Casual anti-semitism rampant

Felix Quigley is not happy about what he sees as a casual tolerance of anti semetism, here on Slugger and amongst Republicans on the web.

  • spartacus

    This rant is worthy of a discussion, mick? please…

    Chris gaskin can defend himself, i’m sure, but i went to check the source of Quigley’s discomfort, and found, as i suspected, that he had deliberately distorted Gaskin’s argument. Quigley writes:

    “In this contribution by Gaskin that I am looking at Gaskin agrees with the ANTISEMITIC Mullah of Iran in wanting to wipe Israel off the map.”

    and quotes CG writing that he “despise(s) Israel with my every waking bone, they have turned into what they fought against.”

    He leaves out the following sentence, however:

    “…but to call the Holocaust a “myth” is just disgusting and as believable as Unionist claims that there was no widespread discrimination against Catholics since the foundation of the Northern ‘State’.”

    Q: Does Slugger really want to give this lunatic Quigley blogspace merely to willfully misrepresent someone else’s argument?

  • mwk

    many other republican neoleftists who centre around Anthony McIntyre’s republican website called the Blanket

    Having been published in The Blanket four times now, I can claim not to be a Republican (or a repbulican) or neoleft (or any left at all), so that line made me raise an eyebrow.

    Though I am aware that there is blinkered acceptance of Palestinian wrongs by those on the Left, and more than even acceptance by those further than that in Ireland.

  • mark

    Why is Slugger’s covering a childish (one-sided) flame war? Especially when the content linked to would not pass the commenting policy here and response could not be given in kind.

    Mr Gaskin, rise above Felix’s abuse and name calling. Ignore Mr Fealty trying to make it a more widely discussed issue.

    Unbelievable.

  • Surely, if Chris was anti-semitic, he wouldn’t be such an admirer of Ronnie Kasrils?

  • Brian Boru

    Nationalists are generally not anti-semitic, but we are definitely more in sympathy with the Palestinians because they are being oppressed by Israel which has expelled hundreds of thousands of them from their lands, and replaced them with millions of Jewish settlers from the US especially. In that respect they are suffering what the Irish did. This is certainly not to mitigate the terrible genocide suffered by the Jews at the hands of the abominable Nazis. But the Israelis should learn from their own history as an oppressed people and not visit this experience on others.

    We also need to avoid confusing “Israel” the state and “The Jews” the people. Criticising Israel is not necessarily anti-semitic, any more than criticising the French government is anti-French. No country, whatever ius history, should be above criticism.

  • Mick, ya just can’t pass up tweaking the dragon’s tail, can ya?

    I am pleased that Quigley has found a way to self-expression without making a nuisance of himself. I am even more pleased that the damned Mufti didn’t show up until line 67, a sign the perhaps our lad is making progress.

    Israel is a divided society in more ways than one. About half of them are progressive and willing to take a longer view of the conflict than Likud. There are Israeli peace activists that have been persecuted by the same government that is kicking the bejeasus out of the Palestinians. These are not despicable people.

    Now i am sure that Mr. Gaskin, upon reflection, would choose a somewhat more sophisticated opening and recognize that those who control the state do not represent all the people in it. We are all carried away with the lure of our own rhetoric.

  • Jim,

    He tweaked my tail too ya know! 😉 I take a hands off approach to these matters, which Felix clearly understands but doesn’t like.

    I like Chris, Paddy et al’s work on Balrog. And I’ve pushed it because I think it’s often sparky and highly readable. It has exactly that kind of emergent quality of someone examining the world as it comes to them you expect from a blog. In other words, it’s refreshing.

    It doesn’t mean I agree with everything they say. Nor do I agree with everything that everyone says on Slugger. How could I? But most of the time, I feel it’s enough that because I have the first word that I try not to gainsay what readers make of what I’ve written.

    If Felix attacks it, then he also has to defend the terms of reference under which he makes the attack. That seems to me to be entirely proper and in order, to me at least.

    Finally, it’s been a rough week for a lot of our readers. I did not mean to gratuitously tweak anyone’s tale. It looks like we’re all heading for a good long break. I hope all will return refreshed and re-newed for a new, more positive game in the new year.

    Night all.

  • iluvni

    Of course Irish Republicans have a seething hatred of Israel and Isrealis.
    Look at the sectarian and racist abuse which Israel’s football team and their fans were subjected to in Dublin earlier this year, both inside and outside the ground.

