect quite a number in the Arab world would like to see Iran’s nuclear ambitions thwarted but cannot say so let alone if there is the danger of Israel doing the thwarting.”

    Can’t say so publicly, perhaps… There wasn’t much more than a collection of harrumphs over the Israeli bombings of Osirak and, more recently, the Syrian site.

    Turgon: “The Americans would also find doing it themselves very politcally difficult; hence, maybe Israel as a proxy.”

    We currently have the spectacle of Zbigniew Brzezinski (sp?) suggesting that the proper response would be to shoot down Israeli jets attacking Iranian sites.

    As for all that end of the world stuff… it will happen when the stars are right… *grin*

  • RepublicanStones

    The irony is all the ‘we will not stand by…’ rhetoric emanating from some in Israel and the USA only serves to encourage Iran that its interests are best served with a deterrent, the likes of which those other countries have.

  • barnshee

    “7.The irony is all the ‘we will not stand by…’ rhetoric emanating from some in Israel and the USA only serves to encourage Iran that its interests are best served with a deterrent, the likes of which those other countries have. ”

    100% correct — the lesson is simple –if you have atomic weapons and look like you might be able to deliver them (cf North Korea) you tend to get left alone

    The Israelies might like to consider that before they start on Iran. If todays rocket launches are anything to go by they have left it too late and even the supine saudies might consider knocking them out of the sky if they try to attack Iran

    Why are some states entitled to have atomic weapons and others not??

    “Its scary to think what might be the case if the slavering right wingers ever had access to the sort of firepower that the Israelis possess – it strikes me that the ushering in of Armageddon is exactly what such people would desire and given the opportunity, would indeed hasten its arrival.”

    The extreme prod eg would have no difficulties with a (smallish) a bomb in (say) Dublin Cork or Limerick –much closer and she/he would be uncomfortable –purely from self interest you understand

  • Brit

    “The irony is all the ‘we will not stand by…’ rhetoric emanating from some in Israel and the USA only serves to encourage Iran that its interests are best served with a deterrent, the likes of which those other countries have.”

    Well if it does encourage them, they are employing faulty logic. The “we will not stand by” is only being said because they are developing nuclear weapons. If they weren’t then there would be no such rhetoric and, accordingly, no need for them to develop a deterrent.

    In any event it is clear that the Iranian leadership has decided to try to develop a nuclear military capability prior to and independent from such threats. The ‘benefits’ are pretty obvious and have been alluded to. If you look like you may be able to fire nukes you have more political clout, particularly in your local region, and are much more likely to be left alone by other states (per North Korea). Given Iran’s ambitions re Iran, Hezbollah and its assumption of leadership of the anti-Israel position of course it would want nukes.

    Given the nature of the regime, the truly messianic nature of the president (if you thought the US under Bush was fundamentalist take a look at this theocracy for a lesson on how its really done) and his desired objective of wiping Israel off the wap, and it clear why preventing Iran developing such weapons is so important.

    Unfortunately we cannot turn the clock back and de-invent nuclear weaponary. The next best thing is to ensure that the liberal democracies who currently have them retain nuclear weapons and to use all reasonable means necessary of stopping other powers acquire them, or at least undemocratic totalitarian powers. The reason why some states are not “entitled” to atomic weapons is that they might actually use them or use the detterent power for evil ends.

    I cannot see Israel standing by and allowing Iran to acquire a functioning nuclear capability and am sure this is a priority amongst the political and military leadership.

  • RepublicanStones

    “no need for them to develop a deterrent.”

    Sure Brit, the only countries which have ever been attacked are those WITH nuclear weapons eh?

    And obviously you must think Ahmadinejad hates Palestinians, because he would wipe them off the map too if as you seem to suggest he would nuke Israel. Of course saying a regime should be wiped away isn’t saying the land should be nuked. Whilst the regime in Iran is itself unsavoury, the ideology of zionism will hopefully go the same way as its cousin regime in apartheid south africa did. The hypocrisy from people regarding nuclear weapons hoarding hundreds whilst threatening anyone who dares to have the same capability is sickening. The only country who has ever used such a weapon from the west. If other countries are denied the ability to have a deterrent, it merely allows the countries that do to coerce and bully and shape the region as they so please. Americas main aim is to prevent any country gaining hegemony in the middle east, yet we all know the reaction the USA would have if a middle eastern country interferred in Latin America. Whilst the USA might be a democratic country at home, it is far from that as far as other countries are concerned. We all remember its interferring in latin America and esp its nefarious record of interference in Iran. People who think the USA exports ‘democracy’ really do live in a bubble.

  • Jo

    Some interesting points, Brit.

    Well, of course, I didn’t really think tactical nukes were ever an option for extremists here. :)

    But the bloodthirstiness of Chirstian fundamentalists is hardly less scary that that of the Islamist extremists.

    The former, however, commonly see a seamless continuity between Islamist suicide bombers and the wider Islamic faith. No-one sane would similarly identify those who say, protest at the funerals of US soldiers because they die in Iraq for a nation which has legislated for gay rights, as identical with the wider Christian community.

    Nor should we believe, even in a national context, that the Iranian people share Adminejad’s misquoted aspiration. Its important to distinguish between sabre rattling and ability of actual willingness to precipitate chaos and wholesale destruction. There are plenty of examples from the Paisley camp of virtriolic and violent language which did not lead (directly)to massacre – Peter Robinson famously posed with a gun in a 1970s photo and gun licences were waved en masse from a County Antrim hilltop.

    The Iranians probably have a President for which the majority did not vote and that’s regrettable – but then again the USA was in the same position in 2000. And look where that got us – Obama now has a lot to undo.

    What we can all do is stop equating noisy leaders with the views of entire nations. And start thinking for ourselves instead of preparing sermons for mindless consumption.

  • Brit

    “Sure Brit, the only countries which have ever been attacked are those WITH nuclear weapons eh?”

    Well there are obviously reasons why they would want a detterent, as I outlined in my post. My point was that it was illogical to think that they were motivated by a desire to deter threats arising from the acquisition and development of nukes – as those threat only arived as a consequence of, and following, their decision to develop them.

    “And obviously you must think Ahmadinejad hates Palestinians, because he would wipe them off the map too if as you seem to suggest he would nuke Israel.”

    I don’t think I did suggest that. Of course he could use the power of nukes to engage in all sorts of non-nuclear action against Israel (from supporting and arming Palestinian and Lebanese Islamist terrorists to a ground invasion) in the knowledge that Israel couldn’t realistically threaten nukes against Iran.

    “Whilst the regime in Iran is itself unsavoury, the ideology of zionism will hopefully go the same way as its cousin regime in apartheid south africa did.”

    The ideology that the Jewish nation deserves a nation-state, a democratic nation state with equal rights (and the vote) for all citizens of whatever race, nationality and religion is a very very distant cousin to an ideology which saw blacks and whites as fundamentally distinct and only granted most rights to the latter. I would say more distance there than between Irish Republicanism and German Nazism, certainly not less.

    “The hypocrisy from people regarding nuclear weapons hoarding hundreds whilst threatening anyone who dares to have the same capability is sickening. The only country who has ever used such a weapon from the west. If other countries are denied the ability to have a deterrent, it merely allows the countries that do to coerce and bully and shape the region as they so please. Americas main aim is to prevent any country gaining hegemony in the middle east, yet we all know the reaction the USA would have if a middle eastern country interferred in Latin America. Whilst the USA might be a democratic country at home, it is far from that as far as other countries are concerned. We all remember its interferring in latin America and esp its nefarious record of interference in Iran. People who think the USA exports ‘democracy’ really do live in a bubble.”

    Its not hypocritical to say nukes are an evil which cannot be de-invented and the best way to minimise the risk of evil and destruction associated with them is to stop any other nation aquiring them – particularly undemocratic and totalitarian ones.

    What is the implication of your statement that they only country that has ever used such a weapon is from the “west”? That the west is more dangerous and/or immoral and/or more likely to use nukes. Imagine that Nazi Germany had had nuclear weapons, do you think they would not have used them?

    What is your policy RS, encourage all states to have nukes so that the detterence factor is evened out and to stop regional and global superpowers from bullying others? I’m pleased that Israel, a stable, democratic, non-expansionist regime is the only one in the m/east with nuclear weapons much rather they have the big stick then anyone else. And I’m glad that the US is the global superpower as opposed to China or Russia or Iran.

    And yes the US has done bad things and has a very blemished, to say the least, foreign policy record. Latin America and the cold war generally saw lots of fairly disgraceful things being done by the US and its secret services. And yet US foreign policy since then has largely been better and as an occupying/intervening force, for all its blunders, the US army (and those of other western nations) are much better than say Russian forces or Chinese ones.

    Democracy is a good thing as is its expansion. Good for the security of current democracies and for those countries which are not yet democratic. There is nothing wrong with wishing for democracy to expand and I fail to understand why any on on the liberal – left spectrum would argue to the contrary. None of that means that the promotion of democracy is the main or only driver of US foreign policy or than military intervention should be justified merely for the purpose of exporting or imposing democracy.

  • RepublicanStones

    ‘My point was that it was illogical to think that they were motivated by a desire to deter threats arising from the acquisition and development of nukes – as those threat only arived as a consequence of, and following, their decision to develop them.’

    Your point is void of logic, as it ignores the likes of USA(CIA) meddling in their country which is well documented in the past, this was done when they didn’t have nukes.

    ‘Of course he could use the power of nukes to engage in all sorts of non-nuclear action against Israel (from supporting and arming Palestinian and Lebanese Islamist terrorists to a ground invasion) in the knowledge that Israel couldn’t realistically threaten nukes against Iran.’

    And what right would Israel have to threaten Iran with nukes? (thanks for demonstrating the need Iran has for them though). You seem to think its fine for the USA to fund and arm Israel, what can’t other nations do so to the palestinians? Why the double standards? It seems your logic means its ok for the palestinians to begin targetting the USA.

    ‘The ideology that the Jewish nation deserves a nation-state, a democratic nation state with equal rights (and the vote) for all citizens of whatever race, nationality and religion is a very very distant cousin to an ideology which saw blacks and whites as fundamentally distinct and only granted most rights to the latter.’

    Except zionism isn’t about that. Zionism is about supremacy of jews over and above an indigenous people. If zionism was so good an ideology, it would not have forced itself on a people who did not want it. Zionism is an apartheid ideology. Would you like me to begin quoting Ben-Gurion for you again?

    ‘I would say more distance there than between Irish Republicanism and German Nazism, certainly not less.’

    Well you would. but please show me the similarities between an ideology founded in Ireland by presbyterians for the freedom of a people from a colonial overlord and Nazism. Then compare that with zionism and apartheid.

    ‘Its not hypocritical to say nukes are an evil which cannot be de-invented and the best way to minimise the risk of evil and destruction associated with them is to stop any other nation aquiring them – particularly undemocratic and totalitarian ones.’

    it is hypocritical. Particularly when those doing the demanding have the worst track record of war mongering. Nuclear power is here to stay, Iran will eventually get them, as will other nations, no amount of bombing will prevent this (unless you want to nuke em eh;)

    ‘What is the implication of your statement that they only country that has ever used such a weapon is from the “west”?’

    Other countries not from the west have had them for decades and never used them in anger.

    ‘And yes the US has done bad things and has a very blemished, to say the least, foreign policy record.’

    The USA is therefore in no position to make demands on less war-mongering nations. At least not morally.

    ‘And yet US foreign policy since then has largely been better and as an occupying/intervening force, for all its blunders, the US army (and those of other western nations) are much better than say Russian forces or Chinese ones.’

    But it still supports many an unsavoury regime, Israel just being one for instance. To have well behaved forces is negated by supporting bad.

    ‘Democracy is a good thing as is its expansion.’

    And Ireland is the emerald Isle, your point?
    If you think the USA is primarily concerned with expanding democracy you haven’t read its past record, nor its current one. That last paragrpah of yours is typcial of you, listing politcal spectrum points. I don’t recall suggesting democracy or its promotion was bad. But America interferring in other nations is rarely about democracy. to think otherwise is bubble-land.

  • Brit

    “The Iranians probably have a President for which the majority did not vote and that’s regrettable – but then again the USA was in the same position in 2000. And look where that got us – Obama now has a lot to undo.
    What we can all do is stop equating noisy leaders with the views of entire nations. And start thinking for ourselves instead of preparing sermons for mindless consumption.”

    To compare the US 2000 election with the recent Iranian election is inappropriate. The imperfections of an electoral system are not on a par with a widespread fraud in an election where the candidiates are in any event restricted.

    My comments are all directed at the regime and the leadership not at the Iranians. As cliched as it sounds I have two close Iranian/Persian mates and feel a real affection towards Iranians, particularly the London community, as opposed to the regime. Clearly those in London are the ones who left following the revolution and are strongly opposed to the Ayatollah’s regime

    Many Iranians in Iran do not share the views of the regime and strongly oppose him, although it should be noted that the President has genuine support and even many of those who did not vote for him are not exactly supporters of secularism, equal rights for women, let alone recognition of the state of Israel.

  • Brit

    RS you could have said it a lot shorter. America is really bad and Israel is the worst, would have done the trick

    “Your point is void of logic, as it ignores the likes of USA(CIA) meddling in their country which is well documented in the past, this was done when they didn’t have nukes.”

    So its not the current rhetoric from Israel and America, as you initially said, but the earlier US “meddling” in their country.

    “And what right would Israel have to threaten Iran with nukes? (thanks for demonstrating the need Iran has for them though). You seem to think its fine for the USA to fund and arm Israel, what can’t other nations do so to the palestinians? Why the double standards? It seems your logic means its ok for the palestinians to begin targetting the USA.”

    If Israel’s existence and the lives of its citizens are under genuine and immediate threat from Iran or any of the other much large nations surrounding Israel it would have an absolute right to make such a threat. Iran only has a need for them if it wants to wipe out Israel. The US arms and funds lots of states, some much less savoury that Israel, and it has provided lots of aid to Palestinians. From my perspective, as you can probably guess, the crucial difference is that Israel acts within the laws of war and for defensive purposes. Hamas act outside the laws of war for illegitimate purposes (both crushing domestic dissent and targetting Israeli civillians).

    “Except zionism isn’t about that. Zionism is about supremacy of jews over and above an indigenous people. If zionism was so good an ideology, it would not have forced itself on a people who did not want it. Zionism is an apartheid ideology. Would you like me to begin quoting Ben-Gurion for you again?”

    Who needs facts and analysis when you have slogans RS? The huge flaw and failing in Zionism, as an ideology, was its failure to properly account for the existence and rights of the indegenous people who developed a national identity and nationlism contemporaneous with the development of Zionism. Its practical failures in relation to the treatment of Palestinians are multiple. It is, however, ludicrous to say that the ideology is about the supremacy of Jews or aparteid. There is no such supremacy or appartheid over the arab minority in Israel.

    You can quote outrageous comments from David B-G and I can quote outrageous comments from irish Republicans, US politicians of the 19th Century (and indeed the 20th), Churchill et all.

    “Well you would. but please show me the similarities between an ideology founded in Ireland by presbyterians for the freedom of a people from a colonial overlord and Nazism. Then compare that with zionism and apartheid”.

    Romantic mythical nationalism

    Belief in racial or national supremacy of natives over foreigners (you seem to have a thing about indigenous people)

    Contempt for democracy

    Use of terrorist violence.

    it is hypocritical. Particularly when those doing the demanding have the worst track record of war mongering. Nuclear power is here to stay, Iran will eventually get them, as will other nations, no amount of bombing will prevent this (unless you want to nuke em eh;)

    War mongering – ie interventions undertaken with a multitude of objectives many good and honourable and others legitimate. Imagine the war mongoing that other nations would do if there was no US or others to stop them. Naked imperialism, annexation and genocides and global nuclear wars.

    “Other countries not from the west have had them for decades and never used them in anger.”

    This is the perversity of the contrarian left to see the best countries with the most impressive human rights records as the worst. It like a teenager hating his mum and dad.

    ‘And yes the US has done bad things and has a very blemished, to say the least, foreign policy record.’

    “The USA is therefore in no position to make demands on less war-mongering nations. At least not morally.”

    So we have a non-interventionist “realist” policy – and let the stockpiling begin. You would have liked pre 9-11 Bush’s foreign policy approach no doubt.

    “If you think the USA is primarily concerned with expanding democracy you haven’t read its past record, nor its current one.”

    Its past record including presiding over slavery and the massacre and disenfranchisements of the native peoples (you know the idegenous ones the really indigeonous ones that you like unlike your Norman ancestors) so I don’t judge it by its past record. In any event I didn’t think it was primarily concerned with expanding demoracy. Unsurprising really when I expressly made the point in my previous points.

    US policy is governed by US interests but also by humanitarian and human rights concerns and tempered by compliance with democractic norms and appropriate restrictions. In this regard its foreign policy is far morally and practically superior to those of most other nation states.

  • nukethem

    The USA has used weapons of ultimate destruction at least twice. They cannot talk though their propaganda machine ensures they never shut up.

    Israel has the bomb and constantly breaks international law (as do the Yanks). Israel is a cleptocracy. First it bummed off the Germans (it stil does). Now it bums off the USA, which supplies it with its military muscle, which it sells to China etc. It sits on stolen land and continues to steal land.
    Its biggest allies are the Prod nutcases in the USA (which with its cleptocracy, explains why Orangies support it.
    If Iran can rid us of this parish state, we owe them.

  • Brit

    “Israel has the bomb and constantly breaks international law (as do the Yanks).”

    International law? Is that the law which is made by the UN, an organisation most of whose members are not democracies, which do not apppy the rule of law, which do not have anything approaching a genuine justice system? An organisation which has dozens of automatically anti-Israel states by virtue of being Muslim. An organisation for whom the difference between a legal act and illegal act depends on whether the Chinese government backs it?

    On this basis I tend not to fetishise interntional law.

    That said I’d be intrigued to know which breaches of international law you are on about.

    “Israel is a cleptocracy. First it bummed off the Germans (it stil does). Now it bums off the USA, which supplies it with its military muscle, which it sells to China etc”

    The institution of the German state has a moral obligation to pay reparations to the Jewish people in the Jewish state. The US supports a country with whom it has a mutuality of interest and outlook. The US gives huge amounts of aid to Egpyt and Pakistan and many other unsavoury regimes. Israel fought it first war of independence and survival mainly with Czech weaponary and if the US turned the tap off it would get is weapons from somewhere.

    “It sits on stolen land and continues to steal land.”

    Israel proper exists on land which was given to it by the international community and which was previously “owned” by the British empire and/or the Ottoman empire, or was purchased from Palestinian land owners or was won by them in a defensive and just war. I’m not sure what stealing you are referring to but it gave away the Gaza strip recently (and the huge tracts of Egypt occupied in previous wars).

    If you are against countries established on stolen land then that rules out pretty much all of the American continent and Australasia, and indeed most countries borders were established by war, conflict, refugee movement occupation and expulsion so you are probably against most states.

    “Its biggest allies are the Prod nutcases in the USA (which with its cleptocracy, explains why Orangies support it.
    If Iran can rid us of this parish state, we owe them.”

    The religious evangelicals support Israel for their own bizarre and warped reasons but support for Israel is widespread and mainstream in the US amongst the non-evangelical religious and non-religious and amongst Repubilicans and Democrats.

  • RepublicanStones

    ‘So its not the current rhetoric from Israel and America, as you initially said, but the earlier US “meddling” in their country.’

    Try to remember what you wrote Brit. You said

    “If they weren’t then there would be no such rhetoric and, accordingly, no need for them to develop a deterrent.”

