Desmond Tutu no longer “anti-semitic”


by Sunny
19th October, 2007 at 1:45 pm    

MuzzleWatch reports:

We had a back and forth with folks at the Jewish Telegraphic Agency about the false Tutu quote after they used it in a release. Well, these guys are good and went to the source, the Zionist Organization of America, and finally put to bed this terrible smear against Tutu. … The extreme rightwing ZOA still insists Tutu is an anti-Semite.

This controversy erupted when the University of St Thomas, Minnesota declined an invitation to Tutu on the basis that some Jews may find his view offensive. They’ve now reversed their decision. Good.

From Tony Karon (a senior editor at Time.com):

The utterly charming thing about the Zionist Thought Police is their apparent inability to restrain themselves, even from the very excesses that will prove to be their own undoing. Having asked sane and rational people to believe that Jimmy Carter is a Holocaust denier simply for pointing out the obvious about the apartheid regime Israel maintains in the occupied territories, the same crew now want us to believe that Archbishop Desmond Tutu is an anti-Semite.

Frankly, this case I think this case underlines precisely how absurd the policing of discussion about Israel in the U.S. has become. As a South African veteran of the liberation struggle, I can testify that there are few, if any, more decent, humane, courageous and morally unimpeachable individuals in the world than Bishop Tutu. Speaking truth to power is what he’s always done, both to the old regime in South Africa as much as to the new, when the latter has failed to live up to the standards it professes on AIDS, crime and other issues.

Instead, thanks to the atmosphere created by the right-wing nationalists of AIPAC and the ADL etc., many mainstream institutions would now prefer to shoot the messenger, if only to avoid incurring the wrath of those who have stripped the very term “anti-Semitic” of its meaning (by using it as a bludgeon in defense of behavior utterly abhorrent in the Jewish tradition as much as anything else), and as such, commit a great crime against Jews and Judaism.


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  1. Morgoth — on 19th October, 2007 at 1:55 pm  

    Desmond Tutu may not be an anti-semite, but from his track record, Tony Karon is at the very least, yet another irrational Israel-hater. But hey, that’s the left for you nowadays. Too busy with their tongues stuck up the arse of folks like Qawadiri. Orwell would be spinning in his grave at what “liberalism” has become.

  2. Sid — on 19th October, 2007 at 1:58 pm  

    This one, like Morgoth’s colostomy bag, is going to run and run. :-)

  3. douglas clark — on 19th October, 2007 at 2:35 pm  

    Morgoth,

    Some innocent folk, following your link, will come to a site called CAMERA, which says that it is the Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America. Completely laudible and acceptable, at first blush.

    I was quite impressed with all the corrections that they had dealt with. Then I noticed a couple of strange things. That the stories were exclusively aimed at bolstering a Pro Israel position and this:

    CAMERA seeks fifteen passionately committed undergrads with excellent communication skills to organize pro-Israel events on campus. Earn $1000 and a trip to Israel in June.

    This is their ‘home page’ where the nature of their propoganda efforts is perhaps a leetle bit clearer than on the link that you gave.

    http://www.camera.org/index.asp

    It is ingenuous, to say the least, for them to say that their site is for accuracy in Middle East Reporting when it is nothing of the sort.

  4. Morgoth — on 19th October, 2007 at 2:45 pm  

    Douglas, shooting the messenger, are we?

  5. douglas clark — on 19th October, 2007 at 2:49 pm  

    Morgoth,

    Just saying. It doesn’t seem to me to be an unbiased scource. You have to remember it was extreme right wing Zionists that first misquoted Desmond Tutu and stirred up this storm in a teacup. To the extent that they it’s OK to quote someone, even when they never said it.

    I’d sup with a long spoon at that particular ‘scource’.

  6. douglas clark — on 19th October, 2007 at 2:51 pm  

    Or ‘source’, even. At least when I can’t spell I’m consistent :-)

  7. Morgoth — on 19th October, 2007 at 2:54 pm  

    Douglas, you’re exhibiting the same behaviour as Red Ken, who started ranting about “Its an Israeli website, its an Israeli website”, when MEMRI exposed what his chum Qawadiri was saying.

  8. douglas clark — on 19th October, 2007 at 3:02 pm  

    Morgoth,

    I am not trumpeting anything of the sort. I am simply pointing out the nature of the site you linked to. Caveat emptor, and all that.

    We really could do with a weekend open thread, don’t you think?

  9. Sunny — on 19th October, 2007 at 3:09 pm  

    That Camera page is irrelevant to the issue at hand – the despicable attempts to paint Desmond Tutu as an anti-semite.

    Douglas, shooting the messenger, are we?

    You seem to be trying to do the same, surely? Why not deal with the topic? Or is it one rule for others and another for you?

  10. Morgoth — on 19th October, 2007 at 3:31 pm  

    The topic is, Sunny, that Karon is a gobshite-talking moonbat of the highest degree.

  11. Refresh — on 19th October, 2007 at 3:34 pm  

    Morgoth

    I, at least, treat your posts with the respect they deserve – but please do not insult my intelligence telling me MEMRI is not part of the drip drip propaganda infrastructure.

  12. douglas clark — on 19th October, 2007 at 3:43 pm  

    Morgoth,

    I agree with Sunny that he didn’t put the post up for it to deflected into this stuff, but in best playground terms, you started it.

    I have only this article to go by,

    http://tonykaron.com/2007/10/03/my-favorite-anti-semite/

    but, if that makes him a gobshite-talking moonbat of the highest degree, you’d really need to explain a bit better what was wrong with the piece. Personally, I thought it was excellent, but there you go.

    Have you spent years researching this chaps commentary to arrive at your conclusion?

    One could say that someone obsessed with Anton LaVey and Alastair Crowley has a bit of expertise in gobshite talking moonbats of the highest degree, and there I’d be happy to defer to you.

  13. Sunny — on 19th October, 2007 at 3:47 pm  

    The topic is, Sunny, that Karon is a gobshite-talking moonbat of the highest degree.

    Yeah, I’m really taking your incisive analysis seriously here. Uhuh… yeah… carry on… I’m listening!

  14. Morgoth — on 19th October, 2007 at 4:12 pm  

    Refresh, MEMRI simply reports on what is said in the Middle-Eastern Media. If you consider that to be propaganda, then that’s your problem.

    Sunny, you’re deluded. Fortunately, in 20 years time you’ll grow up and move to the right.

  15. Sid — on 19th October, 2007 at 4:15 pm  

    In 20 years time you’ll be rehabilitated and Harry’s Place will publish a blog post: “Morgoth no longer Islamophobic”

  16. ZinZin — on 19th October, 2007 at 4:17 pm  

    Haha
    Good one Sid.

  17. El Cid — on 19th October, 2007 at 4:34 pm  

    Ha, give people enough rope…

    The anti-semitism card has long lost a lot of its political power through overuse.
    Trigger happy paranoia and a desperate strategy.
    Handle with care.
    There could be parallels…

  18. douglas clark — on 19th October, 2007 at 4:38 pm  

    Morgoth @ 14,

    And maybe you’ll have realised that ‘news’ sources that can offer holidays and dollars to the committed is not exactly independent. Follow the money young man! That’s my advice to you.

    ‘Course, you could always seek out a career with the propogandists, MEMRI springs to mind for some reason I can’t quite put my finger on.

    YOu could always put on your CV that you argued that black was white (oops!) on PP. That should stand you in good stead.

  19. Refresh — on 19th October, 2007 at 4:43 pm  

    “Refresh, MEMRI simply reports on what is said in the Middle-Eastern Media. If you consider that to be propaganda, then that’s your problem.”

    I am afraid its your problem too. It ill-informs you.

    And its been long said that MEMRIs constant stream of press releases landing in every journalist’s inbox gives lazy journalist all they need to become a reporter covering the middle-east. Do it long enough you become the mid-east expert.

    You should be asking yourself why MEMRI is so busy selectively translating the mid-east media, and offering it for free.

  20. Refresh — on 19th October, 2007 at 4:46 pm  

    In 20 years time Harry’s Place will have its own undeclared nuclear arsenal.

  21. douglas clark — on 19th October, 2007 at 4:55 pm  

    Refresh,

    In twenty years time Harrys’ Place groupiscules will be down to single numbers, each with the true path. It might even shine, a bit. There might be what, oh I don’t know, hundreds of them all arguing with each other. It is becoming an increasingly private grief.

    Sad, really.

  22. Refresh — on 19th October, 2007 at 6:13 pm  

    Very sad. But who will have his finger on the button, that is what I want to know. Morgoth is obviously fighting for the privilege.

  23. douglas clark — on 19th October, 2007 at 6:17 pm  

    Refresh,

    Hah! By that time PP will have the Death Star ;-)

  24. douglas clark — on 19th October, 2007 at 6:20 pm  

    And, more worryingly, who’ll have their finger on that trigger? Let’s hope it’s Sunnys’ barber.

  25. Rumbold — on 19th October, 2007 at 7:14 pm  

    Desmond Tutu is not an anti-semite, and has never been. He is a great man.

    Tony Karon on the other hand… (you can always tell Israeli-haters by the use of apartheid).