  • Brian Boru

    Israel is its own worst enemy in propaganda terms I’m afraid. It does itself no favours by its colonisation of East Jerusalem and its expulsion of Arabs from their, or its stubborn determination to build more settlements onm occupied land.

  • Padraig

    Anti-Zionism is not the same as anti semitic.

    Just as anti Unionist is not the same as anti Protestant.

  • John East Belfast

    I have never quite understood how some of the nationalists and republicans on this site, with their almost racist love of mother Ireland and their geographic myopia when it comes to defining the nation state, dont actually have sympathy with Zionism.

    All the latter are basically saying is that they have very definite cultural and historical claims to that very small part of the world and the Palistinians at some point in post Christendom history have squatted there ?

    Therefore what exactly is the likes of Chris Gaskin’s problem and why does he not apply the same logic to the purging of Border Protestants ?

  • Henry94

    I think there are a lot of people who hold the unsustainable position that Israel has the right to exist but doesn’t have the right to defend itself.

    But if Israel wasn’t willing and able to defend itself it would have ceased to exist a long time ago.

    I wonder too about the sincerity of many who call for a two-state solution while having a relaxed attitude to calls for the destruction of Israel by the Iranian President.

    I also think that we should have learned from the mistakes of President McAleese and Fr Ried who compared the northern Catholic experience to the experience of the Jews under the Nazis. Yet Chris repeats the comparison.

    “…but to call the Holocaust a “myth” is just disgusting and as believable as Unionist claims that there was no widespread discrimination against Catholics since the foundation of the Northern ‘State’.”

    When Hitler was threatening the Jews few took him seriously. Now we have another madman doing the same while developing nuclear weapons. He has to be stopped.

    When the time comes to stop him the European Left will have an opportunity to prove that they have learned something from history.

    I wouldn’t bet on them.

  • I can’t even take one day off but some lunatic tells lies and distorts my posts.

    I will try and play the ball as much as possible.

    >I AM NOT ANTI-SEMETIC!!!!!!!!

    I am Anti-Zionist and make no apology for that!

    As spartacus points out Felix delibreatly distorted my blog to suit himself, he is a liar!!

    Surely, if Chris was anti-semitic, he wouldn’t be such an admirer of Ronnie Kasrils?

    Correct Tom, I am a huge admirer of Ronnie’s and I am not anti-semetic.

    “Now i am sure that Mr. Gaskin, upon reflection, would choose a somewhat more sophisticated opening and recognize that those who control the state do not represent all the people in it”

    I do not hate the Israeli people, I hate the Israeli state.

    I stand by what I wrote

    Anti-Zionism is not the same as anti semitic.

    Just as anti Unionist is not the same as anti Protestant.

    Correct Padraig

    we should have learned from the mistakes of President McAleese and Fr Ried who compared the northern Catholic experience to the experience of the Jews under the Nazis. Yet Chris repeats the comparison

    I did not compare them in that way Henry, I just said that both suggestions were unbelieveable.

    I opposed Fr Reids and President McAleeses comments.

    Felix and everyone else needs to realise that their actions can have legal consequences

    Felix says

    “Gaskin agrees with the ANTISEMITIC Mullah of Iran in wanting to wipe Israel off the map”

    Lies

    “It is antisemitic and Gaskin IS an antisemite”

    more lies

    “Gaskin as a supporter of fascism”

    Felix has issue with the truth

    I intend to look into the legal avenues open to me in relation to Felix.

    Merry Christmas 😉

  • Occasional Commentator

    Why is it that the most devastating allegations (racism, anti-semitism, homophobia and the like) are the ones that are believed most readily without any evidence or logic, forcing the target to go on the defensive?

    Surely it should be the other way around? A higher burden of proof should be required for serious allegations.

    If Chris was accused of stealing a pen, Felix would rightly be ignored and/or castigated.

    This sort of lunacy is central to the definition of Political Correctness and is why it is so hateful. It’s the difference between the ignorant witchhunters and those of us who wish to make the world a more tolerant and peaceful place. Felix’s nonsense will have just distracted people from real instances of antisemitism.

