The anti-racists and Islamists


by Sunny
17th September, 2007 at 3:54 pm    

Oh dear. One of the most “controversial” points I made during the launch of NGN was that anti-racists should reject any alliance with Islamist movements such as Hizb ut-Tahrir bcause those organisations were themselves full of prejudice. I pointed to the example of Blink promoting this march which included HuT and Azzam Tammimi amongst others.

Looks like Blink, an organisation funded by the 1990 Trust and supported by Lee Jasper and Ken Livingstone’s office, has not learnt its lesson. Now they are supporting and promoting Press TV, the Iranian govt funded television station. Duncan Money points out:

Not that you would know from the email but Press TV is in fact funded and controlled by the Iranian government, a murderous gang of theocrats responsible for repeated and widespread human rights violations targeting trade unionists, gays, lesbians, students, anyone opposed to their vicious regime.

It claims to be editorially independent but the Iranian government doesn’t have a wonderful record when it comes to freedom of speech. In the last 6 years government 100 news organisations have been shut down by the and recently a Canadian photojournalist was raped, tortured then murdered after taking photos of a prison.

The problem is that Blink is run by well meaning anti-racists who have no clue about Islamist organisations. One individual in particular, who I will not name, joined Blink a few years ago and has since been running their ‘department-for-coordinating-with-Muslim-organisations’. In practice that has meant signing up to whatever the MCB says and joining any rally even if it includes HuT. This is just further evidence of their cluelessness.
via David T.
Update: Blink’s editor has responded to our criticisms below.


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  1. Boyo — on 17th September, 2007 at 4:14 pm  

    Isn’t it the Bunting/ Young-effect? I’m not sure if you point this out to them they will thank you, or see the light.

    I’m no ideological expert, but it seems to me that there is a certain leftist tendency, ranging from City Hall to the SWP, via Farringdon Road, that seems everything in terms of race.

    But I’m afraid, like the British Army as it were, they are “trained to fight the last war”. Race was, and remains, a problem.

    But I would argue it is an inverted form of racism – with the exception of the rigid Trotskyite Young, its adherents are invariably white – that basically supports any non-European anti-Western group, regardless of their treatment of women, gays, freedom of speech. It seemingly does not judge them by the same standards it judges its “own” people.

    So white western women have an inalienable right to wear the bikini, while the obligation to wear the veil in Iran is the cultural “right” of the Iranians, their women presumably lacking the same right to rights as whites. But at least its still ok to hate the Jews, right?

    It stinks.

  2. Rumbold — on 17th September, 2007 at 4:26 pm  

    Sunny:

    “The problem is that Blink is run by well meaning anti-racists who have no clue about Islamist organisations.”

    That excuse is wearing a little thin. What is more likely is that ‘Blink’ will happily work with anything perceived to be anti-Israeli and anti-American. They must know what the MCB and Hizb are like by now, so the only explaination is that ‘Blink’ are happy to promote these groups.

    Boyo:

    “But I would argue it is an inverted form of racism – with the exception of the rigid Trotskyite Young, its adherents are invariably white – that basically supports any non-European anti-Western group, regardless of their treatment of women, gays, freedom of speech. It seemingly does not judge them by the same standards it judges its “own” people.”

    Excellent point. It is the belief that somehow other races are incapable of conducting themselves in a civilised way, so allowances have to be made.

  3. Sofia — on 17th September, 2007 at 4:31 pm  

    Can someone please explain lumping MCB and HT together..I can understand the limitations of the former…but I can’t see them in the same “league” as HT..

  4. Sunny — on 17th September, 2007 at 4:31 pm  

    Isn’t it the Bunting/ Young-effect? I’m not sure if you point this out to them they will thank you, or see the light.

    Both Younge and Bunting aren’t too happy about dealing with HuT either, but their point is that a coalition against the BNP and imperialism is more important than distancing themselves from the Islamists. It’s more about priorities, they say.

    It’s not just the left which takes this view of course. The liberal right in America has long made an alliance with the religious right. I just think it’s unprincipled.

    Sofia – Lumping them together would be me implying the two are the same. I haven’t done that. I’m assuming people will generally know the difference between the MCB and HuT

  5. Sofia — on 17th September, 2007 at 4:35 pm  

    Sunny ok,

  6. Arif — on 17th September, 2007 at 5:11 pm  

    Does Press TV support human rights abuses, or is it the fact that it is funded by the Iranian Government that makes it beyond the pale?

  7. Jagdeep — on 17th September, 2007 at 5:27 pm  

    Rumbold lumped the MCB and HuT together.

    Whilst I think the MCB is staffed with some two faced creeps, and have a lot of reactionary motives, they shouldn’t be represented as an equivalent with HuT.

  8. Leon — on 17th September, 2007 at 7:39 pm  

    Looks like Blink, an organisation funded by the 1990 Trust

    Blink isn’t a separate entity, or funded by the 1990 Trust in that sense, it is the Trust’s website.

    One individual in particular, who I will not name, joined Blink a few years ago and has since been running their ‘department-for-coordinating-with-Muslim-organisations’.

    Heh I ‘wonder’ who you could mean. Tbh if it’s who I think it is he’s been quite critical of them over the years but now concluded that the lines are drawn between Neo Labour anti Muslim policy and defending the Muslim communities by working with as much of it as possible. Broad church stuff from what I can tell.

  9. j0nz — on 17th September, 2007 at 7:57 pm  

    If anyone’s interested turn on ch4 now for ‘Unholy War’

  10. j0nz — on 17th September, 2007 at 7:59 pm  

    .. there’s bound to be a statement of outrage from the MCB with a large does of out of context on the prog.

  11. Saqib — on 17th September, 2007 at 8:07 pm  

    It’s called (secular) politics people…people switch their allegiances quicker than a whore jumping from one bed to another.

    I put the secular just for nuisance value – to spice…or should I say pickle up things a bit!

    I guess what it does show is that these concepts of ‘discrimination’ are relative and can, and are traded of against other benefits which can be accrued. The anti-racist organizations’ need a broad base to work with in dealing with the particular problem of race, and will, to achieve this, compromise upon the wider issue of discrimination. This is an inevitable outcome of a liberal democratic system where not only individuals are free to pursue their private interests, but, as has become all too common, of groups of individuals pursuing their private interests in the market place of the corridors of power. This is often to the detriment of others.

    Unless the concept of equality i.e. non-discrimination can provide a common purpose – where all or most interests are taken care of, then this cannibalization will continue.

  12. Anas — on 17th September, 2007 at 9:08 pm  

    via David T of Harry’s Place eh? Funny that a website that supports an overtly racist aparthied state still finds time to lecture other people on their supposed hypocrisy and blindness to racism. How generous they are over at HP.

  13. Anas — on 17th September, 2007 at 9:27 pm  

    anti-racists should reject any alliance with Zionists too, right Sunny?

  14. soru — on 17th September, 2007 at 10:20 pm  

    Anas, if you read PP, whose main contributer reads Harry’s Place, some of whose contributers read the Jerusalem times, wouldn’t it be safest to place yourself in a boycott to prevent the contaminated ideas from spreading any further?

  15. Jagdeep — on 17th September, 2007 at 10:27 pm  

    Boycott Anas!

  16. Leon — on 17th September, 2007 at 10:29 pm  

    Harry’s Place is [expletive deleted].

  17. Sunny — on 18th September, 2007 at 12:09 am  

    It’s called (secular) politics people…people switch their allegiances quicker than a whore jumping from one bed to another.

    I don’t know Saqib, I rather like the principle of not allying with prejudiced people, know what I mean? Even if its just me and my mates. the anti-racism movement was never won by making an alliance that included racist people. This sort of stupid alliance making will only hurt Blink / 1990 Trust over the long term.

    anti-racists should reject any alliance with Zionists too, right Sunny?

    If by a Zionist you mean someone who supports the existence of the state of Israel, then no I’m afraid that’s not a pre-requisite for shunning them. I oppose the destruction of Israel.

  18. Sid — on 18th September, 2007 at 12:18 am  

    Broad church stuff from what I can tell.

    Broader than Broadway, if you ask me. I once had a live-on-air telephone to studio argument between some idiot from HuT and a Blink person (not mentioning names) on a Bengali-language Sky TV channel. They both struck me as thick as thieves and thick as shit.

  19. Sunny — on 18th September, 2007 at 12:26 am  

    Channel S is jokes!! haha!

  20. Sid — on 18th September, 2007 at 12:30 am  

    Or rather the HuT guy was just a tosser. The Blink guy looked misinformed about HuT politics in general.

  21. Sid — on 18th September, 2007 at 12:31 am  

    Yeah, run by Jamaati Islamis members and fraudsters masquerading as Finaciers.

  22. Cameron Young — on 18th September, 2007 at 7:55 am  

    >>anti-racists should reject any alliance with
    >>Zionists
    >>too, right Sunny?

    >If by a Zionist you mean someone who supports the
    >existence of the state of Israel, then no I’m afraid
    >that’s not a pre-requisite for shunning them. I
    >oppose the destruction of Israel.

    Does this mean you will allow some racist as they are good people who support your ideas and not others?

    Surely racism is racism is racism?

    Do you then support your Zionist freind Sephardi chief rabbi Mordechai Eliyahu saying:
    Eliyahu ruled that there was absolutely no moral prohibition against the indiscriminate killing of civilians during a potential massive military offensive on Gaza aimed at stopping the rocket launchings.

    Or his son Saying:
    “If they don’t stop after we kill 100, then we must kill a thousand,” said Shmuel Eliyahu. “And if they do not stop after 1,000 then we must kill 10,000. If they still don’t stop we must kill 100,000, even a million. Whatever it takes to make them stop.”

    In the letter, Eliyahu quoted from Psalms. “I will pursue my enemies and apprehend them and I will not desist until I have eradicated them.”

    Or do you support:
    The spiritual leader of Israel’s ultra-orthodox Shas party, Rabbi Ovadia Yosef, has provoked outrage with a sermon calling for the annihilation of Arabs.
    “It is forbidden to be merciful to them. You must send missiles to them and annihilate them. They are evil and damnable,” he was quoted as saying in a sermon delivered on Monday to mark the Jewish festival of Passover.

    The Lord shall return the Arabs’ deeds on their own heads, waste their seed and exterminate them

    Rabbi Ovadia Yosef
    Rabbi Yosef is one of the most powerful religious figures in Israel, He is known for his outspoken comments and has in the past referred to the Arabs as “vipers”.

    Why is it this type of racism is largely ignored, rarely highlighted or condemned.

    I wonder if Harry’s Place will ever condemn this?

    I wonder if PP will?

    These people are Zionist and the statements are disgusting.

    Equally what about Bibi the Former PM of Israel who glorifues terrorism and stil is allowed into this country. He went to an event prasising the events and acts which lead to the creation of the state of Israel. Again you criticise Muslims for not doing enough about this but anayone else you hide away.

    The person you got the tip from will frequently do this about Islamist but I can’t recall a negative against Zionist.

    So the Liberal Right is selective about who it defines as racist, oppressed, racist etc.

  23. Boyo — on 18th September, 2007 at 8:14 am  

    I can just imagine when Israel gets wiped off the face of the earth sometime this century all those anti-racists rubbing their hands together – finally the Jews have got what they deserved! Doubtless at the hands of their anti-racist allies the gay-lynching Nazis… sorry, I mean Iranians.

    In the meantime, why not enjoy the latest output from the Israeli tourist board, while it lasts. Not a burqa in site, and hold on, who is that oggling Israeli womanhood in the last frame? Golly, some of these racist Israelis certainly have a dark tan don’t they!

    http://news.sky.com/skynews/article/0,,30000-1284368,00.html

  24. Saqib — on 18th September, 2007 at 8:48 am  

    ‘Even if its just me and my mates. the anti-racism movement was never won by making an alliance that included racist people’

    Sunny…firstly nice to hear from you again.

