Does Howard Jacobson look at Asians and think ‘terrorist’?


by Sunny
25th August, 2011 at 5:55 pm    

I can’t tell if the Independent columnist Howard Jacobson has lost his god damn mind or if he’s always been like this.

In an interview with the Evening Standard today he says:

The good thing that came out of the riots was a renewed sense of community. “How does one put this without sounding gross … it was terrific to see the Asian communities on telly and not to have to think about terrorism, and not to have to think about the thing I’m always thinking about… do they want to kill Jews?”

Is that meant to be a joke?

Jacobson looks at an Asian person and thinks they might be terrorists or want to kill Jews? What is he smoking? Has the paranoia got to him?

Does he look at me and think ‘Hmmm, this guy has brown skin. Maybe he wants to kill me. I better run and hide!‘. Perhaps he should stop reading Jihad Watch or something. Idiot.

Update: a few people on Twitter say he’s saying it positively.

Let’s try a thought experiment. If I say: “Isn’t it great we can stop thinking of these white people as morally degenerate savages for a bit and see them as nice people who cleaned up after a riot” – that wouldn’t be highly patronising?


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280 Comments below   |  

Reactions: Twitter, blogs
  1. sunny hundal

    Blogged: : Does Howard Jacobson look Asians and think 'terrorist'? http://t.co/2Lxij4z


  2. sunny hundal

    @amolrajan – Hey Amol, ask Jacobson (next time he's in office) if he looks at you and worries about getting blown up http://t.co/yCE6HlR


  3. salardeen

    “@sunny_hundal: Blogged: : Does Howard Jacobson look Asians and think 'terrorist'? http://t.co/H5q0H4O” Very insulting man and a Politician


  4. HAYLEY CARTER

    RT @sunny_hundal: Does Howard Jacobson look Asians and think 'terrorist'? http://t.co/MXNQS7g <<It would certainly seem so!


  5. Cornershop

    Blogged: : Does Howard Jacobson look Asians and think 'terrorist'? http://t.co/2Lxij4z


  6. Kevin Dykes

    Blogged: : Does Howard Jacobson look Asians and think 'terrorist'? http://t.co/2Lxij4z


  7. Keir beales

    RT @sunny_hundal: Does Howard Jacobson look Asians and think 'terrorist'? http://t.co/tHWdO98


  8. Mehdi Hasan

    Jacobson's ridiculous comments: http://t.co/oWJrtnT


  9. Mariquon

    After Starkey, a new round of thought policing RT @sunny_hundal: Does Howard Jacobson look Asians and think 'terrorist'? http://t.co/xyqMLeT


  10. salardeen

    Jacobson's ridiculous comments: http://t.co/oWJrtnT


  11. Shona

    Blogged: : Does Howard Jacobson look Asians and think 'terrorist'? http://t.co/2Lxij4z


  12. 1st Ethical CT

    Blogged: : Does Howard Jacobson look Asians and think 'terrorist'? http://t.co/2Lxij4z


  13. Karl Sharro

    After Starkey, a new round of thought policing RT @sunny_hundal: Does Howard Jacobson look Asians and think 'terrorist'? http://t.co/xyqMLeT


  14. Mirza Waheed

    RT @ns_mehdihasan: Jacobson's ridiculous comments: http://t.co/D9cWnvt


  15. Sherrie Marquis

    Jacobson's ridiculous comments: http://t.co/oWJrtnT


  16. John H

    "How does one put this without sounding gross?" Well, certainly not like /that/, Howard… http://t.co/gPtnQiH


  17. Ebony Dawn Marsh

    Blogged: : Does Howard Jacobson look Asians and think 'terrorist'? http://t.co/2Lxij4z


  18. ,Real Name. cf.[007]

    RT @ns_mehdihasan: Jacobson's ridiculous comments: http://t.co/D9cWnvt


  19. Martin Crozier

    Blogged: : Does Howard Jacobson look Asians and think 'terrorist'? http://t.co/2Lxij4z


  20. Akeela Ahmed

    Jacobson's ridiculous comments: http://t.co/oWJrtnT


  21. Jonathan Lee

    RT @ns_mehdihasan: Jacobson's ridiculous comments: http://t.co/D9cWnvt


  22. Brit Lefit

    RT @Candy2802: RT @ns_mehdihasan: Jacobson's ridiculous comments: http://t.co/psDvuLd


  23. Joanna Papageorgiou

    Jacobson's ridiculous comments: http://t.co/oWJrtnT


  24. Andy Bean

    RT @sunny_hundal: Does Howard Jacobson look at Asians and think 'terrorist'? http://t.co/3iV5pHY


  25. Rob Ballington

    Jacobson's ridiculous comments: http://t.co/oWJrtnT


  26. Sarah Shaffi

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  27. Fahd Khan

    Jacobson's ridiculous comments: http://t.co/oWJrtnT


  28. VersoBooks

    Jacobson's ridiculous comments: http://t.co/oWJrtnT


  29. Steve Mosby

    RT @ns_mehdihasan Jacobson's ridiculous comments: http://t.co/tMOnfOR


  30. MeralHusseinEce

    Jacobson's ridiculous comments: http://t.co/oWJrtnT


  31. HazeW

    RT @sunny_hundal: Does Howard Jacobson look at Asians and think 'terrorist'? http://t.co/tLzpFYC


  32. sunny hundal

    @loulabelle111 I've highlighted it here http://t.co/l8AM6lg


  33. sunny hundal

    @christamackinno here you go http://t.co/l8AM6lg


  34. Chunmun

    @rizmc have you seen this?? http://t.co/MZjo99q


  35. Tony McK

    RT @sunny_hundal: Does Howard Jacobson look at Asians and think 'terrorist'? http://t.co/vJpoaVe


  36. Tony McK

    Jacobson's ridiculous comments: http://t.co/oWJrtnT


  37. sunny hundal

    @Chriss_m here http://t.co/l8AM6lg


  38. sunny hundal

    If you didn't see the link earlier, I explain why Howard Jacobson's comments are ridiculous and bigoted http://t.co/l8AM6lg


  39. Hazel Midgley

    If you didn't see the link earlier, I explain why Howard Jacobson's comments are ridiculous and bigoted http://t.co/l8AM6lg


  40. cheesley

    RT @sunny_hundal: explain why Howard Jacobson's comments are ridiculous and bigoted http://t.co/5pNwylE <this needs explaining?


  41. MeralHusseinEce

    If you didn't see the link earlier, I explain why Howard Jacobson's comments are ridiculous and bigoted http://t.co/l8AM6lg


  42. Gary Pearce

    RT @VersoBooks: RT @ns_mehdihasan: Jacobson's ridiculous comments: http://t.co/3Z1n8Cp


  43. Mehreen

    If you didn't see the link earlier, I explain why Howard Jacobson's comments are ridiculous and bigoted http://t.co/l8AM6lg


  44. Ali B

    Jacobson's ridiculous comments: http://t.co/oWJrtnT


  45. Ian Pace

    If you didn't see the link earlier, I explain why Howard Jacobson's comments are ridiculous and bigoted http://t.co/l8AM6lg


  46. Ian Pace

    If you didn't see the link earlier, I explain why Howard Jacobson's comments are ridiculous and bigoted http://t.co/l8AM6lg


  47. Tom May

    Unlike Howard Jacobson, when I see an Asian person I see a human being… http://t.co/kberSmr


  48. Tom May

    Unlike Howard Jacobson, when I see an Asian person I see a human being… http://t.co/kberSmr


  49. Ian Pace

    Do read this on why #howardjacobsonisaracist http://t.co/8n0aeDU


  50. Rina Dhadra

    “@ns_mehdihasan: Jacobson's ridiculous comments: http://t.co/EY2tJJP”


  51. Stuart

    Jacobson's ridiculous comments: http://t.co/oWJrtnT


  52. Iman Qureshi

    If you didn't see the link earlier, I explain why Howard Jacobson's comments are ridiculous and bigoted http://t.co/l8AM6lg


  53. Ruth Ward

    RT @sunny_hundal: Does Howard Jacobson look at Asians and think 'terrorist'? http://t.co/6geBdzw


  54. anna-rose phipps

    RT @sunny_hundal: Does Howard Jacobson look at Asians and think 'terrorist'? http://t.co/eWLdDuL


  55. Freedom

    Jacobson's ridiculous comments: http://t.co/oWJrtnT


  56. Nourun Nabi

    If you didn't see the link earlier, I explain why Howard Jacobson's comments are ridiculous and bigoted http://t.co/l8AM6lg


  57. .

    If you didn't see the link earlier, I explain why Howard Jacobson's comments are ridiculous and bigoted http://t.co/l8AM6lg


  58. Shahanara Islam

    Jacobson's ridiculous comments: http://t.co/oWJrtnT


  59. Justin B

    If you didn't see the link earlier, I explain why Howard Jacobson's comments are ridiculous and bigoted http://t.co/l8AM6lg


  60. lesa

    If you didn't see the link earlier, I explain why Howard Jacobson's comments are ridiculous and bigoted http://t.co/l8AM6lg


  61. darvisha

    Does Howard Jacobson look at Asians and think ‘terrorist’? http://t.co/abvd59m


  62. Scott Neil

    @OwenJones84 bit late on this one re Jacobson and am sure you've now seen but – http://t.co/SpTamuR


  63. Howard Jacobson On Asian Communities In Britain « A New Place Of Exile

    [...] See also: ‘Does Howard Jacobson Look At Asians And Think “Terrorist” by Sunny Hundal (Pickled Politics); 25th August 2011:  http://www.pickledpolitics.com/archives/13576  [...]




  1. Refresh — on 25th August, 2011 at 7:16 pm  

    He is David Starkey’s thoughtful alter ego.

    The positive side: we now know what we are up against.

  2. Suzy — on 25th August, 2011 at 7:36 pm  

    Howard Jacobson’s views are bigoted.

    However, Mehdi Hasan, who makes speeches about how ‘kaffars’ are animal like, of no intelligence, and demonises non Muslims as kaffars, is a bigot himself.

    The hypocrisy involved when bigots like Hasan tweet in rage against bigots like Jacobson is exquisite.

  3. Sunny — on 25th August, 2011 at 8:16 pm  

    However, Mehdi Hasan, who makes speeches about how ‘kaffars’ are animal like, of no intelligence, and demonises non Muslims as kaffars, is a bigot himself.

    This really is bollocks and anyone who still tries to make that comparison after I comprehensively exposed that smear on this blog really needs their head checked.

  4. Rumbold — on 25th August, 2011 at 8:49 pm  

    After white people came out to volunteer to clean up, it was terrific to see the white communities on telly and not to have to think about financial fraud, and not to have to think about the thing I’m always thinking about… do they want to steal taxpayers’ money for their bonuses?

  5. chairwoman — on 25th August, 2011 at 8:49 pm  

    Perhaps if everybody got their fears out in the open, and discussed them, we would all discover what rubbish they are, rather than keeping them hidden under the bed along with our prejudices.

  6. Sarah AB — on 25th August, 2011 at 10:18 pm  

    @Sunny. I didn’t think it was comprehensively exposed.

    WRT HJ – I suppose there is a certain amount of satirical self-deprecation here – maybe – but it certainly seems unfortunately expressed – perhaps the interview flattens what he said unfairly though.

  7. damon — on 25th August, 2011 at 10:42 pm  

    Howard Jacobson does have form in this area.
    Make of it what you will.

    Howard Jacobson: Let’s see the ‘criticism’ of Israel for what it really is.

    http://www.independent.co.uk/opinion/commentators/howard-jacobson/howard-jacobson-letrsquos-see-the-criticism-of-israel-for-what-it-really-is-1624827.html

  8. dawud ali — on 25th August, 2011 at 11:00 pm  

    “It’s great to look at Jews like Howard Jacobson and not see financially crooked Christ killers “

  9. Sunny — on 25th August, 2011 at 11:54 pm  

    “I have to say it’s great to have white people pass me by in the streets and just smile, so we don’t have to think of them as imperial war-mongers and Christian crusaders”

  10. Sunny — on 25th August, 2011 at 11:55 pm  

    chairwoman – great idea!

    Why don’t you tell us what you think of all brown people.

  11. Sarah AB — on 26th August, 2011 at 8:30 am  

    damon – just read through that HJ piece and wasn’t sure what the problem was apart from perhaps the reference to a hypothetical ‘Seven Muslim Children’ and its possible impact. Was that what you meant? I remember when I first starting thinking about Seven Jewish Children I translated it into my mind into Seven Muslim Children and found that made me see why the Churchill play was objectionable more clearly. I think I hadn’t focused before on the way the play could be seen as a kind of morality play tracing a very quick trajectory from the Holocaust to Gaza implying some parity. There is something odd about writing a ‘play for Gaza’ and then focusing on Israelis, and not even Israelis, but Jews.

  12. damon — on 26th August, 2011 at 9:01 am  

    Howard Jacobson does sail a bit close to the wind I have found Sarah. On this issue of Jews, Israel and anti-semitism. It’s a subject that I usually back away from as it tends to get bogged down at the same place all the time. It’s definitely Harry’s Place and Jewish Chronicle territory – and on this subject there are just some intractable forces. It’s not really an argument to be had on Pickled Politics – because what’s the point?
    Jacobson must mean that he suspects that anti-semitism – as defined by him – is mainstream in the British muslim community. And in that article I linked to, he said that it was evident in the way that emotion about Israel’s attack on Gaza built a couple of years ago.
    I don’t support the way he expressed himself in the Evening Standard article though.

  13. Sarah AB — on 26th August, 2011 at 9:44 am  

    I just don’t see that in the article damon – that he must mean that antisemitism is mainstream in the *muslim* community. I find on I/P I’m often broadly in sympathy with where he’s coming from and think he raises some important points but find his highly rhetorical style a bit overegging, as it were, sometimes. I quite often disagree with him more substantively about other issues.

  14. Jemmy Hope — on 26th August, 2011 at 11:47 am  

    I look at Howard Jacobson and think, “Hmmm, a rich Englishman who supports ethnic cleansing in the Middle East.”

  15. damon — on 26th August, 2011 at 11:54 am  

    I find Jacobson an interesting chap. Even when I’m slightly appalled at what he writes. I read his recent novel ‘An act of love’ about a ”cuckold husband” and you have to wonder about what goes on in the man’s mind.
    It’s worth looking up some reviews of it.

    He wrote another article on why he was now supporting Holocaust Memorial Day, when he thought it was far too ”Tony Blair” when it was first proposed.
    And he says this:

    Since then, having discovered that there are many people who can and will begrudge it, and no small number (governed more by ignorance than malice) who do not know or give a fig where Auschwitz is and what it stands for, I have changed my mind. Nothing has brought home to me the wrongness of my original assessment more vividly than the decision by the Muslim Council of Britain first to boycott this year’s ceremony and then, along with other Muslim bodies advising the government, to ask for Holocaust Memorial Day to be scrapped altogether. For the very reasons that these bodies do not want Holocaust Memorial Day, it is essential that we have it.

    http://www.independent.co.uk/opinion/commentators/howard-jacobson/howard-jacobson-muslims-who-reject-holocaust-day-deny-not-only-jewish-history-but-their-own-507154.html

    As I said, I don’t agree with the words he uses in the Evening Standard. It’s a bit of a David Starkey moment.

  16. douglas clark — on 26th August, 2011 at 12:50 pm  

    Damon @ 15,

    Och, for fucks sake, read whatever you like but stop pretending you are some sort of a neutral in what you read or say.

    Howard – the daft – Jacobson appears to think what his exceptionalism, like what he says, is some sort of unique insight into being a minority or summat! He is no near being a minority than you are!

    David Starkey and you?

    You are both a tad daft!

    A minority perhaps but not a worthwhile expession of anything much.

    I’d have thought most folk would think he, and you, are both, largely tits!

    Or summat!

  17. chairwoman — on 26th August, 2011 at 12:51 pm  

    Sunny, I hope after all this time you know me well enough to be aware that I don’t lump people in groups based upon their physical appearance.

    I suspect that Mr Jacobson doesn’t actually mean all Asians or Brown People, but means Muslims and lacks the courage to do so.

    So let me say this, I am of the opinion that I am likely to be distrusted by Muslims who don’t Know me because I am a Jew. I am not going to pretend that I don’t reciprocate.

    It has also been my experience that with familiarity comes respect, trust and friendship.

    But Brown People? Never entered the equation.

  18. chairwoman — on 26th August, 2011 at 12:55 pm  

    douglas – Howard Jacobson and I are members of a group that numbers about 12,000,000 to 14,000,000 worldwide, and between 250,000 and 350,000 based upon various surveys, in the UK.

    If that doesn’t constitute a minority I don’t know what does.

  19. douglas clark — on 26th August, 2011 at 1:39 pm  

    Chairwoman @ 18,

    It is up to you to explain your lurve of Howard Jacobson. Numbers just don’t do it. What has your hero done for you?

    Show and tell….

    I’d need evidence, but you knew that.

    Seems to me you are no better off for believing in this tit – Mr Howard Jacobson- than you were before?

    Correct me if I am wrong?

  20. douglas clark — on 26th August, 2011 at 1:46 pm  

    Chairwoman,

    I love you, you ought to know that. If something works for you then I’ll let it be. But I think you are being lied to. And that upsets me.

    Just saying…

  21. chairwoman — on 26th August, 2011 at 2:45 pm  

    dougie – I like the novels set in Jewish Manchester in the 50s and 60s that Howard Jacobson wrote.

    They encapsulate the Jewish social life that I remember. I was astonished how similar it was to my life in London at that time.

    I feel that Starkey opened a can of worms, and Jacobson put his hands in and stirred them, but as I said at 17, let’s take them out, look at them, untangle them, straighten them out, and put them back in better condition than they arrived.

    As for 18, I am a minority, and feel more so with every year. Perhaps an anachronism would suit better, but like it or not, numbers count, and when you’re one of a group of around 300,000 in a population of 60,000,000 or so, it’s hardly mainstream.

  22. Don — on 26th August, 2011 at 4:12 pm  

    Chairwoman,

    I suspect that Mr Jacobson doesn’t actually mean all Asians or Brown People, but means Muslims and lacks the courage to do so.

    I suspect you are right, I doubt if he feels threatened by Sikhs, Jains, Buddhists, Christians, Hindus or humanists who happen to be ‘brown’.

    But words are his trade and he should rightly be called on it.

  23. chairwoman — on 26th August, 2011 at 4:21 pm  

    “But words are his trade and he should rightly be called on it.”

    I agree, which I why I decided to bring the elephant into the room and give it a bit of a cuddle.

  24. Don — on 26th August, 2011 at 5:06 pm  

    Let’s all relax to that.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2-bfCWtOh0U

  25. chairwoman — on 26th August, 2011 at 5:26 pm  

    Thanks, Don. I loved it!

