Dump the charade over Holocaust memorial day


by Sunny
27th January, 2006 at 2:59 pm    

Every year the same charade takes place over the Holocaust Memorial day, commemorated today for the victims of the Nazi exterminations camps.

A big fuss is made over the Muslim Council of Britain’s (MCB) plans to boycott the event, and endless debate over whether they should or not, until the day passes. Nearer to the anniversary in the following year, the same process starts all over again.

The MCB says it finds the term too exclusive, and therefore, while it sympathises and fully understands the horrors of the Jewish holocaust, it prefers not to attend.

For a start, the HMD recognises the killing of other religious and ethnic minorities by Hitler. Regardless, its very claim is hypocritical and disingenuous.

Prior to when this became an annual media circus, the MCB released a statement in 2001 on their website (now bizarrely taken down), giving two reasons why it did not want to participate.

The first, that it “totally excludes and ignores the ongoing genocide and violation of Human Rights in the occupied Palestinian territories, in Jammu and Kashmir and elsewhere”.

The second, that it “includes the controversial question of [the] alleged Armenian genocide as well as the so-called gay genocide”.

It was only after the story became big, and the MCB realised it had only listed Muslims territories, it sought to include actual genocides like that in Rwanda. More recently it has kept adding to the list after reading up on history books, with Cambodia, Vietnam, Bosnia and Darfur now hastily added.

How very subtle.

And then there is the Armenian genocide, where up to 1.5 million Armenians were killed by the Ottoman Turks between 1915-23. The UN clearly labels it a genocide, why doesn’t the MCB?

Simply because it does not want to acknowledge genocides where Muslims have killed others Muslims. Co-incidentally, Turkey also denies the Armenian genocide ever took place.

Another question. Can anyone recall the biggest genocide since the holocaust? It was the Bangladeshi massacre by the Pakistani army on the eve of it liberation in 1971 from Pakistan. Nearly three million killed, thousands of women raped, and no mention from the MCB? It clearly needs more historical consultants.

What about the Turkish and Saddam Hussain’s campaign against the Kurds? Again, no mention by the MCB. It is a testament to the MCB’s insular mentality it does not even realise its hypocrisy is plain to see by everyone other than its loose band of cronies.

The MCB has a point to make – ‘yeah we’re sorry all those Jews died, but what about Muslims? We’re dying too! What about us? And also, why are you remembering the killing of people we would rather ignore?’

Dump the media circus
But I have a suggestion. Dump the media circus and don’t pay any attention to the MCB’s continuous boycott. You see, the MCB actually enjoys this controversy and the stance it takes because it helps maintain credibility with extremist supporters who think everything is a big “Zionist conspiracy”.

It is part of an ongoing race to have the “most victimised minority” badge that the MCB wants. Why should the Jews get all the attention while Muslims are being victimised? They want recognition dammit, even though the number of people dead in Kashmir, Palestine and Chechnya combined does not come close to the number of holocaust victims.

Nor do they compare with the Bangladeshis or Armenians.

The MCB loves the controversy not only because they are seen as standing firm in the face of a “Zionist conspiracy”, but it also diverts attention from their own lack of power and influence.

The real question is – how exactly does the MCB further the interests of the British Muslim community? It simply stumbles from one controversy to another with ill-prepared statements, giving everyone the impression Muslims are more conservative and xenophobic than is actually the case.

The constant controversies on what the MCB thinks of the holocaust, homosexuals, some art exhibition etc detract from the real issue – what is it actually doing to take Muslims forward socially and facilitate better dialogue with the wider world?

I think we know the answer to that.

The only way to get the MCB to be more honest is by asking the right questions and avoiding silly controversies where their input is not needed.


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  1. leon — on 27th January, 2006 at 3:34 pm  

    What do you think of the idea of replacing it with a genocide memorial day that includes slavery?

  2. Siddharth — on 27th January, 2006 at 3:42 pm  

    For the sake of inclusivity, the Genocide of North American Natives by White European settlers.

  3. Col. Mustafa — on 27th January, 2006 at 3:42 pm  

    “what is it actually doing to take Muslims forward socially and facilitate better dialogue with the wider world?”

    Nothing dude.

    Its gonna take a younger more progressive bunch of muslims to be the face of Islam in this country.
    Sadly the MCB are still dated and stick to what thier peers in Saudi will approve of.
    Which usually doesn’t have bugger all to do with muslims living here.

    Im Bangladeshi but i don’t mind so much about the Bangladesh genocide.
    I think thats because i have alot pakistani mates and its something we just don’t talk about if you know what i mean; leave it in the past.
    Ive seen before that things can get very heated when it comes to Bangladeshis and Pakistanis trying to talk about it.
    So i seem to have m8s that all kind of think along the same lines as me, so its just not an issue.

    Im sure if we did go into depth talking about it; then it still would be civilised.

    Are there any Bangladeshis in the MCB? i know pakistanis are in there; cos that could be the reason why they don’t bring it up.
    A sort of unity thing through islam where by both Pakistani and Bangladeshi have acknowledged that its not necessary to make a deal out of the genocide.

    The Armenian genocide still doesn’t get acknowledged.
    I don’t know if anyone has heard of System of a Down but they along of with former Rage against the machine member are hardcore fighting for the Turkish government just to acknowledge the genocide,
    System of a Down are of all Armenian descent.
    Might i add all the Christian refugees that fled from Turkey during the genocide along with the many other Armenians have very vibrant and forward thinking societies in many areas in the U.S today.
    Basically they made it good for themselves, which im happy for.

    It baffles me as to why we shouldn’t acknowledge thier suffering.

    Things need to change; you would of thought that a young bunch of intelligent British born muslims would of changed that when MPAC (hehe) came onto the scene.

    I remember them saying that there going to speak on behalf of the real muslim and not suck up to the government like the elders do.
    hmm, that went well.

  4. Scott Herbert — on 27th January, 2006 at 3:42 pm  

    Surely the old maxim, Any publicity is good publicity applys here. The MCB just like the MAB are self appointed leaders the MAB got it’s fame via Stop the WAR (and the SWP). you can’t blaim the MCB for wanting the same or the press for picking on a scare story to sell papers.

  5. Shaul — on 27th January, 2006 at 3:47 pm  

    Or why not a “Slavery Memorial Day” and a “Genocide of North American Natives by White European settler Memorial Day”.

    Why do you feel the need to change the meaning of the term “Holocaust” (which is itself an offensive term developed by Christian academics that means “burnt offering”. Jews prefer “Shoah” or “catastrophe” a term itself co-opted by Palestinian nationalists to refer to the date Israel was formed.

  6. Jai — on 27th January, 2006 at 3:52 pm  

    I guess you could have “Crimes against Humanity Day”, which could be used to remember and reflect upon (apologies in advance for using this cliche) “Man’s inhumanity to Man” throughout human history, and hopefully encourage us all to learn the relevant lessons and endeavour not to repeat the same mistakes.

    The danger, as Col Mustafa has alluded to in his post, is that — if not handled properly — this risks just continuously re-opening old wounds, especially amongst those who tend to hold grudges for a very long time indeed (centuries, for example). Any potential memorial must not be turned into an exercise to continually rant and rave about what “they” did to “us” 50/100/1000 years ago.

  7. Siddharth — on 27th January, 2006 at 3:56 pm  

    Shaun in [5]:
    Are you saying that the Holocaust Memorial Day should exclusively be for remembering the Holocaust and not inclusive of other Genocides?

  8. j0nz — on 27th January, 2006 at 3:57 pm  

    Sunny good post.

    Exactly. The guys that claim to speak for Islam and the Islamic community are bound to be by definition pretty damn fundamentalist. We just need more progressive voices in the Muslim community….

  9. j0nz — on 27th January, 2006 at 3:57 pm  

    Siddarth have read a word Sunny has said?

  10. j0nz — on 27th January, 2006 at 3:59 pm  

    It is part of an ongoing race to have the “most victimised minority” badge

    Siddarth out front there!

  11. Shaul — on 27th January, 2006 at 4:00 pm  

    Siddharth, yes that’s why it’s called “The Holocaust”. Of course there were other genocides. There *are* current genocides. There is one going on currently in Sudan. The Holocaust refers to the genocide in Europe aimed most directly at the Jews but also killing 6 million others including homosexuals, gypsies, the disabled, Poles and many others. You knew that right?

  12. Siddharth — on 27th January, 2006 at 4:02 pm  

    A sort of unity thing through islam where by both Pakistani and Bangladeshi have acknowledged that its not necessary to make a deal out of the genocide.

    A unity that negates the recognition of the rape and murder of millions of people is an evil and shoddy unity if you ask me.

  13. Shaul — on 27th January, 2006 at 4:03 pm  

    Siddarth, I don’t think many Muslims were killed as part of the Holocaust in Europe, that’s why it’s a little strange that European Muslims voice so much upset over the day of memorial.

  14. Don — on 27th January, 2006 at 4:05 pm  

    A genocide Memorial Day would be a fiasco, as factions bicker over what constitutes a genocide. As Sunny makes clear, the MCB would squirm away from recognising any atrocities committed by moslems as qualifying. The idea that it should replace Hollocaust Memorial Day is a non-starter; the Hollocaust was a unique historical event which changed all our perspectives. To attempt even to chip away at it is petty in the extreme.

    By all means have a seperate day to commemorate victims of violent oppression. How far back would you go? Darfur? Bangladesh, Armenia? Of course. The Irish famine? Slavery? Native Americans? Sure. Crusades? Ghengis Khan? Carthage?

    In the past couple of days we have seen how rational, civilised people have reacted to debates which touch on their faith/ethnicity. Imagine the meetings as the details are worked out. And imagine the type of ‘community leader’ who would make damn sure they were on the committee.

  15. Siddharth — on 27th January, 2006 at 4:07 pm  

    j0nz – what are you talking about?

    I think you’ve made a complete wrong-arsed judgement about my intentions. And no doubt because you’ve made the leap of faith in addition to conditioned reaction towards anyone who speaks for and behalf of issues that you are, lets say, emotionally challenged by. And, by now, we all know what they are. ;-)
    Also, brush up those reading-comprehension skills mate.

  16. Col. Mustafa — on 27th January, 2006 at 4:08 pm  

    “In her first interview, Ms Huda, 44, said Holocaust Memorial Day marked not only the deaths of six million Jews but also the killing of gypsies and other minority groups by the Nazis, and more recent genocides including those in Bosnia and Rwanda.”

    “She said: “I feel very comfortable that we are looking at genocide issues, that we are looking at racism, that we are looking at Islamophobia, that we are looking at anti-Semitism in the round.”

    From jonz’s link.

    Thats a great step forward that a muslim has also joined the Holocaust memorial board indicating that they want to break this silly barrier.
    I can’t believe that the MCB; a bunch of grown men and women( im assuming women are in there too, dunno for sure) are not going to this memorial day when its a great way to build bridges for British muslims.

    DO YOU HEAR USSSS MCB? IT WILL HELP MUSLIMS IN BRITAIN IF YOU GO AND STOP BEING LIKE LITTLE CHILDRENNNN.

    Seriously we should just make up a random party, call it the Real Muslim voice and go in thier place.

  17. Siddharth — on 27th January, 2006 at 4:13 pm  

    Curious to see Shaul arguing [11] in defence by proxy of Iqbal Sacranie’s own argument regarding the HMD, that it actually is for the Jewish Holocaust exclusively.

  18. Col. Mustafa — on 27th January, 2006 at 4:16 pm  

    “A unity that negates the recognition of the rape and murder of millions of people is an evil and shoddy unity if you ask me.”