    I understand your position, and actually do respect it, however my point is that not all members of particular groups necessarily endorse that holistic view of prejudice and discrimination, hence it becomes less about matters of ‘principle’ and more about particular forms of prejudice being fought. This includes all interest groups – including Muslims. It would be interesting to hear the opinions of those involved in the early stages of the ‘anti-racist’ movement about what we would in Britain today describe as other forms of prejudice and discrimination.

    Hence these alliances are based on real politic – and will remain so as the inclusive principles of, if you like, non-discrimination, are not as firmly embedded in peoples consciousness as are the more populist appeals to individual/group interests.

    Another key element in the mix is that people do not separate their own socio-economic views from principles of equality and non-discrimination; hence their opinions seem selective, even at time arbitrary.

    Hence this is why in France, one of the reasons propounded as to why the hijab should be banned in public spaces is actually to preserve equality (which ostensibly seems an oxymoron) as from a social perspective they believe women, young girls if you will, will be ‘coerced’ through ‘soft’ social pressure to conform – hence giving freedom is actually, in real terms taking it away. Hence I don’t think one, from a pragmatic perspective one can move as stridently with a stand alone principle of equality/non-discrimination. Hence my earlier post about principles which tie in disparate interests with a common purpose.

  25. Natty — on 18th September, 2007 at 10:02 am  

    One of the most popular TV programmes in Iran is actually based on the holocaust:

    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/20808260/

    But again this type of things isn’t reported in much of the media.

    It won’t be acknowledged at Harry’s Place.

    This is not the type of thing I imagine will get discussed here.

    But there you have it, a programme which is getting big audiences.

    BTW As I understand it the President of Iran never said they would wipe Israel off the map. apparently it was a dodgy translation by Memri of which there have been a few. But again no one acknowledges this.

    http://commentisfree.guardian.co.uk/jonathan_steele/2006/06/post_155.html

    It is amazing how right wing organisations can say somethign which is incorrect and it is quoted as fact by the media and Presidents, Prime Ministers etc.

  26. soru — on 18th September, 2007 at 10:36 am  

    These people are Zionist and the statements are disgusting.

    You know the basic Aristotlean logic of groups that gets taught in schools, the difference between ‘all’ and ‘some’ and so on? All men are mortal, threfore, etc.

    Is that teaching actually universal? Or do some schools teach a different version:

    there exists a funfey who is grebe
    therefore, funfeys are grebelike
    consequently, if you extrabolate the funfeys, that would be anti-grebe

  27. Sofia — on 18th September, 2007 at 10:40 am  

    when did they teach that at school??

  28. Sid — on 18th September, 2007 at 10:48 am  

    abu grebe? hasan al funfey?

  29. soru — on 18th September, 2007 at 11:51 am  

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Syllogism
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_fallacies

    I hate to sound like an old fart, but if that type of thinking (or some equivalant, like predicate calculus) is really no longer taught in schools, that would certainly explain a lot.

  30. Sid — on 18th September, 2007 at 12:12 pm  

    too right soru.

  31. Anas — on 18th September, 2007 at 12:15 pm  

    If by a Zionist you mean someone who supports the existence of the state of Israel, then no I’m afraid that’s not a pre-requisite for shunning them. I oppose the destruction of Israel.

    No by Zionist I mean someone who supports the existence of Israel as a “Jewish” state, with its Jewishness enshrined in the laws of the country and with policies to ensure a Jewish majority and to discriminate against non-Jews. Of course I am also referring to Zionists who support Israel’s current aparthied style occupation of Palestine — which to be honest would be the majority of them.

    My point is that your blanket condemnation of “Islamism” (“anti-racists should reject *any* alliance with Islamist movements”) with no regard for any nuances in position of any of its supporters should if you were being fair translate over to Zionists — Zionism is after all racist in many of its manifestations. This is an ideology remember whose founders openly discussed and accepted the necessity of ethnically cleansing the Arabs of Palestine pre-48 and whose proponents have constantly since then defended the idea that Israel shouldn’t be a state of its citizens but of all Jews as well as the brutal and bloody occupation/ethnic cleansing of Palestine (in any other context this would be classified as racist). That anyone should be taking lessons from David T of HP strikes me as odd.

    Oh yeah and apparently Archibishop Desmond Tutu is now an antisemite:

    http://www.normanfinkelstein.com/article.php?pg=11&ar=1234

  32. soru — on 18th September, 2007 at 1:14 pm  

    My point is that your blanket condemnation of “Islamism” (”anti-racists should reject *any* alliance with Islamist movements”) with no regard for any nuances in position of any of its supporters should if you were being fair translate over to Zionists

    Do you understand the difference between a qualatbist organisation, and an organisation that may contain zero or more qualatbists?

    I think the Israeli political party Likud counts as an example of a relatively moderate and democratic, but still zionist in your explicit sense, organisation, comparable to the Turkish democratic islamists. Alliance would Likud would be, don’t you agree, problematic?

    If so, how much more so the less democratic and more extreme islamists of the Iranian government?

    On the other hand, a anti-racist movement that banned persians, or people who had recently talked to persians, or read a book written by a persian once, would be pretty silly.

    Logic 101, the difference between ‘some X are’ and ‘all X are’. Very useful if you find yourself in need of some thinking.

  33. Sid — on 18th September, 2007 at 1:38 pm  

    The problem with these stringent logical exercises is that they are like games in academic arcanae best, and unrepresentative bollocks at worst. Some BNP members are not dangerous paki-bashers and mindless racists, so does that mean BNP is “*not* a fascist organisation?

  34. Sunny — on 18th September, 2007 at 1:52 pm  

    Cameron Young: These people are Zionist and the statements are disgusting.

    Their statements are disgusting but I never said I supported all Zionists. That’s a bit like someone pasting really offensive quotes by Muslims and saying they’re all racist.

    Saqib: however my point is that not all members of particular groups necessarily endorse that holistic view of prejudice and discrimination, hence it becomes less about matters of ‘principle’ and more about particular forms of prejudice being fought.

    Hi mate. If, say, the alliance was about helping the environment and some of the people in the alliance were racist, then it may work.

    But if you’re trying to build an alliance of anti-racists, and some of your people are racist, then I’m sorry but strategically you’re barking up the wrong tree. And this is one of the main reasons the anti-racist movement has had several setbacks in the last few years. They don’t get it. They’re using the strategy of the 1980s, and the world has changed since.

    Anas: No by Zionist I mean someone who supports the existence of Israel as a “Jewish” state, with its Jewishness enshrined in the laws of the country and with policies to ensure a Jewish majority and to discriminate against non-Jews.

    Does that mean you think all Muslim states are also racist? Given, that if you replace the word Jewish, with ‘Muslim’, you get almost all Muslim states in the world.

  35. Lester Holloway — on 18th September, 2007 at 2:42 pm  

    The 1990 Trust circulates many notices of events / information to our network members. On this occasion, the Press TV email was sent out by an individual staff member.

    It would be wrong for anyone to assume a connection between any organisation which is holding an event or calling for public participation, and The 1990 Trust.
    Press TV has no connection with The 1990 Trust or the Blink news website. The information was not even sent out via our regular “blink alerts.”

    As a independent news network Blink simply report on news, information and events of interest to our extensive news network.

    And as our disclaimer points out, we cannot be held responsible for views expressed on the Blink, nor can it be generally concluded that the 1990 Trust implicitly support any organisation or political party which feature in an email alerts or news item.

    The 1990 Trust will look into the comments made and potential issues raised in relation to Press TV. The 1990 Trust remain committed to combating racism and all forms of discrimination.

  36. Anas — on 18th September, 2007 at 3:09 pm  

    Does that mean you think all Muslim states are also racist? Given, that if you replace the word Jewish, with ‘Muslim’, you get almost all Muslim states in the world.

    It depends if you see Muslims as a race, in the same way Jews are seen as one. But yes, most if not all Muslim states are racist, or discriminate against people of various faiths.

    Here’s my take on the Logic of the situation:

    Sunny criticises anti-racist organisations for aligning themselves with ANY Islamists
    Therefore ALL forms of Islamism are incompatible with anti-Racism

    Sunny aligns himself with Harry’s Place
    Harry’s Place support the Racist state of Israel and Zionism and defend its Racist policies
    Therefore SOME forms of Racism are compatible with anti-Racism

  37. Sunny — on 18th September, 2007 at 3:18 pm  

    It depends if you see Muslims as a race, in the same way Jews are seen as one.

    I’ve already written on this. Jews are not a race and neither are Muslims.

    But yes, most if not all Muslim states are racist, or discriminate against people of various faiths.

    So will you be campaigning against them too along with Israel?

    Sunny aligns himself with Harry’s Place

    I only support the right of Israel to exist. Otherwise I usually disagree with their uncritical support for Israel. Now let’s see you have a bit of balance with criticism for racist Muslim states too.

  38. soru — on 18th September, 2007 at 3:25 pm  

    ‘Harry’s Place support the Racist state of Israel ‘

    Only by the form of argument that would have the stop the War Coalition support the Baathist state of Iraq.

    Let Y be a set of people, defined any way (race, religion, geography, politcs, class, whatever). Let X be the set of people who actively don’t want to see the people in Y subjected to violence and war.

    X != Y

    Really, this stuff is not difficult. Is it that people were simply not taught how to think in primary school? Or is it that they were later taught, perhaps at university, an additional set of wrong ways to think?

  39. Anas — on 18th September, 2007 at 3:26 pm  

    So will you be campaigning against them too along with Israel?

    Yes.

  40. Anas — on 18th September, 2007 at 3:33 pm  

    Only by the form of argument that would have the stop the War Coalition support the Baathist state of Iraq.

    Only if STW actually failed to acknowledge the degree to which human rights abuses were taking place in Iraq and weren’t arguing against the war on a different basis. Actually it’s closer to the form of argument that would have anyone who supported say South Africa during aparthied — without acknowledging the true extent of the excesses of the aparthied system — thereby supporting apartheid. Oh wait a minute, everyone accepts that argument now, don’t they?

    Let Y be a set of people, defined any way (race, religion, geography, politcs, class, whatever). Let X be the set of people who actively don’t want to see the people in Y subjected to violence and war.

    X != Y

    Huh? Is that C notation?

  41. Anas — on 18th September, 2007 at 3:43 pm  

    I only support the right of Israel to exist. Otherwise I usually disagree with their uncritical support for Israel. Now let’s see you have a bit of balance with criticism for racist Muslim states too.

    That’s the thing. If you’re criticising an organisation like Blink for aligning themselves with the Iranian regime but at the same time linking to HP, and listing them as Comrades when you’ve just yourself admitted they uncritically support what is in effect a racist aparthied state, don’t you see the tiniest bit of inconsistency there? I personally will always criticise states with racist policies like Saudi Arabia, and even *gasp* Pakistan. But then again I don’t really see many people defending them round these parts.

  42. soru — on 18th September, 2007 at 4:01 pm  

    yeah, I meant X Y, or an = with a strike-through.

    Only if STW actually failed to acknowledge the degree to which human rights abuses were taking place in Iraq

    So if, hypothetically, someone could find a post by someone at HP that criticised Israel more strongly than, say, George Galloway of the STWC ever publically criticised Saddam, you would admit you are wrong, and withdraw your point?

  43. Sunny — on 18th September, 2007 at 4:25 pm  

    If you’re criticising an organisation like Blink for aligning themselves with the Iranian regime but at the same time linking to HP

    I have linked to Blink plenty of times. I think they do stellar work against the BNP. And I’ve linked to HP plenty of times disagreeing with them.

    I personally will always criticise states with racist policies like Saudi Arabia, and even *gasp* Pakistan. But then again I don’t really see many people defending them round these parts.

    Umm… how many British Muslim orgs making an equivalence between Israel’s policies and those of Saudi Arabia/Pakistan etc? If they did then the accusations would be less shrill. People defend Israel because they see it as singled out by Muslims. Which you yourself are constantly guilty of doing.

