OMG Melanie Phillips apologises!


by Sunny
26th November, 2010 at 10:04 am    

Can’t believe I missed this earlier. The Indy’s Matthew Norman reported on Monday:

Lovers of the unusual, rejoice! Within days Melanie Phillips will make a public apology. In July 2008, Mad Mel lifted and embellished a mistake from the neocon website, Harry’s Place, regarding Mohammad Sawalha, a Palestinian-born British man whom Al Jazeera had mis-transcribed referring to “evil/ noxious” Jews at a rally.

In fact, as Arabic experts later confirmed to High Court superstar Tugendhat, he referred to the “Jewish lobby”. Al Jazeera corrected it instantly, and Harry’s Place later, yet MM magisterially ignored requests for a simple correction until a trial was imminent, when she caved. This unwonted arrogance has presented a six-figure bill for damages and costs to The Spectator, which at the time of writing continues to host her deliciously deranged blog.

Couldn’t happen to a nicer bunch of circle-jerks. By my reckoning, that’s the second time this year someone at the Spectator has cost the magazine money for using HP for research. And long may it continue.

The apology has now been published, but I’m rather disappointed it wasn’t on Mad Mel’s blog. That would have been a glorious sight.


              Post to del.icio.us


Filed in: Media






88 Comments below   |  

Reactions: Twitter, blogs
  1. sunny hundal

    Blogged: : OMG Melanie Phillips apologises! http://bit.ly/ewIZON


  2. Natalya

    'Mad' Melanie Phillips is forced to apologise for defaming Palestinian Mohammed Sawalha http://bit.ly/ewIZON (v @sunnyhundal)


  3. Paul Burgin

    RT @sunny_hundal: Blogged: : OMG Melanie Phillips apologises! http://bit.ly/ewIZON


  4. Lee Jasper

    RT @sunny_hundal: Blogged: : OMG Melanie Phillips apologises! http://bit.ly/ewIZON


  5. Paddy Eden

    RT @sunny_hundal: Blogged: : OMG Melanie Phillips apologises! http://bit.ly/ewIZON <-Oh joy, oh bliss, oh dear.


  6. padbrit

    RT @sunny_hundal: Blogged: : OMG Melanie Phillips apologises! http://bit.ly/ewIZON <-Oh joy, oh bliss, oh dear.


  7. Edward Clarke

    RT @sunny_hundal: Blogged: : OMG Melanie Phillips apologises! http://bit.ly/ewIZON


  8. earwicga

    RT @sunny_hundal: OMG Melanie Phillips apologises! http://bit.ly/ewIZON




  1. Jeremy Hughes — on 26th November, 2010 at 1:18 pm  

    Quote from Independent source:

    “…this unwonted arrogance…”

    Isn’t it quite usual for Melanie Phillips to be arrogant?

  2. Refresh — on 26th November, 2010 at 2:07 pm  

    This is most disappointing. I would have preferred her not to have apologised. We needed her in the dock.

  3. Refresh — on 26th November, 2010 at 2:11 pm  

    Some better news

    PCC makes formal apology for Buscombe’s phone-hacking remarksPress watchdog also agrees to pay damages to settle lawyer’s libel action over accusations of misleading select committee

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/2010/nov/26/pcc-buscombe-apology-phone-hacking

    The question will be who owns the PCC.

  4. joe90 — on 26th November, 2010 at 2:13 pm  

    couldn’t have happened to a nicer person.

    about time these lunatics where hit where it hurts in the pocket!

  5. Konnu — on 26th November, 2010 at 2:38 pm  

    Over two years to get them to acknowledge a clear error. I wish they could have insisted on a video apology from Mad Mel.

  6. alex the awesomest — on 26th November, 2010 at 2:54 pm  

    fit.

  7. damon — on 26th November, 2010 at 3:52 pm  

    This was a Harry’s Place piece on Mohammad Sawalha.

    Is it all lies and smears? Or is it at least partly true?
    http://hurryupharry.org/2010/03/14/the-guardian-muhammad-sawalha-leads-%E2%80%9Canti-racist%E2%80%9D-group/

    It’s difficult for the casual observer to really know who’s closer to the truth.

  8. Scooby — on 26th November, 2010 at 4:34 pm  

    “Blog commentator who claims to oppose English libel law yet again celebrates its application against a political opponent.”

    That would make a good headline, wouldn’t it?

  9. Roger — on 26th November, 2010 at 4:48 pm  

    Or is it at least partly true?

    Eh? The evidence against Sawalha is documented in that post.

    What’s happening is that Hundal is celebrating a lawfare win by a Hamas operative. You know, it’s that “progressive” thing again.

  10. harith — on 26th November, 2010 at 5:28 pm  

    “regarding Mohammad Sawalha, a Palestinian-born British man”

    Oh the understatement.

    Referring to Sawallha as merely “a Palestinian-born British man” is a bit like referring to Nick Griffin as merely “a British MEP” or to Sadhvi Rithambara as an “Indian born woman”.

  11. Refresh — on 26th November, 2010 at 5:32 pm  

    Roger, would you prefer to have libellous statements to remain unchallenged as long as it is to an end of your choosing?

  12. Brownie — on 26th November, 2010 at 5:32 pm  

    Eh? Al Jazeera mistranscribed. It was AJ’s mistake. And when this was discovered, HP corrected our reporting. You’ll have to ask the Spectator why it chose to drag its feet on a clarification, but to claim HP was responsible for a AJ mistranscription is yet another example of Sunny’s infantile obsession with throwing mud at HP whenever he can.

    Read the HP post about Sawalha that damon links to. There’s a very good reason HP wasn’t sued for libel following that post. That’s because it’s all true.