    It is, but what has happened is that alot of bangladeshis and pakistanis ignore it for the sake of just getting on.

    Its like im sitting there talking to a pakistani dude; but it doesn’t enter into my head that his grandfather or father might of been involved in the genocide.

    I don’t look at that aspect as i know the dude is also a British born pakistani and were pretty much on the same level.
    Theres so many simalarities to focus on that the aspect of genocide doesn’t come into it.
    That doesn’t mean i don’t care for the genocide, nor does it mean he cares any less for it.

    With regards to MCB though; i don’t know why they are not acknowledging it; im assuming its something to do with a forget and move on attitude for the better of all bangladeshis and pakistanis, as they know not all are the same and given any opportunity to bring it up a Bangladeshi will as will a Pakistani.

  19. Shaul — on 27th January, 2006 at 4:20 pm  

    “Curious to see Shaul arguing [11] in defence by proxy of Iqbal Sacranie’s own argument regarding the HMD, that it actually is for the Jewish Holocaust exclusively. ”

    So you admit there was a Jewish Holocaust! You fell right into my little Zionist trap!

  20. Unity — on 27th January, 2006 at 4:29 pm  

    I think Sunny has its right in suggesting that we simply the media circus and the MCB entirely.

    HMD is a European ‘thing’ commemorating an event in European history. If any Muslim wishes to attend an HMD event, fine that’s up to them and they’re welcome. If they don’t they don’t – it’s just not something that’s part of Islamic history or culture so why should we expect Muslims to get involved in it.

    The MCB announcing it isn’t going to attend the main HMD event is rather like the Archbishop of Canterbury going on TV to announce that he won’t be fasting for Ramadan – completely pointless.

  21. Siddharth — on 27th January, 2006 at 4:30 pm  

    Colonel:

    I think the MCB have not recognised the Pakistani Genocide in Bangladesh because the board is probably made up exclusively of Pakistani men – and therefore there is a conflict of allegiances. Also the Bangladeshi men leaders who were in cahoots with Pakistan in 1971 were also given safe houses and asylum in Pakistan and Saudi Arabia.

    These same people have now returned to Bangladesh, and funnily enough, have returned and regained seats of power in Bangladeshi politics (How short people’s memories are!) under the aegis of the Jamaati Islamic party – which, as you know, shares the same ideology as its parent party in Pakistan. And when officials of that party come to the UK, they get invited to soirees hosted by the MCB.

  22. Col. Mustafa — on 27th January, 2006 at 4:42 pm  

    I had a feeling there was more behind it.

    You know theres many functions, events held each year by random Bengalis or Bengali associations which have memorial days for Bangladesh and the genocide.

    The usual type of thing; alot of poetry is recited from that era, songs that were dedicated to the war are sung and many attend including Pakistani members of that particular community.

    I think thats a good thing that bridges are built in that way, but that depends on the communities and how well they have integrated with each other.
    The MCB should acknowledge it in the same way maybe, by just attending one of the main memorial concerts or events that are held.
    But as ive said before they don’t wish to acknowledge anything apart from themselves really.

  23. Col. Mustafa — on 27th January, 2006 at 4:46 pm  

    “The MCB announcing it isn’t going to attend the main HMD event is rather like the Archbishop of Canterbury going on TV to announce that he won’t be fasting for Ramadan – completely pointless.”

    No its not.
    No ones telling the MCB to start carrying out Christian practices.
    Its just to pay thier respects to the millions that died during the Holocaust.
    Acknowledge it as they are a part of this european culture now as well.

    The MCB are not living in Iran, there living in a multicultural society in the U.K.
    Its not a hard task to just go there as they have been invited.

  24. Mahmud Rahman — on 27th January, 2006 at 4:58 pm  

    I think that acknowledging 1971 will weaken the Ummah concept which is pushed everywhere by some of the MCB types.

    I don’t know why it should – on a personal level most Muslims feel a bond. But in political Islam, which is what the MCB espouse, influenced by the Pakistani Islamist Maulana Maududi, there has to be political unity too – and this means they are in denial about things like this. The ummah is now a political concept and it cannot be threatened from within. Funnily enough, this kind of thinking is something similar to what happened to the lead up to the genocide when Bengalis wanted greater independance from Pakistan and objected to Urdu being imposed because it was a ‘Muslim’ language and Bengali supposedly was not – that was also about the Ummah not being threatened. If you rock the boat, you become a threat to the Ummah, and the only threats to the Ummah that can be acknowledged are those from outside.

  25. Bikhair — on 27th January, 2006 at 5:06 pm  

    I have to wonder why a groups like the MCB who is supposed to be a “fundamentalist” group would have any involvement in such a debate? I never hear any of the Salafis from Birmingham talk about these kinds of things. Why? Because they are the group that is upon correct guidance and they take very sriously when Muslims are told that we arent supposed to immitate the kufar in their festivities and such. These guys (MCB) are a bunch of hizbis and Muslims would do themselves a great service by ignoring them and ignoring any other day Europeans chose to remember their crimes.

    What would be even better is if they didnt have stupid days like a Holocaust Remembrance day but instead tried to alleviate the suffering of people all over the world as commemoration for their own suffering.

    All these days are about is making money without having to really do anything.

  26. Shaul — on 27th January, 2006 at 5:16 pm  

    “What would be even better is if they didnt have stupid days like a Holocaust…All these days are about is making money without having to really do anything. ”

    I know! I’ve already spent over $200 on my Holocaust Day presents!

  27. Bikhair — on 27th January, 2006 at 5:26 pm  

    Shaul,

    “I know! I’ve already spent over $200 on my Holocaust Day presents!”

    That isnt what I mean fresh meat. People donate money at these events, and people raise money at these events.

  28. Shaul — on 27th January, 2006 at 5:30 pm  

    “People donate money at these events, and people raise money at these events.”

    What people for example?

  29. Don — on 27th January, 2006 at 5:55 pm  

    Shaul,

    Just in case you didn’t know, it’s not really a good idea to engage with Bikhair if you want discuss anything connected to the world the rest of us live in. She’s …odd.

  30. Sunny — on 27th January, 2006 at 6:07 pm  

    I was just going to warn Shaul about Bikhair too, Don has done it for me.

    don – I agree with your point above entirely. Any silly attempt to try and have a global genocide day loses all point. Then you’ll get every community wanting in on the action like without it no one cares about them. It’ll turn into one big farce. But of course the MCB can’t go without banging its own drum.

    My suggestion – let them bang their own drum. If the media and other blogs (sorry David T) didn’t pay as much attention, the MCB would be in a much more difficult position.

    We play to their expectations by making a big deal about their boycott.

  31. Don — on 27th January, 2006 at 6:08 pm  

    Once again the Colonel, in a random moment of lucidity, has hit the nail on the head. Hollocaust Memorial Day remembers something that happened in Europe which still affects millions of our fellow citizens. It is commemorated; if you are invited it is simple good manners to show up or shut up. There are 364 other days on which to bitch at each other. If you can’t concede one fucking day to show respect for the victims of the Shoah without yelping ‘Me too, me too’ then you are an embarassment to whatever faith you claim.

  32. Bob — on 27th January, 2006 at 6:20 pm  

    Why not call it genocide day?

    The problem is Holocaust has become a world exclusiviely linking to the Nazis. If it was to be more inclusive such as ‘Genocide Memeorial Day’ the MCB have said they will attend. They make the point that every life is worth the same so not right to have a exclusive day for the Nazi Holocaust.

  33. El Cid — on 27th January, 2006 at 6:25 pm  

    I know! I’ve already spent over $200 on my Holocaust Day presents! Lol. Good one Shaul.

    I haven’t got a strong opinion on this one, although I would add that the killing of millions of South American natives by the conquering Spanish could be added to any genocide memorial day (even if most were killed by imported diseases). I certainly agree with Leon that the Atlantic Slave Trade is right up there with the Holocaust as one of the biggest-ever crimes against humanity.
    I guess if pushed came to shove, I’d prefer a Genocide Memorial Day that compelled every race to come clean and face history’s horrors to a Holocaust Day that focused just on Hitler.

  34. j0nz — on 27th January, 2006 at 6:26 pm  

    Why not call it genocide day?

    Because it’s to remember the Holocaust where six million people who were sent to the gas chambers by nazi Germany.

    Read previous comments about vying for the badge of victimhood, or try reading Sunny’s actual post. It would become a farce. (“My genocide is bigger than your genocide”)

    Why not rename is death day, in honour of people that, well, like die. (/sarcasm)

  35. El Cid — on 27th January, 2006 at 6:27 pm  

    However, I wouldn’t boycott it or belittle it. That’s just rude and insensitive.

  36. Sunny — on 27th January, 2006 at 6:59 pm  

    Why not rename is death day, in honour of people that, well, like die.

    Lmao!! too funny j0nz. You actually have a sense of humour underneath all that bitching and moaning you do.

  37. mirax — on 27th January, 2006 at 7:16 pm  

    “Once again the Colonel, in a random moment of lucidity, has hit the nail on the head.”

    Random moment? The Col is almost always right on the money.

  38. Don — on 27th January, 2006 at 7:19 pm  

    But not always lucid.:)

  39. El Cid — on 27th January, 2006 at 7:26 pm  

    Nice idea j0nz (lol)! But, um, funny enough there already is a Day of the Dead. It’s massive in Mexico. Lucky I’m here eh?

  40. Vikrant — on 28th January, 2006 at 5:36 am  

    who cares what MCB thinks… in all fariness its just a Pakistani org not a Muslim one. Well calling Kashmir Jehad had me rofl. surely excesses have been done by both sides. With over 60000 killed (mainly in crossfire) which includes both Muslims and Hindus & half a million Hindus ethnically cleansed by MCB’s “freedom fighters” i dont see a genocide mate. Lets not dilute the meaning of word ‘genocide’.

  41. sonia — on 28th January, 2006 at 1:47 pm  

    i agree that the MCB is certainly not a representative organization! and why don’t they just have a global memorial day themselves? Instead of asking others not to have their own memorials.

  42. Old Pickler — on 28th January, 2006 at 2:23 pm  

    Death day? That’s too narrow. Why not have a National Unpleasantness Memorial Day, remembering all the unpleasant things that have ever happened to anyone? Like when you go into a toilet and the person before you hasn’t flushed it properly. Or when your local shop runs out of cat food, or when you pull the net curtain off the rail when you try to twitch it.

  43. Rohin in exile — on 28th January, 2006 at 2:48 pm  

    Did anyone see Hardeep Singh Kohli’s half hour argument AGAINST Holocaust Memorial Day? It was shown on channel 4 twice.

  44. Rohin in exile — on 28th January, 2006 at 2:53 pm  

    Oh, forgot to say – excellent piece Sunny.

    Vikrant I entirely agree with you. You and I will say things about Kashmir that Pakistanis will disgree with, but what we can all agree upon is that it’s been a fight over territory between two roughly equal sides (militarily). Hence casualties have been similar on either side. Genocide it ain’t.

  45. El Cid — on 28th January, 2006 at 2:57 pm  

    Old Pickler, you’re not doing much to counter the regressive idea that da sisters just ain’t funny. It’s all in the timing. j0nz had it, you haven’t.
    Thank God for Catherine Tate, Jennifer Saunders, et al, eh!?

  46. Siddharth — on 28th January, 2006 at 4:47 pm  

    I agree with Old P. Why stop there.

