Unionism and Israel: Holy Land is not a hotter version of Ulster…

As a liberal unionist, I found the local political reaction to the Israeli attack on the Gaza aid Flotilla depressingly predictable. While Sinn Fein and SDLP MLA’s condemned the raid, Unionist politicians, foremost among them Jonathan Bell, Jeffrey Donaldson and Sammy Wilson, stood foursquare in defence of Israel’s actions.

Even the mild-mannered Danny Kennedy could not help mentioning that in his opinion “a section of the unionist population have more than a sneaking regard for the manner in which the Israeli Government defends Israel and puts its security considerations above all others”.

Only the left-leaning Fred Cobain, who last year facilitated the launch of an Irish Congress of Trade Unions report on Israel and Palestine at Stormont last year where the ICTU called for a boycott of Israeli goods expressed any unionist criticism of the IDF’s actions, branding them, along with much of the rest of the world, as “piracy”, although he did not repeat these views in the Assembly chamber.

The roots of republican and nationalist support for the Palestinian cause are relatively well understood. For the republican movement in particular the Palestinian struggle was seen, alongside that of the ANC in South Africa and ETA in the Basque Country as providing the international context of a global left-wing liberation movement against colonialism and its legacy for the IRA’s armed campaign. Indeed, one famous Belfast mural showed the IRA and PLO as brothers-in-arms, clutching a rocket launcher, with the simple caption proclaiming  “one struggle”.

The SDLP, whilst abhorring terrorism at home and abroad, nevertheless has also consistently expressed solidarity with the Palestinian people. In contrast little serious examination has been made of Unionism’s traditional support for the Israeli position, other than as simple knee-jerk opposition to the nationalist stance. Whilst this may not be entirely untrue, I believe there is a little more to it than that.

I believe the roots of Unionist solidarity with Israel lie in evangelical protestantism. As a people brought up in a bible-centred, old testament-heavy tradition, hearing at church, home, sunday school, and via the loyal orders the tales of Moses visiting the ten plagues upon Egypt and freeing the Hebrews from slavery, Joshua leading his people to the promised land and tearing down the walls of Jericho with a blast of trumpets, Gideon defeating the Midianites with a mere 300 men, of David slaying Goliath, and of how against the odds Jehovah would repeatedly deliver his chosen people from the Egyptians, Assyrians, Persians, and Philistines, it is little wonder that god-fearing unionists would naturally favour the modern-day state of Israel against the descendants of its ancient enemies.

Indeed in the case of Nelson McCausland that sense of solidarity goes even further as a British Israelite, believing the population of the British Isles to be largely descended from the ten lost tribes of Israel and that thus the peoples of the two lands are in fact kith and kin.

Whilst most unionists may not identity quite so closely with Israel as Mr McCausland, many unionists nevertheless do see parallels with Israel, perceiving both as divinely-ordained settler peoples (indeed not merely as a people, but “the people”) in a permanent struggle for survival against hostile natives bent on their destruction.

From this viewpoint, the respective struggles against the IRA, PLO and latterly Hamas were part of a common “war on terror” long before September 11th 2001, and indeed during the two conflicts Unionist and Israeli politicians often seemed to say much the same things, sharing the same discourse of democracy versus terrorism, whether in defence of “little israel” or “our wee country”, in the face of a seemingly unfriendly media which had made world opinion largely sympathetic to their enemies. The earlier quote from Danny Kennedy also reflects another of the main wellsprings for unionist admiration of Israel, namely its hardline security policy to fight fire with fire, paying back every act of Palestinian violence fifty or a hundred times over, in the process regularly committing Bloody Sunday-type incidents such as that on the Mavi Mamara with barely a shrug, much less regret.

As Sammy Wilson laments in the News Letter, “It is just a pity the government of the UK did not show the same determination against the IRA…” the implication being that if only the British government had followed the Israeli example and took the gloves off, a security solution could have been achieved and the IRA clearly defeated militarily, making the compromises of the peace process unnecessary.

The fact that despite over forty years of wielding the IDF sledgehammer the Palestinian nut has yet to crack, and Northern Ireland has enjoyed relative piece and stability for some years now while the Israeli-Palestinian conflict has become more bitter and entrenched than ever does not seem to dissuade them of this belief.

Finally, facile as it sounds, it does seem that in the tribal, zero-sum nature of traditional Northern Ireland politics from which we are only just slowly starting to emerge, that for many ordinary unionists, with little knowledge beyond TV bulletins of the Arab-Israeli conflict, the sight of Palestinian flags across the peaceline is a good enough reason to put up the Israeli flags on their lamp posts.

For Unionist and nationalist politicians debating the conflict serves as a proxy for own, adopting them almost as favourite football clubs, indulging the old arguments that relative peace and power-sharing have made more difficult to do between themselves, providing endless opportunities for “whataboutery” and dwelling on the suffering of their chosen side and the atrocities of their opponents whilst ignoring the grievances of the latter and the sins of the former.

Indeed, I am convinced that were the Assembly to debate, say, Western Sahara, Unionists would automatically support Morocco and Nationalists the Polisario, that is, if any MLA’s had ever heard of Western Sahara.

Whilst I can understand why most unionists support Israel, as a unionist it is a stance I do not share, primarily in remembrance of the victims of Zionist terrorism against the British authorities in Palestine prior to 1948. To provide just a few examples, in November 1944 while the British Army (including the Jewish Brigade) fought to free Europe from Nazi tyranny and thus end the Holocaust as soon as possible, the Dublin-born Walter Guinness, 1st Lord Moyne, was murdered alongside his driver by two members of Lehi (the Stern gang).

One of the leading members of Lehi was Yitzhak Shamir, who so admired and wished to  emulate the IRA he even adopted the nom de guerre of Michael in tribute to Michael Collins, a fact both unionists and republicans seem to conveniently overlook. In 1947 the Irgun under the leadership of future Likud founder Menachem Begin, kidnapped and murdered Sergeants Mervyn Paice and Clifford Martin in reprisal for the execution of three Irgun terrorists. Even after independence Lehi assassinated UN mediator Count Folke Bernadotte as he tried to end the 1948 Arab-Israeli war.

And all this before mentioning the most infamous atrocity of all, the 1946 bombing of the King David Hotel by the Irgun in which 91 people (including 17 Jews) were murdered, the vast majority of whom were civilians. In fairness I should point out that mainstream Zionism in the form of the Jewish Agency under David Ben-Gurion condemmed all these atrocities, yet the attitude of the State of Israel to these groups and their actions since has been less than commendable.

Both the Irgun and Lehi were quickly integrated into the IDF after independence, and under Menachem Begin the state instituted official service ribbons for members of the terror groups. Both Yitzhak Shamir and Menachem Begin long preceded Martin McGuinness and Gerry Kelly on the path from terrorism to government, becoming Prime Ministers of Israel. And as recently as 2006 the current Likud leader and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, so quick to condemn almost any act of Palestinian resistance as terrorism, attended a 60th anniversary celebration of the King David Hotel bombing, describing it, in words chillingly familiar to unionists, as “legitimate military action.”

Indeed the final insult came with the commerative plaque placed at the hotel, which implicitly blames the British authorities for the loss of life for not evacuating the hotel in time, the same hollow excuse used so often by the IRA down the years. For unionists to support a state which honours those who murdered members of the crown forces and whose hypocrite Prime Minister celebrates the massacre which inaugurated the post-war age of terror while defaming those on a mission of mercy, mown down for attempting to repel boarders by IDF commandos stooping to the level of Somali pirates, as “violent supporters of terrorism”, is a position without logic and consistency and one which I refuse to have any part of.

Whilst I have no love for Israel and great sympathy for the plight of the Palestinian people, I have no illusions about Hamas or Fatah, whose past actions have been lesser in scale to Israel’s but no less in savagery. Seventeen years since the signing of the Oslo accords and ten since the last meaningful negotiations I believe a two state solution on mutually acceptable terms is no longer achievable or even desirable. I believe the only way for long-term peace to be achieved is for Israel and the occupied territories to come together as a new unitary bi-national state, a joint homeland of Israelis and Palestinians, the Union of Palestine and Israel (UPI) if you will. The UPI would have permanent equal representation of Israeli and Palestinians in parliament and government regardless of demographics, and a joint premiership modelled after our own OFMDFM.