  26. Refresh — on 19th October, 2007 at 7:32 pm  

    Rumbold, I am afraid you will then also have to include the former Israeli Education Minister:

    “Indeed there is Apartheid in Israel

    A new order issued by the GOC Central command bans the conveyance of
    Palestinians in Israeli vehicles. Such a blatant violation of the right
    to travel joins the long list of humans rights violations carried out by
    Israel in the [Occupied] Territories.”

    by Shulamit Aloni

    from Karon’s blog (follow Sunny’s link) and as always, checked my sources too and confirm its from the Israeli Yedniot site.

  27. Sunny — on 19th October, 2007 at 11:53 pm  

    I’m not sure why my readers are obsessed with Harry’s Place, and frankly there’s no need for the silly characterisations. I still like that blog and get on well with David T. At least it’s not bloody Lenin’s Tomb and his displaying of Hizballah / Hamas flags. HP gave this blog its early prominence and for that they’ll always be comrades. All this sniping sounds terribly like this ‘moonbat’ rubbish that the likes of Morgoth keeps coming out with. There’s no need for us to fall to that level, or indeed of the terribly snipy language on blogs like Devil’s Kitchen / Drink Soaked Trots for War etc.

  28. Bartholomew — on 20th October, 2007 at 12:40 am  

    It should be remembered that Tutu has always been a hate-figure on the right – Jerry Falwell famously called him a “phony”, and when he came to the UK in 1989 the Freedom Association brought over a couple of black clergy to oppose him (namely Bishop Isaac Mokoena and Archbishop Mzilikazi Masiya, who have now slipped into deserved obscurity).

  29. douglas clark — on 20th October, 2007 at 2:15 am  

    Sunny,

    Just for the record, I too think very highly of David T. I’m not sure if he’s changed his position on Iraq, a la Geras, or not, but he has always struck me as a genuine human being. It was Harry’s Place that introduced me, and many like me, to UK blog sites, and I was one of the people that followed up on David T’s recommendation that PP was a site worth checking out. He is a generous and witty guy.

  30. bikhair aka taqiyyah — on 20th October, 2007 at 6:24 am  

    What do they say about anti semites these days… Its not one who doesnt like Jews, its one who Jews dont like.

  31. douglas clark — on 20th October, 2007 at 8:24 am  

    bikhair aka taqiyyah ,

    I do not know for sure if David T is a Jew or not, ’cause from my point of view, it is entirely irrelevant, and not worth a lot of effort to establish. Hopefully, from Davis T’s perspective, the fact that I am an atheist wouldn’t phase him either.

    Antway, could we please give up this idea that everyone, of every race, is a stereotype?

    Folk are folk. Every society has it’s genius’s and it’s psychopaths, as far as I know. Every society has it’s dictators and it’s democrats.

    It seems to me that we are fighting a shadow war, where media and the like, tell us who to hate, who to despise. I am not going to play that game.

  32. douglas clark — on 20th October, 2007 at 8:30 am  

    Typo alert!

    An antway is an interesting concept, like a motorway, though perhaps a bit smaller. Anyway.

  33. bikhair aka taqiyyah — on 20th October, 2007 at 8:49 am  

    Doug,

    Who the hell cares what David T is?

  34. Refresh — on 20th October, 2007 at 8:59 am  

    “HP gave this blog its early prominence and for that they’ll always be comrades.”

    This sounds so much like Marlon Brando doing his ‘I could have been a contender speech’, in Waterfront.

    I’ve always been puzzled by PP’s peculiar stand on some things, on here and on CiF. Perhaps PP has had two masters for too long. PP readers on PP, and HP readers on CiF.

    I too like David T but would not give his friends houseroom.

    For me it was Nick Cohen in the Observer suggesting PP had ‘sharp writers’. To be honest, at the time it was particularly patchy, and seems to have been improving just lately.

  35. douglas clark — on 20th October, 2007 at 9:07 am  

    bikhair aka taqiyyah,

    Well, I was somewhat fooled by this:

    What do they say about anti semites these days… Its not one who doesnt like Jews, its one who Jews dont like.

    Given that we’d just been discussing David T, I thought there was a grain of truth in what you said, but that it certainly didn’t apply to David T.

    I apologise if I read you wrong.

  36. douglas clark — on 20th October, 2007 at 9:12 am  

    Refresh,

    Can you point me to a better site? I’d love to know. Not DK though, been there, puked.

  37. douglas clark — on 20th October, 2007 at 9:26 am  

    Refresh @ 34,

    Para 4.

    With the exception of Brownie, I agree.

    This is becoming sterile.

    We write and read perhaps the best hope for the future, right here, right now.

    Is optimism to be banned?

  38. Chairwoman — on 20th October, 2007 at 10:12 am  

    None of us, unless we are personally acquainted with him, know whether or not Desmond Tutu is antisemitic, but as he an Archbishop of the Anglican Church, he must, by definition, be so to a degree. Surely his job description, as a scion of a proselytizing religion means he must be anti everything but Christianity, and probably everything that isn’t Anglican Christianity to boot.

    As for AIPAC et al, they are doing exactly what other similar ‘faith’ organisations, and lobby groups in general do. Put their own spin on things.

    They’ve been doing it for a long time, but don’t worry, the other interest groups are catching up fast :-)

  39. Katy Newton — on 20th October, 2007 at 10:16 am  

    Its not one who doesnt like Jews, its one who Jews dont like.

    Oh, really. And does the same go for Islamophobia, Bikhair? And do you really think there’s a grain of truth in that, Douglas? I guess the Parliamentary report that identified a steady rise in antisemitism and attacks on Jews in the UK just made it up, did it? Or perhaps they’re in the pay of that powerful, powerful Jewish lobby that Tutu referred to in his speech in Boston? I don’t care how great a man Tutu has been in other respects, that was fucking offensive and he of all people should have known better than to say it.

    Nice site this has turned into, Sunny. A blog where every thread ends up slagging off Harry’s Place and where it’s open season on the Jews as long as you can dress it up as criticism of Israel. Congratulations.

  40. douglas clark — on 20th October, 2007 at 10:23 am  

    Chairwoman,

    Oh, come off it. On that basis, he must be against every other religion on the planet! So he is anti Muslim, anti Jain, anti, etc, etc.

    It is wrong to play the game of assuming that he is antisemitic on that basis, is it not?. Where is all this inter-faith dialogue I keep hearing about?

    All you faith based folk believe in a similar sky fairy. What’s not to like about Desmond Tutu?

    :-)

    Good to see you back, you controversialist, you!

  41. Chairwoman — on 20th October, 2007 at 10:36 am  

    Douglas

    Exactly! That is by its very nature what Christianity stands for. Christianity, BTW, not the teachings of Christ, two very different animals.

    Actually the thing I remember Desmond Tutu for is wearing a T shirt that said ‘Just call me Arch’.

  42. Refresh — on 20th October, 2007 at 10:51 am  

    Great to see the team back. Hi Katy and Chairwoman.

    Douglas, I am still optimistic about PP. It is the only blog site I give my advertsing custom to.

    Its got places to go – somehow its got to shed HP. PP can stand on its own two feet.

    Perhaps Sunny needs to pick a fight with them somehow.

  43. douglas clark — on 20th October, 2007 at 10:52 am  

    Katy,

    And do you really think there’s a grain of truth in that, Douglas?

    Er, yes. In fact, I do. I do think that Jews, when they are losing an arguement, pull out the religious red card. It is not pretty, and it is not clever.
    It is what religious folk do. Feel free to join the ranks of other religions that pull a similar trick.

    I am not aware of the speech that you claim he made, could you perhaps provide a link? As far as I can see, right wing Zionists lied about what he had said, to the extent that they made up quotes. You, Katy might find that acceptable, I do not.

    BTW, your lot must be the first people in history to see being acknowleged as powerful as an insult. Although I’d like you to prove that that was ever said.

    You were the one that walked away from here in a huff, if I remember correctly. And as far as I remember it had bugger all to do with your faith.

    I am on record as saying that both Brownie and David T are good blokes, what more do you want of me.? Frankly, I’d assume they are both Jews, but I really don’t know or care. Have you got that? I think you have an incredibly forensic brain, what more do you want of me?

    And frankly, Katy, I couldn’t care less about what your religion is, I’d tell what I see as true, anyway.

  44. ZinZin — on 20th October, 2007 at 11:13 am  

    Katy, Sunny can’t you two kiss and make up, I hate to think that you two have fallen out.

  45. Katy Newton — on 20th October, 2007 at 11:15 am  

    Douglas – it’s in the Tony Karon site that YOU linked to. Call me crazy, but I assumed that as YOU’D referred to it YOU had read it:

    http://tonykaron.com/2007/10/03/my-favorite-anti-semite/

    Karon quotes the Boston speech of Tutu thus:

    “People are scared in this country [the U.S.] to say wrong is wrong because the Jewish lobby is powerful – very powerful. Well, so what? This is God’s world. For goodness sake, this is God’s world! We live in a moral universe. The apartheid government was very powerful, but today it no longer exists. Hitler, Mussolini, Stalin, Pinochet, Milosovic, and Idi Amin were all powerful, but in the end they bit the dust.

    I assume you’re not going to suggest that Karon is misquoting Tutu here?