    But intrigued by what Hardeep Singh Kohli’s point against the HMD is. He wears such a cool turban. I wish I had the wisdom not to mention the balls to do that.

    Anyway, I’m not decided on this issue. If Fred had his own Genocide Memorial Day would be it a form of Talibanism if Sally didn’t want to observe it with him for whatever reason? Or is Fred being a Zionist if he says Sally’s an idiot for for not coming along but didn’t want her to anyway?

    These geo-political civlc quandraries will be the death of me.

  47. Sajn — on 28th January, 2006 at 6:04 pm  

    The occupation of Kashmir is a war between two “roughly equal sides with equal casualties on both sides”?????????

    So having nearly a qaurter of one of the biggest army in the world used to subjugate and terrorise Kashmiris makes it an “equal” contest? Nearly 100,000 dead in the last 20 years, mainly Kashmiris murdered by the Indian Armed forces does not look to me like a battle between two “equal” sides.

    And before you start frothing at the mouth, a simple solution would be to allow the UN and international human rights organisations into Occupied Kashmir and let them see the situation for themselves.

  48. jamal — on 28th January, 2006 at 7:49 pm  

    Sunny, how many times are you going to write these pro-Jew/anti-MCB articles.

    Whats is wrong with having a “genocide memorial day” which includes the holocaust and ALL other similar atrocities, rather then a holocaust day that just represents Jews.

    Check out the holocaust memorial day site and you will find it is very “jewish”. Furthermore the history taught focus nearly exclusively on the death of jews over all others, just as it focuses on the holocaust over most other atrocities.

    Because you are so Anti-MCB you include so much issues in your post to argue your point its difficult to find a starting point. You complain that the MCB conveniently leave out particular genocides, but do not seem to have a problem with the current “holocaust day”, which exclusively focuses on one genocide and one race that suffered death.

    The reality is that the MCB makes a good point in that a more inclusive “genocide memorial day” would be better to represent all atrocities/genocide. This opinion should merely be used as a starting point to implement such a day which includes the genocides that the MCB ignore.

  49. Mukhta Bahini — on 28th January, 2006 at 8:06 pm  

    sajn

    Three Million Killed in Bangladesh by the Pakistani Army – now THAT is a a REAL genocide ;-)

  50. Jay Singh — on 28th January, 2006 at 8:11 pm  

    Rohin

    It depends on how you look at the Kashmir conflict. If you look at it as army to army, then yes, you are right. If you take into account the dreadful loss of life and dignity caused to everyday Kashmiris by the Indian Army (check out the Amnesty reports) then it isnt such a noble and equal thing.

    Of course, the Pakistani Army is also responsible for the misery of the Kashmiris, especially the Hindus of Kashmir, who were ethnically cleansed Bangladesh style. But the point remains that India has very dirty hands when it comes to Kashmir, and if you don’t acknowledge that in your tally on the toll of Kashmir – it just doesnt seem right.

  51. Rohin — on 28th January, 2006 at 8:53 pm  

    I am not opening a Kashmir debate, I’m just laughing at the preposterous claim that the Kashmir conflict is genocide.

    The Indian army has killed thousands, I’m not denying that. The Pakistani army and cross-border terrorists have killed thousands as well. It’s a nasty affair and both sides have “dirty hands”.

    But have the Indian army committed genocide? No. Have they broken international laws? Yes. Some would say the slaughter of Kashmiri Pundits could be classed as genocide. If one is going to make the claim that ‘Kashmir is the scene of a genocide’ in the way the MCB do (i.e. India is guilty), then they should acknowledge that Pakistan is as guilty of the crime of genocide.

    What would be more productive is to leave Kashmir out of a genocide debate. Jay I never said it was “noble” for a second, so I don’t know where you got that from, what I said was it isn’t genocide.

  52. Sunny — on 28th January, 2006 at 9:07 pm  

    Jamal – you miss the simple point. The MCB isn’t trying to be exclusive and never wanted to be. It just wanted to talk about supposed genocides so that Muslims would also get some of the attention that the Jews get for that day.

    My article shows the MCB has never really cared about genocides, otherwise it would openly talk about the Bangladeshi and Armenian genocide. Why are they so quiet about that? Maybe your hotline to them could clear that up.

    how many times are you going to write these pro-Jew/anti-MCB articles

    I’ll write about whatever I want. I don’t remember ever asking you how many times you’re going to write anti-GW Bush articles or scream Islamophobia about something or the other.

  53. Sunny — on 28th January, 2006 at 9:10 pm  

    Others have already pointed out the futility of trying to recognise every single genocide there is, specially those highlighted by the MCB.

    How far back you want to go? Massacres by Mughal armies in India? Crusades? Egyptian pharoes? It becomes a farce, and thats what the MCB wants it to become so there isn’t as much attention paid to the holocaust.

    Either way, as I said at the bottom of the article, the best everyone can do is ignore the MCB over the issue. They are of little consequence to the event.

  54. Jay Singh — on 28th January, 2006 at 9:25 pm  

    Rohin

    Of course it is not a genocide. I didnt read your post in the context a refutation of that claim.

    What was Hardeep Singh Kholi’s argument against Holocaust Remembrance Day by the way?

    +++++

    I think that the MCB’s position is a really pathetic and grubby act that reveals grubby and maggot infested minds. They are horrible. I agree they should be ignored if they cannot behave with dignity and be honest about their motivations and notbehind some pretence of global altruism for their motivation. Their motivation is clear and it stinks.

  55. Rohin — on 28th January, 2006 at 9:42 pm  

    I didn’t see more than a few minutes of Hardeep Singh Kohli’s thing – I wish I’d been able to as he was the first non-Muslim I’d seen arguing against holocaust day. He said something like “it makes one community seem more important than others.”

    Jay you’re right, the most odious thing about the MCB is they try to cover up their agenda by pretending to be motivated by altruism for ‘victimised communities’.

  56. jamal — on 28th January, 2006 at 9:54 pm  

    sunny, of course you can write what you want.

    Since there have been fairly recent genocides both before and after WWII, would it not be reasonable to have a day remembering them all.

    I do not ignore the MCB are convenient in the genocides they refer too, and that they have an agenda.

    Nevertheless, is it not fair to say that rather then only focusing on what the MCB omit to expose them, their opinion could be instead adopted and positively used as a starting point to implement such a more inclusive day.

    This would not be supporting the MCB, but instead would take their valid point regarding a “genocide day” and possibly get it debated and implemented away from the negative connotations of the MCB, some of which you have highlighted here.

  57. raz — on 28th January, 2006 at 10:01 pm  

    People throw the ‘g’ word around without thinking. The definition of genocide, and whether it should be used in relation to particular conflicts, is a highly controversial issue.

    I think there is one issue we all can agree on – the holocaust WAS genocide – and the MCB are CUNTS for boycotting this day.

  58. Jay Singh — on 28th January, 2006 at 10:03 pm  

    jamal

    I can see the maggots coming out of your mouth too.

    Since when did the MCB morph into the global conscience of humanity? Why is it that every other race and religion in Britain accepts the precepts of this commemoration without burning up with a chilli stuck up their anus? Why is it so difficult for you and the MCB bigots to comprehend the stated aim of the HMD that is contained in its charter, to remember all victims of genocide and pray for this to never happen again?

    Since when did Maulani Maududi disciples and Islamists like the MCB give a flying kebab about anything other than their own twisted discipline? Who are they (and you) trying to kid?

    If European societies choose to remember the single most wicked and evil crime of European history, the blackest and most evil and foul crime that took place in living memory – why does it cause Sacranie and Jamal and Bunglawala to splutter like choking cry-babies?

    Rotten Jew hating bigots.

  59. Rohin — on 28th January, 2006 at 10:04 pm  

    Hear hear Raz.

    Wow, I’ve declared my agreement with Vikrant, Raz and Jay Singh in one thread. I am the uniter! (well actually, the MCB is…ah bugger).

  60. raz — on 28th January, 2006 at 10:09 pm  

    ” (well actually, the MCB is…)”

    Well, at least they’re good for something :)

  61. Rohin — on 28th January, 2006 at 10:10 pm  

    Oh that’s harsh raz, I find they make excellent doorstops and paperweights.

  62. Jay Singh — on 28th January, 2006 at 10:12 pm  

    Chewbacca from Star Wars has started his own blog. Lets see what he thinks about this situation:

    http://huuuuuurrnnnnnnnnnnn.blogspot.com/

  63. El Cid — on 28th January, 2006 at 10:36 pm  

    It’s fair to say that Raz’s comments have particular resonance in view of current high-profile and sick attempts to cast doubt on the Holocaust — I’m thinking Iran’s Ahmedthingamajig.

  64. jamal — on 28th January, 2006 at 11:37 pm  

    “If European societies choose to remember the single most wicked and evil crime of European history, the blackest and most evil and foul crime that took place in living memory”

    and who made this declaration. Have the #europeans themselves not instigated bigger genocides in history?

    With all the bear-baiting of the MCB and the emphasis placed on Jews killed in the holocaust, the fact remains that others died in the holocaust. Along with 6 million Jews figure regularly bounded about, the dead ALSO included generally available figures of Ukrainians: 5.5 – 7 million, Russian POWs: 3.3 million +, Russian Civilians: 2 million +, Poles 3 million +, Yugoslavians: 1.5 million +, Gypsies 200,000 – 500,000, Mentally/Physically Disabled: 70,000- 250,000, Homosexuals Tens of thousands, Spanish Republicans: Tens of thousands, Jehovah’s Witnesses: 2,500 – 5,000, Boy and Girl Scouts, Clergy, Communists, Czechs, Deportees, Greeks, Political Prisoners, Other POWs, Resistance Fighters, Serbs, Socialists, Trade Unionists, Others: Unknown.

    Furthermore, the holocaust was genocide and other genocides are just as important. This thread evidences some of them, there are many others. I do not see what is so wrong with commemorating/remembering them all, rather then just one. I understand the disdain for the MCB but not for their idea as a “genocide day” seems a good thing!

  65. Sunny — on 29th January, 2006 at 2:48 am  

    Funny you should mention homosexuals at least Jamal, because the MCB refused to acknowledge them.

    The HMD does in fact commemorate all those killed in the holocaust, not just Jews, so its not just a Jewsih focusing day, though the vast majority were Jewish.

    But given that it is by far the biggest mass extermination ever, I don’t see why exactly there is something wrong when the British want to acknowledge the day, and why the MCB, which has nothing to do with it, can’t even have the common decency to attend.

    I know why they do it, because to all their extremist friends, it looks as if the MCB is standing up to the Jews, but they don’t realise or want to acknowledge how much bad will it generates.

    It’s like the Hindus in Pakistan saying that rather than celebrating the death (or birth) of Jinnah, as an example, maybe they should also celebrate everyone else’s birthdate on the same day. It would be just downright silly. The MCB has no authority or no real say in the HMD. They’re just meant to attend and remember previous genocides, and maybe say that it should remind people of more recent attempts to de-humanise people etc etc. Instead they look like prats.

    And it annoys me that the media pay it so much attention.

    As for a general day, it would turn into a farce because then we would need someone to say which genocide is included or not… and thats when it will get more political. Either way, I don’t get why Muslims get so riled up about this day. It has fuck all to do with them.

  66. Bikhair — on 29th January, 2006 at 3:04 am  

    Sunny,

    “Either way, I don’t get why Muslims get so riled up about this day.”

    There is nothing like a Holocaust Remembrance Day to stoke the passions of Muslims. Ha Ha Ha.

    Do you cook chicken bhiryani?