    I first said such rhetoric only encourages them of their course. Its the USA’s past history of meedling which also serves to encourage such a need and also serves to highlight the hypocrisy of such nations and also highlights how other nations with the nukes are not as open to such bullying.

    ‘Iran only has a need for them if it wants to wipe out Israel.’

    Are you a fluent farsi speaker, or did people who say the Apartheid south africa regime should be wiped away mean nuke the whole of south africa? I take it you think Ahmadinejad palns to wipe out the palestinians as well eh?

    ‘From my perspective, as you can probably guess, the crucial difference is that Israel acts within the laws of war and for defensive purposes.’

    It quite obviously doesn’t and never has. The latest UN report is one in a long line of such reports from various organistaions. That is a laughable claim.

    ‘Hamas act outside the laws of war for illegitimate purposes (both crushing domestic dissent and targetting Israeli civillians).’

    Illegitimate action maybe, the attempt to reclaim land stolen from you is however not an illegitimate aim.

    ‘Who needs facts and analysis when you have slogans RS’

    You obviously don’t. Because you try to claim zionism is a good ideology, when all the facts and figures point to the contrary. You laugahbly refused to accept or claim mis-context of zionist aims, the last time you attempted to defend this rather unsavoury ideology. Ben-Gurion himself admitted zionism was the agressor, he also admitted he would act just as the palestinians have acted. But hey you know better than him right ;)

    ‘It is, however, ludicrous to say that the ideology is about the supremacy of Jews or aparteid. There is no such supremacy or appartheid over the arab minority in Israel.’

    really? How can you say that when the proponents of zionism from its earliest days admitted quite the opposite? Are you really in a better position to defend zionism than them? You also don’t seem to be aware of the manner in which building permits, leasing and rental laws apply in your ‘noble’ state. You also seem unaware of the strange allocation of water resources to certain communites and the percentage of population requirements to give just a few examples.

    ‘Romantic mythical nationalism’

    Whats mythic about not wanting to be ruled by a foreign country? not to mention zionism’s inaccurate depiction of history basing its claims on a work of fiction. What was that you were saying about mythical?

    ‘Belief in racial or national supremacy of natives over foreigners (you seem to have a thing about indigenous people)’

    I have never encountered any nationalist or republican who thought they were racially superior to anyone. But again jewish zionists believe they are the true natives of palestine and believe jews should be given racial supremacy over non-jews, hence the usurpation of a true indigenous people and the continued settlement expansion and ‘quirky’ little laws directed at palestin…oops I mean ‘Israeli arabs’.

    ‘Contempt for democracy’

    See above, also there was a couple of democratic votes for Home Rule in Ireland, with the vast majority in favour of it, but you seem to believe one race was superior in that vote eh ;)
    Also witness the rahter blatant contempt for democracy demonstrated by the USA and Israel a couple of years ago, after Palestinian elections.

    ‘Use of terrorist violence.’

    Ahh that old chestnut, well considering your beloved zionist Israel was established through the use of terrorist violence, with many former terrorists reaching high office in the newly established state, and that states continued use of state terrorism, i think you have kind of shot yourself in the foot with that attempt. It seems after all zionism is alot closer to that ideology than the one you would so dearly love to claim is similar.

  • RepublicanStones

    ‘War mongering – ie interventions…’

    No arming, funding, propping up unsavoury regimes. Inciting unrest in democratically elected nations, funding terrorist violence in order to overthrow democratically elected govts…you know that sort of thing.

    ‘This is the perversity of the contrarian left to see the best countries with the most impressive human rights records as the worst. It like a teenager hating his mum and dad.’

    No this is the reality that any countrys human rights record doesn’t just take into account the domestic adherence to sch rights but also examines nations espousal of such rights on the international arena, and here we are not just talking about soapbox UN posturing, but the actual involvement, funding and trading with such regimes.

    ‘US policy is governed by US interests but also by humanitarian and human rights concerns and tempered by compliance with democractic norms and appropriate restrictions. In this regard its foreign policy is far morally and practically superior to those of most other nation states.’

    First part correct, US interests, agreed. Second part is ridiculous if your are talking about the USA’s entire track record. US foreign policy involves starting several wars, embargos on a tiny neighbour, support for numerous terrorist organistions, nuturing unrest to unseat democratically elected leaders, arming many unsavoury regimes throughout modern history. If by foreign policy you take to mean what the USA professes and what it declares on the international satge, then its a very pretty foreign policy indeed. If by foreign policy you join the rest of us in the real world and take it to mean, its actions internationally, then you are seriously deluded.

  • RepublicanStones

    ‘If you are against countries established on stolen land then that rules out pretty much all of the American continent and Australasia, and indeed most countries borders were established by war, conflict, refugee movement occupation and expulsion so you are probably against most states.’

    Any reasonable person should be against the theft of land. however this facietious attempt to link the creation of the Israeli state which occurred within living memory (i attended a talk by a survivor of the naqba last year) with the American and Austrailasian colonizations is pathetic. the creation of Israel was carried out by people who should have know better and done so with the help of governments who should have known better, all within living memory, just 1 years ago. Furthermore, the repercussions of that states establishment still very much reverbeate today. The quoted paragraph wreeks of the apologist stink which is common among Israel supporters.

  • RepublicanStones

    *61 years ago*

  • Brit

    RS – thank you.

    I thought I would reproduce some of the text of the Israeli declaration of independence:-

    “it will foster the development of the country for the benefit of all its inhabitants; it will be based on freedom, justice and peace as envisaged by the prophets of Israel; it will ensure complete equality of social and political rights to all its inhabitants irrespective of religion, race or sex; it will guarantee freedom of religion, conscience, language, education and culture; it will safeguard the Holy Places of all religions; and it will be faithful to the principles of the Charter of the United Nations.

    in the very midst of the onslaught launched against us now for months — to the Arab inhabitants of the State of Israel to preserve peace and participate in the upbuilding of the State on the basis of full and equal citizenship and due representation in all its provisional and permanent institutions. We extend our hand to all neighbouring states and their peoples in an offer of peace and good neighbourliness, and appeal to them to establish bonds of cooperation and mutual help with the sovereign Jewish people settled in its own land. The State of Israel is prepared to do its share in a common effort for the advancement of the entire Middle East.”

    Doesn’t sound like an ideology of racism or apartheid to me.

  • Brit

    “you try to claim zionism is a good ideology, when all the facts and figures point to the contrary. You laugahbly refused to accept or claim mis-context of zionist aims, the last time you attempted to defend this rather unsavoury ideology. Ben-Gurion himself admitted zionism was the agressor, he also admitted he would act just as the palestinians have acted. But hey you know better than him right”

    Pretty much every time I have mentioned Zionism and/or the Israeli state I have done so whilst making criticisms. Your hysterical and one-eyed view of the conflict has led you to the false conclusion that I love Zionism and think Israel is some sort of model society. I don’t think Zionism is a particularly good ideology but just another fairly unremarkable example of 19th Century Nationalism with all the limitations of such an ideology. There is nothing grossly evil, racist or supremacist about it. it was given an urgency and credence, which many nationalisms cannot claim, by the holocaust and the legitimate perception that only a Jewish state could prevent future events and the destruction of Jewry for good.

    Your constant references to Jewish supremacism, which plays no part in Zionism, is very unfortunate to say the least. It uses the language and vision of the Far Right to try to blame the biggest victims of racism and supermacism of recent centuries.

    Even if Zionism was the agressor (a simplification which I don’t accept) it doesn’t follow that it has the characteristics you attribute to is. Furthermore how Ben Gurion says he would react is testament to the idiosyncracies and personal honesty of the man but is not proof of any of your assertions.

    ” this facietious attempt to link the creation of the Israeli state which occurred within living memory (i attended a talk by a survivor of the naqba last year) with the American and Austrailasian colonizations is pathetic. the creation of Israel was carried out by people who should have know better and done so with the help of governments who should have known better, all within living memory, just 1 years ago. Furthermore, the repercussions of that states establishment still very much reverbeate today. The quoted paragraph wreeks of the apologist stink which is common among Israel supporters. ”

    The creation of the state of Israel, notwithstanding the wrongs committed by all sides, was in no way comparable to the crimes committed by the Americans and Australians (and us Brits of course). America was a huge country, the natives did not intend or attempt to destroy it, the Americans had no historical connection with America before settling there and had not just endured thousands of years of brutal discrimination and persecution cumninating in a fairly succesful attempt to wipe them out. There is no comparison.

    But if time wipes the moral state clean when is the cut off? 75 years, 100 years or does it vary? How about Eastern Germany being absorbed into Poland after WW2 – living memory?
    By your logic Israel just has to hang on a few more decades and you lot will suddenly move on to a new arch villian?

    The reasons that the creation of the state still reverberate is to do with factors wholly unconnected with its unremarkable “original sin”. They are to do with the involvement of the superpowers during the cold war, the need for arab nationalists to build up support and deflect attention away from their own failings by stoking up anti-zionists views, the profound rejectionism of the Palestinians, their allies and the rest of the arab and muslim worlds, the deliberate failure of their arab neighbours to absorb and protect the refugees and their children creating a multi-generational refugee popultion to use as a political football, the tactic errors and intellectual cowardice of the Palestianian leadership in the 80s and 90s and the fact that Political Islam and support for terrorism and anti-semitism has now taken root in Palestinian society.

  • Greenflag

    Brit,

    In this regard its (USA ) foreign policy is far morally and practically superior to those of most other nation states.’

    You might think that but there are tens of millions around the world who wonder whether Israel determines US foreign policy particularly in the Middle East .

    As of now President Obama is reviewing the Afghan policy . After 8 ? years of desultory running around in circles the USA is now facing a critical decision . The military are saying that without at least another 40,000 (that means in reality probably 100,000) the war cannot be won . Also without a committment to stay in Afghanistan for at least another decade the war cannot be won ?

    Behind the scenes of course the problem in Afgahnistan is not the Taliban nor even it’s President Karzai but it is the cack handed way in which the USA under Clinton initially and later Bush left Afghanistan following intervention a) to oust the Russians and b) to focus on Iraq .

    So why are the Afghans not suppporting Karzai or not enough of them ? It seems as if it’s South Vietnam all over again minus the huge body count on the USA side . Karzai is a Pushtun the majority ethnic group in Afghanistan and many live across the Pakistan Border . Pushtuns make up some 46% of the Afghan population. The Tadjiks historical ‘enemies ‘ of the Pushtun’s make up 23% of the popualtion and form 70% of the officer corps in the newly created Afghan Army . The Pushtuns are divided and many see President Karzai as corrupt , a ‘traitor ‘ an uncle tom ‘ etc . The recent election was in many areas a farce and it’s legitimacy is just not accepted by a majority of all Afghans .

    The USA is left now with a presidential Puppet of almost Shah of Iran vintage .

    The USA cannot afford to stay in Afghanistan for another decade not in the midst of the biggest USA economic crisis since the great depression .

    Obama appears to preparing the ground for a withdrawal from Afghanistan . The idea of foisting ‘democracy’ on Afghanistan was a good one on theory . In practice it’s just compounded the mess that country has been in for the past 30 years .

    USA policy in Afghanistan has been far from ‘practical ‘ . Apart from the initial justifiable attempt to arrest and capture Osama Bin Laden -it’s been going nowhere . Time to leave – in fact past time .

  • Wilde Rover

    Nukethem,

    2/10 Must do Better.

    That was trolling of a low level. Are you even making any attempt to do this properly?

    First off, the “Nukethem” thing might work on one of the more generic websites out there, but this is not the place where the stupid kids hang out.

    Let’s see how you did.

    “Israel has the bomb and constantly breaks international law (as do the Yanks).”

    OK start I suppose.

    “First it bummed off the Germans (it stil does).”

    You’re fading into shite talk territory here. The locals around here will pick up on it.

    “Now it bums off the USA, which supplies it with its military muscle, which it sells to China etc. It sits on stolen land and continues to steal land.”

    You recovered slightly here with a standard use of the deflection onto other countries, but in a subtle way.

    “Its biggest allies are the Prod nutcases in the USA (which with its cleptocracy, explains why Orangies support it.”

    Making it less convincing here.

    “If Iran can rid us of this parish state, we owe them.”

    Aaaand there’s the flat ending. Too much cheese at the end. We do not like too much cheese here. And I believe the word you were looking for is “pariah.”

    Which is bad enough, aside from the fact you put an israel.ie email address under “nukethem.”

    In conclusion, if this is an elaborate hoax and you are doing a day’s trolling for the sake of it, then I have to say that it is a twisted but impressive bit of thread flaming.

    However, if it is something else, then this fabled “Internet Army” thing might not be what it’s cracked up to be.

  • Brit

    “You might think that but there are tens of millions around the world who wonder whether Israel determines US foreign policy particularly in the Middle East .”

    Israel as the puppet of the US is far fetched and simplistic as advanced by the kitsch anti American anti imperialist.

    However US as the puppet of Israel is much much more far fetched, incredible and associated with those in the sewers of political life.

    As I have said many times it is clear that Israel and the US have shared values, objectives and interests and that shapes US foreign policy. I don’t think that the very small (and overwhelmingly Democrati) Jewish vote is any kind of factor and regard the whole Lobby thesis as a more or less intellectualised forms of traditional anti-semitic conspiracy theorising. Yes there is a pro-Israel lobby which is well funded but there are many such lobbies and the pro-Israel one is well received for the obvious reasons set out above.

    Tens of millions of people around the world hold all sorts of made fantastical, idiotic, offensive and racist views. Millions in the middle east and muslim world believe in the truth of the Protocols of the Elders of Zion and that the holocaust was a Zionist lie. It is a tragedy but doesnt prove the truth of the misconceptions.

  • Brit

    GF,
    On the Afghanistan point no one is saying the situation is a cause for celebration or that a shining beacon of democracy has been established, but none of that proves that the invasion and “occupation” are wrong.

    1. The US and its Nato allies had a legal (and moral) right to respond to the act of war with the legitimate aims of removing the Taliban regime which was a client state for AQ and to try to destroy AQ. The regime was removed and AQ was signficantly weakened without a client state and large safe haven.

    2. The allies had a legal (and moral) right to stay in Afghanistan whist the people of the country want them to stay there and until the Taliban and AQ have been destroyed.

    3. If those conditions persist for 10 or 100 years then there will be a legal and moral right ongoing.

    4. As cold as it may sound the price paid by the allies and Afghanis, given the nature of the enemy and how high the stakes are, has been very low. Compare the death toll to other conflicts.

    5. The establishment of a secular democracy, although it would be great, is not a primary aim and probably not a realistic objective. The allies are there to help support a stable and safe society.

    6. The “mess” of the current problem needs to be contrasted with what would have happened if the Taliban and AQ had been left alone to build strength and support, to carry out worse “operations”, to develop and obtain weapons of mass destruction, possibly through an alliance with Saddams Iraq, and to potential get its hands on the levers of power and nuclear weaponary in Pakistan. That is the ultimate nightmare scenario that the stoppers have never engaged with.

  • RepublicanStones

    Brit much obliged for the quote from the Israeli declaration of independence. however it isn’t worth the paper its printed on, as any student of israels history and its treatment of palestinians and those now labelled Israeli arabs will be able to attest to.

    ‘Your hysterical and one-eyed view of the conflict has led you to the false conclusion that I love Zionism’

    You are a zionist are you not. Someone who supports foreigners usurping the palestinians in their own land.

    “There is nothing grossly evil, racist or supremacist about it. it was given an urgency and credence, which many nationalisms cannot claim, by the holocaust and the legitimate perception that only a Jewish state could prevent future events and the destruction of Jewry for good.”

    An ideology wich seeks to establish a state based upon sectarian lines, to the detrement of people ‘who do not fit the bill’ is racist/sectarian. Zionism was not given any legitimacy by the holocaust. If a group of people draw up plans to thieve your land and suddenly they begin to get seven shades knocked out of them in another land, still DOES NOT give them the right to enact their plan to take your land.
    Jews in the USA are protected because they are americans, similarly Jews in britian because they are british. You must think all homosexuals or african americans should be given their own land to prevent bigotry toward them.

    ‘Your constant references to Jewish supremacism’

    I have not constantly referred to jewish supremacism. but its obvious with such an accusation what your inference is. i have spoken of zionism (an ideology) believeing in “supremacy of jews over and above an indigenous people.”
    please do not twst what people say. And zionism is concerned with exactly that. You claim it plays no part in zionism…how then is it that early zionists disregarded the simple fact the land they coveted was “married to another man”?

    “Even if Zionism was the agressor (a simplification which I don’t accept) it doesn’t follow that it has the characteristics you attribute to is.”

    Sorry to burst your bubble here brit, but theres no denying zionism is the agressor in this conflict.

    “There is no choice: the Arabs must make room for the Jews of Eretz Israel. If it was possible to transfer the Baltic peoples, it is also possible to move the Palestinian Arabs.”
    Ze’ev Jabotinsky, 1939

    “There has been Anti-Semitism, the Nazis, Hitler, Auschwitz, but was that their fault? They see but one thing: we have come and we have stolen their country. Why would they accept that?”
    – David Ben Gurion

    “Let us not ignore the truth among ourselves … politically we are the aggressors and they defend themselves… The country is theirs, because they inhabit it, whereas we want to come here and settle down, and in their view we want to take away from them their country.”
    – David Ben Gurion

    “Furthermore how Ben Gurion says he would react is testament to the idiosyncracies and personal honesty of the man but is not proof of any of your assertions.”

    If he admits the palestinians are correct in their resistance to zionism YOU cannot claim to defend that ideology with a straight face. I assert nothing, merely highlight how you are trying to defend an ideology which even the founders admitted was morally void.

  • RepublicanStones

    ‘The creation of the state of Israel, notwithstanding the wrongs committed by all sides, was in no way comparable to the crimes committed by the Americans and Australians’

    It was you who linked the two…have you forgotten already? The crimes of Israel are STILL being prepetrated, oh and they are not equal, but everything can be compared. One may compare an apple to an orange.

    ‘the natives did not intend or attempt to destroy it’

    What?????? Have you never heard of the brave manner in which the native americans resisted the palefaces?

    ‘There is no comparison.’

    So why on earth did you link the two???!!!!! it was you who brought up the comparison..it seems you have forgotten.

    ‘But if time wipes the moral state clean when is the cut off?’

    Time doesn’t wipe the moral slate clean, only an immoral person would think so. Have you never heard of the Americas original sin, the exploitation of slaves? As I’ve said, Israels original sin occurred a mere 60 years ago, well within living memory, there are still survivors. But Israel has made no attempt to pay reparations or let them return to their land. Why….oh wait, could it be they don’t fit the bill?

    ‘How about Eastern Germany being absorbed into Poland after WW2 – living memory?’

    As Germany was the agressor, it seems following that logic, Israel should be absolved into the palestinian state.

    “The reasons that the creation of the state still reverberate is to do with factors wholly unconnected with its unremarkable “original sin”. They are to do with the involvement of the superpowers during the cold war”

    Nonsense, they still reverberate because the Palestinians have a little human thing called ‘memory’.

    ‘the need for arab nationalists to build up support and deflect attention away from their own failings by stoking up anti-zionists views, the profound rejectionism of the Palestinians,’

    Indeed arab leader have used the IP conflict to hide their own shortcomings, but that in no way de-ligtimises the palestinin resistance to zionism. And as i have said to you before, the palestinians were never under any legal or moral obligation to remove themselves for outsiders to take their land. Why on earth should a people support their own suppression? And many Palestinians now accept the WB and Gaza forming their state. A mere 22% of their former land, which is utterly immoral for any outsider to demand they accept. Of course its not enough for some, like Bibi. he demands that Israel control the airspace, borders and that the palistinains have no army worth speaking of. Its akin to someone robbing you of money, then only giving you back a little and then enforcing how you go about spending it. Sovreignty???!!!!