  44. bananabrain — on 18th September, 2007 at 4:38 pm  

    i’m so glad anas is there to define zionism for us all. personally, i define it as someone who thinks israel should be a jewish state but (pace logic 101) that need not mean that one therefore supports discrimination against non-jews. for example, non-jews should have the vote and equality before the law – but they should also serve in the army, as many do. “establishment” of a religion may be done in a number of different ways. if you mean giving the religious political parties control over anything to do with religion, or immigration policy, or defence, or almost anything, then i’m certainly against that. in fact, i’m against religious political parties, particularly the stupid ones they have in israel. however, the fact that they exist (as indeed do specifically arab parties) ought to be evidence that there is at least some separation of religion and state. if, on the other hand, you mean things like the national language being hebrew (in fact, arabic is also a national language and road signs are in arabic and english as well) the national day off being on friday afternoon and saturday, or jewish holidays being national holidays, or the law of return allowing anyone the state (not the religious parties) considers jewish to gain citizenship, given the historic and continuing persecution of jews around the world, to provide at least one safe haven for us, then i don’t see that as racist. do you think the UK should make it easier for the children of british expats to gain citizenship? i don’t see a problem with that. do you think i ought to be entitled to pakistani citizenship? after all, my grandfather was born in karachi. and my mother was born in mumbai.

    you are of course aware that the jews of iraq (and syria, egypt, lebanon, etc), who were expelled in 1948 with the loss of enormous assets, are the only group excluded from re-applying for iraqi citizenship or compensation. and, presumably you’re also aware that in the palestinian authority, selling land to a jew is illegal and has severe penalties. despite the many handicaps that arab israelis face, there are no laws in israel which make it illegal for jews and arabs to share buses, toilets, water fountains, educational facilities or do the same jobs – nor are there state laws which make it illegal for them to socialise or have sex with each other, *religious* prohibitions (from all sides) notwithstanding. it is ridiculous for this term “apartheid” to be bandied around as if there was an israeli equivalent of the all-embracing legal edifice erected in south africa by hendrik verwoerd and his unpleasant, miscegenation-obsessed pals. the intent is entirely different – remember, the idea of “separation” only arose since the idea of intifada took hold and it became effectively impossible to fight palestinian terrorists without seriously inconveniencing the civilians they use as cover. if israelis could move around the west bank (and gaza) as they did before 1987 and periodically between 1993-2000 without being stabbed, stoned or blown up they would hardly be able to complain that they are only protecting themselves.

    what’s sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander. we’re not wasting our time waiting for ken and the rest of the class warriors to realise how illogical they are. and i am waiting for the chorus of condemnation which will surely pour forth from the assembled morons of doctrinaire leftiness when they realise that the israelis have just put the kybosh on north korean supplies of nuclear material to syria and therefore, via hizbollah, iran. and, meanwhile, in the arab press? nothing. not a sausage. nada. funny, that. or maybe the jews control them, too….

    b’shalom

    bananabrain

  45. Anas — on 18th September, 2007 at 10:01 pm  

    bb, I don’t understand how Israel could maintain itself as a Jewish state without discrimination against non-Jews to some extent — the reality is it’d be hard to maintain as a Jewish state without state intervention as many Zionist ideologues admit. Yes, I’m sure there are some zionists who do subscribe to a fairer idea of what Israel should be in theory, fairer to non-Jews anyway, but they’re the tiny minority. Mainstrream zionism seems to me to very much endorse keeping Israel a state for all jews rather than a state of its citizens. How would you feel if you had less rights living in this country because your ancestors weren’t from here than some Australian or New Zealander of Brit origin, who could come over here when he wanted to this Ethnic British majority state and reap many more benefits under law just because his ancestors were British?

    And yes, in theory the idea of a safe haven for Jews is nice, but in practice given the unfairness of giving more rights and privilleges to people from all other the world over and above those who’ve been living in a place for hundreds of years is a bit much.

    And I’d be for you getting Pakistani citzenship. Frankly you’re welcome to it :P

    BTW, the term aparthied refers to the regime in the occupied territories, jew only roads, etc rather than Israel itself. And why should Israelis be able to move around the west bank freely, why is that such a key demand when, in case you didn’t realise the West bank isn’t a part of Israel?

  46. Sunny — on 19th September, 2007 at 4:06 am  

    bb, I don’t understand how Israel could maintain itself as a Jewish state without discrimination against non-Jews to some extent

    So we can assume from this Anas that you’re against the existence of a ‘Muslim state’ right? After all, you are against racism and discrimination right?

  47. Cameron Young — on 19th September, 2007 at 5:13 am  

    Cameron Young: These people are Zionist and the statements are disgusting.

    Sunny: Their statements are disgusting but I never said I supported all Zionists. That’s a bit like someone pasting really offensive quotes by Muslims and saying they’re all racist.

    But isn’t that the point that when people label Islamists frequently with the same label but won’t do so for Zionists.

    Where is the condemnation from Evangelical Christians on these statements or even the Israeli Government.

    The Jewish Community itself on the whole is silent towards this. The Chief Rabbi says very little.

    So whilst there is continual bashing of Muslims, Hindus, Sikhs even when they counter similar issues there is no such criticism with regards to Israel.

    Similarly with the Gilad case there are numerous blogs calling for his release, fine there is no problem with that but there is no similar outrage by those same people on the hundreds of human hostages held by Israel without charge.

    Also democracy and being a state of a people of a religion are not compatible but Israel sells itself as both. So people shouldn’t kid themselves. David Cameron and Gordon Brown and Tony Blair are all part of the JNF which by its own charter calls for land for Jewish people only thus this again by it’s nature is discriminatory and politicians shouldn’t be part of this. Now I am not saying the JNF shouldn’t exist but should politicians be part of it and where is PP and HP’s outrage at this??

    If Ken Livingstone promotes people who are biased to the other side that is viewed as bad but senior politicians being part of a fund that is the opposite doesn’t even elicit comment.

    Either both are bad or none are!

  48. Cameron Young — on 19th September, 2007 at 5:30 am  

    Bananabrain – with respect I think too many supporters of Israel keep bringing up minor things to try and show equality and fairness. What good is a road sign in Arabic when for example Arabs suffer discrimination in all sectors from education funding to rights to buy land to rights to live in Jerusalem?

    Why is it a Jew with no history in the area can go and live there without question but an Arab born there can lose their right of return even by travelling abroad especially in Jerusalem.

    It may be equal in principle but reality is very different.

    How difficult is it for Arabs to buy property or even obtain building permits in East Jerusalem? Does the lack of such rights not equal state terrorism as it slowly suffocates a persons ability to lead a normal life?

    Isn’t Jerusalem being ethnically cleansed by forcing Muslims to leave?

    How much of the housing budget is given to Jews and how much to non-Jews? Is that equal and fair?

    So what good is a road sign when the basic rights of a section of society are pratically non-existent with regards to their daily lives.

    BTW Even Shin Bet itself support greater spending on the Arab population. Their own reports indicate discrimination about Arabs is rife but Government has little will to do anything.

    Also you go on about laws which affet Jews and it is fine to highlight that. Yes Iraqi Jewsshould be able to reapply for citizenship.

    But lets also ackowledge that the myth you calim that Arabs and Jews have equal righst in Israel. Well why is it that a Jewish person can marry someone from the West Bank and they have a right to live in Israel. An Israeli Arab if they marry someone from the West Bank doesn’t have the right for their partner to join them.

    An Israeli Jew can live in Jersualem, travel abroad and come back to the same city. An Arab if they don’t re-register will lose that right. Equality or not.

    So for every example you cite against Israel’s neighbours there is similar examples for Israel.

    In terms of Sports funding, Jewish institutions receive far more than Arab. Ariel Sharon promised more funding to the biggest Arab football team in Israel, then funding never arrived.

    Also the myth that seperation only arose after the intifada is a myth. Jewish only roads existed long before the intifada – isn’t that seperation. Funding gaps existed long before the intifada.

    Sharing basic facilities transport and signage facilties hides the fact that underneath there are second class citizens in the country who are not treated equally with the ruling majority.

  49. Cameron Young — on 19th September, 2007 at 8:04 am  

    Also Bananabrain it is worth considering how water is shared in the West Bank. Occupying Settlers can have as much water as they want with the ability water lush green lawns. They can drill for water as they please.

    The local Palestinians are not allowed to drill to water and have very little basic water.

    So how equal is that?

    Inestment in Palestinians infrastructure is non-existent, investment in Jewish infrastructure is massive.

    House building – ditto.

    Jewish Only roads where signs are in Arabic to tell the Arabs thye are not allowed to drive there.

    Medical care – if you are Arab and get shot innocently by Israeli Military Personnel, you still have to queue at checkpoints.

    Prayer – Jerusalem we are told is open to everyone, right! So can Arabs pray there not without permission. Can Arabs from the West Bank pray there – no.

    Hebron – a few dozen families make the lives of hundreds of thousands of people a misery with impunity. Yes sometimes they do a little to tell them off but not much. Why is the Hebron Market closed to its Arab owners despite high court rulings?

    The problem isn’t the majority of the people as I think they will live in peace even the settlers.

    The problem comes down to the politicians on all sides who have an all or nothing attitude and are goaded on by people who don’t see what goes on on the ground.

  50. Anas — on 19th September, 2007 at 1:03 pm  

    So if, hypothetically, someone could find a post by someone at HP that criticised Israel more strongly than, say, George Galloway of the STWC ever publically criticised Saddam, you would admit you are wrong, and withdraw your point?

    OK. But you have to remember that in 1988 when the West’s then ally Saddam Hussein was gassing the Kurds of Halabja as far as I’m aware Galloway was the only MP to attend a London protest march against that attrocity. And he hasn’t recanted his protest of that time subsequently, again as far as I’m aware.

    So we can assume from this Anas that you’re against the existence of a ‘Muslim state’ right? After all, you are against racism and discrimination right?

    Yes, my point is that if you want a Muslim state or a Jewish state or whatever, then that’s nigh on impossible to achieve without having the state discriminate in some ways against people of other faiths. But at the same time, my feelings on how undesirable such a state is depends on what form the discrimination takes: how widespread and serious it is. I’m not dead set against the idea of a Muslim/Jewish/etc state in principal, but if in practice it involves dispossessing substantial numbers of peoples of a large number of their basic rights then that is problematic.

    In the case of Zionism we have an ideology which strove to create a Jewish state in an area whose majority were non-Jewish and were, understandably, unwilling to move over to make way for a Jewish state, and which currently has to deal with the occupation and colonisation/annexation of the West Bank, and a substantial & growing non-Jewish population in Israel proper so it’s hard to see how this Jewish state/Zionist entity could be maintained without serious discrimination and even human rights abuses.

    Actually my basic problem is with your strict generalising statement at the start “anti-racists should reject any alliance with Islamist movements”. Personally, I think in many cases such totalizing either/or statements end up being problematic to those making them, because none of us is completely consistent in our beliefs — I’m certainly not claiming to be — and your comradeship with HP shows that you aren’t 100% consistent either.

  51. Sid — on 19th September, 2007 at 1:12 pm  

    I personally will always criticise states with racist policies like Saudi Arabia, and even *gasp* Pakistan.

    Nice call for consistency however I might have blinked, because I’m yet to see you criticise *gasp* Pakistan on these here pages.

  52. Sid — on 19th September, 2007 at 1:25 pm  

    HP’s lack of consistency is that they can never bring themselves to criticise people like *gasp* Mark Steyn, Daniel Pipes and the exponents of Neoconservatism in the fallacious quest for a fascism-free world. But that’s what happens when you become a hopelessly partisan muscle-bound Liberal on steroids.