  67. Jay Singh — on 29th January, 2006 at 9:07 am  

    Jamal

    Your question “and who made this declaration?” is just the kind of arrogant stupidity you would expect from a one as nasty as you – Raz’s declaration about what the MCB are applies to you as well.

    You have no idea how squalid and filthy you appear to the rest of the world – the worst thing is your attempts to cloud your ranicd bigotry in a cloak of righteousness – as if you could give a damn about any other ‘genocide’

    You are like the MCB – like a skunk who has no idea of the bad smell he is giving off and carries on sticking his smelly ass in peoples faces – simultaneously a bigot, but too cowardly to show your true colours and motivations.

  68. Jay Singh — on 29th January, 2006 at 9:13 am  

    I do not see what is so wrong with commemorating/remembering them all

    This is one of the aims of HMD written into its charter:

    ++++

    Assert a continuing commitment to oppose racism, antisemitism, victimisation and genocide.

    ++++

    Jamal, is it because you are an idiot or because you are a bigot that your brain cannot accomodate this? This has been stated one million times and you stil dont get it into your thick skull, and neither do those idiots Sacranie and Bunglawala. The world is drawing its own conclusions about that. Have some self respect and stop humiliating yourself.

  69. Sajn — on 29th January, 2006 at 12:25 pm  

    Pity the apologists for the Indian occupation of Kashmir want to quibble about the what is and what isn’t a “genocide”.

    Try looking up a definition of the term “genocide” and then tell me what the difference (in your eyes) there is between the actions of your heroes in Kashmir and the Pakistani Army in Bangladesh.

    Try also comparing the numbers killed as a percentage of the total population.

  70. raz — on 29th January, 2006 at 12:45 pm  

    Good point Sajin. Neither India in Kashmir or Pakistan in Bangladesh is a bona-fide genocide in my opinion.

    The holocaust is another matter altogether.

  71. Mukhta Bahini — on 29th January, 2006 at 1:07 pm  

    Please note that my intention of this post is not to mitigate Indian abuses in Kashmir – which are manifold, documented and extensive, nor genocides that have taken place in India like Gujarat.

    My intention is to disprove the Orwellian lies of Pakistani Nationalists like sajn and raz who would seek to cover up the genocide carried out by the Pakistani Army in 1971. Readers unfamiliar with the genocide can read the following, all websites run by independant groups like gendercide or reasonable Bangladeshis, and decide for themselves about the truth of the Bengali genocide.

    Hopefully, by approaching the truth with humility, Pakistani nationalist liars can face up to the reality of the genocide carried out by the Pakistani Army, and which Pakistani Nationalists still are ashamed or too afraid to admit, as some shamefully and arrogantly still deny that the Bangaldesh genocide was genocide.

    +++++++++++

    From Gendercide – a website that focusses on the crimes commited on women in genocide situations.

    The mass killings in Bangladesh (then East Pakistan) in 1971 vie with the annihilation of the Soviet POWs, the holocaust against the Jews, and the genocide in Rwanda as the most concentrated act of genocide in the twentieth century. In an attempt to crush forces seeking independence for East Pakistan, the West Pakistani military regime unleashed a systematic campaign of mass murder which aimed at killing millions of Bengalis, and likely succeeded in doing so.

    http://www.gendercide.org/case_bangladesh.html

    +++++

    Dr. Mohammad Omar Farooq’s page on Genocide in Bangladesh

    http://globalwebpost.com/genocide1971/

    +++++

    Bangladesh Genocide Memorial

    http://www.virtualbangladesh.com/bd_hol.html

    +++++

    Genocide 1971 – take note of the picture of the Pakistani soldier on the left looking at the mans penis to check if he is circumcised or not. If an uncircumcised Hindu he could expect to be castrated before being killed.

    http://www.engr.uconn.edu/~faisal/Genocide.html

    Take note:

    I have to first clearly state that this page is NOT about HATRED, or the spreading of it, it is NOT about creating division among Bangladeshis along the Rajaakar and pro-liberator lines, or the spreading of it, it is NOT about working against the fostering of brotherly relations between two Muslim nations that had to separate violently due to the utter arrogance of the ruthless Military rulers and Politicians of Pakistan (West). This site is all about the TRUTH.

    +++++

    This one is good for the links to the Pakistani journalist Anthony Mascharenas, the debunking of the myth that a genocide did not take place, as well as a wealth of information about the atrocities, including photographs of mass graves, how Hindus were targetted as well as intellectuals at the start of the genocide.

    http://homepage.ntlworld.com/joibangla/liberation_background.html

    ++++

    Decide for yourself.

  72. sonia — on 29th January, 2006 at 1:11 pm  

    humans kill humans. that’s fucking sad. why not have every day in the year to remember that and that will be that.

  73. Siddharth — on 29th January, 2006 at 1:12 pm  

    Raz:

    Do tell us how many millions of corpses land filled in mass graves it will take before you regard the Genocide in Bangladesh “bone fide”. I’m intrigued to know how people like you manage to use your moral compass to damn homosexuals to hell but validate rapists and mass murderers to Pakistani heaven, all for the sake of Nationalism.

  74. Mukhta Bahini — on 29th January, 2006 at 2:02 pm  

    Before I start let me say that I do not like having to say these things but was provoked into it by the arrogance of the Pakistani Nationalists here.

    I am concerned by the VULGARITY and DENIAL and SHAMELESS LIES of people who deny what happened in 1971. The arrogance of such people is astonishing. That their nationalism blinds them so severely to truth is tragic. They can be vulgar and lie in private. But in a public discourse they should not be allowed to tell LIES and DENY that what happened was what happened.

    Have some shame. If you have no shame, shut up. Do not tell filthy lies about a most horrific incident in human history, just because you can only view the world through your jingoistic filter. Have some dignity and moral credibility. Dont be moral cretins. If you wish to be moral cretins, do so in private, and do not try to deny and lie about the horrors of 1971 in a public forum. Such lies must be countered.

    Please forgive me if I have offended anyone.

  75. Arif — on 29th January, 2006 at 7:31 pm  

    I think that we should be charitable about the motives of those who promote HMD, since there is little enough concern about any human rights abuses in general, any small step is good. I doubt whether HMD makes much real difference to people’s support or opposition to racism and State violence against minorities, put I think the organisers genuinely believe it does.

    When I have heard pundits justifying its exclusivity, it tends to sound slightly chauvanistic sometimes…. arguing that it is so significant because it happened in a “civilised”, “sophisticated” and European country. As well as the fact that the UK was involved in the liberation of the camps.

    But I think it isn’t chauvanistic, it is more that people in the dominant culture are trying to maintain the country’s memory of a genocide which at one time was genuinely traumatising and effective as an argument against fascism. That as time passes, maybe the dominant culture cannot rely on films, word-of-mouth and history lessons alone to maintain its memory with enough force to feel significant. So they institute a memorial day for the holocaust. As I’m not from the dominant culture, it seems a little exclusive to me, but then they would think I was oddly selective in my preoccupations.

  76. Vikrant — on 30th January, 2006 at 5:14 am  

    Oh well ya buggers… I didnt wanna get into this unpleasentness.

    Hell Sajn, dont you realise that you’ve been spoonfed on Pakistani military popoganda. Indian Kashmiur has a a greater autonomy and legislature as opposed to Azad Kashmir which is ruled by the dictators from Islamabad. Nor is Indian Kashmir flooded with Punjabi migrants as in case of Pakistani Kashmir. The situaion in Kashmir is not as dire as you’d like to think. Yes Indian army has at times been responsible for abuses. But what about your mujahids? Who gives them the right to ethnically cleanse an area of its indegenous population. What about the scores of unionist Muslims and Kashmiri Pandits they butchered. India is a secular country unlike Pakistan. India has as many Muslims as Pakistan; It has never been a calculated policy of Indian army to target a particular religion.

    Instead of trying to be a keyboard warrior here go down to Indian Kashmir yourself and then probably will you understand the entire dynamics of the conflict.

  77. j0nz — on 30th January, 2006 at 9:10 am  

    Instead of trying to be a keyboard warrior here go down to Indian Kashmir yourself and then probably will you understand the entire dynamics of the conflict.

    I wonder how many people would die if we were to take the advice of fellow PP commenters? The other day I was urged to travel to Ramallah, in Hamas operated Palestinian terrorities.

    Hmm walking into a virtual war zone, sounds good! If you want a bullet through the head…

  78. Shaul — on 30th January, 2006 at 12:19 pm  

    “Instead of trying to be a keyboard warrior here go down to…”

    Unless you’re demoninzing Israel as racist. On this topic everyone is an expert!

  79. Sunny — on 30th January, 2006 at 1:00 pm  

    Oh sorry Shaul, because only Israelis truly know the meaning of racism right?

  80. Shaul — on 30th January, 2006 at 2:40 pm  

    “because only Israelis truly know the meaning of racism right?”

    Well, yes, according to you Israel’s racism is so inherent to its society it no longer continues to be democratic. And you appear to be very confident of this point. I just wondered if you had ever been there.

  81. Sunny — on 30th January, 2006 at 3:14 pm  

    I never said Israeli society was racist, I said that given its treatment of non-Jewish minorities, the state institutions were racist. There is a difference.
    And you going on about how Israel was only for Jews kinda makes you just as bad.
    And if you don’t want to accept that Israel is discriminating against non-Jews, then you can see the posts made by Intafada Kid and Robert Sharp. But of course, any criticism of the Israeli state must mean we’re all racist /anti-semitic / nazis and have no right to say anything.

  82. Shaul — on 30th January, 2006 at 3:21 pm  

    “I never said Israeli society was racist, I said that given its treatment of non-Jewish minorities, the state institutions were racist. There is a difference.”

    its not clear to me what you mean.

    “And you going on about how Israel was only for Jews kinda makes you just as bad.”

    I never said any such thing. And “just as bad” as what? You have to be more clear in your writing.

    “And if you don’t want to accept that Israel is discriminating against non-Jews, then you can see the posts made by Intafada Kid and Robert Sharp.”

    I believe discrimination exists in every diverse society. I don’t believe du jour or de facto discrimination in Israel disqaulifies it as a democracy or necessitates a 1 sate solution.

    “But of course, any criticism of the Israeli state must mean we’re all racist /anti-semitic / nazis and have no right to say anything. ”

    No, I criticize Israel as do many Israelis. You and some other posters here demonize Israel which is different.

  83. Sunny — on 30th January, 2006 at 3:48 pm  

    1) There is a difference between the people and the state. Like I don’t hate Americans just because I think GW Bush is a gimp. Same goes for Israeli state and Jewish people.

    2) Just as bad meaning you’re willing to justify state opression of minorities, whihc I don’t agree with.

    3) By saying you believe discrimination exists, you’re justifying state opression. Discrimination may exist overtly or subtly, but I am opposed to it as a liberal. And this discrimination is not only more open in Israeli society, as has been shown, it does not compare to modern western democracies.

    In a democracy, citizens are equal in front of the law and have civil liberties they should be able to count on and be protected by, by the state. If that doesn’t exist, calling yourself a democracy is a farce.

    4) Rubbish. You see any criticism by non-Israelis as demonising becuae you have that chip on your shoulder like Muslims do when we criticise their clerics or orgs like the MCB. I can see that chip a mile off because I criticise anyone and people generally accuse me of everything.