  46. Katy Newton — on 20th October, 2007 at 11:18 am  

    And perhaps you can see why it looks as if this “Jewish lobby” that Tutu’s pulled out of the ether is being compared to Hitler, Mussolini, Stalin, Pinochet, Milosevic and Idi Amin?

    But no, you’re right, why would Jews find that offensive? We know exactly how vile and manipulative we are because that’s what we keep being told, all the time.

  47. douglas clark — on 20th October, 2007 at 11:18 am  

    Anyway, I am deeply offended that someone who writes for the Devil, has the right to come on here and say what you said.

    Nice site this has turned into, Sunny. A blog where every thread ends up slagging off Harry’s Place and where it’s open season on the Jews as long as you can dress it up as criticism of Israel. Congratulations.

    Firstly, it is not true that every thread ends up slagging Harrys Place. That is an out and out lie.

    It is also not at all true that it’s open season on Jews. (Y’know what Katy, I nearly gagged writing that, but you seem to be able to say it without any sort of inhibition). Point me to it.

  48. Katy Newton — on 20th October, 2007 at 11:24 am  

    Oh, change the record, Douglas. If Sunny wants to ban me I’m sure he will but I don’t think I’ve done anything to warrant it, nor do I think – if he did decide to – that my writing for the Devil’s Kitchen would have anything to do with it. You can see from the above that Tutu did in fact refer to the Jewish lobby. Have you got anything to say to that or not?

  49. Katy Newton — on 20th October, 2007 at 11:25 am  

    Y’know what Katy, I nearly gagged writing that

    I nearly gagged at Bikhair’s glib little dismissal of antisemitism, but you seemed able to agree to it without any inhibition. I also nearly gagged at your use of “your lot” and “I think Jews pull out the religious card” as if what one Jew does means that all Jews do it. Don’t you see how you sound?

  50. douglas clark — on 20th October, 2007 at 11:30 am  

    Katy at 45,

    What the fuck, (fuck just to make you feel you are in your new home), are you on about?
    You quoted Desmond Tutu thus:

    “My heart aches. I say, why are our memories so short? Have our Jewish sisters and brothers forgotten their humiliation? Have they forgotten the collective punishment, the home demolitions, in their own history so soon? Have they turned their backs on their profound and noble religious traditions? Have they forgotten that God cares deeply about the downtrodden?

    “Israel will never get true security and safety through oppressing another people. A true peace can ultimately be built only on justice. We condemn the violence of suicide bombers, and we condemn the corruption of young minds taught hatred; but we also condemn the violence of military incursions in the occupied lands, and the inhumanity that won’t let ambulances reach the injured.

    “The military action of recent days, I predict with certainty, will not provide the security and peace Israelis want; it will only intensify the hatred.

    “Israel has three options: revert to the previous stalemated situation; exterminate all Palestinians; or – and I hope this will be the road taken – to strive for peace based on justice, based on withdrawal from all the occupied territories, and the establishment of a viable Palestinian state on those territories side by side with Israel, both with secure borders.

    “We in South Africa had a relatively peaceful transition. If our madness could end as it did, it must be possible to do the same everywhere else in the world. South Africa is a beacon of hope for the rest of the world. If peace could come to South Africa, surely it can come to the Holy Land.”

    Is that it? That is supposed to be anti semitic? Get a grip Katy.

  51. Katy Newton — on 20th October, 2007 at 11:34 am  

    *sigh*

    The paragraph that I quoted is further down the page on the same post, Douglas. Read the whole thing. I don’t make these things up.

  52. Katy Newton — on 20th October, 2007 at 11:37 am  

    Just for the record, Douglas, I stopped posting here because I didn’t have time. If you can bring yourself to look at the Kitchen you’ll see that I post there very rarely. I don’t know if you think it’s clever to keep whingeing about the fact that I write for Devil’s Kitchen or about the fact that DK uses strong language, but I promise you: it isn’t. It’s pathetic.

  53. Chairwoman — on 20th October, 2007 at 11:39 am  

    Why am I offended by being called powerful? Because it palpably isn’t true.

    If we, as a people, had always had the power we are credited with, then we would not have seen 6,000,000 of us exterminated by Hitler’s regime, and Israel would not be constantly on a war footing, because everything would have gone her way.

    Sure, there are some powerful Jews, but they are only powerful in the way that every other powerful person is, either money and/or influence.

    Let us take the ‘powerful’ Lord Levy as an example. How powerful was he? Certainly he had the ear of the Prime Minister, but the honours he was accused of giving were not within his power to give, only within the Prime Minister’s. Yet he was the one who was vilified and accused. It was only when he threatened to spill the beans that somebody called the dogs off.

    Is that the sort of power you mean?

    Or is it a man like Philip Green who has the power to put on ostentatious parties in the South of France, and to sell many clothes?

    Do you really believe those old canards that the USA regularly goes to war at Israel’s behest? Can someone tell me what advantage there is to to Israel for American and British soldiers to be in Iraq.

    I may be out of practice at this, but frankly, words fail me!

  54. douglas clark — on 20th October, 2007 at 11:42 am  

    Katy @ 48,

    No, you change the record. What you said was untrue and scurrilous. I am the guy that argues that, it doesn’t matter who you are, or where you come from, your opinion is OK. That applies to Jews, too. Now watch you make a mountain out of that.

    And I’d certainly not want to see you banned. That would be ridiculous.

  55. Chris Stiles — on 20th October, 2007 at 11:46 am  

    None of us, unless we are personally acquainted with him, know whether or not Desmond Tutu is antisemitic, but as he an Archbishop of the Anglican Church, he must, by definition, be so to a degree. Surely his job description, as a scion of a proselytizing religion means he must be anti everything but Christianity

    When someone says that they believe that something is true – then they are implicitly claiming that every competing assertion is false.

    There might be an aim to persuade – but there is no implicit threat to kill, irradicate, wipe out, etc.
    Extend this to sport, politics or advertising and see how ludicrous it sounds.

  56. Chairwoman — on 20th October, 2007 at 11:50 am  

    Chris Stiles

    I do not for one instant think that every antisemite intends to kill, irradicate or wipe Jews out. That does not stop them being antisemitic.

  57. Katy Newton — on 20th October, 2007 at 11:52 am  

    Douglas, you were the one who talked about “Jews doing this” and “your lot doing that”. If you had said “some Jews play the religion card” I’d have agreed with you, because some Jews do, just like some Muslims do, and some Hindus do, and so on and so on. But all Jews don’t. And I find it offensive that Bikhair would imply that antisemitism is all in the Jewish mind, and that you would agree with her.

    I am astonished that a man like Desmond Tutu would refer to the “Jewish lobby”. I don’t believe that he is an antisemite in the sense of wanting Jews dead or deported or exterminated, but I do think that he should know better than to talk about the “Jewish lobby”, unless of course he wants people to feel that it’s all right to believe that Jews run the world because Desmond Tutu said they did.

    You obviously feel I’m playing the religion card. I’m not. This is a post about antisemitism, isn’t it? I didn’t say anything at all until Bikhair’s crack about antisemitism just being when Jews don’t like someone, and the reason I commented then is because I found it offensive and I found it offensive that you would agree with her. And not a single person on this thread apart from me has actually bothered to point out that whilst some Jews may play the religion card, that doesn’t mean that antisemitism doesn’t exist and isn’t on the rise. So you tell me what I’ve said that was “scurrilous” and “untrue”.

  58. douglas clark — on 20th October, 2007 at 11:54 am  

    Katy,

    OK, keys? As in, lets stop hitting each other.

    I do not like or admire the DK method of communication. I think it stinks, but there you go, that is just my opinion.

    I do think you have an incredibly good brain, and that walking away in a huff was frankly a huge loss for this web site. I do not think that coming back and accusing us of being new born anti semites is realistic, useful, or true.

    Katy, you used to write some great stuff on here. I’d rather you rejoined the club than retreated into some South African laager.

  59. Katy Newton — on 20th October, 2007 at 11:57 am  

    I do not think that coming back and accusing us of being new born anti semites is realistic, useful, or true

    Do you really not understand why I found Bikhair’s comment offensive, Douglas? I mean, do you really not see that saying that antisemitism is when Jews don’t like someone is offensive?

  60. Rumbold — on 20th October, 2007 at 11:59 am  

    Katy:

    “And not a single person on this thread apart from me has actually bothered to point out that whilst some Jews may play the religion card, that doesn’t mean that antisemitism doesn’t exist and isn’t on the rise.”

    I agree with you Katy. Just because not everybody labelled an anti-semite is an anti-semite does not mean that there aren’t any. I agree with Douglas about Tutu though. Obviously the man does not like Israel, but I do not think that makes him anti-semitic per se.

  61. Chris Stiles — on 20th October, 2007 at 11:59 am  

    I do not for one instant think that every antisemite intends to kill, irradicate or wipe Jews out. That does not stop them being antisemitic

    But your claim is somewhat more specific than that – that anyone who feels that Jewish religious beliefs are wrong and prosletytizes along those lines is an anti-semite. Do you think Daniel Dennett as a proselytizing atheist is an anti-semite? What does ‘anti-semite’ actually mean in this context?