  26. damon — on 26th August, 2011 at 8:30 pm  

    I agree with Don. He should be called on what he said.
    As for Chairwoman’s proposal about Jacobson and Starkey, to ”take them out, look at them, untangle them, straighten them out, and put them back in better condition than they arrived”… well you know that’s just not going to happen here.

    Although funnily enough, Starkey was the subject of HJ’s column in the Indy last saturday.
    http://www.independent.co.uk/opinion/commentators/howard-jacobson/howard-jacobson-foolish-vanity-of-a-public-intellectual-2340751.html

    Douglas, I know you can’t understand complex issues, but do try to behave.

  27. douglas clark — on 26th August, 2011 at 8:59 pm  

    damon,

    I do my best to understand issues you’d like to pretend are complex when they aren’t really. It all collapses down to race for you, don’t it?

    Me and the motherfucker think it don’t. Just saying….

  28. Don — on 26th August, 2011 at 9:01 pm  

    Good link.

  29. douglas clark — on 26th August, 2011 at 9:08 pm  

    Still and all, you can write but you can’t fucking think. That has been you around here for fucking all of the time you shared your views with us.

    You are just as much a brain dead moron as David Starkey, ain’t you? We are supposed to respect you just because you can put a sentence together? Well, no. Fuck you., You haven’t an idea to construct. You should fuck off and wank David Starkey, ’cause you’d both enjoy that.

  30. dave bones — on 27th August, 2011 at 12:13 am  

    Yeah I think Starkey’s Newsnight comments have rippled through people on the left who think he is not entirely wrong in some way. People feel at liberty to speak their minds which is a good thing, but sometimes disturbing. Did you read this from John Bird of The Big Issue?

    http://www.independent.co.uk/opinion/commentators/john-bird-fashion-has-become-a-weapon-on-the-streets-of-london-2337838.html

  31. Sunny — on 27th August, 2011 at 3:43 am  

    I suspect that Mr Jacobson doesn’t actually mean all Asians or Brown People, but means Muslims and lacks the courage to do so.

    I don’t see how Muslims is a less broader category – they’re diverse in how they practice their religion, culture and race.

    It’s as fatuous a generalisation as Asians. JH isn’t some plum who walked off the street and on to an Evening Standard interview. If he can’t fucking express himself in words, then I’m not sure he should be a columnist.

    Sorry, but he gets no slack from me. And you know as well as I do that if this were said about other minorities – there would be outrage (or at least I hope there would be).

  32. Sarah AB — on 27th August, 2011 at 11:43 am  

    This raises some interesting questions. I think it’s completely right to discuss the article, and indignation seems a reasonable response. I feel this urge to try to see if there is any different reading possible – could it be a bit more multilayered? Could it partly be a critique of the media coverage of terrorism? Is that phrase ‘the thing I’m always thinking about’ self-critical, or self-parodic in any way? Also – would it have been ok, or better, if he had simply confessed to making assumptions about Muslims and/or Asians, and then said that the coverage made him reflect critically on, recognize, such assumptions? But I’m only suggesting another angle – don’t want to cancel out the more critical ones.

  33. damon — on 27th August, 2011 at 1:55 pm  

    Sarah, you could raise what Jacobson said on HP.
    I’d like to hear some of their responses.

    Dave Bones. Interesting article by John Bird.
    I don’t agree with all of it, although some aspects of it are undoubtedly true. The pasting some people gave it in the readers comments though, shows (IMO) just how incapable we are of really discussing that kind of thing in a rational manner.

  34. Sarah AB — on 27th August, 2011 at 2:48 pm  

    Gosh – ok damon, I’ll think about that! Just tweaking a piece about Dale Farm at present though …

  35. Arif — on 27th August, 2011 at 5:00 pm  

    I think I have a similar sense to SarahAB.

    Howard Jacobson, John Bird, all of us at some time or other when we are trying to be honest about our feelings, have fears. And these fears sound bigoted because to an extent maybe they are bigoted. But that’s not all there is to them.

    By voicing these fears, as Chairwoman says, we make them open to critique and ridicule. But how well do we react to critique? A lot of people can get defensive, but sometimes some people can accept feedback as part of a learning experience. Howard Jacobson, in the way he expresses himself, doesn’t seem to me to be clearly on one side or the other. He isn’t saying it is good that he has these fears. But he is saying he “has to” think those thoughts without saying why he “has to”. I’d guess if asked why he’d have a suitably self-critical response.

    Sunny, with your sensitivity to the background hum of bigotry, I think you are sensitised to its signs in what people say inadvertantly. Howard Jacobson might be responding to the background hum by feeling he “has to” think in line with it to some extent, but he doesn’t seem to like it. He might just be insensitive to how hard it is for outgroups to undermine the representations of them in his ingroup.

    He wouldn’t be alone in that. He may be a victim of his ingroup’s fears, but not one of those who try to fan it, promote it or exploit it.

    So what do we do with our real-life fears, sensitivities and insensitivities?

    We all have a role in ensuring we do not create fear in others when we express our own fears. But none of us can say anything constructive to someone who assumes the worst possible interpretation of our hesitant words. So I’d cut him some slack and ask him what he means before assuming that when he sees us thinks (and thinks he’s right to think) there really is a significant chance want to kill Jews. Or that he assumes most people think (and are right to think) that way.

  36. Sarah AB — on 27th August, 2011 at 5:22 pm  

    Nice comment Arif – I’ve taken the liberty of putting a couple of extracts in a comment over on HP!

  37. Bender — on 27th August, 2011 at 5:28 pm  

    Arif is very generous, but probably more generous than the average Anglo-Asian Muslim could be, or Anglo-Jew when confronted with the equivalent charge of Islamophobia.

    No group likes to look at itself with that kind of objectivity, including, I think, British Jewry.

    Basically, lets face it, Jews and Muslims don’t like each other much.

    Muslims look at Jews and see Israelis oppressing Palestinians. Jews look at Muslims and see the Arab Islamic world expelling its Jews, mostly to Israel, and seeking to exclude, expel or eliminate the Jews of Palestine/Israel.

  38. Suzy — on 27th August, 2011 at 5:28 pm  

    All those denying that Mehdi Hasan is a bigot hypocrite for squealing about Howard Jacobson’s words when he spits vile bigotry and demonisation and bestialises the ‘animal like’ ‘kaffars’ has no moral standing for indignation against Jacobson. You are personally an apologist for the high bigotry of the bigot Mehdi Hasan.

    Muslim bigotry = acceptable as lonmg as its from ‘the left’ according to you hypocrites.

    Unfortunately, this will never be let alone – wherever this hypocrisy rears its head, it will be pointed out. Hasan will not escape his hate comments and bigotry, and nor will any of his apologists on the Left, especially when they decry the bigotry of others.

    Your hypocrisy shall never be ignored.

    Medhi Hasan’s hate speech and bigotry will always be pointed out.

  39. Suzy — on 27th August, 2011 at 5:32 pm  

    This really is bollocks and anyone who still tries to make that comparison after I comprehensively exposed that smear on this blog really needs their head checked.

    The truth only becomes a ‘smear’ when it embarasses you, I suppose.

    You have no moral standing to decry the bigotry of anyone, when you shill for and excuse and render apologia for the bigotry and hate speech of Mehdi ‘Animal Kaffars’ Hasan.

  40. Bender — on 27th August, 2011 at 5:35 pm  

    Basically, Jacobson expressed himself dodgily. The problem is not so much that he expressed a fear or concern of Anglo-Asian antisemitism, but that he ‘spoke into being’ a +constraint+ to fear it, albeit a potential one.

    As Arif says, one perhaps should not judge him too harshly for a throwaway remark, but he certainly should be called on to explain or justify it.

    And a reason it might not work, as Sundal suggests, with ‘Jew’ replaced with ‘(Anglo-)Asian (Muslim)’ (for so I think he meant), is that there is little evidence of violence of the former against the latter. About which fact Sunny may be in a denial all his own, for sundry political reasons, all his own.

  41. Shriber — on 27th August, 2011 at 5:57 pm  

    “It refutes the lie, he believes, that the world is full of ne’er-do-wells on welfare. “Here are people who work so hard they put us to shame. The shopkeepers are proud of being shopkeepers. With the English you often feel it’s beneath them to work in a shop. The Asians working up a business don’t feel demeaned by it.”"

    Why did you omit the following passage from the interview?

  42. dave bones — on 27th August, 2011 at 6:47 pm  

    @damon

    I must admit I was disappointed with what John Bird had to say, especially after the excellent post riot article he did in The Big Issue itself, but if that is what he thinks he should say it and if people want to paste it in the comments, they should paste.

    Having chosen the medium of a youtube channel to experiment with I must admit I am quite fond of how it is the absolute lowest common denominator of discussion. It makes me feel connected to the roots of something.

    Whilst I am deleting the “fuck your mothers sisters uncles goats etc etc etc” every six months or so I find some absolute gems in terms of humour and genuine person to person debate which is one of the best things about this highly addictive toxic and time wasting thing called the net.

  43. Bottoms Up — on 27th August, 2011 at 6:52 pm  

    For an accomplished and intelligent writer like Jacobson, who surely understands the subtle power of words, his comments are simply lazy. Some writers are good at politics, Jacobson clearly is not. Whatever point he was trying to make was utterly stymied by his loose and lazy use of language which makes him sound more like a drunken retired colonel from Hampshire rather than the rounded and capable writer he is capable of being.

  44. Arif — on 27th August, 2011 at 11:25 pm  

    Bottoms Up, I think the problem is more with the difference between our assumptions and the assumptions of the Evening Standards’ reporter or subeditor or maybe editor. For me the obvious follow up question for the reporter is “what makes you feel you have to think that way when you see an Asian?” Perhaps they asked some such question but it was edited out.

    Instead of being disturbed by what he said, the article is written up as if it is clueless how such a statement might be really offensive or shocking to Asian people. As much as Jacobson appears to contextualise his comments, he does seem to be aware of it (to me). He can’t be held responsible for the way his statement’s implications (which he characterises as gross) is passed over so casually by the newspaper in its manner of reporting. It is the Evening Standard (or a few of their staff) which makes the decision on what it decides to highlight and downplay, and in what ways. Their values are on display as much as Howard Jacobson’s and they have more power through editing and commentary to define the context of Jacobson’s words for the reader.

    I feel a bit sorry for Howard Jacobson. I would guess most people who read newspaper reports of events they are personally involved in are probably shocked at the misrepresentation they perceive.

  45. Kojak — on 28th August, 2011 at 2:40 am  

    What about thinking of it this way:

    Up until September the 11th the term ‘British Asians’ encompassed Hindus, Buddhists, Muslims and Sikhs.

    After September 11th these communities did their utmost to distinguish them from Muslims in an attempt to say ‘Hey guys, we’re not the scary ones’ – and the term Asian has largely been abandoned on the news. Indeed on the news non-Muslim Asians hardly get a look in.

    But to the vast majority of onlookers they are Asians. To mention that they are being thought of in positive terms rather than the usual negative coverage is hardly something about which one should get wet below the waistline.

    damon re comment 7:

    “Howard Jacobson does have form in this area.
    Make of it what you will.
    Howard Jacobson: Let’s see the ‘criticism’ of Israel for what it really is.

    http://www.independent.co.uk/opinion/commentators/howard-jacobson/howard-jacobson-letrsquos-see-the-criticism-of-israel-for-what-it-really-is-1624827.html

    Damon, if that’s what you consider to be form you must be a Special Branch detective from the mid 70′s.

  46. LibertyPhile — on 28th August, 2011 at 8:01 am  

    “This really is bollocks and anyone who still tries to make that comparison after I comprehensively exposed that smear on this blog really needs their head checked.”

    I think I must have read about (and listened to) a different Mehdi Hasan speech.

    http://archbishop-cranmer.blogspot.com/2009/09/but-things-which-come-out-of-mouth-come.html

  47. Sarah AB — on 28th August, 2011 at 8:49 am  

    LibertyPhile – I don’t see (in the article you link to) why he should be asked his views about UK women wearing the burkah. But I essentially completely agree with you about MH I think. I’m completely sympathetic to Asians (or anyone else) being upset about HJ’s comment but I don’t see why I shouldn’t, as an atheist, feel upset about MH’s remarks about kaffirs.

  48. Calum F — on 28th August, 2011 at 11:22 am  

    @ Sunny

    “Sorry, but he gets no slack from me. And you know as well as I do that if this were said about other minorities – there would be outrage (or at least I hope there would be).”

    Bull. Proof of which being the way you still attempt to defend Mehdi Hasan’s vile remarks in which he did – contrary to your lame efforts to argue he didn’t really mean it – characterise non-Muslims as unthinking animals.

    You are defending Hasan, despite his appalling and dehumanising bigotry, simply because he has a brown skin and he’s a mate of yours, while getting stuck into Jacobson because he’s a white-skinned Jew. That’s all. You are an utter hypocrite, Sunny.

  49. damon — on 28th August, 2011 at 11:28 am  

    Kojak, what I meant by ”form”is that he has involved himself in the worldwide row about claims of anti-semitism towards Jews who support Israel.
    It’s a debate that I prefer to stay away from, as arguing about it seems pointless. Just google ”howard jacobson anti-semitism israel”

    Sarah AB. That was ”interesting” on HP. And is a good example how contentious this issue is. I think you handled it as well as any voice of moderation could do, so well done for that.

  50. Sarah AB — on 28th August, 2011 at 1:15 pm  

    Thanks damon – I did feel rather nervous after posting it, as is apparent from the anxious frequency of my comments – between this site and that site I was a withering mess of white cultural Christian guilt by the end of the evening.

  51. dawud ali — on 28th August, 2011 at 4:53 pm  

    Calum F @ 48

    BIG difference: non-Muslims aren’t a race; Asians are.

  52. Sarah AB — on 28th August, 2011 at 5:35 pm  

    @Dawud. Does that mean it’s ok to insult Muslims then?

    I suppose, at one level, I think it’s ‘ok’ to insult Muslims, non-Muslims, whatever. But I think if someone is in a public position, or is applying double standards, they should be called on it.

  53. Abraham Gold — on 28th August, 2011 at 6:34 pm  

    I am also a member of the group that is unquestionably a national and worldwide minority which has been persecuted for several millenia and is still the object of hatred from such a diverse groups of people from Islamic nut jobs through the KKK to the Nation of Islam.

    There is, I think, no group in the world that has earned the irrational hatred of so many lunatic fringes. There is also one group, mine, that not only does not slag this country off but is actually grateful to be here.

    If anyone doesn’t like it here go somewhere else. Simples.

  54. Sarah AB — on 28th August, 2011 at 7:33 pm  

    I don’t think anyone is slagging this country off.

  55. Kojak — on 28th August, 2011 at 9:21 pm  

    Damon de comment 49::

    Thank you for your reply.

    Funny that, I read Howard Jacobson’s article in the Independent some months ago and thought it made perfect sense.

    Abraham Gold re comment 53:

    Is ‘t it odd how when the Jewish population of GB expanded in late 19th / early 20th century they sought to integrate commercially and culturally (not religiously) on the terms of the host nation.

    Maybe it was a pre-welfare state thing but many (by no means all) of the recent ‘waves’ of immigrants have not chosen to, or been required to, do so.

  56. Boyo — on 29th August, 2011 at 7:47 am  

    Although I agree with Chairwoman’s point about HJ meaning Muslims (and Sunny, if one resists categorisation @31, how far does one wish to go? For example the word Zionist is an accepted form of “abuse” on PP, but are all Zionists bad?) I also think that he has probably reached the age and station in life where he feels free to discuss his FEARS (not necessarily beliefs) without worrying too much about point-scoring.

    In his article he says “and not to have to think about terrorism, and not to have to think about the thing I’m always thinking about… do they want to kill Jews?”. The association with Muslims and terror in the media is omnipresent, as Bob Pitt would be the first to point out – so the first clause could be interpreted thus, ie, it’s good to see something not associated with terrorism.

    The second comes from a member of an embattled community which proportionately suffers far higher attacks than other communities in the UK and is subject to a level of hostility, increasingly from the Muslim world, that is self-evident.

  57. Trofim — on 29th August, 2011 at 9:09 am  

    Sunny: “Perhaps he should stop reading Jihad Watch or something. Idiot.”

    Howard Jacobson has an IQ probably 20 points higher than Sunny. Idiot, he certainly isn’t. Likewise David Starkey.

  58. Kojak — on 29th August, 2011 at 10:58 am  

    It has amused me slightly that no one here has pointed out to Sunny that Howard Jacobsen is from an ethnic minority so. the accusations of bigotry are a bit lame as they reveal an unrealised view that racism is only about skin colour.

    As far as Jacbsen being an “idiot’, well, to be polite that is plain silly.

  59. Ben — on 30th August, 2011 at 6:21 am  

    Most British Asians are Moslem. And most British Moslems are Asians. This has been true for many years. Most British Moslems harbour strong anti-Jewish opinions and feelings. This is an objective fact, confirmed by repeated surveys and polls. HJ points this fact out using a writer’s style, and Hundal reacts like a cat whose tail has been trodden on.

    Sunny, what exactly is so objectionable about HJ’s observation? The reasons you give are not to the point. What really bugs you about it?

    You’re just a little too quick to jump down HJ’s throat, and you completely ignore his undeniable point – that strong anti-Jewish feeling is prevalent among British Asians.

  60. Jai — on 30th August, 2011 at 10:00 am  

    Most British Asians are Moslem.

    False. Muslims comprise a little over 50% of the total British Asian population. It is a slight majority, but to claim that “most” British Asians are Muslim is grossly inaccurate.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/British_Asian#Demographics

  61. Optimist — on 30th August, 2011 at 11:31 am  

    Ben -

    Please don’t confuse Jews with Zionists. Some of my best friends are Jews and most of the leaders of the ‘Palestine Solidarity Campaign’ are also from Jewish origin.

    We, Asians, have a lot in common with the Jews as the racists and the Nazis ( even the EDL, as was found out by Roberta Moore, although a bit too late) hate us all, regardless.

    So, I have always stood shoulder to shoulder with my Jewish friends and always would do when fighting against racists and fascists.

    But I hate Zionists as I believe that they are little different from the Nazis.

  62. Sarah AB — on 30th August, 2011 at 11:41 am  

    How do you define ‘Zionist’ Optimist?

  63. Boyo — on 30th August, 2011 at 12:02 pm  

    @61 – it’s ironic as Zionism was developed when its founders came to the conclusion, following the Russian pogroms, that Jews would always be subject to anti-semitism in Europe, and therefore the only option was for them to have a homeland of their own.

    Of course this fear, albeit one based on overwhelming evidence, was proved beyond doubt by the Holocaust.