  • John East Belfast

    Chris Gaskin

    “I am Anti-Zionist and make no apology for that”

    Please explain why

  • SmashZionismGoSecular

    Zionism promotes a JEWISH state.

    It is a sectarian movement.

    Like any movement that promotes religious statehood it should be challenged.

    The concept of an Israeli state not based on religious intolerance is a different matter and is what many, many Israeli Jews and others aspire for.

  • John East Belfast

    SZGS

    “Zionism promotes a JEWISH state.

    It is a sectarian movement.”

    Most Jews living in Israel are secular if not aethiest or at least agnostic.

    Their ties are more than their shared historical religion.

    Just as most Unionists in Ireland are Prostestant and most Catholics are nationalist neither want to establish a religious State – certainly not today.

    ie the religious divide certainly separates us but culture, history, language etc are greater bonds. Religion has become a label in most cases so why pick on the Jews ?

    It is the same for ‘Jews’ living in Israel.

    Not to mention there are a very high number of Arab Israelis with equal citisenship ?

  • Chris isn’t anti-Semitic. What a load of guff from Mr Quigley.

  • Zionism talks about “a people without a land for a land without a people”

    That is racist!

    There was “a people” in that land, the Palestinian people.

    Here is what Golda Meir told the Sunday times on 15 June, 1969

    “There is no such thing as a Palestinian people… It is not as if we came and threw them out and took their country. They didn’t exist.”

    Many Jewish people oppose Zionism and view Zionism as heresy

    Albert Einstein, Sidney Hook, Hannah Arendt and twenty-five other prominent Jews, in a letter to The New York Times (December 4, 1948), condemned Menachem Begin’s and Yitzhak Shamir’s Likud party as “fascist” and espousing “an admixture of ultra-nationalism, religious mysticism and racial superiority.”

    As I said in my post Zionism has the same racist and fascist tendency as Lebensarum.

    This may be hard for people to take but it’s the truth.

    I notice that Felix didn’t challenge that assertion.

    Many Zionists try and use the disgraceful and disgusting actions of the holocaust and some kind of blanket to perpetuate all kinds of vile crimes against the Palestinian people.

    The West lets them away with it out of guilt and the fact that America needs an ally in the East.

    The Palestinian people suffer greatly and the west does nothing.

    I do not agree with Suicide Bombings when it comes to civilians.

    I do however support the Palestinians in their quest for freedom and independence.

    Many people are afraid to challenge Zionism and Israel because they will be accused of being Anti-Semitic

    I am not one of them!

  • mc

    Gaskin,
    the old chestnut of legal threats comes out again. You should know by now you haven’t got a hope of taking any legal action over this matter of opinion in a political debate.

    your efforts to stiffle debate will fail.

  • John East Belfast

    The history of Palestine is a lot longer and deeper than 1948.

    You cant judge the events of today in that short a time span when it comes to dealing with the complexities of Palestine.

  • Cahal

    I think it is the Jews of Israel who should be in a panic, not the Palestinians. If current trends continue, the Jewish Israelis will be in a minority in Israel, possibly by 2020, definitly by 2030.

    One man, One vote will be demanded.

    At that point, of course, there will be a clammer to jetisson about 80% of the West Bank, Gaza (both with limited water resources) and a small token area of East Jerusalem. Oh and don’t be suprised if they deport about a million Arab Israelis from Israel.

    Democracy in Action.

  • JEB: Yeah it amusing how Jew-hating/sorry Israel-hating types never mention that Jews were buyng property there at early as the late 19th century.

  • Brian Boru

    “I have never quite understood how some of the nationalists and republicans on this site, with their almost racist love of mother Ireland and their geographic myopia when it comes to defining the nation state, dont actually have sympathy with Zionism.

    All the latter are basically saying is that they have very definite cultural and historical claims to that very small part of the world and the Palistinians at some point in post Christendom history have squatted there ?

    Therefore what exactly is the likes of Chris Gaskin’s problem and why does he not apply the same logic to the purging of Border Protestants ?”

    But JEB, wanting to live in an area is one thing. Expelling most of the people of have lived in that area for over 1,000 years on the basis of their ethnic-origin is a different story entirely. I do love “Mother Ireland” but I would not be into driving out the Protestants in a United Ireland, and building Catholic settlements in Larne or wherever. There is a world of difference.