The “separation barrier” would be removed, Israeli evictions of Palestinians from east Jerusalem would cease but Israeli west bank settlements allowed to remain. As one state there would be complete freedom of movement, Israelis could live in Gaza if they wished, Palestinians in Tel Aviv. Palestinians would have the right of return to the new state, but the Israeli law of return would continue to let Jews worldwide come and settle.

The new state would return the Golan Heights to Syria and the Shebba Farms to Lebanon, sign peace treaties with all its neighbours (with the Palestinians, Syrians and Lebanese satisified, how could Iran refuse?) and give up its nuclear weapons. The Israelis gain peace and the retention of their homeland at little cost, the Palestinians equality and stop being refugees in their own country. Whilst such a plan may seem utopian, so did the idea of re-establishing a jewish state at the time of the first Zionist congress in 1897.

Comparisons between Northern Ireland and Palestine/Israel only go so far. The Holy Land is not a hotter version of Ulster, Israelis are not Prods in skullcaps and Palestinians are not Republicans in teatowels, but if there is one lesson I believe they can take from Northern Ireland it is that until Israelis and Palestinians learn to live together they will continue to die together.

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  • Greenflag

    Not brilliant at all . Actually sick . Did they do a similar gig when the Israelis killed a thousand women and children last year in their phosphorous bombing of Gaza ?

    There is a time and a place for retroactive rip offs even of this ilk . In most cultures it’s not a week or so after the deaths of people .

    As I said sick 🙁

  • Greenflag

    wilde rover ,

    I used to pose such questions to David Vance .

    Ask no questions and you get told no lies at least in Vance’s case . Don’t feel slighted .

    ‘He really doesn’t like it at all’

    At all at all at all at all . His world is a simple one . Britain good , moral -Israel better and even more moral – Ireland bad – Irish republicans worse and Palestinians evil 🙁
    Its a simple world which suits his local agenda .

    ‘Maybe answering it would cause his head to explode ‘

    Then perhaps he should’nt ;)? The TUV is in enough of a mess as it is 😉

  • Oracle

    Mick,

    …the Jew imports must be repatriated to their countries of origin.”

    That is 100% correct, that is what I said and that is what I believe, if someone can come up with a viable solution to the Palestinian question (have to say Palestinian question because if you say Israeli question you get branded a Nazi) that does not require the repatriation of the non indigenous peoples of the region I’ve yet to hear it.

    The land is too small in size to sustain the failed political initiatives forced upon it by successive partisan American administrations through its purchased puppet the U.N, which in turn have been completely ignored by successive Israeli administrations.
    The amount of arable land and the quality of the soil is not conducive to the supporting of large populations only 18% of the land is naturally arable, and if the confiscated land is returned to the Arabs (as in agreement with U.N resolutions) this falls to 8% whilst many will jump on to Wikka to haul out a list of agricultural products by Israel I’d just like to save them some time by telling them you can’t feed a nation on dates flowers and kiwi fruit.

    The Israel government admit that they do not grow enough food for their people and that excludes the over populated ghetto of Gaza and the West bank, yet much of the land that the Israelis use for their agriculture is stolen land belonging to Palestinians.
    This land theft didn’t happen in the old or new testament or in 1948 but in every month of every year since the formation of the state.
    If a Palestinian farmer had good water or desalted land the local Israelis would report it to the authorities who would send in troops to arrest either him or his son on trumped up charges of being a militant, this then gave them the authority to bulldoze the home and buildings of the Palestinian family and confiscate the land for Jewish immigrants such is the backbone of the state of Israel.

    Readers must remember that there is absolutely no one (aside from specialist scientists/engineers carefully selected by the government) who has immigrated to Israel in the last 40 years that has not been a Jew or of a Jewish family.
    Being a mechanic or joiner or doctor was not enough one had to have Jewish blood and remember if you are not a full Jew you are not allowed to get married in Israel.
    They weren’t indulging Protestants Catholics or Moonies just Jews therefore they were and will remain “Jewish imports”

    It was the state of Israel that went on the crusade of the “RETURN” were any Jew anywhere was promised a home in Israel (immigration on steroids) obviously there wasn’t enough land so the Palestinians were robbed of theirs, many thousands of these human “imports” were economic migrants who wore the cloak of persecution as a means to an end, in many cases the Russians that came to Israel in the 80s and 90s had only converted to Judaism several weeks previously to escape the politics of Soviets.

    As to your query as to whether or not I wished to blacks returned to Africa ect, well lets put it this way ABSOLUTELY NOT!!! However if say Nigerians or Ghanaians came over to say Ballyclare and started taking the land of the people who lived there with no compensation or right of appeal and soon the had done the same in Doagh down to Glengormly and up to Carrickfergus forcing all the indigenous Irish/NornIrish/Ulsterscotties whatever into Islandmagee and fenced it off not allowing them in or out unless they queued for 8-16 hours at a checkpoint and shelled it at will if they put up a fight…

    Then I say……… ABSOLUTELY YES !!!

  • TheHorse

    Maybe David Vance could give his opinion about the Israeli suprise assult in international waters on the USS Liberty on 8th June 1967.

  • damon

    I was agreeing with the OP for the first half about how daft is the blind Unionist support of israel, then in the second half it all went a bit awry in my opinion.

    All that stuff about the Stern Gang and terrorism is a bit out of date these days.

    And the idea of a one state solution is just not a goer I’m afraid, even though in theory it would be the ideal solution.

    The two peoples are just too tribal for it to be viable.
    There would be competition for cultural dominance I think, and Jews would not put up with having to compete in a united Israel/Palestine.

    Even something as seemingly trivial as the Israeli beach culture would feel under pressure from one community thinking that seeing people in bathing suits was the craziest thing they ever saw, with groups of arab teenagers going down to gawp.
    You can see such a difference in the twin towns of Eilat in Israel and Aquba in Jordon.
    Even though the toens are right next to each other, on the Israeli side people wear very little on the beach and sunbathe, while on the Jordainan side people go into the water fully clothed and sometimes in burkas.

    The Israeli’s wouldn’t put up with it I’m afraid.
    United Palestine has as much of a chance as United Ireland.

  • A Glaswegian Jew I know was on a kibbutz when he was asked, “Do you want a farm?”. Some Israeli settlers had arranged for soldiers to kick a Palestinian family off their land, so they would have sell the land cheaply. He was told he would have to pretend to be religious, wear the cap etc., but all they wanted was the land.

    Note that this was the settler movement (not the official government) – yet it is strange that these people do not go to jail for fraudulently acquiring land, but instead get supported by the government.

    It is time for liberal Jews and others to send teams to do in the West Bank what the civil rights campaigners did in the southern states of the USA – investigate injustices and prosecute them.

  • Speed

    I’m not sure that what you describe is a problem. For the Palestinian state to be legitimate it is not necessary for Palestinians to be unique, merely for them to be not of the Israeli nation, which they plainly are not. Apart from language, culture etc. their is no shared social contract.

    The problems arise either from Israelis seeking to rule the Palestinians or the Palestianinas or other Arabs seeking to rule over Israelis (e.g. one state solution followed by population shift in the total Israel + West Bank + Gaza entity to >50% Arab).

    The position of Israel is partly “colonial” in that they have ruled over Arabs (whether of the Palestinian or Arab nation is not really important), having the original justification for this was that they were attacked. Therefore their occupation was of a similar nature to US rule of Japan or Germany post WWII, which could be termed a kind of necessary and pragmatic colonialism. While this is no long term justification for occupation, when Israel pulls out of these territories they have always been attacked by those seeking to deny any state to the Israeli nation, and hence they are left in a situation rather like if the US pulled out of Japan and after they did the Japanese kept re-bombing Pearl Harbour. True they have never retreated to 1967 borders, but what would be the point if Palestinians did not agree to the existence of Israell?

    Thus the core problem remains the Palestinian non-recognition of a state for the Israeli nation in perpetuity. This is before such things as precise borders can be discussed. The ultimate aim of Hamas is like those of the IRA the denial of any state accorded to a nation which they wish to religate from any nation status to that of an ethnic minority without self determination. In my opinion many in the IRA accepted the GFA on the same terms as Hamas’ proposed 10 year hudna, a truce whereby ultimately their opposing nation will ultimately be subjuagted and it’s self determination destroyed, though by demographics and 50%+1 for the IRA case. I would not necessarily characterise that as the position of the “Catholic” population as a whole though, either north or south.