    It’s therefore particularly insidious to equate Zionists with Nazis, albeit that the murder of 6 million people has become “only a statistic”. One could be a Zionist and believe Israel should be limited to its 1948 or 67 borders… one could be a Zionist and loathe settlements and the treatment of the Palestinians… instead Zionism, developed to protect Jews from prejudice, has become yet another insult and a particularly “sticky” one at that, as I know plenty of Jews who feel comforted by the idea of Israel (having experienced so much prejudice, despite disagreeing with Israel’s actions) who in Optimist’s belief would therefore be little better than Nazis and worthy of our unrestrained loathing. Remind you of anything?

  64. Optimist — on 30th August, 2011 at 12:23 pm  

    Boyo-

    Zionism was developed when its founders came to the conclusion, following the Russian pogroms, that Jews would always be subject to anti-semitism in Europe,

    Exactly, all those horrible things, which are beyond words to describe them, were done to the Jews by the Europeans, NOT the Palestinians.

    So, why repeat history and do the same things to Palestinians what was done to the Jews ??

  65. Asif B — on 30th August, 2011 at 1:15 pm  

    c.23 years ago at the Midlands Arts Centre – Ben Elton and Howard Jacobson on a Sunday afternoon panel. I won’t leave it to your imagination to tell you it was Jacobson who defended Bernard Manning as a comedian…

    Now I don’t think Jacobson is a bad person (and agree with Chairwoman that there is something to be said for sharing fears) – and can understand why a British Jewish person may look at brown face and think Muslim? and then think anti-Israeli/anti-semite?
    So agree therefore what Jacobson wrote in the Evening standard was well intentioned.

    But I still will never warm to him (despite enjoying one of his earlier books) becaause his Manning fandom (whilst a lecturer at Wolverhampton Poly – which doubtless had quite a few brown faces even in the 80s) was not a friendly or open minded attitude. Elton was going on at the time about a comic on Sunday night tv who did the @We got the Falklands back didn’t we? (pause for cheer)… We’ll get Bradford back ” gag on peak time Sunday night Tarby and how exclusionary the context/message was to British citizens of a particular colour.

    Interesting that Jacobson as someone proud of his Jewish working class minority background should be so keen on Manning while the middle class non-religious Elton should have seen why Manning’s gags hurt people at the time. (This isn’t a general comment on racist gags – there are times and places when anything is acceptable)

  66. chairwoman — on 30th August, 2011 at 2:37 pm  

    Optimist – I am a Jewish Zionist. I believe that Jews, like other groups such as the Kurds, are entitled to a homeland. I believe in the 2 state solution which won’t exist whilst Muslims in general and Palestinians in particular refuse to recognise Israel as the national homeland of the Jewish people.

    These days they won’t even recognise Jews as a people.

    You tell me where to go from that stance.

    Asif B – I’ve been a fan of Ben Elton since he sparkled on Friday Live. I enjoy Howard Jacobson’s writing. Bernard Manning was not only racist, but rubbish.

    Ben Elton spent his early years denying there was anything Jewish about him, and squeezing “Palestine” into as many sentences as possible.

  67. chairwoman — on 30th August, 2011 at 2:39 pm  

    Optimist – BTW, could you explain how under the Israeli genocide programme that you obviously believe in, there are considerably more Palestinians than there were before it started?

  68. AsifB — on 30th August, 2011 at 3:26 pm  

    Chairwoman – I agree with you that Manning being rubbish is a more valid criticism….
    And you’re probably right about Elton and Palestine (though I suppose it could just as easily have been Curtis who squeezed Palestine/Johnny Arab land into Blackadder episode – he is shacked up with one of them hippyish Freuds after all)

    My point about the Manning preference is not to do with Elton V Jacobson’s politics vis a vis Israel/Zionism (interesting though that may be) but about how Jacobson actively liking someone who’s fans/image/jokes alientated/downright scared Asians in the 80s – was not very nice of him (and as someone who presumably experienced far more prejudice than the middle class/deracianted Elton clan) this is disappointing.

    At the debate there was also some interesting divergence on Jewish humour (which Jacobson championed – and elton was more pc’ishly prudish about) .. The triumph of Larry david style humour to some extent exonerates Jacobson here – but it doesn’t undermine Elton’s basic rebuttal of Manning – namely that you don’t need to be an intellectual to appreciate the difference between Woody Allen making a Jewish joke to the world and Bernard Manning using the N and P words to drunken white only rooms.

  69. Katy Newton — on 30th August, 2011 at 3:52 pm  

    Given that the I/P issue is pretty much always reported as a dispute between Jews and Muslims, it would be naive to expect the majority of people in either persuasion not to have absorbed that to some degree. And most successful interfaith dialogue (regardless of the faiths concerned) will involve an acknowledgment of the preconceptions that people hold about others and aim to work through those preconceptions and help people to see past them.

    (edited because I hadn’t seen Comment 31)

  70. Boyo — on 30th August, 2011 at 4:21 pm  

    @64 A closer reading of my response would make it plain that it is possible to be a Zionist and not approve of the fate of the Palestinians.

    If you wish to make the point – why should Israel be where it is, and not, for example, in a region of Germany – then I think you need to look at the history of Zionism and the region in general.

    In short, the region was certainly not a “Jew-free” area at any time following the destruction of the Temple (as one might be tempted to believe) and despite their repeated persecution by Christians and Muslims the Jewish people could fairly lay a claim to territory there. Jewish immigration also took place over many hundreds of years – they did not just up-sticks from the Ukraine after 1947.

    Certainly, that does not mean that the Arab people living there did not also have a right to a homeland, but in 1948 there was a settlement of sorts. It probably was not altogether fair – what is – but there was a great deal of population movement. Countries are born and die all the time – look at Yugoslavia, look at Africa, look at India.

    IMHO the current situation is gravely unjust, settlements should be halted, and I would like to see a return to 1967 borders. However, I do not wish to see the end of the Israeli state and have some sympathy for a people so badly treated, as I do the Palestinians.

    In the past both East and West projected their own angst upon the Jews, and the current loathing of Israel appears entirely consistent with this – regional dictators use it to distract from their own failures, while Western liberals project upon it their post-Imperial (and neo-conservative) guilt.

  71. Optimist — on 30th August, 2011 at 5:44 pm  

    Boyo -

    As you know its a very long argument – to cut it short:

    1. Many a people over the last 2 thousand years have lost their homelands – Native Americans, Australians, New Zealanders, just to name a few.

    2. Yes, it would have been better if they had set up Israel in Germany as they, Germans, were the guilty party. As you know, first they wanted to set it up in Uganda, but that would also have been equally unjust.

    3. Israel was created in Palestine purely because of racism against the Arabs – the imperialists thought that there is little to deter them from doing that. If Arabs had a big army, it would have never happened.

    4. It was created as an example of ‘might is right’.

    5. Two state solution would only mean, one state (Israel ) sitting on top of an other one, a sort of mothball eaten Palestine.

    I contributed to a blog back on 26th May on this subject. This is what I think the real solution is, a democratic, secular, socialist Greater Arabia, where all people, Arabs, Jews, Christians etc could once again live in peace and harmony as they did under the rule of Salahuddin (Saladin).

    http://www.pickledpolitics.com/archives/12747#comments

    As Rumbold, I also think that tinku patel’s comments in the beginning are quite valid trying to explain origins of sikhism. As I am new to this website and not quite yet familiar about the views of various writers that he refers to, I would not comment on that.

    However, I would try to answer his original question based upon the little knowledge that I have of sikhism. I think the thread that runs through the whole of Sikhism, I mean the basic principle rather than how its actually practised now or in the past, is, ‘Sarbat Ka Bhala’, meaning, ‘goodwill to all mankind’. I also re-quote from tnku’s piece, this is a quote from Guru Nanak Dev ji, the founder of Sikhism and it roughly means :
    “Avval Allah Noor Upaya Qudrat Keh Sub Banday (God Created Light Of Which All The Beings Were Born)
    Aik Noor Keh Sub Jag Upajiya Kaun Bhale Ko Mandhe (From The Light, The Universe. So Who Is Good And Who Is Bad ?”

    Guru Nanak Dev ji also said that, ‘Na koi apna, Na koi prya’, meaning , no one is ‘our’ and no one is a ‘foreigner’, otherwise, the whole humanity is one, without any difference of colour, creed, race or religion.

    So, based on these basic principles, what would the gurus have done about i/p ?

    Let me now start what I think the solution to the i/p conflict is, and I think the gurus would probably have agreed with me. I think it can only be resolved in a greater Arabia, a democratic, secular and socialist Arabia, in which Muslims, Jews, Christians and all others could live in peace and harmony, the sort of world the gurus had imagined.

    The current ‘Arab Spring’ may take us some way towards that but we really need true revolutions to take place in all the Arab countries as well as in Israel so that the working class takes power in its own hands, turns the whole area into one country, so that all displaced Palestinians could come home and as the oil revenues are used to advance that country rather than being invested in America, there would be enough demand for immigrants and giving chance for even more Jews to come and live there.

    Now, you may think that I am a dreamer, well so was the great guru Nanak !!

  72. Boyo — on 30th August, 2011 at 8:50 pm  

    Yes, I do think you are a dreamer… and may have watched Kingdom of Heaven one too many times.

    Saladin was a civilised man, for his time, yet the citizens of Jerusalem were not freed as depicted in the film but sold in to slavery. Under Saladin, as under all Muslim rulers, non-Mulsims had to pay special taxes and were barred from certain offices, essentially second class citizens in a form of governance far closer to the actions of Nazi Germany than present-day Israel. But that’s rose-tinted glasses for you…

    I’m afraid your grasp of history is not really very strong, but why let that get in the way of your opinions. The fledgling Israeli state had to take on the armies of Egypt, Jordan, Iraq, Syria, and Lebanon, as well as the Palestinians. Might was not on their side – they had no allies – and the British supported the Arabs:

    “We [and the Arabs] are partners in adversity on this question. A Jewish state is no more in our interest than it is in the Arabs…. ”

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1948_Arab–Israeli_War

    As I’ve said, there was a substantial, unbroken Jewish presence in Palestine (as opposed to Uganda). It’s true that people have had their land stolen from them in the past, but I think I’ve already covered that point – it’s unfortunate but nothing historically new.

    Your lack of support for a two state solution is quite depressing as I’m sure it sums up a certain orthodoxy, an excuse really which at best smacks of a kind of inverted racism – not only would the Palestinians be cowed by the Israelis, but all their Arab and Muslim brethren would not deign to assist their development, an assumption that hardly bodes well for your Greater Arabia…

  73. Ben — on 31st August, 2011 at 1:42 am  

    Optimist said: “Ben…Please don’t confuse Jews with Zionists…”

    I’m not.

    It is a fact proved by independently conducted surveys and public opinion polls that most British Moslems harbour strong anti-Jewish feelings and opinions. They hate and despise Jews per se, in addition to their antipathy against Israelis/Zionists.

  74. damon — on 31st August, 2011 at 10:28 am  

    …and may have watched Kingdom of Heaven one too many times.

    That’s funny.

    Just as a matter of interest, did anyone know what HJ said about Brenard Manning?
    I didn’t, so googled it.

    Here was one snippet.
    http://www.thejc.com/community/community-life/jacobsons-filthy-time

  75. Kismet Hardy — on 31st August, 2011 at 11:51 am  

    I think the dude was trying to expose the thought process of the daily express reader types. Don’t deny it, when you saw pics of the rioters you sighed in relief when you saw white faces among the black ones, just as it irritated many starkey & clutch at straws racists. A columnist’s job is to express that in a way that makes you acknwledge that

  76. Prophet Mohammad — on 31st August, 2011 at 1:47 pm  

    Quran 2:61
    SHAKIR: And when you said: O Musa! we cannot bear with one food, therefore pray Lord on our behalf to bring forth for us out of what the earth grows, of its herbs and its cucumbers and its garlic and its lentils and its onions. He said: Will you exchange that which is better for that which is worse? Enter a city, so you will have what you ask for. And abasement and humiliation were brought down upon them, and they became deserving of Allah’s wrath; this was so because they disbelieved in the communications of Allah and killed the prophets unjustly; this was so because they disobeyed and exceeded the limits.

    Prophet killers who are deserving of Allah’s wrath.

    What to do with Jews according to sahih hadiths?

    Sunan of Abu Dawud, Book 13, Number 2996:

    Narrated Muhayyisah: The Apostle of Allah said: If you gain a victory over the men of Jews, kill them. So Muhayyisah jumped over Shubaybah, a man of the Jewish merchants. He had close relations with them. He then killed him. At that time Huwayyisah (brother of Muhayyisah) had not embraced Islam. He was older than Muhayyisah. When he killed him, Huwayyisah beat him and said: O enemy of Allah, I swear by Allah, you have a good deal of fat in your belly from his property.

    Sunan Abu-Dawud-Book 38, No. 4390

    Narrated Atiyyah al-Qurazi:
    “I was among the captives of Banu Qurayzah. They (the Companions) examined us, and those who had begun to grow hair (pubes) were killed, and those who had not were not killed. I was among those who had not grown hair.”

    Muslims wanting to kill Jews, that’s ridiculous!!!!

  77. Kismet Hardy — on 31st August, 2011 at 1:54 pm  

    Wow! It said all that in a book written hundreds of years ago. I read vatsayana’s book on sex and my girlfriend is now in hospital so I wouldn’t trust it really. Far better to quote newspapers, I reckon, you know the ones where muzzy kids get cluster hugs

  78. Optimist — on 31st August, 2011 at 2:18 pm  

    Boyo –

    You know that Saladin treated the Jews far better than they were treated by the European crusaders. The siege of Jerusalem in 1099 ended with the slaughter of nearly all the Jews and Muslims by the crusaders.

    He also treated them far better than they were treated by King Edward I who expelled them from this country in 1290.

    As to the ‘substantial, unbroken presence’, the day you support the idea that the Americas should be returned to the natives and all people of European descent expelled, I would support the existence of Israel.

    You know it would never happen because its all to do with ‘power’. The natives like the Palestinians do not have the power, so ‘might is right’ prevails.

    As to the nonsense you talk about ‘British supported the Arabs’, again you know very well that there were 100,000 British soldiers in Palestine at the time who ran away as soon as the Zionist murderous gangs lit a few fire crackers. It was all due to the racisms of the British imperialists towards the Arabs and if you compare it with what they did to Mau-Mau in Kenya then you get the real picture.

    There the British uprooted most of the population and forced them into concentration camps. At the end, according to historian Caroline Elkins, 100,000 had been killed and 300,000 were unaccounted for.

    As to being a ‘dreamer’, I rather be a dreamer who dreams for a better world for all people than be a psychopathic Zionist who loves humiliating daily, old, poor, Palestinian men and shoot their little children.

    As I said before, I have more than twenty close friends from Jewish background who all agree with me. I have also in the past met some holocaust survivors and known a few Jews from Palestine who were opposed to Zionism and never wanted Israel in the first place.

    As you also know that every annual march organized by the Palestine Solidarity Campaign is always lead by the Jews opposed to Zionism and most of them are the orthodox ones.

  79. Don — on 31st August, 2011 at 4:26 pm  

    Optimist,

    You are mistaken in your belief that British policy was pro-Israel, anti-arab at the time of the formation of Israel. British policy was emphatically pro-arab, because Britain had vital trade and strategic links in the Arab world and did not want them put at risk. The FO in particular was strongly Arabist.

    Britain consistently and vigorously opposed Jewish immigration to Palestine and, by 1947/48, was keen just to get the hell out of a situation they could not control, could not afford, which brought no benefit and which could only get worse.

    Policy towards the Mau-Mau was appalling, but does not reflect policy towards the Arabs at that time. British Imperial attitudes towards black Africans, wih the possible exception of the Zulus, was one of a racist contempt for people who were seen as little more than beasts of burden. Attitudes toward Arabs tended to be an equally racist romanticism of the noble warrior on his trusty steed.

    I rather be a dreamer who dreams for a better world for all people than be a psychopathic Zionist who loves humiliating daily, old, poor, Palestinian men and shoot their little children.

    Those are not the only choices. I seriously doubt that Boyo falls into the second category.

    Saladin treated the Jews far better than they were treated by the European crusaders.

    Undeniably true, but that is setting the bar fairly low. And of course Saladin has been regarded as an heroic figure in British culture for centuries.

  80. Optimist — on 31st August, 2011 at 4:56 pm  

    Don -

    I agree it was badly worded, and I was not referring to Boyo as the ‘psychopathic Zionist’ but the ones you see on TV, carrying multiple automatic weapons, and who have normally come from America where their families had settled for centuries, no doubt on the land stolen from the natives and then they demand that all Palestinians be expelled from occupied Palestine.

    As to the, ‘British policy was emphatically pro-arab’, I think that is debatable. You have answered the question to some extant by yourself by agreeing that they ‘wanted to get the hell out’ as quickly as possible and with no cost to them, regardless of the cost to the Arabs since then and in the coming future.

    No doubt, as you say, there were some in the FO who were initially opposed to the Jewish immigration, but others and in conjunction with the American foreign policy, were keen to create a watch dog to protect the newly found black gold. And since then their policy in the middle east has been driven only by one equation, ‘how cheaply and how quickly’ they can get that black gold.

  81. Don — on 31st August, 2011 at 5:58 pm  

    Optimist,

    No question that I/P has attracted somed deranged and dangerous people with an apocalyptic attitude. They are doing nobody any favours and have agendas very far from the well-being of the humans who have to live there.

    I guess the lesson is, don’t live in a place god thinks is special.

    On pro-Arab FP,it was. Really. Just loook at the actual combat figures. Obviously that didn’t mean not selling the Arabs out later. Diplomacy is the art of stabbing someone in the back while still expecting them to ask you to dinner.

    But Britain was exhausted, flat-broke, flattened, retreating from a long-since unfeasible empire and actually facing the possibility of famine in the post-WWII era. Keeping 100,000 troops in a place that didn’t matter to them was insane.

    I think British compliance with American pro-Israel policy came significantly later. Up until the Marshall Plan, which was at same time as the founding of the State of Israel, there was quite a lot of conflict and bad feeling between UK and US on many policies. In the immediate aftermath of WWII it wasn’t all pals together. Later we learned our place. In 1947/48 British policy was very much at odds with the US.

    But, yeah. I agree, it’s all about the oil.

  82. Jai — on 31st August, 2011 at 6:30 pm  

    yet the citizens of Jerusalem were not freed as depicted in the film but sold in to slavery.

    False. Saladin gave the citizens of Jerusalem forty days to buy their freedom, with the negotiations including a general amnesty for the poor, along with the acceptance of lump sums significantly lower than the actual asking price (in at least one instance, the latter involved Saladin deliberately enabling Christian leaders such as Balian to secure the freedom of 7000 citizens en masse); Saladin freed Christian aristocrats such as the widow of Reynald of Chatillon without them even having to pay the ransom. It was the minority remaining who were finally taken captive at the end of the forty-day period.