  84. Siddharth — on 30th January, 2006 at 3:55 pm  

    Intifada Kid

    That was a good post. As was your article on the Robert Sharp blog post. I daresay that the next few years will see need for the Palestinians to justify the Hamas victory last week. But if Hamas can shed its militant, terrorist tendencies, I think that it will be far more successful than Fatah/Arafat ever was. All it needs now is a sharp talking and charismatic young leader to bubble to the top to kick a 2-state process into shape.

  85. bananabrain — on 30th January, 2006 at 4:12 pm  

    shaul – you are *waaay* too angry to discuss the middle east sensibly. leave sunny alone; he’s a perfectly fair-minded chap and i’ve been pleasantly surprised by the sophistication and openmindedness that is generally a mark of pp (some obvious exceptions, but everyone seems to know who they are)

    being a “keyboard maccabee” (to coin a phrase) is not going to help you, me, the jewish people or israel in the long run. discussion and dialogue will. if you are interested in such things, there is a long list of organisations i can suggest for you to get involved with.

    israel is far from perfect, as anyone who’s been there or knows anything about it knows. we do plenty of soul-searching, breast-beating and fretting over it. sometimes, they even do something to improve the situation. as we know, there is a long way to go, but cordial relations between jews and muslims around the world is job no. 1 as far as i’m concerned. it’s a lot harder to oppress people if you are personally acquainted with them.

    b’shalom

    bananabrain

  86. Shaul — on 30th January, 2006 at 5:00 pm  

    “I never said Israeli society was racist, I said that given its treatment of non-Jewish minorities, the state institutions were racist. There is a difference.”

    “There is a difference between the people and the state. Like I don’t hate Americans just because I think GW Bush is a gimp. Same goes for Israeli state and Jewish people.”

    No, no, no Sunny you make no sense. Criticizng an elected leader of a democracy is different than criticizing a state’s right to exist. Being against the policies of Bush is quite different than saying US borders have no validity because the basis for US nationhood is racist.

    “By saying you believe discrimination exists, you’re justifying state opression. Discrimination may exist overtly or subtly, but I am opposed to it as a liberal. And this discrimination is not only more open in Israeli society, as has been shown, it does not compare to modern western democracies.”

    How do I justify state oppression. When? Where?!

    “You see any criticism by non-Israelis as demonising becuae you have that chip on your shoulder like Muslims do when we criticise their clerics or orgs like the MCB. I can see that chip a mile off because I criticise anyone and people generally accuse me of everything”

    No, not any criticism. ONly fundamental criticisms that question Israel’s right to *exist*. This is not analogous to a religous dispute with a fundamentist. You are talking about taking the rights *away* from a great many people, and you call yourself a liberal.

  87. Shaul — on 30th January, 2006 at 5:03 pm  

    “you are *waaay* too angry”

    Actually, I’m not. And if you look, you’ll see I try and avoid calling people names, discarding entire arguments as “rubbish” etc. What does irk me about Sunny is that he sees himself as a liberal, when in my opnion, he is arguing for the destruction of state founded to protect, historically one of the world’d most vulnerable groups. And I like arguing about ideas (especially when I’m right).

  88. Sunny — on 30th January, 2006 at 5:09 pm  

    Oh jesus. I think your grasp of English is severely limited Shaul, I don’t see why we’re even carrying this silly conversation on.

    When exactly have I questioned Israel’s right to exist?? Maybe you’re reading something else and mixing up the two? Or maybe you see every non-Jew who doesn’t slavishly agree with Israel’s policies as being against the Israeli state.

    I am against Israel’s insitutionally racist policy of treating its non-Jewish citizens differently to its Jewish citizens.

    Just try and grasp that statement if you can. I’m not talking about taking away rights, I’m talking about giving Israeli Arabs the same rights as other Israeli citizens.

    You know, like how us non-Christian and non-white British citizens have the same right as white protestant citizens in the UK (or the USA). I hope that simple illustration of democracy clicks something in your brain. Otherwise, forget it.

  89. Shaul — on 30th January, 2006 at 5:36 pm  

    OK Sunny! So you are pro-Israel! That is good news. As someone who doesn’t question the right of a Jewish state to exist, you are officially a Zionist. Congratulations!

    “I am against Israel’s insitutionally racist policy of treating its non-Jewish citizens differently to its Jewish citizens.”

    Like what for example? Please be concrete. I’m still not sure what you mean here.

    “like non-Christian and non-white British have the same rights”

    There are Jews who are not religous (and do not oberver halacha) and Jews of many races. All have the same rights. And there are non-Jews, some of whom, can not serve in the military because of a long-standing pan-Arab animosity towards Jews, which hopefully will not exist one day.

    Do you think all non-British people in Britain should have the same rights as citizens?

    And you realize that anyone can become a Jew and therefor grant themself the right of return.

    I think you don’t get it Sunny.

  90. Col. Mustafa — on 30th January, 2006 at 5:45 pm  

    “I am against Israel’s insitutionally racist policy of treating its non-Jewish citizens differently to its Jewish citizens.”

    You would think that this was pretty clear to everyone.

    Not clear to someone that thinks Israel aren’t racist though; and that they carry out all thier military and political operations without bias towards anyone.

  91. Shaul — on 30th January, 2006 at 5:55 pm  

    “You would think that this was pretty clear to everyone.”

    Just name ONE thing! Why so coy?

  92. Sunny — on 30th January, 2006 at 6:01 pm  

    Like what for example? Please be concrete. I’m still not sure what you mean here.

    Intafada Kid and Robert Sharp gave plenty of examples on that other thread if you had bothered to read the original post or their posts. I don’t need to repeat them words.

    I may be for the right of Israel to exist, but I’m also for the right of a Palestinian state to exist, according to UN mandates, and with a proper statehood. Not under some Israeli protectorate.

    Do you think all non-British people in Britain should have the same rights as citizens?

    All citizens should have the same rights for a start, something Israel does not practise (as pointed out a million times).
    The original thread was always about non-Jewish Israelis.

    As for non-citizens, they should be subject to the same laws, and same civil rights as citizens IMO, though there should be quicker legal deportation if it can be proved they are out to destory the state or harm citizens. That is my view.

    Why should anyone have to change their religion to get full legal rights. That is absurd, and a stupid policy common in the Middle East. I don’t agree with it at all.
    The right to be able to follow your religion and still be treated the same as others is central to civil liberty and democracy. Otherwise it is a sham.

    I hope that clears up things for you.

  93. Shaul — on 30th January, 2006 at 6:03 pm  

    Do you think non-Cherokees should have the right to live on Cherokee reservations?

    Is Cherokee a race, a religion or a culture?

  94. Shaul — on 30th January, 2006 at 6:05 pm  

    “Intafada Kid and Robert Sharp gave plenty of examples”

    But you can’t remember ONE?

  95. Shaul — on 30th January, 2006 at 6:59 pm  

    I think Sunny thinks the Cherokee are racist.

  96. Don — on 30th January, 2006 at 7:49 pm  

    Shaul,

    You say in post #82 that de facto or de jure discrimination against non-jewish citizens does not disqualify Israel as a democracy. I’d agree that de facto discrimination exists in most societies, but discrimination de jure would surely at least bring into question a country’s democratic credentials? Further, doesn’t there come a point when de facto discrimination by the state accumulates to such an extent that it erodes claims to democracy? I’d certainly include extra-judicial killings, routine violation of civil rights and the repeated destruction of the minority communities’ infrastructure under that heading.

    However, that begs the question as to whether Israel does discriminate de jure, a point I was suprised to see you apparently concede. The military service rules can reasonably said to be a special case and, while the Right of Return does discriminate in favour of jews over non-jews, the same legal principal is applied by a dozen or so nations (including EU members Germany, Greece and Ireland) without apparently raising that question.

    If there exists clearly discriminatory legislation (rather than common practice) I’d appreciate details.

    Just to clear things up, I support Israel’s right to exist and can see no realistic alternative to the two state solution. But it has to be a viable and independant Palestinian state.

    The problem for me is how to ensure the continued existence of Israel as a Jewish state without excluding from the democratic process citizens who oppose the very concept of a Jewish state, and indeed the continued existence of Israel itself. At the moment I believe that about 80% of Israeli citizens are jewish. I can well see that, looking 50 years ahead, many Israelis can see a time when that majority is so reduced (and not all jewish Israelis are Zionists) that the nature and continued existence of the state is threatened. Is it even possible to avoid that situation and still remain a democracy?

    Perhaps, although only Polyanna on Prozac would expect to see reconcilliation and good will develop in our lifetimes, and your suggestion that non-jewish citizens convert was silly. I would suggest that a viable and secure Palestinian state would hugely to Israel’s advantage, in part because it would be an attractive alternative to non-jewish citizens who feel that the weight of discrimination (de facto, de jure, de whatever) placed upon them by a state which, not unreasonably, feels its existenceis at stake, is intolerable.

  97. Shaul — on 30th January, 2006 at 8:24 pm  

    “I’d certainly include extra-judicial killings, routine violation of civil rights and the repeated destruction of the minority communities’ infrastructure under that heading”

    They aren’t Israeli.

    “However, that begs the question as to whether Israel does discriminate de jure, a point I was suprised to see you apparently concede”

    Why surprised?

    “If there exists clearly discriminatory legislation (rather than common practice) I’d appreciate details.”

    I’ve been waiting 3 days myself for a few details.

    “I support Israel’s right to exist and can see no realistic alternative to the two state solution. But it has to be a viable and independant Palestinian state.”

    That’s probably because you are a reasonable person.

    “your suggestion that non-jewish citizens convert was silly.”

    It was intended to be silly (as a response to numerous silly accusations.)

    Thanks for being coherent. And yes the problem of maitaining a Jewish community is an issue in Israel and the diaspora with no easy answers.

  98. El Cid — on 30th January, 2006 at 8:59 pm  

    OK Sunny! So you are pro-Israel! That is good news. As someone who doesn’t question the right of a Jewish state to exist, you are officially a Zionist. Congratulations!
    You realise this sounds a touch paranoid right?

  99. Sunny — on 30th January, 2006 at 9:52 pm  

    A touch paranoid? Shaul has been screaming anti-semitism from jot one! I’m surprised we’ve gotten this far.

    Shaul, you wanted to know examples of discrimination. As you’re too lazy to read the article in other thread, or look up what Intafada Kid said, I shall re-post it here for you.

    Now don’t say I’m avoiding the question. If you however choose to ignore this, then that is something you have to deal with, not me.

    ———————————–
    Shaul, you ask for concrete examples of how Palestinian (’Arab’) citizens of Israel are effectively second-class citizens of their own state. For a dramatic example, I would suggest that if you do happen to travel to Israel sometime soon, make the effort of visiting the Palestinian Bedouin citizens of Israel who live in 40 odd unrecognized villages in the Naqab (Negev). The scene is very dramatic: Bedouin encampments with no social services or water next to Jewish communities in plush villas with swimming pools. It’s very similar to the differences between the Israeli settlements (colonies) and Palestinian towns and villages in the occupied West Bank. I’m sorry to say it, but it looks like Apartheid.

    In the meantime, perhaps spend some time perusing the website of Adalah – The Legal Center for Arab Minority Rights in israel. Here’s some of what they have to say:

    “Discriminatory laws

    Adalah’s report to the World Conference Against Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Intolerance, issued August/September 2001 and entitled Institutionalized Discrimination Against Palestinian Citizens of Israel, identifies more than 20 laws that discriminate against the Palestinian minority in Israel. The report shows that the Jewish character of the state is evident in numerous Israeli laws. The most important immigration laws, The Law of Return (1950) and The Citizenship Law (1952), allow Jews to freely immigrate to Israel and gain citizenship, but excludes Arabs who were forced to flee their homes in 1947 and 1967. Israeli law also confers special quasi-governmental standing on the World Zionist Organization, the Jewish Agency, the Jewish National Fund and other Zionist bodies, which by their own charters cater only to Jews. Various other laws such as The Chief Rabbinate of Israel Law (1980), The Flag and Emblem Law (1949), and The State Education Law (1953) and its 2000 amendment give recognition to Jewish educational, religious, and cultural practices and institutions, and define their aims and objectives strictly in Jewish terms.