  53. bananabrain — on 19th September, 2007 at 1:51 pm  

    @anas:

    i understand your point, but the issue is how the state defines its jewishness. if it defines it ethnically, as it currently does, that raises one set of issues, because this is an ethnic group that one can belong to via one grandparent without necessarily identifying with it – as we see with the recent nincompoop teenaged israeli neo-nazis (i mean, how stupid would you have to be?) and one obviously cannot necessarily ensure that membership of an ethnic group is congruent with support of state institutions or even the existence of a state itself, as we see with ethnically jewish anti-zionists like, say, harold pinter.

    on the other hand, if you define jewishness religiously then that means a big argument over whose definition you use and a big fight over control of the decision-making apparatus. naturally, the religious parties have this aim in mind, whereas the non-religious parties want to prevent this occurring. there is, as you can see, an essential contradiction between a religiously-defined ethnic group and an ethnic group which includes non-religious members. it is this contradiction that is the source of much of the tension within the israeli body politic, namely, on one hand, the ungratefulness of an ultra-religious public which either tries to coopt national institutions or boycott them and, on the other, the arrogance of a nationalist public which thinks there’s a security answer to everything and refuses to take responsibility for how its actions are perceived abroad or may affect the diaspora. both are just as myopic and opportunist as each other.

    more importantly you have an issue about how this poorly-defined and contradictory jewishness of the state is implemented in practice. clearly there are a number of people who think it means favouring jews and disadvantaging anyone else, but equally clearly there are a large number of both arab, jewish and non-partisan organisations and political groups who are committed both in principle and practice to equality before the law and in access to resources – i might mention adalah, machsom watch, yesh gvul, rabbis for human rights, peace now and the meretz, labour and meimad political, to say nothing of newspapers like ha-aretz. none of these people agree with ideological or practical discrimination. the problem is that over an extended period of time, many other groups (and, in the case of labour, previous incarnations) did everything they could to either ignore or exacerbate the practical issues and, of course, israel was never short of outright prejudice, based on experience or simple bigotry. so your comment about a “tiny minority” is quite simply wrong – the argument over whether israel can or should be a “state for all its citizens is ongoing”. half the country has consistently voted for “land for peace” ever since 1967 – and that was way before the arabs stopped saying no to everything.

    like sunny says, efforts to treat judaism as a race are misleading and downright nonsensical when their practical effect appears to be to mark us out as the only “race” that anti-racists routinely condemn!

    And yes, in theory the idea of a safe haven for Jews is nice, but in practice given the unfairness of giving more rights and privilleges to people from all other the world over and above those who’ve been living in a place for hundreds of years is a bit much.

    it is not “nice”. it was NECESSARY in the 1870s, it was NECESSARY in the 1930s and 40s and it continues to be necessary now. if jews are being abused and beaten in the streets anywhere in the world, a safe haven is necessary, because we have seen how we can and have been casualties of political expediency since the destruction of the last jewish state by the romans. as for the “hundreds of years” argument, would you apply that to the greeks and turks who had to exchange countries in the early decades of the 1900s, or the victims of the indo-pak partition, or the enormous number of victims of involuntary resettlement and “population swaps” in eastern europe during the whole of the C20th? humpty dumpty cannot be put back together again – but an equitable settlement is possible, particularly if the jewish refugees from the arab world are compensated for the loss of their hundreds of years of residence, to say nothing of the substantial assets involved.

    BTW, the term aparthied refers to the regime in the occupied territories, jew only roads, etc rather than Israel itself. And why should Israelis be able to move around the west bank freely, why is that such a key demand when, in case you didn’t realise the West bank isn’t a part of Israel?
    i don’t think you understand what apartheid actually meant if you’d apply it to israel. if someone wants to apply the term, i want to see evidence that includes laws about miscegenation and total social separation, just as if someone starts using the word “nazi”, i want to see evidence of extermination, gas chambers and concentration camps. otherwise, it’s just overblown, self-serving rhetoric. and israelis should be able to move around the west bank freely in the same way that palestinians should be able to move around israel freely – for trade, education, social and any other damfool reason they please, because that’s what normal people do. why should the west bank – and the state of palestine-to-be, be judenrein? certainly there should be jews in hebron, but not as an enclave of lunatics, just the same way as arabs should continue to live in haifa, tel aviv and anywhere else as israeli citizens, tourists or visitors.

    @cameron young:

    you come across as someone who’s already made up their mind and isn’t open to debate, if not an actual troll, so i engage with you with caution. with that said:

    The Jewish Community itself on the whole is silent towards this. The Chief Rabbi says very little.
    then you don’t read the jewish press and you don’t know what debate goes on inside the jewish community. if you think the chief rabbi is the boss of all UK jews that only goes to show how little you understand the situation.

    So whilst there is continual bashing of Muslims, Hindus, Sikhs even when they counter similar issues there is no such criticism with regards to Israel.

    what are you reading, mel phillips’ blog?

    Similarly with the Gilad case there are numerous blogs calling for his release, fine there is no problem with that but there is no similar outrage by those same people on the hundreds of human hostages held by Israel without charge.

    newsflash, mate – people are NOT EVEN-HANDED. they like taking sides. there are likewise plenty of people who go on about israeli “bargaining chips” without talking
    about gilad shalit, eldad regev or ehud goldwasser – or any of the other israeli m.i.a.s. if you expect universal balance, you’re going to be waiting a long time and wasting a lot of breath.

    David Cameron and Gordon Brown and Tony Blair are all part of the JNF which by its own charter calls for land for Jewish people only thus this again by it’s nature is discriminatory and politicians shouldn’t be part of this. Now I am not saying the JNF shouldn’t exist but should politicians be part of it and where is PP and HP’s outrage at this??

    er, i know i’ll probably regret asking this, but what the arsebiscuits are you on about?

    What good is a road sign in Arabic when for example Arabs suffer discrimination in all sectors from education funding to rights to buy land to rights to live in Jerusalem?

    what a silly piece of rhetoric. of course i agree that there’s a lot of practical discrimination, but as i pointed out above, there are a plethora of organisations dedicated to righting the wrongs and historical injustices that do exist as they do in every country and there is no reason to suppose that they will not eventually succeed. where you go wrong is in imputing intent to discriminate as a systematic and universal characteristic of all things israeli.

    Why is it a Jew with no history in the area can go and live there without question but an Arab born there can lose their right of return even by travelling abroad especially in Jerusalem.

    “no history in the area”? i think you’re slightly ignoring the bible and the entire basis of jewish existence, to say nothing of millions of jews for thousands of years praying three times a day to go back there. besides, by that logic, we’ve only got to hang in there another couple of generations to establish a “history in the area”, so that’s also a silly and ignorant argument.

    How difficult is it for Arabs to buy property or even obtain building permits in East Jerusalem? Does the lack of such rights not equal state terrorism as it slowly suffocates a persons ability to lead a normal life?

    the lack of rights, however unpleasant, is not the same as “state terrorism” – this is precisely my point about melodramatic, self-serving language. you are equating unpleasant bureaucracy with bombs. besides, they just build stuff anyway or bribe the bureaucrats and the planning authorities are too disorganised or corrupt to do anything about it. i’ve been to east jerusalem plenty of times and to judge by the amount of construction going on there’s either a lot of permits being handed out or people are just going about their business and creating “facts on the ground”, to use the immortal phrase.

    Isn’t Jerusalem being ethnically cleansed by forcing Muslims to leave?

    wasn’t gaza ethnically cleaned by forcing jews to leave? the future of jerusalem is still in doubt in any final status agreement in any case – and, if you ask me, the problem is how to prevent the city turning into one big black-hatted, beardy slum-cum-yeshiva.

    BTW Even Shin Bet itself support greater spending on the Arab population. Their own reports indicate discrimination about Arabs is rife but Government has little will to do anything.

    so what you’re telling me is that recognition of this problem at state level exists but it hasn’t been fixed yet? well, what an earthshakingly unusual state of affairs.

    you can point out all the inequalities you like and i’ll happily go along with those that are true, but the fact is that for them to be fixed there needs to be an incentive for this to occur. and until the israelis feel safe enough to put down their weapons this isn’t going to be fixed. they pulled out of gaza – did it stop the rocket attacks? noooooooooooooo. no, those lovely hamasniks are chucking over qassams to coincide with the start of the academic year as “a new years present for your schoolchildren”. until there is some political maturity on the palestinian side this just isn’t going to happen. would it kill them to actually grow up and admit they’re not going to get anywhere by trying to keep on killing people? the israeli government, on the other hand, are going ahead and unilaterally planning to remove the settlements, despite what amounts to subversion, sabotage and outright civil war on the part of their inhabitants and sympathisers, although the removal of sharon and the interference of the iranians via hizbollah has so far prevented a similar disengagement in the west bank.

    b’shalom

    bananabrain

  54. bananabrain — on 19th September, 2007 at 1:51 pm  

    oops, pants formatting. sorry.

    b’shalom

    bananabrain

  55. Sunny — on 19th September, 2007 at 1:52 pm  

    In the case of Zionism we have an ideology which strove to create a Jewish state in an area whose majority were non-Jewish and were, understandably, unwilling to move over to make way for a Jewish state

    Mate, the MCB’s Inayat Bunglwala has said every Muslim should strive for a Khilafah. I would love to see the day you get over your inconsistencies and tell all these people off for their racism.

    No seriously, I dislike religious states too. But for Muslims such as your self to denounce ‘racist’ Zionism and say nothing of the Khilafah crew is amusing and hypocritical.

  56. soru — on 19th September, 2007 at 2:01 pm  

    never bring themselves to criticise people like *gasp* Mark Steyn, Daniel Pipes

    I google so you don’t have to:

    http://hurryupharry.bloghouse.net/archives/2007/07/17/daniel_pipes_finds_a_cult.php

    What is truly shocking is that Pipes speaks in admiration of the Mujahedeen-e Khalq (MEK) or the People’s Mujahedeen of Iran (PMOI)

    http://hurryupharry.bloghouse.net/archives/2004/06/29/a_new_beginning.php

    Two of my least favorite political commentators– necon Daniel Pipes and anti-imperialist Tariq Ali–

    http://hurryupharry.bloghouse.net/archives/2004/10/25/perfect_storm.php

    I’ve had some stick from some readers in the past for raising questions about Mark Steyn’s views and suggesting they would place him on the far right in the UK and Europe. But, reading his latest offering, I am not sure at all what the difference is between his views and those of Bossi, Haider, Le Pen and even Griffin

    The comment boxes are of course a different matter – they are very near as much of a racist cesspit as those of the Guardian. But as for the contributors, you might disagree with what they say, but you’d have to try very hard to come up with some plausible reason to be offended by it.

  57. Sid — on 19th September, 2007 at 2:38 pm  

    What apart from adding to the clamour of voices for the bombing of Iran and their lack of any contrition about Iraq? Not much.

  58. Cameron Young — on 19th September, 2007 at 9:49 pm  

    >you come across as someone who’s already made up >their mind and isn’t open to debate, if not an actual >troll, so i engage with you with caution. with that >said:

    And here we go the typical Zionist bullying by starting to call people names. Yes we start with Troll and if that bullying doesn’t work we’ll start hurling the old anti-semitic.

    >then you don’t read the jewish press and you don’t >know what debate goes on inside the jewish community. >if you think the chief rabbi is the boss of all UK >jews that only goes to show how little you understand >the situation.
    No it shows your usual double standards. Continually people talk about the Muslim clerics not speaking out even though they don’t represent the community so why is it different for you?

    Debate does go on within but external debate and distancing from racsim and grotesque acts is what is needed and there is too little of that.

    >er, i know i’ll probably regret asking this, but what >the arsebiscuits are you on about?
    If you claimto know about Jewish people as much as you make out you’d know that Cameron, Blair and Brown are part of the JNF which has a a pretty nasty approach to its work.

    >“no history in the area”? i think you’re slightly >ignoring the bible and the entire basis of jewish >existence, to say nothing of millions of jews for >thousands of years praying three times a day to go >back there. besides, by that logic, we’ve only got to >hang in there another couple of generations to >establish a “history in the area”, so that’s also a >silly and ignorant argument.
    True to form we revert to the old line without actually reading what is being said. Form book is right on track now.