    ‘the deliberate failure of their arab neighbours to absorb and protect the refugees and their children’

    Why on earth should other countries clear up the Wests and Israels mess? Please expalin that to me?

    ‘the fact that Political Islam and support for terrorism and anti-semitism has now taken root in Palestinian society.’

    If somebody stands on your throat for sixty years, you’re gonna start to hate them…even irrationally, im sure you’d admit as much. Of course, such irrational hatred has nothing to do with Israels behaviour, or the continued conflation of judaism and zionism by many of israels supporters and the enforced dual loyalty/nationality imposed on world jewry by those of a pro-zionist bent.

  • RepublicanStones

    Im am glad however Brit that you have adjusted your stance now that you admit

    “Yes there is a pro-Israel lobby which is well funded but there are many such lobbies and the pro-Israel one is well received for the obvious reasons set out above.”

    After all several weeks ago you said..

    “I am also very suspicious of the argument that a shadowy zionist lobby is using the slander of anti-semitism to stifle (ho ho) criticism of Israel.”

    “Stereotypes of duplicity, dual loyalty, conspiracies, cabals, lobbies shadowy forces with huge economic or political power – in the media, foreign policy, global capitalism are anti-Semitic.”

    You now seem to have come to the acceptance that there is an Israel lobby/lobbies after me informing you that I…

    “Don’t think there is any conspiracies, or cabals, or shadowy forces. There are however many pro-Israel lobby groups with lots of political power, who are quite open about their activites, there are no secret handshakes, or shadowy figures etc, just as the gun lobby or the tobacco lobby go about their work.”

    So whilst we both agree there are no shadowy conspiracy groups, your acceptance that there is indeed an Israel lobby is a welcome admission, I commend you for it.

  • RepublicanStones

    Now as regards the USA being ‘a puppet of israel’

    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/middle-east/olmert-claims-he-told-bush-to-backtrack-on-un-ceasefire-deal-1334259.html

    I wouldn’t suggest the USA is a puppet of any nation, but Israel does wield considerable influence, one cannot deny this. But its just a shame Brit that you attempt to stifle analysis of this area by labelling people who examine it as being in the ‘sewers of political life’ and examination of the lobby’s power as being anti-semitic, this even after you have come round to admitting there is a pro-Israel lobby. Indeed it seems you perpetuate the very myth you seek to expose…

    “I am also very suspicious of the argument that a shadowy zionist lobby is using the slander of anti-semitism to stifle (ho ho) criticism of Israel.”(Brit)

  • Brit

    “Brit much obliged for the quote from the Israeli declaration of independence. however it isn’t worth the paper its printed on, as any student of israels history and its treatment of palestinians and those now labelled Israeli arabs will be able to attest to.”

    Whatever the reality in Israel (which includes racism and discrimination – features which sadly characterise almost every human society) the declaration of independence, the (general) legal equality of Israeli arabs, and numerous decisions of Israeli courts show that the formal legal rights of the arab citizens of Israel are in no way comparable to those of Black South Africans.

    “You are a zionist are you not. Someone who supports foreigners usurping the palestinians in their own land.”

    The word zionist is now used as a pejorative term and one which, amongst many people who purport to be in the progressive side of politics, leads to a knee-jerk pantomime booing. For these people (and you are plainly in the camp) the word means someone who hates Palestinians and thinks they are sub-human, who celebrates their death, who supports every action of the Jewish state, believes in a God given right to the land and supports settlements.

    If Zionism means a support for a Jewish state in the historical Jewish homeland of Palestine then yes I am. This was settled on by the international community 60 years ago and no serious force in world politics, certainly outside the middle east and the extreme Left and Right, seeks to turn the clock back. Some of the strongest critics of Israel, from its conduct in the war of independence, to the “occupation” of the West Bank and Gaza, are zionists. All proponents of a two-state solution are Zionists.

    I’m a Zionist like I’m a French nationalist. I don’t think there is anything particularly great about the Jewish nation but I I accept their right to a state. If the French nation was continually under threat and having its legitimacy and existence threatened then maybe I would describe myself as a supporter of French nationalism.

  • Brit

    “An ideology wich seeks to establish a state based upon sectarian lines, to the detrement of people ‘who do not fit the bill’ is racist/sectarian.”

    All nation-states, or at least most, are based on a nationalism similar to Zionism. A state for the Jews is fundamentally no different to a state for the Belgians or French or Kurds. At one level there is something inconsistent with universalist principles which those on the liberal-left aspire to. We are a long way from that utopia and for the time being we have to accept that. The ideology of Zionism didn’t want to do anything to the detriment of those we now call Palestinians. They saw the establishment of a Jewish state on land that was empty or was purchased. The perhaps simplistic and patronising idea was that the locals (who at the time Zionism began to develop had no sense of national identity or asprirations) would benefit from the cultural, econcomic and industrial advances that the Jews (particularly of Europe) would bring. Before the War of Independence there was no plan to expel the arabs to make room for our state. It was always accepted that the Jewish state would include non-Jews who would be given full political and civil rights.

    ” Zionism was not given any legitimacy by the holocaust. If a group of people draw up plans to thieve your land and suddenly they begin to get seven shades knocked out of them in another land, still DOES NOT give them the right to enact their plan to take your land.
    Jews in the USA are protected because they are americans, similarly Jews in britian because they are british. You must think all homosexuals or african americans should be given their own land to prevent bigotry toward them.”

    The “stealing land” line is a shallow slogan and the reality is a lot more complex than that. There was no Palestinian state when Zionism was ‘invented’ and no Palestinian people. They were arab inhabitants of the British Mandate who had no unifiying national culture, like those who now live in Italy before modern Italian nationalism. The British mandate which was about 3 / 4 times bigger than current state of Israel and the Ots and included Jordan and bits of what are now other arab states. When Jewish immigration begain, in the late 1880s, it was a question of people moving to empty land (again not owned by anyone and not part of a Palestinian state) and/or buying land and properties from the owners. There is no comparison with the Spanish conquistadors who landed in Latin America and promptly began murdering the locals and trying to convert them. By the time Palestinian nationalism developed the Jews were there in large numbers and we had two nations emerging at the same time. With equal legitimacy and equal rights. One place, two nations and “who got their first” is an arbitrary irrelevance that the likes of the BNP and Sinn Fein are obsessed by.

    Jews are of course ‘protected’ in the USA and in Britain and in retrospect the Jewish people could have survived had they emmigrated to the States en mass but at the time this was not a practical option and the Jews did not trust any one else to protect them. You will recall that Germany was a prosperous, liberal democratic nation where Jews were highly integrated and in all sorts of powerful positions. It did not help.

    The history of the Jews is one of pretty much unbroken dispossession and discrimination punctuated by mass pogroms and expulsions and leading up to the Holocaust. The Holocuast did not only lead the Jews to conclude (reasonably) that their survival was contingent on establishing a nation state but it also meant that there was no going “back” to the European countries were the locals had stood by or actively welcomed the Holocaust and continued with anti-semitic violence after the end of WW2. There were huge numbers of persons in displaced persons camps. Israel was the only option fo rthem. Without the Holocaust I think there would be no Israel. It is impossible to understand Zionism and Israel without an understanding of the history of the Jews and the holocaust. I get the impression that you see these as irrelvant minor details to be dismissively condemned before moving on to the evils of Zionism.

  • Brit

    “I have not constantly referred to jewish supremacism. but its obvious with such an accusation what your inference is. i have spoken of zionism (an ideology) believeing in “supremacy of jews over and above an indigenous people.”
    please do not twst what people say. And zionism is concerned with exactly that. You claim it plays no part in zionism…how then is it that early zionists disregarded the simple fact the land they coveted was “married to another man”?”

    Zionism is not concerned with the supremacy of Jews over anyone. Only the Far Right and their fellow travellers think that. The fact that non-Jews may be damaged and be harmed as a result of the implementation of the Zionist plan is no evidence of the supremacy thesis anymore than British peoples rights would be harmed and damaged as a result of the implementation of Irish Nationalism.

    “Sorry to burst your bubble here brit, but theres no denying zionism is the agressor in this conflict.”

    Well if we are to revert to simplistic playground politics then the first attacks were by arabs on Jews in Mandate Palestine. And the war of independence was started by the Palestinains. They “started it” so in that sense there is no denying that they are the agressor.

    And now we move onto the quotes

    “There is no choice: the Arabs must make room for the Jews of Eretz Israel. If it was possible to transfer the Baltic peoples, it is also possible to move the Palestinian Arabs.”
    Ze’ev Jabotinsky, 1939

    Jabotinksy was a revisionist way outside the mainstream of the Labour Zionism of the founders of Israel (and their ideological forefathers).

    “There has been Anti-Semitism, the Nazis, Hitler, Auschwitz, but was that their fault? They see but one thing: we have come and we have stolen their country. Why would they accept that?”

    Nothing to do with supremacism and about perception “they see but one thing”

    “Let us not ignore the truth among ourselves … politically we are the aggressors and they defend themselves… The country is theirs, because they inhabit it, whereas we want to come here and settle down, and in their view we want to take away from them their country.”
    —David Ben Gurion

    Again “in their view”.

    Gurion said all sorts of things for all sorts of reasons (and there are lots of falsifications and de-contextualisations out there although I don’t claim that in these cases) and none of this proves anything. I see that you accept the validity of words from the Zionists when they support your one dimensional narrative but not when (as in the declaration of independence) they don’t.

  • Brit

    “If he admits the palestinians are correct in their resistance to zionism YOU cannot claim to defend that ideology with a straight face. I assert nothing, merely highlight how you are trying to defend an ideology which even the founders admitted was morally void. ”

    He understands why they refused to accept the state of Israel and put himself in their position. He was not the founder of Zionism by any means and certainly did not admit that it was morally void. In any event either it was or it wasn’t void – someone, anyone, saying that it is or was doesent prove anything.

    “It was you who linked the two…have you forgotten already? The crimes of Israel are STILL being prepetrated, oh and they are not equal, but everything can be compared. One may compare an apple to an orange.”

    RS can you quit the undergraduate point scoring and multiple question marks?. There is of cousre a comparision and I made one initially.. My subsequent use of the word “comparison” as I am sure you worked out from the context was indtended to mean that the colonisation of America was far far worse. I have outlined the differences and will not be drawn into a debate about American history here.

  • Brit

    “Time doesn’t wipe the moral slate clean, only an immoral person would think so. Have you never heard of the Americas original sin, the exploitation of slaves? As I’ve said, Israels original sin occurred a mere 60 years ago, well within living memory, there are still survivors. But Israel has made no attempt to pay reparations or let them return to their land. Why….oh wait, could it be they don’t fit the bill?”

    Yes but no one condems America, singles it out for criticism, spends a disproportionate amount of time on it, calls for cultural, academic or business boycotts because of their crimes of original sin. Israel has offered reparations to the offspring of refugees in the context of a settlement. Cute use of the term “survivors” btw

    “As Germany was the agressor, it seems following that logic, Israel should be absolved into the palestinian state.”

    No the Palestinains were the agressor they started the war and lost it. Under norms and rules of war Israel had a right to the lands conquered that war.

    “Indeed arab leader have used the IP conflict to hide their own shortcomings, but that in no way de-ligtimises the palestinin resistance to zionism. And as i have said to you before, the palestinians were never under any legal or moral obligation to remove themselves for outsiders to take their land. Why on earth should a people support their own suppression? And many Palestinians now accept the WB and Gaza forming their state. A mere 22% of their former land, which is utterly immoral for any outsider to demand they accept. Of course its not enough for some, like Bibi. he demands that Israel control the airspace, borders and that the palistinains have no army worth speaking of. Its akin to someone robbing you of money, then only giving you back a little and then enforcing how you go about spending it. Sovreignty???!!!!”

    The reason the conflict is ongoing is because of rejectionism and the interests of the arab world to keep it going. A legitimate compromise, which recognised both the contemporaneous Jewish and Palestinain nationalisms, was repeatedly offered and repeatedly rejected. The Palestinians would have had not only peace but a state long long ago if they had accepted a Jewish state and guaranteed its security. Their failure to do so is the cause of the continued conflict (just like the refusal of pre-ceasfire Republicans to accept partition and the principle of consent was the cause of that conflict continuing).

    I note you have constantly referred to this 22% of “their former land”. But there was no former land there was no Palestinian state, where does this figure come from – 22% of what?

    “Why on earth should other countries clear up the Wests and Israels mess? Please expalin that to me?”

    Ahh the West. Not sure why it was the Wests mess. Perhaps the world community which accepted Zionism and the existence of a Jewish state. That community through the UN and all sorts of funding and support has helped the refugees. But it is normal and accepted part of humanitarian politics for states to accommodate and care for refugees. It has happened all over the world.

  • Brit

    “If somebody stands on your throat for sixty years, you’re gonna start to hate them…even irrationally, im sure you’d admit as much. Of course, such irrational hatred has nothing to do with Israels behaviour, or the continued conflation of judaism and zionism by many of israels supporters and the enforced dual loyalty/nationality imposed on world jewry by those of a pro-zionist bent. ”

    Plenty of people who have suffered a much worse oppression and occupation (you know the kind that doesn’t allow them to vote for governments dedicated to the destruction of the occupying power) in Turkish Kurdistan, Tibet, Eastern Timor have not adopted the kind of racial hatred or the terrorist tactics employed by Palestinians. Nor have they adopted a fascistic and nihilistic form of political religion which stands for the most backward, reactionary and totalitarian impulses of humanity.

    How is this dual loyality / nationalist imposed on world Jewry? It doesn’t seem to affect the Jewish ministers in Europe who put their countries interests before those of Israel?

    ““Yes there is a pro-Israel lobby which is well funded but there are many such lobbies and the pro-Israel one is well received for the obvious reasons set out above.”

    After all several weeks ago you said..

    “I am also very suspicious of the argument that a shadowy zionist lobby is using the slander of anti-semitism to stifle (ho ho) criticism of Israel.”

    “Stereotypes of duplicity, dual loyalty, conspiracies, cabals, lobbies shadowy forces with huge economic or political power – in the media, foreign policy, global capitalism are anti-Semitic.”

    You now seem to have come to the acceptance that there is an Israel lobby/lobbies after me informing you that I…

    “Don’t think there is any conspiracies, or cabals, or shadowy forces. There are however many pro-Israel lobby groups with lots of political power, who are quite open about their activites, there are no secret handshakes, or shadowy figures etc, just as the gun lobby or the tobacco lobby go about their work.”

    So whilst we both agree there are no shadowy conspiracy groups, your acceptance that there is indeed an Israel lobby is a welcome admission, I commend you for it.”

    So do you really think that I as someone with a long interest in Jewish history and the State of Israel didn’t know about AIPAC and similar organisations?? Of course I knew and none of my comments above were inconsistent with it. I was dealing with the specific claim (used ironically to close down any discussion or acknowledgment of the existence or problme of anti-semitism in the anti-Zionist movement) that a zionist or jewish lobby screams “anti-semitism” to stop valid criticism of Israel. People complain about anti-semitism because they believe it is an evil; some people see it were it does not exist, others may be adopting an unnecessarily broad definition but the idea that simply used as a device to cover up criticism is preposterous and comes close the the Jewish cabal myth of traditional anti-semitism. The allegation of racism in any form is a serious one and should be addressed by the recipient of the attack. If the comment is or could be construed as anti-semitic the person who made it should apologise or clarify and move on. They are under no obligation to love Israel and or withdraw any criticism of it as a result.

    My statement about the nature of modern anti-semitism and the hugely inflated power of the “Jews” is absolutely valid. In practice American Jews have a huge and wide ranging set of views many conflicting. Supporters of Israel range from ultra Likudniks to Peace Now advocates. There is not a small stratum of Jews who are very critical of Israel and indeed some anti-Zionists. The pro-Israel lobbies (a better description than lobby) reflect this plurality of views and objectives. The idea of a unified Jewish lobby with one message and immense power is unrealistic and relfective of the idea that the Jews are getting together with a secret agenda behind everyones backs which takes us back into traditional anti-semitism modes of thinking. US policy in the middle east is largely favourable to Israel not because of the impact of some small and disproportionatly powerful lobby forcing them to be so, but because of the major and historical ties and commonality of interests, values and objectives.

  • Brit

    “Now as regards the USA being ‘a puppet of israel’

    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/middle-east/olmert-claims-he-told-bush-to-backtrack-on-un-ceasefire-deal-1334259.html

    I wouldn’t suggest the USA is a puppet of any nation, but Israel does wield considerable influence, one cannot deny this. But its just a shame Brit that you attempt to stifle analysis of this area by labelling people who examine it as being in the ‘sewers of political life’ and examination of the lobby’s power as being anti-semitic, this even after you have come round to admitting there is a pro-Israel lobby. Indeed it seems you perpetuate the very myth you seek to expose…”

    You agree that the US is not the puppet of Israel. You have not said whether or not you think that view is an incredible one and one associated with the anti-semitism of the Far Right and Islamist variety. They think that the invasion of Iraq was ordered by Israel and that US and British soldiers are dying for “Jewish interests”. I think this and make no apology for it. I am not attempting to stifle debate and am sure that even if I did it wouldn’t stop you from sharing your views with the rest of us RS.

    Now you are making a different point and claiming that Israel wields considerable influence in US policy towards Israel. The accuracy of this claim all depends on what you mean by considerable influence and we are bound to be careful in how we express ourselves given the Far Right perspective outlined above. But yes I’m sure the US listens to what Israel says when dealing with Israel. I’m sure it listens to what the UK or Ireland or the Palestinians (at least the non-Hamas variety) when dealing with them.

    I note that your evidence is a claim from a disgraced PM which was denied by the US government and reported in Al Independent.

  • Barnshee

    Jews steal more land

    http://rockthetruth2.blogspot.com/2009/02/israel-bitch-slaps-obama-with-west-bank.html

    And somehow its the palestinians fault The jews will continue until they are stopped Their actions have been such that they cannot allow a palestinian state for fear it would tret them as they have treated the palestinians.
    Truely a despicable race

  • Brit

    Barnshee,

    I assume you are being serious?

    Whether serious or a parody this is a classic example of anti-semitic anti-zionism / criticism of Israel. I trust RS would agree with me on that at least.

    And for such inverterate land stealers its very odd that they gave “back” the entire Gaza strip.

  • Barnshee

    Jews give back land they stole and expect applause?

    Jews steal land -even the jews admit it

    http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.php?az=view_all&address=124×85639

    Stick to the facts– they are doing it daily and will continue to do so until stopped.

    http://www.presstv.ir/detail.aspx?id=106520§ionid=351020202

    Having abused the palestinians they now are faced with keeping them in subjection for fear of what the palestinians would do as soon as the were on an equal footing.

    They school bully who whines when his victims fight back and runs home to mummy(USA) for help.

    A shitty little country

  • Jo

    Actually, Brit, I’d repunctuate your statement to read ‘they “gave back” the entire Gaza strip’.

    I mean, they have total control over entry and exit and veto all aid and then bombing the crap out of it, killing hundreds of civilians.

    What they did with Gaza wasn’t an act of charity – it was the taking of hostages.

