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  • Technorati: graph / links

    Covering Muslims and Jews


    by Sunny on 21st January, 2009 at 3:28 am    

    In a discussion about the coverage of the Gaza war, I ask why I shouldn’t cover the deaths of over a thousand Palestinians compared to an increase in anti-semitic incidents in the UK. Chairwoman says:

    Because it’s happening here, in the UK, on our streets, and it’s happening because some people are whipping up other people into a frenzy. And I’m afraid that one of those people is you. I am sure that is not your intention but you post the same thing over, and over again, using different words but saying the same thing, and you tend to say it in an inflammatory manner.

    What’s so inflammatory about reporting the news? I find this line of thinking absurd anyway. When the terrorist attacks in Mumbai were happening, should I not have covered them because it might increase attacks on British Muslims? After all, I had clearly highlighted that it featured Muslim terrorists. Similarly, if the Saudi government hangs gays or restricts the rights of women, do I self-censor because it might lead to Islamophobia? That’s the implication. I don’t buy it.

    Has the Gaza invasion been polarising? Of course it had - but then Israel ignored world opinion (including repeated British calls for a ceasefire) for over 2 weeks, why should it be let off the hook so easily? We just had a war that will lead to more instability in the Middle East and a strengthening of Hamas, with over a thousand Palestinians deaths thrown in. That’s the whole point of war - it inflames opinions. If you don’t want polarisation when you have to be against war in the first place.

    And finally, I’m not the one taking sides. If I was cheering on Hamas I’d be taking sides. But cheering on and defending Israel’s actions is taking sides and it’s definitely not the side of peace and long-term stability. So I’m still the one sitting on the fence - defenders of Israel are not.



      |     |   Add to del.icio.us   |   Share on Facebook   |   Filed in: Middle East, Religion, Terrorism




    121 Comments below   |  

    1. Paul — on 21st January, 2009 at 6:13 am  

      So are we to take this as a definitive statement from yourself that you regard Hamas and Israel as being morally (or in some other way) equivalent?

    2. Sunny — on 21st January, 2009 at 6:30 am  

      I pity the fool who can only accuse others of “moral equivalence” or “moral relativism” without engaging the brain.

      http://www.liberalconspiracy.org/2009/01/19/moral-relativism-who-does-this-remind-you-of/

    3. Golam Murtaza — on 21st January, 2009 at 6:42 am  

      I see the latest death toll for Gaza has risen to 1,400 (guess they’re pulling more bodies from the rubble). Israel’s estimate of the number of HAMAS fighters it killed is 400. 400 out of 1,400. O.K.

    4. Paul — on 21st January, 2009 at 6:42 am  

      I love it when I’m called a fool by someone who is almost certainly unqualified to do so.

    5. digitalcntrl — on 21st January, 2009 at 6:57 am  

      “Of course it had - but then Israel ignored world opinion (including repeated British calls for a ceasefire) for over 2 weeks, why should it be let off the hook so easily?”

      Tradition I guess. And when has world opinion have any consequence for Israel?

    6. Ms_Xtreme — on 21st January, 2009 at 7:41 am  

      I don’t know about Sunny but:

      So are we to take this as a definitive statement from yourself that you regard Hamas and Israel as being morally (or in some other way) equivalent?

      Can you please point out the differences for me. Because I can point out several which DO make them equivalent in this last round of military offensive - right after I have some coffee.

    7. Paul — on 21st January, 2009 at 8:54 am  

      “I can point out several which DO make them equivalent in this last round of military offensive - right after I have some coffee.”

      Please do go ahead. I’d just like an answer to my question from Sunny but it doesn’t sound like I’m likely to get one.

    8. Roger — on 21st January, 2009 at 9:19 am  

      “Israel’s estimate of the number of HAMAS fighters it killed is 400. 400 out of 1,400. O.K.”
      If that’s the case it’s a very high ratio of fighters to uninvolved people for urban warfare and even with its errors the I.D.F. has been remarkably successful in keeping down casualties. The usually-expected and accepted ratio in urban warfare is ten uninvolved people killed for every fighter killed.
      That is a completely separate matter to the decision to invade Gaza at all and the general background to that invasion, but the presentation in the press of the invasion as indiscriminate and genocidal is not accurate.

    9. Kenwood — on 21st January, 2009 at 9:22 am  

      Sunny

      Like Paul, I am getting more and more confused by your views.

      You seem to be stating that anyone who feels that Israel had a right to protect its citizens, is a warmonger, a hater of the Palestinians and someone not interested in peace.

      This, of course, is absolute bollocks. I just had breakfast with someone who spends a huge amount of time in Israel both personally and on business. I asked him about the views on the street there about this war.He was clear that whilst there was a very small minority who had campaigned against it, basically the whole country had supported it. And yet, we know that every poll in Israel shows a clear majority in favour of pulling out of the West Bank and setting up a “proper”Palestinian state.Are these people not in favour of peace? Or will you only be happy if they are in favour of their own deaths?

      You are losing the plot.

    10. cjcjc — on 21st January, 2009 at 9:30 am  

      That’s the whole point of war - it inflames opinions

      Though certain wars appear to inflame opinions far more easily than others.

      Sunny I am sure you are not a cheerleader for Hamas, and you should cover whatever news you like, after all it’s your house!

      How about covering the number of Gazans killed by Hamas themselves in a bit more detail?

      Then there’s this little story, which I only highlight because the numbers are of a similar order:

      http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/asia/article5548957.ece

      As HP (OK, OK) asked, will Thai restuarants need protection?

      I’m sorry, but it is difficult not to draw the conclusion that it’s only Israel’s actions which get people really angry. The same people who bang on about the numbers killed - and indeed they are high numbers - yet appear to be either unaware or unperturbed by the far higher numbers killed elsewhere, especially in Africa.

      Of course you are hardly the worst media or blog “offender”…

    11. Roger — on 21st January, 2009 at 9:45 am  

      “You seem to be stating that anyone who feels that Israel had a right to protect its citizens, is a warmonger, a hater of the Palestinians and someone not interested in peace.”
      The Israeli government, unfortunately, does not seem to be interested in peace except on its own terms and by its own definition and to rely on its military superiority to defer any decisions on that matter. It assumed- or said it assumed-, for example, that Hamas was able to stop other organisations such as Islamic Jihad from launching rockets. It has refused any contact with Hamas- official or unofficial- or any amelioration of the situation of the inhabitants of Gaza while Hamas controls it.

    12. Steve M — on 21st January, 2009 at 9:47 am  

      If an Israeli bomb ignites a Hamas munitions dump which goes off killing Palestinians, if a Hamas militant insists his wives and children stay with him despite being warned by Israel to leave the property, if Hamas fire mortars at the IDF using innocents to try and protect themselves, if Fatah members are executed by Hamas believing them to be spies, if innocents get caught in Hamas cross-fire…..

      Are those innocent deaths all to be counted amongst civilians killed by the Israelis?

    13. Boyo — on 21st January, 2009 at 9:53 am  

      “And finally, I’m not the one taking sides.”

      I can almost picture your mischevious smile.

      Your posts were almost all opposed to the Israeli case for the war - from highlighting the use of chemical weapons, claims of war crimes, etc.

      Their substance might arguably been balanced, but their selection was not - there was not a similar proportion of posts critical of Hamas.

      You talk about “whataboutery” but your position on Hamas was “yesbutery” - yes, but Israel was always the more at fault.

      That’s fair enough, btw - it’s your blog and your view - but it sure wasn’t balanced!

    14. chairwoman — on 21st January, 2009 at 9:56 am  

      Sunny - When will you get into your head that supporting the existence of Israel is not the same as supporting government actions?

      And yes, I stand by what I said, the way you have reported the news is inflammatory.

      I agree with cjcjc that you are hardly the worst media or blog ‘offender’, but the style of your ‘reporting’ has not only encouraged Trolls, even though you do delete their comments, but has caused serious schisms amongst the regular Picklers.

      The joy of this site was that despite minor differences we were, mostly, immigrants or of immigrant stock, and had been subjected not only to the same experiences, but to the same prejudices.

      Your point blank refusal to come right out and criticise (at least) the ‘Kill the Juicers’ and the ‘Jews to the Gassers’ sits uncomfortably with your comment last week that you would, and have, physically attack anybody who called you ‘Paki’.

      Are you saying that threats and prejudice against Jewish Britons is justified, whereas name calling against Brown Britons isn’t?

      Because that’s how it seems to me.

    15. El Cid — on 21st January, 2009 at 9:56 am  

      Steve M,
      You are an apologist of war crimes. I hope you appreciate that. Take your tribal hat offand look at your conscience.

      Sunny, your post is spot on.

      Chairwoman: I know you are a lovely person, as is your daughter, but the argument Sunny has cherry picked betrays a ‘what-about-us?’ paranoia. It comes through in comments made by other Jewish Picklers. Rightly or wrongly, it comes across that way. That’s the point. The audience isn’t listening, isn’t as sympathetic, as it once was.

    16. Katy Newton — on 21st January, 2009 at 9:56 am  

      But no one is saying that you have to choose between one or the other, are they? The CW may have taken issue about the way you’ve reported Gaza, but she didn’t tell you to stop.

      Why do you think that it would be “taking sides” to report, along with your Gaza coverage, that the Jewish community in this country is now at increased risk of attack because of it?

      Surely it’s only taking sides if you lump the Jewish community in with Israel and hold the Jewish community responsible for what happened there?

    17. Steve M — on 21st January, 2009 at 10:06 am  

      “You are an apologist of war crimes. I hope you appreciate that. Take your tribal hat offand look at your conscience.” - El Cid

      Not at all. I believe that Israel must take responsibility for the deaths that it caused inadvertantly and that, if any war crimes were committed, these should be investigated and those culpable punished. However, those deaths of innocents that were caused by any of the actions mentioned in my post #12 above are deaths for which Israel was not culpable.

      Are you sure that none of these actions occurred or do you think Israel should be blamed for such deaths anyway?

    18. Katy Newton — on 21st January, 2009 at 10:14 am  

      El Cid, you bristle if anyone suggests that Spanish oranges aren’t the best. You’re the last person to be lecturing anyone else about their tribal hats :-)

    19. Katy Newton — on 21st January, 2009 at 10:20 am  

      That’s the whole point of war - it inflames opinions. If you don’t want polarisation when you have to be against war in the first place.