    The freed citizens were even allowed to leave the city with all of their possessions (with the exception of weapons and horses), with Saladin arranging for the citizens’ safe passage to Christian outposts. The latter included the provision of an escort for Balian’s wife, despite the fact that Balian himself had violated his agreement with Saladin to visit Jerusalem for only one night (ostensibly in order to extract his wife and children) and had instead remained in the city to organise its military defence; after the siege, Saladin still forgave Balian for breaking his promise.

    Furthermore, the victorious Saladin insisted on honouring his agreements even when it subsequently caused huge problems for him, whether it involved administrative issues surrounding the massive numbers of refugees from Jerusalem or the citizens who were using duplicitous methods to circumvent the terms of surrender.

    The subject is documented in exhaustive detail by Dr Thomas Asbridge in “The Crusades: The War for the Holy Land”.

    as under all Muslim rulers, non-Muslims had to pay special taxes and were barred from certain offices,

    False on both counts. “Special taxes” for non-Muslims were prohibited by the vast majority of India’s Mughal emperors from the reign of Akbar onwards (with a minority of exceptions such as Aurangzeb). And non-Muslims were employed in the highest offices of the respective governments and militaries by most of the Muslim aristocracy throughout the subcontinent in that era, based purely on merit and without discrimination. A situation that was widely recorded by European representatives and residents in India during the centuries involved, incidentally.

    Launching into condescending historically-inaccurate lectures about this subject is generally a bad idea, especially when the claims being made are filled with sweeping caricatures. Perhaps the author has watched “A Passage To India” or “North West Frontier” one too many times.

    non-Muslims…were barred from certain offices, essentially second class citizens in a form of governance far closer to the actions of Nazi Germany than present-day Israel.

    It’s also a form of governance far closer to the actions of the British administration in India for about 150 years, from the end of the 18th century right through to Independence in 1947, if one is going to play that particular game of drawing historical parallels.

    The manifestation of Godwin’s Law during stereotyped propaganda maligning Muslim rulers implies that the author has perhaps been spending a little too much time reading dubious sources such as Jihad Watch and Atlas Shrugs.

    As for the following ill-conceived remark in #72:

    I’m afraid your grasp of history is not really very strong, but why let that get in the way of your opinions.

    It’s yet another instance when the author really needs to take a long hard look in the mirror himself.

  83. Boyo — on 31st August, 2011 at 7:43 pm  

    @82

    “False… It was the minority remaining who were finally taken captive at the end of the forty-day period.”

    No. Although there were exceptions, “thousands of Jerusalemites could not afford to pay their ransom. They were led into slavery and the harem.” (Jerusalem, the Biography) Yes, Balian coughed up some cash for 7,000, but there were many times as many in the city and only a relative handful escaped. I did say Saladin was an honourable man for his time, but its worth observing he only spared Jerusalem from the sword after Balian threatened to kill all the women and destroy the Sanctuary of the Rock and the al-Aqsa Mosque.

    Re the taxes and governance, I was referring to the region, which is the subject of this thread. It was certainly the case in Jerusalem, even as late as the 19th Century.

    I’m not really interested in point-scoring, merely to undermine the logic of a hate that appeared to be built upon a flawed understanding of the facts, be it a “perfect” Saladin, iniquitous Albion, or superhuman Jews.

  84. Boyo — on 31st August, 2011 at 10:08 pm  

    “I have more than twenty close friends from Jewish background who all agree with me.”

    But that’s only because you know where they live ;-)

  85. Kojak — on 31st August, 2011 at 10:20 pm  

    Optimist re comment 61:

    I’m a Zionist.
    Do you hate me?

    If so how different from a Nazi am I? A lot or just a little?
    (I do have a suit designed by Hugo Boss – does that mean I’m half way there already.)

    PS: Remember to be careful about who you call Nazi – they might be Max Mosley in disguise and fight a court case against you and thereafter fund a campaign seeking to expose your behaviour.

  86. Optimist — on 1st September, 2011 at 12:26 pm  

    Boyo @84 -

    But that’s only because you know where they live

    You may be right!

    But let me tell you a story about one of my dearest Jewish friends.

    He was born in South Africa but is now permanently settled in this country. His father’s family had emigrated to South Africa from Russia in the early part of the last century. His father ( now thankfully dead ), according to my friend, had only one aim in life – try to be nearly as cruel towards the blacks as the Nazis were towards the Jews.

    So, from an early age, my friend decided to be exactly opposite to what his father was like.

    However he has an older sister who is well settled in America and married to a wealthy lawyer. But she makes frequent trips to Israel, according to my friend, to achieve her own ambition. And that ambition is to try to out do her father by being even more cruel towards the Palestinians.

    Now we don’t know if she has succeeded in her aim as my friend has not spoken to her for many years.

    The above may be an isolated case and we can’t generalise from that but, according to friend, father and daughter claim to be proud Zionists.

  87. douglas clark — on 1st September, 2011 at 12:35 pm  

    Kojak @ 85,

    I don’t hate you for being a Zionist. It is pretty obvious you hate yourself. Is that not enough for you?

  88. Boyo — on 1st September, 2011 at 1:08 pm  

    @86 not only is that weird, it does not mean anything. I’m sure there are plenty of wife-beating Quakers and reformed members of the Nazi party (controversial! I highly recommend Gunter Grass’s Peeling the Onion).

    Let’s be clear about this, because I think it is important: I think you need to acknowledge there is a difference between extremist Israeli supremacists who support the building of settlements and so on, and people who abhor the treatment of Palestinians yet nonetheless believe in the right of Israel to exist. Both, if I have understood you correctly, are Zionists, whom you detest.

    In the light of the evidence, I think you need to review your definition.

  89. Kojak — on 1st September, 2011 at 3:31 pm  

    Douglas Clark re comment 87:

    Please share with all of us your diagnosis why you think I hate myself.

    If, as I suspect, your insight is nothing but wishful thinking it is bound to be amusing.

  90. Kojak — on 1st September, 2011 at 3:52 pm  

    Optimist re comment 86:

    A word of advice – it’s best not to be thankful of the death of people you don’t know ………. it’s a slippery slope which often leads to being casual about the sanctity of life, whilst at the same time talking about upholding human rights.

    Back to your ‘example’ ………….
    The father had only one aim in life – to be cruel to black people, and
    the daughter has only one aim in life – to be cruel to Palestinians.
    They didn’t aim to be happy, be loved, be parents, be wealthy or to be observant, only to be cruel.

    It’s heartening to think that with such a grasp of the complexities of behaviour you are able to pontificate about the nastiness of Zionists and talk about hatred.

  91. Optimist — on 1st September, 2011 at 4:51 pm  

    Kojak @90 -

    You know very well that I was exaggerating, maybe, to be provoctive, but thanks for your advice.

  92. Jai — on 1st September, 2011 at 6:04 pm  

    I did say Saladin was an honourable man for his time, but its worth observing he only spared Jerusalem from the sword after Balian threatened to kill all the women and destroy the Sanctuary of the Rock and the al-Aqsa Mosque.

    It’s also worth observing that medieval customs of siege warfare involving summary massacres of men & the summary enslavement of women and children in defeated cities that had refused to surrender prior to the actual commencement of battle were shared and accepted by Christians as well as Muslims in that part of the world. These brutal attitudes were not even remotely unique to Saladin or his Muslim forces. Furthermore, the fact that Saladin insisted on honouring his agreement with the Christians of Jerusalem even when Balian was in no position whatsoever to act on his threats once Saladin’s forces had captured the city speaks volumes about exactly how honourable Saladin was for his time and place.

    Yes, Balian coughed up some cash for 7,000, but there were many times as many in the city and only a relative handful escaped.

    Still false. 7000-8000 remained in the city at the end of the 40-day period. The majority of Jerusalem’s original huge population had managed to buy their freedom, or had it bought for them, or were released without needing to pay the ransom (in the case of the poor along with various members of the Christian aristocracy). The massive number of citizens released resulted in Saladin’s forces having to safely escort a near-constant stream of Christian refugees to the coast.

    Once again, all of the above is discussed in considerable detail by Thomas Asbridge in “The Crusades: The War for the Holy Land”, backed up by multiple references. Dr Asbridge himself is an internationally acclaimed expert on the Crusades.

    As for Saladin, he was certainly not a saint, but referring to the policies of some historical Muslim rulers and drawing alleged parallels with Nazi Germany is a very bad idea indeed when the same kind of discriminatory policies of governance were also implemented by the British colonial administration in India as late as the mid-20th century, right up to the subcontinent’s independence.

    As I said earlier, perhaps some honest self-reflection is required, particularly if one is going to criticise other people about the alleged flaws in their historical knowledge and the resulting attitudes they display. Even more so since the current crop of virulently anti-Muslim bigots in both Europe and the United States are making exactly the same false “Nazi” references to demonise their Muslim targets, along with grossly distorting historical facts in order to further their own anti-Muslim propaganda.

  93. douglas clark — on 1st September, 2011 at 7:09 pm  

    Kojak,

    If, as I suspect, your insight is nothing but wishful thinking it is bound to be amusing.

    Could it be because you come on here and make an idiot of yourself? In public? See what Jai has to say @ 92.

    It strikes me that, if you don’t hate yourself, then you lack self awareness. It was you that wrote this hum dinger wasn’t it?

    Is ‘t it odd how when the Jewish population of GB expanded in late 19th / early 20th century they sought to integrate commercially and culturally (not religiously) on the terms of the host nation.

    Maybe it was a pre-welfare state thing but many (by no means all) of the recent ‘waves’ of immigrants have not chosen to, or been required to, do so.

    Quite clever in the insulting by mis-statement category I’d have thought. What gives Jews an exclusive voice in the Victorian immigrant game anyway?

    It is, of course, sensible to learn the language of your host nation. Have you any idea what percentage of immigrants don’t learn the lingo? Apparently around 10% of people that come here for love don’t know it at the time of entry. Ooh, err, missus!

    It is pretty obviously going to be the case that most of them will learn English sooner or later.

    By osmosis if not by any other means.

    It is a conveniently sloppy idea to generalise from a few cases and pretend that you have proven something universal.

    I don’t think you have managed to do that Kojak.

  94. Kojak — on 1st September, 2011 at 9:49 pm  

    Douglas Clark re comment 93:

    Thank you for your message.

    As I expected you weren’t able to explain your conclusion, and merely referenced Jai’s thoughtful but unrelated, comment 92 as a decoy to cite what you consider an intelligent contribution, rather than make one yourself.

    As far as my earlier comment 55 about Victorian / Edwardian immigration I didn’t say Jews were the exclusive immigrants during that period, because they were most certainly not. I could have just as well been talking about Irish immigration, however your assumption “What gives Jews an exclusive voice in the immigrant game anyway?” is what you would like to think I was saying………….. I dare say you meant here’s another pesky Jew thinking it’s all about them.

    My point was referenced to comment 53 which speaking of British Jews “There is also one group, mine, that not only does not slag this country off but is actually grateful to be here.”.

    So if it’s not too hard for you to grasp: immigrants who arrived here 100 years ago and were not shielded by the welfare state worked their socks off to keep poverty at bay, yet they managed to produce a community with deep affiliations with British culture and traditions. Whereas with the benefit of the welfare state and post-imperial education some of the more recent ‘waves’ of immigrants have a far less favourable view of Britain – albeit balanced by a willingness to claim.

    By the way, when both sides of my family arrived here my great grandparents didn’t learn the language for many many years – so I don’t know who you are trying to educate with your ‘ooh err missus’.

  95. Calum F — on 2nd September, 2011 at 2:41 am  

    @ Jai

    “‘Most British Asians are Moslem.’

    False. Muslims comprise a little over 50% of the total British Asian population. It is a slight majority, but to claim that “most” British Asians are Muslim is grossly inaccurate.”

    Evidently you don’t understand the meaning of the fairly simple word ‘most’. It’s factually accurate and you are an ignorant fool.

  96. Boyo — on 2nd September, 2011 at 8:18 am  

    @92 I’m glad you have deigned once again to visit us from your lofty height Jai because on reflection I did think it was profoundly misleading for you to take my remark about Muslim rule of I/P out of context – dropping the reference to both Saladin and Israel – in order to undermine a perfectly valid, and accurate, point. Low, low, low.

    It’s also no news to me or anyone else that them were brutal times, and at the top (and repeatedly) I said Saladin was an honourable man “for his time”. And your point is?

    “Although Saladin allowed some to leave without paying the required amount for ransom, according to Imad al-Din, approximately 7,000 men and 8,000 women were taken into slavery.”

    http://www.newworldencyclopedia.org/entry/Saladin

    Shall we call it quits at that? Neither a minority or majority then.

    “but referring to the policies of some historical Muslim rulers and drawing alleged parallels with Nazi Germany is a very bad idea…”

    I couldn’t agree more, that’s why I suggest that if you have the time in your busy schedule you look back at the thread (61, 63 and 64 for starters) and you will find that the Nazi reference was in response to its inappropriate use by Optimist, who you have been so quick to defend by fair means and foul.

    “perhaps some honest self-reflection is required… along with grossly distorting historical facts”

    Pot, kettle, etc. An apology would be graciously accepted.

  97. damon — on 2nd September, 2011 at 8:49 am  

    I’d be interested to hear Howard Jacobson’s views on the disrupting of last nights concert by the Israel Philharmonic at the Royal Albert Hall.

    And Pickled Politics commentators too.
    http://hurryupharry.org/2011/09/01/israel-philharmonic-concert-disrupted/

  98. chairwoman — on 2nd September, 2011 at 10:33 am  

    Optimist – In the years I have been commenting on this site, I have been nose to nose with more down with Israelers than you can shake a stick at.

    None of them were as offensive, stupid or just literally as ignorant of the situation as you.

  99. Optimist — on 2nd September, 2011 at 11:14 am  

    chairwoman -

    Its because of people like you that I ‘dislike’ Zionists.

  100. Optimist — on 2nd September, 2011 at 11:26 am  

    Calum F @95 -

    Who’s a little baby?

  101. Katy Newton — on 2nd September, 2011 at 11:44 am  

    Well, this has been an insightful and productive comments thread

  102. Kismet Hardy — on 2nd September, 2011 at 2:36 pm  

    What Katy said

  103. Kojak — on 2nd September, 2011 at 3:40 pm  

    Optimist re comment 99:

    I’ve been coming here on and off for a while and during that time I have observed Chairwoman to be a pleasant, thoughtful contributor who doesn’t intentionally wind people up.

    So I suspect your “dislike” of Zionists is based on something deeper within you.

    It would be nice if people were up front about it rather than kid themselves.

  104. Kismet Hardy — on 2nd September, 2011 at 3:41 pm  

    Indeedy. “People like you” is a horribly loaded insult.

  105. Optimist — on 2nd September, 2011 at 4:55 pm  

    @103. @104

    “People like you” meant people who think any one who criticizes Israel or the Zionists is ‘stupid’. But I think I have said enough on this thread and others in trying to differentiate between Jews, like so many of my good friends, and the Zionists ( although I accept there are many varieties of them, and my ‘dislike’ varies accordingly ), for people to know my views on this matter.

  106. Jai — on 2nd September, 2011 at 5:10 pm  

    Optimist,

    One point which does need to be made is that Chairwoman is a valued long-term commenter on PP and, although she participates here much less than she used to, I can personally vouch for the fact that she is an extremely nice person. She also happens to be the mother of Katy Newton (re: #101), who also used to be a prolific regular here; in fact, Katy even wrote articles for Pickled Politics from time to time. You could accurately describe them (especially Katy) as being amongst the “inner circle” of PP’s original founders.

    Political differences aside, Chairwoman certainly does not deserve any animosity, and she is justifiably very popular amongst PP’s long-term regulars. Katy’s level-headed presence, fundamental decency and good-humoured nature are similarly much-missed.

    There have been some blunt words coming from both directions, but these are very good people. It is therefore worth bearing that in mind when engaging in discussions with them in future, especially when it involves loaded issues such Israel.

  107. Optimist — on 2nd September, 2011 at 5:14 pm  

    Jai -

    Point taken

  108. Jai — on 2nd September, 2011 at 5:15 pm  

    “Although Saladin allowed some to leave without paying the required amount for ransom, according to Imad al-Din, approximately 7,000 men and 8,000 women were taken into slavery.”

    http://www.newworldencyclopedia.org/entry/Saladin

    Shall we call it quits at that? Neither a minority or majority then.

    Still false, Boyo. By your own admission in #83, there were “many times [7000] in the city” (ie. the original size of Jerusalem’s Christian population), which still makes the remaining number very much a minority even if one interprets it as “7000 men and 8000 women” rather than the total figure of 7000-8000 quoted in #92.

    You will forgive those of us who give more credence to the figures and historical details supplied by Dr Thomas Asbridge, an internationally renowned academic who is one of the world’s leading authorities on the history of the Crusades.

    I’m glad you have deigned once again to visit us from your lofty height Jai because on reflection I did think it was profoundly misleading for you to take my remark about Muslim rule of I/P out of context – dropping the reference to both Saladin and Israel – in order to undermine a perfectly valid, and accurate, point.

    It you check your own comment #72, you specifically wrote: “Under Saladin, like all Muslim rulers, non-Muslims had to pay special taxes and were barred from certain offices, essentially second class citizens in a form of governance far closer to the actions of Nazi Germany than present-day Israel.”

    I repeat: “like all Muslim rulers”.

    There is nothing whatsoever in that paragraph to indicate that you were actually referring solely to the Muslim rulers of that specific region, despite your attempted backtracking in #83 in response to my pointing out that your sweeping assertions about “all Muslim rulers” were very inaccurate indeed.

    On the contrary, your remarks clearly indicate that you were extrapolating those policies out of the local context of Israel and were attempting to apply them to all Muslim rulers in general.

    Shall we call it quits at that?

    For your part, you certainly should, since it’s become clear that either your own historical knowledge is not particularly strong in certain areas or you were deliberately distorting facts in order to push yet more anti-Muslim propaganda.

    The former is perfectly fine, as long as you internally acknowledge that and take on board the new information. The latter, however, is not acceptable at all.

    Even more so since you are compounding the error by characteristically descending into sneering sarcasm, obfuscation and abuse when your factually incorrect claims are demonstrated to be false. Defensively ranting at me is counterproductive and changes nothing.

  109. jamal — on 2nd September, 2011 at 10:14 pm  

    so this is the mindset of jacobson he openly admits he was thinking all asians want to kill jews.

    And this guy supposedly intelligent writes for liberal slanted The Independent newspaper!! jeeez god help us.