    But ignore that. This is a post devoted to Sunny’s schadenfreude.

    One other thing. When Sunny implies HP authors are racist with his “beared Muslims = bad” representation of the HP line, he does it because he knows HP is the one blog on the internet that won’t resort to lawfare. It’s risk-free libel and Sunny just can’t help himself.

    ‘Coward’ doesn’t begin to cover it.

  13. earwicga — on 26th November, 2010 at 6:02 pm  

    ‘but to claim HP was responsible for a AJ mistranscription’

    Brownie, would you like to point out where exactly Sunny does that?

  14. Shamit — on 26th November, 2010 at 6:31 pm  

    “Coward’ doesn’t begin to cover it.”

    he he he – a person who posts by the nickname Brownie is calling a person who publishes everything in his own name on the web as coward.

    New example of oxymoron – intelligence & Brownie.

  15. douglas clark — on 26th November, 2010 at 6:32 pm  

    Brownie,

    but to claim HP was responsible for a AJ mistranscription…

    neither the author, nor anyone mentioned in the original OP made that mistake.

    So what are you wound up about now? Oh! I see, something else entirely.

  16. Sunny — on 26th November, 2010 at 6:33 pm  

    but to claim HP was responsible for a AJ mistranscription

    Could you point where I said that – or retract?

  17. Sunny — on 26th November, 2010 at 6:33 pm  

    But ignore that. This is a post devoted to Sunny’s schadenfreude.

    mmmm… yeah… Harry’s Place isn’t obsessed by me at all!

  18. harith — on 26th November, 2010 at 6:34 pm  

    earwigca

    Did you manage to get to this bit of the post where Sunny uses this insinuation:

    “By my reckoning, that’s the second time this year someone at the Spectator has cost the magazine money for using HP for research. And long may it continue.”

    But even Matthew Arnold, who is blockquoted by Sunny, says that the transcription error was made first by AJ, then quoted by HP. Then afterwards, the error was corrected by both.

    But you wouldn’t know that from the tone of this article, which is celebratory.

    It’s revealing but not surprising to find this blog gleeful because of a lawfare victory by a Hamas operative. Is it the victory by Sawalha or the loss by Melanie Philips that is causing so much joy? Or both? It’s difficult to tell.

  19. Shamit — on 26th November, 2010 at 6:35 pm  

    And why do people waste so much time on Spectator and New Statesman. Both with excellent legacies but now biased idiotic magazines – no wonder they find it hard to make money.

    So why people bother about these idiots?

  20. Bob — on 26th November, 2010 at 6:35 pm  

    More details here.

    See also Bob Lambert’s piece at MEMO.

  21. douglas clark — on 26th November, 2010 at 6:47 pm  

    Brownie,

    I don’t recall Sunny Hundal suing Harrys’ Place either. Indeed you are still listed as a ‘comrade’ in his blogroll here.

    So this ‘holier than thou stuff is bullshit:

    he does it because he knows HP is the one blog on the internet that won’t resort to lawfare.

    How many blogs do resort to lawfare? The Courts must be very busy.

  22. Niaz — on 26th November, 2010 at 6:55 pm  

    Harith interesting to see you on here seeing as you are slagging off PP elsewhere
    http://www.spittoon.org/archives/8157

  23. Sunny — on 26th November, 2010 at 7:00 pm  

    When Sunny implies HP authors are racist with his “beared Muslims = bad” representation of the HP line, he does it because he knows HP is the one blog on the internet that won’t resort to lawfare. It’s risk-free libel and Sunny just can’t help himself.

    This is quite fucking hilarious too. what are you trying to do – scare me?

    You couldn’t sue over that even if you wanted to. It’s called ‘opinion’ and if you don’t like it, boo fucking hoo.

    Please don’t come here pretending that you’re doing me a favour by not suing.

  24. damon — on 26th November, 2010 at 8:38 pm  

    This is starting to sound dogmatic – in the way that a guy called Galen 10 has tried to shout down cjcjc over the student fees subject on Liberal Conspiracy.
    It’s a deeply unpleasant way of spending one’s time online when you would just like to get to the bottom of any issue without all the personal aggrandisement.

    Mohammad Sawalha is either associated with Hamas or he is not. I really can’t be bothered with all the politics that tries to fudge that.

    He does associate himself with the ”Israel is genocidal” movement. I think that much at least is clear.

    I just watched ”Unreported World” again.
    I was just thinking how joe90 would be giving a running commentary excuse about the exploitation of those boys. Probably a What about Israel? excuse.
    http://www.channel4.com/programmes/unreported-world/

  25. Roger — on 26th November, 2010 at 9:04 pm  

    Mohammad Sawalha is either associated with Hamas or he is not.

    He is in fact one of the most important UK operatives, running financial and political support operations. There is lots of evidence.

    Have you or anyone else here countered any of it? No.

  26. Roger — on 26th November, 2010 at 9:13 pm  

    It’s called ‘opinion’

    No, it’s called slander. Exceptionally stupid and baseless slander. That is, your trademark.

  27. douglas clark — on 26th November, 2010 at 9:26 pm  

    Roger @ 25, 26 and no doubt throughout the Universe….

    Brownie could answer the comments @ 13, 14, 15 and 16 before you do your very, very best to try to divert us from his complete failure to do so.

    BTW I’d have thought you’d just potentially libelled someone there, which could be a tad dangerous, I’d have thought.

    Now run along….

  28. Roger — on 26th November, 2010 at 11:21 pm  

    BTW I’d have thought you’d just potentially libelled someone there

    Hilarious. Yes, do call Carter-Ruck, Mr Clark. Sawalha? And Hamas? Say what? No, never.

    Very funny.