  • Brit

    “Actually, Brit, I’d repunctuate your statement to read ‘they “gave back” the entire Gaza strip’.

    I mean, they have total control over entry and exit and veto all aid and then bombing the crap out of it, killing hundreds of civilians.

    What they did with Gaza wasn’t an act of charity – it was the taking of hostages.”

    They withdrew and dismantled all settlements. Wisely they retained and exercise some controls over it given that it was used as a huge terrorist launch pad for attacks aimed at civillians (specifically children) by an anti-semitic, fundamentalist organisatoin which wants to destroy their state.

    They don’t have total control over the border with Egypt.

    And of course they veto “aid” because some “aid” is weaponary for further attacks.

    They responded to continual illegal attacks against their citizens, as they had every legal and moral right to do, via an air and land campaign aimed at reducing the ability of Hamas to continue to launch further attacks and to destroy the organisations ability and appetite for continued war. That aim was broadly succesfully achieved. In view of the nature of the fighting terrain, the opponents and their opponents modus operandi the deaths of numerous civillians was inevitable.

    The reason for Israel’s continued control, intereference and brief invasion was defensive. If Israel was not under threat and Hamas and allies had not launched missiles no war would have followed.

    And I don’t understand your hostages argument. If Israel was expansionst and desperate to occupy Gaza for the ‘fun of it’ or merely holding the area to protect the security of their thin state it would have been much more logical to stay in place and to fight terrorism by not allowing Hamas to form a government.

    As the old proverb has it if the Palestinains had no weapons there would be no violence and if the Israelis had no weapons there would be no Jews left.

    I also note the deafening absence, so far, of any condemnation of Barnshee’s explicit anti-semitism.

  • barnshee

    “I also note the deafening absence, so far, of any condemnation of Barnshee’s explicit anti-Semitism.

    I refute your statement— I am opposed to the murderous actions of the Israelis AND murderous actions by HAMAS. Palestinians should not murder Israelis -Israelis should not murder Palestinians.

    The treatment of the Palestinians at the hands of Israel has been truly appalling -a crime against humanity.

    You fall back on the well worn strategy of accusing all critics of Israel as being anti semetic”

    There are dozens of JEWS telling the facts
    Try

    http://www.richardsilverstein.com/tikun_olam/

    http://www.hagada.org.il/eng/modules.php?name=News&file=article&sid=163
    or for examples of outright theft and fraud
    try

    http://www.richardsilverstein.com/tikun_olam/2008/12/20/anatomy-of-settler-land-theft/
    even a daily ISRAELI newspaper admits the theft

    http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/1060043.html
    A very shitty little country indeed

  • RepublicanStones

    ‘the (general) legal equality of Israeli arabs, and numerous decisions of Israeli courts show that the formal legal rights of the arab citizens of Israel are in no way comparable to those of Black South Africans.’

    Pray tell Brit what do you mean by (general)?
    I thought you were of the opinion that Israel was democratic. And one can indeed compare the arab citizens of Israel with the balcks in apratheid south africa. not equate, but can indeed compare.

    ‘For these people (and you are plainly in the camp) the word means someone who hates Palestinians and thinks they are sub-human, who celebrates their death, who supports every action of the Jewish state, believes in a God given right to the land and supports settlements.’

    Not at all, i don’t think every zionist hates palestinians etc etc…I just think zionism and those who espouse it view the rights of the palestinians in their own land as being lesser to those of outsiders who happen to fit the zionist bill. in other words I view zionism and its adherents as immoral.

    ‘If Zionism means a support for a Jewish state in the historical Jewish homeland of Palestine then yes I am.’

    Why? Palestinains are decended from cannaites just like the jews of the levant. Many jews have no link to the middle east, save that is where their religion started. Why do you put the ‘rights’ of foreigners above those of the palestinians in their own land?

    ‘All proponents of a two-state solution are Zionists.’

    Grossly incorrect. Many palestinians espouse a two-state solution. they do so not out of a belief that world jewry has a right to a home in Palestine (zionism), but because its the most realistic option for peace.

    ‘I’m a Zionist like I’m a French nationalist. I don’t think there is anything particularly great about the Jewish nation but I I accept their right to a state. If the French nation was continually under threat and having its legitimacy and existence threatened then maybe I would describe myself as a supporter of French nationalism.’

    A rather childish attempt to legistimise a nationhood based upon an ethnic character. French consist of many ethnicites and RELIGIONS. If you’ll allow me to quote you a little from Jonathan Cooks excellent analysis ‘Blood and Religion – the unmasking of the jewish democratic state’. Where he rather unpicks that ‘deception’.

    ‘The deception was advanced most famously by a former chief justice of israel, Meir Shamgar, when he observed: “The existence of the state of israelas the state of the jewish people does not negate its democratic chracter, just as the frenchess of france does not negate its democratic chracter.” Given a moments thought, however, the comparison is patently absurd: a country’s being jewish is not the equivalent of its being French. In Shagar’s formulation, “Jewish” might be used in either a religious or an ethnic sense, but neither is the same as “French”. The difference between a Jewish state and a French state is obvious the moment we try to imagine how one could naturalise as a Jew without converting to Judaism. Noone is after all required to convert to being french. In truth, the conception of a “Jewish state” can be understood in either theocratic terms or ethnic terms. But identifying such a state as democratic makes no more sense than calling a self-declared Roman-Catholic state or Afrikaner state democratic.”
    (Cook, Blood and Religion p16)

    ‘A state for the Jews is fundamentally no different to a state for the Belgians or French or Kurds.’

    Rubbish…see above.

    ‘The ideology of Zionism didn’t want to do anything to the detriment of those we now call Palestinians. They saw the establishment of a Jewish state on land that was empty or was purchased.’

    Right Brit you have pissed me off now with those blatant lies. Zionism from its earliest founders right up to its modern adherents favoured the “compulsary transfer” of the indigenous population. I have provided ample evidence for this, but you refuse to acknowledge that which they themselves have acknowledged. now about the ‘purchased/empty land’ falsehood. First off the early zionists knew full well the land was populated, they even sent delegations there who reported back that “the bride is beautiful but she is married to another man”. So thats the lie of empty land put to bed. Don’t ever repeat it please. Now ‘purchased land’ you claim. Two things, first if the land was to be purchased why the need for compulsary transfer?
    Second, the JNF which was established by zionists for purchasing lands in Palestine only held approx 7-8% of Palestine before the 1948 Naqba. The knesset later enacted the ‘Emergency Land Requisition Law’ and the ‘Absentees Properties Law’ among others which confiscated palestinian land in the new israel.

  • RepublicanStones

    ‘The perhaps simplistic and patronising idea was that the locals (who at the time Zionism began to develop had no sense of national identity or asprirations) would benefit from the cultural, econcomic and industrial advances that the Jews (particularly of Europe) would bring.’

    Nonsense,zionism asthere is ample evidence wished to transfer the arabs or use them as the ‘hewers of wood and the drawers of water’.

    ‘Before the War of Independence there was no plan to expel the arabs to make room for our state.’

    A lie, plain and simple. Plenty of quotes from many zionists indicated the indigenous population would be transferred. And ‘our state’? Are you an israel jew..you’re not one of those hasbara are you?

    ‘It was always accepted that the Jewish state would include non-Jews who would be given full political and civil rights.’

    A baltant lie again, from the early zionists right through to madoern legisaltion passed by the Knesset. This was never envisaged by any significant proportion of zionism.

    ‘There was no Palestinian state when Zionism was ‘invented’ and no Palestinian people.’

    Palestine was a provence, palestine had been named palestine for many a year. What kind of morally vapid argument is that where you think just because an indigenous people had no central govt structure, nothing similar to what the west has, that that makes its land fair game and the rights of its people null and void. I suggest you have a little look at the League of nations categorizing palestine and its people as a Class A mandate. That last ‘arguemnt’ of yours made me feel physically sick Brit.

    ‘By the time Palestinian nationalism developed the Jews were there in large numbers and we had two nations emerging at the same time. ‘

    Brit the palestinians were well aware of what the immigrating zionists had in store and repeatedly asked the british to limit jewish immigration into their land. We did not have two nations emerging at the same time. We had a bucnh of foreigners from many different countries who wanted to create their own nation at the expense of the indigenous people.

    ‘With equal legitimacy and equal rights.’

    Sorry but no. Foreigners coming into a land, many illegally as Britain did try to cap numbers, with the aim of establishing their own nation based upon ethnotheocratic lines which would exclude the vast majority of the idndigenous people do not have the same legitmacy as right of the indigenous peoples. As least not for any sane moral person.

    ‘One place, two nations and “who got their first” is an arbitrary irrelevance that the likes of the BNP and Sinn Fein are obsessed by.’

    Sorry but an indigenous people living on their own land verusus a bunch of foreigners seeking to establish an ethnotheocratic nation to the detreiment of the indigenous people, and you think the matter of indigenous or not is irrelevant???!!!!

    “You will recall that Germany was a prosperous, liberal democratic nation where Jews were highly integrated and in all sorts of powerful positions. It did not help.”

    Are you saying all jews around the world should be wary and now move to Israel? I suppose the homosexuals who suffered in the holocaust and all who continue to suffer bigotry should have their own state? Brit you seem to think the holocaust in some way legitimises the theft of land. Zionism was envisaged well before the holocaust, it was envisaged with a view to dispossessing an indigenous people of their land and either forcing them out or keeping them as labour. If a group of people plan to steal your land, and whilst drawing up their plans in a far away place, they get the shit knocked out of them, many of them murdered, that still does not subjugate your rights to your land, and give them any moral or legal right to force you out or make you live in your own cellar. Sorry but quit referring to the holocaust as some legitimation for zionism bcause it holds absolutely no water. This was dealt with earlier, like many other points you continually raise, but like a moth to a bulb you keep banging your head.

  • RepublicanStones

    ‘Zionism is not concerned with the supremacy of Jews over anyone.’

    Why all the evidence to the contrary then Brit. Why all the talk of compulsary transfer, why the state based upon ethnotheocratic lines which excludes the indignies? Why the refusal of Israel to allow the right of return to palestinains exiled in 1948, but a right of return for jews the world over, the vast majority of whom have no link to Palestine save their holy book was written there?

    ‘anymore than British peoples rights would be harmed and damaged as a result of the implementation of Irish Nationalism.’

    Hang on, havent you said unionism had a right to ignore the democratic will of the irish people and establish their own state in Ireland because they worried their rights in a free Ireland. It seems Brit you laughably move your priciples to suit your argument.

    ‘Well if we are to revert to simplistic playground politics then the first attacks were by arabs on Jews in Mandate Palestine. And the war of independence was started by the Palestinains. They “started it” so in that sense there is no denying that they are the agressor.’

    Thats poor Brit, really poor. The palestinains did not start the agression. Zionists did by, expelling palestinians, and immigrating into their country with the declared intetnion of setting up their own state which the palestinains would not be afforded equal status. Early zionists admitted they were the agressors, but the great Brit is able to declare the men he seeks to defend as wrong.

    You then try to rubbish quotes which show precisely the nature of zionism and how they intended to rob the palestinians of their land. Tell me Brit why is there are literally thousands of jews the world over who oppose zionism and see it for what it is? Tell me if zionism is such a noble aim, how many palestinians are there who accept its aims and agree that their land should be forfeit?

    ‘Gurion said all sorts of things for all sorts of reasons (and there are lots of falsifications and de-contextualisations out there although I don’t claim that in these cases) and none of this proves anything’

    Laughable Brit, truly laughable. the stated aims of famous zionists and the founding father of Israel prove nothing to you. Whatever you say.

    “I see that you accept the validity of words from the Zionists when they support your one dimensional narrative but not when (as in the declaration of independence) they don’t.”

    The litmus test for the decleration of independence is their treatment of the palestinains living in Israel, it is pure make believe. That was especially weak Brit.

    ‘someone, anyone, saying that it is or was doesent prove anything.’

    Wow Brit, evidence doesn’t prove much for you does it?

    “Yes but no one condems America, singles it out for criticism, spends a disproportionate amount of time on it, calls for cultural, academic or business boycotts because of their crimes of original sin. Israel has offered reparations to the offspring of refugees in the context of a settlement. Cute use of the term “survivors” btw”

    America is continuing its crime, it does not enact legislation aimed at the subjugation of its orignial inhabitants. Is this really a line of arguemnt you’re using? A settlement in 22% of your former land with the agressor state controlling airspace and borders etc is not repartions of any kind from being ethnically cleased from your land. And what do you mean cute? We both agree holocaust denial is unsavoury, you seem to think the use of the term survivor in relation to what Israel inflicted on the palestinians in 1948 is misplaced. Tell me have you spoken to many victims of the naqba? You are aware Israel forces both regular and irregular carried out many massacres. It seem Brit, arab suffering is matters less than other humans eh?

  • RepublicanStones

    ‘No the Palestinains were the agressor they started the war and lost it. Under norms and rules of war Israel had a right to the lands conquered that war.’

    Incorrect, as zionists themselves admit they were the agressors. palestinains defending their land from foreigners who seek to usurp them in their own land is not agression, it is defence. Only a person completely devoid of any morals would caim otherwise. But hey, typical brit you are, rights of conquest eh? thats a a bit…old fashioned to say the least.

    ‘Their failure to do so is the cause of the continued conflict’

    More nonsense. The PLO long ago recognised israel, even though they morally were under no obligation to do so.

    ‘just like the refusal of pre-ceasfire Republicans to accept partition and the principle of consent was the cause of that conflict continuing).’

    Eh it was partiton ad the refusal of unionists to accpet the irish peoples priciple of consent – desire for home rule at the very least which continued the conflict.

    ‘I note you have constantly referred to this 22% of “their former land”. But there was no former land there was no Palestinian state, where does this figure come from – 22% of what?’

    It seems you haven’t read to much literature which isn’t of a zionist bent. What do you think the Wb and Gaza make up? It seems we’re also back to no central govt structure so no rights for the indignenous people. Again read about the lague of Nations and it classing Palestine as a class A mandate.

    ‘Ahh the West. Not sure why it was the Wests mess.’

    Really? have a wee read of how ithe Un vote for the partition of Palestine (you know that land you claim nobody owned) was bullied and bribed through…infact don’t, if you’ll allow me to quote again –

    “Partiton went against the better judgement of many of those nations who voted in favour of it. America too – at least its State Dept officials who knew something about the middle east- had grave misgivings. But the White House, which knew a good deal less, overruled them. It sanctioned what a deeply distressed James Forrestal, the Secretary of defense, described as ‘coercion and duress on other nations’ which ‘bordered on scandal’. President Truman warned one of his secretaries that he would demand a full explanation if nations normally lined up with the US failed to do so on Palestine. Govts which opposed partition, govts which could not make up their minds, were swayed by the most unorthodox arguments. the Firestone Tyre and Rubber Company with plantations in Liberia, brought pressure to bear on the Liberian Govt. It was hinted to Latin American delegates that their vote for partition would greatly incresen the chances of a pan-American road project. The Phillipines, at first passionately opposed to partition, ended up ignominiously in favour of it: they had too much at stake in seven bills awaiting the approval of congress. important Americans were ‘persuaded’ to ‘talk’ to various govts which could not afford the loss of American goodwill.”
    (David Hirst – The Gun and the Olive Branch)

    Perhaps that might clear up why you’re not sure brit eh? But im sure you’ll have a wee google and try and shoot the messenger in an attempt to deflect from the harsh realities.

  • RepublicanStones

    ‘Plenty of people who have suffered a much worse oppression and occupation (you know the kind that doesn’t allow them to vote for governments dedicated to the
    destruction of the occupying power)’

    Wow so you admit the Palestinians are occuppied. BTW would that be the election were Israel ignored the result? I suppose the Tibetans aren’t allowed to live in Tibet? I suppose they are hemmed into two batustans as well with road usage allowed on religious grounds for instance. Your attempt to de-ligitimise palestinian anger by linking it with other occupations i both absurd and quite revealing.

    ‘How is this dual loyality / nationalist imposed on world Jewry?’

    by Israel declaring it the Jewish homeland and giving a ‘right of return’ to all jews in the world. Also by zionists like yourself continually inferring anti-zionism is akin to anti-semitism.

    ‘People complain about anti-semitism because they believe it is an evil; some people see it were it does not exist, others may be adopting an unnecessarily broad definition but the idea that simply used as a device to cover up criticism is preposterous and comes close the the Jewish cabal myth of traditional anti-semitism.’

    Let me get this straight. Are you saying the cry of ‘anti-semite’ is never used to divert legitimate criticism of Israel. A simple yes or no please.

    ‘US policy in the middle east is largely favourable to Israel not because of the impact of some small and disproportionatly powerful lobby forcing them to be so, but because of the major and historical ties and commonality of interests, values and objectives.’

    Are you suggesting that criticsm of Israel or refusal to vote on bills which favour israel is not detrimental to a US congressman’s career. Once again, a simple yes or no.

  • RepublicanStones

    ‘They think that the invasion of Iraq was ordered by Israel and that US and British soldiers are dying for “Jewish interests”.’

    Israel did not order the USA to attack Iraq. It did however encourage the USA to do so. Perhpas you are unaware with what Phillip Zelikow who was a member of Bush’s Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board said…

    “Why would Iraq attack America or use nuclear weapons against us? I’ll tell you what I think the real threat (is) and actually has been since 1990 — it’s the threat against Israel,…And this is the threat that dare not speak its name, because the Europeans don’t care deeply about that threat, I will tell you frankly. And the American government doesn’t want to lean too hard on it rhetorically, because it is not a popular sell,”

    Or how about Gen Wesley clark and what he said…

    “Those who favor this attack now will tell you candidly, and privately, that it is probably true that Saddam Hussein is no threat to the United States. But they are afraid at some point he might decide if he had a nuclear weapon to use it against Israel.”

    Or what about when Bibi went to Washington and warned Seantors that Saddam was aquiring nuclear weapons. You’ll find an article about it in the Chicago Sun Times – ‘Netanyahu’s nuke warning’.

    Or how abut when Sahron’s spokesman Ra’anan Gissen said…

    “If Saddam Hussein is not stopped now, five years from now, six years from now, we will have to deal with an Iraq that is armed with nuclear weapons, with an Iraq that has delivery systems for weapons of mass destruction.”

    Or how about when Peres told the Washington Times

    I’m not sure. Maybe a change in Iraq can facilitate a better solution to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. It’s not so clear that there is a simple answer.”

    “But Iraq is an issue in their own right, and a very terrible one. I think that everybody is a little bit impatient because there is a feeling that Iraq is developing nuclear weapons. They possess chemical weapons. They possesss biological weapons. They are building missiles. And simply, you cannot sit and wait for meeting this challenge,”

    There is lots of other encouragement as well, such as when Ehud BArak tole the New York Times…

    “Saddam Hussein’s nuclear-weapons program provides the urgent need for his removal”.

    So while we agree, Israel did not order the USA, i don’t think any sane person can deny Israel was a factor.

    ‘I note that your evidence is a claim from a disgraced PM’

    Brit, do you ever not shoot the messenger when a fact is presented which shows you were wrong?

  • RepublicanStones

    Barnshee whilst your links highlight the undemocratic nature of israel , i don’t think using the label ‘jews’ or ‘the jews’ in reference to immoral acts is particularly helpful. ‘Zionists’, ‘Israeli jews’ or ‘settlers’ would be a better description, because use of terminology like ‘the jews’ merely conflates judiasm with zionism. Something which should be avoided, and unfortunately people on both sides of the divide are guilty of it. There are many many jews in the world who are not zionists and they should not be in any way connected to the crimes of Israel.