  110. Boyo — on 2nd September, 2011 at 10:21 pm  

    Are you winding me up or wot Jai? You’ve even misquoted (and misrepresented) me in bold. I repeat, you have even misquoted (and misrepresented) me in bold.

    I did not say “Under Saladin, like all Muslim rulers…”

    I said:

    “Saladin was a civilised man, for his time, yet the citizens of Jerusalem were not freed as depicted in the film but sold in to slavery. Under Saladin, as under all Muslim rulers, non-Mulsims had to pay…”

    The context is crystal clear. If you choose to believe that i was referring to those outside the subject area of this thread then that’s up to you – I think we can leave it to others to work out what I meant, although the subject matter under discussion and the subsequent reference to Israel and its behaviour should give all but the most wilfully blinkered a clue.

    As for numbers, you had earlier said a minority were enslaved, which was wrong, as was my own, later, statement about “many times” more – only twice as many it turns out.

    I presented a compromise, which you chose to ignore, along with your own error. Yet you then had the gall to state:

    “you were deliberately distorting facts in order to push yet more anti-Muslim propaganda.”

    What a rotten, baseless smear. And not even an apology for your earlier misrepresentation of Optimist’s erroneous Nazi comparison as my own (or is anti-Israeli propaganda ok by you?).

    “by characteristically descending into sneering sarcasm, obfuscation and abuse when your factually incorrect claims are demonstrated to be false. Defensively ranting at me is counterproductive and changes nothing.”

    And nor does the fact that you were wrong about the numbers, took my quote out of context and then misquoted it, and sought to smear me over a comparison that the very person you had jumped to defend had made.

    Given your strenuous efforts to discredit me, I wonder if it is not your impulse to defend Optimist, correct minor details about the legacy of Saladin, or that I caught you out over the Nazi thing, but that I effectively unpicked his glib views about Zionism that really got your goat?

  111. Sarah AB — on 3rd September, 2011 at 7:45 am  

    Boyo – I agree that your point about Muslim rulers (whether accurate or not) seemed a clear reference, in the context, to the rulers of that era only. Also annoying to be misquoted, particularly when the misquote is put in bold.

    But I don’t think Jai was misattributing something to you – I know Optimist made a Nazi jibe but you also said (72) that in treating non-Muslims differently, Saladin’s rule was closer to Nazi Germany than that of Israel. Many Christian countries, either then or since, have obviously subjected minorities (including the wrong sorts of Christian) to much worse treatment.

    I have just skimmed over a couple of relevant threads from the archives and Jai has more than once defended Israel from disproportionate criticism – which is of course perfectly compatible with being critical of Israel.

    I’m totally confused about the numbers thing.

  112. Boyo — on 3rd September, 2011 at 8:48 am  

    No Sarah, I was directly referring to the fact that Optimist was comparing Zionist’s to Nazis when I made the reference, ie “you say Zionists are Nazis but subjecting one section of citizens to special taxes etc as was done under your hero [Saladin] was closer to the actions of Nazi Germany”, if I really need to spell it out.

    I’m tempted to say that I didn’t need to stoop to Optimist’s level, but I didn’t – I don’t think any discerning person would really believe, for example, I was comparing Saladin’s rule to that of the Nazis, simply that I was pointing out how inappropriate Optimist’s comments were.

    Instead this was seized upon by Jai, who presumably had not read the preceding comments (that’s me being charitable), as some kind of anti-Muslim diatribe which he had to embellish by twisting my comments out of context.

    I don’t know what his problem is – unlike Katy Newton, I actually found the thread insightful. It was useful to get under the skin of what “anti-Zionism” actually means to some people and to expose the logical shortcomings of what appears to have evolved from a justifiable anger about a certain state’s policies to a hatred of all people who believe in a particular idea – the right of a group of people to continue to exist as a nation state.

    Why this is peculiarly offensive to a certain section of “progressives” – more so really than any form of economic, gender, race or religious injustice closer to home or crime against humanity further afield – is perhaps a touchstone of our times.

  113. Sarah AB — on 3rd September, 2011 at 9:55 am  

    Fair enough – I agree about Zionism.

    I wonder what Optimist would think of this chap – evil Nazi? I don’t think his views are substantially different from mine (though I would certainly respond sympathetically to any Palestinian who supported the bid for statehood, without having decided views as to whether that is a good move or not, and I suppose I also think that sometimes it might be right to negotiate with people who are (or seem to be) your bitter enemeies.)

    “As I followed the US president’s speech in front of AIPAC, I admire the commitments he has made towards Israel on behalf of America, because Israel is part of the Middle East region and we should understand that each part is important exactly like any other part.”

    “Yes, and with all my heart. I say that Israel’s right to exist is un-doubtable, Israelis need to feel secure, and Israel has the right not to deal with anyone not recognizing the right of Israel to exist, because the fact that Palestinians and Israelis can live side by side in two states should be generated from mutual recognition.”

    “The Palestinian leadership is going to the UN next September to ask for recognition of Palestine as a State. That’s great, but for me, I would not accept to go for such a step unless it is agreed to by both sides (Israel & Palestine), and unless both sides are going there to ask for such a step from the UN. This is the only way if we really look for progress.”

  114. chairwoman — on 3rd September, 2011 at 10:20 am  

    Optimist – When I called you ignorant, I meant literally ignorant of Zionism.

    I wasn’t using it as a personal insult.

    Old Friends – Gee Guys, thanks for the compliments (blushes in a Miss Marplish kind of way) :) .

  115. Boyo — on 3rd September, 2011 at 10:23 am  

    Well I don’t know who said that (you’ll probably tell me Ghandi or Saladin or some such) but I don’t agree that Palestinians don’t have the right to unilaterally achieve statehood by UN decree – it was after all the UN that endorsed Israeli statehood. Although of course it would be absurd for Palestinians to hold a realistic hope for a state that encompassed parts of Israel since 1948, nonetheless, as I stated above, personally I would be happy to see a two state solution consistent with 67 borders and a shared capital, which apparently makes me a foaming Zionist according to some on PP, while over on HP I’m sure that’s enough to make me “Stopper” scum.

    Which means I’m probably right.

  116. douglas clark — on 3rd September, 2011 at 11:05 am  

    Kojak @ 94,

    You are a slippery one.

    Now you say:

    As far as my earlier comment 55 about Victorian / Edwardian immigration I didn’t say Jews were the exclusive immigrants during that period, because they were most certainly not. I could have just as well been talking about Irish immigration, however your assumption “What gives Jews an exclusive voice in the immigrant game anyway?” is what you would like to think I was saying………….. I dare say you meant here’s another pesky Jew thinking it’s all about them.

    This is what you said and to which I replied:

    Is ‘t it odd how when the Jewish population of GB expanded in late 19th / early 20th century they sought to integrate commercially and culturally (not religiously) on the terms of the host nation.

    Maybe it was a pre-welfare state thing but many (by no means all) of the recent ‘waves’ of immigrants have not chosen to, or been required to, do so.

    I am fed up with people going down the ‘good’ immigrant road or the ‘bad’ immigrant road. You are trying to play games with other peoples ability to settle. That was the whole point of your stupid post. It is cheapskate Kojak. And you clearly did exceptionalise Jewish immigration at the end of the 19th c. Whoop whoop for you.

    Just so’s you know, I couldn’t care less if you are Jewish or not. That would just be stupid…..

    Grow up.

  117. Sarah AB — on 3rd September, 2011 at 11:12 am  

    The quotes were taken from articles by Mahmoud Jabari who is a young journalist from Hebron. I’m not invoking him to counter Palestinians who *do* support the UN bid – it seems entirely understandable they should – just to show that if you set your benchmark for Zionism low (and think all Zionists are Nazis of course) then Mahmoud, who is critical of the occupation etc (not surprisingly) might be termed a Zionist – simply because he supports Israel’s right to exist and is critical of his own ‘side’, to some degree.

  118. AbuF — on 3rd September, 2011 at 2:04 pm  

    However, what is without any doubt is that in in 1176, the mostly Christian inhabitants of the Egyptian city of Qift raised the standard of revolt against the rule of Saladin in favour of the restoration of the independent Fatimid dynasty.

    They were suppressed promptly by Al-Adil, brother of Saladin, who hanged nearly 3,000 Copts on the trees around the city.

    Fatimid Muslim rebels were let off with a fine.

  119. to AbuF — on 3rd September, 2011 at 4:29 pm  

    You really are a total hypocrite; you spend your time on other sites slagging off and abusing Sunny and PP in the worst way then come on here and post freely!!!

    Abu Faris
    27 August 2011, 4:26 pm
    Could it just be Sunny Hundal was twanging on his communalist politics harp again?

    http://hurryupharry.org/2011/08/27/howard-jacobson-in-the-evening-standard/

    Abu Faris
    27 August 2011, 4:36 pm
    Not that Sunny Hundal has form for constructing wacist narratives out of thin air or anything…

    http://hurryupharry.org/2011/08/27/howard-jacobson-in-the-evening-standard/

    Abu Faris
    27 August 2011, 7:43 pm
    More to the point, I think both the Jewish and Muslim community might be more than a tad irritated with Sunny Hundal’s persistent attempts to push his own grievance baiting (H/T alfie) agenda at every given opportunity. One might be drawn to conclude that Hundal has absolutely no interest in the rights or wrongs of those items over which he comes over all unnecessary and hysterical – rather, one might be forced to conclude that Hundal sees these issues simply as vehicles by which he can further promote himself in all the right (and usually rather White) liberal circles as the sort of Brown person you could introduce to mother.

    http://hurryupharry.org/2011/08/27/howard-jacobson-in-the-evening-standard/

    Abu Faris
    Posted April 14, 2010 at 6:49 PM | Permalink
    Sunny appears to have gone into one of his characteristic tail-spins over this issue. Over on PP, the arch-narcissist has had quite enough of being disagreed with by a sizeable of the commenters who dare to disagree with him. I have been accused it seems of wantonly egging-on everything from the use of attack drones to hunt down extra-judicially al-Q operatives to the drowning of defenceless kittens in buckets for sport and pay. Hundal loses his rag with me – and then blocks my response to his rant. Here it be:

    SUNNY:

    I recall your mate Faisal smearing me and getting all het up over the idea of spying on Muslims.

    ME: I have no idea what you are writing about.

    SUNNY:

    I’m really interested in what he has to say about just straight assassinating them without trial.

    ME: Let me assist you then, as you are clearly so interested that you appear to have missed this by Faisal:

    Reply to Sunny Hundal: Tell us the difference between Al-Awlaki and Mehsud

    http://www.spittoon.org/archives/6005

    SUNNY:

    this thread gets more comical by the minute.

    ME: I’ve got to agree with you there. You have a gift for comedy of that rare, inadvertent kind only found amongst the self-righteous.

    Perhaps Sunny has released this comment from moderation by now? I have not checked.
    http://www.spittoon.org/archives/6005#comment-17693

    He will soon be talking about his detractors lacking nuance…

    Yep, he’s just played that card.

    He has also played the Sunny definition of “troll” = anyone caught wilfully disagreeing with Sunny.

    http://www.spittoon.org/archives/6005#comment-17713

    Alec

    No – but Sunny is showing distinct signs of mental infirmity, if you ask me.

    http://www.spittoon.org/archives/6005#comment-17716

    Posted May 29, 2010 at 10:19 PM | Permalink
    Those who the gods would destroy they first make mad…

    and Hundal immediately launches from this lunatic thread into another where his criticism is of… cough… identity politics.

    You cannot make this up.

    http://www.spittoon.org/archives/6333#comment-18314

    I can personally vouch for that. Hundal has launched a series of attacks on me that are borderline defamatory and generally scurrilous. He then compounds these insults by banning me so I cannot reply under a given nickname. When I respond under another nickname, he then complains that I am using sockpuppets.

    The man is a complete twat and – frankly – I am becoming firmly convinced he deserves all the ridicule he gets.
    http://www.spittoon.org/archives/6930#comment-19081

    PP is regarded as “absolutely-fantastic-that-Brown-people-think-like-us” by the Norf-London liberal-left very much White chatteratti of the Grauniad – in particular those “IT-empowered” geeks and geekettes that infest the Grauniad Media and CiF.
    http://www.spittoon.org/archives/6788#comment-18829

    “You know I had that Sunny Hundal around for drinks the other week – and guess what, he thinks just like us… I’m going to get him to write a piece for CiF next week.”

    http://www.spittoon.org/archives/6788#comment-18832

    Also check out Sunny’s illiterate attack on Douglas Murray – the CSC are “oxymoronic”. Whereas PP is just…?

    http://www.spittoon.org/archives/6788#comment-19037

    It’s a shem Zaf – and she is deeply deluded – as well as highly censorious.

    http://www.spittoon.org/archives/7548#comment-19817

  120. douglas clark — on 3rd September, 2011 at 6:29 pm  

    SarahAB @117

    If that was directed at me, then I frankly fail to understand it.

    Life, indeed what goes on in anyone’s brain ought to be a lot simpler than that. Complexity, added complexity even, is a breech of Occams Razor. The simplest explanation is the best.

    Perhaps you could have another bash at explaining this:

    The quotes were taken from articles by Mahmoud Jabari who is a young journalist from Hebron. I’m not invoking him to counter Palestinians who *do* support the UN bid – it seems entirely understandable they should – just to show that if you set your benchmark for Zionism low (and think all Zionists are Nazis of course) then Mahmoud, who is critical of the occupation etc (not surprisingly) might be termed a Zionist – simply because he supports Israel’s right to exist and is critical of his own ‘side’, to some degree.

    as I have no idea what you are talking about.

    It is good to be understood :-)

  121. Boyo — on 3rd September, 2011 at 6:44 pm  

    I think it’s me Douglas as I asked who said it…

  122. douglas clark — on 3rd September, 2011 at 7:08 pm  

    Boyo @ 120 and historically @ 115,

    Your post @ 115 is really quite fair. It is only the combatants that see it otherwise. It ought to be a raincheck for all the sassy wee, very young and potentially very dead soon, idiots that appear here occasionally.

    Mostly the debate around here, even on I/P is sensible. It is actually down to us – y’know not the Middle East – to stop stupid idiots getting traction on either side.

    I tend to find in favour of Israel commentators on here, on the grounds that they can turn up the volume control to 11.

    I am not convinced that they win the arguement due to that volume nor weapons, even.

    But they do play that sort of game.

    Because I tend to support the weak against the strong I find the I/P fight to be a stupid narrative.

    It is a known fact that Israel has nuclear weapons and will use them. That is what we called MAD, as in mutually assured destruction, except it’s not. It is MAD, Massive Arab Dead.

    So, why are the Israellis so intransigent? Is it because they have a case or is it because they have a delivery system.

    I think they are being terribly silly. The could offer their nuclear shield to the whole of the Middle East.

    That would be a game changer….

  123. Kojak — on 3rd September, 2011 at 8:47 pm  

    Douglas Clark re comment 116:

    Thanks for your message.
    Could you please post a link to the word ‘exceptionalise’ which you stated I had done? A quick google found plenty of entries titled ‘Exceptionalise Your Service’, but alas none leading to a definition of the word. Does it exist or is it made up like your exception to the notion that some immigrants have settled better into the UK than others? Or might I be just talking to a devotee of Professor Stanley Unwin?

    I note your comment 121 had a touch of Captain Mainawring about it. Call me Fraser.

  124. douglas clark — on 4th September, 2011 at 5:59 am  

    Dear Kojak,

    Re exceptionalise, nope. I probably did make it up, which is more than you can do. Language is mutable Kojak, or hadn’t you heard?

    I am having serious issues with your desire for me to be anti semitic, which is the trap I suspect you want me to fall into. It is a disgustingly cheap trap. It is not one I am about to stumble into. For the record I have missed Chairwomans comments around here and welcome her back.

    So, grow up. Unless you are ten or something….

  125. douglas clark — on 4th September, 2011 at 9:24 am  

    Kojak,

    Indeed, I think you are a bit of a prick. A jew that wants to trap a gentile into your own bad thoughts. And what a chance you have here.

    Well nothing new then?

    Indeed a jew that enjoys this sort of nonsense. Just because.

    It is a tad difficult to differentiate genuine jews from stupid jews. I think you fall into the latter category.

    But I would say that, wouldn’t I?

    What a cheap prick you are.

    You like the idea that people hate you when they really don’t.

    It is a sort of convenient excuse for you that everyone hates you when, in fact no-one gives a stuff?

  126. Trofim — on 4th September, 2011 at 9:41 am  

    Optimist @ 71:

    Native Americans are generally believed to be the descendants of immigrants to America from Asia across the Siberian land bridge a few thousand years before. Maoris are the descendants of immigrants to New Zealand from eastern polynesia. If human being did indeed originate in Africa, then human beings in all other continents are immigrants from Africa.

    As for Jacobson defending Bernard Manning, this does not, of course, mean that Jacobson supported Manning’s views or jokes. Chomsky, a Jew, defended Faurisson the holocaust denier, and in fact wrote an article named “Some Elementary Comments on the Rights of Freedom of Expression” supporting Faurisson’s right to express his views, an article which could be read profitably by many on this blog. What Jacobson and Chomsky were displaying was simply intellectual integrity, in a context in which to do so demanded no small amount of courage. They were explaining that freedom of expression means not only freedom of expression for me and those who think like me, but also freedom of expression for those who hold views diametrically opposed to mine, and who may in fact hate me.

  127. Kojak — on 4th September, 2011 at 10:48 am  

    Douglas Clark re comments 123 + 124:

    Thank you for your messages – it’s always so nice to hear from you.

    On this thread you have been rather rude, sworn at quite a number of people – yet it is you who feels hard done by and reacts angrily to a bit of gentle teasing. Words of advice (which I doubt you will follow): lighten up a bit – they’re not all out to get you.

    You suggest I’m trying to lure you into an anti Semitic trap. You are wrong. What I detect is a bit of ‘Jew fatigue’ …/…….always going on about one gripe or the other, be that duplicitous Pharaohs, vile Crusaders, beastly Inquisitors, Nazis or Arabs wanting land from the river to the sea. Indeed it must be tiresome for you….. “What, Schindler’s List is on the telly again? Can’t they put a sock in it? It’s not as it they’re the only one’s who’ve had a bum deal”.

    So no I don’t think you are an anti-Semite. Kiss and make up now? :-)

    PS: I am much older than 10. It’s my Bar-mitzvah next week – I’ll gladly accept a present from you ……. ITunes tokens, or books on how to rule the world would be nice.

  128. Kismet Hardy — on 4th September, 2011 at 11:52 am  

    Kiss and make up you gays. Or are you homophobes as well as anti-semitic zionist sexist scot hating islamist nazis.