    Now run along

    That is just what good bloggers and commenters have done on this blog.

    It is now a place to celebrate wins by ridiculous lawfare thugs who serve terrorists.

  29. Brownie — on 26th November, 2010 at 11:26 pm  

    he he he – a person who posts by the nickname Brownie is calling a person who publishes everything in his own name on the web as coward.

    Oh dear. I’ve used my email address which contains my full name – david_michael_brown – on all postings I make here and at HP. Sunny can confirm. PP doesn’t publish emails, but that’s not my fault.

    So to repeat that name again: David Michael Brown.

    Got it?

    Could you point where I said that – or retract?

    Oh come on. You wrote:

    Couldn’t happen to a nicer bunch of circle-jerks. By my reckoning, that’s the second time this year someone at the Spectator has cost the magazine money for using HP for research.

    By failing to mention that HP’s content was simple repetition of words reported on AJ, you’re deliberately misleading readers. The mistake, the error was AJ’s, not HP’s. You are implying that HP’s content is suspect i.e. using HP for research leads to lawsuits. It’s transparently mischievous at best, and wilful misrepresentation at worst.

    “Retract” my arse.

  30. Brownie — on 26th November, 2010 at 11:32 pm  

    Oh Bob Pitt, still shilling for theocratic death cults.

    Who’d a thunk it?

    BTW I’d have thought you’d just potentially libelled someone there, which could be a tad dangerous, I’d have thought.

    It’s not libel. I think you’d have found Sawalha suing HP if it were. He didn’t and his Hamas links are a matter of historical record. You’d know this stuff if you did some bloody research now and again instead of turning up in threads to participate in discussions (about which you know nothing) and demanding others prove their claims.

    And for the record, even if it were libel, it would be Sunny who’d need to worry. Online libel is clealry another subject about which you know jack-shit.

  31. Brownie — on 26th November, 2010 at 11:34 pm  

    This is quite fucking hilarious too. what are you trying to do – scare me?

    Yeah, that’s right. I’m trying to “scare” you by reaffirming what you already know, which is that HP doesn’t go in for lawfare even when its bloggers have been outed online and are routinely libelled, both here and elsewhere.

    FFS.

  32. anon — on 27th November, 2010 at 12:18 am  

    OMG Sunny Hundal doesn’t apologise.

    ‘Muslim women refused bus services because of the veil’

    http://www.pickledpolitics.com/archives/9331

  33. earwicga — on 27th November, 2010 at 12:51 am  

    Brownie –

    By failing to mention that HP’s content was simple repetition of words reported on AJ, you’re deliberately misleading readers.

    It’s in the OP you fucking moron. The OP says ‘Al Jazeera corrected it instantly, and Harry’s Place later, yet MM magisterially ignored requests‘ – It couldn’t be clearer.

    you’re deliberately misleading readers … It’s transparently mischievous at best, and wilful misrepresentation at worst.

    Moron. Read the fucking OP.

  34. Sunny — on 27th November, 2010 at 2:45 am  

    By failing to mention that HP’s content was simple repetition of words reported on AJ, you’re deliberately misleading readers.

    It’s in the piece I quoted – are you that thick? Actually, don’t answer that.

    when its bloggers have been outed online and are routinely libelled, both here and elsewhere.

    hahaha. There’s little point in accusing others of not knowing about law.

  35. Phomesy — on 27th November, 2010 at 4:18 am  

    It’s in the OP you fucking moron.Moron. Read the fucking OP.

    This is earwicga’s contribution to Pickled Politics.

    Hardly surprising given the example set by Sunny.

    What’s staggering is that earwicga seems to believe that the “OP” is Matthew Norman – when, clearly, and legally, the “OP” is Sunny’s commentary.

    Even more staggering is how a simple glance at Earwigca and Sunny’s posts shows how brute and vicious they are.

    All of this because “Jewish Lobby” was mistranslated as “Evil/Noxious Jews” by Arabic news channel Al Jazeera.

    What heroes you are, Sunny and earwicga. How proud you must be.

    I’m sick of this: it’s time HP sued these pricks.

  36. douglas clark — on 27th November, 2010 at 6:14 am  

    Brownie @ 30,

    My comment @ 27 was directed at Rogers’ posts at 25 & 26, not at you, nor Harrys’ Place. Seems to me that what Roger has said here may just be what a lawfare lawyer would be on the look-out for. Y’know, the ability to read something and make a meal out of it.

    For what it’s worth I’d have thought that Sunny’s ‘circle-jerk’ referred exclusively to the folk at the Spectator. Your mileage varies, because you want it to.

    It seems to me that everyone makes mistakes and correcting them quickly ought to be an adequate defence. Which is what Al Jazeera and Harrys’ Place did in this instance, and what the Spectator singularily failed to do.

    Storm.

    Teacup.

  37. douglas clark — on 27th November, 2010 at 7:03 am  

    To what extent do the participants in this blog splat agree with the comments here?

    http://www.senseaboutscience.org.uk/index.php/site/other/541/

  38. douglas clark — on 27th November, 2010 at 10:28 am  

    Brownie,

    I’d be quite willing to join your game of not suing another blog.

    We should have some sort of identity mark that says, we do not sue someone who also displays the identity mark.

    My own blog was destroyed by identity thieves. However, I would be willing to resurrect it if you and I could agree that we won’t sue each other.

    It is your point after all.

    We don’t sue, so neither should you.

  39. douglas clark — on 27th November, 2010 at 11:02 am  

    What might be interesting, dear reader, is how long it takes David Michael Brown to reply.

    For, it seems to me at least, that David Michael Brown sees Harrys’ Place as exceptional and independently righteous in not suing folk.