      Yeah, see, this is what troubles me. A lot of the Jewish community was against the war - like, for example, me and the CW and BB, all of whom said that we disagreed with the decision to invade. It is frustrating to be consistently labelled a “cheerleader” for war, because (a) none of us were - the only person who might be described that way is Marvin, and he isn’t Jewish - and (b) even if we had been, why would that make it acceptable for anyone who is Jewish in Britain to be attacked?

      El Cid: when people I actually know are getting screamed at in the street because they’re wearing a kipah, you can bet it becomes a question of “what about us”. This isn’t some sort of theoretical “what if people start attacking the Jews” situation. It’s happening. And I expect people to stand up and say it’s unacceptable just as I do when it happens to them.

    20. Rumbold — on 21st January, 2009 at 10:27 am  

      The problem is that since no site or newspaper can report all relevent news, they have to resort to selection. For example, if the Sun printed a negative story about immigrants every day, it could justify it on the basis on news, but it is clearly attempting to establish a certain view of immigrants. The same with Israel/Palestine- yes it needs to be discussed and reported, but when there are massacres in the Congo, disease in Zimbabwe, civil war in Sri Lanka etc. then obviously heavily discussing Israel/Palestine to the exclusion of most other things represents a conscious choice.

    21. Leon — on 21st January, 2009 at 10:41 am  

      When the terrorist attacks in Mumbai were happening, should I not have covered them because it might increase attacks on British Muslims?

      Indeed.

    22. Sid — on 21st January, 2009 at 10:43 am  

      I don’t think for a minute Sunny is lumping the Jewish community with the Israel or implying that Jews are culpable for the transgressions of Israel simply because he is critical of Israel’s actions in Gaza in the last 3 weeks.

      In the same way, I do not think he was lumping the Muslim community with the transgressions of Islamist terrorists such as Hamas or because when he was and continues to be highly critical of the Muslims who subscribe to jihadi interpretations of Islam.

      You could say, and there will certainly be those who will, that that makes a moral equivalence between Islamist terrorists and the IDF. I’m not fooled by mischief makers who will try and assert these blanket moral equivalences. Sunny is critical of acts of indiscrminate targetting of civilans exclusively. Whether that is by para-military terrorist outfits or by the military apparatus of states is immaterial, he is critical, at the risk of repeating myself, of targetting civilians.

      It would be a tragedy if we found that we had to detach our moral impulses from verbalising them simply because we know that our arguments can be used against our Jewish or Muslim friends by people on either side of the argument whose politics and moral attitudes we find repulsive to say the least.

    23. bananabrain — on 21st January, 2009 at 10:43 am  

      i think chairwoman and katy have said what i would say, underlining that this is having immediate personal consequences for me and the other jewish picklers as UK citizens, not even being israelis. and, like cjcjc, i don’t see thai restaurants being firebombed by angry burmese, or chinese restaurants being firebombed by angry tibetans - nor were lebanese restaurants being torched by jews in 2006, nor have muslim-owned restaurants been torched by hindus since mumbai; and i’d be up in arms and expecting arrests and prosecutions if any of these things happened.

      el cid, your point of view at #15 is exactly the sort of inflammatory, unhelpful and tendentious comment that prevents useful and rational discussion.

      sunny, your moral outrage is understandable and, insofar as we are talking about innocent civilians on both sides, i sympathise. however, i feel that you are letting it get in the way of a consideration of the wider issues as regard iran in particular, in favour of a sort of tabloidy “israeli war crimes” approach which is the sort of thing i expect from those idiots at MPAC, not from someone like you who is, i know, a compassionate person who takes the issues extremely seriously.

      b’shalom

      bananabrain

    24. Katy Newton — on 21st January, 2009 at 10:47 am  

      I don’t think for a minute Sunny is lumping the Jewish community with the Israel or implying that Jews are culpable for the transgressions of Israel simply because he is critical of Israel’s actions in Gaza in the last 3 weeks.

      That is not what I said. I took issue with the tension that he seems to have created between reporting Gaza and reporting antisemitic attacks. It is a tension that he has set up by suggesting that it would be taking sides in the Gaza conflict to report antisemitic attacks here. I simply ask how it would be taking sides. I don’t say that he should report it or that he should not report Gaza - I have never told Sunny what to post or not to post. I just ask why he thinks it would be taking sides with Israel to report attacks on Jews. That’s it.

    25. Sid — on 21st January, 2009 at 10:55 am  

      i don’t see thai restaurants being firebombed by angry burmese, or chinese restaurants being firebombed by angry tibetans - nor were lebanese restaurants being torched by jews in 2006, nor have muslim-owned restaurants been torched by hindus since mumbai; and i’d be up in arms and expecting arrests and prosecutions if any of these things happened.

      If you are suggesting that the Muslim community has not suffered racial attacks, killings, attacks to homes and property, denial of civil rights by the state, disappearences, made to prove their loyalty to the western countries they live in, targetted by imflammatory reprtage in the media since 9/11 for the actions of Islamist terrorism then you just as “unhelpful and tendentious” as anyone you accuse of being so.

    26. fug — on 21st January, 2009 at 10:56 am  

      ‘World opinion’ created israel. It was europe’s actual final solution for the jews. I often wonder why the US and Europe created Israel, the final solution strikes me as one of the strongest answers.

      World opinion does matter to them, because they try to shape it, using their lobbies and by playing ‘world morality’ cards. Look we are white, we are democratic, guffaw, hey look a kibbutz (how normal!), look we have the same enemy as you, arent those muslims barbaric, eek they want to kill us all.

      Its true though, this war was prosecuted very ‘democratically’.

      Jewish brits are sometimes very famillialy connected to israel, a commitment they may not have made on their own, but one that has been engineered into them by Project Zion. They should not imagine themselves to be children of that soil, the affinity is unnecessary. Netanyahu or Lipvi cannot protect them.

    27. Boyo — on 21st January, 2009 at 11:04 am  

      OMG.

    28. Sid — on 21st January, 2009 at 11:08 am  

      Can we all please ignore fugstar. He’s a feckless little clown. All good blogs have at least one (we have loads), they’re simply here to annoy and distract.

    29. chairwoman — on 21st January, 2009 at 11:09 am  

      Netanyahu or Lipvi cannot protect them.

      So we do need to be protected then?

      Interesting.

      Sid - This is primarily about the cavalier attitude displayed here by certain people to the very real attacks and intimidation that is happening now to the Jewish community. Somebody sneered yesterday at bb’s comment about white vans with false number plates taking photos outside synagogues during and after services.

      And we would be in the vanguard of people criticising attacks on Muslim businesses and mosques in a similar situation.

      As for Mumbai, I don’t think there were any protest marches supporting the victims there, or if there were, please direct me to it, and did you all attend?

      Once again, it’s special rules for Jews.

      Same old, same old.

    30. Golam Murtaza — on 21st January, 2009 at 11:10 am  

      Bananabrain - Muslim-owned businesses are torched and smashed up on a daily basis across Britain. It is so common it isn’t even considered real news anymore.

      However, my experience is the people responsible are not observant Jews. Or hardcore Zionists. They are semi literate, poorly educated, irreligious, apolitical chavs who would probably struggle to find Israel on a map.

    31. cjcjc — on 21st January, 2009 at 11:14 am  

      made to prove their loyalty to the western countries they live in

      When the government sees people like Azad Ali, whose loyalties appear (to say the least) to be somewhat divided, as allies they can’t be demanding a very high standard of proof!

      I wonder where fug’s loyalties lie?!

    32. cjcjc — on 21st January, 2009 at 11:15 am  

      Muslim-owned businesses are torched and smashed up on a daily basis across Britain

      Torched on a “daily basis”?
      I doubt it.

    33. Sid — on 21st January, 2009 at 11:19 am  

      As for Mumbai, I don’t think there were any protest marches supporting the victims there, or if there were, please direct me to it, and did you all attend?

      There was a candle light vigil thingy for the victims of Mumbai attacks in the Docklands. I didn’t go because my kids had the flu but there you go…

    34. Kenwood — on 21st January, 2009 at 11:19 am  

      For the record, I have to spend three hours on a freezing Sunday morning standing outside my children’s sunday school classes to ensure that they are not attacked. I have to do this every eight weeks.

      I also have to pay for full time security guards to stand outside their nursery during the week and outside our synagogue whenever a service is taking place.

      I am also asked to make further donations to a central body - the Community Security Trust - that organises security at all Jewish community events.

      We also have to pay for high end security/surveillance systems for all community buildings.

      I have two (rhetorical)questions:

      1. From whom do you think the Jewish community in the UK feels threatened?
      2. Does any other religious or ethnic community also feel the need to ask its members to give up a significant amount of personal time and/or money in this way?

    35. Golam Murtaza — on 21st January, 2009 at 11:20 am  

      Carry on doubting then. It’s not your problem afterall, is it?

    36. fug — on 21st January, 2009 at 11:21 am  

      no, you are boring.

      You imagine you need protection from fortress isreal, that need allows israel to impose itself on the space of the palestinians. a similar logic applies within the american gun lobby.

      The imagined need sustains your support for this wicked land grab and this colonial enterprise. no leader of israel can protect jews abroad whether in tolouse or london. That protection is provided by local communities and relationships. It is in the interests and the PR program of the israelis to amplify the threat faced by british jews. it feeds back into the fortress israel logic.

      Your crass association with the murder in mumbai is self serving logic of the ‘n’th degree. Israel is one of those entities, like al quaeda and its franchises, that is really buggering up the world and needs to be humbly reevaluated.

      You are lucky that your project was created in arabia you know, the people you oppress have little experience throwing back empire without the help of other empires. If the colonial israel project was created in any part of south asia, it would have been actively assimilated and its objectionable parts ejected a long time ago.

    37. platinum786 — on 21st January, 2009 at 11:26 am  

      I don’t see why some people are afraid to air an alternative view. The reaction of the likes of Sid and others to the suggestion that the creation of Israel was supported by Europe thanks to a degree of antisemitism is so narrow minded.

      Why is it so impossible that this may have been a factor?