    What I said was that an Arab born in Jerusalem who goes aboad and doesn’t reregister in time will lose their right to live in Jerusalem even if they have lived there for generations. Jews who may not have ancestory won’t.

    Also lets destroy this attachment line, if anythign the Palestinians have been in Jerusalem longer than Jews. Jews invaded Jerusalem and the land of Palestine when they emigrated from Egypt. So if attachments are true then both have the right. You deny one and big up the other.

    >wasn’t gaza ethnically cleaned by forcing jews to >leave?
    Sorry that is a gross lie. The Israeli Government made the Jews leave. The Jewish people there had gone to Hamas and asked to stay and were given permission. The Israeli Government refused and Sharon as you know very well boasted he was leaving Gaza to get a better foothold on the West Bank. So don’t make out like it was any different. The settlers themselves told the world they wanted to stay.

    Also if Israel so much wanted peace why move them from Gaza to the West Bank and not Israel proper?

    This distrotion is about as factual as the old Settlement Natural Growth argument crap which is used to steal land.

    Tell me if Israel so wants peace why does it keep electing people who don’t want peace?

    >so what you’re telling me is that recognition of this >problem at state level exists but it hasn’t been >fixed yet? well, what an earthshakingly unusual state >of affairs.
    Oh what a cop out. Reports has said this for years, decades but it doesn’t change a damn thing and it won’t because they want all the Palestinain Arabs out.

    Make their lives as difficult as possible and make em leave.

    >until there is some political maturity on the >palestinian side this just isn’t going to happen.
    Any reasoned person can see it needs political maturity on both sides not one. Israel is not better than the Palestinains. Lobbing rockets is as bad as lobbing tank shells at the end of the day both kill. But you like to focus on just one aspect to buly and distort debate.

    >the israeli government, on the other hand, are going >ahead and unilaterally planning to remove the >settlements,
    Nonsense Sharon, Olmert and co. want to impose a solution everyone can see that. Backed by Bush and Blair they’ll do it. It isn’t peace it is colonisation.

    They are keepign what they want and for you to make out oterwise is a distortion of facts.

    Israel is above international law and threatens everyone. It needs to learn to live in the region. Fact is Israel would do very well from peace as it has a good service economy which is what the Arab world needs. Trade again woudl be excellent. However at the political level there is no will to have peace.

    I accept what you say about the people wanting peace but they don’t make the decisions.

    There is no poitician in Israel or Palestine who want to negotiate a true peace who actually has the power to do so.

    Sharon negotiated with Bush to get what he wanted and never negotiated with the people he needed to. Is it any wonder they think the only way to get peace is by fighting. The blame for Israel’s woes lies in the fact that it always finds an excuse to duck out of negotiations or break agreements.

    BTW I would like to say one other thing, almost everything bad I say about Israel applies to the Palestinians. I only answered your one sided opinion.

    I don’t think either leadership wants peace.

    Both sides are as bad as each other. However on the ground things are changing and hence I think the peoples wil force a peace.

  59. douglas clark — on 20th September, 2007 at 12:40 am  

    You know what is interesting about all of this? It is based on religion. Sometimes someone puts their head above the parapet, say Sunny at the start, or Anas later on, and all that happens is that we make not one iota of progress.

    Sunny, rightly in my view, points out that racism is a two way street, or perhaps even a zillion way street. Anas says he’s got reservations about states based on religious conviction.

    Is it ever going to be possible for, say the KSA to open up to Moonies, or Israel to open up to it’s original inhabitants, er.. Arabs?

    Not without some new thinking, and whatever else you get from them, both Sunny and Anas are capable of that. Their problem is that the vast majority of others are not.

    It is very sad.

    (I don’t know who will be more insulted, Sunny or Anas, for putting them squarely in the same box. Still, it’s what I think)

  60. soru — on 20th September, 2007 at 11:05 am  

    it’s original inhabitants, er.. Arabs

    When you say Arabs, do you mean Palestinians? The way I understand it, they are probably more accurately decribed as Islamic Jews than as Arabs – they are, typically, the descendants of inhabitants of the ancient Jewish kingdowms who didn’t go into exile following the Arab conquest, instead staying and (mostly) converting.

    You could make a case that if the Palestinians were to discover their inner Jewishness, that would be a really smart symbolic move. Stress the common oppression of Islamic and Judaic Jews by the arab kingdoms – wherever the Palestianians go in the Middle East, they do always seem to end up in refugee ghettos.

    That way, any oppresive law in israel would be in danger of being anti-semitic, and so a lot of very smart people would be spending a lot of time and resources finding better alternatives, instead of better justifications.

    Has there ever been a movement that tried to combine indentities that way?

  61. Anas — on 20th September, 2007 at 12:54 pm  

    half the country has consistently voted for “land for peace” ever since 1967

    Is this the same country in which the majority of Israeli Jews thought the state should encourage Israeli Arab emigration? The thing is I fail to understand how Israel could maintain its status as a Jewish state without substantial state intervention given that it was imposed on an area in which Jews were originally a minority and in which they still do not form an overwhelming majority. The fact that mainstream figures can quite openly discuss the transfer option with regard to Israeli Arabs, or talk about the demographic threat emanating from Arab women who give birth to more children than their Jewish counterparts indicates to me that the general tone of debate in Israel isn’t as enlightened as you’re trying to make out.

    if jews are being abused and beaten in the streets anywhere in the world, a safe haven is necessary, because we have seen how we can and have been casualties of political expediency since the destruction of the last jewish state by the romans. as for the “hundreds of years” argument, would you apply that to the greeks and turks who had to exchange countries in the early decades of the 1900s, or the victims of the indo-pak partition, or the enormous number of victims of involuntary resettlement and “population swaps” in eastern europe during the whole of the C20th? humpty dumpty cannot be put back together again – but an equitable settlement is possible, particularly if the jewish refugees from the arab world are compensated for the loss of their hundreds of years of residence, to say nothing of the substantial assets involved

    Your argument reminds me a bit of all those manifest destiny-type founding myths of various colonial states. A land without a people for a people without a land, eh? The fact is this haven was imposed on a territory in which Jews were originally a minority by ethnically cleansing the native population — who were understandably unwilling to leave of their free will — in part by carrying out attrocities and massacres, just as was the case in America, Australia, South Africa, etc. This needs to be acknowledged and addressed by defenders of Israel. Why did the Palestinians have to suffer for something that the Europeans did to their Jewish inhabitants? And the population transfers of the early 20th century were utterly inhuman and lead to countless deaths and attrocities, which is why ethnic cleansing is such a dirty word nowadays.

    i don’t think you understand what apartheid actually meant if you’d apply it to israel. if someone wants to apply the term,

    I maybe don’t but I guess someone like Archibishop Desmond Tutu might, or the UN Rappoteur on Human Rights John Dugard who happens to be a South African law professor who campaigned against apartheid, or even Hendrik Frensch Verwoerd might actually understand aparthied enough to authoritatively make that comparison.

    and israelis should be able to move around the west bank freely in the same way that palestinians should be able to move around israel freely – for trade, education, social and any other damfool reason they please, because that’s what normal people do. why should the west bank – and the state of palestine-to-be, be judenrein? certainly there should be jews in hebron, but not as an enclave of lunatics, just the same way as arabs should continue to live in haifa, tel aviv and anywhere else as israeli citizens, tourists or visitors.

    In an ideal world yes, Jews should be free to move around in Palestine, and Palestinians in Israel. But we’re not living in an ideal or even sane world. The best way to get from here to something approaching a sane world would be to follow international law and to remove the occupying Israeli forces from Palestine. This is an occupation that has been going on for 40 years now, remember. Actually it’s strange that that fact seems to have passed you by, bb. You aren’t bothered by the steady destruction of the Palestinian state, or even of the realistic prospect of a Palestinian state due to Israel’s continuing illegal policies of annexiation, land theft and settlement, and brutalization of the population? Oh and another thing, this idea that Israel is occupying Palestine for security purposes is wrong on numerous moral, practical levels and legal levels, but if it is true why then would you build hard-to-defend seemingly permanent civilian settlements on Palestinian lands with all the increase in security apparatus that entails, surely that would be the last thing you would do if you were only interested in security?

  62. Sunny — on 20th September, 2007 at 1:18 pm  

    C’mon Anas, answer my question too!?

  63. Natty — on 20th September, 2007 at 2:09 pm  

    >When you say Arabs, do you mean Palestinians? The way
    >I understand it, they are probably more accurately
    >decribed as Islamic Jews than as Arabs – they are, >typically, the descendants of inhabitants of the
    >ancient Jewish kingdowms who didn’t go into exile >following the Arab conquest, instead staying and
    >(mostly) converting.

    The Palestinians have been in the land longer than anyone. The Jewish tribes migrated into the Holy Land and according to the Old Testament it was God-given land tot he chosen people. Because they disobeyed or broke their covenant with God (depends who you talk to) they they lost the land.

    Anyway Arabs too have been part of the area as long if not longer than Jews as indicated by old trade routes.

    Hence there is a strong attachment amongst all three.

    But the only claim people focus on is the Jewish one. Even during Solomon and David’s times there were non-Jews living in the area.

    These myths have been perpetuated in order for sides to lay claims. So they each deny the others claim.

    Some of these people are yes Jews who converted to Islam but equally more many are those who were the original inhabitants of the land before the 12 tribes migrated in.

    One thing I would say is that despite appearances in recent times the various Arab and Jewish tribes have lived together and known each other for thousands of years.

    Yet as the claims get more vocal then each side dimisses the other claim. History shows that the Palestinians have the oldest claim followed by the Arabs then the Jewish Tribes.

    The proof of this is in Jewish history itself namely there were people in holy land whom they fought when they got there.

  64. Natty — on 20th September, 2007 at 2:17 pm  

    One other point is that Jerusalem itself was already in existence before the Jewish tribes arrived there.

    However that said I personally don’t thinkthere is much of an issue with regards to Jerusalem as I think they can come to an agreement despite the rhetoric. It just needs some common sense and heads banging together.

    At the end of the day all the problems are solvable and the solution is known. What is lacking is the will-power to get there.

    BTW Before people start jumping in and hurling accusations at me, I was at an event at which some senior Rabbis in the UK mentioned this about Jerusalem. They also made a request to the Muslim community at the event to highlight the Muslim History of Jerusalem as they felt it was important people knew this.

    They had just returned from a conference on Jerusalem and how the various faiths view Jerusalem.

  65. sonia — on 20th September, 2007 at 3:07 pm  

    soru 60 – you are clever you. that’s a good suggestion!

    i don’t think it has been done, most of the time it has come down to being about racial identities it seems..

  66. bananabrain — on 20th September, 2007 at 3:07 pm  

    And here we go the typical Zionist bullying by starting to call people names. Yes we start with Troll and if that bullying doesn’t work we’ll start hurling the old anti-semitic.

    all i said is that you appear to have made up your mind already rather than display any openness to debate. if you read my posts regularly you’ll know i rarely call anyone names (apart from ken livingstone) or engage in ad hominem attacks and i am particularly loath to call anyone anti-semitic, unless they deserve it of course. so far you appear to resemble one of those people who pops up whenever it’s time for an israel-bashing-fest. anas, on the other hand, is perfectly willing to debate stuff, although we usually disagree on this particular subject. but back to the content….

    No it shows your usual double standards.

    “your” usual double standards? do you mean mine, personally? or are you addressing me as a representative of my ethno-religious group? usually, the assumption that someone holds a particular view because they happen to be a member of a particular ethnic group is considered, well, somewhat problematic.