    But suing folk is actually a pathetic attempt to silence folk.

    The whole idea of suing for silence requires reconsideration.

    Our chum, Phomsey @ 35, seems to me to have grabbed the wrong end of the stick.

    The point dear Phomsey is to allow debate, not to stifle it. But that would be a bit beyond you, wouldn’t it?

  40. Dr Paul — on 27th November, 2010 at 12:33 pm  

    It’s true that the term ‘Jewish lobby’ is less unpleasant than ‘evil Jews’ or ‘noxious Jews’, but I am nonetheless very suspicious of anyone who uses the former term.

    Unlike the term ‘Israel lobby’, which is a legitimate subject of discussion, as there is such a thing, the term ‘Jewish lobby’ has a whiff of the Protocols of the Elders of Zion about it, and anyone who uses it is either ignorant or malicious.

    As for which category Sawalha can be placed in, I shall not offer an opinion, as I do not know whether he is actually anti-Semitic or merely a bit thick.

  41. Rumbold — on 27th November, 2010 at 12:37 pm  

    Dr Paul:

    Good points. I agree.

  42. douglas clark — on 27th November, 2010 at 1:30 pm  

    Dr Paul,

    the term ‘Jewish lobby’ has a whiff of the Protocols of the Elders of Zion about it, and anyone who uses it is either ignorant or malicious.

    That is certainly a way of cutting off debate.

    You are associating folk – like me – that would not give one halfpenny worth to the idiocy of the ‘Protocols’ with anyone else that doesn’t agree with Harrys’ Place, or right on your nose here, Brownie or Roger or Phomsey.

    Frankly, that is a ridiculous arguement, and I am quite upset that Rumbold seems to think it has merit, for it just doesn’t.

  43. douglas clark — on 27th November, 2010 at 1:50 pm  

    Anyway,

    How would:

    Unlike the term ‘Israel lobby’, which is a legitimate subject of discussion, as there is such a thing, the term ‘Jewish lobby’ has a whiff of the Protocols of the Elders of Zion about it, and anyone who uses it is either ignorant or malicious.

    Where is the whiff?

    And then, you say:

    …and anyone who uses it is either ignorant or malicious.

    I have no dog in the ring, but I fail to understand the point you are tying to make, Dr Paul.

    I think it is you that has an agenda, not me…

  44. Rumbold — on 27th November, 2010 at 2:01 pm  

    Douglas:

    People who talk about the ‘Jewish lobby’ are as a rule pretty unpleasant. Mohammad Sawalha seems to fall into that category.

  45. Don — on 27th November, 2010 at 2:18 pm  

    I agree with Rumbold that Dr Paul makes a valuable point.

    To refer to the ‘Jewish’ rather than the ‘Israeli’ lobby strongly implies that being jewish, rather than actively supporting Israel, places you in an adversarial position to the speaker. It also implies that all jews, whether openly or not, are part of a trans-national conspiracy.

    It’s nasty.

    Douglas, I think you are in danger of seeing agreeing or disagreeing with HP as some sort of moral lodestone. That, in my opinion, would be very limiting.

  46. douglas clark — on 27th November, 2010 at 2:43 pm  

    Rumbold,

    People who talk about the ‘Jewish lobby’ are as a rule pretty unpleasant. Mohammad Sawalha seems to fall into that category.

    Sure. But so are the Jewish lobby, the likes of Brownie, Roger and Phomsey. and our very own David T.

    They are no more likely to allow a free expression of opinion than anyone else.

    That does not allow Dr Paul to predicate that everyone that disagrees with him – me for instance – should be seen as a bit whiffy. Which is what he said.

    Anyone that disagrees with the Jewish lobby is a piece of shit. By their definition, I am a piece of shite.

    ________________________

    I am quite willing to argue a point here, you know that. I am not willing to be talked down to by brain dead zombies that assume that they are right and everyone else has no right to an opinion. That would turn this place into a Harry’s Place clone.

    Which is what some of our new friends seem to want.

    Well, what say you Rumbold? Are you seduced by the idiots at Harry’s Place who would claim you as their own, or would you prefer to hear from people like me that love you but are willing to say you are wrong, when I think you are wrong?

    Not that I am always right, perish the thought…

    :-)

    It is more fun that way…

  47. Don — on 27th November, 2010 at 2:46 pm  

    But so are the Jewish lobby

    Define the ‘Jewish lobby’.

  48. douglas clark — on 27th November, 2010 at 2:56 pm  

    Don @ 47,

    It is not up to me to do that. I refer you to Dr Paul @ 40 who appears to be an expert on finding offense in anything…

    It’s true that the term ‘Jewish lobby’ is less unpleasant than ‘evil Jews’ or ‘noxious Jews’, but I am nonetheless very suspicious of anyone who uses the former term.

    Unlike the term ‘Israel lobby’, which is a legitimate subject of discussion, as there is such a thing, the term ‘Jewish lobby’ has a whiff of the Protocols of the Elders of Zion about it, and anyone who uses it is either ignorant or malicious.

    It seems to me, that Dr Paul can find bad ass stuff, anywhere he cares to look.

    But that is up to you Don.

    You tell.

    For the record, I’ve quite liked most Jews I’ve met…

    Dr Paul may be the self centered, arrogant sort of person that I don’t like.

    it ain’t to do with religion or politics, it is all to do with arrogance.

  49. Don — on 27th November, 2010 at 4:51 pm  

    Douglas,

    The comment in question was entirely reasonable and I entirely concur with it. I have no idea how you get from there to arrogance and ego.

    For the record, I’ve quite liked most Jews I’ve met…

    That was a joke, right?

  50. Shamit — on 27th November, 2010 at 5:09 pm  

    Douglas -

    Dr. Paul is not wrong.