    If the British had launched airstrikes on Derry or West Belfast during the Troubles imagine the chaos that would have resulted. Israel has consistently failed to respond proportionately to terror attacks. A few shots from Gaza and its sending in tanks and bombing crowded streets just to kill one person. There were also reports a few years ago that they were working on biological weapons designed to kill Arabs but not Jews. This is a nasty regime and while it is a democracy in the elective sense of the word, its treatment of its minorities is something approach fascism. The settlement policy smacks of Lebensraum.

  • There is a difference between criticising Israel (Zionism) and criticising Jews. There are Jews who are not Zionists.

    The president of Iran is a nutter (fanatic) and may have made it more difficult to criticise Israel for its actions by denying historical facts – the massacres of Jews by Nazis.

    But he is not the only person to wonder why the Palestinians are the ones who have to suffer for European actions. One of the British administrators of Palestine referred to the Zionist settlements as a potential Ulster in the Middle East. He meant, not that it would be a perennial problem, but that they would be instrumental in helping the British control the Middle East as a part of the British Empire.

  • Mickhall

    I am even more pleased that the damned Mufti didn’t show up until line 67, a sign the perhaps our lad is making progress.

    smiling jim,

    Best post all week, unfortunately felix is still to reply,

    Henry 94,

    Before you condemn the European left in such a blanket fashion, it might be better if you learnt something about the struggle against the Hitlerites, both before 33 and after. Not least check who voted for who in the 32-33 elections in Germany. Who was the bedrock of the resistance movement in every occupied European countries post 1939 bar Finland and the eastern part of Poland occupied for a time by Russia.

    While your at it ask who financed the Nazi party in its early days prior to 33 and who were amongst the first inmates of the camps. Imprisoned within them when the German officer class agreed to swear an oath of allegiance to Mr Hitler. We on the left, especially jews know our history and our duty and we salute those comrades who fought fascism during those dark days. We certainly do not need a lecture based on half truths and ignorance nor will we stand quite when hero’s are insulted.

    Later on in the 1930s, members of non left parties did oppose the nazis and thankfully extremely heroic people of all political persuasions hid jews, often at enormous cost to themselves and families. All of whom deserve respect credit and gratitude for what they did back then.

    Surly the main lesson of the 20th century is that opposing fascism and those politicians who mimic its tactics. Is not a left-right issue but one of common humanity. For if such evil forces gain the ascendancy, many will die in the flames they create.

  • harry flashman

    Well Mickhall I’ll guess we’ll just overlook the Nazi-Soviet Pact then, as well as the Soviet invasion of Finland, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and of course Poland. We’d also need to forget about the fact that as the German tanks headed east into the Ukraine in the first day of Barbarossa they passed the trainloads of supplies being sent to Hitler courtesy of Comrade Stalin. We’d also have to forget how before the German invasion the British Left were condemining the ‘imperialist war’ then suddenly the next day demanding a second front. Throughout the 30’s the Left in both France and Britain were virulently opposed to rearmament, they famously won the Oxford Union debate “This House would never fight for King and Country” and lambasted Churchill as an imperialist, Tory warmonger, the Left opposed Hitlerism? Me arse!

    Now to the issue of this thread, before Slugger shuts us up for a fortnight. I have one question for the “I’m not an anti-Semite just an anti-Zionist” brigade. What is it about Israel that gets you so worked up as opposed to dozens of conflicts elsewhere in the world? I mean I regularly attend meetings in Derry about the Israeli/Palestinian conflict and every time it’s a packed house at every protest rally around the world there are Palestinian flags and motions for solidarity, why is this?

    It’s a relatively low intensity war compared say to Bosnia in the 90’s or Rwanda, but they never generated so much passion, why? The Chinese invaded and simply annexed Tibet but the interntional Left couldn’t give a fiddler’s fart, why? I think I saw one protest meeting in support of East Timor for the entire quarter of a century of the Indonesian occupation and the issue of West Papua doesn’t even register on the Left’s give-a-hoot-ameter, why? The Russians slaughter more Muslims in Chechnya in a week than the entire IDF does in a year but from the Left? Sounds of crickets chirping! The Saudis have a horrific record on human rights, women and gay issues and religious tolerance, but hey they’re opposed to Israel so we don’t organise protests against them, why? Millions of people were forcibly displaced from their homes in the late 1940’s, in eastern Germany, in the Czech Republic, in the Ukraine, in India, Pakistan and Bangladesh, but they’ve gone on to live in their new homes and settled after six decades, only fifth generation residents of the West Bank are still referred to as “refugees”, why?