  • RepublicanStones

    Incidentally, while the Israelites have been in the region that is now known as modern Israel for 3,300 years and have governed it until they were conquered and expelld by the Romans, there isn’t actually a Palestinian nation and nor was there ever a state where this non-existent once exercised the right to self-determination via self-government that it now claims that Jews have deprived it of. Jews became a nation circa two thousand years before the rise of Islam.

    it’s pretty obvious Alias that you treat the bible as a history book instead of the fiction it clearly is. First up to claim the original Israelites governed it until expelled by the romans….well that is just plain wrong. For most of their existence the Israelite kingdoms of Israel and Judah were vassal states of larger empires. Sure even when the story of the Exodus from Egypt is set, Canaan was a Vassal state of Egypt. And the fact the Bible claims that Moses helped his people escape from Egypt to…mmmm…Egypt, should give you an inkling as to the veracity, or lack thereof of the bible narrative. You also claim incorrectly that the Romans expelled the Israelites. Again you seem to be putting more weight into scripture than historical reality. the Romans expelled the ruling Jewish elite for not keeping the proles in line. But remember also that the revolt was directed as much against the ruling Jewish elite as it was against the romans. And the ridiculousness of the bible narrative is highlighted by the fact that not only would it have been nearly logistically impossible, but the Romans weren’t the kind of people to deprive themselves of an entire tax paying and crop growing populous. And this is before we even get to the absence of such an account in the reams of Roman documentation from this period. The fact that there existed a small indigenous Jewish minority in Palestine since that time demonstrates the fallacy of your premise. And you also seem to think that Islam and Christianity spread in the Levant without any Jewish converts.

    What are now referred to as Palestinians are actually a loose affiliation of different Arab tribes with no such thing as a Palestinian language or distinct culture, literature, art, ect, that constitute a nation. Indeed, the ‘Palestinians’ are quite quick to butcher other Arabs within that affiliation since there is no nation to unite them. .

    It matters not a jot what a people decide to call themselves. nothing gives colonists the right to come and remove the majority of them from their land and establish and ethnocracy on their land. Furthermore, you seem to wish to take an entire peoples humanity from them by virtue of the fact they did not conform to your idea of a nation, which as you think of, is actually a western european construct. But the loyalities of family and love for their land were well know. Even Napoleon himself could testify to that, after he attempted to invade Palestine in 1799, the local Palestinian families united under Shaykh Yusuf Jarrar.

    The myth of a Palestinian nation is a 20th century
    invention

    You don’t seem to be aware that all nations are inventions….human constructs. Sure the idea of a ‘Jewish nation’ as in world Jewry constituting a single national group only developed in the mid 19th Century in Europe when the idea of the modern nation state was first taking root. When the likes of Henreich Graetz began writing and released his History of the Jews from the Oldest Times to the Present. Before the rise of zionism a Persian jew would not have viewed himself as belonging to the same ethnic or national group as an East European or American Jew, or a Falasha for that matter.

    So, the ‘Gazans’ are now emerging as ‘nation’ from under the Palestinian banner wherein they have taken to butchering those who operate under that banner in the West Bank (see what they did to their ‘nation’ in Fatah).

    You don’t seem to understand that this is precisely Israels aim. Divide and Conquer, ever heard of it? Israel balks at the thought of Palestinian unity, because it would inevitably make it more difficult for them to continue their land theft in the West Bank. One need only look at the history of Hamas rise in the 80’s and see how Israel wasn’t averse to letting Hamas flourish in order to act as a counterweight to Fatah.

    And it case you believe the myth there actually is a Palestinian nation (distnct from Arabs), you should be aware that even the Palestinian National Covenant (Charter) adopted by the PLO doesn’t make that claim. It clearly states in Article 1 (the article wherein pride of place is given) that “Palestine is the homeland of the Arab Palestinian people; it is an indivisible part of the Arab homeland, and the Palestinian people are an integral part of the Arab nation.”

    It matters not a jot what they wish to call themselves or whether they wish to be part of some larger Arab nation. Your superimposing of the European idea of a ‘nation’ on top of them does not legitimise Zionism thieving their land and imposing an ethnocratic state there. Furthermore if its a european idea of a nations state you think they have to qualify for, they have a better claim to that than World Jewry does. You seem to ignore the undeniable history of conversion and proselytism which Judaism has. It spread far beyond the Levant well before the Biblical story of the exile is set. And this before we even get to those ‘dreaded’ Khazars.

  • dodrade

    Which votes do you believe they are trying to protect? Belfast’s Jewish community, even assuming them all to be pro-zionist, is now barely in three figures, so it can hardly be them.

  • dodrade

    Certainly there is a tendency for Nationalists to gravitate to the left and Unionists to the right on issues, but I believe there is a strong religious basis for Unionist (and indeed the american christian right’s) support of Israel, which is somewhat ironic given that Zionism was (at least originally) a secular, left wing project, with Mapai/Labor dominating Israeli politics during the state’s first thirty years of existence.

  • dodrade

    Ahmadinejad is not the first middle-east leader to make such comments, and probably not the last, but empty rhetoric will certainly never wipe Israel off the map. He may be a tyrant and a demagogue, but we certainly shouldn’t mistake him for a fool. Peace between Israelis and their immediate neighbours would cause the wellsprings of support for the likes of Ahmadinejad and Al-Qaeda to dry up.

  • dodrade

    British Israelism is indeed a micro-group, but I thought it worth noting that someone as senior within Unionism as Nelson McCausland subscribes to it.

  • dodrade

    The comparisons between Israel and Apartheid-era South Africa may be as imperfect a fit as with Northern Ireland, but as the Palestinian population looks set to overtake the Jewish population in the not too distant future those parallels will become stronger and it will become increasingly untenable for Israel to continue to hold the Occupied territories in their entirety. This was why Ariel Sharon, just as hawkish as Netanyahu, but slightly more pragmatic, removed the settlers from the Gaza Strip and started to build the West Bank wall to hive off the “juicy bits” Israel wanted to keep permanently, from those it cannot hold onto in the long run if a two-state solution is still envisaged. However Netanyahu’s terms for a two-state solution are so restrictive the rump West bank and Gaza Strip would be little better than the “Bantustans” created by South Africa, and just as unsuccessful, which is why I believe a two-state solution mutually acceptable to both sides is probably no longer possible.

  • Comrade Stalin

    David, given that you regard the Irgun as legitimate and refuse to condemn the methods they used, such as the King David Hotel bombing, surely it’s reasonable to assume you’ve got no problem with the Provos using the same tactics ?

  • dodrade

    Whilst the Irgun and Lehi campaigns may be long past, I felt the hypocrisy shown by the current Israeli Prime Minister, condemning Palestinian terrorism (of which he has a very wide definition if his “hate boat” comments are anything to go by) while celebrating Zionist terrorism was very relevant. Indeed of the KIng David Hotel bombing, regarding a disputed telephone warning, he even had the gall to say “Imagine that Hamas or Hizbullah would call the military headquarters in Tel Aviv and say, ‘We have placed a bomb and we are asking you to evacuate the area.’ They don’t do that. That is the difference.” I don’t think even David Vance could swallow that one.

  • dodrade

    I’d just like to say thanks for all the positive comments, I was expecting a lot more criticism than I actually got.

    Damon, certainly my idea for a UPI looks a long shot, but the “peace process” badly needs some out-of-the-box thinking (apologies for the cliche) if there is to be any chance of bringing it back from the dead.

  • dodrade

    Turgon, completely off-topic, but have you been watching the last series of 24 on sky 1? (Spoilers from here on in)

    In the last few episodes, as Jack Bauer goes after his own personal brand of justice, which will stop the peace treaty between the US, IRK and Russia, he uses language and arguments very reminiscent of the 1998 “no” campaign against the good friday agreement “no true peace without justice”, etc. I think there is a good article to be made out of this and as a former TUV supporter and lover of analogies I think you would make a better job of it than me.

  • bke

    not all Moroccans are Arabs, the Native Berbers were force into the Marginal parts of Morocco by the invading Arabs. Nationalities such Jordanians, Iraqi, etc are a British creation.

  • Greenflag

    ‘I’d just like to say thanks for all the positive comments,’

    Your sensible post told it like it is so why would’nt you get positive comments ?