  129. chairwoman — on 4th September, 2011 at 1:37 pm  

    “PS: I am much older than 10. It’s my Bar-mitzvah next week – I’ll gladly accept a present from you ……. ITunes tokens, or books on how to rule the world would be nice.”

    I am so old! Whatever happened to “Today I am a fountain pen”? In fact does anybody apart from me (and Douglas) remember fountain pens?

    Douglas – we’re all genuine Jews, regardless of our intelligence levels :) . And thank you for your kind words, I have to admit that the level of stress regular commenting here caused me will keep me a less frequent participant than I was previously.

    I wish the debates could be more cerebral show less personal animosity.

  130. douglas clark — on 4th September, 2011 at 1:41 pm  

    Kojak @ 126,

    I am much older than 10. It’s my Bar-mitzvah next week – I’ll gladly accept a present from you ……. ITunes tokens, or books on how to rule the world would be nice.

    Sure. I’ll ignore your latter suggestion. But iTune tokens I can do. Provide an e-mail address through Pickled Politics contact page and I’ll see what I can do. I think they allow such fraternisation when they are in a good mood.

    I am really quite nice and not really a homophobic anti-semitic zionist sexist scot hating islamic nazi as i am at least one of these things myself. I kind of hang around here as an example to y’all. The noo.

    Do you think Kismet Hardy is a bit over the top?

    Oh well, perhaps not. What with you being nearly thirteen and that.

    It is good that children try to write here. Perhaps the end of literacy is farther off than I thought. It is just a bit of a shame that brains seems to be a tad lacking in the new generation.

    I know that an iTune token is universal, but just for our amusement, which rock and roll artiste’s work do you propose to buy? Or perhaps you will purchase the works of an immoral chanteuse or one of those newfound beat bands?

    “One for the money, two for the show”…..It is a bit irritating to be unable to forget these lyrics, even after a few years.

    Just for our amusement you understand…..

  131. douglas clark — on 4th September, 2011 at 1:56 pm  

    Chairwoman @ 128,

    You know I love you.

    I always have.

    It is just daft to hate.

    I always thought this was a place where the mere idea of pretending to hate, or hating indeed, was pretty well prohibited.

    Your chum on here wasn’t me, it was a guy called Soru.

    As far as I remember. Who was a Palestinian.

    You liked each other a lot.

    And, as far as I remember, I liked both of you.

    It was long ago and it was far away…..

  132. douglas clark — on 4th September, 2011 at 2:12 pm  

    Apparently desparate? I don’t know.

    It was long ago and it was far away…..

    Perhaps the idiocy has passed? Perhaps it has. Who knows.

    Well we’d know, wouldn’t we?

    No we wouldn’t actually.

  133. Optimist — on 4th September, 2011 at 8:57 pm  

    Boyo @110,112 etc.

    Well, well, well, are we not jumping to conclusions here? I have been reading Jai’s writings only for a short while and I can already tell that he is a very honourable man who would not defened anyone for any reason other than to defend the ‘truth’.

    Now, SarahAB may read your comments the way you intended but all others, now let me qualify that, I read the same way as Jai has done!

  134. Kojak — on 4th September, 2011 at 11:42 pm  

    Douglas Clark re comment 129:

    Thanks for your message.

    Please forgive me for fibbing I thought your ’10 year old’ remark was in jest and, accordingly, I played up to by telling you my bar-mitzvah is forthcoming. If only – it was back in the days of flared trousers. (If I remember correctly mine were brown check, with brown shoes, a caramel coloured shirt, a brown tie and, yes, a brown jacket. Ahhhhh, those were the days!)

    I think I managed to avoid receiving the infamous fountain pen ( as mentioned by Chairwoman) by working on my parents to adjust the guest list to include a generous giver in place of the people who had shown their ‘form’ by giving fountain pens to 3 of my friends earlier that year. Instead I got a ‘Bullworker’ – which I put to good use developing some biceps in the vain hope of becoming a mini Charles Atlas.

    You might be glad to hear I’ve had my comeuppance, as nowadays the little buggers just seem to want money. Lots of it.

  135. Boyo — on 5th September, 2011 at 7:27 am  

    @132 “but all others, now let me qualify that, I read the same way as Jai has done!”

    I’m sure Jai will be delighted :-)

  136. bananabrain — on 5th September, 2011 at 8:54 am  

    plus ça change round here, i see.

    b’shalom

    bananabrain

  137. Refresh — on 5th September, 2011 at 10:56 am  

    I think this has been a very interesting thread. There has been a noticeable shift in positions from the last time a thread transformed itself into one about I/P.

    Foremost, it has to be recognised that there are many who back the concept of Israel as a bolt-hole. That is a very important point.

    Secondly, Netanyahu’s latest twist is being absorbed wholesale – a 2-state solution with one of them recognised as the ‘Jewish state’. And going by his far-right partner at the Foreign Ministry, the groundwork is being put in place to expel its 20% non-jewish citizens. That is some bargaining chip.

    Thirdly, Jacobson knows full well how the media demonises and propagates fear, he should have broadened his interview to account for this. Unless he believes everything he reads in the press.

    Why did a few days of rioting open his eyes to the disgraceful portrayal of (‘asians’ in general and) muslims in particular? He is an intellectual. He has to be, some of his writing is so convoluted its almost intelligible.

    In a nutshell, Jacobson is being a coward. He does not go far enough to tackle the monster that laid him low with such fear.

  138. Refresh — on 5th September, 2011 at 11:14 am  

    Boyo,

    Jai established your credentials a long while back.

  139. Kojak — on 5th September, 2011 at 11:59 am  

    Refresh re comment 136:

    Howard Jacobson writes well, is smart however I think he’s being strung up for using a word which was the accepted definition less than 10 years ago.

    The way I remember things is that in the UK prior to 11th September 2001 immigrants from India/Pakistan/Bangladesh/Sri Lanka were described as ‘Asians’. One big lazy title. Following September 11th 2001 Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists, Jains were keen to explain differences and differentiate themselves from Muslims as a a way of saying “We’re not the crazy bombers”. (Please note I have intentionally exaggerated this for effect).

    So now we have many more titles: British Muslims, British Hindus, British Buddhists etc – just as we have many more energy providers, many more IT/telecoms companies to chose from and many more bins to fill, albeit less frequently.

    People getting their knickers in a twist about this is rather like being upset if someone calls a Dyson vacuum cleaner a Hoover.

    Dyson alone would be irritated.

  140. Refresh — on 5th September, 2011 at 12:19 pm  

    Kojak,

    I would string him up for being lazy (and cowardly) for not tackling the trial by media of whole sections of the population. He implicitly admits being a victim of that fearmongering.

    And especially given the jewish experience.

    It would not have been anymore acceptable had he used the term british muslim.

    You equate Dysons to muslims. That is totally unacceptable, not least because you have streetfighting gangs seeking to modify the WEEE directive to send all Dysons in circulation to landfills.

    And its insulting to the vast majority of people who do not acquiesce to discrimination or oppression of any group of people.

    Glad to see so many people, including jews are backing the Dale Farm residents.

  141. Kojak — on 5th September, 2011 at 2:21 pm  

    Refresh re comment 139:

    Thank you for your message.

    I used to have an encyclopedia which had a page illustrating different types of knots. Some were very complex with twists, turns and overlaps merely to connect two ropes.

    Your comment 139 reminded me of this because it’s not since then have I come across a set of statements and propositions which attempt to connect completely disparate phrases to one another.

    Paragraph one: You would string up a person with apprehensions for having them……………….
    Scenario:
    Patient: “Doctor, doctor my fingers feel itchy”
    Doctor: “Place you hand on the slab”
    Patient Lays his hand down.
    Doctor Brings down a sword and cuts the hand off.
    Doctor: “Not any more you don’t”.

    Do you get my point?

    Paragraph three: My point was he used the word which had for many years described British Muslims from the Indian sub-continant…………….. “Asian”. This word had no negative connotations when I was younger. What might surprise you is that many white or black British people cannot distinguish between a British Muslim or a British Hindu unless they are wearing clothing / hair of particular religious significance. They are “Asian” and just because nowadays we are more sophisticated and use terms to describe them as sub-groups doesn’t stop them from being of Asian descent.

    Paragraph four: Goodness me, the analogy I made was about language not about any hostility Muslims may face or about environment agency directives.

    Paragraph five: What on earth does that mean? (the inability to write a simple sentence without over elaboration is the true sign of having spent too much time in full time education)

    As far as the residents of Dalle Farm go: are we not all required to uphold the law?

  142. Kismet Hardy — on 5th September, 2011 at 3:24 pm  

    “Asian”. This word had no negative connotations when I was younger.”

    I edit a magazine called Asiana. It’s for proud Asian women. It’s not an insult. In fact, Asians in the UK should be damn proud that whenever a British person hears the word Asian they think of descendants of the subcontinent rather than the rest of the world who think of orientals.

    Every hip Asian I know likes to call themselves British Asian

  143. Refresh — on 5th September, 2011 at 3:25 pm  

    ‘Do you get my point?’

    No.

    Dyson & WEEE – quite pithy on my part I thought. If it helps I didn’t think you were being offensive. But careless nevertheless.

    The point is you you were loose with your language, leaving behind an assumption, that had Jacobson said muslims (or british muslims), he wouldn’t have had the attention which you believe is undeserving. Which in turn builds on the gross media attention given to muslims over the last decade. That is to say, muslims would have less reason to be offended because its the new standard.

  144. Kojak — on 5th September, 2011 at 4:12 pm  

    Refresh re comment 142:

    Thank you for your message.

    Now I know what it feels like to be a dentist.

    I didn’t leave behind an assumption – you made an assumption based upon what I said ………… Jacobson used the word Asian (a benign word in my opinion, which was the common definition of many immigrants from the sub-continent prior to September 11th – I think this is understandable as, although he won the Booker Prize he’s of an age where he’s entitled a ‘Freedom Pass’).

    He was saying …… isn’t it nice to see positive portrayal / reporting of Asians for a change. Now that might have caused some Sikhs and Hundus to feel irritated because it reinforced their association with British Muslims, a distinction which many thought they had made over the past 10 years – but it’s no reason for people on the left to get the hump about it and attempt to make him last week’s David Starkey.

    So why should Muslims be offended? He didn’t mention them or give an opinion that they were not within his understanding of the word Asian?

  145. Refresh — on 5th September, 2011 at 4:25 pm  

    You’ve obviously caught up with your own tail.

  146. damon — on 5th September, 2011 at 5:46 pm  

    While agreeing that what Jacobson said sounded really bad, did anyone see this youtube of the anti-EDL rally on saturday. It looks like a pretty inhospitable place for anyone with Zionist leanings.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7P7Agjh4fw0&NR=1

  147. damon — on 5th September, 2011 at 7:01 pm  

    Peter Tatchell also seems to have had a somewhat difficult time there on saturday.
    http://hurryupharry.org/2011/09/05/peter-tatchell-on-the-anti-edl-march/

  148. Sarah AB — on 5th September, 2011 at 7:16 pm  

    Yes, I linked to your 145 clip on a recent post damon.

    PT had a mixed experience – some Muslim demonstrators confronted him, and even LGBT campaigners apparently gave him ‘dirty looks’, while other Muslim demonstrators came to his defence, and others who had been hostile ended up shaking his hand.

  149. Don — on 5th September, 2011 at 8:04 pm  

    Damon,

    Good link to Peter Tatchell. Difficult, but he has never shrunk from difficult, even life threatening difficult. I think his approach is exacly what is needed. If we have enough people with his guts.

    Yes, it is right to stand up to pernicious bigotry, but that does not give you a pass on your own pernicious bigotry.

    My enemy’s enemy is my enemy’s enemy. That is all.

  150. damon — on 6th September, 2011 at 1:11 am  

    I’ve only seen the Anti-EDL demo in Tower Hamlets from youtube and the TV news, but am I wrong to be a bit concerned at the way the UAF and others have been playing this and making it a really big deal? There are UAF posters showing Anders Breivik and the EDL’s Tommy Robinson as being one and the same thing. They’re giving it all this ”they shall not pass” rhetoric and we even have the image muslim youths being held back by the police from confronting a pub full of white people (EDL) .. which I can’t really see as being a good thing.
    They’re chanting ”Whose street? Our Streets” in an area where traditional white working class people still live, and it could be easy for things to kick of in a communal way if this ‘us and them’ thing is ratcheted up too much.

    As for this desire by Peter Tatchell to hold a march in EI – I don’t know if it’s possible. If you give some people in the Bangladeshi community the idea that anything they don’t like will be physically challenged, then I think this could be too.

    ”Our experience on Saturday is further evidence that we need an East End Gay Pride that goes through the heart of the Muslim community in E1, to engage with the Muslim communities and build mutual understanding.”

    When saying this, I realise that I am considered to be a ”concern troll” by at least one moderator here.

  151. Ben — on 6th September, 2011 at 7:19 am  

    “…the groundwork is being put in place to expel its 20% non-jewish citizens…”

    Nonsense.

    Israel’s Foreign Minister has suggested that Israel and Palestine exchange territory – Israel transferring part of “the triangle” which contains a sizable Arab population, and receiving in return areas in the West Bank that have sizable Jewish populations. This plan is opposed by the Arab residents of the triangle, who prefer to remain Israeli rather than become Palestinian.

    It is the Palestinian leaders, most recently Nabil Shaath and Mohammed Fayed, who loudly proclaim their plans for expulsion of people. They assert that no Jew will be allowed to reside in the Palestinian state-to-be. This provocative advocacy of undisguised anti-Jewish apartheid has been greeted by a predictable silence from the West and strong support from the Islamic world.

  152. Arif — on 6th September, 2011 at 9:27 am  

    Ben, that really is shocking, can you provide some links to those statements by Nabil Shaath and Mohammed Fayed in context? What is their rationale?

    Are they planning to deport Amira Hass?

  153. Optimist — on 6th September, 2011 at 10:51 am  

    damon @149 -

    Yes, as usual you are wrong. You were not there but I was there. Although I was not outside that particular pub but from stories I have heard I can tell you that the pub was largely full of EDL who are a very small minority in this country and do not represent the white people in general. The people protesting outside were only against the EDL not against the white people.

    The EDL were first meant to meet in a pub in Euston but on their arrival they found notices displayed in windows of the pub saying, ‘No dogs, No Nazis allowed’.

    Majority of the people who were shouting, ”Whose street? Our Streets”, were also white and many of them were local to the area. There were as many white antiracists, antifascists present there as were the Asians and all were united in one aim, to keep the Nazi scum of the EDL out of the area.

    There were lots of trade union banners and in fact the RMT railworkers’ union had threatened to strike and close down Liverpool Street station if the violent racists were allowed to muster there.

    I did not meet Peter Tatchell there but If I had done then I would have given him all the assistance that he required. But I saw plenty of LGBT people proudly displaying their banners and did not notice any animosity towards them from anyone.

    In fact the whole atmosphere was like a carnival of unity because we had won, we had kept the Nazi scum off our streets!

    http://uaf.org.uk/2011/09/victory-over-edl-in-tower-hamlets-they-did-not-pass/

  154. damon — on 6th September, 2011 at 1:10 pm  

    If the Irish Travellers at Dale Farm are a distinct ethnic group, I think you could almost say the same for the section of the population the EDL come from.
    I’m looking at pictures of the anti-EDL protest on UAF’s website and on youtube, and the white people on it are not like the EDL people at all. They are more middle class and cosmopolitan. It’s them plus Asian muslims against a group of people who seem much more like the traditional inhabitants of the East End.

    I’m just talking about perceptions though. There’s a pub in Bethnal Green Road that is full of karaoke singing cockney types on a saturday night. It even has a portrait of the Kray twins hanging on the wall.
    When Spurs are playing away, it’s full of their local fans – who aren’t all white, but are definitely of a certain traditional local culture.
    They aren’t like the UAF crowd at all.

    So all this talk of ”Nazis” and going down to a local pub to sort out the people inside it is a slightly dangerous thing to be doing. It could quite easily exacerbate racial tensions. I know it would piss me off, if as a white bloke, I was having to prove I ”wasn’t EDL” to groups of strutting muslim lads, who can be pretty reactionary and chauvinist about things themselves.

    And Optimist, I think it’s you and the Respect types who are as much a problem as the EDL. Even more so really, as the EDL only show up once in a blue moon.

  155. fug — on 6th September, 2011 at 1:15 pm  

    Tatchells aggressive ‘look at me’ approach seems to be more about self/group promotion that the objective methinks. The greater part of the gay political community saw ill advised and toxifying the anti qaradawi stunt was and have taken a different tack in social justice making between groups.

    best man of the demo was nitin sawnhey djing yards from the mosque.

    almost djema el fnaa

    People work better though people-to-people physical alliance building, than marketing.

    He’s wrong in making equivalences between the tribalisms of the far right and small inept muhajirun diaspora splinters, but thats a common mistake that a lot of people have to work out for themselves.

  156. Optimist — on 6th September, 2011 at 1:54 pm  

    damon -

    It was not just Asian muslims, there were Sikhs, Hindus, Jews, Christians, black people, white people as well as the ‘traditional inhabitants of the East End’ who now a days also include born and bred East Enders of Asian origin.

    I wonder if this is the pub you are talking about where they threw flash bombs and attacked passers by, not the sort of thing the ‘traditional inhabitants of the East End’ would do.

    Under the heading Railworkers ( in the following link ):

    “A group of EDL members, who went direct to a pub in Liverpool Street, showed the organisation’s violent character, throwing flash bombs, attempting to attack passers by and setting fire to a journalist who was reporting events.”

    http://uaf.org.uk/2011/09/victory-over-edl-in-tower-hamlets-they-did-not-pass/

    They also attacked a journalist and the NUJ website has the following report.

    “NUJ offers support and assistance to members following attacks during EDL protest
    The NUJ has condemned attacks on journalists during the EDL protest in London on Saturday and the union has offered support and assistance to journalists who were abused.”

    http://www.nuj.org.uk/innerPagenuj.html?docid=2236

    But do carry on Damon, you are removing fast any doubts if any one had about where your sympathies really lie.

  157. damon — on 6th September, 2011 at 3:05 pm  

    I wonder if this is the pub you are talking about where they threw flash bombs and attacked passers by …

    You tell me. It’s this one.
    http://www.randompubfinder.com/review.php?Name=The_Shakespeare,_Bethnal_Green_Road&Pub=161

    Btw, what if you don’t like UAF/SWP/Respect and what they have made of the EDL march? By the look of it, no dissent would be tolerated. What was all that ”Free Palestine” nonsense about? Anyone telling them it was meant to be about the EDL and to stick their side issues would probly be treated with suspicion and hostility.

    All this ”Nazi” SWP led bullshit can alienate people. Well it does me anyway …. and while watching the videos I couldn’t help thinking waht a bunch of twats many of them looked like.
    Even though I think the EDL have nothing to offer either and have to be managed and dealt with.