    This blog has consistently tried not to paint an individual’s actions as a blotch on an entire community.

    Using the phrase “Jewish Lobby” is a bit distasteful – as much as using the phrase “Muslim terrorists” or “Catholic terrorists”.

    There is no denying that there are right wing elements among the Jewish community which would make Rush Limbaugh blush – but those exist in all communities.

    Mohammad Sawalha is not a very pleasant person and his world view is defined by his religion. He may have won the court case and against a bigot Melanie Philips – but he is still dodgy. There is enough evidence that he is a Hamas supporter if not an activist for Hamas.

  51. Sarah AB — on 27th November, 2010 at 5:27 pm  

    I’m also puzzled as to what you mean by ‘Jewish Lobby’ Douglas. Judging by your criteria it seems as though I must be part of it because I sometimes blog at HP and generally agree with David T and Brownie. I’m not Jewish though. Like Don, I think there’s no need to disagree with something just because HP agrees with it.

  52. Bob — on 27th November, 2010 at 5:59 pm  

    I agree that the term “Jewish lobby” should be avoided, certainly here in the UK. But you have to bear in mind that Mohammad Sawalha was speaking in Arabic as a Palestinian on an Arab TV channel addressing an Arab audience.

    Palestinians in particular and Arabs in general do commonly refer to Israeli Jews as simply “the Jews” (al-yahud). The terms “Zionist lobby” or “pro-Israel lobby” just aren’t common currency in the Middle East, at least outside of an educated secular elite. If Mohammad Sawalha had used those terms most of his listeners wouldn’t have understood what he was talking about.

    The suggestion that this made him a supporter of the Protocols of the Elders of Zion is just silly.

  53. Don — on 27th November, 2010 at 6:15 pm  

    Arabs in general do commonly refer to Israeli Jews as simply “the Jews” (al-yahud).

    Well, that’s alright then. No problem at all.

    And if he had mentioned the ‘pro-Israeli’ lobby ‘most of his listeners wouldn’t have understood what he was talking about.’ Really? Is it that difficult a concept?

  54. Shamit — on 27th November, 2010 at 6:48 pm  

    Bob -

    Sorry that does not wash with me.

    Just like calling people “Kuffirs” don’t wash with me.

    And when an Hamas operative uses that phrase especially knowing Hamas and its patrons such as “m a dinner jacket” in Iran – I am sorry the benefit of doubt cannot be extended to his bloke.

    Remember Hamas and Hezbollah leaders seek their glory by putting people they proclaim to protect in danger – and by shedding the blood of those they proclaim to protect. Just like it happened in Lebanon and Gaza – because the civilians got the brunt of the Israeli massive “over reaction” – and not the hamas and hezbollah leadership.

    They are no better than the LTTE assholes and anyone who supports them is actually undermining the Palestinian cause.

  55. damon — on 27th November, 2010 at 6:49 pm  

    Don @53

    Really? Is it that difficult a concept?

    Yes, it does seem to be.
    Obviously we are not comparing like with like.
    Melanie Phillips should know better, while those who support the blowing up of pizza parlors in Jerusalem should be viewed more sympathetically.

  56. Bob — on 27th November, 2010 at 7:10 pm  

    Of course it’s a problem that Arabs refer to Israelis as “the Jews”. It fails to distinguish between the state of Israel and the Jewish people. But this is a problem largely of Israel’s own making, as it insists that it is in fact the state of “the Jews”.

    As for “pro-Israeli lobby”, it’s just not a term that is used in the Arab world. It’s been adopted in the West where there are significant Jewish communities in order to reflect the fact that not all Jews are Zionists.

    I think the term leads to misunderstanding even in the UK, though. It obscures the fact that the lobby here does consist mainly of Zionist Jews – as distinct from the USA, where there is a substantial Christian Zionist component to the pro-Israel lobby.

    I’d opt for “Zionist lobby” myself. But, as I say, that’s not a term used in the Middle East.

  57. Shamit — on 27th November, 2010 at 9:28 pm  

    “But this is a problem largely of Israel’s own making, as it insists that it is in fact the state of “the Jews”.”

    Well Saudi Arabia publishes text books for young children calling all jews all sorts of names.

    So Bob rather than running that Islamophobe website you run – you may want to run a website trashing the Saudi Royal family and Al – qaeda because by your logic all attacks on Muslims in this country and elsewhere happens because of their stupidity.

    Because Saudi Arabia produced Osama Bin Laden and 19 out of 21 hijackers in 9/11 and gives money to dodgy immams around the world runnin madrasah’s which preach hate.

    Btw, isn’t Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Iran – declare themselves to be Muslim countries – how does your logic hold there?

    Once again a bigot makes his presence felt on pickled politics.

  58. douglas clark — on 28th November, 2010 at 5:04 am  

    Sarah AB @ 51,

    I’m also puzzled as to what you mean by ‘Jewish Lobby’ Douglas. Judging by your criteria it seems as though I must be part of it because I sometimes blog at HP and generally agree with David T and Brownie. I’m not Jewish though. Like Don, I think there’s no need to disagree with something just because HP agrees with it.

    Two points here, if I may?

    Firstly I completely hate the idea that people ought to be defined. Don calls me out on saying that I have quite liked the jewish people I have met. Well, it’s true. Not that I’ve met a lot, but those I have, I have quite liked. What is difficult about that? Equally, I quite like most of the muslims I have met.