    It’s a relief to know that not every Unionist out there is wearing a skull cap and waving the Star of David flag 😉

  • pinni

    It was a pro-Hamas propaganda exercise that actually worked out very well for those who hate Israel. They were willing to sacrifice the people for the sake of a headline from gullible media outlets. The deaths were entirely the responsibility of the ‘sick’ organisers of this event.

  • pinni

    Republican Stones: ‘you treat the bible as a history book instead of the fiction it clearly is’

    Okay, Wise Guy, give us some clear empirical examples of inaccurate historical information in the Bible.

  • RepublicanStones

    What an utterly ridiculous question. The whole frickkin thing is inaccurate. Written hundreds of years after the events it purports to describe. If you don’t want to take my word for it, try professor of archaeology at The Department of Archaeology and Ancient Near Eastern Cultures at Tel Aviv University…. Ze’ev Herzog

    Following 70 years of intensive excavations in the Land of Israel, archaeologists have found out: The patriarchs’ acts are legendary, the Israelites did not sojourn in Egypt or make an exodus, they did not conquer the land. Neither is there any mention of the empire of David and Solomon, nor of the source of belief in the God of Israel. These facts have been known for years, but Israel is a stubborn people and nobody wants to hear about it

    Or you can have a butchers at Israel Finkelstein’s The Bible Unearthed. A very interesting book indeed. Hell pinni, we even have holy joes running round here praising some carpenters son who is actually a rip off of an earlier Egyptian God called Horus. But it is quite endearing that you take the bible as fact 😉

  • Richard

    Good article. Whilst I do not agree with everything the author says, I do agree with him that the issue of Israel and Palestine is not a Unionist or Nationalist issue.

    I am also a moderate unionist but became involved with working on working for justice for Palestinians because of the injustice they have suffered and continue to suffer. This is not contradictory with my unionism or Christianity, in fact, if any of our unionist politicians bothered to find out they could see that all the Christian denominations in Palestine issued a call for boycott against Israel in December of last year because of its continuing violations of human rights and international law. The Kairos Document:

    http://www.oikoumene.org/gr/resources/documents/other-ecumenical-bodies/kairos-palestine-document.html

    They might also note with interest that the Presbyterian Church of the United States has discussed boycotting Israel for several years now.

  • JAB

    The God of the Bible is the one true God. The God of Israel has said in his word of all the things to come just read prophetic books of Daniel and Revelation. The book the bible unearthed is clearly garbage for people to believe in. You have been mistaken off calling Jesus Christ an egyptian god called horus it is the Islam god which was originally a moon god Allah. So please get your facts straight. Repulican stones.

  • JG

    LOL, that’s so funny.

    Well made points, RS.

    Off topic – I see that a certain fascist has banned you from his blog. Clearly he just wants to hold onto the sycophants and weed out all who challenge him. You’re better off away from that sewer.

  • RepublicanStones

    Thanks JG, his exact words were –

    So, you will understand why you can now go spend more time with your inner-Nazi, and all those kindred souls on Slugger…

    And yet he continues to comment here himself???? And…..

    I note the company you swim in on Slugger and I simply say to you, ATW is not a place for you. Stick to the Jew-bashing, the Provo-loving – this door is now closed to you.

    It seems I touched a nerve with him regarding a comment I made about Christian zionists and philo-semitism (which he didn’t refute btw). So it goes….

  • JG

    Yeah I was lurking over there and saw the thread. Frankly there’s more chance of him winning an election than debating honestly. Not worth the bother.

  • Speed

    Imagine you were born in an Israeli. Your dad came from Morocco, your mum from Poland. It’s not so hard, they are not so different from us.

    You want to live as an “ethnic minority” in a majority Arab state, as an “ethnic minority” like the Jews in Iran or the Jews in Egypt?

    You’d fight tooth and nail for self determination and an Israeli state whatever it’s borders.

    Don’t lie to yourself.

  • keano

    Great piece, Hamas was the result of divide and conquer. Israel created Hamas in the hope of weakening the P.L.O.

  • Wilde Rover

    Dodrade,

    I forgot to mention, a good post on your part. Well balanced.

    However, I think it could have been helped by an addition at the end, dealing with what happened after the founding of the state of Israel.

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

    While, as The Horse mentioned above, Israelis can argue that the attack on the USS Liberty was an accident (however laughably) there’s no escaping the fact that they used a false flag tactic of pretending to be Egyptians and targeted US and UK businesses.

    Perhaps unionists should think about how they support a state that wanted to blow up British businesses to gain a tactical advantage.

    Greenflag,

    “His world is a simple one . Britain good , moral -Israel better and even more moral – Ireland bad – Irish republicans worse and Palestinians evil
    Its a simple world which suits his local agenda”

    Yes, it must be comforting to live in a world of absolutes.

  • dmcoop

    If you want to read more of the similarities of the conflicts in Israel, N Ireland and South Africa this is an excellent book :

    God’s Peoples: Covenant and Land in South Africa, Israel, and Ulster by Donald Harman Akenson

    Review from Amazon :

    In this sterling study of three of the world’s most obdurate political conflicts, Akenson finds a common thread in the views of Ulster Scots Presbyterians, Dutch Reformed Church Afrikaners, and the Jews of Israel, each of whom are committed to an Old Testament-like covenant with God that promises them the land they struggled to get if they make the commitment and sacrifice necessary in such a covenant. With superb scholarship and compelling writing, Akenson brilliantly documents the creation of this mentality of commitment and siege (these are God’s chosen people under attack from external enemies). He takes us to the present with the fraying of the Ulster covenant by the Catholic civil rights movement of 1969; the worldwide response to apartheid after 1969; and the claim of the Jews to “greater Israel” after the 1967 war. Akenson concludes that patience works better than confrontation with these societies. The combination of a masterful handling of comparative history, an engaging and well-supported thesis, and a challenging but not condescending treatment of these three societies makes this a highly recommended choice for most libraries

  • pinni

    RS, so, is that it?? That all you got? Pretty flimsy case against the authenticity and accuracy of the Bible. Show me the errors, the contradictions etc that people like to talk about. Give us a clear example of what you are talking about, not some summary statement that you or someone else think backs up your case.

    Just google bible archeology and you’ll find gobs of examples of the historical accuracy of the Bible.

  • Driftwood
  • RepublicanStones

    Pretty flimsy case against the authenticity and accuracy of the Bible.

    Hang on pinni, you still don’t seem to realise that the Bible is a pretty flimsy thing all on its own. But it’s cute that you prefer people who fire their darts first then draw the bullseye round them.

    LMAO pinni, sure go and google ‘Arthurian Archeology’.

    I’ll stick with those archaeologists who are more concerned with the science and you can stick with those ones who by their own admission go about their work with bible in one hand and excavation tools in the other 😉

  • oneill

    “It’s a relief to know that not every Unionist out there is wearing a skull cap and waving the Star of David flag”

    …let me make you even happier; I’ve also not all of them wear a sash or support Rangers;)

  • oneill

    *sigh*

    I’ve also heard not all of them wear a sash or support Rangers;)

  • andnowwhat

    F.A.O. DAVID VANCE, PINNI AND THEIR MUCKERS!

    Are these people Nazis, anti semites or Israel haters?

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=drLJgea7Ftg

    I’d really love to know what you think of these people

  • pinni

    One of the most (maybe the most) influential and respected books in the history of mankind is ‘flimsy’, RS??

    That’s absolutely hilarious!

    What planet do you live on, anyway?

  • vanhelsing

    Andnowhwat,

    I don’t fit into any of the above cats but as I right of centre Unionist I can make you aware of my views. Of course these people have a right to demonstrate against their governments policy – fair play to them – that’s what democracy is all about….

    However I have also found this thread littered with anti-semitism although I have to admit I have been also impressed that most of those on the ‘other side’ of the arguement have not fallen into this trap.

    O’Neill – who I’m sure I’m diametrically opposed to on political lines expressed some interesting comments on this earlier. Apparently it’s ok on slugger to express any view at all whether it’s C18 or Antisemitism …. Seems to fly in the face of the whole raft of equality legislation in NI…

  • andnowwhat

    Vanhelsing, in truh I’ve only seen one poster express anti semitism on here and sod him.

    The only defence I could have for him/her is that he has fallen for the pro zionist line that all jews supprt the Israli goverment’s actions.

    The guys on the video clearly do not and nor do these guys..

    http://www.jewsagainstzionism.com/

    There are also some Isreali group’s that have fimed (with the assistance of Palestinians) abuses by settlers and IDF soldiers.