  • RepublicanStones

    Btw Brit, here are another few quotes for your consideration seeing as you dislike them so much…

    “The major powers of the West and the East, losing sight of the true value of a friendly Arab World in the swirling clouds of Zionist propaganda, overran the rights of the indigenous population of Palestine the Arabs. Every step in the establishment of a Zionist state had been a challenge to justice.”
    (Commander E. H. Hutchinson -United States Military, later chair of the Israel-Jordan Armistice Commission)

    “Can it be that the disposessed will keep silent and clamly accept what is being done to them? Will they not ultimately arise to regain, with physical force, that which they were deprived off through the power of gold? Will they not seek justice from the strangers that placed themselves over the land?”
    (Yitzhak Epstein at the 1905 Zionist Congress)

    There is no example in history of a people saying we agree to renounce our country, let another come and settle here and outnumber us.’
    (David Ben-Gurion, 1944)

    “It was evident twenty years ago {i.e in 1891} that the day would come when the arabs would stand up against us.”
    (Ahad Ha’am writing in 1911)

    “We shall try to spirit the penniless population across the border by procuring employment for it in the transit countries, while denying it employment in our country. The property owners will come over to our side. Both the process of expropriation and the removal of the poor must be carried out discretely and circumspectly.”
    (Theodor Herzl, founding ideologue of Zionism, wrote in his diary: 1895)

    “I should much rather see reasonable agreement with the Arabs on the basis of living together in peace than the creation of a Jewish state. Apart from practical consideration, my awareness of the essential nature of Judaism resists the idea of a Jewish state with borders, an army, and a measure of temporal power no matter how modest. I am afraid of the inner damage Judaism will sustain — especially from the development of a narrow nationalism within our own ranks, against which we have already had to fight strongly, even without a Jewish state. We are no longer the Jews of the Maccabean period. A return to a nation in a political sense of the word would be equivalnet to turning away from the spiritualization of our community which we owe to the genius of the prophets.”
    (Albert Einstein, on April 17, 1938, in a speech at the Commodore Hotel in New York City)

    “The State idea is not according to my heart. I cannot understand why it is needed. It is connected with narrow-minded and economic obstacles. I believe it is bad. I have always been against it.”
    (Albert Einstein In January, 1946)

    “The slogan Jewish state … is equivalent, in effect, to a declaration of war by the Jews on the Arabs.”
    (Judah Magnes)

    “Though most of the leaders of Zionism in America are sincere and profoundly convinced of the compatibility of Zionism and Americanism, they are nonetheless profoundly mistaken. nationalistic Zionism demands not complete individual liberty for the jew, but group autonomy. …A national Jewish Palestine must neccessarily mean a state founded on a peculiar race, a tribal religion, and a mystic belief in a peculiar soil”
    (American Jewish Philosopher Morris Cohen writing in 1919)

  • Brit

    RS,

    Thanks for your response. We are going round in circules again and I should probably just avoid this topic. It is clear that you are not going to change your perspective and neither am I. You’ll just have to forgive me, therefore, for not responding to a point by point rebtall. I do have some specific points to make however.

    1. Your pathetic non-condemnation of the disgusting anti-semitism on this site shows that your position on anti-semitism is that at best you don’t take it seriously and quite possibly you don’t really care about it so long as it is part of the good fight against the Zionist entity. You think someone saying that the Jews are “truely a despicable race” is “not particularly helpful and should best be avoided but everyone does it. When I was a lad the Left and all right thinking people condemned racism forthrightly without equivocation or context and I am sure you would not react to a criticism (whether just or unjust) of an African or Asian country expressed in expressly racist terms in that mealy mouthed way. It demonstrates a real problem for the anti-Zionism movement and you should be ashamed of yourself.

    2. You’re not a big fan of “foreigners” are you?
    “do you put the ‘rights’ of foreigners above those of the palestinians”
    “a bucnh of foreigners”
    “Foreigners coming into a land, many illegally”
    “an indigenous people living on their own land verusus a bunch of foreigners”
    Sounds like a BNP party political broadcast and I think I see the link between your anti-Zionism and the opposition to the legitimate claims of those descended from the English and Scots foreigners who settled Ulster.

    3. Proponents of a 2 state solution (which I think includes you and I) are de facto Zionists, in that they are proposing a solution which maintains the continued existence of the Jewish State.

    4. I have not sought to use the Holocaust to justify the crimes and wrongs committed by the state of Israel and Zionists in our recent exchange, or ever. I have simply argued that any historical understanding of Zionism, the Jewish identity and the State of Israel is massively incomplete without understanding the history of Holocaust.

    5. You have asked whether I am “saying all jews around the world should be wary and now move to Israel?”. I don’t say that and I don’t know why you think I might. I do say that in the aftermath of the Holocaust it was logical and understandable why Jews in displaced persons camps saw Israel as their only safe haven and the only safe haven for the Jewish people.

    6. Can I say whether no one has every cried anti-semitism to defect attention away from Israel or for some other ulterior motive – personal or political. Of course not.
    But the idea that any signficant proportion of such allegations are motiviated by an attempt (one which has manifestly failed if it was the case) to prevent or stifle debate on Israel, is at best preposterous and at worst sounds like conspiracy theorising. As I say some people have an inappropriate conception of what is anti semitism and see it where it doesn’t exist but that doesn’t mean that they are not motivated by a conern about anti-semitism.
    Cont……

  • Brit

    7. Yes I have heard these “quotes” before and I strongly encourage you to read a useful article which deals, amongst other things, with the use by anti-Zionists of quotes by Zionist to condem them on the basis of their own words. It deals expressly with the Weizmann quote (on page 3) and a number of Ben Gurion quotes. Read it for yourself but it is notable that Weizmann at the time of that diary entry did not even consider Palestine a viable location for the proposed Jewish state.

    http://z-word.com/on-zionism/antisemitism-and-anti-zionism/false-confessions:-how-anti-zionists-incriminate-zionism.html?page=1

    8. And now for some more quotes from Einstein your favourite anti-Zionist.
    “Zionist cause is very close to my heart…. I am very confident of the happy development of the Jewish colony and am glad that there should be a tiny speck on this earth in which the members of our tribe should not be aliens” 1919

    “I realized that only a common enterprise dear to the heart of Jews all over the world could restore this people to health…It was the great achievement of Herzl’s to have realized and proclaimed… the establishment of a national home, or more accurately, a center in Palestine…
    All this you call nationalism… But a communal purpose, without which we can neither live nor die in this hostile world, can always be called by that ugly name. In any case it is a nationalism whose aim not power but dignity and health.If we didn’t have to live among intolerant, narrow minded and violent people, I would be the first to discard all nationalism in favor of a universal humanity”

  • Brit

    9. And some other Zionist quotes

    “Many point out the obstacles which we encounter in our colonization work. Some say that the Turkish law hinders our work, others contend that Palestine is insignificantly small, and still others charge us with the odious crime of wishing to oppress and expel the Arabs from Palestine…
    When the waste lands are prepared for colonization, when modern technique is introduced, and when the other obstacles are removed, there will be sufficient land to accommodate both the Jews and the Arabs. Normal relations between the Jews and Arabs will and must prevail” Ber Borochov 1917

    ” Had we desired to disregard the interests of such workers of the land as are dependent, directly or indirectly, upon lands of the landlords, we could have acquired large and unlimited areas, but in the course of our conversation I have pointed out to you that this has not been our policy and that, when acquiring lands, it is our ardent wish not to prejudice or do harm to the interests of anybody. We feel it our duty to settle the workers and enable them to continue their agricultural occupation, either in the same place or elsewhere. But we have the possibility of acquiring 100,000 dunams without having to make any settlement for the tenants, since the acquisition of such an area will not cause harm to anybody and will not oust anybody from his lands; only after this area has been acquired we shall have to see to a proper settlement for the tenants . . . .” Yehoshua Hankin 1930

    “There must not be one law for the Jew and another for the Arabs….In saying this, I do not assume that there are tendencies toward inequalirty or discrimination. It is merely a timely warning which is particularly necessary because we shall have a very large Arab minority. I am certain that the world will judge the Jewish State by what it will do with the Arabs, just as the Jewish people at large will be judged by what we do or fail to do in this state where we have been given such a wonderful opportunity after thousands of years of wandering and suffering.” Chaim Weizmann 1947

    7

  • RepublicanStones

    ‘ We are going round in circules again and I should probably just avoid this topic.’

    Thats because you keep putting forth the same immoral and illogical points to try and justify zionism as you did on other threads. And once you have been shown how they are wrong, you seem merely content with posting them anew on a fresh thread.

    As can be seen here

    http://sluggerotoole.com/index.php/weblog/comments/its-going-to-run-and-run/P175/

    And indeed here….

    http://www.sluggerotoole.com/index.php/the-enduring-scar-of-sectarianism/

    You seem to keep regurgingatating the same nonsense.

    ‘Your pathetic non-condemnation of the disgusting anti-semitism’

    Where? I have advised Barnshee I don’t think his Language is helpful, and for the record I doubt he hates all jews. I have never before seen him intimate as much, and things said in anger often are a true reflecrtion of oneself. But you Brit seem to think there is no worse crime than anti-semitism. Its equal to islamaphobia, homophobia and the like, all wrong.

    ‘It demonstrates a real problem for the anti-Zionism movement and you should be ashamed of yourself.’

    No I shouldn’t. Im not the one who supports a racist and sectarian ideology. This conflation of judaism and zionism is as much if not more the fault of the pro-Israel side who continually use the cry of ‘anti-semite’ to deflect criticism of Israel.

    ‘Sounds like a BNP party political broadcast and I think I see the link between your anti-Zionism and the opposition to the legitimate claims of those descended from the English and Scots foreigners who settled Ulster.’

    Poor Brit, very poor. If you’ll trawl the threads on this site, you’ll see I’ve absolutely no problem with foreigners or immigrants of any description. Because I realsie it twas only a few generations ago it was we irish who were heading for the boats. Your sad little attempt to try and link the right of palestinains to refuse zionist coveting of their land by intimating i have a dislike of foreigners links in nicely with the Pro-Israel sides tendency to try and tar those they disagree with. I thank you for illustrating my point perfectly.

    ‘Proponents of a 2 state solution (which I think includes you and I) are de facto Zionists, in that they are proposing a solution which maintains the continued existence of the Jewish State.’

    Iditotic to claim Palestinains are zionists just because they are tired of being oppressed and will settle for much less than that which they are entitled to. Its akin to saying those who support any war are defacto sadists because it involves commiting pain on fellow humans. A sad little pedant of an attempt there Brit to score a point.

  • RepublicanStones

    “I have not sought to use the Holocaust to justify the crimes and wrongs committed by the state of Israel and Zionists in our recent exchange, or ever. I have simply argued that any historical understanding of Zionism, the Jewish identity and the State of Israel is massively incomplete without understanding the history of Holocaust.”

    Zionism began many years before the holocaust so it in no way legtimises it. Which you seem to think it does by saying any anlysis of zionism is incomplete with out it. Have you forgot what you have written? Here let me remind you…

    “The Holocuast did not only lead the Jews to conclude (reasonably) that their survival was contingent on establishing a nation state but it also meant that there was no going “back” to the European countries were the locals had stood by or actively welcomed the Holocaust and continued with anti-semitic violence after the end of WW2. There were huge numbers of persons in displaced persons camps. Israel was the only option fo rthem. Without the Holocaust I think there would be no Israel.” (Brit)

    Sounds pretty much like you trying to legitimise the zionism and the state of Israel being plopped ontop of the palestinians, to me.

    ‘I do say that in the aftermath of the Holocaust it was logical and understandable why Jews in displaced persons camps saw Israel as their only safe haven and the only safe haven for the Jewish people.’

    Early zionists and many of those who established the state of Israel were singularly unaffected by the holocaust. Again you seem to think this legitimises zionism and the state of Israel. And you ignore variuous zionist organisations manipulations which meant for many fleeing jews, Palestine was the only option for them. Something which I have mentioned to you before, but again you’re doing the moth thing.

    ‘But the idea that any signficant proportion of such allegations are motiviated by an attempt (one which has manifestly failed if it was the case) to prevent or stifle debate on Israel, is at best preposterous and at worst sounds like conspiracy theorising.’

    Brit you seem unaware of the reception Jimmy Carter’s book recieved from powerful Pro-Israel and Zionist Organisations. And that is just one example among many. There are peltny more others would you like me to continue?

  • RepublicanStones

    “Zionist cause is very close to my heart…. I am very confident of the happy development of the Jewish colony and am glad that there should be a tiny speck on this earth in which the members of our tribe should not be aliens’

    ‘the establishment of a national home, or more accurately, a center in Palestine…’

    Brit you don’t seem to have p[icked up the difference here in Einsteins thinking. A colony as opposed to a state which he mentioned here…

    “The State idea is not according to my heart. I cannot understand why it is needed. It is connected with narrow-minded and economic obstacles. I believe it is bad. I have always been against it.”

    See the difference? I doubt you will.

    As reagrds you other quotes it seems the history of the state of Israel has more closely followed the sentiments in the quotes from leading zionists which i have provided. I don’t think you will be able to deny this with a straight face Brit.

    Btw your link doesn’t work, please post again, i’d be happy to look at it.

    Some reading for you…

    Israeli Apartheid – A beginners guide. Ben White

    Blood and Religion – The unmasking of the jewish Democratic State

    Image and Reality- Norman Finkelstein.

  • RepublicanStones

    *said in anger often are’nt a true reflecrtion of oneself*

    post 6

  • Brit

    http://z-word.com/on-zionism/antisemitism-and-anti-zionism/false-confessions:-how-anti-zionists-incriminate-zionism.html

    RS – try the above link.

    You’ve said nothing new but I note your continued failure to condemn anti-semitic langugage with various bits of wriggling and blaming of Zionists.

  • Brit

    Sorry link doesnt work again – just google Anthony Julies and fake quotes and you’ll get this in the first few hits

  • Brit

    Anthony Julius even

  • Brit

    Some aposite quotes from another Anthony Julius article on certain “fellow travellers”:-

    “antisemitism is not relevant to the positions that they take; they do not recoil from antisemitism when they encounter it; they are insensitive to the presence of antisemitism in their own positions or in the positions that they support. They may not be antisemites themselves, but they collude with antisemitism. They are often found defending antisemites – not guilty of the offence themselves, but quick to champion others who are guilty of it. The distinction I am drawing is between the culpable adoption of antisemitism and a culpable indifference towards it. Many “new anti-Zionists” bear this latter, lesser responsibility. They share space with antisemites, untroubled by the company that they keep; they comprise a species of “fellow traveller” (“bystander” does not quite do the vice justice), the kind of person ready to overlook or excuse everything that is vicious in the cause he supports, the protagonists he admires. ”

    “It is characteristic of much contemporary hostility to Israel and the Zionist cause that its antisemitic aspects are (i) denied, (ii) downplayed, or even (iii) justified by anti-Zionist polemicists. The denial is often frivolously advanced, without any real thought being given to the possibility that antisemitism might taint the defended anti-Zionist position. Even when it is pondered, the denial is often derived from a misunderstanding of antisemitism, which is typically considered to come only from the right, to be State-sponsored, and to speak German. The massive presence of the Holocaust, that is, has occluded the pre-Nazi history of antisemitism – that is to say, what might be termed a hypermnesia in respect of the former has promoted an amnesia in respect of the latter”

    Often, when the antisemitic aspect of a particular remark or political programme is pointed out, the response is dismissive, as if antisemitism itself is of no consequence. The implication is that the characterising of the remark or programme as antisemitic is to miss their “point.” Parties who make these remarks, adopt these programmes, do not mean what they say when they use antisemitic language.Hamas’s Jew-hating desire to eradicate Israel, for example, is taken to be nothing more than a misconceived “maximalism,” a regrettable “weakness” of Palestinian nationalism, one that indeed is to the disadvantage of the Palestinians rather than their enemies.The appropriate tone in which to consider President Ahmadinejad’s genocidal threats and his Holocaust Denial is one of wry understatement And so on. “

  • RepublicanStones

    ‘You’ve said nothing new but I note your continued failure to condemn anti-semitic langugage with various bits of wriggling and blaming of Zionists.’

    Brit, every type of reasoning you have put forward to try and lend some moral legitimacy to the ideology of zionism has been shown to be immoral and illogical in itself, on at least three seperate threads now. the fact of the matter is, it is you who says nothing new. Infact as readers on here can quite plainly see, it is you who time after time regurgitates the same tired old rhetoric in the attempt or vain hope, that…

    A. It will not be challenged
    B. I and others will get tired correcting you on it
    C. That some readers may accept what you say in the old ‘tell a lie often enough’ trick Israel is notorious for.

    Once your arguments have been shown to hold no water you resort to the

    “We are going round in circules again and I should probably just avoid this topic. It is clear that you are not going to change your perspective and neither am I.”

    As a means to avoid admitting your position is immoral and wrong and as a method of forcing yourself to learn nothing new about the conflict and its historical underpinnings, leaving you free and clear to keep repeating the same tired old nonsense. Honestly, anyone would think you are merely interested in winning an argument than actually bothering to learn anything and thus adjust your position, even slightly. But no. And that brings us to the continued inferring of ‘anti-semitism’ on those you disagree with. At various stages, you have claimed there is no attempt to police the debate about israel with the slur of ‘anti-semitism’, whilst you yourself have continously trawled through posts looking for the merest hint of anything which you could possibly label as such. And its patently obvious to any reader who has followed this and other threads of this topic which you have engaged in.

    You then laughably go on to quote at length from Julius. A man who views zionism as good. A man who labels the academic boycott of Israel as being ‘against jews’ and then linked it to Hitler. (What was that you were saying about no such thing as attempts made to silence critics?)

    A man who ridiculed the Independent Jewish Voices group (whose book ‘A Time To Speak Out’ I would urge you to read) and supported Israels collective punishemnt of the palestinians in Gaza strip. In short Julius is precisely the type of Israel supporter you keenly seek to pretend does not exist. Namely one who continually uses the accusation of hidden or covert or overt anti-semitism against critics of Israel and Zionism. You may as well quote Melanie Phillips or Dershowitz ffs. Whilst critics of Israel no doubt include anti-semites, undoubtedly its supporters contain anti-arab, muslim bigots. But does that stop genuine Israeli supporters? No. Do people who are critical of Israel and Zionism continually accuse its supporters of covert, hidden or blatant anti-palestinian/muslim racism? Very seldom compared to the other side of the divide. Why? Because critics of zionism have no need to resort to such scare tactics, their substantive points illustrating the inherent immorality of zionism and unsavoury history and current policies of the Israeli state stand on their feet without needing to be propped up with repeated slurs and accusations.

    There are many examples of the Pro-Israel side labelling criticism of Israel anti-semitic.

    For instance, in 2006 when the synod of the Church of England to divest from Caterpillar Inc. on the basis that it produced and sold to Israel the bulldozers used to demolish palestinain houses. This was neither anti-zionism or anti-semitism, just a protest at an israeli policy. Now what happened? Wellthe UK’s chief Rabbi cliamed it would

    “have the most adverse repercussions on a situation over which it has enormous influence, namely Jewish-Christian relations in Britain.”
    (Rabbi Jonathan Sacks)

    Note how Rabbi Sacks conflated Israel with Judaism.

    The head of the reform movement, Rabbi Tony Bayfield said…

    “There is a clear problem of anti-zionist – verging on anti-semitic – attitudes emerging in the grass roots, and even in the middle ranks of the church.”