    Continually people talk about the Muslim clerics not speaking out even though they don’t represent the community so why is it different for you?

    erm, i certainly haven’t done this on this thread – perhaps you could enlighten me as to why it is relevant? you made an accusation about jewish clergy – i think it can be adequately countered without reference to the “ooh, but muslim clergy do x and y” gambit. chiefy is the official head of the united synagogue, which represents a majority of jews in the british commonwealth who are members of synagogues. he does not represent the jews who belong to non-orthodox movements, nor does he represent ultra-orthodox jews. nor does he represent the political views of any segment of the community. the post of “chief rabbi” is a largely ceremonial anachronism – he is neither head of the religious court nor is he a representative of the membership of the united synagogue. the representative organisation for anglo-jewry is the board of deputies and plenty has been written about their reluctance to deviate from a reasonably conservative position of “we support israel” which doesn’t go into any detail about what that actually means. the difference between us and the muslim community is that for the vast majority of the community, the rabbis are not representative of what people think or say; they are spiritual leaders, rather than political figures. anglo-jewry’s clerical politics is as divided as anglo-jewry. some are more right-wing, some are more left wing. thus, for any number of rabbis that you can wheel out to point to as being prejudiced, there are any number of other rabbis that do things like sign the IJV declaration, regularly go on the record as criticising israeli policies, participate in deir yassin day and so on and so forth. my own rabbi is orthodox and is hardly reticent about giving israeli government policy both barrels when he feels it is deserved. the difference is that it isn’t *always* deserved any more than it isn’t always undeserved. so, therefore, going “oh, chiefy hasn’t condemned X or Y” completely misses the point – he doesn’t see it as his main job. this hasn’t stopped him making what are, considering who he is and the strength of his position, fairly radical statements in the guardian of all places:

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/religion/Story/0,2763,781133,00.html

    Debate does go on within but external debate and distancing from racsim and grotesque acts is what is needed and there is too little of that.

    i’m glad you admit that, but you must concede that it is hardly up to you to set the bounds of what constitutes “too little”, although you are of course entitled to your opinion.

    If you claimto know about Jewish people as much as you make out you’d know that Cameron, Blair and Brown are part of the JNF which has a a pretty nasty approach to its work.

    i’ll ask you again to clarify what you mean.the three people you mentioned are neither officers nor committee members of what is a registered UK charity, so what exactly do you mean by “part of”? and as for a “pretty nasty approach”, the JNF has existed since the C19th, as a jewish charity whose aim is to purchase land in israel for jews and hold it “in trust for the jewish people” – it owns 10% of the land in israel, just as the muslim waqf owns 3% of the land and holds it in trust for muslims. why is one OK and another not?

    True to form we revert to the old line without actually reading what is being said. Form book is right on track now.

    the “old line”? well, if you mean considering the land of israel as being the spiritual and physical homeland of the jewish people since G!D Swore to give it to the descendants of isaac in the Torah, then, yes, that is fairly old.

    What I said was that an Arab born in Jerusalem who goes aboad and doesn’t reregister in time will lose their right to live in Jerusalem even if they have lived there for generations. Jews who may not have ancestry won’t.

    OK, so you’re saying that an arab who doesn’t follow the legal process for travelling abroad may experience difficulties in returning? by the same logic, an native-born israeli who has lived abroad since babyhood is nonetheless subject to the draft if s/he sets foot in israel after the age of 18. and surely ancestry must be defined somehow – at what point does this “local” ancestry take effect? after 25 years? 50? 100? and when does it wear off? after 25 years? 100? 1000? 2000 years?

    Also lets destroy this attachment line, if anything the Palestinians have been in Jerusalem longer than Jews. Jews invaded Jerusalem and the land of Palestine when they emigrated from Egypt. So if attachments are true then both have the right. You deny one and big up the other.

    i’m not denying palestinians a link to the land anywhere. but your language of “destroying the attachment” is very revealing. it is astonishing that we can be so attached to a place as to move there after 2000 years of not being there, isn’t it? just for the record, the palestinians are arabs, i hope we can agree on that. and the arabs did not arrive in the area until the islamic conquest of the C6th, which means they’ve been in the area 1400 years assuming a continuous presence. i hope you’re not trying to make out that they’re actually canaanites, because they’re not, any more than the egyptian arabs are ancient egyptians. the canaanites were not “pagan arabs”. the arabs, as their name indicates, come from arabia, not mesopotamia, assyria, sumer, chaldea, egypt or persia. historians put the hebrew conquest of canaan (not an emigration, because they weren’t actually egyptians, but an exodus) at about 1300 BCE, with a presence in the land going back to abraham in approximately 1800 BCE, with a continuous jewish presence lasting until the roman expulsions under hadrian (135-138 BCE, which is when the name “palestina” was bestowed to replace the previous latin name name “judea” and as an studied insult, naming it after our biblical enemies the philistines, who weren’t around any more by then and have no relation other than the name to the modern palestinians) which gives you a jewish “attachment” of between 1400-1800 years 400 years before the arabs arrived. but surely you can see this isn’t actually an argument about maths?

    Sorry that is a gross lie. The Israeli Government made the Jews leave. The Jewish people there had gone to Hamas and asked to stay and were given permission. The Israeli Government refused and Sharon as you know very well boasted he was leaving Gaza to get a better foothold on the West Bank. So don’t make out like it was any different. The settlers themselves told the world they wanted to stay.

    that is a somewhat quixotic position about gaza given that the settlers were actually demanding that the army stay and look after them, which would have been unacceptable to the palestinians, of course. they weren’t at all interested in becoming palestinian citizens.

    Also if Israel so much wanted peace why move them from Gaza to the West Bank and not Israel proper?

    as far as i am aware that argument is ongoing – a lot of the settlers are still in caravans in various places and a lot of them have, quite naturally, migrated to settlements in the west bank; the government has been stupid and shortsighted in allowing this, of course, many commentators have pointed out that they’re only storing up a bigger problem for themselves when they evacuate the west bank, as olmert (as opposed to sharon) has repeatedly stated he intends to do.

    This distrotion is about as factual as the old Settlement Natural Growth argument crap which is used to steal land.

    the “natural growth” argument was always a smokescreen, the more fool the government for caving in. what i think you’re missing is the fact that the settlers intend to make the government fall into line with their agenda, even if it means a breakdown of law and order. the gaza withdrawal was a shot across their bows, but since then they have been trying to lead a fightback. the point is that they are no longer really considering the government as “theirs” and that is just the beginning.

    Tell me if Israel so wants peace why does it keep electing people who don’t want peace?

    because those people say they want peace and can deliver it. they may be incompetent or liars (and generally are) but the fact is that polls consistently show support for peace. it’s a question of hats, like people who say they are both for greater public spending and lower taxes. you can’t have one without the other without unsustainable borrowing.

    Make their lives as difficult as possible and make em leave.

    yeah, because that’s really worked so far, hasn’t it? besides they’ve got nowhere to go. none of their “brothers” in arab countries want them – they still keep them in refugee camps 60 years later.

    Lobbing rockets is as bad as lobbing tank shells at the end of the day both kill.

    the israelis fire tank shells to try to take out specific targets (although they’re not always that accurate, obviously) whereas the militants just fire indiscriminately over the border to try show what big bad resistance fighters they are, because it’s easier to blame the israelis than try and actually sort things out themselves.

    Nonsense Sharon, Olmert and co. want to impose a solution everyone can see that. Backed by Bush and Blair they’ll do it. It isn’t peace it is colonisation.

    they certainly are busy imposing a solution in the absence of any help from the other side, but removing your settlements and your people is “colonisation”? what a curious idea of language you have.

    There is no poitician in Israel or Palestine who want to negotiate a true peace who actually has the power to do so.

    now there i think we are closer to agreement – both sides are in fear of what will happen to them if they give away too much – look at rabin, king abdullah I of jordan – and, indeed, the recent election victory of hamas over fatah!

    @douglas clark:

    douglas, i’m a little insulted that you don’t think i’m capable of “new thinking” – after all, i’m suggesting that jews should be able to be palestinian citizens and vice versa….

    @soru:

    You could make a case that if the Palestinians were to discover their inner Jewishness, that would be a really smart symbolic move. Stress the common oppression of Islamic and Judaic Jews by the arab kingdoms – wherever the Palestianians go in the Middle East, they do always seem to end up in refugee ghettos.

    well, you get the original thinking award for that.

    @anas:

    Is this the same country in which the majority of Israeli Jews thought the state should encourage Israeli Arab emigration?

    i expect so – people everywhere have a tendency to go for apparently simple solutions in theory which turn out to be unworkable in practice.

    The thing is I fail to understand how Israel could maintain its status as a Jewish state without substantial state intervention given that it was imposed on an area in which Jews were originally a minority and in which they still do not form an overwhelming majority.

    well, in this case, the substantial state intervention is about drawing a border between jewish-majority areas and arab-majority areas; that ought to do it i’d have thought. and who said anything about “overwhelming”?

    The fact that mainstream figures can quite openly discuss the transfer option with regard to Israeli Arabs, or talk about the demographic threat emanating from Arab women who give birth to more children than their Jewish counterparts indicates to me that the general tone of debate in Israel isn’t as enlightened as you’re trying to make out.

    er, i’m not trying to make that out. in fact, israeli political debate tends to be simplistic, personally abusive and cheap. what would be worrying, however, is if the likes of lieberman, feiglin and the like were getting majority votes at the polls rather than minority ones. moreover, whenever someone pops up to say something like that, they are immediately met with a chorus of condemnation from elsewhere in israeli society and across the diaspora. i don’t see that happening across the border. where’s the palestinian “peace now”?

    Your argument reminds me a bit of all those manifest destiny-type founding myths of various colonial states. A land without a people for a people without a land, eh?

    i think i’ve already made my opinions on the chauvinism, eurocentrism and ignorance of C19th nationalism pretty clear.

    The fact is this haven was imposed on a territory in which Jews were originally a minority by ethnically cleansing the native population — who were understandably unwilling to leave of their free will — in part by carrying out attrocities and massacres, just as was the case in America, Australia, South Africa, etc.

    oh, really? the israelis deliberately gave the palestinians cholera-infected water? they stole their children and put them in orphanages to raise as jews? they passed laws to say they couldn’t use the same toilets? your language suggests a conquering war machine, not a rag-bag collection of farmers, former yeshiva students, refugees and concentration camp victims. i think you’re rather deliberately ignoring the intervention of the five armies from surrounding arab nations as well.

    Why did the Palestinians have to suffer for something that the Europeans did to their Jewish inhabitants?

    they also suffered because of the arrogance and hubris of their leaders, like the nazi-sympathising mufti of jerusalem? their inability to accept compromise? remember, the jews voted for partition – the arabs voted against. they wanted all or nothing. remember the khartoum declaration? “no peace, no recognition, no negotiation”. sheesh.

    And the population transfers of the early 20th century were utterly inhuman and lead to countless deaths and attrocities, which is why ethnic cleansing is such a dirty word nowadays.

    and it is why it’s not going to happen in israel.

    maybe don’t but I guess someone like Archibishop Desmond Tutu might, or the UN Rappoteur on Human Rights John Dugard who happens to be a South African law professor who campaigned against apartheid, or even Hendrik Frensch Verwoerd might actually understand aparthied enough to authoritatively make that comparison.

    well, go on then, show me where they talk about miscegenation and racial contamination in israel, as opposed to checkpoints and security walls.