    What I do object to is the whole concept that people that wear their religion, or come to that their nationality or politics, on their sleeves are any better than the folk I have met. So, to put it into some sort of perspective, I quite like most of the English people I have met. I do not find any of them, muslims, jews or the english, stuck in the extremism that seems to be stock and trade for political blogs. Mostly, they are reasonable people and are misrepresented by almost all politicians. Politicians claim ownership of our thoughts and minds. I dislike that, to put it as civilly as I can.

    It takes a particular sort of person to rally support for a cause based on a singular definition of who you are. These people are generally an offence to common sense. Several sub sets of that mentality come to mind. Unionist and Republican politicians in Northern Ireland, Islamists in London, and frankly the jewish lobby. What they all have in common is a desire to describe you as an unthinking drone who is willing to have your identity narrowed to the extent that it fits their agenda.

    I most certainly do not see you as fitting in with that. But that is because you can think for yourself. And do.

    Secondly – deep breath – I would ask that people at least read what I have to say as a corpus:

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

    and not as an attempt to find flaw. I do not dispute the fact that sometimes an individual post will see me as cast against jews or muslims or anyone else for that matter, but it comes from a fundamental belief that collectivised thought is probably bad.

    I have been accused on here of being both anti-muslim and anti-jewish. Possibly within the one thread. Which is kind of ironic, really.

    Anyway, I fail to see the point of not speaking as clearly as I can.

    Whether I am right or not is another matter entirely. Because I didn’t start commenting here out of certainty, which appears to be a new requirement. I came here because I think that you and I can learn from each other through discussion, not out of polemic.

    And lastly, my brain is not so frozen that I cannot change my mind. The thread on the burkha being a case in point.

  59. douglas clark — on 28th November, 2010 at 6:33 am  

    Shamit @ 50,

    Dr. Paul is not wrong.

    This blog has consistently tried not to paint an individual’s actions as a blotch on an entire community.

    Using the phrase “Jewish Lobby” is a bit distasteful – as much as using the phrase “Muslim terrorists” or “Catholic terrorists”.

    There is no denying that there are right wing elements among the Jewish community which would make Rush Limbaugh blush – but those exist in all communities.

    Mohammad Sawalha is not a very pleasant person and his world view is defined by his religion. He may have won the court case and against a bigot Melanie Philips – but he is still dodgy. There is enough evidence that he is a Hamas supporter if not an activist for Hamas.

    Where have I supported Mohammad Sawalha? Where have I actually said any of the stuff you accuse me of? Frankly Mohammad Sawalha could be a saint or a villian. It is not the point.

    If you are going to quote this:

    Unlike the term ‘Israel lobby’, which is a legitimate subject of discussion, as there is such a thing, the term ‘Jewish lobby’ has a whiff of the Protocols of the Elders of Zion about it, and anyone who uses it is either ignorant or malicious.

    Then I’d like you to also comment on me, saying this:

    You are associating folk – like me – that would not give one halfpenny worth to the idiocy of the ‘Protocols’ with anyone else that doesn’t agree with Harrys’ Place, or right on your nose here, Brownie or Roger or Phomsey.

    I stand by that comment, because they are trying to make you think just like them. It is the invidious nature of our new found friends, that they are right and any other comment should be prohibited.

  60. Fun Fun — on 28th November, 2010 at 10:44 am  

    “the Jewish lobby”

    Anyone who thinks that there is a legitimate use of the expression “Jewish lobby” needs his/her head examined.

  61. douglas clark — on 28th November, 2010 at 11:34 am  

    Fun Fun,

    Cheers.

  62. douglas clark — on 28th November, 2010 at 12:26 pm  

    Fun Fun.

    Anyone who thinks that there is a legitimate use of the expression “Jewish lobby” needs his/her head examined.

    As opposed to what?

    Several sub sets of that mentality come to mind. Unionist and Republican politicians in Northern Ireland, Islamists in London, and frankly the jewish lobby.

    I stand, trembling, under your onslaught.

    It is perfectly plain that some jews will attempt to coerce other jews into a ‘lobby’. I do not see why that is seen as an insult to jews, nor do I see why it calls down your wrath. Jews are no more perfect than anyone else. And neither is it inaccurate. Some folk will always play the religion card.

    My point here is that most folk don’t play politics, and that includes jews. Generally speaking, jews can speak for themselves and don’t need a ‘voice’, or a ‘lobby’. Indeed many jews are members of the Labour Party.

    Do you see the point? I guess not….

    For you come to the front and attack me when you have misunderstood, whether deliberately or not, what I have to say.

    Try this:

    Most folk are not political. And that cuts across all of society. It is wrong that jewish institutions should have to pick up the cost of defending themselves. It is equally wrong that jews should self identify as, well, jews. They are just people.

    I am not the person you wish to charactarise me as.

    Still and all, the internet would be a dull place if we all, instantaneously, understood each other.

  63. joe90 — on 28th November, 2010 at 1:07 pm  

    So if we call it the pro zionist or pro israeli lobby is that ok and will we be spared the old anti semitic accusations?

  64. Dr Paul — on 28th November, 2010 at 1:11 pm  

    To respond to previous posts, and especially to Douglas Clark, why I find the use of the term ‘Jewish lobby’ suspect is because it assumes, or at least implies, that there is a monolithic Jewish ethnic/religious group, and that is not a million miles from the conspiracy theory bandied about in the Protocols of the Elders of Zion and by hard-line anti-Semites generally that ‘The Jews’ are a manipulative racial group determined to sneak around and impose their malign rule upon the goyisher world.

    There is no such thing: in their political attitudes Jews range from hard-right to hard-left with all points covered in between; their attitudes towards Israel and Zionism range greatly as well from 100 per cent identification to 100 per cent rejection. Some of the most intransigent opponents of Zionism are Jewish, some on a religious basis, others on a secular political basis.