    The net (provide one checks the source) has changed how we see the news and people should use it before forming stupid points of views provided they do not look for info exclusively that confirms whatever point of view they already have.

    In the search for truth, anger is a poor tool

  • andnowwhat

    Re expressing views on Slugger VS, is it not better that they can say these things and be exposed by the responses of others?

  • Greenflag

    ‘not all Moroccans are Arabs,’

    I refer you to my comment

    ‘are all Arabs predominantly’

    ‘Nationalities such Jordanians, Iraqi, etc are a British creation.’

    So is Northern Ireland . And it’s ‘right ‘ to continue to exist as a separate state is accepted by the vast majority of Irish people north and south -until such time as a majority of people within Northern Ireland decide to vote themselves out of the UK and into a UI .

  • Greenflag

    o’neill

    ‘let me make you even happier;’

    Eh ? I said relieved . This is not the same as happy . I don’t have a problem with people wearing a sash or supporting Rangers .

    Happiness would be ‘political ‘ unionism in NI taking a running jump ‘naked ‘ off Rathlin Island in mid January :)))

  • Greenflag

    o’neill

    ‘let me make you even happier;’

    Eh ? I said relieved . Not the same as happy . I don’t have a problem with people wearing a sash or supporting Rangers as long as they behave themselves within the law .

    Happiness would be ‘political ‘ unionism in NI taking a running jump ‘naked ‘ off Rathlin Island in mid January :)))

    In your case Oneill I’ll make an exception . July or Auguat would be fine and a wet suit would be allowed 😉

  • Greenflag

    ‘sigh ‘ also ;(
    Oneill you are contagious 🙁

  • Munsterview

    Viva Slugger. I was banned from all radio and tv from 1972 to 1996 not only in my political capacity but right across the board.

    As a then Local Historian and Folklorist my input was central to may festival events over this period yet I could not be interviewed. I have also a few National and International literary awards….. all outside Gaelic Cultural events post 1996. From 72 to 96 and indeed right trough to 2000, any Literary Festival Committee in receipt of grants ( which in effect meant all Southern Festivals ) giving a platform to me by way of invite for a public lecture or award for literary work, or to people like me had their grants curtailed of cancelled.

    There were supposed attempts at some of these events to debate topical political issues : goodness knows how many times I was approached and asked to ‘stay out of the debate or we will have to cancel this module next year’ and then the appeal that was it not better to have some debate rather than none at all ?

    This self censorship by artists and artistic communities was far more hurtful and harder to take as some of these same artists could regularly be then heard on radio and TV complaining the same issues in South Africa, Israel and elsewhere while quite willing to act as the Government facilitators for the same practices at home.

    We have since seen in the South that this censorship had little to do with ‘ The Boys Of The Old Brigade’ and everything to do with keeping Ireland safe for the ‘Brown Envelope Brigade’

    Because of my own personal experience of the inner workings of censorship I am totally opposed to it under most circumstances. In politics there should be no taboo areas, it is much better to have the lunatic fringe out and promoting their case where it can be challenged and exposed for what it is rather than concealed and possibly gaining adherents.

  • Munsterview

    A quick piece of hidden history here : Some Republicans actually worked with Irgun and the Stern gang during the Second WW years and for some time after.

    The shared Intel was mainly in the prisoner area but reached right across the board and covered all areas of mutual interest. Some Mossad files will make interesting reading if they are ever opened to the public.

  • Wilde Rover

    Vanhelsing,

    “Apparently it’s ok on slugger to express any view at all”

    Yes. Yes it is. I’m sure everyone in the world of Slugger is glad that you’re up to speed on that one. Good for you.

    “whether it’s C18 or Antisemitism…”

    Oh, oh, crying out for the Godwin, but I must resist, no, no, it’s just too much…

    At first they came for the C18 members and the anti-Semites, but I said nothing…

    By the way, I really like your use of the three dots. It’s very foreboding. Mick seems to like them too, but he does it in a more of a quick nod of the head and knowing glance way rather than the stern serious slickly sinister stare method you employ. Stylistically speaking, I find both schools of thought interesting in their own unique way. I shall employ them myself, if the mood takes me…

    “Seems to fly in the face of the whole raft of equality legislation in NI…”

    Really, sometimes it’s all about the finish, and this is nice.

    Is nice.

    No one likes things flying in their face, and the subtle undertones of vaguely legal menace make this just the sexiest ending I’ve seen on Slugger for a while.

    All in all Vanhelsing, a cracking performance, and I look forward to reading more of your insightful comments, or do I?…

  • pinni

    The movers and shakers of the world, not only anonymous bloggers (like myself), are starting to waken up to the fact that Turkey’s recent foreign policy actions (i.e. becoming most closely allied to Iran and its attack on Israel) are the fruit of Europe’s treatment of Turkey over recent years.

    Obama’s defence secretary, Robert Gates writes a scathing article today lambasting ‘liberal’ Europe’s attitude to Turkey.

    Clearly, Europe has lost Turkey to Islamic extremism, not Israel.

  • Wilde Rover

    Pinni,

    “Clearly, Europe has lost Turkey to Islamic extremism, not Israel.”

    So, just so I’m clear on this, Europe is the daddy, Israel is the mammy, and Turkey is the errant teen that’s just started shooting up?

    So Europe is to blame for Turkey being a washed up junkie?

    This is better than daytime TV.

    And now a word from our sponsors.

  • andnowwhat

    Pinni, why is Gates blaming everyone but those who were internartionally reconised to be at fault, Isreal?

    Perhaps if the US didn’t veto endless condemnation of Israel by the UN and supported sanctions against Israel (who we know what they have done as opposed to the supposition re Iran) Turkey may not be turning away from the West.

    One of the main reasons Turkey was not we,comed in to the EU with open arms is its human fights record which is terrible.

    RE Turkey turning to “Islamic extremism”, utter tosh. Yes, the party is Islamic but the US cannot use that term without convulsively adding the word extremism.

  • Mick Fealty

    There is often a confusion between legitimate political contention over Israel/Palestine and full blooded anti Jewish racism, which often blocks real political discussion.

    But I think you may have helped us define where that line lies.

    You chose the word ‘import’. Given the recent history of the Jewish people (ie, ‘imported’ and ‘exported’ in cattle trucks across Europe by white, gentile supposedly civilised Europeans), it’s a blatant attempt to objectify and dehumanise.

    And neither is it a genuinely political proposition. Rather it’s a nasty piece of fair gaming of Jews…

  • pinni

    That’s right, ANW, ‘endless condemnation of Israel by the UN’. Even when Israel does everything by the book they are still condemned. Why are you not calling for the UN to have ‘endless’ condemnation for Sudan, NK, Iran, Venezuela, etc for their far more flagrant violations of HR.

    No matter what Israel does, people like you will condemn her. That’s why Israel pays no attention to so-called peace activists who are only a façade for the merciless Hamas.

  • pinni

    One of the main reasons Turkey was not we,comed in to the EU with open arms is its human fights record which is terrible.

    Unarguably far worse than Israel’s!

  • Mick Fealty

    Just in case this gets missed, here’s my response to ‘Oracle’ from back up the thread:

    There is often a confusion between legitimate political contention over Israel/Palestine and full blooded anti Jewish racism, which often blocks real political discussion.

    But I think you may have helped us define where that line lies.

    You chose the word ‘import’ to describe the movement of people (a word normally reserved for goods or farm animals). Given the recent history of the Jewish people (ie, ‘imported’ and ‘exported’ in cattle trucks across Europe by white, gentile supposedly civilised Europeans), it’s a pretty blatant attempt to objectify and dehumanise.

    And neither is it a genuinely political proposition. Rather it’s a nasty piece of fair gaming of Jews…

  • andnowwhat

    Obviously I meant human rights, not fights.

    Saying that one place has worse rights than another does not excuse one that has less violations.

  • Munsterview

    Not the slightest bit surprised Richard!

    There is a protestant life after unionism, strange as it may seem. Most C of I down here, and I know more than a few are consciously put their Christian values into every day practice in the way they lived their lives and interacted with their communities.

    In one Southern area most of the local C of I community supported as SF councillor on his merits as an elected representative while disagreeing with a lot of his politics. There was an agreed and voted on strategy for SF in that particular area, that was arbitrarily and undemocratically changed by another councillor and a few cronies, the longest serving member withdrew his nomination because of what happened and decided not to run for election while continuing to canvass for the second guy and Sinn Fein.