    They actually inferred anti-semitism from the Church of England merely protesting against an inhumane policy of house demolitions.

  • RepublicanStones

    Brit have a read of what Rabbi Micheal Lerner learned when he talked to some US politicians…

    “We at Tikkun have been involved in trying to create a liberal alternative to AIPAC and the other Israel-can-do-no-wrong voices in American politics. When we talk to Congressional representatives who are liberal or even extremely progressive on every other issue, they tell us privately that they are afraid to speak out about the way Israeli policies are destructive to the best interests of the United States or the best interests of world peace–lest they too be labeled anti-Semitic and anti-Israel. If it can happen to Jimmy Carter, some of them told me recently, a man with impeccable moral credentials, then no one is really politically safe.”

    Or how about William Kristol (of all people) admitting…

    ‘The mainstream Jewish organizations have played the “anti-Semitism” card so often that it has been devalued.’

  • Brit

    More wriggling RS and still a failure to give a straightforward condemnation of straightforward anti-semitism.
    The fact that you solemnly assert that “every type of reasoning you have put forward to try and lend some moral legitimacy to the ideology of zionism has been shown to be immoral and illogical in itself, on at least three seperate threads now” does not make it true. And I can confirm that I have been utterly unpersuaded that your arguments and “evidence”, none of which is new to me. I have read and heard far more intelligent, nuanced criticisms of Zionism than your hysterical repetition of other peoples slogans.
    I have been debating Israel and Zionism with Israelis, anti-Zionists, Zionists and people from all sorts of perspectives in between since about 1986. I come from the Left and was briefly involved in the Far Left, so I am very familiar with the various critical analyses of Israel. I have had lots of time to come to a settled view on the basics. I am a progressive Zionist and have always opposed the revisionist and Likudnik wing of Israeli politics and the construction and expansion of settlements. I empathise with the plight of ordinary Palestinians and am a two-state solution proponent. Were I an Israeli I would be a Labour or Meretz supporter.
    Accordingly I find it very boring to have these debates and it is not what I come to this site for. But I struggle to refrain from challenging what are in my view irrational and illogical criticisms and demonizations. I don’t expect to persuade you of anything. You may change your position but it will be a gradual and slow process – if it happens at all. Others may, however, at least see there are two sides to the debate and that some of the charges thrown are unsustainable.
    Jewish critics of Israel and Zionism are no better or worse that non-Jewish critics. Likewise supporters. I think the arguments should be engaged with in the same way no matter who is making them. And those who claim some greater insight or moral authority because they are speaking “as a Jew” are missing the point. Those non-Jewish anti-Zionists who are so delighted to have Jews on their side, likewise.

  • Brit

    “And that brings us to the continued inferring of ‘anti-semitism’ on those you disagree with. At various stages, you have claimed there is no attempt to police the debate about israel with the slur of ‘anti-semitism’, whilst you yourself have continously trawled through posts looking for the merest hint of anything which you could possibly label as such. And its patently obvious to any reader who has followed this and other threads of this topic which you have engaged in.”
    There are many examples of the Pro-Israel side labelling criticism of Israel anti-semitic.”

    There are some complex and difficult issues when dealing with Anti-Zionism and Anti-Semitism and in my view both Anti-Zionists and Zionists need to tread carefully and responsibly in these impassioned debates. My view is as follows:-

    1. It is in my view self-evident that anti Zionism, or criticism of Israel (whether malicious, dishonest, genuine, fair, unfair, demonizing or friendly) is not necessarily anti-Semitic. I think we both agree on this.

    2. It is also self-evident that anti-Zionism and /or criticism of Israel can be (as a matter of theory) and sometimes is (as a matter of practice) anti-Semitic. Furthmore expressions and practices within anti-Zionism can be enabling of anti-Semitism (by minimising, denying or apologising for it). Again I think we both agree on this.

    3. For completeness I acknowledge that supporters of Zionism and / or Israel can be anti-Semitic.

    4. So its common ground between us that within anti-Zionism there are anti-Semites, there is anti-Semitic language and thinking and there is an enabling of such thinking.

    5. I am sure we differ markedly on how much of a problem or issue this is within anti-Zionism. I think it is a massive problem which infects much Arab and Muslim anti-Zionism and much western left-liberal anti-Zionism. Go to any anti-Israel march and /or go to any discussion thread on Israel (including those hosted by Leftists or Liberals) and you will see unquestionably anti-Semitic attitudes and expressions and modes of thinking. This fact does not nullify or invalidate the merits of the anti-Zionists arguments which are a separate question.

    5. There is clearly a range of behaviours, thought processes, emotions and expressions which are anti-Semitic and there is not clear, and there is certainly no agreed standard,where to draw the line. I suspect you and I differ on where we draw, but both of us are opposed to anti-Semitism and (I assume in your case and know in mine) we both apply our definitions in good faith.

    6. There are also a range of views as to how important or significant a problem anti-Semitism is per se; whether it is growing and whether or not Jews individually and as a people are under threat. Again I suspect we differ on this. But we both no doubt see it as something bad.

    7. Accordingly we presumably both agree that anti-Semitism from anti-Zionists should be challenged and condemned and that, at the margins, there will be some debate as to whether something is or is not anti-Semitic. As I have said this is nothing to do with the validity of the anti-Zionists arguments.

    8. I presume that you agree that Zionists (amongst others) have a right and obligation to identify and criticise anti-Semitism within anti-Zionism. Sometimes it may be an unconscious ignorant use of anti-Semitic tropes and language and the perpetrator can clarify his/her intended meaning, change the language and apologise. Sometimes the charge will fall into the grey area and there will be a debate whether the behaviour/language/etc is anti-Semitic. I think the area of discussion about the Lobby/lobbies, Jewish “supremacy” and comparison with Nazis throws up a lot of such borderline cases.

    9. On the basis of the contentions with which I assume you agree, as set out above the fact that “There are many examples of the Pro-Israel side labelling criticism of Israel anti-Semitic” does not prove any wrongdoing or dishonesty amongst the “Pro-Israel” side.

    10. I believe that Zionists are under a moral obligation to be very careful about alleging anti-Semitism. Racism is a taboo for most people and an unpleasant claim to face. I think some Zionists or supporters or Israel adopt too broad definitions of anti-Semitism. They contend that anti-Zionism, unless part of a perspective which seeks the removal or all nation-states and borders, is anti-Semitic, or that unfair or malicious criticism of Israel, or the singling out of Israel for criticism whilst abstaining from criticising far worse abuses is anti-Semitic. I understand the logic of these arguments and believe they are held and made in good faith but I strongly disagree with them. I think the kind of anti-Zionist and anti-Israel arguments referred to above are immoral and irrational and worthy of strong criticism, but I don’t think they are necessarily or inherently racist.

    cont………

  • Brit

    11. I also believe that anti-Zionists are under a moral obligation to be careful to avoid and condemn anti-Semitism. If people, Jewish or not, perceive anti-Semitism in their arguments they will switch off or consider the arguments to be motivated by evil intent. There is a long and powerful history of anti-Semitism and it has never gone away (“you know”). I don’t think I need to tell you what it looks like (exaggerations of power and influence, fears of secret conspiracies and Jews looking after their own, allegations of duplicity and dishonesty, amorality etc etc). It is, sadly, widespread in the Arab and Muslim world but by no means limited to that part of the world. There is a widespread perception that anti-Zionism includes significant number of anti-Semites or anti-Semitic arguments/expressions. Furthermore that many in the movement are, to a greater or lesser extent, soft on anti-Semitism, by; Denying it. Minimising it. Justifying it as an unfortunate reaction. Blaming the Zionists and seeing the word “Jew” as actually meaning “Zionist”.

    12. This view is not limited to rabid Zionists but has been propounded by many others. Anti-Zionists like the late Steve Cohen (who probably agrees with 95% of your views on Israel), non-Zionists like the Marxist Alliance for Workers Liberty, and trenchant critics of Israel and its crimes like those on the Engage website have all identified this issue.

    13. I absolutely deny that I have “continuously trawled through posts looking for the merest hint of anything which you could possibly label as (anti-semitic)” as you allege. I am (relatively) interested in debating the substance of your and others anti-Zionist arguments which are not anti-Semitic. I don’t need to show anti-Semitism to refute those arguments and indeed it is conceptually possible that a raving anti-Semite could make valid criticisms of Israel and or its policies. I am almost certainly more sensitive to anti-Semitism than you. I probably adopt a wider definition and think it is a more serious problem (generally and in the anti-Zionist movement) than you. I have challenged certain things you and Greenflag have said because they could be construed in a certain way (whilst always stating that I don’t think you or he are anti-Semites). I have criticised express anti-Semitism from other posters, most recently Barnshee.

    14. I make no apology for doing this and will continue to do so. As I have said your failure to do so, your dismissal of his comments as unhelpful but probably brought about by Zionists conflating judaism and Israel, is a disgrace which confirms the kind of enabling or minimising behaviour that I referred to above.

  • Brit

    15. So there is no reason, moral, intellectual or whatever why a Zionist should not challenge and condemn anti-Semitism, in any form, just because it comes from the mouth of an anti-Zionist or in the context of a criticism of Israel (whether justified or not). It happens and will continue because of the problem of anti-Semitism and because of the failure of the anti-Zionist movement (in general and with important exceptions) to properly acknowledge and condemn it. It will also continue to generate heat and controversy because of the nature of the charge and the grey areas where a comment is arguably but arguably not anti-Semitic.

    16. Such condemnation or challenge does not mean or even suggest that the person making the challenge is motivated by a desire to defend Israel, stifle debate or deflect attention. It has probably happened on occasion but I don’t think it plays any significant role in these allegations. What you are suggesting is a complete lack of good faith and a calculated ploy by people who see legitimate criticism and pretend to see anti-Semitism when they are in fact motivated by a desire to close down discussion. I think this suggests some sort of unified and dishonest pro-Zionist hasbara enterprise which is a vision quite close to some of the worst old conspiracy theories. The Melanie Phillips’ of this world may well see anti-Semitism where it doesn’t exist but that doesn’t mean that they are acting in bad faith, dishonestly to try to protect Israel from criticism. And I think the idea is fantastical. As I have said before if this was anyone’s strategy it has singularly failed given the vast and disproportionate amount of column inches, discussions on on-line fora, political demonstrations and UN time taken up by I/P. In the circumstances you wonder why anyone would try to continue with it (if indeed they every have).

    17. Furthermore the use by anti-Zionists of what is called the ‘Livingstone Formulation’ in response to arguments that they or their arguments or fellow travellers are anti-Semitic is unjustifiable and intellectually dishonest. The formulation, named after my old MP who was an early exponent, goes thus:-
    A) Anti-Zionism / criticism of Israel is not the same as anti-Semitism; and
    B) You are just using this allegation to defect criticism or to muzzle debate on the Zionist crimes; and
    C) (and Optional extra) I of course condemn anti-Semitism, because I am on the Left and / or how could I be anti-Semitic I am progressive, or I am a Jew or Jews support what I say.
    This move ironically (because it is based on a charge that the allegation is motivated by a desire to shut down debate) avoids any need to engage with the specific allegation of anti-Semitism itself by deflecting attention away to the allegedly dishonest motives of the alleger.

    18. If any non-anti-Semitic Anti-Zionist (like you) is accused of anti-Semitism or being some kind of enabler of anti-Semitism by one of the pro-Israel crowd they need not rely on the Livingstone Formulation. If they see no merit in the argument they should robustly say so , explaining why. If they see some merit in the argument (that the language could have been misconstrued, or did unintentionally draw and reinforce stereotypes, or failed to properly condemn one of their fellow travellers) then they could make the necessarily modification and, if necessary, apologise. In making any such concessions there is no need for them to withdraw their anti-Zionist stance and/or criticism of Israel.

    Sadly I think that much of the anti-Zionist movement is unconcerned about anti-Semitism and the very best one gets it a kind of unfeeling token condemnation.

  • RepublicanStones

    ‘I have read and heard far more intelligent, nuanced criticisms of Zionism than your hysterical repetition of other peoples slogans.’

    Sorry Brit, but every single reason you have put forth for the legitimacy for the ideology of zionism is easily refuted from a moral humanist viewpoint. And has been, whether you care to admit it or not is irrelevant. You support an ideology whose aim was/is to create a state for a narrowly defined group of people in a place where the vast majority of original inhabitants did not fit the envisaged format for a citizen of the proposed state. An ideology which to this day denies the return of refugees because of their ethnicity, but still permits people from the other side of the world to come and live there percisely because of their ethno-religious background. Those are the ‘brass tacts’ of Zionism.

    Indeed its is such an ideology which encourages the likes of this…

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2009/sep/29/israel-jewish-arab-couples

    Now as regards, the rest of your post. It seems you’ve taken a rather long winded way of stating that you merely believe i take anti-semitism less seriously than you. Perhaps this is true. But I think the problem lies not in me taking it less serious, because i equate anti-semitism with anti-arabism or islamophobia or homophobia or any kind of irrational dislike of any particular group of people, but in you putting anti-semitism on a peddlestool, you seem to emphasise its somehow more evil than the other types of irrational hate.

    ‘I have challenged certain things you and Greenflag have said because they could be construed in a certain way (whilst always stating that I don’t think you or he are anti-Semites).’

    Herein lies the problem, I will not prevent myself (and I doubt Grennie would either) from speaking out, or pointing out historical realites simply because they may be construed wrongly by some idiots. And thankyou for illustrating yet again how the Pro-Israel lobby (which we both agree exists) seeks to censor criticism of Israel with the inference of possible anti-semitism.

    ‘As I have said your failure to do so, your dismissal of his comments as unhelpful but probably brought about by Zionists conflating judaism and Israel, is a disgrace which confirms the kind of enabling or minimising behaviour that I referred to above.’

    Actually what i did say Brit was that his remarks conflate Judaism with Zionism ‘Something which should be avoided, and unfortunately people on both sides of the divide are guilty of it.’ You still however don’t seem to realise that Zionists are guilty of conflating the two, as evidenced by the Rabbi Sacks quote I provided you with.

    Now as regards the need to examine Anti-semitism emanating from critics of israel, what you fail to recognise is that the Pro-Israel side continually infer it and suggest the other side ignore or enable it, even when no hard and fast evidence in any particular argument is present. The charge or inference of anti-semitism is brought up without neary a bit of evidence in many a discussion on I/P, which you actually demonstrated by your insistence that my or Greenies comments could be construed a certain way.

  • RepublicanStones

    You also seem to deny that the slur of ‘anti-semite’ is an actual tactic of the pro-Israel side, because of the wealth of discussion or information surrounding the conflict. You claim ‘the idea is fantastical.’ right, mind if we have a little look at the evidence?

    How about what a former spokesman for the Israeli consulate in New York, Menachem Shalev said…

    “Of course a lot of self-censorship goes on. journalists, editors, and polticians are going to think twice about criticizing Israel if they know they are going to get thousands of angry calls in a matter of hours. the Jewish lobby is good at orchestrating pressure.”

    Or how about when in 1998 the ADL attempted to prevent the publishing of a book by Finkelstein and Ruth Birn called ‘A Nation on Trial’ which critically analysed Goldhagen’s ‘Hitler’s Willing Executioner’s’ in which Goldhagen didn’t just blame the nazis for the holocaust, he attempted to blame the entire german people. Pushing for Finkelstein and Birn’s book not to be published, Abe Foxman, head of the ADL said the issue wasn’t

    “whether Goldhagen’s thesis was right or wrong but what is ‘legitimate criticism’ and what goes beyond the pale”

    Leon Wieseltier, who was literary editor of the ‘New republic’(pro-Israel) actually intervened perosnally with the head of the publishsing firm telling him…

    “You don’t know who Finkelstein is. He’s poison, he’s a disgusting self-hating Jew, he’s something you find under a rock.”

    Birn, Finkelstein’s co-author was labelled as a ‘member of the perpetrator race’ (shes German), by the Canadian Jewish Congress.

    Or how about in 2006, when Tony Judt was due to give a lecture at the polish consulate in New York. Cancelled because of pressure exerted in calls by the ADL. Which the consul general described as

    “the phone calls were very elegant but may be interpreted as exercising a delicate pressure. That’s obvious—we are adults and our IQs are high enough to understand that.”

    Good old Abe Foxman again.

    How about the many cancellations of the play ‘My Name Is Rachel Corrie’, with the Miami Mosaic theatre cancelling plans to stageit…

    “But Mosaic’s board of directors agreed to drop the play after phone calls, e-mails and comments on a special Rachel Corrie blog — which has now been removed from the company’s website — made it clear that an impassioned, vocal minority strongly objected to the play…”

    Theres also the quote from Rabbi Lerner you seem to have missed earlier..here i’ll quote him again –

    “We at Tikkun have been involved in trying to create a liberal alternative to AIPAC and the other Israel-can-do-no-wrong voices in American politics. When we talk to Congressional representatives who are liberal or even extremely progressive on every other issue, they tell us privately that they are afraid to speak out about the way Israeli policies are destructive to the best interests of the United States or the best interests of world peace—lest they too be labeled anti-Semitic and anti-Israel. If it can happen to Jimmy Carter, some of them told me recently, a man with impeccable moral credentials, then no one is really politically safe.”

    As you can see, there is plenty of evidence to show your assertion is wrong. Doesn’t sound too ‘fantastical’ to me brit eh?

  • RepublicanStones

    The level of scaremongering (which whether you like it or not, your post is a wet dream of an example) has led the likes of Frank Rich from the New York Times to admit

    “Like many other jews, I am perhaps all too willing to believe that the entire world is anti-semitic”

    The continued tactic of the Pro-Israel crowd is one of ‘You need to be careful what you say here, anti-semitism may rear its ugly head’. Scaremongering to avoid proper discussion, plain and simple.

    Now whist you and I will probably never agree, I still cannot fathom how anyone can support such an ideology, whether its ignorance, intullectual dishonesty, or simple racism, it may not even be any of those, but whatever it is, my mind boggles. As regards my non-condemnation of barnshee, I apologise, perhaps it wasn’t forthright enough for your liking, but having encountered barnshee on this site for a good while now, im not going to judge him from one comment which appears was said in anger. He has never before intimated anything of the sort.

  • Brit

    “Now as regards, the rest of your post. It seems you’ve taken a rather long winded way of stating that you merely believe i take anti-semitism less seriously than you. Perhaps this is true.”

    Not at all, that was a completely marginal to the main thrust of my post which attempted to set out, in a detailed and coherent way, my view on the impact of anti-semitism in the I/P debate, within anti-Zionism, and to identify what was just and reasonsble for those opponents of anti-semitism on either side of the divide. You have completely failed to engage with my comments – and simply regurgitated your personal version of the Livingstone formulaton – which is a shame.

    I dont know why you are referring to scaremongoing and I dont know which comments of mine you claim fall into this category. Given your political concerns, the nature of your reading and the circles you move in it wouldnt be surprising that you do not understand the signficance of the problem.

    Your half-hearted apology still falls short of a simple condemnation which any anti-racist would have made long ago and shows how far your anti-Zionism, which I know you feel emotionally is driven by the best of human emotions – sympathy for the dispossesed, justice, humanitariansiam – has taken you away from the basic tenets of decency and left-liberal universalism.

    You’re no fool and I suspect your position will mature as you get older and wiser.

  • RepublicanStones

    ‘And I think the idea is fantastical.’

    Thats what you said Brit in reference to people using the slur of anti-semitism to stifle debate on the I/P conflict.