  62. douglas clark — on 20th October, 2007 at 12:14 pm  

    Katy @ 57,

    Would it have been better if I had not replied whatsoever to bikhair aka taqiyyah at post 30? My point to him, and honestly, my point to you, is clear cut. I don’t give a fuck about folks religions – see post 31 – and I’d expect that to be reciprocated?

    OK, here it is again:

    I do not know for sure if David T is a Jew or not, ’cause from my point of view, it is entirely irrelevant, and not worth a lot of effort to establish. Hopefully, from Davis T’s perspective, the fact that I am an atheist wouldn’t phase him either.

    Antway, could we please give up this idea that everyone, of every race, is a stereotype?

    Folk are folk. Every society has it’s genius’s and it’s psychopaths, as far as I know. Every society has it’s dictators and it’s democrats.

    It seems to me that we are fighting a shadow war, where media and the like, tell us who to hate, who to despise. I am not going to play that game.

    That is where I am coming from. And I quite admire most of the Jews I’ve met, so there.

  63. sahil — on 20th October, 2007 at 12:16 pm  

    Katy you said above:

    “I am astonished that a man like Desmond Tutu would refer to the “Jewish lobby”.”

    Well AIPAC itself considers itself a lobby and says that it is “Consistently ranked as the most influential foreign policy lobbying organization on Capitol Hill”:

    http://www.aipac.org/Publications/PressAIPACStatements/AIPAC_Working_closely_5-10-04.pdf

    I understand why you’d be pissed off with this entire “Jews are trying to take over the world” Nazi crap, but to argue that there are no Jewish lobby groups in US politics is nonsense. Does that mean all Jews agree with AIPAC, absolutely not. What i find bizarre about this is that you would think AIPAC representing Jewish opinion on capitol hill is ok. These guys are hard right nationalists, they are not simply trying to protect Israel’s right to exist, they are trying to take forward their own extreme world-view of Israel not liberal Jewish opinion.

    “I find it offensive that Bikhair would imply that antisemitism is all in the Jewish mind, and that you would agree with her.”

    I know you referred this to Douglas and he can speak for himself, but then to also say:

    “A blog where every thread ends up slagging off Harry’s Place and where it’s open season on the Jews as long as you can dress it up as criticism of Israel.”

    is just as much out of line. I know anti-semitic attacks are up, the criminal acts have been recorded and are a worrying trend that needs to be addressed. But to say ALL people who read a blog like PP as endorsing anti-semitic views is nuts, and pisses off people who have a lot of time to understand Israel’s security concerns and the very real danger it faces.

  64. douglas clark — on 20th October, 2007 at 12:43 pm  

    Sahil,

    Och, this is getting silly. If you say you don’t think the existing policy of Israel in relation to Palestinians, is precisely right, then you are immediately labelled an anti semite.

    Pish!

    Now, it seems, if you think Harry’s Place is up it’s arse on liberal interventionism, without having a scooby about the definition or the justification, you are also an anti semite.

    This is not debate, this is nonsense.

  65. Katy Newton — on 20th October, 2007 at 12:47 pm  

    That’s exactly what I mean! Why do you say that AIPAC is a Jewish interest lobby? They aren’t. They are an Israel lobby working from an American base. They don’t even speak for American Jews, let alone Jews worldwide. And I haven’t once said that I consider it acceptable or ok for them to represent Jewish interests. Where do you get that? It seems to me that people generally conflate Israel and Judaism when it suits them but then separate them when it suits them as well – as for example when it’s suggested that to speak of a Jewish lobby is to repeat an age-old antisemitic slur.

    As for what I said about open season on the Jews, I’m sorry you feel offended by it, but I have been made to feel very uncomfortable by what has been said on this thread and I still don’t see anyone apart from Rumbold agreeing that what Bikhair said was wrong. I know that you were trying to smooth things over but you yourself have fallen into the trap of confusing Jewish interests and the Israel lobby, which is exactly what everyone tells me I’m doing on virtually every thread on this subject.

    Finally, given that Sunny himself has commented on the fact that his readers seem to be obsessed with HP I’m not sure why what I said is considered to be so utterly slanderous.

  66. Katy Newton — on 20th October, 2007 at 12:50 pm  

    Och, this is getting silly. If you say you don’t think the existing policy of Israel in relation to Palestinians, is precisely right, then you are immediately labelled an anti semite.

    I hope that’s not directed at me, Douglas, and if it is I look forward to any links you can provide in support of it. I’ve never said anything of the kind and you know it.

  67. Katy Newton — on 20th October, 2007 at 12:57 pm  

    And I quite admire most of the Jews I’ve met, so there.

    I imagine some of your best friends are Jews.

  68. sahil — on 20th October, 2007 at 1:03 pm  

    “I know that you were trying to smooth things over but you yourself have fallen into the trap of confusing Jewish interests and the Israel lobby, which is exactly what everyone tells me I’m doing on virtually every thread on this subject.”

    I just looked at my post and yes I did mix the two up and I am sorry because that was certainly not my intention. However you should be able to see that AIPAC itself conflates Jewishness with only their narrow viewpoint concerning Israel. They are themselves trying to confuse their arguments with Jewish opinion, to stop any criticism of their viewpoints in the US by labelling anyone holding another viewpoint as either anti-semitic or a self-hating Jew.

    As for it being open season on Jews, let me say as a reader of PP, I do not agree with what Bikhair said and think it is at best “out of line”, as I implied by being aware of rises in Anti-Semitic attacks that have been recorded and on the rise.

    As for HP well I’m not a reader for a variety of reasons, but I was not even aware that the lead writers may be Jewish. I really don’t care, I’ll read the writer’s arguments on their own merits and tell them to piss off if I disagree, and happily congratulate them if I believe they have written a good article. A case in point, the support for Iraqi government workers who have been left to the devices of death squads is something I completely agree with HP. Their continued support for liberal interventionism is something I completely disagree with.

  69. Chairwoman — on 20th October, 2007 at 1:04 pm  

    AIPAC represents a facet of Jewish opinion on Capitol Hill. Other facets are represented in other ways all over the USA. And it’s as OK for them to push their agenda as it is for any other pressure group, and is probably no more effectual, despite received wisdom, than any other.

    As for the Archbishop, it ill behoves him to talk about Israel’s short memory. Jewish South Africans were extremely active in the anti apartheid movement. I myself had relatives forced to leave SA because of their anti apartheid politics, and the movement then was happy enough to take Jewish money.

    Unfortunately everybody has short memories, and I think this is definately a case of two kitchen utensils accusing the other of being a different colour.

  70. douglas clark — on 20th October, 2007 at 1:05 pm  

    OK, Katy,

    I take it you meant CAMERA? ‘Cause, as far as I know, I’ve said nothing whatsoever about AIPAC. Correct me if I’m wrong?

    I still don’t see anyone apart from Rumbold agreeing that what Bikhair said was wrong.

    Jesus Christ, Katy, what do you think was the point of my post at 31? Bikhar’s post at 30 was obviously, humungously, wrong. You must be the only woman on the planet that thinks I’m subtle :-)

  71. Chairwoman — on 20th October, 2007 at 1:06 pm  

    And as for Harry’s Place and Devil’s Kitchen, more power to both their elbows, as to PP’s.

    I love a robust blogosphere.

  72. sahil — on 20th October, 2007 at 1:08 pm  

    PS Chairwomen good to see you back :D !! Are you out of the hospital for good, or any further appointments needed?

  73. Katy Newton — on 20th October, 2007 at 1:11 pm  

    Douglas – the AIPAC thing was addressed to Sahil.

    Sahil – I know that AIPAC thinks that Jewish interests and Israeli interests are the same, but that doesn’t mean that they are. AIPAC, like all interest groups, speaks only for itself. I share Sunny’s intense dislike of so-called community representative groups; they do their communities far more harm than good.

    Re the HP thing – I wasn’t suggesting that that was in any way antisemitic; I don’t know whether any of their writers are Jewish or not. It’s just struck me recently that an awful lot of threads on here tend to end up with people slagging off HP even when there is no connection between HP and the post subject, and it’s just annoying.

  74. douglas clark — on 20th October, 2007 at 1:13 pm  

    Katy,

    At 67. Er no, I don’t have many folk I’d count as current friends and none of them are Jews. Those that I did know were OK though. I really object to being characterised like that. It is a cheap trick, is it not?

  75. douglas clark — on 20th October, 2007 at 1:16 pm  

    Chairwoman at 71,

    I’d really like an update on how you are keeping. You seem very fit for the fray!

  76. Chairwoman — on 20th October, 2007 at 1:20 pm  

    Sahil

    Hi and thanks for asking :-) . My 10 1/2 weeks in hospital gave me some improvement, but ultimately they couldn’t provide the specialist treatment needed. I am going to have to into a different hospital for this treatment, possibly within the next few weeks, for about 5 weeks.

    Ho hum. Just when I started to feel like me again.

  77. Chairwoman — on 20th October, 2007 at 1:21 pm  

    Thanks to you too Douglas, we crossed in the ether, so to speak.

  78. Katy Newton — on 20th October, 2007 at 1:24 pm  

    Was it a cheap trick? I don’t think so. You have to bear in mind that you also told me that in your opinion Jews play the religious card whenever they’re losing an argument (see above) and you did seem to be saying to Bikhair that you agreed with what she said, although you didn’t think that it applied to David T. If in fact I’ve completely misunderstood you then that’s great but I can only go on the things that you say.