    Government discrimination

    Further, the discretionary powers entrusted to various government ministries and institutions – including budget policies, the allocation of resources, and the implementation of laws – results in significant de facto discrimination between Jewish and Palestinian citizens. For example, a report issued by the Ministry of Interior confirmed that Arab municipalities received a fraction of the total funds allocated by the national government per resident to Jewish settlements in the Occupied Territories and to development towns populated exclusively by Jews. Moreover, the Ministry of Religious Affairs affords a small percentage of its budget to the Arab Muslim, Christian, and Druze religious communities. Funds for special projects such as the renewal and development of neighborhoods and improvements in educational programs, services, and facilities are also disproportionately allocated to Jewish communities. To date, Israeli authorities have rarely used their discretionary powers to benefit the Palestinians minority.

    Land expropriation

    Most importantly, the Israeli government has maintained an aggressive policy of land expropriation, adversely affecting Palestinian land and housing rights. For example, the National Planning and Building Law (1965), retroactively re-zoned the lands on which many Arab villages sit as “non-residential.” The consequence of this is that despite the existence of these villages prior to the establishment of the state, they have been afforded no official status. These “unrecognized Arab villages” receive no government services, and residents are denied the ability to build homes and other public buildings. The authorities use a combination of house demolitions, land confiscation, denial of basic services, and restrictions on infrastructure development to dislodge residents from these villages. The situation is severely acute for the Arab Bedouin community living in these unrecognized villages in the Naqab.”

    Source: http://www.adalah.org/eng/backgroundlegalsystem.php

    That is the main problem with racism in Israel. The discrimination is structural, institutionalised and state-sponsored, not incidental or accidental or limited to civil society. I know that you wouldn’t accept this if you experienced it (or perhaps if you yourself were better informed about it). So why not join those who are working to end it? There are many patriotic Israelis who are doing just that today – because they recognize the paradox of the self-procrlaimed “Jewish” and “democratic” state and want to see Israel tranformed into a state for all its citizens.
    ———————————-

    that should be enough for now. I hope you’re not going to come back with some lame ass “cherokhee” responses.

  100. Shaul — on 30th January, 2006 at 10:13 pm  

    “The most important immigration laws, The Law of Return (1950) and The Citizenship Law (1952), allow Jews to freely immigrate to Israel and gain citizenship, but excludes Arabs who were forced to flee their homes in 1947 and 1967.”

    That’s the best example you got for de facto, state-sponsered racist policy!? I’ve already responded to those canards elsewhere. Sunny, I would continue arguing, but I honestly don’t think you understand the argument you pretend to be participating in. Maybe Don can help you. At least understands what the words mean.

  101. Shaul — on 30th January, 2006 at 10:14 pm  

    p.s. You’re not half as liberal as you think you are.

  102. Shaul — on 30th January, 2006 at 10:16 pm  

    And I stand by my assertion that you hate Cherokee.

  103. Shaul — on 30th January, 2006 at 10:16 pm  

    And Shinnecock.

  104. Shaul — on 30th January, 2006 at 10:16 pm  

    Seminole, probably.

  105. Don — on 30th January, 2006 at 10:32 pm  

    Actually, Shaul, the examples Sunny gave were de jure, which is what I had asked for.

    Although, as I pointed out earlier, the Law of Return operates on a widely accepted principle.

  106. Kay — on 30th January, 2006 at 10:34 pm  

    I’m completely ambilivant to the whole ‘israel/palestinian debate’.

    Sunny well said, although you forgot to mention that the palestinians have been left behind by their despair about ‘loosing’ their land.

    Israel have made progress inless than 4 decades. By progress, i’m refering to a infrastructure (educations, health, commerce etc) being established and political stability being established aswell.
    But this can’t be said for the palestinian side. After endless debates with a few of my palestinian friends they have reached a similar conclusion, that nothing is being done for the palestinian people.
    Instead you have these so-called political groups who wish to incite hatred. Why?
    Instead the palestinian authorities need to focus upon progressing this state rather than being stuck in a time warp.

    (I’m not taking sides, this is my observation)

  107. Shaul — on 30th January, 2006 at 10:42 pm  

    “Actually, Shaul, the examples Sunny gave were de jure, which is what I had asked for. ”

    You are completely right. While hastily trying to insult Sunny, I confused the words I accused him of misunderstanding! (Quite ironic.) Anyway though, I stand by the point I was making…Sunny gave one lame example of what he interprets to be codified racism. So I’m still not sure that he understands what this discussion is really about.

    The Law of Return racist?

  108. Kay — on 30th January, 2006 at 10:46 pm  

    The Law of Return racist?
    In today’s hybrid society, yes.

  109. Don — on 30th January, 2006 at 10:47 pm  

    By the way, three cheers for that bull.

  110. El Cid — on 30th January, 2006 at 10:50 pm  

    being a “keyboard maccabee” (to coin a phrase) is not going to help you, me, the jewish people or israel in the long run. discussion and dialogue will.
    He just won’t listen bananabrain. He just doesn’t get it.

  111. El Cid — on 30th January, 2006 at 11:00 pm  

    Don, you’re gonna have to better than that to draw me in on a bull-fighting discussion! (That was some jump out of the corrida mind!) Check out the the vid.

  112. Shaul — on 30th January, 2006 at 11:01 pm  

    “The Law of Return racist?
    In today’s hybrid society, yes.”

    Well, I’m afraid then you would also think Judaism is racist. And I’m afraid that technically that make you an antisemite. (On ostensibly anti-racist grounds!) You would also be against most tribal laws governing the legal right to call oneself a member of most native American tribes. So I guess you are anti-native American. I love the new liberalism.

  113. Shaul — on 30th January, 2006 at 11:03 pm  

    How do you guys feel about Hawaiin separatist movements? Just curious.

    (I think they are racist!)

  114. Kay — on 30th January, 2006 at 11:14 pm  

    Shaul, no you’ve got the wrong of the stick.
    The law of return, if used throughout the world would result in chaos.
    Where would individuals go (regardless of race/religion etc)????

    Back to the Palestinian/Israeli debate, both are claiming land on religious grounds. But one can question religion aswell.

    I know nothing of the Hawaiin separatist movement so can’t comment. Matey, the palestian.israeli debate has been widely discussed in my politics seminars, and my opinions are formed accordingly.

    Any sort of separatist movement is bound to, in the long term create isolation, superiority and hierarachies etc.

    So what do you think of single faith schools?

  115. Shaul — on 30th January, 2006 at 11:26 pm  

    “The law of return, if used throughout the world would result in chaos. ”

    If everyone flushed their toilet at the same time it would result in chaos too. That’s not a valid argument for holding radical anti-toilet positions.

    “So what do you think of single faith schools?”

    Why should I care?

  116. Shaul — on 30th January, 2006 at 11:28 pm  

    And Kay if you believe *any* impulse against a greater hybrid society (whatever that means) to be racist, then you would think Judaism was racist. And eventually would have to admit to being antisemitic.

  117. Shaul — on 30th January, 2006 at 11:29 pm  

    “Any sort of separatist movement is bound to, in the long term create isolation, superiority and hierarachies”

    Got any particular ones in mind?

  118. Col. Mustafa — on 30th January, 2006 at 11:41 pm  

    A jewish version of Waxon.

    Waaalah.

  119. Rohin — on 30th January, 2006 at 11:48 pm  

    “If everyone flushed their toilet at the same time it would result in chaos too. That’s not a valid argument for holding radical anti-toilet positions.”

    No it wouldn’t, toilets hold the water for each flush in the vacuum-chamber inside the cistern, removed from the mains supply. So nothing much would happen if all toilets were simultaneously flushed.

    Moreover, that’s the stupidest substitute for a real argument I’ve ever heard.

  120. Don — on 31st January, 2006 at 1:06 am  

    Kay,

    Surely the principle behind the Law of Return applies only to diasporas? However broadly interpreted it could scarcely cause chaos.

    I don’t think dragging Cherokees and Hawaiins into this is helpful, but the Irish system is a parallel. The image, and probably the reality, of the Irish system is a fairly easy going approach to anyone even remotely Irish ( and if they can play football a bit…), and a history of being quick to offer Irish passports on humanitarian grounds, without worrying too much about the details. I wouldn’t call that racist, it’s a response to the Irish diaspora. Yet, technically you could argue the case. It wouldn’t, as such, disqualify Ireland from being a democracy. The Armenians do something similar. And if the Kurds ever get a homeland? Is the international community going to prevent them offering a haven to the displaced. Details differ, the principle is the same.

    Shaul,

    Re; #97; I’m delighted to know that the Israeli security services don’t carry out extra-judicial killings of non-jewish Israeli citizens. I’ll take your word for it, I’m not about to go looking for evidence.

    The routine violation of civil rights, as well as the harassment of journalists, lawyers and academics, is well documented in the original post and the links. And elsewhere. You may reasonably see it as a response to an extreme situation, but the evidence is clear.

    I’ll admit that I had in mind the ugly scenes in the Occupied Territories when I referred to destroying a community’s infrastructure, but the planning policy of the Israeli government is certainly open to the charge of extreme and deliberate discrimination.

    You reacted with scorn to the suggestions that Israel was undemocratic, but if discrimination against a religious/ethnic minority becomes government policy, then that is an issue.

    Every-day discrimination makes a place unpleasant to live in, but it doesn’t stop it being a democracy. Institutionalised discrimination is still borderline, but if it can be shown to be a full blown government policy then any claim to be democratic is tenuous at best.

    A few days ago Sid asked why David T always shut off comments when saying anything supportive of the Palestinians. Too many flags nailed to too many masts.

  121. Vikrant — on 31st January, 2006 at 5:08 am  

    Lemme add my two-cents pence

    Well Israeli govt. has at times been racist towards its non-white Jewish citizens as well. Those Indian Marathi speaking Bene Israel fellas for example werent recognised as “original Jews” for decades. Most of them were banished to poor peripheral settelements in Negev and Gaza. Anyways i’d say Israel treats its Arab citizens waaay better than how Arab countries treat their Jewish citizens. I mean like Israeli Arab Knesset members have cheek to question the right of existence of Israel. Thats Arab loyalty for you.

    As for “Palestinian” refugees; again this problem has been created by Arabs themselves. Arab countries have persistently refused them citizenship (with notable exception of Jordan). C’mon India had like 10 million refugees during partition, havent they been assimilated.

    @j0nZ: Well situation in Kashmir has definitely improved. Been there last April. A Hindu and a British-resident in Baramullah! well they tell me that was a first in years.

  122. Shaul — on 31st January, 2006 at 11:04 am  

    Regardless of what one thinks of Zionism and the creation of Israel in historical terms, Israel is a country that has existed for close to sixty years, and it now has a population of 6,869,500. Of these, 5,529,300 (80%) are Israeli Jews, who constitute a clearly recognizable national entity characterised by a language, shared culture, and common history. Using the rhetoric of anti-Zionism to criticise Israel’s repression of the Palestinians in the occupied territories is, in most cases, a device for rendering the call for Israel’s elimination palatable. By reducing an entire nation to an ideology, one gives the appearance of calling for a change of political regime when one is, in fact, advocating the destruction of one country and its replacement by another.