    As you can see there is plenty of evidence to show the idea is not fantastical, and is indeed an actual tactic employed by some of the pro-Israel crowd. Such as when Abe Foxman accused Ken Roth(himself a jew) of Human Rights Watch of employing “a classic anti-semitic stereotype about Jews”, this in response to a HRW report which was critical of Israel duirng the Lebanon war of 2006. I could keep going with the examples here Brit, but I get the feeling that for you, the idea will simply remain ‘fantastical’.

  • Brit

    RS – you fail to distinguish between condemnation of anti-Zionists / critics of Israel by members of the “pro-Israel crowd” who are:-

    1. Making a complaint about truly anti-semitic content, language, thinking and/or conduct which is truly enabling, minimising, etc of anti-semitism;

    2. Making a complaint about content, language, etc which they (the complainant) genuinely believe to be anti-semitic but which is not (at least on most peoples definitions);

    3. Making an inaccurate but ‘good faith’ complaint as per 2. above but in a way which is careless, negligent, aggressive, abusive, or contrary to values of freedom of speech or academic freedom; and

    4. Dishonestly/falsely making a compliant with the sole or primary objective of defending Israel, deflecting criticism, stifling debate or de-legitimising the source of the criticism.

    There are many examples of 1. and 2. (and I tried in my post – which you didnt seem to read -to explain why there will be lots of arguments which fall into the category of 2.) and certainly some examples of 3, but I think that the idea of 4 as widespread or commonplace is fantastical and you have failed to provide evidence of that. No. 3 is worthy of criticism but very different to 4.

    Racism is about much more than overt hatred or expressly racist views; it is about unconscious peddling of stereotypes or use of racist language by someone who is not racist but just ignorant.

    I think your idea (obviously taken from the likes of Finkelstein) that Zionists and the Pro-Israel crowd are some sort of coherent monolith which swings smoothly into concerted action to “muzzle” critics is very far from the truth. The huge range of Zionisms, and the differnt views, objectives, concepts of Zionism and definitions of anti-semitism, employed are completely missed by this approach. There are de-facto Zionists who accept they existence of the Jewish state (in the Western world at least this is mainstream thinking outside the far left and far right ), there are idealistic Zionists who think that a homeland for Jews in Israel was legitimate but not a state and / or that a Jewish homeland could exist in a majority non-Jewish state, there are secular progressives (like me) who think that all settlements should be dismantled and that Israel is guilty of many wrongs and crimes, there are broadly secular rightwingers like Bibi and extremely secular rightwingers like Lieberman, there are orthodox settlers who think Israel is God-given to the Jews and there are out and out anti-arab racists. This myriad of perspectives is found amongst the pro-israel crowd and diaspora Jews (as well as the small stratum of “as a Jew” “not in my name” anti-Zionst Jews). Your mob think one quote from an Israeli or Zionists somehow de-legitimises all those Zionists, just like me quoting from an anti-semitic holocaust denying Tory or Catholic shows that all Tory’s or Catholics are beyond the pale.

    This essentialising approach to the all powerful and evil Zionists represents an abandoning of free rational enquiry and is just plain wrong.

    Whilst the claim that some people alleging anti-semitism are oversensitive and/or employing inappropriate definitionss of anti-semitism is a reasonable one the suggestion that the cry of anti-semitism is used dishonestly and in bad faith is an incredible one. When the concept of a unified bloc of powerful Zionists and the concept of a dishonest false approach by this bloc are employed together I think we are not so far from the realms of the classic anti-semitic conspiracy theorising.

  • Brit

    I genuinely think that you and a lot of the anti-Zionist crowd (who are clearly are not motiviated by any kind of overt anti-Jewish animus) are not properly schooled in the nature and history of anti-semitism and dont understand its long staying power its failure ever to go away. There is a lack of knowlege about the kinds of stereotypes and modes of thinking which are central to anti-semitism. It is, for example, uncontroversial that Stalinist “Left” made use of anti-Zionist language and rhetoric to make expressly anti-semitic arguments (in Stalins anti-semitic campaigns and subsequent arguments by Eastern bloc nations and mirrored in the pretty clear anti-semitism of the old Workers Revolutionary Party). Babel called anti-semitism the socialism of fools and for some it has always been the anti-imperialism or anti-zionism of fools.

    For Jews to think that anti-semitism is all pervasive and that Jews and the state of Israel are under some existential threat may be objectively irrational but from the perspective of a proper understanding of the size and power of anti-semitism, it is not some sort of bizarre persecution complex but something which given the unbroken history of anti-semitism globally and in last 100 years or so in the middle east it is understandable and even reasonable.

    I would strongly urge you to read at least some of the lenghty but excellent work by David Hirsch on anti-semitism and anti-zionism.

    http://www.yale.edu/yiisa/workingpaper/hirsh/David Hirsh YIISA Working Paper1.pdf

  • RepublicanStones

    ‘I genuinely think that you and a lot of the anti-Zionist crowd (who are clearly are not motiviated by any kind of overt anti-Jewish animus) are not properly schooled in the nature and history of anti-semitism and dont understand its long staying power its failure ever to go away. ‘

    I, nor any of the people I know who share my views, are NOT motivated by overt anti-jewishness, or covert, or hidden anti-jewishness. But thankyou once again Brit for demonstrating quite beautifully the exact kind of scaremongering you seem to deny exists. I am fully aware of the history of anti-semitism, but I don’t think the term anti-semitism should be even brought into the debate about I/P conflict unless one of the participants can be shown to be anti-semitic. The simple fact is that ‘anti-semitism’ is brought in routinely, time after time, by the Pro-israel crowd, without so much as a shred of evidence, to the point where they actually have the nerve to label jews who are also critical of Israel (many of whom had relatives who were holocaust victims) as ‘self-haters’ and enablers. Utter horseshite and representative of a paucity of argument and morality which is indicative of the pro-Israel crowd. You seem to think we anti-zionists need a better understanding of anti-semitism. In essence what you really want, is for us to be less critical by routinely stoking up the fear that ‘anti-semitism may rear its ugly head’. Nonsense. You seen the evidence of some in the Pro-Israel crowd labelling the Church of England as anti-semtic for oppossing the inhumane policy of house demolitions. Instead of lecturing those critical of Israeli policy, the pro-zionist side, need to take a long hard look at themselves.

  • Brit

    RS your rant is just an extended version of the Livingstone formulation.

    If you really think that “In essence what you really want, is for us to be less critical by routinely stoking up the fear that ‘anti-semitism may rear its ugly head” you have either failed to read, or failed to understand my quite lengthy posts on the distinction and interrelation between anti zionism and anti semitism. Neither you, nor the other anti-Zionists don’t need to abandon your anti-Zionism or be less critical of Israel to avoid being guilty of perpetrating, minimising, denying or enabling anti-semitism.

    I note that you have said that you “don’t think the term anti-semitism should be even brought into the debate about I/P conflict unless one of the participants can be shown to be anti-Semitic.” Well even ignoring the fact that people have been undeniably anti-semitic whilst debating I/P on this site your approach has two flaws. Firstly it (implicitly) tolerates the use of language, expressions, modes of thinking which are anti-semitic (including ignorant / innocent conduct) so long as the person doing so is not an anti-semite. Second it places the burden of proof onto the person raising anti-semitism to show that their interlocutor is an anti-semite. It is not just a matter of the person showing that their interlocutor used an anti-semitic phrase (knowingly or not knowingly) or repeated an anti-semitic argument or failed to condemn something which is anti-semitic, they have to prove somehow what is going on in the head of the other person.

    Most modern, and certainly progressive, analyses of racism understand that it is about much more than the hatred of the out-and-out ardent racist and hater. It is about expressions, stereotypes and myths which insinuate themselves and which become accepted and breed racist perspectives. It is possible for someone who is not racist to say something racist without any intention of doing so. Whilst their culpability is very different from that of an out and out racist the intention is not the sole determinant of whether the expression, etc is racist.

  • Brit

    “You seen the evidence of some in the Pro-Israel crowd labelling the Church of England as anti-semtic for oppossing the inhumane policy of house demolitions”

    Oh yeah this “evidence”

    “For instance, in 2006 when the synod of the Church of England to divest from Caterpillar Inc. on the basis that it produced and sold to Israel the bulldozers used to demolish palestinain houses. This was neither anti-zionism or anti-semitism, just a protest at an israeli policy. Now what happened? Wellthe UK’s chief Rabbi cliamed it would
    “have the most adverse repercussions on a situation over which it has enormous influence, namely Jewish-Christian relations in Britain.”
    (Rabbi Jonathan Sacks)
    Note how Rabbi Sacks conflated Israel with Judaism.
    The head of the reform movement, Rabbi Tony Bayfield said…
    “There is a clear problem of anti-zionist – verging on anti-semitic – attitudes emerging in the grass roots, and even in the middle ranks of the church.”
    They actually inferred anti-semitism from the Church of England merely protesting against an inhumane policy of house demolitions.”

    Sacks didn’t allege anti-semtisim or conflate anything, he just predicted that the Church of England choosing to punish the Jewish state in this way would be likely to harm Christian – Jewish relations in the UK. Given that, as a matter of fact, most British Jews are Zionists who identify with Israel, visit it and have relatives there, this prediction is likely to be accurate.

    What Bayfield said was not directed at the divestment campaign but against a broader perspective of antizionist attitudes within the grass roots (and beyond) of the Church of England which verged on (which means mainly stops short of) anti-semitism. The last time he mentioned that divestment campaign (in the Guardian) he said:-

    “The problem is the determination of the Church of England to invest ethically. From which, it is inferred, investing in Caterpillar, the makers of bulldozers used by Israelis to demolish Palestinian houses, is a bad thing. Disinvesting in Caterpillar has been on the agenda for some time, but when a resolution was passed by the Synod recently, Sir Jonathan went as ballistic as an urbane Oxbridge Jew ever goes”

    As you will see no express criticism of the CofE’s policy and certainly no accusation that it is anti-semitic.

    Is Bayfield right? I could make a coherent argument that the CofE with its simplistic anti-Zionism and historical Christian religious judeophobia has combined in exactly this way. But even if he is wrong this does not suggest, let alone prove, that his comments were intended to silence the debate or to protect Israel, or were made in bad faith in the absence of genuine belief in them. Perhaps he’s touchy, perhaps hes more perceptive and in-tune with the issues that you – either way none of that proves your arguments and all you have done is make the kind of misleading allegations that you accuse the Zionists of doing.

  • RepublicanStones

    ‘you have either failed to read, or failed to understand my quite lengthy posts on the distinction and interrelation between anti zionism and anti semitism.’

    Brit you fail to realise it is exactly your lengthy posts which attempt rather crudely to conflate anti-zionism with anti-semtism. You continually refer to your beloved ‘formula’ and continually raise the spectre of anti-semitism. Infact the amount of times you have mentioned both ‘anti-zionism’ and ‘anti-semitism’ in the same breath anyone would think you are trying to equate the two.

    ‘Neither you, nor the other anti-Zionists don’t need to abandon your anti-Zionism or be less critical of Israel to avoid being guilty of perpetrating, minimising, denying or enabling anti-semitism.’

    I assume that ‘don’t in the first sentence is misplaced? In any event, I would never temper or rein my criticism just because idiots might use it for succour. To do so would be intellectually dishonest. But your ‘legnthy’ posts on anti-zionism and anti-semitism are indeed scaremonerging whether you like it or not.

    ‘Well even ignoring the fact that people have been undeniably anti-semitic whilst debating I/P on this site’

    Barnshee aside, who else are you accusing of it?

    ‘Second it places the burden of proof onto the person raising anti-semitism to show that their interlocutor is an anti-semite.’

    Well don’t we live in a society where the burden of proof does indeed rest on the accuser? Surely its incumbent upon someone making an accusation to provide evidence for their claim.

    “Sacks didn’t allege anti-semtisim or conflate anything, he just predicted that the Church of England choosing to punish the Jewish state in this way would be likely to harm Christian – Jewish relations in the UK. Given that, as a matter of fact, most British Jews are Zionists who identify with Israel, visit it and have relatives there, this prediction is likely to be accurate.”

    Nice try, but Sacks is the chief Rabbi of the UK, among whose flock number plenty of Jews opposed to such policies and indeed non-zionist jews as well. Are you saying he is only the chief rabbi for Jews who support such policies? And anyway how is the CoE divesting from Caterpillar ‘punishing the Jewish state’? It seems after your unsuccessful attempt to deny Rabbi Sacks conflated Israel and Judaism, you yourself have gone right ahead and done it.

    ‘What Bayfield said was not directed at the divestment campaign but against a broader perspective of antizionist attitudes within the grass roots (and beyond) of the Church of England which verged on (which means mainly stops short of) anti-semitism.’

    Actually its reported in the Times. Unless you have a link to where rabbi Bayfield said this before the divestment decision.

    “Jewish leaders began planning a collective response to the synod move at a meeting on Tuesday called by Sir Jonathan and attended by representatives from the Jewish community in Britain.

    Rabbi Tony Bayfield, the head of the Reform movement and a co-president of the Council of Christians and Jews, said: “There is a clear problem of anti-Zionist — verging on anti-Semitic — attitudes emerging in the grass roots, and even in the middle ranks of the Church.”
    (Timesonline)

    Your continued attempt to deny that the charge of anti-semitism is used to silence critics of Israel is absurd. With all the evidence there is, and your attempt to sink as low as pedantry in order to deny it, is quite entertaining.

    but sure seeing as you’re such a fan I’ll provide some more…

    How about when Ruth Wedgwood (neo-con and member of Defense Policy Board chaired by Richard Perle)
    was aked by a German journalist why they should support the Iraq war…Wedgwood said..

    “I could be impolite…and remind Germany of its special relationship with Israel.”

    Perhaps Brit you’ll be so kind as to inform me what she meant?

    Or how about when Haaretz coloumist Ari Shavit said Israel could act with impunity because “we have the Anti-Defamation League…Yad Vashem and the Holocaust Musem”.
    Tell me what you think he meant?

    Or how about when a bunch of real anti-semites were uncovered working for Bush the first in 1988 working for his Ethnic Outreach Committee? The likes of the ADL weren’t too bothered because their anti-semitism was ‘antique and anemic’ as they said in a New Republic article. ‘Hatred of Israel’ was the anti-semitism they should be worried about, apparently.

  • RepublicanStones

    Honestly Brit, I have to laugh. You deny the slur of ‘anti-semitism’ is used, you think the idea ‘fantastical’ and ‘incredible’. But with zionist groups getting lectures cancelled, attempting to have scholarly works from going to publication, with the likes of Melanie Phillips labelling a group of liberal co-religionists as ‘Jews for Genocide’. You try and excuse it by saying that perhaps some people have too broad a definition of ‘anti-semitism’. What kind of defintion does it take to try and prevent work you’ve never even read from being published, or to demand lectures you haven’t even attended are cancelled? That coupled with your lenghty posts regarding anti-semitism and anti-zionism seem self-fulfilling.

  • Guest

    Rs,
    Please continue.The Brit(who misrepresents any real brit ) has me on the floor.The merry go round is going round!top class;

  • Brit

    RS, I really think it is a shame that you have failed to engage with me and my arguments on this topic. I’m pleased, though surprised, that my comments give rise to hilarity.

    Whilst we strongly and irredeemably disagree on the nature of the I/P conflict and a just solution to it I thought that as opponents of anti-semitism we could reach some basic common ground, that:-

    1. Anti-Zionism / criticism of Israel is not necessarily anti-Semitic.

    2. But it sometimes is anti-semitic and/or enabling of or soft on anti-semitism. See David Duke as an example of the first and Neumann on the later.

    3. That all right thinking people have a right and an obligation to identify and criticise conduct which falls within 2. above

    4. More specifically the obligation in 3 applies to Anti-Zionists critics of Israel and also Zionists or pro-Israelis – however both sides must tread carefully to avoid (in the case of the Anti-Zionists) being soft on anti-semitism and Zionists must tread carefully as to how and whether such accusations are made.

    5. Some such criticism of Anti-Zionists will occur when anti-semitic / enabling conduct per 2 has taken place

    6. Some such criticism of Anti-Zionists will occur when such conduct is not anti-semitic (but genuinely believe to be so).

    7. Some (I concede though consider it very rare and exceptional) erroneous criticism per 6 above will be solely or mainly motivated by a desire not to point out or criticise anti-Semitism but to stifle debate, deflect attention or de-legitimise the Anti-Zionist argument or advocate.

    In my view these contentions are basically self-evident.

    It is important for you and I and indeed for all reasonable people interested in the I/P debate to agree on these kind basic ground rules in order that we can have the debate without being side tracked into the emotional and highly charged scenario of Jews/Zionists feeling that bad faith and racism being used against them and non anti-semitic Anti-Zionists and critics of Israel feeling hurt by inaccurate accusations and a feeling that the charge is being thrown their way unfairly. If I consider my opponent an anti-Semite I will not engage or debate further with him/her and I would imagine that if you encounter someone making bad faith accusations of anti-semitism against you you would also switch off.

    You still seem confused as to my basic position. Firstly suggesting that I am “conflating” AZ with AS. Conflating is a quite broad term but perhaps you are suggesting that they are similar or even equivalent.

    “Brit you fail to realise it is exactly your lengthy posts which attempt rather crudely to conflate anti-Zionism with anti-Semitism.”

    “The amount of times you have mentioned both ‘anti-Zionism’ and ‘anti-semitism’ in the same breath anyone would think you are trying to equate the two.”

    I am mentioning them in the same breath because I am trying to disentangle them from one another and explore, in a fairly consensual way, the distinctions and overlaps. When I say overlap I do not mean a conceptional overlap but an overlap in people and or expressions. David Duke is an Anti-Zionist and Anti-Semite that doesn’t meant that all anti-Zionists are or that there is anything inherently racist or anti-semitic in anti-Zionism. I have said this, expressly, about five times now.

  • Brit

    “I assume that ‘don’t in the first sentence is misplaced? In any event, I would never temper or rein my criticism just because idiots might use it for succour. To do so would be intellectually dishonest. But your ‘lengthy’ posts on anti-Zionism and anti-semitism are indeed scaremongering whether you like it or not.”

    Your posts represent denial and enabling whether you like it or not. You allege scaremongering but I have not tried to identify the size and severity of the problem of anti-semitism, and have expressly said that there are reasonable differences of opinion about the nature of the beast. My posts have been about the abstract principles assuming that some anti-Zionism is anti-semitic and some isn’t.. The principles stand or fall whether it is 1% or 50%.

    Yes the don’t was a typo. And I know you would never tempter your criticism – that’s just what I was saying FFS – that you don’t need to. You can argue that Israel is a cross between Nazi Germany, Apartheid South Africa, the Deep South and Conquistador Mexico if you like without being inherently anti-semitic. Asking anti-Zionists to avoid and condemn anti-semitic conduct is not asking them to temper or rein in criticism. It is not content with “idiots might use for succour” that I am complaining about it is content which is expressly or borderline anti-semitic or conduct which denies, minimises or fails to properly condemn anti-semitism. It’s a reasonable request and its nothing to do with what idiots think. Nor does compliance with the request mean that you need to temper criticism.

    Now I would argue strongly against arguments that Israel is, for example, like Nazi Germany or Mexico of the conquistadors is factually inaccurate and morally contemptible but not that is it anti-semitic. That is a separate point.

    “Barnshee aside, who else are you accusing of it?”

    I’ve no desire to re-open old allegations, because despite your beliefs to the contrary I am not interested in de-legitimising people and crying “anti-semitism” but rather in having the debate. In any event it is not material to the merits of my arguments.