  79. douglas clark — on 20th October, 2007 at 1:25 pm  

    Chairwoman,

    Indeed we did! Best wishes.

  80. sahil — on 20th October, 2007 at 1:35 pm  

    Katy I completely agree with this self-appointed ‘community leaders’ nonsense. Any lobby can only speak for itself and only itself, I just wish more people held this opinion. Specific arguments should be challenged on their own merit not with everything under the sun.

    Chairwomen, I’m sure Tutu is well aware of the large numbers of Jewish activists fighting for the end to apartheid. What I’m going to say can be viewed in many way but here goes:

    I have studied economics as my major discipline and the most liberal opinions I have ever read have usually been from Jewish academics/activists who have usually always been at the forefront of civil rights movements and leading ‘liberal’ causes. I guess that’s why some people like me find it weird that when it comes to Israel I hear many JEWS with amongst others evangelicals (not exactly liberal) being so in tune with illiberal ideas to settle essentially a land contract issue. I know how patronising this sounds as Jews are not some homogenous group, but they are almost liberal is nearly every big social issue e.g. abortion, civil marriages, immigrants rights etc. So when it comes to Israel I hear some very extreme things and this completely throws me off. What I also find dangerous about this issue is that AIPAC endorsing Jews may think having hard-right Christians as friends is a good idea, but look at this:

    http://www.editorandpublisher.com/eandp/news/article_display.jsp?vnu_content_id=1003657196

  81. sahil — on 20th October, 2007 at 1:39 pm  

    Chairwomen sorry to hear that. I myself have now got a pinched nerve for life (meaning I lose sensation of the right side of my body if I work out too much) because the NHS could only give me one physiotherapy treatment in 3 months and then I had to leave London to go to Edinburgh. Great stuff the NHS.

  82. douglas clark — on 20th October, 2007 at 1:41 pm  

    Katy,

    You’d assume that it is only fair to commentate on something if you are closely and immediately involved? Ho hum for the independent observer then.

    I’d agree with you that my post at 35 was perhaps ambiguous, but I’d really, really like you to read everything I write and not jump on a single comment. Frankly, I’ve given you that breathing space, to the extent of ending up agreeing with your arguement when my first reaction was to say ‘what rubbish’. In other words, I read all of what you write, and agree or disagree with you on that basis.

    Would it be inappropriate to ask you whether you see some Jews as using a defensive mechanism based on displaying aggressive plumage, or not?

    I have already said that I exclude David T and Brownie from any such analysis. Can I make it clear that I’d exclude you and Chairwoman from it too? And Bananabrain. You are not the dafties.

    But it does seem to be a defensive mechanism.

  83. Katy Newton — on 20th October, 2007 at 1:46 pm  

    You’d assume that it is only fair to commentate on something if you are closely and immediately involved? Ho hum for the independent observer then.

    *baffled*

    I don’t know what you’re talking about there. I’m sorry.

    Would it be inappropriate to ask you whether you see some Jews as using a defensive mechanism based on displaying aggressive plumage, or not?

    but I have SAID so myself. I said at 57 above that if you had said “some Jews play the religious card” I’d have agreed with you. But you just said “Jews”. And then you talked about “my lot”. You’re the one who keeps talking about Jews as a group, as I keep pointing out.

  84. douglas clark — on 20th October, 2007 at 1:51 pm  

    Sahil,

    I had to leave London to go to Edinburgh

    I hope you get better soon. Hopefully you’ll stay.

  85. sahil — on 20th October, 2007 at 1:54 pm  

    “Sahil,

    I had to leave London to go to Edinburgh

    I hope you get better soon. Hopefully you’ll stay.”

    Thanks dude, but this was a while ago, in 2003, have moved back to London, but I really miss Edinburgh and Glasgow. I think I may retire up near Avimore if that’s a possibility in 30 years time. Still have the fucking pinched nerve though.

  86. Sid — on 20th October, 2007 at 2:07 pm  

    HP took moral relativism to new heights when one of the writers claimed, I think it was that depressing Brownie chap, that Bernard Manning wasn’t racist. A curious display of liberal guilt since Bernard Manning was the master of the racist joke and never apologised for being a genius of the artform.

  87. Katy Newton — on 20th October, 2007 at 2:10 pm  

    I didn’t think that Bernard Manning’s racist credentials were in doubt. We are as one on that subject. But what I’ve noticed is that a thread will start on a post about something that doesn’t refer to HP at all, and at some stage someone will say something like “I’m sure they’d agree with this at HP” or “of course at HP they’d LOVE this” and the next thing you know everyone’s slagging off HP, and it just seems a bit bizarre.

  88. douglas clark — on 20th October, 2007 at 2:13 pm  

    Katy,

    “*baffled*”.

    It was probably a dig at this:

    I imagine some of your best friends are Jews.

    Read post 43 again. Try to understand that it is not an attack, it is a comment on how defensive some Jews appear to be to criticism, and what they do to deflect it.

    Try to comprehend why I think it is a busted flush as a debating technique.

    And I’d add, I don’t care about your religion, but I do care about you.

  89. Katy Newton — on 20th October, 2007 at 2:20 pm  

    Douglas.

    I’m starting to wonder if you read your own comments now.

    Why you are now asking me to “try to comprehend” why playing the religious card is wrong, I really do not know.

    I have already said that some Jews do play what you call the religious card and that I do not approve of it.

    What I took issue with was your suggestion that Jews as a GROUP do it, as opposed to SOME Jews doing it.

    I have said this about eight hundred times and you just don’t seem to take it in.

  90. douglas clark — on 20th October, 2007 at 2:49 pm  

    Katy,

    Are you a prosecution lawyer? Just asking, ’cause this feels more like a prosecution than a discussion.

    As far as I know, I’ve already conceded that point. When I say that David T and Brownie, Chairwoman and Bananabrain and your very good self do not fit into that category, and I tell you I don’t actually know any Jews personally, it would seem obvious to me that the point you are laboriously attempting to make has already been comprehensively conceded.

    So, I don’t know what you are on about.

    Or, perhaps this is a form of Inquisition?

    If I had put the word ‘some’ into line one of post 43, would I be off the hook?

    If, instead of taking a legalistic route you’d just said, Douglas, see in line one of post 43, you’d be better off inserting ‘some’, I’d have accepted that, there and then, but you had to go all around the houses.

    Christ, lawyers.

  91. Katy Newton — on 20th October, 2007 at 2:50 pm  

    I did say that, Douglas, you just don’t read what I’m saying! All the way through this I’ve been saying “I don’t like it that you’re saying “Jews” instead of “some Jews” and you’ve just been ignoring it and now you’re saying I went round the houses! I WAS FOLLOWING YOU!

  92. Katy Newton — on 20th October, 2007 at 2:52 pm  

    I said it at 49 and 57! Go and look!

  93. douglas clark — on 20th October, 2007 at 3:02 pm  

    Katy @ 92,

    Post 43,

    Me:

    I am on record as saying that both Brownie and David T are good blokes, what more do you want of me.? Frankly, I’d assume they are both Jews, but I really don’t know or care. Have you got that? I think you have an incredibly forensic brain, what more do you want of me?

    And frankly, Katy, I couldn’t care less about what your religion is, I’d tell what I see as true, anyway.

    Substantially earlier than either of your two missives. Try reading what I say. You and I are most certainly not on the same wavelength. You assume I automatically misunderstand you and the feeling is, frankly, mutual.

  94. Katy Newton — on 20th October, 2007 at 3:12 pm  

    No. I’m sorry, Douglas, but the fact that you think that Brownie and David T are “good blokes” is nothing to do with whether you also think that Jews as a group play the “religious card”. That’s actually on a par with “some of my best friends are Jews”, which is why I said that to you.

    The answer to your question ” would I be off the hook if I had said ‘some Jews’” is yes – you would have been, and I am sorry it has taken you this long to work out that that was my point.

  95. El Cid — on 20th October, 2007 at 3:13 pm  

    Sorry Katy but there occasions when “anti-semitism dressed up as criticism of Israel” is an underhand desperate diversion dressed up as an argument.
    Seriously, get a grip (I don’t want to be provocative but some of your arguments ring hollow from where I’m standing). Ultimately it’s about trust.

    Just because not everybody labelled an anti-semite is an anti-semite does not mean that there aren’t any.
    Wow

  96. Katy Newton — on 20th October, 2007 at 3:16 pm  

    Jesus, El Cid, not you too. I didn’t say there aren’t times when some Jewish people pull the religious card. But I take exception to the idea that antisemitism is just something that Jews make up when they want to stop someone from criticising them. Why do people want to pretend that antisemitism doesn’t exist?

  97. Katy Newton — on 20th October, 2007 at 3:18 pm  

    Oh, I give up. Bikhair says that antisemitism is just when Jews don’t like someone and apparently that’s fine, but God forbid I should take exception to it, eh?

  98. douglas clark — on 20th October, 2007 at 3:30 pm  

    Katy @ 94,

    I am fed up with this. I have already conceded that I should have said ‘some’ Jews, bloody miles back. You are coming across as obsessed, to be honest. I conceded that point at post 31, if you care to read it properly. When I said:

    Antway, could we please give up this idea that everyone, of every race, is a stereotype?