    The first got a visit from a group of his C of I local community neighbors : on his record of service if he ran as an Independent they would support him and in fact spend two hours persuading him to run. As far as he was concerned this was some the ideals United Irishmen in action.

    There was also the fact that if he did not and the word got out of what happened all that vote would ( as Tipp O’Neill said ‘all politics are local’ they are also seldom simple ! ) go to Fine Gael.

    He resigned from SF ran in the same constituency against the Sinn Fein candidate and both were elected, as they could have been anyway if the decisions of the strategy committee had not been unilaterally set aside. He even asked for transfers for the SF candidate from his voters.

    The C of I people in the community in most of Munster have the same touch of radicalism slumbering beneath the surface, their values are appreciated, little toleration for ‘Ah sure twill do’ or ‘ we’ll see what to-morrow brings attitude’

    I can recall one occasion in East Cork where in a farming issues in a mixed community they were insisting that the Government be held to account for the latest in a broken string of promises while the local FF crowd were trying to defuse the situation by trying get agreement for a meeting with the Minister before any protest was undertaken.

    In as much as Fianna Failure have a consistent policy this is it, buy a couple of days, that buys a couple of weeks, that buys a couple of months and then the first issue is overtaken by another and the same process begin all over again until all the space between elections are filled out!

    One of the FF wide boys realizing that they were loosing control of the meeting played the history card and asked in mock exasperation why do Protestants all ways have to be like that ? …… ‘He got his reply because we live our name,we are Protest- ants! No more needed to be said. The protest vote was carried went public.

  • Munsterview

    There is one simple issue that absolutely demonstrates absolutely the duplicity of the Israeli State towards the Rule Of Law and the International community. It also demonstrates the core of the problem of the Mid-East; that the International Community will not hold the Israeli State accountable to International Law.

    That issue is Nuclear Power; Israel is a Nuclear Power and has Nuclear Weapons!

    North Korea and Iran are campaigned against daily on the Nuclear Weapons issue; there is a string of UN sanctions against both countries pushed by the United States and it’s Nato Allies against both countries, many, ironically, at the urgings of Israel yet a blind eye is turned to this true rouge Nuclear State.

    Why is Israel not subject to International Nuclear Inspections, Why is the State allowed remain outside the list of declared Nuclear Powers and why are there no International sanctions against the Israeli State for these breeches of International Law?

    Once this issue is confronted and the questions answered, much becomes clear as to why little has changed for the better for those Peoples subordinate to Israel of why this situation is unlikely to change any time soon!

    For those who are not current with this debate, please google, information and fact is not that difficult to come by!

  • Isn’t it marvelous? A post which enables some individuals to damn Unionists AND Jews.

  • Munsterview

    This article is as published in the Jerusalem Post : I look forward to the usual Pro Israel Chorus attempting to brand this particular source ‘Anti-Semitic’.

    Anyone with a serious interest in Ships, Weapons and Warfare will know also that Jane’s Information Group is one of the most authoritative sources for facts in this area in the world. Presidents, Rulers, Governments, the UN etc use it on a regular basis.

     
    ‘Israel is world’s 6th largest nuclear power’
    By YAAKOV KATZ
    04/11/2010 05:19

    Jane’s Information Group says Jewish State has between 100 and 300 nuclear warheads.
    Talkbacks (4)

     
    Israel has between 100 and 300 nuclear warheads, making it the world’s sixth largest nuclear power, say defense analysts at the London-based Jane’s Information Group ahead of a nuclear summit to be hosted by US President Barack Obama in Washington this week.

    According to the publishing company, the size of Israel’s nuclear arsenal puts it almost on par with Britain. Israel reportedly can fire nuclear warheads on an array of surface-to-surface Jericho missiles and on top of cruise missiles carried by its Dolphin-class submarines, giving it a second-strike capability.

    The Jericho 2, says Jane’s, has a range of about 4,500 km. The Jericho 3, reportedly tested by Israel several years ago, is said to have a range of close to 8,000 km. Israel can also deploy nuclear missiles from the air.

    The Jane’s analysis, as quoted by AFP, says Israel has also developed tactical nuclear weapons and probably keeps most of its arsenal in an unassembled mode, reserving the ability to obtain fully functional weapons within a matter of days.

    There is one simple issue that absolutely demonstrates absolutely the duplicity of the Israeli State towards the Rule Of Law and the International community. It also demonstrates the core of the problem of the Mid-East; that the International Community will not hold the Israeli State accountable to International Law.

    That issue is Nuclear Power; Israel is a Nuclear Power and has Nuclear Weapons!

    North Korea and Iran are campaigned against daily on the Nuclear Weapons issue; there is a string of UN sanctions against both countries pushed by the United States and it’s Nato Allies against both countries, many, ironically, at the urgings of Israel yet a blind eye is turned to this true rouge Nuclear State.

    Why is Israel not subject to International Nuclear Inspections, Why is the State allowed remain outside the list of declared Nuclear Powers and why are there no International sanctions against the Israeli State for these breeches of International Law?

    Once this issue is confronted and the questions answered, much becomes clear as to why little has changed for the better for those Peoples subordinate to Israel of why this situation is unlikely to change any time soon!

    For those who are not current with this debate, please google, information and fact is not that difficult to come by!

     
    ‘Israel is world’s 6th largest nuclear power’
    By YAAKOV KATZ
    04/11/2010 05:19

    Jane’s Information Group says Jewish State has between 100 and 300 nuclear warheads.
    Talkbacks (4)

     
    Israel has between 100 and 300 nuclear warheads, making it the world’s sixth largest nuclear power, say defense analysts at the London-based Jane’s Information Group ahead of a nuclear summit to be hosted by US President Barack Obama in Washington this week.

    According to the publishing company, the size of Israel’s nuclear arsenal puts it almost on par with Britain. Israel reportedly can fire nuclear warheads on an array of surface-to-surface Jericho missiles and on top of cruise missiles carried by its Dolphin-class submarines, giving it a second-strike capability.

    The Jericho 2, says Jane’s, has a range of about 4,500 km. The Jericho 3, reportedly tested by Israel several years ago, is said to have a range of close to 8,000 km. Israel can also deploy nuclear missiles from the air.

    The Jane’s analysis, as quoted by AFP, says Israel has also developed tactical nuclear weapons and probably keeps most of its arsenal in an unassembled mode, reserving the ability to obtain fully-functional weapons within a matter of days

  • Munsterview

    Regrets for cut & paste cock-up……. bring back preview…. please !

  • N.Korea is a Stalinist hellhole governed by a hereditary communist (?) psychopathic leadership.
    Iran is a brutal theocracy (remember last year, anyone?).
    Israel is a democracy which would like to live in peace with its neighbours if said neighbours would only agree.

  • I agree Munsterview re. preview facility.

  • Munsterview

    Bav O O

    As they would put it down this neck of the woods, ‘ lovely hurling but we are playing football !’

    Care to address the salient issue : if Israel is this great paragon of democracy why do the State not comply with International Law on Nuclear Power and Weapons.

    Is there one International Law for the North Koreans and the Iranians; and yet another one for the Israeli State ?

    A significant section of Israeli Citizenship do not think so, they do not want to ride roughshod over their neighbors, they do not wish the Palestinians or the people of Lebanon ill and if given the opportunity to do so they are willing to live in peace and security behind their 1967 borders.

    I follow this dissenting peace movement : I take the views of the IDF officers and Soldiers who refuse to be their Nation’s Black & Tans very seriously indeed as I did the views of their British counterparts who had the moral principles and courage to come on Troops Out platforms to tell what ‘ Her Majesties Peace Keeping Forces’ really did in Nationalist areas in the Six Counties during the pre-ceasefire period of the Low Intensity War up there.

    So address the question posed why is democratic Israel thumbing its State nose at the UN and International Law and happy to embrace the same International Outlaw status as the other tow so called rouge states ?

  • Munsterview

    Ah come on Lads, this is gone beyond a laugh, I have a reputation to think of here!

    Expressions of thanks from David Vance, agreement with Bav OO on an issue, what is next…… flowers from turgon !