    “Well don’t we live in a society where the burden of proof does indeed rest on the accuser? Surely its incumbent upon someone making an accusation to provide evidence for their claim.” That’s a gross oversimplification of the general rules of law and morality. Proof, in the legal sense, will be established by the court drawing inferences but the proof you are talking about seems to be about getting inside someone’s head. In terms of evidence I am happy to rely on prima-facie evidence to make an accusation that an [removed]though not necessarily the person responsible) is anti-semitic. If someone criticism a corrupt black politician called him a fucking n*gger or a member of a despicable race I’m sure we could legitimately consider him a racist without having to go inside his head or get a copy of his BNP membership card. If someone criticising the same person made some reference to sexual prowess or rhythm or said “hes bananas” then I would challenge it not on the basis that the commenter is an out and out anti-black racist but that he is, consciously or unconsciously, drawing on or re-enforcing racist stereotypes. Note that in neither example does the criticism of the racism mean that the criticism of the individual as being corrupt is not a valid and legitimate one. I apply the same rules to all forms of racism (and as I have said before this is something that I grew up with being part of the Left, which should be axiomatic to all progressives).

  • Brit

    “Nice try, but Sacks is the chief Rabbi of the UK, among whose flock number plenty of Jews opposed to such policies and indeed non-Zionist Jews as well. Are you saying he is only the chief rabbi for Jews who support such policies? And anyway how is the CoE divesting from Caterpillar ‘punishing the Jewish state’? It seems after your unsuccessful attempt to deny Rabbi Sacks conflated Israel and Judaism, you yourself have gone right ahead and done it.”

    Nice try but you have missed my point again. You relied on Sacks’ comments as evidence that anti-semitism is falsely alleged to prevent criticism of Israel. When I showed that Sacks made no such allegation (still less an allegation which was shown to be made in bad faith to protect Israel) you have made a separate criticism of conflating Jews and Israel. Again that nice, stretchy word “conflate”. The relationship between Jews and Israel is that the large majority of Jews are Zionists (in the broadest sense), supporters of Israel, visit the country fairly regularly and have friends and possibly family there. This does not mean that Jews, as a race/collective entity, or as individuals are responsible for the actions of Israel (some of which they may vehemently oppose and some of which they may vehemently support). The first conflation is correct the second is false.

    Bayfield made a comment on the existence of anti-semitism in the CoE. His arguments were not directed at the divestment campaign and did not allege that it was anti-semitic (which in any event would not mean that any such allegation was motivated by bad faith desire to protect Israel). This interpretation is totally consistent with the Times article

    A journalist inserted a quote which made the article more juicy but which was not actually relevant – a bit of conflating for you – that’s all. Times journalist in spin / inaccuracy shocker!! The fact that a load of the kitsch anti-Zionists seized on the article to prove their conspiracy theory/fantasy of the crying wolf of Zionists does not mean that it is accurate.

    Whether Bayfield’s view is right or even reasonable is not relevant to your contentions although from my perspective I think it is an arguable contention and I would not be amazed were it broadly accurate.

    Presumably you know that Bayfield is a liberal Zionist to the left of Sacks rather than some baying Likudnik right-winger. He recently wrote that “occupation is always disastrous for both occupied and occupier. The Palestinian people have their right to make the universal journey from slavery to freedom.” The idea that he would have gone further than Sacks is ridiculous.

  • Brit

    “but sure seeing as you’re such a fan I’ll provide some more…

    How about when Ruth Wedgwood (neo-con and member of Defense Policy Board chaired by Richard Perle)
    was aked by a German journalist why they should support the Iraq war…Wedgwood said..

    “I could be impolite…and remind Germany of its special relationship with Israel.”

    Perhaps Brit you’ll be so kind as to inform me what she meant?”

    Not a “neo con”!!! This is a term of unthinking abuse like “Zionist”, when in the mouth of the kitsch undergraduate anti-imperialists, not sure what it is meant to prove here.

    Given that I don’t know anything about her I cant inform you what she meant. Perhaps she was irritated by the journalist and thought that mentioning WW2 would humble or upset him/her. Perhaps she was of the view that the responsibility of the German state towards the Jews and the Jewish state was a relevant factor in Germany deciding whether to support a War which the Israeli government and most Israelis (then) supported (I think that Israeli opinion is pretty similar to that in Britain with most people thinking it was a mistake).

    This has nothing to do with anti-Zionism, criticism of Israel and bad faith accusations of anti-semitism, however.

    “Or how about when Haaretz coloumist Ari Shavit said Israel could act with impunity because “we have the Anti-Defamation League…Yad Vashem and the Holocaust Musem”.

    Tell me what you think he meant?”

    I’m not familiar with the journalist so don’t know what he meant. Perhaps we was suggesting that because of the huge stain of the crimes against the Jews that Israel should be given a free moral pass to do whatever they wanted. Maybe he was being satirical and criticising those (fellow) Israel Zionists who seemed to think that Israel had the right to do what it wanted. I’ll try to find the relevant materials in due course.

    Again there is no allegation of anti-semitism being used against Anti Zionists dishonestly (or at all) to defend Israel here. Again this does not prove your contention.

    “Or how about when a bunch of real anti-Semites were uncovered working for Bush the first in 1988 working for his Ethnic Outreach Committee? The likes of the ADL weren’t too bothered because their anti-semitism was ‘antique and anemic’ as they said in a New Republic article. ‘Hatred of Israel’ was the anti-semitism they should be worried about, apparently. ”

    Some campaigners against anti semitism in the US apparently see the main vehicle and threat anti-semitism within the “liberal-left” Islamist anti-Zionism as opposed to the traditional Far Right / Nazi form. This is a respectable argument which is mainstream and found in recent Parliamentary and EU reports on anti-Zionism. However even if wrong it does not provide you with any kind of evidence to support your contention.

  • Brit

    “Honestly Brit, I have to laugh.”

    Good. You come across as very humourless and holier-than-thou. I think you could do with a laugh. (sorry for man playing)

    “You deny the slur of ‘anti-semitism’ is used, you think the idea ‘fantastical’ and ‘incredible’”

    I don’t deny that allegations of anti-semitism of made against certain anti-Zionists (I expressly said as much). Nor do I deny that the charge is sometimes misplaced (ditto). What I deny is that the allegation is made falsely and in bad faith with the main intention of defending Israel, protecting it from criticism and showing that its critics are motivated by anti-semitism.

    The idea that this is a widespread and concerted phenomenon is a fantastical and incredible conspiracy theory which has sadly been repeated so many times by the anti-Zionists that lots of people (including many who are not even anti-Zionists) believe it to be true. What you are saying is that there are a large group of people (the large majority Jews) who see a comment or a paper or a pamphlet and think “Oh no these people are showing up the truth about Israel, that it is colonial-settler state based on racism and racial supremacism hell bent on denying the indigenous people any rights and to murder them into submission, what can I do…Oh yeah I will claim that they are actually a bunch of anti-semites”. It is a fantastical view of the world and one which, amongst other things, fails to understand that Jewish Zionists and non-Jewish supporters of Zionism (which encompasses a range from Marxists, social democrats, liberals, Conservatives, racists, Orthodox, Reform, Secular and Atheist and Christians) mainly believe that there is a moral justification for Zionism so there is no need to deflect attention away.

    “But with Zionist groups getting lectures cancelled, attempting to have scholarly works from going to publication, with the likes of Melanie Phillips labelling a group of liberal co-religionists as ‘Jews for Genocide’.”

    I am a free speech fundamentalist. I have no problem with the worst of Nazis and Islamists expressing their views in their own journals, websites and demos (many on the liberal-left are not). I can see both sides of the arguments for “no platform” against the Far Right and other racists. Racists may be free to peddle their filth but the Guardian or Oxford University are under no obligation to let them speak. Accordingly I think it is reasonable for Zionists to apply “no platform” approach to anti-semitic racism (whether from the AntiZionst Left, the Anti-Zionists Islamist Right or the traditional Far Right, although on balance I disagree. Where opponents of anti-semitism depart from a free speech commitment they will be on the other side of the argument from me, but even this does not amount to a false cry of anti-semitism as you allege.

    And Melanie Phillips is a headcase who certainly doesn’t speak for most liberal or progressive Zionists but again if she considers that Jews who support the abolition of the state of Israel are proposing a policy which will lead to the mass murder or expulsion of the Israeli Jews (not a barking hypothesis) then this does not amount to a false allegation of anti-semitism to stifle debate.

    “You try and excuse it by saying that perhaps some people have too broad a definition of ‘anti-semitism’.” The relevance of this is the huge difference, which you more or less brush aside, between good faith (but inaccurate) accusations of anti-semitism and bad faith false accusations motivated by a desire to protect Israel. It is arguable that a boycott, for example, because it discriminates disproportionately against Jews and cannot be objectively justified in the absence of similar approaches to other objectionable states is anti-semitic. Applying the relevant legal tests it probably is anti-semitic in the “institutional” sense but I have never argued that boycott campaigns are necessarily anti-semitic.

    “What kind of defintion does it take to try and prevent work you’ve never even read from being published, or to demand lectures you haven’t even attended are cancelled? That coupled with your lenghty posts regarding anti-semitism and anti-zionism seem self-fulfilling. ”

    Well I’ve dealt with the no platform and free speech issue and the reference to “self-fulfilling” seem a bit blame the victimish. Zionists are to blame by conflating Jews/Israel, but treating arabs like sh1t and by falsely crying wolf. Anti-semitism is wrong and the perpetrator should be condemned outright.

  • Brit

    That should have read “What I deny is that *save for in very occasional one off instances* the allegation is made falsely and in bad faith with the main intention of defending Israel, protecting it from criticism and showing that its critics are motivated by anti-semitism.”

  • Brit

    http://www.nybooks.com/articles/23192

    Even Vanessa Redgrave is a Zionist!

  • Brit

    I’ve searched for the Avi Shavit quote on the Ha-aretz archives and on the internet generally and cannot track down the original source. I can only find a reference in the despicable book by the your hero Finkelstein. I note the material words “act with impunity” appear to have been Finkelstein’s rather than Shavit’s. In Finks book the footnote is a reference to Chomsky so sounds like he’s recycling without looking at original sources.

    Though its not directly relevant to our discussion my search for that quote saw it repeated and relied on by lots of on-line crazies and out and out anti-semites (Islamist and Far Right)

  • RepublicanStones

    Brit, jesus wept. You continually seem to know the intention of people you have never met and the meaning of what they say, which conflicts with the numerous academics and journalists who quote them, often after having been present when they said it or interviewed them face to face. You post at length, when you could cut your posts down by at least 2 thirds. You deny the slur of anti-semitism is used to stifle debate even though there are many politicians, academics and journalists who know better, and have been on the recieving end. Attempts at halting publishing of books, demanding lectures are cancelled, but the Grand Brit, can say with certainty, that it is never used even where there are actual Jews themselves who admit that it is. What a world you must live in Brit, truly amazing to know what people are thinking and what their intentions are, even though you’ve never met them and their actions and intentions conflict with your reality.

    As other readers of this thread can quite clearly see, your version of reality is not exactly the real one. Your defence of the the Pro-Israel lobby is sterling, but your continued insinuation that you know what people mean (against the reams upon reams of evidence) is most entertaining.

    ‘“act with impunity” appear to have been Finkelstein’s rather than Shavit’s’

    You’ll notice the “act with impunity” wasn’t in quotation marks Brit.

    Heres the full quote if you’d like…

    We believe with absolute certitude that now, with the White House and Senate in our hands along with the Pentagon and the New York Times, the lives [of Arabs] do not count as much as our own. Their blood does not count as much as our blood. We believe with absolute certitude that now, when we have AIPAC [the Israel lobby] and [Edgar] Bronfman and the Anti-Defamation League, we truly have the right to tell 400,000 people that in eight hours they must flee from their homes. And that we have the right to rain bombs on their villages and towns and populated areas. That we have the right to kill without any guilt.”

    Its from Haaretz coloumnist Shavits peice which appeared in the NYTimes.

    And why do you think Finkelstein’s book is ‘despicable’?

    A study by a Jew whose Mother survived the holocaust of the manner in which many holocaust survivors get little or none of the compensation paid to various groups entrusted to carry out such payment? What is dispicable about that? Is he not entitled to carry out such a study? Its pretty obvious you haven’t even read it, but merely accepted the ‘Dershowitz-type’ rhetoric on it.

    ‘Though its not directly relevant to our discussion my search for that quote saw it repeated and relied on by lots of on-line crazies and out and out anti-semites (Islamist and Far Right)’

    It is directly relevant, because it demonstrates how Israel can with impunity, many politicians are afraid to speak out, why? And again it seems you think if a bunch of idiots latch onto something, we should not examine it. Scaremongering yet AGAIN.

    Please Brit, as Guest said, more roundabouts ;)

  • Brit

    RS,

    Again a total failure to engage with what I have said and I’m not going to continue this after today.

    On the Shavit piece I cant find the article from the NYT on-line sources despite searching for a while. I’d be grateful for a link to the piece

    The version I found (from some anti-Zionist site that I’d never heard of) which was based on a translation from Hebrew apparently read as follows:-

    “We believe, in the most absolute manner, with the White House, the Senate, the Pentagon, and the New York Times on our side, that their lives do not have the same weight as ours. We are convinced that with Dimona (Israel’s atomic site), Yad Vashem and the Shoah Museum in our hand, we have the right to compel 400,000 people to evacuate their homes in 8 hours”

    Interesting differences from ‘your’ version

    The various US institutions are on the side of Israel (in the Lebannon War, which invoked huge opposition within the evil Zionist entity) rather than “in their hands”. The former proposition a reasonable one, the latter a bizarre conspiracy theory beloved of anti-semities across the world.

    Also no reference to the “Zionist lobby” organisations.

    Perhaps “my” version is inaccurate and yours is the right one but even if this is the case none of it supports your contention that Zionists make false accusations and insinuations of anti-semitism to deflect criticism away from Israel. And even if he did the fact that someone (Jew, Israeli, Muslim, Palestinian, American, Irish) claims that Zionists make such false accusations does not prove that it is the case. Lots of people believe and claim that the Protocols of the Elders of Zion represents the truth, lots of peoples religious beliefs are incredible and fantastical.

    You’ve not engaged with my argument and all of your “proofs” have been shown not to prove your contention. You’ve been swimming in the Ant-Zionist waters for so long that you have just accepted the thesis of crying wolf as unquestionable. Much easier for you to do so, emotionally and intellectually, than having to acknowledge the possibliity that some of your fellow travellers are motivated by or reinforcing or enabling anti-semitism.

    As David Hirsh, whose writings on this area I would commend to you said:-

    “It is rare that Jewish communal or Israeli spokespeople make the evidently false claim that criticism of Israeli policies is necessarily antisemitic. Neither does anybody serious treat criticism as though it was demonization. The contention that criticism is denounced as antisemitic nearly always functions as a straw-man argument. The difficult arguments that some over-enthusiastic ‘critics’ of Israel are reluctant to deal with are that criticism of Israel is often expressed using rhetoric or images which resonate with antisemitism; or that criticism often holds Israel to higher standards than other states, and for no morally or politically relevant reason; or that it often employs conspiracy theory; or that it uses demonizing analogies; or that it casts Jews as oppressors; or that criticism is made in such a way as to pick a fight with the vast majority of Jews; or that the word criticism is really being used to stand for discriminatory practices against Israelis or against Jews, such as ‘boycotts’. These much more serious and realistic charges are too often brushed off by blithely employing the Livingstone Formulation: ‘For far too long the accusation of antisemitism has been used against anyone who is critical of the policies of the Israeli government.’”

    And as for your reference to “actual Jews themselves who admit that it is” I’ve told to you before the fact that an argument or factual claim is made by “a Jew” does not make it valid or true. The same tests and methods of validitation apply whether Jew or gentile makes it.
    This eager reliance on your “Jewish” sources has echoes, unconscious no doubt, of a long history of anti-semitic discourse which looks for the Jews to admit their evil consipiracies, from the torturers of the Spanish Inquisition to the Protocols.

  • Brit

    As for the Fink I admit that I havent read the whole book. I wouldn’t want to support the man’s efforts by wasting money on his book and would be ashamed to buy the thing. I have, however, read extracts and I have read numerous reviews, including reviews by Zionists, anti-Zionists and people inbetween (de facto Zionists).
    The main thrust of the book is not that he is concerned about how some survivors have not received their full reward and I’m afraid you are either making this contention dishonestly or you are a lot more stupid than I thought.
    The book draws on and re-inforces the notion that the Holocaust is used dishonestly by Jews and Zionists to support their agendas. The greatest crime of the 20th Century and one of the very greatest crimes of humanity which should be studied in depth and understood for what it tells us about evil, human nature, modern politics and how we may prevent such crimes in the future, is used by him as a stick to bash Zionists. The Holocaust should be understood, accordingly to Fink, not as an event but as a series of myths and claims used by Israel to con money out of peole and to protect the Zionst state from criticsm.
    The language used, like “chutzpah” and “holocuast industry” is exactly that used by the Far Right who talk about the “race relations industry” and some of his arguments would be found, pretty much unchanged, in any Far Right or Islamist anti-semitic text. And how they love a Jew who admits “the truth”.
    He wants to be shocking and make a name for himself but I think it’s a disgusting book. Part of a spectrum of Holocuast revisionism and abuse of the memory of the Holocaust (see the attached article

    http://www.engageonline.org.uk/journal/index.php?journal_id=14&article_id=58)

    The scholarship and use of sources has also been heavily criticised across the board. Getting your undestanding of Zionism from the likes of Fink is like getting your German history from Irvine.

  • Brit

    “Israel can with impunity, many politicians are afraid to speak out, why?”

    Now its my turn to laugh. The terrified politicians, cowed acaedemics, scared populations, silenced journalists. No mention of Israel and certainly no criticism because The Lobby will falsely brand them anti-semites and get them sent beyond the bale of civilised debate.

    Israel acting with impunity, doing what it wants, in the safe knowledge that The Lobby will protect it.
    The Israeli government is criticised massively in Israel, the middle east, the West, the Third World, you name it. Search for Israel on the web, or on the archives of the BBC or New York Times or their equivalents around the world and see whether you find mention or criticism of Israel.

    The chilling accusation of anti-semitism doesn’t seem to have stopped mass demonstraters protesting against the recent Israeli invasions of Gaza and Lebannon. Or many Trade Unions and other organistions from proposing to boycott Israel (and Israel alone).

    Not only does Israel face loud and widespread criticsim and condemnation throughout the world (including in Israel!) but it faces much more criticsm and much more space than other similar or worse occupations, inter-ethnic conflicts, national disputes – China, Iran, Kurdistan, Sri Lanka, East Timor, Russia, Chechnya..the list could go on.

    Much of the criticsm Israel faces is completely irrational in its intensity and scope – that it is the most evil state in the world or that it poses the biggest threat. People do criticise the USA and Russia and North Korea but rarely do such criticisms reach such apolyptic proportions nor do they involve the kind of demonisation and de-humanistion that Anti Zionists employ. From such people you would get the impression that North Korea and China are cuddly regimes compared ot the Zionist entity.

    In much of the world, and particulary the middle east, the level of hatred of Israel is mixed up with anti-semitism and bizarre consipiracy theories about the power of world Jewry in the media, finance, in American government etc.
    Israel gets much more than its fair share of criticism not less.

    You think it takes bravery to criticise Israel. Try being a Russian journalist critical of Russia or any journalist critical of Islam. That is real bravery.