    There is an Israel lobby in many Western countries, some — indeed many — of whom are 100 per cent goys, and there is a legitimate debate over whether or to what degree it influences US foreign policy. My own feeling is that it plays a part in influencing it, and can play a key role in tipping the balance of policy decision at certain critical junctures, but does not control it. Others think that it has a bigger influence, but do not believe in the existence of a ‘Jewish lobby’.

    It is true that many Zionists like to promote the idea that they and the state of Israel represent the eternal interests of all Jews, and in this they are but a mirror image of the anti-Semites. Each feed off each other. Were anti-Semitism to fade away, then the Zionists would be out of a job.

    Finally, in respect of Bob’s comment at #56. That in the Arab world the use of the term ‘the Jews’ is commonplace doesn’t make it accurate or helpful when working out an analysis of the role of Israel and Zionism in the Middle East. Indeed, considering its commonplace use and the misconceptions that flow from it, it is surely incumbent upon Arab and/or Islamic spokesmen to be more careful in their terminology, as anti-Semitism is a barrier to the obtaining of a just solution to the problems of the Middle East.

  65. douglas clark — on 28th November, 2010 at 1:50 pm  

    Dr Paul,

    I am on record as saying that ‘The Protocols’ are a load of shite. So, perhaps you could stop pretending that I think otherwise?

    It is bleeding obvious that jewish opinion spreads from the left to the right. It is what I have been arguing about. The point being that some jews would like to pretend they speak for all jews. When they clearly don’t. I am scottish, and I don’t claim to speak for all scots, and neither should I. It would be ridiculous, just as much as Brownie claiming something similar.

    To be fair, @ 64, you don’t. But @ 40, you seemed to:

    It’s true that the term ‘Jewish lobby’ is less unpleasant than ‘evil Jews’ or ‘noxious Jews’, but I am nonetheless very suspicious of anyone who uses the former term.

    Unlike the term ‘Israel lobby’, which is a legitimate subject of discussion, as there is such a thing, the term ‘Jewish lobby’ has a whiff of the Protocols of the Elders of Zion about it, and anyone who uses it is either ignorant or malicious.

    As for which category Sawalha can be placed in, I shall not offer an opinion, as I do not know whether he is actually anti-Semitic or merely a bit thick.

    It is quite amusing. If you see me as attacking your gang, then you defend it beyond parody. Likewise, I will defend my gang in exactly the same way.

    Doesn’t make either of us right.

    And there are jewish scots and scottish jews too.

    I will defend them. What does that say? Apart from the fact that they don’t require defending…

    They are quite capable of defending themselves.

  66. Fun Fun — on 28th November, 2010 at 2:05 pm  

    “Several sub sets of that mentality come to mind. Unionist and Republican politicians in Northern Ireland, Islamists in London, and frankly the jewish lobby.”

    I am not sure why you reiterate your unpleasant views.

    “It is perfectly plain that some jews will attempt to coerce other jews into a ‘lobby’.”

    Really? How telling. Perhaps we could make them wear a special hat – or perhaps a badge?

    “I do not see why that is seen as an insult to jews, nor do I see why it calls down your wrath.”

    What wrath? Do you understand the meaning of the word?

    “Jews are no more perfect than anyone else. And neither is it inaccurate. Some folk will always play the religion card.”

    Jews are an ethnicity. And you are the one who appears to be unable to detect this fact.

    Stop digging is my advice.

  67. douglas clark — on 28th November, 2010 at 3:00 pm  

    Fun Fun,

    “It is perfectly plain that some jews will attempt to coerce other jews into a ‘lobby’.”

    Really? How telling. Perhaps we could make them wear a special hat – or perhaps a badge?

    Well, why don’t you? You have a hook to use, and you are quite willing to use that identity as if it was their only identity. It is what you do Fun Fun. It is why you are stupid.

    It is not beyond me to see the blatant fascism that you accuse me of. I reject that just as much as I reject your special pleading. You think I want to see jews demarcated with a star of david? Think again.

    I think you are playing the usual card of being a victim, which you just love to do. It seems to me that other folk can play exactly the same card, and that we progress not one inch when you play it.

    Stop digging is my advice.

    Right back at you.

  68. Brownie — on 28th November, 2010 at 10:36 pm  

    I don’t mind being called part of the ‘Jewish Lobby’, just don’t tell my priest.

  69. Fun Fun — on 28th November, 2010 at 11:40 pm  

    Douglas,

    Have you been drinking?

    “I think you are playing the usual card of being a victim, which you just love to do.”

    Erm… I have commented some four times on this site. What are you raving about?

    Or perhaps it was a comment on Jews playing the victim card?

    If so, I think it is very clear that you are simply a common-or-garden anti-Semite.

    Incidentally, I am not Jewish.

  70. BenSix — on 29th November, 2010 at 1:04 am  

    I’d go for Israel lobby because it’s a lobby that, er – works on behalf of Israel. (The Israeli state, at least.) There. Somebody make me doctor of linguistics…

  71. Rumbold — on 29th November, 2010 at 9:13 am  

    Douglas:

    To clarify, as I think there is a lot of crossed wires, using ‘Jewish lobby’ is wrong: just use Israeli lobby (unless you are talking about people who are lobbying for better treatment of Jews in this country, in which case fair enough).

  72. Katy Newton — on 1st December, 2010 at 12:53 pm  

    This is racism/antisemitism 101, people. When people talk about a “Jewish lobby” rather than a pro-Israel lobby they are implying that if you are Jewish then you are by definition also a member of a political lobby relating to Israel, which is not true. There are undoubtedly groups who make it their business to lobby in support of Israel but they are by no means all Jewish and they do not in any way have a mandate from world Jewry to represent Jews as a group. That’s why it’s offensive. It’s because it’s (a) inaccurate and (b) based upon a faulty and stereotypical perception.