  • Munsterview

    I also have to keep restating this; Irrespective of what my feelings are about how the Israeli State came into existence, we are where we are, I believe Israel has the right to exist at peace behind secure borders, those pre 1967 war

    In the early seventies I spend an afternoon in the company of a former Irgun fighter against the British or indeed anyone else that stood in his armed groups way. Back then he said exactly the same thing about what would happen if a generation of Palestinians grew up not knowing peace as John Ging of the UN did a few hours ago on television.

    He also correctly identified and predicated the forces that produced Hamas !

    The Political Abomination that is the current Israeli State was far, far indeed from that man’s vision or that of the founding fathers.

    This is not just a Jews v Arabs issue : It is about one group of people who have superior arms and strength cruelly and viciously exercising power and control over a people they treat as sub human.

    One do not have to go too far back in history to find where this happened : I walked the streets of Eastern European Ghettos where the same things happened to men, women and children as is happening in Gaza tonight.

    80% of the population suffering from food depravation; 90% drinking water unsuitable for even washing in by Western standards , etc.

    Get any decent book on the treatment of the Old, the Young, of Men, Women and children in the Warsaw Ghetto and any UN report on Gaza conditions and the parallels are there for all to see.

    In decades to come when the Mid-East situation is resolved and the true details of the current Gaza conditions emerge, the world will look on the tv and film images of these times with the same revulsion and disbelief as we now look at the Ghetto Film Footage!

  • I’m sure we agree about lots of things Munsterview. Come on, its not that bad.

  • RepublicanStones

    One of the most (maybe the most) influential and respected books in the history of mankind is ‘flimsy’, RS??

    Indeed, as science and the documentary record of many empires have shown.

    That’s absolutely hilarious!

    Not as hilarious as thinking some dude parted the sea and another could walk on water.

    What planet do you live on, anyway?

    One which wasn’t created in 6 days.

  • RepublicanStones

    I suggest you look up Jesus and Horus again. Jesus wasn’t the first guy born of a virgin mother, or rise from the dead etc etc etc !

  • RepublicanStones

    I didn’t think he’d be that childish, but it seems Mr Vance has indeed thrown the toys outta the pram. I’m now barred form his blog. It appears he believes the accusation of anti-semitism is only something he should be able to wield !

    http://atangledweb.squarespace.com/httpatangledwebsquarespace/anti-semitism-rampant.html#comments

  • Munsterview

    Any reply from the Pro-Israeli lobby to the IDF dissident soldiers ?

    Any reply from the Pro-Israeli lobby to the Nuclear Power issues raised ?

    Their political bankrupt can now bee seen for what it is : remove the term ‘Anti-Semitism’ from the debate and there is little else left in their arsenal !

    The Israeli position is untenable from any moral viewpoint or standard of International law!

  • Greenflag

    munsterview ,

    Question :

    ‘Is there one International Law for the North Koreans and the Iranians; and yet another one for the Israeli State ?’

    Answer : Yes .

    Question :

    ‘So address the question posed why is democratic Israel thumbing its State nose at the UN and International Law and happy to embrace the same International Outlaw status as the other two so called rogue states ?

    Answer:

    Because it can and Israel knows the USA will do nothing . It’s not in the USA’s inrterest to see the entire Middle East region go up in a thermonuclear armageddon . OIl is becoming increasingly scarce -no need to make it any scarcer .

  • Ghost Bear

    RS, you’re better off not going there and increasing the hits on his site anyway. The man is both a child and a clown.

  • Munsterview

    Found this on the Henrymarkow.com site; Henry an Austrian Jew now living in Canada he is a critic of the excesses on the Israeli State towards their neighbors and of International Zionists. He is always worth a visit.

    Just thought that it would be a nice finishing to the debate here!

    Ten Ways Zionists Would Spin BP Disaster

    June 11, 2010
    by Allan Dershevitz (not Alan Dershewitz pictured here)

    Inspired by the Israeli Foreign Ministry’s adroit and deft handling of the Flotilla Massacre, transforming a seeming public relations fiasco into a defining moment of Zionist virtue, bravery, and heroism, I have compiled a ten point plan to help BP spin its way out of the Gulf of Mexico Oil Fiasco.

    1. The oil rig actually had been commandeered by a radical Islamist group to use as a missile launch site to attack the US, so out of selfless benevolence BP was forced to blow it up. In fact, BP stands for Brave Patriots.

    2. Oil is now available freely to all who wish to extract it for themselves from the ocean water. The blowout actually is a great act of charity on the part of BP to the peoples of the US and Mexico. (BP stands for Beloved People.)

    3. The New World now boasts its own Black Sea to rival the one between Russia and Turkey. (BP stands for Black Pool.)

    4. Turning the sea black is a sign of BP’s broader commitment to affirmative action. (BP stands for Black Power.)

    5. BP workers were inspecting the rig, but the rig resisted and forced the workers to blow it up. (BP stands for Bold Police.)

    6. The disaster has brought a much needed economic revival to impoverished Gulf states. The influx of reporters and cameramen, coast guard personnel, government officials, and lawyers, has been a great boon to the local economy. (BP stands for Break Poverty.)

    7. The disaster has removed the media spotlight from other problem areas around the world, increasing American’s (false) sense of security. (BP stands for Believers’ Paradise.)

    8. The disaster was an act of God provoked by America’s criticism of Israel regarding its suppression of Palestinian human rights. (BP stands for Bad Palestinians.)

    9. The disaster resulted from America’s failure to bomb Iran, which lies next to the Persian Gulf and near the Black Sea, so God turned the “Gulf” “black” as a sign of His anger. (BP stands for Bomb Persia.)

    10. America’s lip-service support of black-hearted Palestinian Islamic terror groups caused the Gulf of Mexico miraculously to turn black as a sign of God’s wrath. (BP stands for Bash Palestine.)

    NEXT: Israeli Spin-Doctors Rescue Goldman Sachs

  • Wilde Rover

    It should be pointed out that some of the bravest people in the world are anti-Zionist Jews who bear the full brunt of the incandescent rage of Zionism.

    You really have to have brass balls to be an anti-Zionist Jew, and fair play to them. I don’t think I could ever be so brave.

  • Alias

    On the contrary, every nation has among them those who deny the right to that nation to self-determination – and Jews, like the Irish, are no exception to that. Those not from that nation who deny the right of that nation to self-determination have a self-serving tendancy to praise those from that nation who also deny the right of that nation to self-determination, while the nation itself rightfully regards them as traitors to it.

    There are also many Irishmen who do not believe that the Irish nation has the right to self-determination, and who wish it to surrender that right and rejoin the UK. PIRA spent many decades murdering them before it reversed its policy and agreed with the British state that the Irish nation in that part of the UK had no right to self-determination. Conor Cruise O’Brien and Kevin Myers et al are derided as “self-hating Irishmen” by that nation while being praised for their “courage and objectivity” by others.

    Most folks can see through the little self-serving of priasing those who agree with you, and it leaves you looking like a dupe, frankly.

  • RepublicanStones

    You miss the glaring point Alias. Some of those anti-zionist jews actually demonstrate that there is no Jewish nation, as in world Jewry does not fit the modern conception of a nation. What with Judaism being a religion with a undenaible history of conversion and proselytism. What does a Persian Jew share with a Flasha or with Christopher Hitchens or Woddy Allen apart from anything to with their religion?
    The depths zionism has sunk to in order to justify what it has inflicted on the Palestinians means I must be part of the Basque nation 😉

  • Wilde Rover

    Alias,

    “Most folks can see through the little self-serving of priasing those who agree with you, and it leaves you looking like a dupe, frankly.”

    And how did you determine what “most folks” are thinking? Did you, like de Valera, look into your heart? Are those who label anti-Zionist Jews as “self haters” not dupes?

  • Munsterview

    Alias.

    From the outset it should be noted that as an Israeli Citizen you are not perhaps participating on this debate as objectively as others presenting their views. I have no problem with that but it do add another important aspect to your polemic.

    First Judaism as a world religion : I know that inside that religion there are sects that because of their particular beliefs they think that Israel should not exist; this belief do not arise from politics but from a particular interpretation of the Bible.

    Peoples of Jewish descent such as Lenin have always been to the fore in Anti-State underground Revolutionary Movements, the arguments as to why range from this rebellion being a product of their own historical experience of persecution right through to those who see this activity as part of a Grand Plan for a New World Order. Most secular Jews World wide who are on the hard left are anti-Zionist : I see this as in keeping with their political beliefs where others will reach for labels like ‘Self Hating Jews’

    I am excluding these two groups from the discussion, numerically in terms of those who consider themselves Jews on a world wide basis, I doubt that they account for one-in-a-thousand. Some of the latter do have a significant National and International Profile, but as you well know that in this country we also have political groupings who in terms of the population on this Island, number less than 1% in actual electoral support : their cause is forlorn, yet they claim to speak for a far wider sentiment of their community than they have been mandated for!