    Folk are folk. Every society has it’s genius’s and it’s psychopaths, as far as I know. Every society has it’s dictators and it’s democrats.

    I can appreciate that the language is not legalistic enough, but I’d have thought the point was pretty plain.

    [Obviously 'antway' is 'anyway' to remove any doubt from your super forensic brain]

    And your ‘some of my best friends are Jews’ comment was completely below the belt. I don’t know any Jains either.

    Don’t mean I don’t have concerns for both groups.

  99. douglas clark — on 20th October, 2007 at 3:41 pm  

    Katy @ 97,

    I’d have thought, correct me if I am wrong, that the more ‘voices’ that there are here, the better. Contrary to what you think, I disagree fundamentally with Bikhair. But creating a rainbow isn’t going to happen if we all go off in a huff, now, is it?

  100. Sid — on 20th October, 2007 at 3:57 pm  

    colostomy bags at dawn…

  101. Don — on 20th October, 2007 at 6:30 pm  

    Nobody likes feeling they have been characterised in some broad generalisation, and they seldom lead to worthwhile insights. Best to avoid them, really.

    Of course powerful lobby groups encourage the idea that their particular agenda is that of a whole swathe of demographics. Of course most jews are not supporting some kind of pro-israel manipulation of academia, the media, the Whitehouse and the economy, any more then most moslems are seeking to impose a medieval theocratic tyranny on the planet, or most christians are looking for ways to pettily humiliate homosexuals.

    But there are well-organised, well-supported, well-funded, often hierarchically authoritative, and very media-savvy groups which do push that line and which encourage the idea that they are the voice of their defined group.

    Not buying into that is, I thought, one of the main reasons for PP’s existence. Not to allow the debate to be framed in that way.

    But a slip of the tongue is a different matter from the venomous little aphorism which started this.

  102. Sunny — on 20th October, 2007 at 11:33 pm  

    Katy, I’m not sure anyone actually AGREED with Bikhair. She says bizarre things, as do people like Morgoth, Soso and many others who will happily slag off all Muslims en-masse. Sometimes they get criticised for it, sometimes people can’t be asked.

    It’s a bit annoying that you take it further from there and insinuate this blog is turned into some Jewish hate-fest. No doubt DK will come along any minute and imply once again I’m an anti-semite etc etc. He’s itching for it.

    Yes, and the constant referrals to HP get annoying. But what can you do. It’s like most commenters on CIF/HP are obsessed by Muslims and are paranoid they’re taking over the world. It’s not exactly uncommon.

  103. Katy Newton — on 21st October, 2007 at 12:37 am  

    Well, generally speaking if Morgoth or Soso slags off Muslims they rightly get an earful. I just don’t see the same reaction when the comments are antisemitic rather than Islamophobic. What Bikhair said wasn’t just bizarre, it was deeply offensive. There are people in my family with numbers tatooed on their arms, don’t tell me antisemitism’s something that Jews made up to suit them. I’d never dream of saying anything like that about any ethnic group and if someone else said it I’d say something to them, as I always have. Nor to my knowledge has any Jewish commenter on this site, if that matters.

    I stayed away from this thread because I knew that whatever I said would be misinterpreted and I’d end up upset, as I have. There’s a real person behind these comments, believe it or not, and it scares the shit out of me when I hear people coming out with that. I know how you all despise the way Jews are still haunted by the Holocaust, but we are. It’s a living memory for our parents and grandparents and we have grown up in its shadow. When we see the way Israel is loathed and the way that hatred spills over into hatred of Jews who’ve never even been to Israel, it frightens us. When it becomes acceptable to say that Jews are this all-powerful group who silence people who speak against them, when people like Bikhair can say “oh yes it’s not people who don’t like Jews it’s people Jews don’t like” and no one says anything, that frightens me too.

    And when I say something about it I get shouted at. Douglas doesn’t appear to remember what he wrote from one moment to the next but his first reaction to what I said wasn’t to say “of course I don’t agree with Bikhair” but to start saying “Jews play the religious card” and “why do your lot take offence at being thought to be powerful” – oh yes, because it’s done us SO much good in the past, why DON’T we embrace other people’s offensive stereotypes? “Oh yes of course some Jews play the religious card”. Sahil acknowledged that I was entitled to be angry about the Jews running the world myth but he still went straight on to say “and anyway AIPAC is a Jewish lobby”, which is (a) factually incorrect and (b) wouldn’t actually justify people thinking that Jews ran the world even if it was correct.

    I’m sorry you think I’m unreasonable but I haven’t seen anything that persuades me that anyone really takes antisemitism seriously.

  104. Katy Newton — on 21st October, 2007 at 12:49 am  

    Or perhaps a better way of putting it is that whilst people take antisemitism seriously in theory, when something offensive to Jews (and I do mean to Jews, not to Israel) is actually said, it doesn’t seem to be recognised as being offensive. There’s no point in being against antisemitism in theory if you’re going to turn a blind eye to it or dismiss it as “bizarre” when it actually happens in front of you.

  105. Katy Newton — on 21st October, 2007 at 12:50 am  

    And as for this Tutu thing, as ever, the Jews end up carrying the can for a stupid, stupid university that’s so paranoid about offending Jews that it would rather try to refuse Tutu entry and leave them to take the blame for it.

  106. Sid — on 21st October, 2007 at 1:06 am  

    Katy, when was the last time you protested anything said by Morgoth and Soso?

  107. Katy Newton — on 21st October, 2007 at 1:17 am  

    You probably have noticed that I haven’t been on here very much until the last couple of days, Sid, but I’m sure you remember that when I read and commented on here regularly I didn’t let Islamophobic comments pass.

  108. Katy Newton — on 21st October, 2007 at 1:21 am  

    Forget it. Just forget it. I’m sorry I said anything on this thread. If you’re all comfortable with what Bikhair said you just sit there and listen to it. I’m done with the lot of you.

  109. Sid — on 21st October, 2007 at 1:30 am  

    I do indeed Katy. I ask because you seem to have been here to witness that whenever they do say anything stupid they normally “get an earful”.

    I think you’ll also agree that qualitatively their comments are, as far as shear offenciveness goes, is an order of magnitude worse than the antisemitic stuff that gets posted. You might have noticed when you were a regular, and it’s hasn’t gotten any better, that the anti-Islamic nutters and their comments far outnumber the antisemitic comments. A lot of it is from trolls and is more often than not, ignored. In fact far more gets ignored than gets picked up.

    Lastly, I do agree with that a lot of the antisemitic stuff, though quantitaively less than the antislamic stuff, does get tolerated more often than not, as just more weird trollbaitery.

  110. Sid — on 21st October, 2007 at 1:34 am  

    sorry about the typos, been down the bar after the Durga Puja ;-)

  111. Katy Newton — on 21st October, 2007 at 1:37 am  

    Well, I don’t really think that any of it should be tolerated, you see. I’m not the sort of person who’s fine with racist abuse as long as it’s not directed at her; I hate all of it. It genuinely upsets me.

    I keep forgetting how fundamentally unsuited I am to political blogging.

  112. Sid — on 21st October, 2007 at 1:49 am  

    political blogging is not about having to take shit from nutters. I think you’re analyses of politics is better than most.

    I also think that antisemitism being around Europe a loy longer than islamophobia, has adopted certain nuances, a language all of it’s own, a gesture here, a flick there. So much so that it has become a language that is picked up being the antisemitic protaganist and jewish people. For most others, who are not privy to this vocabulary, it simply goes over their heads. Whereas the protaganist has pressed all the right buttons without having uttered a single invective, just a sly innuendo. Whereas, muslims know islamophobia because its all paedophile worshipper this and effinig nine year old that.

  113. Sunny — on 21st October, 2007 at 2:08 am  

    I just don’t see the same reaction when the comments are antisemitic rather than Islamophobic.

    We don’t have much anti-semitism posted here, usually it’s Islamophobic stuff. You’ve jumped on it when people haven’t responded to it as example of anti-semitism here, when I’ve tons of times highlighted anti-semitism (incl by Muslims here). There’s no ambiguity on where this blog stands on racism of all kinds. And yet you’re happy to take one comment as example of a general trend,

    I stayed away from this thread because I knew that whatever I said would be misinterpreted and I’d end up upset, as I have.

    The problem is more we get annoyed that you’re mis-interpreting us. Examples below.

    I know how you all despise the way Jews are still haunted by the Holocaust, but we are.

    This is a good example. I know Sikhs who have been deeply affected by 1984 and they still campaign about it. I criticise fundamental organisations like the Sikh Federation who campaign about it, I even get annoyed at Sikhs who burn the Indian flag in London every year. But I’m in no way unsympathetic to what happened to Sikhs then and I know why they would be angry at it.

    Why would you assume that I despise Jews that are haunted by the Holocaust? You’re assuming this because you think we don’t care about Jews? Do you think we’re anti-semitic but don’t want to say it?

    When we see the way Israel is loathed and the way that hatred spills over into hatred of Jews who’ve never even been to Israel, it frightens us.