    38. Sid — on 21st January, 2009 at 11:29 am  

      fuck off platinum

    39. fug — on 21st January, 2009 at 11:31 am  

      34.

      1. A few counterproductive fools who misdirect anger at israel at jewish people.

      2. Yes muslim communities have to ask members to brave the freezing cold during ramadan night prayers. Running community based organisations doesnt happen for free.

      if you are trying to finger muslims, and you probably are, you could always ask some ofthem locally to patrol if that made you feel less paranoid. Its not like there is any white phosphorus in the uk equation.

    40. fug — on 21st January, 2009 at 11:36 am  

      chair ‘woman’, there were candle lit vigils at the indian high commission. I found it a good gesture generally manned by pakistani students who didnt want to get bombed. nobody supported the mumbai attacks so large street protests in london make no sense.

      You really dont know anything about what you utter, either empirically of theoretically, do you?

    41. Leon — on 21st January, 2009 at 11:37 am  

      but when there are massacres in the Congo, disease in Zimbabwe, civil war in Sri Lanka etc.

      Indeed but we can’t cover everything and writers should be free to cover things (within the obvious editorial guidelines) that interest or resonate with them.

      I say this to PP writers but more importantly our readers and commenters: if you think we’re covering something too much or would like to see something else covered there’s a simple answer; write a piece for us!

      The door is open, well written and relevant pieces from you guys and gals will always be considered.

    42. chairwoman — on 21st January, 2009 at 11:39 am  

      Your crass association with the murder in mumbai is self serving logic of the ‘n’th degree.

      What absolute twaddle. It was not about Mumbai per se, but about the reaction, or lack of reaction to it. And it was Sid who brought it up originally, and I was responding to it.

      You really are a prize, and prejudiced, chump, fug.

      Platinum 786 @ 37 - I never expected that I would agree with anything you said, but I’m 100 o/o with you on this one.

    43. hermes — on 21st January, 2009 at 11:41 am  

      Sunny,
      I could say an awaful lot in your support here, but you’ll probably delete my post!!!

    44. chairwoman — on 21st January, 2009 at 11:44 am  

      Fug - note in my original response to Sid, I said that I didn’t know of any demonstration, and could he point me to any if there were, which he did.

      I am called chairwoman because I am currently forced to spend considerable time in a chair. I am also Katy’s mother.

    45. bananabrain — on 21st January, 2009 at 11:46 am  

      sid: i’m really, really not - if i was, you’d be quite correct. my examples were quite specific and intended to be so - if i am incorrect, i’ll retract.

      Muslim-owned businesses are torched and smashed up on a daily basis across Britain

      really? by zionists or even jews? if that’s true, i’d like to know about it.

      fug:

      Jewish brits are sometimes very famillialy connected to israel, a commitment they may not have made on their own, but one that has been engineered into them by Project Zion.

      what, i’ve been “engineered” because my auntie moved to israel? you do talk the most absolute hogwash.

      They should not imagine themselves to be children of that soil, the affinity is unnecessary. Netanyahu or Lipvi cannot protect them.

      again with the not-very-well-veiled threats.

      b’shalom

      bananabrain

    46. fug — on 21st January, 2009 at 11:48 am  

      well i hope you get well soon.

    47. Refresh — on 21st January, 2009 at 11:48 am  

      This is getting really really silly.

      Yes we want to see what has happened in and to Gaza. We need to know what horrors are going to be unearthed. And we want to see whether we will have peace in the Middle East.

      We want to bolster the people who were actively opposed to to invasion; who have not fallen into a permanent groupthink that ‘we have no partners for peace’.

      As for anti-semitism, yes I can believe it has increased. That must be resisted, at all cost. But it cannot be turned into a distraction from what happened over Christmas and New Year.

      Only Israel can deliver peace, and it behoves all those who disagreed with the invasion to turn their attention to speaking to Israelis and supporters, that is where the challenge is.

      Not Pickled Politics, which has done a great job.

    48. fug — on 21st January, 2009 at 11:52 am  

      45.
      a) Yes engineered because your aunt moved there. Its an autosympathising step. I have more human sympathy for south london squatters. You cant, its your blood relation.

      b) You see veiled threats in everything, possibly because your decoder has broken down or because you are actually malevolent. There is nothing i can do about that. Can netanyahu or lipvi protect you here? or there? Answer is no, its local community relations and understanding.

    49. Steve M — on 21st January, 2009 at 11:59 am  

      chairwoman, O/T have you looked into The Feldenkrais Method?

    50. chairwoman — on 21st January, 2009 at 12:01 pm  

      As for anti-semitism, yes I can believe it has increased. That must be resisted, at all cost. But it cannot be turned into a distraction from what happened over Christmas and New Year.

      Refresh, sometimes facts speak for themselves, and I feel that public opinion was swayed by the pictures coming out of Gaza, and factual reports without the rhetoric.

      I just think it wouldn’t have killed Sunny to make some sort of statement on British antisemitism that didn’t sound like ’serves them right’.

      fug - :-)

    51. Rumbold — on 21st January, 2009 at 12:21 pm  

      Refresh:

      There does not have to be a conflict over anti-semitic attacks here, verses the war in Gaza. Neither is a distraction from the other. You can vigorously oppose the war in Gaza (as Sunny, yourself and others have done), without for one minute trying to justify anti-semitic attacks here.

      Nor does talking about anti-semitic attacks in Britain reduce the chances of Jews calling for peace. On the contrary, it reinforces the point that you can be anti-war but not anti-Jew. If Jews see that the people who have been hurling abuse at Israeli policy now do the same against those who carry out anti-semitic attacks, then the polarisation of the split is reduced. Israel ignored world opinion during the Gaza war because it saw a world implaccably opposed to not only it, but to Jews in general. And ultimately, only Israel can bring peace to the region. Very few people like to see Palestinian children maimed or innocent Jews attacked. Let’s try and work from that base rather than worry about an ‘either/or’ situation.

    52. bananabrain — on 21st January, 2009 at 12:22 pm  

      refresh:

      Only Israel can deliver peace, and it behoves all those who disagreed with the invasion to turn their attention to speaking to Israelis and supporters, that is where the challenge is.

      in other words, the problem is israel and its supporters. could you be more myopic or one-sided? this is precisely the sort of position i take issue with.

      fug - i have lost whatever patience with you i ever had. you are the malevolent one. go and stick your head up a duck’s bottom.

      b’shalom

      bananabrain

    53. Refresh — on 21st January, 2009 at 12:31 pm  

      Rumbold, thanks for articulating that so well.

      Bananbrain,

      ‘in other words, the problem is israel and its supporters. could you be more myopic or one-sided? this is precisely the sort of position i take issue with.’

      I am sorry. I thought you wanted a reasonable debate, but find objections in a simple, and I believe accurate observation. Israel has the clout, as it clearly wanted to demonstrate. Surely you can see that?

      The art of persuasion is to go and persuade. If you were opposed to the invasion, then it would be normal to persuade others to your way of thinking.

    54. Steve M — on 21st January, 2009 at 12:38 pm  

      Israel has the clout, as it clearly wanted to demonstrate. Surely you can see that?

      But clearly Hamas didn’t believe that Israel would use its clout. Why else would it have provoked Israel with so many rocket attacks? If Hamas now ceases this action due to the deterrent effect of Israel’s military action then it would have demonstrated that Israel does indeed have ‘the clout’ and only then can peaceful negotiations proceed.

    55. Refresh — on 21st January, 2009 at 12:42 pm  

      SteveM, no offence but I think dealing with your reponse may lead us OffThread. I am sure it can and will be addressed somewhere else.

    56. Golam Murtaza — on 21st January, 2009 at 12:46 pm  

      Er…Bananabrain, I don’t think you read the second paragraph of my original post. I was trying to state that Muslim owned firms in Britain ARE subject to an alarmingly high level of attacks. But NOT (as far as I know) at the hands of Jewish people.

    57. Parvinder Singh — on 21st January, 2009 at 12:53 pm  

      Would it have been great if there was one demo for peace, without the MCB and the SWP, no religion or political leaning, that recognised both states, the suffering of Gaza as well as opposing the rockets falling on Israel?
      It’s an indictment of the politics of the left in the UK that has not managed to find common grounds with Israelis and Jews who also oppose the invasion of Gaza. Surely as progressives we should be working towards such a position so that in future a united but balanced voice is heard as I believe has happened in the US.

    58. chairwoman — on 21st January, 2009 at 12:56 pm  

      Parvinder Singh - Yes, Yes, Yes!

    59. bananabrain — on 21st January, 2009 at 1:06 pm  

      yes, parvinder singh, absolutely!

      refresh:

      I am sorry. I thought you wanted a reasonable debate, but find objections in a simple, and I believe accurate observation.

      yes, because i believe it is neither simple nor accurate and, moreover, people like you (and on the other side) assuming that it is either, let alone both, is precisely what causes this sort of debate to become unreasonable.

      Israel has the clout, as it clearly wanted to demonstrate. Surely you can see that?

      that is precisely what i am saying - but to WHO? their audience is not the western media, or you so-called progressives, or even the americans. it is:

      1. hamas, in particular the leadership cowering in damascus
      2. hizbollah
      3. iran, who engineered the whole thing.

      at no point does israel have to prove this point to palestinians in general. they know it already. they are its casualties, its cannon fodder and its fall guys, just as the people of lebanon were the same for hizbollah in 2006. i think israel is wrong to go along with this.

      The art of persuasion is to go and persuade. If you were opposed to the invasion, then it would be normal to persuade others to your way of thinking.

      i am in 100% support of israel showing iran and its stooges that it will not be intimidated, but i am also pretty damn sure that being prepared to sacrifice its international standing and any moral credibility it might still have by opening itself to prosecution for war crimes is not a good long-term strategy.

      golam murtaza: i am quite prepared to agree and quite prepared to support any necessary action to prevent this happening, but my point was that muslim-owned firms are not targeted by jews, even right-wing zionists as being somehow culpable or responsible for the actions of, say, iran. we are not so stupid and even if we were, we are law-abiding citizens.

      b’shalom

      bananabrain

    60. SE — on 21st January, 2009 at 1:37 pm  

      They’re trying to cover up their war crimes, these are the same type of people who approve of Asians being attacked in the UK and half of them probably work for the Daily Mail.