    Why is the Left so obsessed about one tiny sliver of land barely thicker than Fermanagh? Why is the only democracy in the Middle East, the only society there in which the Left has freedom of expression, the only nation that invites such approbrium? What is it about the one solitary Jewish state in the entire world that attracts such universal hatred above all other states?

    Or is the answer to that question already apparent in the wording of the question?

  • Brian Boru

    It isn’t just the Left that are more sympathetic to the Palestinians. I would not classify myself as part of “The Left”. I agree that there is a certain tendency in the Left to gloss over the misdeeds of leftwing governments such as in China, Cuba etc. and I agree this is quite irritating. But that does not mean the Palestinian cause is not worthy of support. I feel just as passionately on this issue as Chechnya etc. aswell, although in the case of what happened to the Germans in Eastern Europe after WW2, it should be remembered that they had voted for the Nazis sister-parties e.g. Konrad Henlein in the Sudetenland, and had collaborated to such a staggering degree in the genocide of the Jews and others, that my sympathy for them is extremely strained.

  • jfd

    I believe Chris has clearly outlined his stance. I too am anti-Zionist, however I support the existence of the Isreali state (as opposed to Jewish state).

    Why? Israel continues to be the only functioning democracy in the region – not counting the US ‘Garrision’ democracy in Iraq, regardless of what those on the neo-left suggest.

    Unsuprisingly, the ‘what-aboutry’ begins, distorting and contorting a clearly argued intelligent perspective from Glaskin. Do I agree with him on all subjects, no. However, with regards to Israel – my opinion falls close to his on this matter.

    ‘Anti-semite’ is the intellectual ‘tar and feathering’ tactic of those pinko’s incapable of taking a macro perspective of the problem in Palestine/Israel and the region en masse. It’s knee jerk, it’s easy and crucuially to the ‘hand wringers’ it stiffles real debate on the nature of the Jewish state, it’s relationship with it’s neighbours, it’s continued (and sometimes justified) sense of victimhood, it’s strategic importance to the west, it’s spilt society, it’s highly sectarian nature, it’s incapability to examine non millitary strategies, it’s vast non zionist population, it’s secular society (in some parts of the country) , in essence the very conflicted nature of the state of Israel – that makes it capable for someone to support it and oppose it simultaneously.

    Start the debate. Stop the pointless slagging.

  • Harry Flashman

    Right jfd, you’ve pointed out Israel’s many faults, now address my point, why is Israel so uniquely pilloried in the world today?

    What’s so special about Israel that just as an example the BBC devotes approximately five times as much coverage to it as to the next most covered foreign conflict, (excluding Iraq, the survey to which I refer was carried out before the Iraq war). Why will hundreds if not thousands of people in almost every country in the world come out to join anti-Israel demonstrations and meetings but the West Papuans, for example, couldn’t fill a telephone booth with their advocates? How come the Ireland Palestine Solidarity Movement gets a letter published in the Irish Times nearly every fortnight when the Free Tibet boys might get one a decade? The Chechens couldn’t get a decent press if they hired Max Clifford but a murdering corrupt despot like Arafat has BBC correspondents in tears at his death, why?

    This is not what aboutery, this is not simply poor PR skills on the part of every other conflict zone in the world. This huge imbalance in the interest in the Israeli conflict is pathological. There really can be no other alternative but to ascribe the near worldwide obsession about the Israel/Palestine conflict above and beyond all other conflicts around the globe to the fact that it is the one conflict that the Jews are involved in. Until someone can explain the almost mass hysteria around the world against Israel to any other reason I’m sticking with good ol’ fashioned Jew hatred.

  • Pat Mc Larnon

    Nice one Felix. Felix used to be a contributor to Slugger, but not of late.

    We now know, by his error ridden and selective piece, that he has a web site of his own. There’s no such thing as bad publicity.

  • Orthodox Jews are anti-Zionist, because their holy scriptures explicitly inform them that as a holy people they are not to have or be given a state on Earth as their own, because their real state is to come when God calls them home.
    This is the problem. secular Jewish attitude is
    “Oh f*ck that, The palestinians are lice”.