    In all fairness, there is more anti-Islam / and anti-Muslim rhetoric floating around these days than anti-semitism. One only has to read what Martin Amis said and how many supporters he still has. Agreed, criticism of Israel spills into anti-semitism. Criticism of fanatic Muslims spills into racism agasint Muslims in general. We have to watch out for both but that criticism still has to be there.

    But of course, racism is not a zero-sum game. An increase in Islamophobia has been accompanied by an increase in anti-semitism (by Muslims).

    And as for this Tutu thing, as ever, the Jews end up carrying the can for a stupid, stupid university that’s so paranoid about offending Jews that it would rather try to refuse Tutu entry and leave them to take the blame for it.

    True, which is what I said above. And this isn’t dissimilar to the annual scare-stories about Muslims banning Christmas when 90% of the time they have nothing to do with it. I loathe all this kind of stupidity.

    And when I say something about it I get shouted at.

    As far as I can see, Douglas gets annoyed when you put words in his mouth.

    Similarly, you said above we despise Jews for going on about the Holocaust. That is a HUGE assumption to make and you’re tarring everyone here with that brush. Is it any surprise people get annoyed?

  114. Katy Newton — on 21st October, 2007 at 3:12 am  

    Thanks, Sid.

    Sunny, I’ve tried to explain how I feel and I still feel that you’re ticking me off.

    Firstly, I didn’t put words in Douglas’s mouth. I can’t help it if he didn’t say what he meant, can I? But it’s right here on the thread to read and I’m not going to argue with you about it. I will just say I’m surprised that you can look at his language of “Jews this” and “your lot” that and not see why I was offended by it.

    Secondly, the reason I said what I said about the Holocaust was because it is very difficult for Jews to talk about the Holocaust without being accused of emotional blackmail. You must be aware that it’s another of the “cards” that we’re supposed, as a people, to play to deflect criticism. And you must remember that I’m not just addressing my comments to you – this isn’t an email conversation that we’re having. I can think of a few regular commenters who will see the word “Holocaust” in what I’ve said and immediately think that I’m trying to shut you up by guilt tripping you. I’m not. I’m trying to explain, not just to you but to anyone who reads this, that we as a people have been here before, that there has not to date been a single century that didn’t involve at least one major atrocity against the Jews in Europe – the Holocaust was the largest in scale, yes, but pogroms and expulsions and purges had been happening all over Europe on a regular basis since the Jews first arrived in Europe. The lesson we all grew up with was NEVER FORGET and NEVER AGAIN. Sometimes that leads people to be oversensitive and there will always be people who turn these things into a career or a vehicle for their own advancement – which is despicable, but that shouldn’t lead people to think that antisemitism doesn’t exist or is a Jewish construct to deflect criticism.

    In all fairness, there is more anti-Islam / and anti-Muslim rhetoric floating around these days than anti-semitism.

    I don’t agree with that. I agree that Islamophobia is more overtly expressed, but I think that Sid has hit the nail on the head when he says that antisemitism has been around so long in Europe that it’s developed its own language.

    I don’t really see much point in continuing to talk about this. I haven’t been around this site much for a while but I always challenged any racist language that I saw regardless of whether it was directed at Jews or not. I am angry that you continue to see me as being to blame for this when the truth is that Bikhair said something absolutely outrageous and Douglas’s first reaction was to defend it and to ask why Jews found it offensive to be considered powerful. I genuinely can’t believe that you think I’m wrong to find that offensive.

  115. Ravi Naik — on 21st October, 2007 at 3:28 am  

    “Oh, really. And does the same go for Islamophobia, Bikhair? And do you really think there’s a grain of truth in that, Douglas? I guess the Parliamentary report that identified a steady rise in antisemitism and attacks on Jews in the UK just made it up, did it? Or perhaps they’re in the pay of that powerful, powerful Jewish lobby that Tutu referred to in his speech in Boston? I don’t care how great a man Tutu has been in other respects, that was fucking offensive and he of all people should have known better than to say it.”

    You know, the problem with all this discussion is that we don’t agree what an anti-semite is. In my view, the definition of an anti-semite is someone who harbors hate and prejudice against jewish people.

    Based on that definition, Desmond Tutu is not an antisemite, and he is criticising Israel’s appalling foreign policy, and complete lack of vision towards peace. But I do agree with you that he should not have used the term “jewish lobby” but pro-Israel lobby. I also don’t think he is comparing the “jewish lobby” directly with Hitler and so on, but giving examples of injustices that were conquered over time.

    Anti-semitism and Islamophobia are real.
    But they stem from bigots. For those of us that aren’t, it is often too frustrating to talk about Israel and its foreign policy, or indeed Islam and its continuing radicalisation in the West, and be given an automatic red card for antisemitism and islamophobia.

    Eric Alterman, a jewish liberal had this story.

  116. Katy Newton — on 21st October, 2007 at 3:46 am  

    If he had said pro-Israel lobby, there wouldn’t have been a problem. I’m not criticising him for criticising Israel. And I did say, I think, that I did not consider him to be an antisemite in the sense that you describe – insofar as I can know what he does or doesn’t think about Jews as a people.

    I am getting so tired of being blamed for other people’s poor phrasing, I can’t tell you. I wish he hadn’t said it. I wish Bikhair hadn’t said her bit either. I wish Douglas had just said he didn’t agree with her instead of trying to defend her.

    I really wish I wasn’t getting it in the neck for being a Jew who’s offended by people being offensive about Jews. This is so Alice in Wonderland, it’s unbelievable.

  117. Katy Newton — on 21st October, 2007 at 4:37 am  

    Incidentally, Sunny, I note that you’ve been deleting quite a few comments that you found offensive on other posts, for example because they are Islamophobic.

    Is there any particular reason why Bikhair’s has been permitted to remain up there?

    Given that I’d already made it clear that I found it offensive and you do seem to agree that it was offensive?

    I appreciate that at the moment you’re far more interested in having a go at me than in dealing with the offensive material that actually triggered my complaint, but surely if you want me to accept that you take antisemitism as seriously as other forms of racism it would be a good start if you treated her offensive comment in the same way as you have treated other offensive comments?

  118. chrisc — on 21st October, 2007 at 10:46 am  

    Best to leave comments undeleted (un-”moderated” as the Guardian would call it!) in my opinion.
    Then everyone can see where everyone else is “coming from” as it were.

  119. Refresh — on 21st October, 2007 at 11:37 am  

    Everyone’s gone mad.

    Does no one actually read each others posts? And if they do is it read in context?

    And if in context, is it in the context of the header post?

    The best we can achieve is agree to keep commenters on topic. That’s usually done by the originator of the post, but there is an element of self-policing.

    The thread is about Tutu, a fearful University which ends up placing Tutu on the anti-semite list.

    That is a massive topic. It needs to be dealt with. It is in ALL our interests to understand this. And I mean everyone, and then counter it.

  120. Katy Newton — on 21st October, 2007 at 11:58 am  

    For the record, Chris, a few months back when the moderation policy was discussed I was still on board and I was generally against moderation. My point is that if you have such a policy you apply it across the board.

    But I also agree with Refresh. I’m sorry that my comments have derailed this thread, but I do also feel that if people had been quicker to acknowledge that what Bikhair said was out of order it wouldn’t have happened. All I’m asking is that offensive comments be dealt with in the same way no matter who they come from or who they’re directed at, and I don’t think that is too much to expect.

  121. Rumbold — on 21st October, 2007 at 12:48 pm  

    Katy:

    Like you, I do think that anti-semitism is underplayed by some people. Douglas is not one of those people though, as his comment at #31 indicated. I have always found Douglas to be an intelligent commentator who has a dislike for organised religion. I often disagree with him, but would happily describe him as reasonable. His description of AIPAC as a Jewish lobby was incorrect, but now more than that. As Sahil pointed out, AIPAC likes to present itself as lobbying for the Jews, even if in reality it is not.

    ‘Harry’s Place’ is brought up here far too many times, and it suggests a sort of cowardice that the relevent commentators don’t just go and make their complaints on the actual blog. I do not think that Pickled Politics allows anti-semitism to reign unchecked, though it would have been nice if more people had reacted to Bikhair’s anti-semitic comment.

  122. Sid — on 21st October, 2007 at 12:59 pm  

    Well that’s what you get from being de-sensitised to comments against which indicriminately equate all muslims to terrorists, paedophiles and racists or the racism against blacks and asians. There are so many more of those and, not to mention, uninhibitedly offensive nasty remarks, that the large majority of commenters simply ignore and read on. I don’t see many people take exception to those comments, so when the odd antisemitic comment does appear, which at all often, it can get lost in the noise. I reject the insinuation that Sunny is supporting antisemitism because he doesn’t reject every antisemitic comment just as I would if some say that he is anti-muslim because he doesn’t delete every nasty comment against muslims.

  123. Rumbold — on 21st October, 2007 at 1:03 pm  

    Sid:

    “Well that’s what you get from being de-sensitised to comments against which indicriminately equate all muslims to terrorists, paedophiles and racists or the racism against blacks and asians. There are so many more of those and, not to mention, uninhibitedly offensive nasty remarks, that the large majority of commenters simply ignore and read on.”

    That is because we expect them to be deleted soon enough.

    “I reject the insinuation that Sunny is supporting antisemitism because he doesn’t reject every antisemitic comment just as I would if some say that he is anti-muslim because he doesn’t delete every nasty comment against muslims.”