    61. Parvinder Singh — on 21st January, 2009 at 1:39 pm  

      Just one more thing. Recognising the state of Israel’s right to exist while at the same time opposing its militarism vis-a-vie Gaza seems to me a correct position, which I believe Chairwomen and others have taken.

      The hard left who organise demos these days and many in the Arab world from Iran to Pakistan, believe Israel don’t have a right to exist, citing that the Palestinian who lost their land in 1948 should be able to return in their thousands (thus making the Jewish state obsolete). They need any excuse to burn the flag of Israel we so frequently see on the streets of Tehran or Lahore, and then the green light is given for those that call for the bombing of Jewish children. An eye for an eye.

      Israel is a reality and should be recognised as we do with a Palestinian state. Furthermore, anti-Semitism or any other form of intolerance should be flagged and tackled whenever it appears.

    62. Leon — on 21st January, 2009 at 1:40 pm  

      Nor does talking about anti-semitic attacks in Britain reduce the chances of Jews calling for peace. On the contrary, it reinforces the point that you can be anti-war but not anti-Jew.

      Seriously, I feel like I’ve just wandered into the Twilight Zone reading that. It’s crazy it even needs to be said…

    63. Leon — on 21st January, 2009 at 1:41 pm  

      They’re trying to cover up their war crimes, these are the same type of people who approve of Asians being attacked in the UK and half of them probably work for the Daily Mail.

      Can you please engage constructively?? Flinging about unsubstantiated accusations is not helpful.

    64. SE — on 21st January, 2009 at 1:42 pm  

      @Golam:
      “Bananabrain - Muslim-owned businesses are torched and smashed up on a daily basis across Britain. It is so common it isn’t even considered real news anymore”

      It is considered news, but seeing as the person who’s business is torched is brown, it doesn’t need reporting

    65. Refresh — on 21st January, 2009 at 1:48 pm  

      Bananabrain,

      I think that is quite a sad indictment of Israel.It has a gripe with Iran and so feels compelled to pulverise Gaza, and Lebanon.

      What is the gripe with Iran? Serious question.

      On persuasion - have you been compelled to persuade any Israeli or supporter to halt the invasion and to find a way of settling Israel’s differences with Iran?

      And if you have, on what grounds?

    66. fug — on 21st January, 2009 at 1:51 pm  

      but israel is a bastard state sired by post holocaust guilt embedded in the new post ww2 order and arab flacidity.

      Wishing for its supercession is not a thought crime nor an order for presently palestine occupying Jews to walk into the sea.

      Its colonialism out of history, simply not necessary and a danger to the region and beyond. post colonial people (at least) should see that.

    67. cjcjc — on 21st January, 2009 at 1:52 pm  

      Any recent examples of this “daily” torching?

      What is the gripe with Iran? Serious question.

      Repressive terrorist-sponsoring state attempting to go nuclear - that’s mine. And Obama’s too, I believe!

    68. me — on 21st January, 2009 at 1:54 pm  

      Parvinder Singh

      “The hard left who organise demos these days and many in the Arab world from Iran to Pakistan”

      Someone who believes Iran and Pakistan are part of the Arab world clearly should have their political viewers taken seriously

      ” believe Israel don’t have a right to exist, citing that the Palestinian who lost their land in 1948 should be able to return in their thousands (thus making the Jewish state obsolete).”

      You seem unaware that according to international law refugees have an inaliable right to return to their land. Even if they are Arabs.

      ” They need any excuse to burn the flag of Israel we so frequently see on the streets of Tehran or Lahore, ”

      Yeah those evil ay- sorry moslems probaby organised the Nakba just so they could burn Israeli flags

      The key words are ” we so frequently see”- you are a prisoner to the mainstream media and the mainstream media is pro-Israel

      “and then the green light is given for those that call for the bombing of Jewish children. An eye for an eye.”

      As oppose to those who ACTUALLY bomb Palestinian children. As with many Israel apologists you find people SAYING bad things about israel worse than Israel killing women and children

      Hardly an eye for an eye Parvinder - 10 eyes for 1200 eyes more like

      “Israel is a reality and should be recognised as we do with a Palestinian state.”

      Except israel DOESNT recognise a Palestinian state- while demandiong the Palestinians recognise it

      Sounds fair

    69. me — on 21st January, 2009 at 1:55 pm  

      cjcjc

      “Repressive terrorist-sponsoring state attempting to go nuclear - that’s mine. And Obama’s too, I believe!”

      Funny you dont have a gripe with the US or Israel then

    70. Ravi Naik — on 21st January, 2009 at 2:00 pm  

      When the terrorist attacks in Mumbai were happening, should I not have covered them because it might increase attacks on British Muslims?

      The reality is that you have been pretty vocal against the demonisation of Muslims by tabloids, Mad Mel, and other assorted Islamophobes, whenever they have been attacked verbally or physically, because of 9/11, 7/7 or Mumbai attacks. Why should innocent people pay for the sins of others? You have written hundreds of posts about this. You have done it because attacks against minorities is a deeply progressive concern.

      However, you have written one single article about anti-semitics attacks - but even that story was about a number of prominent Muslims signing a letter against those attacks. In contrast, you have dedicated 3 articles about Harry’s use of “paki” for a friend of his. The irony, of course, is that if you are Jewish, you are more likely to suffer a hate attack than any other ethnic minority in this country.

      The pattern is clear: you give more precedence to whatever is perceived as a “brown” issue. Who can forget your infamous “browns should vote Tory” article? Despite the fact that some of your articles are a product of your raw emotions and little thought about the larger implications, I am also impressed with some of things you write. Like this one:

      “So unless we articulate those concerns - whether they be racism, sexism, Palestine, Guantanamo Bay or home-grown terrorism, in wider terms by including other people who also face those problems, then justice won’t really come.”

      (For the record, I do not believe your reporting about Gaza has implications here in the UK on anti-semitic attacks, but certainly, I would prefer to see this ugly side highlighted in similar terms as anti-Islamic attacks in this country. This is just a suggestion, it is after all your blog.)

    71. Imran Khan — on 21st January, 2009 at 2:01 pm  

      Bananabrain, Chairwoman and Katy - Whilst attacks against the Jewish Community are to be condemned and we must all work to stop them please can I ask that discussions are not narrowed simply to how this affects the Jewish Community and how whipping up of emmotions affects the Jewish Community alone.

      The opposite case is also true. The whipping up against Muslims often by Jewish writers such as Melanie Phillips and David Aaranovitch affects Muslims and that is hardly ever dicussed. This is something thats been going on for a long long time and frankly no-one cares about this and the impact it has on our everyday lives. Due to this whipping up of frenzy - Muslims have been attacked for a long time, women have had their headscarves ripped off and Muslims where they want to build places of worship face massive problems and this is just the tip of the iceberg.

      The debate here has been narrowed to how the events in the Middle East affect the Jewish Community alone. Well I am afraid they affect Muslims badly as well.

      So they affect both communities. Look at the media portrayal Jewish Demos are portrayed as cuddly fun events and Muslims who march are frenzied nutters.

      Melanie - bless her - has written an article with little if any proof about anti-semitism post-march but she is responsible for much Islamophobia.

      Due to Jewish and right wing writers we are viewed as different, unloyal, most likely terrorists who want to take over the world. That affects my everyday life, my career, my ability to give to charity. It leads to attacks on Muslims and this is going on and no one says a word or cares.

      In addition our ability as Muslims to get our views across are severely limited due to the fact that Israel Lobby Groups carry so much weight that politicians especially senior ones won’t listen to our view - they pay lip service but won’t be seen supporting Palestinians.

      As an example in this crisis Miliband writes to update the Board of Deputies but he won’t:

      1. Acknowledge the hysteria against Muslims
      2. Doesn’t meet with them.
      3. Doesn’t update them.

      So that affects the Muslim communities ability to convey and put forth its feelings.

      How many MP’s will attend an event in Parliament for Palestine? How many ministers are part of any organisation to preserve Palestinians land and yet both Brown and Cameron are part of the JNF. Hardly a balanced approach and that is the frustration that Muslims face.

      In addition Jews who speak up for Palestinians also face on going intimidation and harrasement from within the Jewish Community.

      Muslims whipping up a frenzy are deemed as nutters, Jews doing the same are excerising free-speech which if Muslism complain about this is a denial of free-speech.

      Due to the portrayal of Muslims and books such as Londonistan then my daily life and career is made very difficult and essentially this is due to the simple fact that in order to protect Israel - Muslims are being denigrated and denied the ability to put forth their opinion as much as the Israeli view.

      Other Muslims are spat at, assulted and also have false allegations printed against them by the media. The Evening Standard is one such example.

      Due to the portrayal of Muslims then their ordinary lives have been badly affected for a long time now. This isn’t to minimise the issues facing the Jewish Community but similar issues are faced by the Muslim community and with impeding recession most likely by the wider ethnic community.

      So I am afraid it isn’t one way and we need to work to tackle all of this.

    72. chairwoman — on 21st January, 2009 at 2:02 pm  

      fug - Israel’s there. It’s a reality. Just like other states that were manufactured in the aftermath of WW2.

      SE - I’ve just checked with HSBC and they have confirmed that I am not receiving any payment from the Daily Mail or any associated publications.

      Damn, damn, damn, I thought you’d found me a lucrative job!

    73. Jai — on 21st January, 2009 at 2:16 pm  

      fug - Israel’s there. It’s a reality. Just like other states that were manufactured in the aftermath of WW2.

      …..and in the process of European (especially British) decolonisation. Not mentioning any names, of course. Those of us from a South Asian background will be particularly aware of what I’m referring to.

      If one is going to argue for (or at least support/condone) the destruction of “artificial states” like Israel and raise points about the historical displacement of refugees and the region’s previous inhabitants, it’s a very good idea to bear in mind that many of the same arguments can be made in relation to certain other “artificial countries” too. Not that I personally support any action along these lines, of course, but going down this road is like pulling at a loose string and unravelling a hell of a lot more. Or opening a Pandora’s Box. Pick your metaphor.

    74. Parvinder Singh — on 21st January, 2009 at 2:26 pm  

      68: Me, I agree it’s David vs Goliath: that Israel with its massive firepower has done massive harm, civilian deaths, its blockade vs a desperate but badly led people.
      The point I’m trying to make is how to go forward. A break from the past needs to be made at least from us who are supposed to be pushing for progressive politics. And we should start with recognising Israel.