    Earwicga, I’m genuinely surprised you haven’t nailed this – I don’t know anyone more conscious of the importance of not using “-ist” language, no matter how insignificant others may consider it to be.

  73. Katy Newton — on 1st December, 2010 at 12:54 pm  

    @earwicga: that’s a compliment, by the way – more people should take the sort of care you generally do

  74. Katy Newton — on 1st December, 2010 at 12:59 pm  

    @63 joe90

    “So if we call it the pro zionist or pro israeli lobby is that ok and will we be spared the old anti semitic accusations?”

    No, lovie, it isn’t “okay”, because if you mean the Jews but you’re saying “zionist” you’re still generalising and stereotyping, you’re just hoping that no one will notice. Also – FYI – nothing says “I don’t bother to differentiate between Jews and Israel but I’d better find a different word or I suppose they’ll spot my antisemitic generalisation” like the word “zionist”. If you mean Israel, say ISRAEL. If you mean Jew, say JEW, and then at least we’ll all know exactly what sort of person you are. K?

  75. Katy Newton — on 1st December, 2010 at 1:08 pm  

    Incidentally, there probably are some Jewish lobbies. I guess there are kashrut organisations that lobby the Department of Health, for example, just as there are probably lobbies for halal meat producers. I guess you could call those Muslim and Jewish lobbies if you wanted to, because they lobby specifically on issues of religious practice. That’s fine. The problem is taking a highly politicised land dispute, like I/P, which attracts all sorts of lobbyists on both sides who have little or nothing to do with either Jews or Muslims, and then calling one side the Jewish lobby. Incidentally, a phrase that I don’t hear in the context of the I/P dispute is “the Muslim lobby”, and quite right too, because presumably people realise that supporting a Palestinian state does not mean you are a Muslim and being a Muslim does not mean that you are necessarily pro Palestinian statehood.

  76. douglas clark — on 1st December, 2010 at 2:13 pm  

    Katy Newton,

    The muslim lobby. As I’ve been corrected for not being PC enough at 71, which is fair enough, lets go the whole hog and make it clear that all religions are lobbyists. That is what they are reduced to these days, hereabouts, though it is not the truth everywhere. Nor everywhen.

    As Brownie proudly announced himself as a catholic somewhere on here recently, you can be a jewish lobbyist and a catholic simultaneously.

    In my defence, and for what it is worth, I do not see it as a term of abuse. If it is I shall stop using it. Because I do not like to offend unintentionally. I prefer to offend intentionally.

    Because some folk offend me! By their very presence on the internet, by their obvious assumptions about other folk and so on and so forth.

    You are not one of them.

    So.

    Cheers!

  77. Sarah AB — on 1st December, 2010 at 3:34 pm  

    ‘Muslim Lobby’ would be really unhelpful! That could mean Quilliam, MCB … in other words just the same problems as you get with ‘Jewish lobby’. Put antisemitism (and Islamophobia) to one side, Douglas, and just think about the need to have terms which are meaningfully precise. Even ‘Israel Lobby’ is fairly unhelpful because that could take in say AIPAC or Melanie Phillips and something like Engage which is quite critical of Israel but also critical of anti-zionism.

  78. douglas clark — on 1st December, 2010 at 4:00 pm  

    Sarah AB,

    Sure. I’m all for this anti collectivisation.

    I’m not precisely clear what one is allowed to say though.

    If people assemble around a set of opinions, are we to say nothing about them? Or some tediously long explanation on the lines of:

    “Well, whilst I think Brownie is completely wrong on the subject of Moazzam Begg (and numerous other things), and Otto is perhaps sailing a bit close to the wind with his views on mohamadism, and that Dr Paul is an over sensitive freak, heaven forfend that they be grouped together as the sub set of humanity that comes under the rubric of worryingly up themselves?”

    Perhaps not.

    Perhaps you could suggest to me just how I should characterise them? For it would be letting them off the hook, as it were, if one was not to at least see a common consensus amongst these, otherwise, inestimable men.

  79. Sarah AB — on 1st December, 2010 at 4:23 pm  

    Dunno. Actually I think it’s terribly important to distinguish between Brownie (and me) who have concerns about Begg and someone who has ‘views about Mohamadism’ which sounds a bit dodgy and (though I can’t say I’ve audited Otto’s views methodically) makes him sound like an anti-Muslim bigot (sorry Otto if this is unfair as I’m really talking hypothetically as I hope is clear, not ad hominem!). Similarly as someone who reads Engage and is against an academic boycott of Israel I’d probably be just as unwilling to be lumped in with Melanie Phillips as I would be with extreme pro boycotters. These are not terribly fine distinctions after all.

  80. Katy Newton — on 1st December, 2010 at 8:47 pm  

    @Douglas

    In my defence, and for what it is worth, I do not see it as a term of abuse. If it is I shall stop using it. Because I do not like to offend unintentionally. I prefer to offend intentionally.

    That is superb. Seriously. It is the right way to look at it. Unintentional offending is awful. I have done this (it is hard to believe yes but it is TRUE). I said “half caste” rather than “mixed race” for years, until I was corrected, and when I was corrected I was rather sniffy about it and protested and said that my black and mixed race friends used it so why shouldn’t I, and then I actually sat down and used my brain and realised that “half caste” obviously IS offensive when you think about it and even if it wasn’t it’s not my job to dictate how other people identify themselves and the right thing to do is respect their preference.

    (edited for clarity)

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.

Pickled Politics © Copyright 2005 - 2010. All rights reserved. Terms and conditions.
With the help of PHP and Wordpress.