    What I think your doing Optimist is a kind of ”with us or against us” ultimatum, and if you go against the UAF line you are tarred with the ‘fascist’ brush too. Which is just what you did there yourself.

    It’s a bit of a vicious circle though, because that’s precisely the reason I don’t like UAF/Respect.

  158. Optimist — on 6th September, 2011 at 3:39 pm  

    damon -

    What do you think of the NUJ condemning the EDL attacks on journalists and or their warning that the EDL intends to attack photgraphers, as shown below:

    Outrage at far-right call to treat photographers as hostile

    The NUJ has condemned a website supporting the far-right English Defence League for carrying a thinly disguised threat against press photographers.

    The organisation – which has held a series of demonstrations against what it calls Islamic extremism – objects to media images of their supporters making Nazi salutes.

    They have told demonstrators to treat photographers and camera operators as “hostile”.

    The website – under the name of UK Casuals United – reads: “Scum photographers are attending our marches, with the express intention of taking photos they hope will incriminate or badly portray our members, and hopefully catch right wingers who have tagged along on some to make us look racist.

    “For this reason, anyone taking photos or filming our members, unless we have invited them, SHOULD BE TREATED AS A HOSTILE.”

    http://www.nuj.org.uk/innerPagenuj.html?docid=1334

    Or what do you think of the RMT union closing stations because they did not want the Nazi scum attacking their members.

    http://uaf.org.uk/2011/09/rmt-rail-workers-stop-edl-using-liverpool-st-on-sat-3-sept/

    I bet if a group of vicars and rabbis jointly with ‘Mothers United Against the EDL’ came out to protest against the EDL even then you would find some excuse to condemn them while making some excuses for the EDL!

  159. HH — on 6th September, 2011 at 4:42 pm  

    @Damon:

    Idiot, please

    Anyone against UAF isn’t fascist they just like to push Pro-White Supremacist mentality

    Big difference, right?

  160. Don — on 6th September, 2011 at 7:21 pm  

    Ah, but they would be middle class and cosmopolitan vicars, rabbis and mums. Unable to appreciate the fading culture of the Krays, football hooligans, teddy boys and Orange marching bands.

    A culture which seems to be exclusively masculine and based on implicit or actual violence.

  161. damon — on 6th September, 2011 at 9:00 pm  

    Optimist, I went looking for the threat to jouranilists on the Casuals United website, before realising what you linked to was from 2009. And filming and photographing people in a hostile manner is always slightly risky. Of course I would condemn attacks on anyone, but people were attacked for filming during the riots in august, and I don’t want someone snapping me when I don’t know who they are or what they want either. I even think it’s somewhat sinister when the police do it.

    My wider point seems lost on you though. That I don’t like the circus the UAF have built up arond the EDL.
    I’ve never liked the SWP types and think they spoil everything they get involved with. There’s a more sensible and mature approach out there that could be used against the EDL, but it’s just not sexy enough for the people who shaped saturdays event.
    Why did no one tell the people with Palestinian flags to piss off? Because you can’t? Because it’s all part of the same thing? Would Jews like Howard Jacobson have been welcomed at saturday’s counter protest? Where it was known that while against the EDL they were also known to be supporters of Israel?

    The EDL are just a fantasy wet dream for spome people to get excited about. There’s a lot of decent people who come to the ”anti-fascist” demonstrations too of course.
    But ignoring the EDL, or talking to them is still the best policy IMO. Not going looking for people who look like Phil Mitchell off Eastenders and demanding to know whether they’re EDL or not.

    And will anyone be honest and admit that a big Gay Pride demonstration in Tower Hamlets like Peter Tatchell would like to have, probably can’t happen because it would be too controversial? Some of the homophobes wouldn’t like it. I’d like to see the main Gay Pride summer parade go through the East End.

  162. persephone — on 6th September, 2011 at 11:17 pm  

    “How does one put this without sounding gross …”

    How does a person reach the age of 69 and not appreciate that a whole community does not all exhibit extremist/stereotypical traits? You’d think by that age, a well read & travelled person would have learnt that somehow.

    And a ‘sense of community’ is all about the experience of community – perhaps Jacobsen needs some himself. His comments certainly show a lack of it.

  163. pr — on 7th September, 2011 at 1:01 am  

    is it true jews don’t use soap – are not just non-veg but eat well-tortured animals – and are a combo of negroid+mongoloids -

  164. Kojak — on 7th September, 2011 at 10:11 am  

    pr re comment 161:

    Oh my.

    There were we innocently talking about Howard Jacobson, racism, perceptions of racism, EDL and even Phil Mitchel types.

    And then you came along.

    Please don’t have any children – it would be rather cruel to foist such opinions on them.

  165. Refresh — on 7th September, 2011 at 10:18 am  

    Damon,

    I can just imagine you offering your advice to the East End in the 30s Cable Street.

    ‘Ossie is not too bad, maybe a little misunderstood. You might even come to like him’.

    Having marched at the front of the gay section of one of the major demos of the 80s (it came about by accident, but I was none the worse for the experience), I’ve always thought Gay Pride was a fest of questionable virtue, not least because of the public display of private fantasy.

    I have Peter Thatchell’s book, first edition, signed. Yours for the asking, if I can be troubled to look for it. The man has become a pantomime dame. So sad for someone who held such promise.

  166. Refresh — on 7th September, 2011 at 10:33 am  

    Where is Earwicga when you need her, she would have banned pr the moment he’d hit the ‘submit comment’ button. And given Damon an earful.

  167. Sarah AB — on 7th September, 2011 at 11:00 am  

    Kojak – I think sometimes people don’t even bother to acknowledge comments like that – it’s the more borderline dodgy ones which seem worth engaging with. I’m wondering if it’s borderline dodgy to call PT a ‘pantomime dame’ and if it’s ok if you are (as Refresh apparently is) gay. But by that logic I suppose Gilad Atzmon is ok.

  168. Refresh — on 7th September, 2011 at 11:02 am  

    SarahAb, I am sure Thatchell wouldn’t object. Ask him. You don’t have to be gay to admire his earlier work.

    He started losing his way when he started storming churches. And anointed himself a useful idiot when he joined the campaign to bring down Livingstone.

  169. Kismet Hardy — on 7th September, 2011 at 12:11 pm  

    Christ. Imagine the guy he does pr for…

  170. damon — on 7th September, 2011 at 12:14 pm  

    Yes, where’s Earwicga? Did she walk or was she pushed? :)

    Refresh.

    I can just imagine you offering your advice to the East End in the 30s Cable Street.

    Whether the EDL should be viewed as a modern day version of the British Union of Fascists is the debate to be had though IMO. I don’t think it should. Many think they are and there’s nothing to discuss as far as that goes. That’s why I don’t like UAF. They’re closed minded in their thinking. I really don’t think Earwicga would have had much useful to say in this regard either, as she’s from that kind of tradition.

    It’s a pity that, (a couple of people aside), PP is not really the place to have this discussion either. We’ve seen the ”EDL and Anders Brievik” stuff here too unfortunately. Most of it highly tenuous. I also think that Tatchell is a bit of a publicity seeker. But maybe that’s a way to further his cause perhaps. And at least he’s willing to go and challenge some things that others dare not mention.
    People from the TH community organising against outside fascists, when their own fascists walk freely anongst them for example.

  171. Sarah AB — on 7th September, 2011 at 12:22 pm  

    damon – I agreed with you about the posters saying Breivik was just like(?)Tommy Robinson. But although that may have been overstating it, this is what Stephen Lennon said recently.

    “On 7/7 you got away with killing and maiming British citizens…

    …We will not tolerate it. The Islamic community will feel the full force of the EDL if we see any of our citizens killed, maimed or hurt on British soil ever again.”

    Also take a look at this info about the woman who was beaten up (though obviously that was completely wrong.)

    http://trialbyjeory.wordpress.com/2011/09/06/the-edls-angel-jo/

  172. Refresh — on 7th September, 2011 at 2:57 pm  

    Damon,

    Again you choose to miss the point

    ‘We’ve seen the ”EDL and Anders Brievik” stuff here too unfortunately.’

    Andres Brievik chose to present himself as the vanguard for the EDLites; and in turn the leadership has now responded by riding Brievik’s notoriety. Whether there was growing pressure on them from the EDLites remains to be seen.

    Earwicga was a very astute contributor to PP. She had an acute sense of where a debate was headed. And I suspect her difficulty was the lack of patience with commenters. She would have been better of giving the faux naif enough rope.

  173. damon — on 7th September, 2011 at 3:49 pm  

    Yes Sarah, the EDL are certainly an unsavory bunch, particularly when all together it would seem. My issue isn’t really about the EDL, but how people opposed to them should respond to them. I don’t think ratcheting up the rhetoric so much you end up having a coach attacked and a woman beaten is the way to go.
    The EDL will now go back to their pubs and tell stories of ”a thousand muslims” attacking their bus and beating the defenceless woman.

    There are many anti-fascists that will like the way that turned out, but I don’t think it’s so good.
    And it only happened because of the mood that has been created by the anti-EDL movement. I read somewhere someone calling it ”strutting vigilantiism”.
    And who were the stewards exactly? Were many really from the mosque? Again this will be open for EDL propaganda. That there were ”hundreds” of muslim stewards going about like the own the place.

    The last thing you would want is people sitting in pubs in TH having having local muslim youth looking in at them trying to suss out if anyone in there ”was EDL”. But hopefully that didn’t happen. And doesn’t happen during other times.

    And Refresh, I didn’t mind Earwicga as a person, as much as I could tell. But she was too narrow in her range of views I thought. Somewhat intolerant.

  174. Optimist — on 7th September, 2011 at 4:22 pm  

    damon -

    According to some reports the coach came outside the mosque in Whitechaple Road at 6.30pm and stopped nearby and some of its occupents got out.

    Now, what were they doing there at 6.30pm when they were dispered by the police at about 4.00pm.

    I myself left the area at 4.30pm and most other people were leaving the area as well.

    So, one has to ask, did the EDL think that the streets might be empty at that time? Did they have any intensions towards the mosque? Whatever their intensions were, I can assure you that one of them was NOT to go and pray in there.

    Now, I do not condone the attack on that woman. Whatever she was doing on that coach, she should not have been attacked. But I wonder if the EDLers would have been that charitable towards the worshipers inside the mosque had they managed to get inside.

    A confrontation between a rogue coach of far right activists and East End youths could have “escalated quickly” were it not for the fast actions of police and peace-keeping stewards, mayor of Tower Hamlets Lutfur Rahman, who was at the scene, has said.

    The coach had made its way into Tower Hamlets through Whitechapel Road around 6.30pm and stopped close to the East London Mosque where a scuffle broke out between EDL members and youths.

    Worshippers who had come out from evening prayers were verbally abused and intimidated by EDL members, Dilowar Khan, the executive director of the London Muslim Centre centre said.

    The tension reached a peak moments later when a group of youths in the area threw missiles including traffic cones at the vehicle.

    Shortly afterwards the coach broke down close to Stepney Green Tube station and Mr Rahman said it was the cooperation between officers and community leaders which stopped the violence spreading.

    http://www.london24.com/news/crime/stewards_stopped_mass_brawl_after_edl_coach_run_in_mayor_says_1_1013880

  175. Boyo — on 7th September, 2011 at 5:04 pm  

    “I can just imagine you offering your advice to the East End in the 30s Cable Street.”

    Nuances aside… the Blackshirts largely consisted of working class men “disempowered” as a result of the Depression. They projected their anger against an “out of touch elite” and of course the Jews.

    The EDL largely consist of working class men who feel disempowered, probably not directly as a result of the Recession (although there may be more of that) but because post-Industrialism has largely left them behind. They project their anger against Muslims.

    Radical Islamists appear (I’m no expert) to largely consist of young working class males who again are likely to be the most likely to lose out in today’s world. They appear to project their anger against women, gays, and the UK in general.

    One could compare this to a kind of repeat of National Socialists vs Communists in 1930s Germany (using the Nazi analogy correctly for once) if in an even cruder form (terraces vs medievalism).

    Tragedy, farce… etc.

    Islamists and EDL have more in common than separates them. Fascism tends to be kindled by economics and empowerment (specifically a lack thereof, in terms of the control people feel they have over their lives). They are a symptom of wider malaise.

    It is of course correct to protect at-threat communities. Progressives should not however take their eye off what is really going on: an elite accelerating out of sight, the privatisation of the NHS, Shock Doctrine writ large… one significant difference between the 1930s and today was that then English socialism began to bloom. Now I fear there is so much hopelessness among the educated classes in this regard, we are all little piggies, happy to back one set of thugs against another and hope Toby Young saves a place for us in his free school…

  176. Optimist — on 7th September, 2011 at 5:13 pm  

    damon @168 -

    We’ve seen the ”EDL and Anders Brievik” stuff here too unfortunately. Most of it highly tenuous.

    Please look at the link below – looks like that some them might imagine themselves to be the next Anders Brieviks!

    Guns of the EDL

    http://www.hopenothate.org.uk/blog/article/1341/the-guns-of-the-edl

  177. Refresh — on 7th September, 2011 at 5:25 pm  

    Optimist,

    Thanks for your input and context at #172. You ask a very important question.

    What were they doing there?

    Were they seeking a reprise of Bradford 2001? Provoke and run as the BNP did in Bradford? Only that time they had a blind (in the intellectual sense) Home Secretary thinking the unthinkable.

    And was Angel Jo looking to do the reprehensible, but found she was the only one to get off the bus whilst her erstwhile shocktroops pondered the cause of their coach’s burnt-out clutch?

  178. damon — on 7th September, 2011 at 6:18 pm  

    Yes Optimist. That’s interesting. Are those people posing with guns completely stupid? The police will want to see them I’d have thought. I still don’t rate Hope not Hate though. I think they are drama queens.

    As for saturday’s anti-EDL event, I can’t see how this is a good idea?

    Some 300 trained stewards in high visibility jackets were provided by the mosque and Islamic Forum of Europe during the day.

    That will definitely being getting talked about in EDL circles. As will the video in your link, with men in Islamic dress attacking the the coach.

    I don’t know if this guy from Spiked has been reading my posts …… but there was this article of their’s today which I think is well worth taking into consideration.

    The truth is that the EDL is not a major force, and yet in left-wing circles it has become a huge issue. The reason for this will not be found by looking at the EDL itself, but by examining the current state of left-wing politics. Devoid of a meaningful, historic purpose, the left has turned the EDL into a kind of rallying point, something they can at least be against at a time when they don’t really know what they are for. The left projects all its angst and fears on to the EDL, hoping to gain a modicum of momentum through being ‘united against hate’.

    http://www.spiked-online.com/index.php/site/article/11057/

  179. Don — on 7th September, 2011 at 8:57 pm  

    Are those people posing with guns completely stupid?

    They certainly gave that impression.

    That will definitely being getting talked about in EDL circles

    From what I have seen of EDL circles on the net, ‘talking’ is generous.

  180. damon — on 8th September, 2011 at 1:10 pm  

    From what I have seen of EDL circles on the net, ‘talking’ is generous.

    That maybe just a throwaway comment Don, but many of the EDL will have a way of speaking that marks them as being culturaly different to many of the people who opposed them on saturday. Whereever in the country they come from I’m guessing. Not many will be talking in the kind of ”Jamaican patois” that David Starkey made such a balls-up over trying to describe.
    Indeed, either will many of the ”white left” who turned up either.

    But I think my point about this all being slightly dangerous and divisive is something that’s not going to catch on on PP. So we have the Mayor of TH going around ”calling for calm” and linking arms and all that ”we shall overcome” stuff as if like there really was a fascist threat to the area.
    And the rather overlooked issue of stewards from the Islamic Forum of Europe patrolling the area. From where to where? Whitechapel to Mile End? Is this now to be an area where people in hi-vis vests from the IFE are to patrol?
    No need to get too alarmist about it, but it’s worth dwelling on. In Belfast there are also spheres of influence as to which community ”owns” which streets and decides what can go on there.

    Volunteers and youth workers played a “vital role” in keeping young people calm, police said.

    A Met spokeswoman added: “The stewards who worked on Saturday were well trained and effective.”

    http://trialbyjeory.wordpress.com/2011/09/07/edl-a-victory-for-the-ife/

    Is that good? I can’t really see it as being so.
    Why did local people need ”calming down” anyway?
    Because they were wound up to be agitated by UAF and George Galloway etc, who talked of muslim men having there beards pulled and women having their hijabs ripped off. Dangerous talk I think. As it insists you to take sides. With UAF and their silly alarmist politics, or against them – and that makes you suspect.

    The Socialist Worker website obviously takes a different view.
    http://www.socialistworker.co.uk/

  181. Kojak — on 8th September, 2011 at 2:41 pm  

    Optimist re comment 172:

    You asked “what they were doing there?”

    Via Harry’s Place (The Assaulted EDL Activist) I came across this link purporting to be from an EDL member on the coach. Taken with a ‘pinch of salt’ it might help explain matters.

    http://trialbyjeory.wordpress.com/2011/09/06/the-edls-angel-jo/

  182. Optimist — on 8th September, 2011 at 3:28 pm  

    Kojak -

    Having looked at her facebook page I may have been tempted to kick her in the face but would never have actually done so. I don’t believe men should attack women, even the Nazi ones.

    I myself have been attacked by such women in the past and always decided to walk away.

    But for the Nazi men – well what can I say!

  183. damon — on 8th September, 2011 at 5:39 pm  

    But for the Nazi men – well what can I say!

    Try looking up the word Nazi in the dictionary Optimist.
    Anyone who uses it about people in Britain today looses all credibility in my book. It shows the user is a part of the demented one-size-fits-all bandwagon of anti-racist politics … where even the writer of this Standpoint article (on the riots in Woolwich) probably has to be denounced being as very suspect and reactionary.

    http://www.standpointmag.co.uk/node/4048/full

  184. Boyo — on 8th September, 2011 at 10:23 pm  

    @180 “I may have been tempted to kick her in the face…” Optimist

    “If you want a picture of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face — forever.” Orwell

    And this is the man who cries “fascist”.

  185. Optimist — on 9th September, 2011 at 9:36 am  

    Boyo -

    Looks like you are an expert at selective reading.

  186. douglas clark — on 10th September, 2011 at 12:10 am  

    Boyo @ 182,

    “If you want a picture of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face — forever.”

    .

    You do know what that is about or are you completely thick?

    Optimist,

    If Boyo were to be a selective reader then he would spend his time exclusively on Harry’s Place where selective thought, far less selective reading, is something that the daft bastards that hang out there do for a living.

    It is a hate site – in the sense that if you haven’t even thought about Jews you are an evil bastard. That is what you are. An enemy of the Jews and someone they will fuck with. Because they love fucking with people. It more or less defines their rather pathetic lives.