      Half of my family had to leave their fertile farm land and house to make way for Pakistan in 1947. Millions were caught in the same situation and became refugees overnight. But in time, they got over it and created new pastures in India. No one now says Sikhs and Hindus should have a right to return to their lost land and Pakistan should be disbanded. I’m not saying it’s exactly the same as the Gaza and West Bank is hardly paradise and Israel continues to control trade and borders, but there should be an alternative to the present cycle of violence however skew it is in favour of Israel?

    75. fug — on 21st January, 2009 at 2:41 pm  

      Israel is a temporary ‘fact’ on the ground and will be superceded by something far superior eventually. Worhsip god, not political projects. Especially ones that are so fraudulent.

      Jai,
      Interesting allusion to the ‘brahminical’ india vs ‘muslim’ nation state(s) issue. Im going to write about that at some time. Lots to learn from both bad examples. Nationalism itself is a pretty alienating whiteboy concept.

      Do you see Pakistan or perhaps Bangladesh(though less likely) in the same vein as a Palestinian, or a friend of a Palestinian, sees Israel? (I think the south asia case has more to do with caste and economic emancipation under the cloak of some vague religious nationalism).

      Its interesting how some south asian political opinions simply mirror european ones. South asian diasporas often dont know whether to be black or white, some settle for trying to emulate Jews (whatever that might mean).

      They are ‘religious’ nation states created around the same time. Israel has been a lot more keen on populating itself with jews than the Pakistanis have been.

      There are regional variations on the spastication, most obviously around the issue of caste and class. The human scale of the south asian car crash is much larger, and I think Israel is different because it is like an alien european implant. A white outpost. Yet Gandhi writes of the Jews as the Dalits of Christianity. It wouldnt have lasted as an exclusivist oppressing entity for 5 years had it been injected into South Asia. Im pretty sure of that.

      My point is that Israel is lucky that the Arab leadership is constructed as it is. Paid off to let it do what it likes.

    76. Leon — on 21st January, 2009 at 2:52 pm  

      The irony, of course, is that if you are Jewish, you are more likely to suffer a hate attack than any other ethnic minority in this country.

      What data set are you basing this assertion on?

    77. Shamit — on 21st January, 2009 at 3:09 pm  

      Fug

      Israel is here to stay. In 1967 five Arab countries thought otherwise and guess what thats how Israel ended up taking over West Bank and Gaza. Unless the wider Arab world (some have already accepted), Iran and people who think like you accept that Israel is a reality then we would have continued problems.

      This is by no means a support for naked aggression which has brought about such human tragedy. Yet, I find it bizzare that those who support the Palestinian cause do not find responsibility of Hamas in the current scenario.

      And, I hope you have heard that Hamas claimed victory — something I said they would do. Not a single word of remorse about the death of so many people they were elected to serve. This sort of victory speeches make them against peace.

      I do hold any nation to higher moral standards than any terrorist group and Israel is no different. But do you see the right of Israel to defend itself?

      Didn’t Hezbollah’s leaders after the conflict in Lebanon in 2006 say that they would not have started the war by kidnapping two Israeli soldiers if they knew the Israeli response would mean destruction of their own people.

      Secondly, creation of Pakistan was artificial which was clearly evident in 1971 wasn’t it.

      Third, India until very recently had more Muslims than Pakistan so its not that Pakistan did not want to populate itself with more Muslims but that many Indian muslims chose not to go to Pakistan. As recently as November 2008, Pakistani nationals came to India and terrorised and killed Indian, British citizens, Israelis and they tried to say they did it in the name of Indian Muslims. A claim rebuffed by Indian Muslim community and rightly so.

      “Its interesting how some south asian political opinions simply mirror european ones. South asian diasporas often dont know whether to be black or white, some settle for trying to emulate Jews (whatever that might mean).”

      Whats that supposed to mean?

      You say:
      “Jewish brits are sometimes very famillialy connected to israel, a commitment they may not have made on their own, but one that has been engineered into them by Project Zion. They should not imagine themselves to be children of that soil, the affinity is unnecessary” -

      Well why do you have affinity towards Palestine or Pakistan or the Muslim community world over.

      I agree with your view that religion should not be the common bond that defines how I choose to support a particular cause. But coming from you its a bit rich.

    78. Imran Khan — on 21st January, 2009 at 3:21 pm  

      Bananabrain - Might I suggest an initiative which can help the situation you and Chairwoman have outlined and which has gotten me thinking. Given that you are probably better connected than most people here why not get the major mosques (the 3 big ones) and synagogues in London to start a joint campaign to reduce anti-semitism and Islamaphobia?

      It doesn’t need to be political and just a campaign to reduce such things?

      I seriously doubt that the CST and self-serving MP’s can really tackle this. The CST is good at making people aware of the situation but to tackle this it needs wider community help.

      It is also rather ironic that apparently some Jewish MP’s quite like Mel Phillips “because she answers back” and those same MP’s complain about anti-semitism but then fail to acknowledge the attacks that result from their support of Mel.

      What I would point out to all people is that events in the Middle East have been crimonal on both sides of the divide but that does not mean that similar stupidity needs to be repeated here. That does not help the situation so debate the issues but do not resort to disrepect of the other which may lead to violence.

    79. Jai — on 21st January, 2009 at 3:21 pm  

      Interesting allusion to the ‘brahminical’ india vs ‘muslim’ nation state(s) issue.

      There are still some pretty entrenched caste issues within India, but as a country (so to speak) it hasn’t been ‘brahminical’ in the original sense for an extremely long time. Post-colonial India wasn’t created as a “Hindu state” either.

      Do you see Pakistan or perhaps Bangladesh(though less likely) in the same vein as a Palestinian, or a friend of a Palestinian, sees Israel?

      Me personally ? No, I don’t. It probably has a lot to do with the fact that I was born and brought up here in the UK, so most of my perspectives and priorities focus on Britain and the West respectively. The same tends to apply to the average 2nd-generation British-born Indian in general, although obviously there usually some continuing ties and cultural interests relating to India.

      However, speaking more generally, as Parvinder mentioned above, most Indians (here and back in India) regard the creation of Pakistan as a done deal and are focused with just getting on with their lives, and don’t exactly have an obsession either with “reversing” the situation and annexing the terrority back into India, or with reclaiming it for those Hindus and Sikhs (and their descendents) who were displaced as a result of Partition.

      Some kind of future South Asian cross-national confederation is of course a different matter and, I think, a nice idea, unless the inhabitants of Pakistan wished to reinforce their Muslim identity & ties instead and build stronger formalised political & economic ties westwards.

      My point was that, theoretically, many of the arguments that people make against the ongoing nature of the state of Israel could also be made against Pakistan, if other people were so inclined.

      Its interesting how some south asian political opinions simply mirror european ones.

      Might have something to do with people being mentally as well as physically in the West. Or simply not giving a crap about the matter concerned, for whatever reason.

      South asian diasporas often dont know whether to be black or white,

      Probably has something to do with the people concerned actually being neither (or both, depending on the specific group and one’s own perspective).

      some settle for trying to emulate Jews (whatever that might mean).

      Unlikely, considering that social interaction with Jewish people by South Asians of all stripes isn’t that common (unless they’re part of their professional/wider social circle and/or they live somewhere with a large Jewish population).

    80. Jai — on 21st January, 2009 at 3:25 pm  

      and I think Israel is different because it is like an alien european implant.

      Using that logic (yours, not mine), Pakistan could be referred to as “an alien West Asian implant”.

    81. bananabrain — on 21st January, 2009 at 5:02 pm  

      refresh:

      What is the gripe with Iran? Serious question.

      “gripe”?

      i’m glad you said it was a serious question, otherwise i’d have to have asked.

      1. that whole “death to israel/wipiing israel off the map” thing as stated publicly and continuously by that lunatic president of theirs and other figures within the theocratic hierarchy
      2. their sponsorship of the rejectionist camp in syria
      3. their sponsorship of and remote direction of hizbollah
      4. their sponsorship of and remote direction of hamas
      5. their continuing attempts to undermine the future of iraq
      6. their continuing attempts to control the persian gulf - they *really* think the name is deserved
      7. their strategic aim to create a “shi’a crescent”, with israel between the points, which has long been on record and mentioned on an ongoing basis by the arab press, intelligentsia and governments
      8. their sponsorship of terrorism around the world particularly when aimed at jewish targets
      9. their manipulation of international human rights bodies at the UN to single out israel, in conjunction with such luminaries as sudan and syria.

      clear enough?

      On persuasion - have you been compelled to persuade any Israeli or supporter to halt the invasion

      my contact with people who could halt the operation is, i fear, minimal. i’ve been doing plenty of arguing about it.

      and to find a way of settling Israel’s differences with Iran?

      i’m still working out what i think ought to happen. personally, my current preference is for an international campaign to catch iranian agents out and reveal their operations to the world in no uncertain terms, so as to isolate them diplomatically and embarrass the russians and germans who are assisting them with scientific knowhow.

      imran:

      please can I ask that discussions are not narrowed simply to how this affects the Jewish Community and how whipping up of emmotions affects the Jewish Community alone.

      if we are talking about gaza and talking about demonstrations and people like yourself are talking about jonathan sacks and tony bayfield, then that isn’t “narrowing the discussion”. all the i am saying is that violent rhetoric about israel results in violence against british jews. if we are talking about gaza, that is hardly off-topic.

      The opposite case is also true. The whipping up against Muslims often by Jewish writers such as Melanie Phillips and David Aaranovitch affects Muslims and that is hardly ever dicussed.

      one case, imran, just one case of one of these guys (and, remember, i’m not talking about verbal attacks by MUSLIM writers, you’re the one who keeps on mentioning the religion of the writers involved) provoking an attack by a JEW on a MUSLIM in the UK. just one. then you might sound like you had a leg to stand on.

      women have had their headscarves ripped off

      not by jews.

      Muslims where they want to build places of worship face massive problems

      if it’s financed by saudi extremists or jamaat-i-islami, then, yes, i expect so, but it isn’t jewish people causing these problems.