    It is unfortunately necessary for somebody in my situation to have to keep restating my position in relation to the State of Israel; irrespective of how it came into existence, and I have my own personal views on that, the State now exists and has a right to do so within secure International Borders.

    The majority of the peoples disputing Israeli current expansionist and occupation policies agree that these should be the old borders of pre 1967 with some adjustments here and there.

    The ‘Refusing to Serve’ Israeli Defense Force Officers and Other Ranks are not Anti-Israel : they have pledged to a defend the State in an all out war situation and continue to serve if required in the lands that are within the 1967 Border.

    The Israeli Peace Movement and Dissenting citizens which include most of the Refusing to serve Officers and Other Ranks of the Defense Forces is a significant and growing Movement, most on the Right do indeed regard them as traitors but they in turn regard the Right also as traitors for having betrayed the ideals of the founders of the State, Jewish moral values and International Law.

    More, they also consider the State’s actions towards the Palestinian as not alone wrong on all counts, but that it is also long term, by it’s policies, no less than reckless and unnecessary endangerment of the Israeli State itself.

    Internationally Israeli State actions in recent decades have exhausted the goodwill that was there towards the State from most Nations, the European ones in particular, to a situation where they are now, at best, barely tolerated.

    Invoking The dead Cruiser and the living Kevin Myers as examples of the Movements referred to in Israel is not a valid comparison : whatever political beliefs can be attributed to both named individuals, both were first and always iconoclastic contrarians, who as a Munster saying goes, would even dispute the color of crows! Connor ended up so politically and culturaly isolated that his second wife and family were and are his main defenders.

    As to Kevin Myers : there is no need to rub salt in the wound; Kevin has a formidable intellect and more than a few abilities, yet at the autumn of what started off as a journalistic career of much promise, he is reduced to a marginal weekly piece read only for it’s quirkiness and included in the paper for color just as he is invited to contribute to current events for his capacity to provoke argument and stir things up as much as any real contributions that he can make to the debate on the issues concerned.

    I do not think when the same Kevin looks in the mirror to shave each morning that a fulfilled man is looking back at him or that he considers that he has reached the peak of Journalistic excellence. The ideas of both people represent the views of few people other than themselves.

    The Israel Peace movement on the other hand has somewhere around the same numbers regarding the population as a whole as in general either Fianna Failure, Fine Gael or the DUP and UUP combined has in relation to the population of this island of Ireland.

    The Refusal To Serve and Peace Movement are not numerically insignificant or traitors; they personify the ideals of the best in the intentions of the State’s Founders and it’s best hope for a future of peace within secure borders for both Israel and it’s neighboring peoples.

    In my considered opinion their views are essential for any understanding of the Middle-East conflict, the true state of the occupied territories or the hopes for a just and lasting peace.

  • Munsterview

    It seems that this particular debate has more or less run it’s course. It did throw up some useful insights into the ‘Lost Tribe, British-Israel arguments’.

    For Catholic / Nationalist / Republican readers in particular and the sane wing of Unionism, please take a look at the following site that was referred to me last night by a North American friend for comment. I should have been aware of this site it but I was not until it was drawn to my attention. If I had it at the start of this comment it may have opened up other dimensions to this particular debate.

    Since the iconography described is quite common in Loyalist graphics, there is a legitimate question to ask as to the extent of these beliefs. How common are they inside the Orange Order; are they part of the ritual and initiation practices? It seems a section of Loyalism could be the lost tribe after all……… in the common accepted sense of the term!

    http://jahtruth.net/uflag.htm.

    It is indeed ironic, there is a Mid-East connection claimed from our earliest records that cannot be dismissed entirely as not having a factual basis. Bob Quinn’s work of some decades ago put forward some very persuasive arguments for common underling traits between Aran Island culture and that of North Africa.

    It would be very surprising indeed if during the Moorish period in Spain that Atlantic sailors of that culture had not explored well North past Ireland. Gaelic Culture of this period still has not forgotten the Pre-Roman celtic culture of the continent, Irish Monks during the Re-Christianisation of Western Europe took up these old connections and established new ones.

    There are authentic links and connections of early history, hidden history and pre History there that do merit investigation, for anybody interested in this whole area.

  • wee buns

    Dodrade
    Thanks for the thought provoking article.
    Some views on the similarities below:

    Northern Protestants, in our recent past, have forgotten the democratic side of Protestantism & gone for a kind of Calvinism which seems to have forgotten the part of the bible which say ‘Love thy neighbour’ out of fear & the siege mentality.
    Israel & Northern Protestantism shares a culture of fatalism, a liking for biblical desolation. Symbolism on OO banners is biblical, particularly the twelve tribes of Israel.
    They have shared a favour for ‘gloves off ‘ security solutions.
    They have benefited the most from the ‘temporary’ nature of the states.ie.low housing costs & business & military links with US & Europe.
    They have shared a ‘frontiersman mentality’ i.e. God & a rifle.
    Defensive, intolerant & uncritically loyal to traditions & institutions.
    When Susan Mc Kay (journalist with integrity, as opposed to the morally lazy & drunken Myers) asked a leading Orange Order man why keep up provocative parades; the answer was ‘we have to show them who is master, that’s why’.
    In short, they share supremacist, masculinist reasons.

    They would also seem to share a terrible insecurity, because they have held onto power by dubious means and now fear they will be overthrown by the same means used against them. They are suffering from archaic fears, that they will be annihilated. Israelis have now founded a tradition which lacks doing things ‘above board’ and are impervious to argument.

    To quote Billy Mitchell (UVF) ‘When you incite people to form armies and then walk away, you create a monster, and a monster does what it wants. ‘ Frankenstein could’ve been written about Israel or Ireland.

    Just as the ‘Maggot Brigade’ threw maggots into Dunne’s Stores whilst the workers were protesting against the handling of S.African goods in the ‘80’s, so the ‘faithful’ continue to throw maggot arguments, for they have yet to come up with anything credible: still only ‘God gave it to us.’

  • wee buns

    Mad Mel Phillips employs the same tactic, when her arugument is defeated brick by brick, one is banned from her blogg.
    The admission of defeat, by the likes of Vance & Phillips.
    Congratulations.

  • a

    Whilst I can understand why most unionists support Israel, as a unionist it is a stance I do not share, primarily in remembrance of the victims of Zionist terrorism against the British authorities in Palestine prior to 1948.

    Do you also hold grudges against the governments of Cyprus, Kenya, Iraq, the Palestinian Authority (262 British soldiers were killed by Palestinians in the Arab Revolt, whose leaders spent WWII in Berlin), Yemen and every other country where the end of British rule was preceded by violence? Take whatever stance you want but this is a ridiculously opportunistic argument; if Israel wasn’t on the front page of your paper every day you wouldn’t know or care that some of its prime ministers had fought against the British.

  • Historian

    “I do not share, primarily in remembrance of the victims of Zionist terrorism against the British authorities in Palestine prior to 1948.”

    “British authorities?”

    You mean British occupation of Palestine? As someone who is British, you should know your own history.

    The British Army ruled Palestine with an iron-fist. They promised the Jews a state, but they cut them off during the White Papers and abandoned the Zionist Jews.

    What resulted was “terrorist” groups like Etzel, Lehi, etc.

    They weren’t racist or destructive, they had no territorial ambitions towards Europe.

    They wanted an Israeli state and after being diplomatic for 4 decades this seemed to be the only way to ensure it.

    During this time Jews were banned from praying at the Western Wall. hundreds of Jews had been killed by angry Arabs while the British looked away. Some British soldiers even took part in the killing.

    YOUR COUNTRY WAS NOT VICTIM TO “ZIONIST TERRORISM.” Israel is a victim to British imperialism. Most of its problems today is the result of historic British foreign policy.

    Britain’s complicity in the holocaust by placing a naval blockade on Palestine, when every other nation barred Jews from asylum, including Britain, and throwing holocaust survivors in Nazi POW camps on Cyprus, makes any bitching and moaning from EuroTrolls about the evil Jews hard to take seriously.

    Please learn your own history.