    I do not think that there is an anti-semitic bone in Sunny’s body, and I am sorry that is what you inferred from my comment. I apologise to Sunny unreservedly.

  124. Sid — on 21st October, 2007 at 1:15 pm  

    Rumbold, my comment was not a reply to yours (121) specifically and I’m not accusing you of that insinuation. It was made by Katy but probably more in anger than reason.

    Not all offensive comments get deleted immediately, and many more hang around on threads forever. I usually make it a point to reply to those comments because I enjoy exercising my talent for expletive filled troll

    I don’t like commenting on Harry’s Place because for every sensible commenter there’s 10 hate-filled cretins who’ve made it a point to out-Amis Amis, and who fill out the comments box with their poison. The failure of Harry’s Place is that they’ve allowed that type of commenter to dominate. So it’s just a self defeating waste of time trying to argue there.

  125. Sid — on 21st October, 2007 at 1:18 pm  

    *I usually make it a point to reply to those comments because I enjoy exercising my talent for expletive filled troll-shooting. But the master is, of course, Jagdeep. [deep, respectful bow]

  126. Jai — on 21st October, 2007 at 1:34 pm  

    Katy,

    I know how you all despise the way Jews are still haunted by the Holocaust, but we are.

    With all due respect, exactly who do you mean by the term “all” ? All people on this thread ? All the regular commenters on PP ?

    I am certain that you do not mean “all Muslims” or even “all Asians”, but in any case, this is a serious allegation to make and also a huge generalisation. And within the context of this blog, it’s also very, very wrong, considering that (for example) people like myself and Jagdeep have repeatedly forcefully condemned the objections some drive-by Muslim commenters have had to the fact that Holocaust Memorial Day mainly focuses on what happened to Jewish people, rather than “simultaneously dealing with the suffering of all oppressed peoples around the world.”

    If you’re all comfortable with what Bikhair said you just sit there and listen to it.

    It’s the weekend, Katy. Bear in mind that many regular commenters (myself included) will be getting on with their lives during this time, because the weekend is one of the few breaks we have from extremely stressful, demanding jobs during the weekdays, and we finally have the chance to catch up on other things, generally taking a breather, meeting family obligations and commitments, meeting friends, and so on. Aside from catching up on social emails, accessing the internet in order to go onto online discussion websites and argue with people (either during the daytime or, especially, during the middle of the night) is not necessarily high up on our list of priorities. Those of us who would immediately shoot down the type of remark Bikhair made are simply not around, because we do not spend our lives in front of our computers and we have far too many other responsibilities and activities to deal with. And also bear in mind what Sunny said about how people may ignore such idiotic statements because they’ve become used to such attention-seeking “flame-baiting” by certain individuals, and they just tune it out rather than giving it any more oxygen.

    However, for the record, I think Bikhair’s remark was ridiculously flippant, insensitive, possibly deliberately geared to be “flaming”, and certainly extremely immature. Douglas’s statement about Jewish people “playing the religious red card when they are losing an argument” was also a huge generalisation, needlessly provocative and very offensive.

    I hope this addresses your concerns sufficiently.

  127. Sunny — on 21st October, 2007 at 1:40 pm  

    I only didn’t delete her comment because the rest of the thread is about the now. Then I’d have to delete the entire ensuing discussion. Which I can if you want, I’m just saying.

    I was out last night till very late hence I didn’t delete it. When I came back, this firestorm was raging and I was quite annoyed by your insinuation that this blog had turned into a Jewish hate-fest or that we were happy to tolerate anti-semitism but not Islamophobia.

  128. Katy Newton — on 21st October, 2007 at 2:00 pm  

    we were happy to tolerate anti-semitism but not Islamophobia.

    That’s how I felt. Do you want me to pretend otherwise? You yourself said to me in a comment above that you think there’s more antisemitism than Islamophobia around and that it’s more serious in the way it’s expressed. How is that aimed at making me think that you take antisemitism as seriously as other forms of racism?

    As for what I said about the Holocaust – I’m sorry if you feel I lumped you all together but I notice none of you level the same criticism at Douglas for talking about “Jews” as a homogenous group in exactly the same way.

    What’s actually happened here is that I identified comments that I felt to be offensive, and although you agree that they were offensive, instead of action being taken against the person who said it I’m being attacked for the way in which I expressed my outrage. What part of this, exactly, is fair?

  129. Katy Newton — on 21st October, 2007 at 2:03 pm  

    You know, I still can’t believe the way people are dealing with this. Even you, Jai. You’ve got a comment by Bikhair saying that antisemitism is something Jews made up to shut people up, and me saying “I know you all despise the fact that Jews are still haunted by the Holocaust” and the first thing you do is accuse ME of making a “very serious allegation”. Do you actually think that what I said is more serious than what she said? Seriously?

  130. Sunny — on 21st October, 2007 at 2:08 pm  

    How is that aimed at making me think that you take antisemitism as seriously as other forms of racism?

    As I said above, action against racism is not a zero-sum game. I don’t speak out against Islamophobia and not speak out against anti-semitism. I’d be happy to do both. You agreed there was more overt Islamophobia and very subtle anti-semitism. I agree with you, perhaps that was the distinction I didn’t make.

    But just because I think there is more prejudice against Muslims out there doesn’t mean I cannot challenge anti-semitism when I see it. You’re assuming that, and saying essentially I don’t care about anti-semitism. That is annoying to me.

    I’m sorry if you feel I lumped you all together

    It’s not about feeling, you did actually lump us all together. See Jai’s comment above (which I agree with throughout).

    instead of action being taken against the person who said it I’m being attacked for the way in which I expressed my outrage.

    You’re not being attacked. You’re being pulled up for making generalisations against all the writers and commenters on this blog, that is the annoying part. If you’d simply expressed disgust at Bikhair that would have been fine. But you have to go further and say this is part of a trend at PP, which I find really bizarre since you’re a regular reader here.

  131. Sid — on 21st October, 2007 at 2:09 pm  

    Katy,

    Are you really accusing Sunny and the rest of us as antisemites now because we don’t all respond to covert and overt antisemitic comments in unison? Beware the cavernous, morally relativist black hole that you’re in danger of tripping into because of your own personal failure to respond to every piece of racism that gets posted on this blog.

  132. Katy Newton — on 21st October, 2007 at 2:14 pm  

    Do you know what? If someone, anyone, had just come back and said “Katy, I didn’t see what Bihkair said, if I had seen it I’d have said something and it is completely out of order” that would have been absolutely fine.

    I can’t believe I’m actually in tears over this stupid, fucking website full of people who STILL think that my taking offence is more serious than the vile slur that actually got me upset in the first place. Just close the comments or whatever, but please don’t come back to me on it because I’m actually at the end of my tether with it. All right? Yes, I’m absolutely shit, I’m far, far worse than the people who actually MAKE racist comments, I’m terribly sorry I dared to suggest that you didn’t take Bikhair’s comments as seriously as comments directed to other groups even though you all seem to think that I’ve committed a much more serious sin than she did, and I hope you can all sit here and congratulate yourself on making me feel that pointing out what she said was absolutely futile.

  133. Sunny — on 21st October, 2007 at 2:14 pm  

    Do you actually think that what I said is more serious than what she said? Seriously?

    Let’s take this stept by step Katy.

    No one has yet agreed with what Bikhair said or expressed any support for it. We’re all agreed its a grossly insensitive comment to make.

    But you say you are disgusted by her, and then you accuse all of us of covert anti-semitism, and you want us to let that go?

    If an occasional Jewish commenter here made an offensive remark against Muslims, and someone responded by saying that every other commenter on that blog is culpable in that prejudice, you don’t think that is the first thing people are going to react against?

  134. Katy Newton — on 21st October, 2007 at 2:17 pm  

    you don’t think that is the first thing people are going to react against?

    No. I’d have thought that people would have reacted against the offensive comment first, actually.

    And you have to remember that I waited to see if anyone said anything about it to Bikhair for quite a long time before I commented in the first place.

    Jesus, why am I even still here?

  135. Don — on 21st October, 2007 at 2:18 pm  

    I’d like to agree with Jai: given that the issue is, to an extent, about careless and insensitive generalisations, the phrase ‘I know how you all despise…’ was unfortunate. And untrue.

    I long ago decided that there was no point in responding to Bikhair’s squalid comments. Still, it’s a self-imposed rule and perhaps I should have broken it on this occasion.

    As for HP, I never give it a moment’s thought, but I guess that there is a connection of sorts between the two sites and many people are unhappy at the preponderance of abusive bigots in the comments section, which makes responding to the often worthwhile articles a waste of time. I don’t think anyone is having a go at David T.

    Perhaps the recent spate of HP directed comments has something to do with the fact that a particularly odious specimen has taken to hanging around here bringing the tone down.

    I know I speak for more than myself when I say we miss having you around here, Katy. Even when you are boxing ears.

  136. Katy Newton — on 21st October, 2007 at 2:21 pm  

    we miss having you around here, Katy.

    I’m sure you mean that, Don, but judging by what’s gone before I suspect you speak only for yourself. I did actually see that Jai had said the same thing, which was why I tried to join in a bit more, but I really wish I hadn’t bothered.

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