      The debate here has been narrowed to how the events in the Middle East affect the Jewish Community alone. Well I am afraid they affect Muslims badly as well.

      we’re talking about the palestinians, imran. what are you talking about?

      Jewish Demos are portrayed as cuddly fun events and Muslims who march are frenzied nutters.

      is there violence, looting and so on at jewish events, imran? do likud activists run up the edgware road smashing in the kebab shops afterwards? i don’t *think* so.

      As an example in this crisis Miliband writes to update the Board of Deputies but he won’t:

      1. Acknowledge the hysteria against Muslims
      2. Doesn’t meet with them.
      3. Doesn’t update them.

      and who within the community should he meet with, imran? the MCB? MPAC? MAB? our community has an organised representative structure, yours doesn’t. that makes things a bit difficult.

      In addition Jews who speak up for Palestinians also face on going intimidation and harrasement from within the Jewish Community.

      what rubbish. nobody is intimidating the new israel fund, or british friends of peace now. tony and brian klug aren’t having to move for fear of firebombs or seek police protection.

      Might I suggest an initiative which can help the situation you and Chairwoman have outlined and which has gotten me thinking. Given that you are probably better connected than most people here why not get the major mosques (the 3 big ones) and synagogues in London to start a joint campaign to reduce anti-semitism and Islamaphobia?

      well, at least it would be a start. if you could get the major mosques to join together and approach the BOD and synagogual movements through official channels that would help. the CST would certainly have to be involved in some way, shape or form but they are extremely experienced at working with external organisations and should be supportive. the letter signed by the imams is already out there and publicised in the jewish press, get the major mosques signed up to that and it would be tough to turn down such an approach. i’m pleased you’re thinking along these lines anyway. perhaps someone like fiyaz mughal of faith matters would be able to broker a deal. i would certainly try and support that in any way i could but there are far more influential people who could be of assistance, like the jewish leadership council.

      fug: i stand by my previous comments. you’re not just barking mad, you’re three stops past barking mad. you’re dagenham heathway mad. you sound like ahmedinejad in disguise.

      I think Israel is different because it is like an alien european implant. A white outpost.

      yes, a white european implant half of whose population originally comes from iraq, lebanon, syria, morocco, tunisia, algeria, kurdistan, yemen, turkey, india, iran and ethiopia. not just mad but ignorant too.

      Unlikely, considering that social interaction with Jewish people by South Asians of all stripes isn’t that common (unless they’re part of their professional/wider social circle and/or they live somewhere with a large Jewish population).

      like north london!

      b’shalom

      bananabrain

    82. Refresh — on 21st January, 2009 at 5:39 pm  

      Bananabrain,

      ‘i’m glad you said it was a serious question, otherwise i’d have to have asked.’

      We understand each other.

      ‘clear enough?’

      Actually no.

      From the nine points you list, can you distill them into ones which are directly Israel’s concern? And explain why?

    83. Katy Newton — on 21st January, 2009 at 5:52 pm  

      Oh for heaven’s sake. What BB has listed are 9 ways in which Iran is deliberately frustrating any sort of negotiated peace between Israel and the Palestinians. i like you very much, Refresh, but I do hate the way you keep asking people to explain things that are already clear instead of engaging with what they’re saying. I know you do it to everyone, not just BB, but it’s infuriating. Answer his points or leave him alone, but there’s no point in asking him to explain the same thing over and over again. You know what he thinks. He thinks Iran is fighting a proxy war with Israel using a number of agents. If he’s wrong, let’s hear why.

    84. Refresh — on 21st January, 2009 at 5:59 pm  

      No Katy that is not correct. I know what is clear and what is not. And its in our interest to get to the specifics.

      What Bananabrain has outlined is of great interest, it is important to be clear and I think the dialogue we are entering will help. Wait and see.

      The danger is that Bananbrain could be supporting a role for Israel as the regional policeman. Or worse, guns for hire. As I say, wait and see.

    85. Imran Khan — on 21st January, 2009 at 6:09 pm  

      Bananabrain - with your blinkered attitude its no wonder you only want to worry about yourself.

      “if we are talking about gaza and talking about demonstrations and people like yourself are talking about jonathan sacks and tony bayfield, then that isn’t “narrowing the discussion”. all the i am saying is that violent rhetoric about israel results in violence against british jews. if we are talking about gaza, that is hardly off-topic.”

      First of all I said quite clearly that the leadership in the Muslim community such as MCB/MAB etc were hugely lacking and not taken seriously at many levels. Of Sacks and Bayfield I highlighted particular issues of their failing so I did not narrow the discussion.

      Secondly for someone supposedly lookng to built better relations you have a pretty damn selfish attitude and only ever look at your own point of view and that is your sole focus.

      “one case, imran, just one case of one of these guys (and, remember, i’m not talking about verbal attacks by MUSLIM writers, you’re the one who keeps on mentioning the religion of the writers involved) provoking an attack by a JEW on a MUSLIM in the UK. just one. then you might sound like you had a leg to stand on.”

      Again more nonsense from you if they whip people into a frenzy to cause an attack then is that ok by you?

      A Jewish person hasn’t attacked a Muslim but there frenzy whipped up has resulted in attacks but hey not that you care as long as you can stand by your poor claim. The fact they are whipping up people makes those people a target - its violence by proxy.

      “women have had their headscarves ripped off

      not by jews.”

      But peope whipped up by..

      “we’re talking about the palestinians, imran. what are you talking about?”

      You have completely lost the plot haven’t you. Part of the original lead was:

      “Chairwoman says:

      Because it’s happening here, in the UK, on our streets, and it’s happening because some people are whipping up other people into a frenzy.”

      Reference to the UK but you don’t want to hear about issues facing the Mujslim community as its all about you you you.

      “is there violence, looting and so on at jewish events, imran? do likud activists run up the edgware road smashing in the kebab shops afterwards? i don’t *think* so.”

      I thoght you were talking about Palestinians - please make up your mind. You flip to what suits you as usual.

      They don’t need to because they have their war criminals doing enough over there and they only have to protect them over here :-)

      “and who within the community should he meet with, imran? the MCB? MPAC? MAB? our community has an organised representative structure, yours doesn’t. that makes things a bit difficult.”

      Ok so you are all talk about wanting to improve things and you are taking the old mantra you don’t have anyone to talk to. Wonder where you got that from.

      Why not start with the MCB?

      “what rubbish. nobody is intimidating the new israel fund, or british friends of peace now. tony and brian klug aren’t having to move for fear of firebombs or seek police protection.”
      They have been spat at and verbally abused but you don’t want to admit that. Brian Klug said they were attacked at the counter demo so your ealier claim that such things don’t happen don’t ring true. Others say they have been subject to harrasement and intimidation and this has been previously reported. One commentator in the Jewish Chronicle whipped people up by calling anyone who spoek against Israel self-hating Jews so yes quite passive really.

      “well, at least it would be a start. if you could get the major mosques to join together and approach the BOD and synagogual movements through official channels that would help. the CST would certainly have to be involved in some way, shape or form but they are extremely experienced at working with external organisations and should be supportive. the letter signed by the imams is already out there and publicised in the jewish press, get the major mosques signed up to that and it would be tough to turn down such an approach. i’m pleased you’re thinking along these lines anyway. perhaps someone like fiyaz mughal of faith matters would be able to broker a deal. i would certainly try and support that in any way i could but there are far more influential people who could be of assistance, like the jewish leadership council.”

      If you actually read what I suggested I said the only way to make this work is to keep it non-political. The statements by the BoD and the JLC means that they are not suitable in a similar way MCB and MAB are not suitable.

      Do you seriously beleive that any of these organisations would be taken seriously in the other community?

      This need to be a fair minded and independant approach.

      Frankly at the end of the day people need to be able to admit when an attrocity is committed. For Muslims this is against innocent civilians in Israel and for Jews this is against innocent Muslims in Palestine. If war crimes have been committed then people need to be able to admit that. At the moment people can’t.

      From my point of view both Hamas and Israel have committed war crimes and the people need to be charged. Most people here including you don’t want to admit that.

      It is these actions which bring people to boiling point and until we stop making excuses and lead the parties away from such excess brutality we’ll be here in x months and X years time hasing out the same arguments.

      I’ll say to you again clearly that the Muslim and Jewish Ledership in this country and the Israeli and Palestinian Leadership in the Middle East have failed their people. Its high time people stopped making excuses for them. They are failures. I can’t be any more clearer than that and I am not making excuses for either side. I regard both sets of leadership as cowardly murderous people who care little about peace. No distinction and no excuses. I wonder if you’d have the courage to admit the same?

    86. fug — on 21st January, 2009 at 6:19 pm  

      80:

      But thats the BJP conception of muslims as invaders, rather than broad ‘civilisational’ india. Clearly nobody is going to claim that logic. I’m not certain about what escalating spastication caused the population transfers and extinctions on both sides.

      No doubt i am biased, but the larger state kinda went all hegemonic on the smaller ones from the onset of freedom annexing all sorts oof bits and bobs (hyderabad deccan, sikkim). In these matters i truly beleive that its the man with the biggest stick who needs to lower it.

      also there cant be equivalating in the south asian and west asian case because the power holder is different in each case (almost opposite).

      The not giving a crap answer isnt enough, it just puts off the question.

      BB
      I think you misrecognise what I mean by ‘white’.

      To give you a more precise non-MEMRI originated translation of that Ahmedinejade testosterone infused statement, it was ‘erase from the pages of history’. I think he says such stuff to get people emotional and shine a light upon the naked pointlessness of local arab leaders.

      That does not equal kill all the Jews. (thats my interpretation, but then im not in the business of solidifying western nations against a much sanctioned state whose planes fall out of the sky because they arent allowed to buy spare parts).

    87. halima — on 21st January, 2009 at 6:54 pm  

      Iran.

      Spot on. I was wondering when folks were going to have a discussion about this one.

      It seems like the elephant in the room. (Is this the phrase, elephant in the room? That phrase that means there is something glaringly obvious and no one is acknowledging it?)

      It looks to me that a certain constituency were expecting more hard-line approach from the US administration on Iran and were not going to get this anytime soon now with a change in power in the US. So note the talk of evacuations from Gaza from Israel following the inauguration in the US.