    Actually it’s strange that that fact seems to have passed you by, bb. You aren’t bothered by the steady destruction of the Palestinian state, or even of the realistic prospect of a Palestinian state due to Israel’s continuing illegal policies of annexiation, land theft and settlement, and brutalization of the population?

    i think you’re assuming a lot there. actually, i’m extremely bothered by the inability of the palestinians to establish normal political institutions and their continuing penchant for acting like a bunch of chaotic, undisciplined, grandstanding idiots. i’m concerned at the inability of the israelis to realise that the army can’t solve the problem and i’m concerned at their dehumanisation at checkpoints and settlements. i don’t think the wall should have been used as a land grab, i think most of the checkpoints should be removed and i think all the settlements should be evacuated until jews can live in palestine as safe and equal citizens. but, then again, perhaps you ought to ask rather than assume. the only thing i ask is that my family can walk safely in their own streets on the jewish side of the green line without being stabbed, shot or blown up – but then again, i support the idea of a security wall in principle at least until sanity begins to prevail.

    oh, lord, i’ve been sucked into another i/p discussion…. i’m sooo bored…..why do i do this????

    b’shalom

    bananabrain

  67. bananabrain — on 20th September, 2007 at 3:10 pm  

    damn all formatting. damn damn damn.

    b’shalom

    bananabrain

  68. Sunny — on 20th September, 2007 at 3:22 pm  

    Enough BB- stop it! It’s not good for your health… and neither for my database :)

  69. Natty — on 20th September, 2007 at 5:19 pm  

    BB – You are right that Islam arrived 1,400 years ago but the Arabs have been part of that area for much longer through trade etc. Also the Palestinians are not Arab, many may have married Arabs but they are also people who have in some cases as long an attachment to the land as the Jewish people have.

    At the end of the day various people have attachement to the land, the Palestinains, Jewish people, Nomads etc.

    It appears that you are saying the attachment is simply Israels.

    Also I think what the person said was that in fact if an Israeli and a Palestinian go abroad different laws apply to them. The Palestinian has to reregister and it is a difficult process. The Israeli doesn’t.

    Whether you like it or not the legal process is designed to make it difficult for Palestinians to remain in Jerusalem.

    As an example a Jewish person who has lived in the USA for their entire life and their family has been resident in the USA for over 200 years can come to Jerusalem amd buy new housing and has a right to live there.

    A Palestinian who has been born there and whose family has lived there for 200 years doesn’t have the same right.

    Further if both travel abroad, the Palestinian is required to reregister or lose their right. The Jewish person doesn’t have to.

    Surely you can see that is just plain wrong.

    BTW The situation has been highlighted on the news media many times.

    It is just wrong and doesn’t do Israel any good. Hence with actions like this then people equate the country with Apartheid as there are unequal, oppresive lwas for one people and liberal laws for another.

    I can’t see how you can defend this. It is grossly unfair.

    Anyway I think you both need to calm down as things are getting heated :-)

  70. Anas — on 20th September, 2007 at 7:11 pm  

    i expect so – people everywhere have a tendency to go for apparently simple solutions in theory which turn out to be unworkable in practice.

    BB, if half the people in this country were behind a plan for the state to encourage Muslims — or any other ethnic group — to leave the UK I think you’d be justified in being sceptical about the tolerance of the general population.

    well, in this case, the substantial state intervention is about drawing a border between jewish-majority areas and arab-majority areas; that ought to do it i’d have thought. and who said anything about “overwhelming”?

    No it’s a bit more than that, and it is again aptly summed up by the slogan that Israel is not a state of its citizens but a state of all Jews.

    er, i’m not trying to make that out. in fact, israeli political debate tends to be simplistic, personally abusive and cheap. what would be worrying, however, is if the likes of lieberman, feiglin and the like were getting majority votes at the polls rather than minority ones. moreover, whenever someone pops up to say something like that, they are immediately met with a chorus of condemnation from elsewhere in israeli society and across the diaspora. i don’t see that happening across the border. where’s the palestinian “peace now”?

    Again you have to see this in another context to appreciate how serious it is that there exists a climate where people can say things like these with little censure. If any politician in the UK outside of the BNP (even then…) said anything similar I doubt he’d be around for long. I mean some of the things Israeli politicians come out with are just incredible. And the fact that a racist demagogue like Lieberman can attain a post in government amazes me too. Here’s a good recent article on what counts as acceptable discourse in Israel by Gideon Levy: http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/868829.html

    oh, really? the israelis deliberately gave the palestinians cholera-infected water? they stole their children and put them in orphanages to raise as jews? they passed laws to say they couldn’t use the same toilets? your language suggests a conquering war machine, not a rag-bag collection of farmers, former yeshiva students, refugees and concentration camp victims. i think you’re rather deliberately ignoring the intervention of the five armies from surrounding arab nations as well.

    No, my language suggests what I meant it to suggest. Jewish armed groups such as the Irgun carried out numerous massacres of men, women in children in Arab villages in order to force out the population, a tactic that was supported, at least implicitly by the Zionist leadership. How else do you think they emptied out whole Arab villages — and yeah even mainstream Israeli historians no longer believe the Arab radio broadcast theory. Read Norman Finkelstein’s Image and Reality, he has the details and makes the comparison with previous Imperialist conquests.

    their inability to accept compromise? remember, the jews voted for partition – the arabs voted against. they wanted all or nothing

    It’s kind of understandable why they didn’t vote for partition of a country which had been theirs in the first place and in which they’d constituted the majority.

    and it is why it’s not going to happen in israel.

    It’s happening in Palestine, my friend.

    well, go on then, show me where they talk about miscegenation and racial contamination in israel, as opposed to checkpoints and security walls.

    I don’t know what miscegenation actually is. But the point is that the apparatus of the state designed to keep one population separate in Bantustans and under control in squalid poor conditions, ultimately hindered from building a viable civil structure, while the other lords it up, nicks the water, resources, best land etc, in the West Bank closely resembles the previous regime in south Africa and the treatment of Black Africans. And so many people, qualifed people who have had experience of Aparthied and seen the West Bank for themselves and who have little reason to display a bias against Israel have made the comparison that it’s slightly odd you dismiss it straight away. Even Danny Rubenstein said it recently, and B’Tselem have also made the comparison. All these sources you cite when you want to show the plurality of Israeli discourse, and yet you ignore what they have to say.

    the only thing i ask is that my family can walk safely in their own streets on the jewish side of the green line without being stabbed, shot or blown up – but then again, i support the idea of a security wall in principle at least until sanity begins to prevail.

    IMHO, the best way to understand how your wish for the safety of your family can be granted is to understand what Israel is doing to other families who want to walk safely in their own streets on the other side of the green line.

    I think this has gone way off topic — seriously I didn’t want another Israeli thread myself, I’ve been keeping away from the topic in general. I only wanted to show up Sunny’s statement about there being no possibility of anti-racist collaboration with any Islamist groups as slightly inconsistent given how pally he is with the HP lot.

  71. Sunny — on 20th September, 2007 at 7:15 pm  

    I only wanted to show up Sunny’s statement about there being no possibility of anti-racist collaboration with any Islamist groups as slightly inconsistent given how pally he is with the HP lot.

    Yeah but what you’ve done is constantly bang on about the same things (though kudos for keeping it civil) rather than examine your own hypocrisy on the issue which I’ve highlighted above.

  72. Anas — on 20th September, 2007 at 7:31 pm  

    OK, I will address your point:

    Mate, the MCB’s Inayat Bunglwala has said every Muslim should strive for a Khilafah. I would love to see the day you get over your inconsistencies and tell all these people off for their racism.

    No seriously, I dislike religious states too. But for Muslims such as your self to denounce ‘racist’ Zionism and say nothing of the Khilafah crew is amusing and hypocritical.

    I said above I was not in principle dead set against Jewish/Muslim, or indeed any religious states — note in principle. It’s just in the case of mainstream Zionism, even though it may have had noble aspirations to start off with — a haven for Jewish people allowing them freedom from persecution — it went onto justify actual ethnic cleansing in Palestine and in many cases supports the current aparthied-style occupation and destruction of the West Bank in the name of the Jewish state, i.e., it’s the reality I have a problem with. And remember this isn’t some local conflagration but an issue that is crucial for the security of our planet and that has to be resolved.

    Similarly, if anyone from the MCB or otherwise started making similar demands for creating a Muslim state in an area where there was a substantial non-Muslim population which involved ethnic cleansing and the widespread ill-treatment of non-Muslims I would have serious problems with that too. To me demands for a Khalifah do not necessarily and in many/most cases do not make that demand — so I see no need to rail against them. The reality of many Muslim states is that non-Muslims are treated very badly, again I condemn that. But at the same time it’s hard to find many defenders of those states — unless they’re in the government and it’s Egypt or Saudi and we’re selling them arms — in the mainstream press or in forums like these. That might be why you don’t see me mentioning them as often.

  73. Sunny — on 20th September, 2007 at 7:56 pm  

    Similarly, if anyone from the MCB or otherwise started making similar demands for creating a Muslim state in an area where there was a substantial non-Muslim population which involved ethnic cleansing and the widespread ill-treatment of non-Muslims I would have serious problems with that too.

    No, your point above was:

    #50:
    Yes, my point is that if you want a Muslim state or a Jewish state or whatever, then that’s nigh on impossible to achieve without having the state discriminate in some ways against people of other faiths.

    And you’re opposed to Zionism because…
    I don’t understand how Israel could maintain itself as a Jewish state without discrimination against non-Jews to some extent

    So, erm, you admit that a Muslim state would end up discriminating against non-Muslims… and erm, that’s why you’re anti-Zionist because a Jewish state does the same.

    In other words a Muslims state would do the same a Jewish state. And given that most Muslim states now (not just the ones propped up by Bush) DO discriminate against non-Muslims, I’d like to see you condemn them too.

    You also say not many are defending them. Well that’s because no one is actually comparing them to Israel. Especially not people like yourself who keep using the word ‘apartheid’ against Israel but not Muslim states.

  74. Anas — on 20th September, 2007 at 10:16 pm  

    No, your point above was:

    #50:
    Yes, my point is that if you want a Muslim state or a Jewish state or whatever, then that’s nigh on impossible to achieve without having the state discriminate in some ways against people of other faiths.

    Yeah, but the next sentence sorta puts that into context:

    But at the same time, my feelings on how undesirable such a state is depends on what form the discrimination takes: how widespread and serious it is. I’m not dead set against the idea of a Muslim/Jewish/etc state in principal, but if in practice it involves dispossessing substantial numbers of peoples of a large number of their basic rights then that is problematic.

    I never said I was opposed to Zionism in particular because:

    I don’t understand how Israel could maintain itself as a Jewish state without discrimination against non-Jews to some extent

    That was in response to BB’s criticism of my definition of Zionism which was in response to your definition of a Zionist as someone who supported the existence of the state of Israel.

    And my statement “anti-racists should reject any alliance with Zionists too, right Sunny?” was mocking your islamist one. I even say your blanket condemnation of “Islamism” (”anti-racists should reject *any* alliance with Islamist movements”) with no regard for any nuances in position of any of its supporters should if you were being fair translate over to Zionists — Zionism is after all racist in many of its manifestations. Personally I don’t think anti-racists should reject *any* alliance with Zionists. I think one should be more nuanced about these things.

  75. Sunny — on 20th September, 2007 at 10:32 pm  

    but if in practice it involves dispossessing substantial numbers of peoples of a large number of their basic rights then that is problematic.

    If you want, we can do a comparison of how the rights that religious minorities have in Israel compared to other Muslim states?

    But my feeling is that you’ll make it about the number of dispossessed people etc etc. Well that’s a different problem then. It’s about land grab. But when you talk about Zionism as an inherently racist ideology, you do so ideologically without taking into account that the same ideology in practice also applies to Muslim states.

  76. zohra — on 20th September, 2007 at 11:19 pm  

    the ideologies in practice in Muslim states are just that – plural. there’s not just the one, and all Muslim states are not the same in how they treat religious minorities/non-Muslims, or other groups (women, LGB(T) people, etc.).

    is it really ‘hypocritical’ to criticize one thing (e.g. Israel) and not to comment on another that has parallels (e.g. some Muslim states)? is that really the right word?

    i thought the hypocrisy, if there was any, would be if one were to criticize Israel on the one hand, and then *defend* another country that does what Israel was criticized for.

  77. Sunny — on 20th September, 2007 at 11:25 pm  

    It’s hypocritical if one accuses Israel of being predicated on racist ideology, but not applying that thinking to other Muslim states, which are pretty much predicated on the same basis.