    The radical uniqueness of this stance becomes apparent when one considers that no parallel movements exist for dismantling other countries, even when these were created by territorial partition in response to religio-ethnic strife, as in the case of Pakistan and India (established at the same time as Israel), or through colonial conquest and ethnic cleansing, like Australia, Canada, the United States, and most Latin American countries. The fact that, in general, the damage done to the indigenous populations of these countries remains unaddressed has not undermined their international legitimacy, which is never brought into serious question.

    Anti-Zionism is also widely used in the current debate as a means of criticising the overwhelming majority of Jews who support Israel’s existence, while avoiding direct reference to Jews as such. In this context “Zionist” has been emptied of its original historical and political content, and turned into a term of abuse that is used as a rough paraphrase of expressions like “racist” and “colonialist”.

    In a more sinister vein, it is employed to suggest a powerful, quasi criminal political and financial lobby working from within the Jewish Community, in league with the Unite[d] States, to promote Israeli and Jewish interests by controlling the press and pulling levers of international power. It is in this mode that current anti-Zionism blossoms into full blown anti-Semitism.

    These distinct strands of anti-Zionism frequently blend into each other, and they often become closely intertwined in extreme anti-Israel discourse, despite their conceptual differences. The effect of this toxic mixture is that a line of discussion that may start out as reasonable, if forceful criticism of Israeli policy can quickly escalate into an assault on Israel as a country, and then graduate into transparently racist charges of Zionist control of the press and the political process.
    …..
    Mainstream journalists frequently invoke the activities of a powerful Zionist or pro-Israel lobby attempting to control the media’s handling of news on Israel… Strikingly, advocacy of Palestinian, Arab, or Muslim interests is not generally treated as illegitimate lobbying, even when pursued in a systematic and professional manner by well funded political organizations or by Middle Eastern governments. Of course, there is no reason why it should be, given that it is part of normal public debate and political action. The obvious question is why activity on behalf of Israeli concerns, even when limited to protesting boycotts or objecting to imbalanced reporting in the press, is so often stigmatised in this way. The [e]ffect of this stigma is to deligitimise not only Israel but large sections of the Jewish Community and its institutions.
    …..
    Perhaps the greatest difficulty that the Jewish Community encounters in the current situation is its comparative isolation. It has no obvious allies in the political domain. Much of the left now serves as an impresario for the hostility that it faces. The centre and the moderate conservatives are largely indifferent, and the far right is a deadly threat. Islamist groups are shaping opinion within Muslim communities, while non-Muslim immigrants that share common concerns with Jews, like Indian Hindus and Sikhs are not in a position to offer substantive assistance, given their own vulnerable position in the cross fire between Islamism and anti-immigrant racism. Jews continue to be seen as privileged, excessively influential, and so in no need of assistance on one side, but irreparably foreign on the other. The unwillingness of major public figures to take up the issue of rising hostility to collective Jewish concerns leaves the Community quietly under siege.

    http://www.engageonline.org.uk/journal/index.php?journal_id=5&article_id=15

  123. sonia — on 31st January, 2006 at 11:10 am  

    shaul -got some interesting analysis up there. i’m glad someone highlights the dangers of lumping everything together and then slagging off one way or the other. Everything is so much more complex than that…

  124. Shaul — on 31st January, 2006 at 11:20 am  

    On March 18, 2005 NPR reported outrage in Iraq over a proposal by the new government to declare Saturday an official weekend day. It’s a Jewish plot, charged the Iraqi interviewed for the story: the Israelis, who hate Islam and are trying to destroy it, now want to impose the Jewish sabbath on Iraq. The interviewee added that there had been an earlier plot to make the Iraqi flag look like the Israeli one; “good people” had foiled that one, but the Jews had apparently succeeded in getting Iyad Allawi to carry out their new plan for the destruction of Islam(1).

    It’s still a shock to hear this sort of madness alive and well 60 years after Hitler was defeated. But it is not unusual. Last December, when liberal clerics at Cairo’s Al Azhar seminary proposed a change to the curriculum, they were denounced as “Zionists” by their conservative opposition. The month before that, when the (non-Jewish, even anti-semitic) Dutch film-maker Theo van Gogh was murdered by a religious Muslim, the note pinned to his body said that Holland was run by Jews and listed a series of supposed citations from the Talmud illustrating the evil of Jews. In 2003, the Malaysian prime minister, to great applause by leaders of 57 Muslim countries, including Hamid Karzai, said that Islam is locked in a worldwide battle with the Jews, who “invented and successfully promoted Socialism, Communism, human rights and democracy so that persecuting them would appear to be wrong,” and thereby “gained control of the most powerful countries” in the world. (In the 1990s, the same prime minister had blamed the Jews for a Malaysian currency crisis.) The Hamas movement, dignified by the appellation “philanthropic” even by the New York Times and widely acclaimed throughout the Arab and Muslim worlds, declares in its charter that Jews run the world through such organizations as the Rotary Club and the Freemasons, that they caused both world wars, and that their real plans are described in the Protocols of the Elders of Zion — the early twentieth century forgery purporting to record a Jewish conspiracy to achieve world domination. In 2002, state TV in Egypt ran a long serial based on the Protocols; in 2003, an exhibit of the holy scriptures of Islam, Christianity and Judaism in Alexandria, sponsored in part by UNESCO, displayed a copy of the Protocols next to the Torah because, so the director of the museum declared, the doctrine of the Protocols “has become one of the sacred [tenets] of the Jews.” The prime minister of Syria, famously, used a 2001 public appearance together with the Pope to say that the Jews “try to kill the principles of all religions with the same mentality in which they betrayed Jesus Christ and the same way they tried to betray and kill the Prophet Muhammad.” Mustafa Tlass, his defense minister, published The Matzah of Zion, a book recounting how Jews use Gentile blood to make matzah, in the early 1980s; it has been regularly re-issued ever since, most recently in 2002, and translated into English, Italian and French. An article in the official Egyptian press informed readers that “The Talmud, the second holiest book for the Jews, determines that the ‘matzahs’ of Atonement Day must be kneaded ‘with blood’ from a non-Jew. The preference is for the blood of youths after raping them.” In Saudi Arabia a dissenting voice was heard: the state-run press declared in 2002 that Christian and Muslim blood goes into Purim pastries, not matzah(2).

    Open, Nazi-like anti-semitism — and open fondness and support for Nazism — is most common today in the Muslim world, but it was also just this year that 20 members of the Russian parliament submitted a letter calling for all Jewish organizations to be banned, and a petition supporting that ban, signed by 5000 leading figures including Boris Spassky, accused Jews of “inhumane” practices including ritual murder. Assaults on Jews and desecrations of Jewish buildings and cemeteries have gone up dramatically across the world. In France, attacks on synagogues and Jews are now so common that Orthodox rabbis have issued opinions saying that it is too dangerous to wear a yarmulke in the street. The intensity of the violence against Jews has gone up significantly in recent years, but there have been bombing of and shootings in synagogues, kosher restaurants, and other Jewish establishments in Europe since the 1970s. Similarly, in 1994 a Jewish communal organization was bombed in Argentina, killing at least 80 people. A poll taken in Italy in 1992 showed that 10% of the population thought all Jews should leave, about a third did not regard Jews as Italians (Jews have lived in Italy for 2000 years), and over half believed that Jews have a “special relationship with money.” In 2001, Robert Mugabe accused the Jews of trying to ruin the Zimbabwean economy. In 1988, a Chicago mayoral aide charged that Jewish doctors were deliberately spreading AIDS in the black community in America(3) — a sort of modern sequel to the medieval idea that the Jews, by poisoning the wells, spread the Black Plague. The notion that Jews run politics and the media and are largely responsible for racism in the United States has been suggested by several prominent black activists — even as the same idea of Jewish control over politics and the media, coupled with the claim that Jews are responsible, balefully, for the fight against racism, remains a common trope in the far-right white community. In America in 2001, even with the enormous increase in hate crimes against Muslims, the number of hate crimes against Jews was almost double the number of hate crimes against all other religious groups combined. Sixty years after the end of the Holocaust, anti-semitism remains alive and well, throughout the world(4).

    http://www.engageonline.org.uk/journal/index.php?journal_id=5&article_id=18

  125. Shaul — on 31st January, 2006 at 11:23 am  

    Considering how well accepted Jews are in the world, the idea of a Jewish state as refuge does seem sort of old fashioned doesn’t it.

  126. El Cid — on 31st January, 2006 at 2:13 pm  

    At last you sound like a reasonable person interested in real dialogue rather than fight-to-the-death and desparate hectoring.
    I still think there’s a touch of paranoia in your arguments. I’m still not sure you’re willing to compromise. And you still make the odd sweeping and vacuous statement.

    However, if we could ever bridge the gap I would suggest that your sentiments in this sentence:
    Using the rhetoric of anti-Zionism to criticise Israel’s repression of the Palestinians in the occupied territories is, in most cases, a device for rendering the call for Israel’s elimination palatable.

    Help to explain this:
    Perhaps the greatest difficulty that the Jewish Community encounters in the current situation is its comparative isolation. It has no obvious allies in the political domain. Much of the left now serves as an impresario for the hostility that it faces.

  127. Shaul — on 31st January, 2006 at 2:30 pm  

    Thanks Sonia, I think this Wilde quote from your blog is actually quite relevant to the current thread:

    ” Arguments are to be avoided; they are always vulgar and often convincing ”

    Personally I fetishize my own vulgarity! (As I imagine the chap with the beard in the more recent article does his.)

  128. Sunny — on 31st January, 2006 at 2:33 pm  

    Reasonable? He still sounds like a paranoid fantasist. Shaul – yeah I know the Arabs have Israel but the idea that there is mainstream anti-semitism practiced by journalists is pure rubbish. There is much more Islamophobia than there is anti-semitism.

    Secondly, the idea that Jewish lobbies are ineffectual compared to lobbying by Middle eastern govts is also a joke. The ME govts are useless at lobbying. AIPAC is much stronger than any other lobby in the USA for a start.

    What makes me laugh is this victim mentality badge that both Jews and Muslims constantly fight over. I keep saying this because I’m engaging in similar arguments with Muslims on other websites who keep saying that Jews control everything, and here we have Shaul trying the exact opposite.

    Oh we feel sorry for both of you. Here, both you Jews and Muslims can have a “we feel sorry for you” badge. You are the “most victimised minority”. I hope you’re happy now Shaul, and you can go back to 1st grade and learn some English and learn to answer questions when people pose them instead of just copying and posting articles.

  129. Shaul — on 31st January, 2006 at 3:17 pm  

    “You are the “most victimised minority”.”

    Its just 1,000,000,000 vs. 13, 000,000 (but’s who’s counting).

    Sunny you crack me up. I know this is probably difficult for you to believe, but to me you seem entirely hysterical and unreasonable. From my perspective, you don’t answer any of the questions I consider relevant. Amazing isn’t it?!!!

    And I’m glad you can find the time to defend Jews against conspiracy theories Sunny. The truth is we control most things, just not everything. (Sunny that’s a very nice shirt you’re wearing!)

  130. Shaul — on 31st January, 2006 at 3:32 pm  

    “What makes me laugh is this victim mentality badge that both Jews and Muslims constantly fight over.”

    Good to know the kinds of things you find funny, Sunny. I was beginning to wonder if you even *had* a sense of humor.