  • My main objection to Chris’ views on this subject and I’ve commented to this effect on Balrog before, is his simplistic judgement of an entire nation/race on the basis of its present leadership and military policy.

    Within Israel, there are many on the left and also unaffiliated peace groups (Peace Now is the most widely known, but there are many, many others such as Bat Shalom, Yesh Gvul, New Profile, Ta’ayush and rabbis for Human Rights) who are committed to finding a peaceful solution and work together with like minded Palestinian groups to this end.

    Yet this is ignored by most of the European left and so-called “liberation” movements like Sinn Fein.
    Why is it so difficult for them to embrace the brave Israelis who have stood up to Sharon and co? If it isn’t anti-semitism and a refusal to work with like-minded Jews, then what is it?

    If there is to be meaningful change in the region within the short term, it’s not going to be through the efforts of the Palestinian Authority (completely dysfunctional and ineffective) or the Islamic militants but by the strengthening of the internal opposition within Israel.

  • jfd

    HF:

    Four reasons IMO:

    1. Strategic importance to the west – it’s ‘our’ free-market, liberal democracy outpost in a very alien region for western mindsets.
    2. Emotional resonance within Europe – Alot of Israeli’s are ‘European’; post-holocuast; emigration etc.
    3. Money. The ammount invested in the ‘Israel’ project, by governments (the US.)
    4. Conflict. Human tragedy = good copy, I’m afraid.

    Also China is ‘red’ (or at least Pink now). and the tibet issue lacks proximity or exposure.

  • Mickhall

    Harry,

    Im not well today so forgive my sharpness, but even to someone like you the fact that I mentioned eastern Poland and Finland should have made you realize that my purpose in doing so was to HIGHLIGHT the fact that ‘the left’ did not and does not consist solely of Stalinists. Indeed tens of thousands of communists anarchists and socialists where put up against walls or sent to the gulag when your mates were cutting deals with uncle Joe. It is no accident that the first people both Stalin and Hitler sent to the camps/gulag were socialists of one time or another.

    As to Israel, being someone whose family came from eastern Europe after experiencing the pogroms in the late 19th century I do not need to be told how I should feel about that state nor my responsibility towards its people. What I want is for the citizens of countries who can have some influence over the EU’s and the USA’s foreign policy to pressurize their governments to support a two state solution based on justice and fairness, which will give the Palestinian people a state they can call their own. Then just perhaps Jews and Arabs who are both semitic peoples, can live as neighbours and if so a common market of the middle east may emerge.

    What is not needed is for individuals to continuously stir the pot when some crackpot with little real power comes temporarily to the fore. There is already enough of such people in the region to fill a fair number of lunatic asylum. However, with the new leader of the Israeli LP, if he gains power all may once again be to play for.

    I say again this is not a left-right issue, just as Jews were victims in the past today the Palestinians find them-self, due to no fault of their own in this position. Thus this is an issue of common decency and humanity. forward to a two state solution with confidence and less of the f…..g wind ups.

  • Harry Flashman

    A bit weak jfd, these factors alone cannot possibly account for the near worldwide hysteria that surrounds the whole Israel question, the last two alone are hardly unique to Israel and Bosnia is actually part of Europe and no one whipped themselves into the frenzy about the Bosnia situation in any way comparable to Israel, and the first factor would surely mean a huge amount of support and sympathy in western societies for Israel, something I’m sure you’d agree does not exist.

    I respect your position, you appear to have thought it through but unfortunately as regards the great bulk of Israelophobes around the globe I still stand by my position that they are motivated by a much older and darker motive that has never truly disappeared in two millennia.

    Anyway Slugger is closing the comments section soon so I will simply wish you a happy Christmas and to my Israeli friends a happy Hanukkah.

  • pondskater

    Brian Boru wrote:

    “We also need to avoid confusing “Israel” the state and “The Jews” the people.”

    A very valid point. The literal meaning of “Israel” is “the people of El (God)”, and Jewish people tend to interpret it as such, so it’s advisable to refer to “the state of Israel” explicitly if that’s what one means. The more extreme elements in Israel itself tend to talk about “Eretz Israel” or “the Land of Israel”. Since we spend most of our time referring to “the Irish language” and “the island of Ireland” when we mean “Irish” and “Ireland”, this should present no difficulties.