  78. Cameron Young — on 21st September, 2007 at 12:20 am  

    Sunny – as a staunch defender of Israel and Zionism then you have to expect it’s failings to be highlighted. You highlight Muslim organisation failing on an almost daily basis, same for Hindu, Sikh etc.

    Yet the Chief Rabbi sharing platforms with Bejamin Netenayhu elicits little comment. Ken Livingstone sharing a platform with people you deem extreme ellicits a strong response.

    How is that Blair and Bush hugged Sharon whom the Israeli Committee investigating the massacres at Shabra and Shatila said should not hold a senior Government position ellicits little comment?

    Your approach is similar to the Blair Bush stance on Iraq – we maybe bad but at least we are better than Saddam. What a low standard to compare to and then match it.

    First Israel and its supporters including you say Israel is a democratic country the only one in the Middle East! Which of course ignores Lebanon.

    You slam Muslim countries repeatedly and yet Israel is exempt on this basis. Fine you slam it for other things but not on this basis.

    As a democracy Israel claims to better than the other states you are asking it to be compared with but it is the same in almost everyway. Indeed the reason it gets billions upon billions in aid (more than Africa as a continent combined) is because it upholds Western ideals in a sea of nasty regimes we are told.

    What people have shown you is that it is no different to its neighbours and yet it claims to be and perpetuates that myth to get ever increasing amounts in aid.

    Sunny – contrast this Israel threatens to attack Iran, has apparently attacked Syria and no-one including you bats an eyelid. Iran says IF attacked by Israel it will retaliate. If attacked it will retaliate which it has the right to do under international law. Indeed this was the basis of the USA attacks on Afghanistan and Iraq that it had been attacked on 9-11 and Bush, Israel and Europe are outraged at Iran. Why the double standard. Israel can attack with impunity and others cannot retaliate.

    Israel has nuclear weapons and Jack Strawless defends its right to have them. Yet they openly lie and say they won’t introduce them to the Middle East but as Vannu said they have them, over 200 nuclear bombs and they say they won’t introduce them to the Middle East which is a lie.

    They kidnap people like Vannu illegally and this is the behaviour of the light you hold up as a good example. Their agents have been caught numerous times abroad kidnapping and killing people.

    Kind of like the old USSR but no-one says a word.

    So how is this any better than Arab States? It is the same if not worse so why hold them up as better.

    Your logic is flawed precisely because you won’t apply the racist label to Israel but will to Muslim states for similar actions. Most people accept that both are not perfect and have some amount of racism yet you won’t.

    Sunny you may find this quote today from Oona King interesting in the context of this discussion:
    “As an MP, King was criticised for comparing the Palestinian territories to the Warsaw Ghetto after visiting the area with Christian Aid. She writes in her memoirs that she now distinguishes between genocide and what she still insists is ethnic cleansing. “The two must never be conflated and I was wrong to do so,” she admits. “But well-meaning Israelis (even those suffering the daily threat of terrorist attack) are also wrong when they unwittingly become apologists for the ethnic cleansing that I saw in the Occupied Territories.”

    She told TJ: “The thing that saddens me the most is the way it seems to echo the same aspects of what Jews went through. There is gross humiliation and the ordering around of Palestinians by some members of the Israeli army.

    “It is about humiliating people. There is extremist violence, there are Islamic groups that want to kill and maim people. It is hard for people to understand pressures on Israel, but it means that ordinary people pay the price.””
    http://www.totallyjewish.com/news/national/c-7144/oona-i-feel-more-jewish-than-ever/

    She is Jewish and read what she says and compare that to your stance on the issue. She is an ex-MP from this country who has visited the region.

    Sunny with respect read the comments by respected MP’s such as Gerald Kaufman:
    Israel has turned into a “pariah state” under prime minister Ariel Sharon and his ways of dealing with terrorism are “unacceptable”, Jewish senior Labour MP Gerald Kaufman has claimed.
    The former minister said he was saddened by the way the image of Israel had changed from “beacon” status to being portrayed by photographs of its soldiers “smirking over the corpse of a Palestinian they had just killed”.

    “It is quite easy to excuse attacks on the Israelis, or rather to explain them away, by saying this is anti-Semitism,” Mr Kaufman said.

    “I am the last person in the world to be anti-Semitic.

    “In my time I have faced anti-Semitism, but I am pro-Israel.

    “I am obviously pro-Jew – but what is going on in that country is something that no decent person can condone in terms of the policy of the government.
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/1874459.stm

    David Mellor another Conservative MP chided Israel for the way it treated Palestinains and refused to let him meet with them to listen to their views.

    Debate on Israel is so stifled by AIPAC and the Friends of Israel.

    How you can maintain your position beyond the powerful comments made by respected Jewish MP’s is beyond me.

    As Oona King said when people become apologists for ethnic cleansing:
    “they unwittingly become apologists for the ethnic cleansing that I saw in the Occupied Territories.”

    We as human beings should stand up and say when something is wrong it doesn’t matter if it is Muslims, Jews, Christians, Sikhs, Hindus or anyone else.

    To hide behind how is this different from so and so isn’t good enough.

    If it is wrong for one people it is wrong for all people.

    Fine if the Arabs are as bad then we criticse all, not all minus one. All.

  79. bananabrain — on 21st September, 2007 at 4:02 pm  

    @natty:

    BB – You are right that Islam arrived 1,400 years ago but the Arabs have been part of that area for much longer through trade etc.

    ok, but trade is not the same thing as what we are talking about, which is attachment to and connection to the land itself. otherwise, by that logic the british would still have an “attachment” to india – but, presumably, that’s what we call “imperialism” nowadays!

    It appears that you are saying the attachment is simply Israels.

    oh, dear me, now i’m going to have to quote myself, from post #66:

    i’m not denying palestinians a link to the land anywhere.

    As an example a Jewish person who has lived in the USA for their entire life and their family has been resident in the USA for over 200 years can come to Jerusalem amd buy new housing and has a right to live there.

    but, as i’ve said above, this is a daft argument, because it implies that if the israelis can hold out long enough they will be “resident” in israel and, similarly, it doesn’t address the question of when, or if, this “residency” expires. what i think you’re failing to grasp about the nature of the religious attachment to israel is the spiritual concept of the “ingathering of the exiles”, which is necessary for the arrival of the messianic age. political, secular (as opposed to religious) zionism sees this in more practical terms, although the problem with this, as i would freely admit, is that the “safe haven” argument lacks a certain amount of moral credibility when applied to rich americans rather than poor and oppressed russians and ethiopians. but if you look at the aliyah figures, it is not americans who have been the majority of immigrants to israel in the last twenty years, but the aforementioned russians, ethiopians and (interestingly enough) french. the reason you focus on americans is because they tend to get interviewed a lot on TV because they speak english and tend to be loud, opinionated and articulate. a lot of the russian israelis have, unfortunately, arrived in israel with typically russian attitudes of xenophobia, which is why political discourse has moved so much to the right in recent years as well as providing the electoral material for the ascendancy of leiberman. and, like i think i’ve said elsewhere, if palestinians are denied the right to travel or visit, or whatever, that is problematic. the palestinians i know tend to visit the territories and east jerusalem via jordan.

    i’ve run out of time today, so i’m off home to fast. enjoy, people.

    b’shalom

    bananabrain

  80. Natty — on 21st September, 2007 at 6:09 pm  

    BB – Please read:

    http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/905864.html

    Also others have an attachment to the land as old if not older than yours. You are being selective in your arguments. Arabs have lived throughout the area for longer than the Jews so have the Palestinains. They have a religious attachment as well.

    It won’t kill you to acknowledge that.

    It is only by understanding both sides that peace can come.

    You are simply a cheerleader for Israel no matter what and no are covering up for acts that are simply unacceptable even to Jews who are increasingly disturbed by what is going on.

  81. Natty — on 21st September, 2007 at 6:39 pm  

    BB – You say they want peace and will pay a big price for it, here is the proof they don’t want peace when it is offered:

    http://www.reuters.com/article/worldNews/idUSMAC97480720070921?feedType=RSS&feedName=worldNews

    Why not put them to the test? But oh no what good would that do.

  82. Lopakhin — on 22nd September, 2007 at 8:08 pm  

    Natty #26: BTW As I understand it the President of Iran never said they would wipe Israel off the map. apparently it was a dodgy translation by Memri of which there have been a few. But again no one acknowledges this.

    http://commentisfree.guardian.co.uk/jonathan_steele/2006/06/post_155.html

    It is amazing how right wing organisations can say somethign which is incorrect and it is quoted as fact by the media and Presidents, Prime Ministers etc.

    Hmmm, some day you really should read an article before you post a link to it. I particularly draw your attention to this comment from Mr Steele:

    ‘On this occasion they [MEMRI] supported the doveish view of what Ahmadinejad said.

    In reality, the translation ‘wiped off the map’ originated with Mr Ahmadinejad’s own translators. It can still be seen here, on his Presidential website:

    http://www.president.ir/eng/ahmadinejad/cronicnews/1384/08/4/index-e.htm#b3

    Cameron Young #46: ‘Jewish Only roads where signs are in Arabic to tell the Arabs thye are not allowed to drive there.’

    This is incorrect – they are Israeli-only roads, meaning that Israeli arabs can also use them.

  83. Anas — on 23rd September, 2007 at 3:31 pm  

    Cameron Young #46: ‘Jewish Only roads where signs are in Arabic to tell the Arabs thye are not allowed to drive there.’

    This is incorrect – they are Israeli-only roads, meaning that Israeli arabs can also use them.

    That seems not to be the case. In effect they still seem to be Jewish only roads as this quote from an article by Shulamit Aloni suggests:

    If that were not enough, the generals commanding the region frequently issue further orders, regulations, instructions and rules (let us not forget: they are the lords of the land). By now they have requisitioned further lands for the purpose of constructing “Jewish only” roads. Wonderful roads, wide roads, well-paved roads, brightly lit at night–all that on stolen land. When a Palestinian drives on such a road, his vehicle is confiscated and he is sent on his way.

    On one occasion I witnessed such an encounter between a driver and a soldier who was taking down the details before confiscating the vehicle and sending its owner away. “Why?” I asked the soldier. “It’s an order–this is a Jews-only road”, he replied. I inquired as to where was the sign indicating this fact and instructing [other] drivers not to use it. His answer was nothing short of amazing. “It is his responsibility to know it, and besides, what do you want us to do, put up a sign here and let some antisemitic reporter or journalist take a photo so he that can show the world that Apartheid exists here?”

    Well at least the soldier in question seems to think so.

  84. bananabrain — on 24th September, 2007 at 1:29 pm  

    oh, this is ridiculous, i don’t know why i bother at all – a “cheerleader for israel no matter what”? sheesh. so i work for aipac or bicom or something now, apparently. pathetic. this is what drives me mad – expressing criticism of specific policies isn’t enough; oh, no – i have to disown israel entirely and sign up to this “apartheid” bollocks. well, frankly, sod the lot of you. i’m not the one with the lack of perspective here.

    b’shalom

    bananabrain

  85. Katy Newton — on 24th September, 2007 at 2:10 pm  

    It makes me feel slightly better to know that bananabrain, who has vast experience of and involvement in interfaith dialogue and ME debate and almost endless reserves of patience, has ended up as frustrated with the complete lack of perspective on the part of some contributors to this website as I did.

  86. Kismet Hardy — on 24th September, 2007 at 2:18 pm  

    Bananabrain, on the flipside, I resent beeing seen as pro-islam just because I was born muslim

    ‘Well you would side with the palestinians/Iraqis/Afghanis, being Muslim and all’

  87. bananabrain — on 25th September, 2007 at 12:59 pm  

    kismet – i don’t think *i* said that. if i did, i shouldn’t have. because it’s daft.

    b’shalom

    bananabrain

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