    And hell mend you if you find anything to criticise. Then they have a go. You are, naturally, a fucking fascist at the very least.

    Frankly, they are a shower of wankers. The whole damn lot of them.

  187. persephone — on 10th September, 2011 at 11:09 pm  

    I was wondering too why theres no recent posts by Earwicga – I enjoyed reading them

  188. Kojak — on 12th September, 2011 at 12:16 pm  

    Douglas Clark re comment 184:

    Oh dear, oh dear.

    On a conversation where Howard Jacobson is criticised for his use of the word Asians and revealing his personal anxieties …….. along you come with a rant worthy of John Galliano or an agressive Alf Garnett.

    Just in case you hadn’t realised there are far more websites with a bias again Israel than supportive. Harry’s Place happens to be the latter. So. what’s the big deal?

  189. douglas clark — on 12th September, 2011 at 12:58 pm  

    Kojak @ 186,

    Oh dear.

    Just in case you hadn’t realised there are far more websites with a bias pro Israel than opposite.

    Harry’s Place happens to be one of them.

    So.

    What’s the big deal?

    I couldn’t give a monkeys fuck for the weakly interacting particles that read, write or fucking scrawl on the Harry’s Place wall.

    That includes you Kojak. And Harry and the rest of his pathetic moronic chums.

    I find them a bit all together up their own anus’s.

    As I think you will find their pathetic, stupid, friends will appear, around here, any moment around and about:

    “NOW”.

    It is absolutely ridiculous to admire the likes of Gene, Edmund Standing, or anyone else that writes there.

    I seem to recall idiots there, that had something to say. Sadly that has not been what Harry’s Place has been about for an enormous time. Since the Jurriasic, probably..

    Nowadays it it is about as fucked up as the Spitton.

    Y’know, for mattering. In the real world.

    Fail one.

    Lurve Harry’s Place and get to fuck…..

  190. Kojak — on 12th September, 2011 at 2:10 pm  

    Douglas Clark re comment 187:

    Thank you for your reply.

    Would it be fair to assume you didn’t have a good weekend?

  191. Sarah AB — on 12th September, 2011 at 3:07 pm  

    What’s the Spittoon done wrong?

  192. Shamit — on 12th September, 2011 at 4:03 pm  

    Howard Jacobson apparently disclosed his personal anxieties, although the context of the question and the exact content still remain unknown to us.

    On an Anne Widdecombe BBC programme, an Asian lady, after being beaten/thrashed by a teenage girl gang, on TV said she crossed the road as soon as she saw a group of teenage girls together because of fear. And I believe she used the phrase “black” in that context. Does that make her racist?

    Similar experiences have been highlighted by other people on London Transport and when people see a gang of youth rushing into Victoria Station during rush hour and stab a boy with machettes, Knives and kill him in front of thousands of people – I am sure we have enough reasons to be a anxious about.

    Asian people in Scotland especially in Glasgow and Aberdeen have said they are scared of White gangs – are they being racist?

    So explaining one’s personal anxieties does not make one racist – and I believe Jacobson deserves the same treatment as Mehdi Hasan got after his, less than appropriate, remarks about “Kuffirs”.

    Were those comments not appropriate? Probably not – but if he has been mugged by an Asian gang or been threatened by an Asian gang – if he used the term Asians – is he so wrong?

    I, for one, don’t think so – and we should all be adult and attempt to understand the context instead of juvenile point scoring. btw, even after listening to the whole speech, I found the language used by Mehdi Hasan offensive and very much inappropriate.

    But I am not surprised by the lack of an apology from Mr. Hasan.

  193. damon — on 12th September, 2011 at 5:12 pm  

    What’s the Spittoon done wrong?

    Don’t worry about Dougie, he’s in his own little world. But tolerated around here like a mad uncle.

    I on the other hand, just got deleted for suggesting that Tommy Robinson was quite like Anjem Choudary on the latest EDL thread. And not really worth so much attention. That’s heresy to indepth alarmist EDL analysis it seems.

  194. Sarah AB — on 12th September, 2011 at 5:36 pm  

    Tricky – normally I’d say that Choudary’s views are much worse *on paper* (because his goal is clearly to ratchet up tension) but TR is catching up. MAC is tiny and extreme and doesn’t attract large groups of people threatening violence and disruption to Muslims (and all those in the neighbourhood). But people with views in the same ballpark as Choudary have carried out/attempted terrorist attacks. I know by sight people in my neighbourhood who have been threatened/attacked by the EDL – and because they are thuggish they cause great anxiety when they demonstrate.

  195. damon — on 12th September, 2011 at 6:07 pm  

    I’ve no problem with any of that Sarah. The EDL are clearly a problem, and are thuggish and somewhat dangerous. But I think there should be space to speak against the mainstream anti-fascists who dominate the discussion about the EDL – and shape the response to them like in Tower Hamlets last week. It’s way over the top.

    Where that space is though I don’t know. Not here obviously.

  196. douglas clark — on 12th September, 2011 at 6:34 pm  

    In don’t know about you guys but, when I want to share, or know, truth, this is where I come.

    The likes of Rumbold, Sunny, Jai have been exceptionally good.

    Sunny is a complete utter idiot on asking folk – earwicga is the latest example – on someone failing us.

    If she’d just leave that side of her personality alone, then this might be a perfect site

    Well, maybe. Maybe not.

    All of you Englishmen and women are restricted in what you can vote for. I am not.

    Sad, in’t it?

  197. douglas clark — on 12th September, 2011 at 6:40 pm  

    Let’s be clear. I love Sunny Hundal.

    Honest.

    But I would not want him as my MP.

    Just sayin’

  198. Optimist — on 13th September, 2011 at 10:14 am  

    douglas @186 –

    douglas, my dear friend, just playing catch up, after a long weekend away, and thanks for that comment.

    I, myself, had a quick tour around HP to confirm it for myself and you know, you are one hundred percent right.

    I know you got a bit of stick for that, but, hey, ‘sticks and stones ….’

    Who cares when you know that you are speaking the truth and the others may not like it!

  199. Optimist — on 13th September, 2011 at 10:47 am  

    damon @ 193 –

    Anjem Choudary is a brainless idiot with half a dozen lunatic friends. I can not ever imagine him getting a thousand drunkard thugs, every other week, marching through predominantly white areas, attacking churches and political meetings in order to intimidate the whole white population of this country.

    Also, I do not remember him ever threatening massacres of the whole white population of this country, as a form of collective punishment, if any white extreamists, like Copeland, the ‘nail bomber’ or even a homegrown Anders Brevik were to carry out attacks.

    I think a better comparison of ‘Tommy Robinson’ is with Hitler in the 1920s making similar speeches in Nuremburg and elsewhere.

  200. damon — on 13th September, 2011 at 11:28 am  

    I, myself, had a quick tour around HP to confirm it for myself and you know, you are one hundred percent right.

    That is indeed a funny thought. When the ‘Socialist Workers mind’ reads something like Harry’s Place.
    It’s like oil and water, or different railway track guages. I’m not a fan of HP’s views all the time, but they raise a lot of interesting issues.

    As for the EDL: in my deleted post I also linked to this other piece by Sunny which shows how close the EDL and Anjem Choudary’s eejits actually are.
    http://liberalconspiracy.org/2011/09/12/video-pics-muslim-extremists-counter-protest/

    That my two line post was deleted straight away, shows to me how flakey the whole anti-EDL bandwagon actually is. It’s just like is described in that link to Spiked I did in post #178 above. Of course the EDL is backward and thuggish, but Jai’s shrill analysis is weak. Which is why even the mildest criticism of it is not allowed.

  201. Sarah AB — on 13th September, 2011 at 12:11 pm  

    There have been several posts about antisemitism in relation to PSC branches recently. Also about a conference featuring Gilad Atzmon – an antisemite who reserves his most disgusting remarks for Jewish antizionists. Anyone is most welcome to comment on these. Another very recent post objects to an anti-Muslim bigot being invited to testify to Parliament.

    I have to agree with Optimist, damon, that the EDL is a bit more than ‘backward and thuggish’.

  202. damon — on 13th September, 2011 at 4:31 pm  

    Fair enough Sarah. For me though the EDL aren’t really the issue. Whatever they are can bee seen pretty plainly. What interests me much more is how those opposed to them, can deal with and discuss them. Getting deleted for even questioning ”the line” shows to me how bad the situation is and how hopeless left and anti-racist politics has become. I think in the end it boils down to sectarian posturing.

    ”Bob from Brockley”, which you commented on, is open to looking a bit further than the silly ”Nazi/fascist” mantra.
    http://brockley.blogspot.com/2011/09/edl-in-east-london.html

    That is actually the best general analysis I’ve seen yet as he seems open to looking at vairious opinions, not deleting things that don’t fit.

  203. Wibble — on 13th September, 2011 at 5:33 pm  

    The thing is, that the “Bob from Brockley”‘s position is far closer to Jai’s than Damon’s “EDL is no big deal” and the accompanying low expectations for the working class. So Jai’s hardly being “shrill” – he’s pointing out what is behind the facade.

    The “Spiked” approach to issues such as the EDL: “Don’t get me wrong, I don’t like X (but won’t actually say what I dislike), but much worse is the snootiness from the Left / Middle Class / Liberal Elite and that’s what I’m going to concentrate on.”. So, a little faux concern about X (EDL, Tea Party) just to get onto the hobby horse.

  204. Jai — on 13th September, 2011 at 6:00 pm  

    For the record, “Damon’s” comment on the latest EDL-related thread was summarily deleted because, as I said on PP a few weeks ago, “Damon” is a concern troll, a fact he is continuing to prove. It is the same reason that I have summarily deleted 99% of his comments on my threads during the past 6 months. He is permanently banned from my threads and I will therefore continue to remove anything he posts there, irrespective of what he writes.

  205. damon — on 13th September, 2011 at 11:42 pm  

    Wibble, I liked Bob from Brockley’s article because it was so wide ranging. It’s not that I say that the EDL ”are no big deal” but I’m just not convinced by a lot of the opposition to them. Bob’s blog higlighted some of the different thinking. See his quote from another blogger called ”CBinTowerHamlets”.

    And winding up people in Tower Hamlets to the point where you had guys in islamic dress chasing an EDL coach down the road and smashing its windows, was something that happened because of UAF and Respect etc’s alarmist rhetoric. Which could be more dangerous than downplaying the EDL’s importance.

    Anyway, it’s a point of view, but maybe not one for Pickled Politics to discuss. Myself and Jai were never going to get on, when he does multiple posts on ”Questions for the BNP” – and I was always going to be more convinced by an article like this one.
    http://www.spiked-online.com/index.php?/site/article/3316/

    It’s just one of those natural fault lines across which debate is very difficult, so deleting and banning is probably the best policy.

  206. Optimist — on 14th September, 2011 at 10:42 am  

    damon –

    I agree with Jai wholeheartedly and now he has put a name to the sort of person you are, its become even more clear.

    A concern troll is a false flag pseudonym created by a user whose actual point of view is opposed to the one that the user claims to hold. The concern troll posts in Web forums devoted to its declared point of view and attempts to sway the group’s actions or opinions while claiming to share their goals, but with professed “concerns”. The goal is to sow fear, uncertainty and doubt within the group.

    I always thought that you were like ‘shifting sands’, difficult to pin down, mincing, apologising for the EDL, but not quite, always wanting to blame the non-whites for all the racism in this country, but not quite!

    Now we know your game!

  207. damon — on 14th September, 2011 at 4:16 pm  

    Optimist, I wouldn’t expect you to say anything different.

  208. Wibble — on 14th September, 2011 at 4:34 pm  

    Damon – the Spiked article you kindly :) provided is typical of what I mentioned earlier.

    Going back to the Bob from Brockley article: he does not dismiss the EDL as you and Spiked easily seem to do e.g. he does say anti-Fascists should pay attention to them, and that they spread terror and hate within Asian communities. I don’t think your gripe is with the term “Fascist” itself since you used it to (presumably) to describe IFE in Tower Hamlets.

    Do you expect folks to turn a blind eye to the EDL ‘protests’? In Northern Ireland is it nice for Catholics to see the Orange marches – isn’t there always continual low-level rioting (and not a gangsta in sight) because of this? Do you think the EDL are going to get bored and disappear if they’re left alone?

  209. damon — on 14th September, 2011 at 6:43 pm  

    Wibble, it’s a BIG subject. Bob from Brockley showed that in the wide scope of his original post.
    I have said quite plainly that I think the EDL are a problem. What to do about them is what interests me.
    The counter protest in Tower Hamlets was one way.
    I have some reservations about that, but here doesn’t seem to be the place to air them. Which is fair enough.

    I think one tack might be to try reasoning with EDL people for example. Kind of like talking to the Taliban. Putting to them Yaxley-Lennon’s statement about ”all muslims being responsibe if another terrorist attack took place”. If you spoke to them in a rational manner, I’m sure some of them might disagree with that. Even Yaxley-Lennon himself maybe. Or you could come out and ask them to at least admit they hated all muslims, and even all Asian people. Again, I think you’d end up with divided opinion. But whatever, that’s just tactics and up for potential discusion.

    And I also went along with ”Bob” pretty much when he said this in the section on ”The EDL and fascism”.

    It is true that there are fascists and ex-fascists in the leadership of the EDL, but they lack most of the features that define fascism. I think they are more comparable to the “proto-fascist” anti-alien groups that operated in the East End a hundred years ago, like the British Brothers League.

    I also agree with him that they need to be opposed.
    Perhaps what I would envisage is too difficult and not possible. And it’s easier to shout the alarm and try to gather people under UAF and ”United East End” banners. Which again is fair enough, but it’s not the way to go IMO. You might drive them out of Whitechapel, but they do live somewhere, and may take it out on innocent people in other areas if people are always upping the ante.

    As for your comparisson with Northern Ireland, that is also more complicated than some would like to present it. There’s an ongoing struggle within the two main community blocks, and using issues around parades is just another front in that never ending competition IMO. There are Republicans who will come out and protest if a Unionist parade comes within sight and sound of ”their areas”. Which makes things rather tricky when people are living so close together and main roads pass by different communities.
    This youtube is a good example of that, where even two dozen protestant marchers, with no supporters allowed – is still protested against once a year when they open a normally closed gate to allow a small number to come out of the protestant side and walk along the catholic road for a couple of hundred yards.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f8S-pqVHn8w

    And wibble, I don’t talk of ”IFE fascists”.
    I rarely use the word about people in the modern era as it (and the word Nazi) are so misused, so maybe you just made that bit up.
    But basicly as I said, it’s a BIG subject and maybe it doesn’t suit this kind of talk board forum.

  210. Don — on 14th September, 2011 at 8:16 pm  

    I think one tack might be to try reasoning with EDL people for example

    Give it a go and get back to us with the results. Me, I think there is some truth in the old addage that you can’t reason someone out of a position that they weren’t reasoned into.

    Kind of like talking to the Taliban.

    The only reason anybody is considering talking to the Taliban is because we are in a fight we can’t win. And the talking will inevitably mean throwing someone under a bus. Women, democrats, reformers …

    Bad analogy.

    I don’t think I have used the word ‘fascist’ to describe the EDL, but I’m happy to go along with ‘proto-fascist’.

    But it was a good link, I’ll be re-visiting Bob.

  211. damon — on 14th September, 2011 at 10:37 pm  

    Give it a go and get back to us with the results.

    I did give it a go about 18 months ago when I was a signed up member of Rod Liddle’s ”Millwall Online” football website. I argued quite strongly against the EDL on some of their threads. It was a very mixed bag of results. Some were pro EDL and others not. Some were very right wing and others were reasonably liberal. Liberal for football hooligans that is. Or ex-hooligans or whatever many of them are. Their social background was very close to much of the EDL I thought. A kind of working class sub-group.

    And on ”proto-fascist” – I thought it meant: ”having an appearance of fascism, but not actually fascism”.
    Whatever, it’s still something I would hardly say.

  212. KJB — on 14th September, 2011 at 11:16 pm  

    Me, I think there is some truth in the old addage that you can’t reason someone out of a position that they weren’t reasoned into.

    Don, that is a great expression. May I borrow it?

    Also, this:

    And the talking will inevitably mean throwing someone under a bus. Women, democrats, reformers …

    happens way too often, and not just when negotiating with religious extremists.

    For anyone requiring elucidation of the term ‘proto’, it essentially means the first of something, a predecessor or precursor to something – whatever you suffix. Hence a prototype being the first attempt at bringing a design to life, with the idea that you keep building on the prototype until whatever you’re building meets your approval. That’s one word though; when you suffix a term, it means that the thing that you’re referring to has the potential to become, or has already become, the suffixed term. Hence: Prometheus is viewed as a proto-Christ figure in literature.

  213. Wibble — on 14th September, 2011 at 11:55 pm  

    Damon, you made a comment (170 on this thread: “People from the TH community organising against outside fascists, when their own fascists walk freely anongst them for example.”). Anyway, my point is that you don’t have a problem in using the term “fascist”.

    Re: the talking, it may be possible with some of the EDL sympathisers e.g. the mother from Bob’s article, but not with the leadership – the likes of Lake, Yaxley-Lennon, Ray etc. I think Jai and others have exposed them thoroughly enough.

  214. damon — on 15th September, 2011 at 12:34 am  

    Fair enough Wibble. I did use it there. Not the greatest word to use to describe them, but some do.
    While not keen on the Islamists, I’m not particularly fussed about them either. I don’t obsess on them like Harry’s Place. Because at the end of the day, what can you do? Not a lot.
    I was suprised to hear about two EDL getting stabbed on sunday though. That makes things a bit more serious.
    I didn’t think those guys were up for a ruck like that.
    Anyway, I shouldn’t even be talking about this as I’m semi-banned from these threads.

  215. Wibble — on 15th September, 2011 at 2:57 pm  

    Yes, it is serious but the EDL do go looking for a scrap. Far worse if some hotheads (from either side) afterwards attack somebody (whom they perceive to be “from the other side”) unrelated using this and similar incidents as an excuse.

    I’m happy for Anjem’s gang and the EDL to ‘protest’ against each other as long as there is no risk to other folks and no policing costs.

    “Anyway, I shouldn’t even be talking about this as I’m semi-banned from these threads.”

    You are the Mrs Gummidge of Pickled Politics – a “lone lorn creetur” for whom things “go contrary(an)”.

  216. BobFromBrockley — on 16th September, 2011 at 2:11 pm  

    Damon/Wibble, Just stumbled across this, and appreciate the kind words both of you had for my post!

  217. Wibble — on 16th September, 2011 at 3:07 pm  

    BobFromBrockley – you’re welcome, it’s one of the more thoughtful pieces I’ve read on the subject.

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