      PP as a site hasn’t been divided as a result of Sunny’s posts on Gaza, i think many of us are taking a sombre look at the death and devastation and holding back from on line point scoring - as sometimes these discussions tend to become.

      Sunny for what it’s worth i think you’ve been spot on during the coverage of the Israeli war in Gaza. Some of your best reporting on PP.

    88. Imran Khan — on 21st January, 2009 at 7:11 pm  

      “To give you a more precise non-MEMRI originated translation of that Ahmedinejade testosterone infused statement, it was ‘erase from the pages of history’. I think he says such stuff to get people emotional and shine a light upon the naked pointlessness of local arab leaders.

      That does not equal kill all the Jews. (thats my interpretation, but then im not in the business of solidifying western nations against a much sanctioned state whose planes fall out of the sky because they arent allowed to buy spare parts).”

      Pro-Israeli Media often distorts and twists statements to suit their agenda. This was the case in what the leader of I-ran said and also was the caes on what the leader of Hamas said who did not call for killing of Jewish children worldwide.- what he said was they would become targets of people seeking revenge and he didn’t as far as I know say they were targets of Hamas.

      What you’ll notice about Bananabrain is that he likes to talk of better understanding but his whole emphasis is on defending Israel and the victim card.

      As far as I know he didn’t criticise the Israeli Chief Rabbi when he was here and called for the ethnic cleansing of Gaza and removing of the local population to Egypt. That was a war crime and he chose to defend it by saying it wasn’t such a bad option even though international law says it is illegal.

      He complains loudly about Iran and the Holocaust Conference but equally hasn’t said much about the recent conference in Israel attended by Geert Wilders who can peddle his nonsense. He’ll hide behind free speech no doubt but allowing free speech doesn’t mean that the even can’t be criticised.

      So criticim of Iran ok, criticism of extremisits for Israel brings silence and sometimes defence.

      We’ve also had a exhibition to sell “settlement” property in London which didn’t bring even a bit of criticism from Bananabrain or major Jewish organisations who say they want peace but stand idly by mute at land theft in violation of international law.

      Then he’ll say he runs an interfaith site as his bit.

      Sadly Memri’s translations have proven exteremely dodgy and yet many people in the Jewish community rely on them and again without much criticism.

      My name is Bananabrain and I always like to complain and whine
      Especially if things don’t go my way then I am not so fine
      I rarely see any wrong in Israel’s action
      Cause they are my faction
      Don’t you dare complain about other people’s pain
      cause its all about Israel’s gain gain gain.

    89. Imran Khan — on 21st January, 2009 at 7:23 pm  

      Halima - even Bush didn’t give the green light for war in Iran. Its nothing to do with the change in administration.

      Pro-Israel supporters need a new whipping boy in the Middle East to divert attention from peace and the necessary concessions.

      Iran is the new Iraq and no doubt intelligance is being doctorted to back up the claims so a new war can be started either directly or by proxy.

      Then we’ll set up more interfaith sites and say how much we really just want peace. The formula is:

      1. Pick Muslim Target
      2. Say how bad they are
      3. Twist and mistranslate their words
      4. Whip up the Americans
      5. Use Friends of Israel Lobby Groups to intensify the campaign
      6. Produce dodgy evidence of weapons of mass destruction and who gives a damn if its the wrong type of Uranium.
      7. Get the bombers ready
      8. Off we go
      9. Roll out the bananas
      10. Play the victim card

    90. The Dude — on 21st January, 2009 at 7:31 pm  

      I’m watching C4 News NOW and it’s just too much to take in. I’m sorry folks BUT I’ve had my fill of belly aching and skipping the light fantastic. What has happened in GAZA is on a scale not seen since the 2nd World War and yet people like Sunny are accused of being blickered and one-sided. So be it!

    91. Imran Khan — on 21st January, 2009 at 7:51 pm  

      At the end of the day Israel committed war crimes in Gaza and people are in denial. As a soverign state and a democracy people don’t want to admit that what was done was criminal to the worst degree.

      The damage and excess is appaling.

      Use of white phosperous in built up civilian areas is illegal.

      Rose coloured vision of Israel cannot distort that fact.

      Israel’s leaders should be charged with war crimes as they are no different to Milosovic anc co.

      What happened is in no way good for Israel, its people or its future and Israel’s supporters need to have the courage to finally admit that.

      That isn’t to say Hamas is any better but we need accountability.

    92. chairwoman — on 21st January, 2009 at 8:02 pm  

      No he’s been accused of implying that it’s OK to abuse British Jews in this country because of the acts of the Israeli Government.

      And for somebody who works for a daily newspaper, albeit a provincial one, you seem to be unfamiliar with Chechnya and Former Yugoslavia, where thousands, and in the case of Chechnya, hundreds of thousands of people were killed within the last 20 years.

      Now don’t put words in my mouth. I am not for one minute excusing Israel for what is, without doubt, a rout, but you have made the point ‘on a scale not seen since the 2nd World War’ and that is palpably untrue.

      And I am not counting the murder of Kurds in Northern Iraq, Palestinians in Jordan and Lebanon, Pakistan/Bangladesh, Rwanda, Darfur, The Congo, Biafra, the list of mans inhumanity to man goes on and on.

      All terrible, of course, but your clock’s set to Israel Double Standards Time.

    93. Imran Khan — on 21st January, 2009 at 8:14 pm  

      Chairwoman - I am afraid that it doesn’t matter where it occurs a war crime is a war crime and trying to fit Israel into a scale of which is the worst crime isn’t really good for anyone’s standards.

      What they did was criminal and wrong and it can’t be defended.

      It’s asking which is the worst crime when they are all crimes and its of no comfort to the innocent people who suffered.

      Also it is a bit disappointing that you keep saying you won’t defend what Israel did and then in roundabout ways you are.

      Justice is about standing up and saying crimes have been commited even when it is against yourself or your own community otherwise you don’t have justice.

      Israel maybe judged by double standards but that doesn’t mean it should be above the law. So people say its the worst since WW2 and it may be just in the top 10 but that still is criminal enough and arguing over degrees when people have been murdered is frankly poor defence and not really a defence.

      What they did was criminal and inexcusable and people need to stop defending such actions by any country. This went beyond self defence and it is delusional to say it was self-defence because it wasn’t and that is why you’ve said earlier you didn’t support all of these actions.

      Where it was self defence fine say it was self defence but equally then where it was criminal then lets stand up and say so - that is justice.

      Seeing what has occurred how many people can honestly say that it was right and defend what has occurred? The brutally oppressed have become the brutal oppressor.

    94. fug — on 21st January, 2009 at 8:15 pm  

      ‘rout’

    95. El Cid — on 21st January, 2009 at 8:16 pm  

      “Exactly the sort” Bananabrain #23?
      Let me correct you: Your response is exactly the kind of response that prevents useful and rational discussion.

      If I was offically a peacemaker I would try a little harder to keep you onside. But I am not. So I won’t.

      I’m not one to agree with Sid if I can help it. But I find it hard to trump this:

      “It would be a tragedy if we found that we had to detach our moral impulses from verbalising them simply because we know that our arguments can be used against our Jewish or Muslim friends by people on either side of the argument whose politics and moral attitudes we find repulsive to say the least.”

    96. Imran Khan — on 21st January, 2009 at 8:23 pm  

      “Now don’t put words in my mouth. I am not for one minute excusing Israel for what is, without doubt, a rout”

      Rout - that is an excuse. How can you view what has been done and call it a rout? It is cold blooded murder the same as Hamas. Both have now stooped to the depths of infamy. It is inexcusable and can’t be defended. It is appalling and criminal.

    97. halima — on 21st January, 2009 at 8:28 pm  

      Halima - even Bush didn’t give the green light for war in Iran. Its nothing to do with the change in administration.

      Isn’t that the point - that the US didn’t give the green light. And so Israel was left to its own devices?

    98. Sunny — on 21st January, 2009 at 8:30 pm  

      No he’s been accused of implying that it’s OK to abuse British Jews in this country because of the acts of the Israeli Government.

      Who has been accused of this? You’re accusing me of implying this are you chairwoman?

    99. Sunny — on 21st January, 2009 at 8:31 pm  

      Katy: It is a tension that he has set up by suggesting that it would be taking sides in the Gaza conflict to report antisemitic attacks here.

      Now you’re twisting what I’m saying (happens both ways eh?). I said to defend Israel’s actions is to take sides against peace. The same applies for cheering on Hamas.

    100. chairwoman — on 21st January, 2009 at 8:37 pm  

      I get it - exaggeration is fine, as long as it’s directed against Israel.

      This is a microcosm of what the real negotiations must be like.

      You want me to make all the mea culpas on Israel’s behalf.

      And very few people are saying that the other side is anything but perfect.

      And as for War Crimes, unless any of you are actually lawyers specialising in that field, which of course you may be, you don’t know what really constitutes a war crime any more than I do. I only know that I don’t know, and I don’t pretend to.

    101. chairwoman — on 21st January, 2009 at 8:46 pm  

      Sunny - I was quite clear I thought.

      Whether you mean to or not, and I tend to think not, you have given me the impression that you consider us fair game because of the situation in Gaza.

      And just to kill two birds with one stone, many comments back somebody asked whose statistics had bananabrain used when he said that there had been an increase in antisemitic attacks. Well, I can’t speak for him, but the statistics I’ve seen for this have been the Government’s.

      Our Government. That means the Government of Great Britain and Northern Ireland should there be any confusion.

    102. chairwoman — on 21st January, 2009 at 8:47 pm  

      Anyway I’m off to take two paracetamol.

      I will read my ‘fan mail’ in the morning.

    103. El Cid — on 21st January, 2009 at 8:50 pm  

      You need to stop personalising it

    104. Imran Khan — on 21st January, 2009 at 8:51 pm  

      Chairwoman - “I get it - exaggeration is fine, as long as it’s directed against Israel.”

      I get it understatement of events is fine as long as it is for Israel? Rout is a hell of an exaggeration considering what they did.

      “And as for War Crimes, unless any of you are actually lawyers specialising in that field, which of course you may be, you don’t know what really constitutes a war crime any more than I do. I only know that I don’t know, and I don’t pretend to.”

      Oh please even Human Rights Groups in Israel are demanding investigation. Lawyers have said that it is quite possible that charges can be filed for war crimes.