    (Incidently, you seem to think the chap wearing a beard so that he might experience this victimization first-hand is kinda funny, but in a differnt way, no? Are you a hypocrite Sunny!?)

  131. Shaul — on 31st January, 2006 at 3:33 pm  

    “go back to 1st grade and learn some English ”

    That’s racist!

  132. Shaul — on 31st January, 2006 at 3:38 pm  

    Sunny said: “There is much more Islamophobia than there is anti-semitism.”

    …In America in 2001, even with the enormous increase in hate crimes against Muslims, the number of hate crimes against Jews was almost double the number of hate crimes against all other religious groups combined….

    But then again that’s the USA where Jews aren’t completely welcome…unlike Europe of course where we are simply adored by all!

  133. Sunny — on 31st January, 2006 at 3:48 pm  

    That’s because crimes against Muslims are not counted as a race hate crime, as in this country. So while crimes against Jews are specifically counted, crimes against Muslims are put into general race hate crimes. I believe the same goes for the US.

    As for there, since 9/11 they’ve had a huge program of locking up people (mostly Pakistanis) and deporting them without charge. There are several articles and campaigns about this but I don’t suspect you know very much about that, or want to know. After all, all Muslims are jew-haters right? And why should you care about them?

  134. Shaul — on 31st January, 2006 at 3:56 pm  

    “That’s because crimes against Muslims are not counted as a race hate crime, as in this country.”

    What does “That” refer to above? It’s not clear.

    “After all, all Muslims are jew-haters right? And why should you care about them?”

    Sunny, Sunny, you’re projecting again (a big problem in the virtual non-face-to-face blogosphere). I never said any such thing. This is an example of you making assumptions, see?

    And you never answered me. Do you think the guy wearing the beard in order to experience victimization is “ha-ha” funny or that guy is “pathetic as an hysterical jew fanatasist” funny? I’m very curious.

  135. Sunny — on 31st January, 2006 at 4:02 pm  

    “That” refers to why you say so many more crimes are recorded against Jews than Muslims. Official stats would be nice though.

    I’m not projecting anything. In a previous post you were talking about how to deal with non-Jewish people in Israel as if they all hated Jews and wanted to destroy the country from within. So I’m supposed to assume you don’t have that bigoted attitude?

    I think the guy wearing a beard will show how people react differently to outside appearances and fall for media scaremongering. Watch the programme and let me know what you think.

  136. Shaul — on 31st January, 2006 at 4:58 pm  

    “talking about…non-Jewish people in Israel as if they all hated Jews and wanted to destroy the country from within.”

    Whoah Sunny! Again, I never said that…if that were the case, i.e 20% of the Israeli population wanted to destroy Israel, it would have been gone along time ago. In fact, my point is that the fact that they *don’t* want to destroy Israel or “hate” Jews is proof of the strength of its democracy! Just the opposite of what you claim!

    When you make stuff up (and even get things backwards) it sure makes you *sound* like you are projecting. But you’re right I can’t be sure!

  137. Shaul — on 31st January, 2006 at 5:38 pm  

    “So I’m supposed to assume you don’t have that bigoted attitude?”

    It’s very intersting Sunny. You assume me to be racist and cry bigot, although I have said absolutely nothing anti-anyone. I have not called you anything similar, insulted your level of education, asked you to consult you imam, etc. yet I’m accused of hysterically playing the victim. Because you thinkk it’s silly to play the vicitm. That’s why none of the stories you link to are about instances of Arab racism in Britain and elsewhere.

    I see a pattern here!

  138. Shaul — on 31st January, 2006 at 7:22 pm  

    Remember the Baader-Meinhoff gang Sunny!

  139. Jay Singh — on 31st January, 2006 at 9:04 pm  

    Shaul

    I have not called you anything similar, insulted your level of education, asked you to consult you imam, etc

    Shaul, why do you make a reference to Sunny ‘consulting his imam’? Sunny is not a Muslim. Surely you are not that ignorant, are you?

    Shaul, say it isnt so, say you arent one of those people that has a wart in their head that speaks to them:

    “They are all a bunch of Pakis they are all the same!”

    Say it isnt so Shaul!

  140. Shaul — on 1st February, 2006 at 1:05 am  

    “Shaul, why do you make a reference to Sunny ‘consulting his imam’?”

    Jay, where were you when someone asked me to “consult my rabbi”?

    My comment was an ironic reference to that particular comment. But it was a long time ago and there was no reason for you to have caught it. I am sorry to have confused you.

    I have no idea what Sunny is except a creep who claims to enjoy “thinking outside the box’” and other similar forms of adolescent self aggrandizement.

    Cheers

  141. Shaul — on 1st February, 2006 at 1:07 am  

    And I am a Jew in case you were wondering!

    (Everyone is so uptight around here. I think it’s Sunny’s influence.)

  142. Jay Singh — on 1st February, 2006 at 10:21 am  

    Shaul

    As I understand it Sunny is an atheist from a Sikh background. So the comment about the imam is really stupid and flows with the ignorance that says all Asians are Muslims.

  143. Siddharth — on 1st February, 2006 at 10:26 am  

    Jay

    Shaul’s (security) blanket idea is that anyone who critiques Zionism is anti-Semitic first and Muslim second. And since Sunny is Asian, he must be Muslim. In He hasn’t explicitly called Sunny antisemitic (yet) but he has certainly implied it.

  144. bananabrain — on 1st February, 2006 at 11:29 am  

    like i said, shaul, you are *waaaay* too angry to get anywhere in this discussion. you appear to be on a mission to right the wrongs of anti-zionism and anti-semitism and, i can tell you, you’re going completely the wrong way about it. all you are doing is getting people’s backs up. you are too aggressive and too self-righteous. you have some good points and arguments (post #122 is a good example, which appears, unfortunately to be cribbed from somewhere else) but you are removing all of their benefit by your tone, which is accusatory in the extreme. anyone who reads the israeli press itself (as i do) will be aware that israeli civil society is not a bed of roses for the arab minority and anyone sephardi (like myself) will be aware that intra-jewish racism has been a big problem in the past, for all that it has been mostly overcome nowadays, although some of the furore over electing a moroccan with a big moustache to run the labour party should be a salutary warning.

    if you want to “make friends and influence people”, you are failing miserably. dialogue must be based upon a foundation of shared experience and mutual understanding – *not* diatribes of victimisation and self-justification. we all know that everywhere in the middle east apart from israel (apart from iraq and, now, the PA and stirrings in egypt, kuwait and jordan) is to greater or lesser degrees a one-party dictatorship without a free press, free speech or civil liberties, where minorities such as christians suffer terrible repression and jews are barely tolerated, if they are allowed to live at all.

    BUT THAT’S NOT THE POINT.

    the point is that jews are expected – for whatever reason – to behave better than their neighbours. whether this is because of our own chauvinism or the anti-semitism of others, i really neither know nor care. nonetheless, we remain accountable to OURSELVES and to the Holy Blessed One. we are in breach of our duty as jews, both theologically and halachically if we are less than honourable, fair, humane and moral. regardless of what the lunatics may think, say, or accuse, we know what the right thing to do is. we have started to do it. israel is far from an entirely fair and equitable society – no society is. nonetheless, through democratic means, free speech and an independent judiciary, they have begun the work of building a better world. what they must not do is rest on their laurels. what we as jews can do to help is to get out there and get to know others, not sit behind our walls and complain. dialogue is not an end, but it is a means to that. and successful dialogue is about BUILDING AND INVESTING IN RELATIONSHIPS, not about winning some war of words in the endless round of accusation and counter-accusation.

    in short, stop calling sunny an anti-semite. as far as i can tell, he isn’t. he has some questions and you’re not answering them. you’re attempting to tell him he’s wicked to ask them – and he isn’t.

    and the rest of you – it would help everybody if there was a bit less rhetoric and a bit more consideration; think before you post. i know i’m not a moderator here, but i have some experience in this area and if this was taking place on *my* bulletin board, i’d have moderated the feck out of the lot of yis.

    let’s wrap this up and move on.

    b’shalom

    bananabrain

  145. El Cid — on 1st February, 2006 at 11:39 am  

    Ooooh! Dat’s gotta hurt!

  146. Siddharth — on 1st February, 2006 at 11:54 am  

    and the rest of you – it would help everybody if there was a bit less rhetoric and a bit more consideration;

    Given that he comes across, frankly, as the drunken ranting madman on the street who others steps clear of and never address directly, I think the rest of “us” have been valiantly patient and considerate of Shaul.

    OTH Soul brother Sunny has the patience of a Sikh saint.

  147. El Cid — on 1st February, 2006 at 12:41 pm  

    Well, I must confess that my frustration got the better of me early on too.
    For it is I who suggested that Shaul was blind with anger and that he should consult his rabbi. I still think a bit of spiritual guidance might be a good idea — either that, or a hooker.

  148. Vikrant — on 1st February, 2006 at 1:03 pm  

    I still think a bit of spiritual guidance might be a good idea — either that, or a hooker.

    a hooker shall do.

  149. Shaul — on 1st February, 2006 at 7:13 pm  

    “So the comment about the imam is really stupid and flows with the ignorance that says all Asians are Muslims.”

    Yes it is. That’s the point. It’s as ignorant as assuming that any pro-Israel person is a Jew, or worse, “just hates Arabs”. That’s how “all this” started. Check the tapes, if you are really so shocked. I’m afraid you phony liberals are quite slow. Seriously now, I’m done. Despite what has been thrown my way, I have tried to avoid overgeneralizations and insults (except in the name of parody or irony) but I’m afraid that for the most part, with some exceptions, the people I have argued strike me as being quite ignorant and unsophisitcated (I can say less about their intelligence of course).

  150. Shaul — on 1st February, 2006 at 7:15 pm  

    “the point is that jews are expected – for whatever reason – to behave better than their neighbours”

    Bananabrain: Fuck off you stinking cunt.

  151. Jai — on 1st February, 2006 at 7:21 pm  

    Shaul,

    I believe that Bananabrain is Jewish herself — having read many of her posts in recent times, I’m pretty sure her comment wasn’t intended maliciously.

  152. Jay Singh — on 1st February, 2006 at 7:30 pm  

    Shaul in post 149:

    but I’m afraid that for the most part, with some exceptions, the people I have argued strike me as being quite ignorant and unsophisitcated (I can say less about their intelligence of course)

    Shaul in post 150:

    Bananabrain: Fuck off you stinking cunt.

    Hmmmm….unsophisticated, eh?

  153. bananabrain — on 3rd February, 2006 at 12:32 pm  

    *grin*

    i’m sorry my opinions are inconvenient. (and male, too) i wasn’t saying whether the expectation that provoked such outrage was a fair expectation. it probably isn’t. but then being jewish isn’t especially fair. nonetheless, we continue our religious obligation to hold ourselves to exacting standards of morality, whatever some of our detractors – and indeed some of our own people may choose to think.

    b’shalom

    bananabrain

  154. Shafiur — on 4th February, 2006 at 11:16 pm  

    It is no wonder that the MCB left out the case of the Bangladesh genocide. Sacranie has a mate who is alleged to have been part of the proceedings way back in 1971. Indeed there was a whole UK TV program about his involvement. I will point to my blog where I give the relevant links:

  155. Shafiur — on 4th February, 2006 at 11:18 pm  

    hmm. that did not appear. it is

    http://shafiur.i-edit.net/?p=37

  156. student loan debt consolidation — on 18th February, 2006 at 1:14 am  

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