      I don’t care what other peole have said but I have said that both sides if they commit war crimes should be brought to justice.

      You are playing with words and understating what they did. People died - innocent people who were caged in with nowhere to go. They died and you’ve understated it as if it were a sports match.

    105. Jai — on 21st January, 2009 at 8:53 pm  

      Bananabrain,

      like north london!

      Y’know mate, I was going to mention Golders Green in my previous post but I didn’t want to promote any stereotypes (or accidentally offend)…..

      **************

      What has happened in GAZA is on a scale not seen since the 2nd World War

      *cough* Vietnam.
      *cough cough* “East Pakistan” aka Bangladesh.

      I’m sure there are numerous other examples.

    106. Imran Khan — on 21st January, 2009 at 8:59 pm  

      “*cough* Vietnam.
      *cough cough* “East Pakistan” aka Bangladesh.

      I’m sure there are numerous other examples.”

      So does that make it alright then?

      Hasn’t the world learnt anything?

      That is a piss poor argument and frankly it is shameful that people are using it.

    107. Sunny — on 21st January, 2009 at 9:02 pm  

      Whether you mean to or not, and I tend to think not, you have given me the impression that you consider us fair game because of the situation in Gaza.

      Wow, that is some leap of imagination isn’t it? From me being angry at the Gaza invasion, now you’re saying that I think Jews in the UK are “fair game” for anti-semitic attacks.

      If you’re going to make baseless slurs like that chairwoman, there’s no point debating you.

      Hasn’t the world learnt anything?

      That is a piss poor argument and frankly it is shameful that people are using it.

      Imran - in that case please stop making piss-poor comparisons.

    108. SE — on 21st January, 2009 at 9:05 pm  

      @Jai:
      The Iraq War.

    109. SE — on 21st January, 2009 at 9:15 pm  

      “fug: i stand by my previous comments. you’re not just barking mad, you’re three stops past barking mad. you’re dagenham heathway mad. you sound like ahmedinejad in disguise.”

      And the people who are defending genocide of brown people aren’t mad, but then again that would pretty much make you ‘Normal’ in London.

    110. Imran Khan — on 21st January, 2009 at 9:25 pm  

      Sunny - “Imran - in that case please stop making piss-poor comparisons.”

      I didn’t make them I replied to the person who did.

    111. Jai — on 21st January, 2009 at 9:30 pm  

      Fug,

      But thats the BJP conception of muslims as invaders, rather than broad ‘civilisational’ india.

      What the BJP say is irrelevant — and they haven’t been around for long enough to have any bearing on the mass of historical records and artifacts from the period concerned.

      In any case, the religion itself and many aspects of the culture were indeed brought into the subcontinent from West Asia. Which would make the construction of an artificial state in the region, to accomodate Muslims in the subcontinent, an “alien West Asian construct”. Again, by your logic, not mine.

      Unless you’re claiming that (depending on the specific location or group) there is no cultural influence of (or identification with) Persia, Afghanistan, or any regions/groups in the Middle-East upon the various inhabitants of Pakistan, and that this has never been the case. Is that what you’re claiming ?

      I’m not certain about what escalating spastication caused the population transfers

      Since Pakistan was created as a “state for the Muslims of the subcontinent”, many Hindus and Sikhs from the region left for India because they felt they no longer had a place there, and many were driven out by force. The reverse situation also occurred in India as a result.

      and extinctions on both sides.

      Historical emnities, which had been exploited and exacerbated by colonial Britain’s “Divide & Rule” policy. You could, indeed, refer to it as ethnic cleansing.

      also there cant be equivalating in the south asian and west asian case because the power holder is different in each case (almost opposite).

      I’m afraid you’re going to have to explain precisely what you mean here.

      The not giving a crap answer isnt enough, it just puts off the question.

      Nope, it just means that some people have different priorities in life.

    112. Shamit — on 21st January, 2009 at 9:44 pm  

      Somehow supporting the right for Israel to exist and call for Hamas to lay down their arms and not provoke Israel by targeting civilian population means you are supporting the over the top response by IDF. And that means you support killing babies.

      I thought the Israeli operation was over the top but like Hezbollah — Hamas wanted this but did not think Israel would go so far. And as I have said many times before- they are seeking glory out of the death of their own people while (the cowardly fucks as I call them) are hiding somewhere else.

      Does not make Israeli disproportionate response right. And it does not mean I support the death of innocent civilians. And, I fail to see the culpability of British jews.

      Interesting though British Jews were being held to a different standard — I wonder why am I not held to the same standard based on LTTE attrocities — or BJP led violence especially on Christian missionaries. I could have understood if there was equal support for Israeli’s to live in peace and not be told the State should not exist. Some people on this thread have let it be known that they dont believe Israel should exist. How come we don’t aggressively protest against that?

      Of course there is no double standard — Shamit you are so thick.

      When Sonia yesterday articulated very well about how one must look at the Pakistan/bangladesh situation — one of the administrators admonished her indirectly saying it has no place in this discussion.

      No there is no double standard.

      I wonder if people have taken a look at the thread about Mr. Azad Ali — this guy refused to call the Mumbai attacks a terror attack and said it had nothing to do with Islam — there were a lot of defenders trying to paint him as a man who works hard to build cohesive communities. Which is bollocks. I read all his posts and that man needs help. He is working hard to bring back the Caliphate - his words not mine.

      Now where are those defenders to say it is the State of Israel and not Jews who are responsible for this attack..especially why dont we hear those cohesive community folks defending their fellow British citizens.

      No there is no double standard.

    113. Katy Newton — on 21st January, 2009 at 9:57 pm  

      I have to say, Sunny, my impression from what you’ve written so far is that you have no empathy for Jews here at all, and it does seem to be tied to Gaza. Perhaps it’s because you just haven’t exercised the Anas-esque thought experiment of thinking about what it’s like to be minding your own business and suddenly field a load of abuse or physical violence for something that you had no power over. It surprises me, because I thought that every ethnic minority knew how it felt, but perhaps you really don’t.

      It’s because of the false either/or you set up: announcing that you are not going to report on antisemitism “instead of Gaza”, which no one has suggested you should do in the first place. You say things like “I didn’t not report the Mumbai bombings, did I?” No, that’s true. But you did speak out strongly against Islamophobia. You have always stood up for Muslims and defended their right not to be collectively judged. You reported incidents where planes were stopped from taking off (remember the beards of terror?) and you rightly poured scorn on that mentality. You know you did. But you can’t find that in you when it comes to the Jewish community here.

      Or what about when you said that Rumbold shouldn’t have written about the difference between Jews and Israel because it looked as if you were writing what people told you to write? It seems to me that Rumbold was able to weigh up the situation both on this site and in the real world considerably better than you, and he wasn’t the only one who thought it was right to set that out. You were the only one who was worried about what people might think if you posted something that might not actively offend your pro-Israel readers.

      Or what about when you said, on the same thread, that PP was about standing up for marginalised communities and the Jews aren’t marginalised because, on Planet Hundal, it’s only Muslims who have a problem with them? Ha. Broken shop windows, graffiti, abuse in the streets, people being beaten up? Sure. Not marginalised at all.

      I don’t really know what you expect people to think. Do I think you support attacks on Jewish people? Of course not, because I know you. We were at one point friends, and not just on this website but in real life. But if I didn’t know you and I had only read what you’ve said about antisemitism over the last few days, I’d think you didn’t give a shit. I’d think you were just another kneejerk lefty who couldn’t be bothered to waste any time on antisemitism because it’s not this year’s “in” prejudice. I know that’s not you because I know you, but it does not come across on this site at all these days.

      And before you start saying “oh, I’m not going to debate with you”, why don’t you go back and look at what you’ve said, and think about how it might look to someone who didn’t know you.

    114. Katy Newton — on 21st January, 2009 at 11:00 pm  

      We were at one point friends, and not just on this website but in real life.

      Ouch, I don’t mean that the way it sounds. I am still your friend even if we don’t agree on much.

    115. Vikrant — on 21st January, 2009 at 11:21 pm  

      Do you see Pakistan or perhaps Bangladesh(though less likely) in the same vein as a Palestinian, or a friend of a Palestinian, sees Israel? (I think the south asia case has more to do with caste and economic emancipation under the cloak of some vague religious nationalism).

      fug,

      One side of family lost most of its members and property in Sukkur during partition. You know what they didnt cry hoarse over it, they didnt pledge revenge nor did the create fidayeen equivalents to reverse the injustices. They simply let it go…

      Funnily many Pakistanis tend to be insecure about their identity and nationhood and seem to have the notion that Indians whether in India or the diaspora want to see destruction of their country.

    116. Vikrant — on 21st January, 2009 at 11:26 pm  

      But thats the BJP conception of muslims as invaders, rather than broad ‘civilisational’ india.

      Depends on which Muslim ruler you are talking about? Ghazni, Babur, Aurangzeb and Qutubbbian Aibaq and their lot did act like typical invaders with little regard for India itself.

    117. Vikrant — on 21st January, 2009 at 11:28 pm  

      Unless you’re claiming that (depending on the specific location or group) there is no cultural influence of (or identification with) Persia, Afghanistan, or any regions/groups in the Middle-East upon the various inhabitants of Pakistan, and that this has never been the case. Is that what you’re claiming ?

      Yeah… given the ridiculous number of Pakistanis who claim Qureish/Turkish/Persian/Mongolian descent!

    118. fug — on 22nd January, 2009 at 2:29 pm  

      vikrant,
      Letting go is one way of going about things if you have somewhere to go.

    119. Jai — on 22nd January, 2009 at 3:14 pm  

      Fug,

      Hence the case for the continuing existence of Israel, for the benefit of Jewish people everywhere.

    120. sonia — on 22nd January, 2009 at 5:20 pm  

      Good one Jai.

    121. Jai — on 22nd January, 2009 at 6:09 pm  

      Imran,

      So does that make it alright then?

      Yes, that obviously “makes it alright then”. Obviously, that is exactly what I meant. Of course. And obviously I’m not being sarcastic right now either. Congratulations — full marks to you.

      I’d hold up a paddle with the number “10″ on it, except I’m not as flamboyant as Bruno Tonioli and I’d bet my left nut that you don’t look as good as Rachel Stevens in a backless mini-dress.

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