They really care for human rights, at Harry’s Place


by Sunny
28th January, 2009 at 11:29 am    

One of the ideological pillars of the pro-(Iraq) war left that the anti-war left had stopped caring about global human rights. If we cared so much for Britons dying across the world, why didn’t we pay more attention to the innocent brown people being killed by Saddam Hussain? Were their lives not important?

But Israel’s brutal attack on Gaza has brought that facade crashing down. It has deeply exposed the glaring point that human rights go out of the window when they’re cheerleading for a particular cause. I refer here of course to Harry’s Place, which has championed the Israeli cause since Christmas with an enthusiasm only matched by Guido Fawkes’ insistence that people send pizza to the IDF (presumably so they can be spurred on to kill more Palestinians).

Let’s start going through the record shall we. Over the last few weeks we’ve heard about:

- the impact of an 18 month blockade on Gaza
- two UN schools being bombed
- usage of chemical weapons (white phosphorous) in Gaza
- accusations the IDF blocked ambulances getting to wounded people
- a death toll exceededing 1,300 people, nearly a third of them children
- a humanitarian disaster in the area thanks to the continuing blockade and largescale destruction of its infrastructure
- evidence of children being shot by the IDF while running away.

And where was the coverage of all this on Harry’s Place? Oh there was one post by Gene actually defending the rocket attacks on schools. I can’t even recall a post mentioning the final death toll or the destruction in Gaza.

And then there was the constant insistence that Hamas broke the ceasefire, even though that isn’t true. See this Channel 4 report and this CNN report.

I do however recall that when one Israeli minister said he didn’t care for dead civilians, Gene was found making excuses for that too.

Their approach wasn’t to argue for peace, but to defend the continual bombardment by constantly trying to paint those who opposed it as Islamist defenders. There was the constant bashing of the “anti-Israel Left”, which is defined as anyone who raises their voice at an Israeli military operation, regardless of how many people killed I presume. That must include foreign secretary David Miliband too.

There was a pathetic riposte yesterday, with something by Neil D on how he had valiantly said he would “never stop criticising Israeli policies that I take to be wrong-headed, short-sighted or immoral”…. though presumably the attack on Gaza and the death of 1,300 people, to no real end, was perfectly moral.

All this in the name of human rights, anti-racism and anti-bigotry.


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  1. kardinal birkutski — on 28th January, 2009 at 11:51 am  

    Blatant, biased strawman bollocks. Having a pop at someone else it seems, whilst quite clearly incapable of proper, reasoned, open-minded argument.

  2. MaidMarian — on 28th January, 2009 at 12:01 pm  

    Isn’t this your ‘whatabout-ery?’

    Israel and Iraq are two very different situations. This is not to say that Israel per se walks with the truth and the light. Just to say that this type of lazy moral equivalence is not a framework for debate to get anywhere fast.

  3. douglas clark — on 28th January, 2009 at 12:23 pm  

    kardinal birkutski @ 1,

    Rubbish.

  4. bananabrain — on 28th January, 2009 at 12:32 pm  

    you still haven’t said, sunny, whether you think that hamas is entitled to attack israel as “self-defence” on behalf of the west bank. i’ve asked a couple of times, but the threads keep changing.

    it seems that even the un has managed to bring itself to point out the cynical use of humanitarian issues by hamas as well as criticising israel:

    http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/1059475.html
    http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/1058216.html

    [John] Holmes (the UN’s Humanitarian Affairs chief) added that Israel was allowing the daily transfer of 120 truckloads of food and medical supplies into Gaza, most of whose 1.5 million Palestinian inhabitants are aid-dependent.

    “I’ve detected a spirit of good will on the Israeli side to help do that,” Holmes said, referring to efforts by aid organizations to transfer medical, food and other urgent supplies to Gaza through border crossings controlled by Israel.

    perhaps this might go some way to providing some context, it’s not all “evil troops massacre children”, you know.

    i think perhaps you could rise above this rather puerile sparring between pp and harry’s place, though.

    b’shalom

    bananabrain

  5. MaidMarian — on 28th January, 2009 at 12:51 pm  

    bananabrain – ‘whether you think that hamas is entitled to attack israel as “self-defence” on behalf of the west bank.’

    Not just that – it’s about this sense of entitlement on behalf of Islam, not just the West Bank. This is all about religion, not international relations.

    This is why moral equivalence does not cut it. Iraq’s human rights questions were about a secular tyrant, Hamas is about a hyperreligious brand of powerplay.

  6. Hermes — on 28th January, 2009 at 1:04 pm  

    bananabrain,

    Were the jews entitled to attack Nazi troops in self defence during the war? What do you expect an oppressed people to do?

    Here’s a reminder:
    http://www.normanfinkelstein.com/article.php?pg=11&ar=2510

  7. Imran Khan — on 28th January, 2009 at 1:27 pm  

    Bananabrain – Your attempt to serparate Gaza and the West Bank achieves what?

    Surely it is an overall Palestinian struggle for freedom?

    Are you saying if Likud has a stronger base in the Settler community then they are seperate from Israeli’s in Tel Aviv?

    Also this attempt to continually portray Palestinian’s highligting their plight as cynical use is pretty sad. Are you saying Israel doesn’t cynically use things for its own propoganda? All sides do to curry favour.

    It is all part of the attempt to win world opinion by both sides. So you are defining one as acceptable and one as cynical. They are both cynical.

    One could equally say that Israel is cynically using Settlers to provoke violence from the Palestinians to curry favour with the US – couldn’t one?

    Like Dave T your constant rose coloured attempt to gloss over Israel’s actions makes you part of the problem and not part of the solution we need to be heading towards. You are not as bad as he is but your approach is hardly conducive to progress.So if you can’t support the peace for all then perhaps its time you look at yourself and recognised that you are part of the problem we face in ending this maddness and what you can do to help change the situation and not carry it on.

    Everytime you post a one sided entry you support the current situation by reenforcing to some people that one side is right.

    Face facts both sides will use what they think will bring them favour its all bloody cynical to try and get their way.

    Natural settlement growth is a cynical way to grab more land but you don’t come here criticising that do you – unless prodded a few times.

    Its the fact that stupid people keep backing both of them and backing them and backing them that we have a continual procession of funerals taking place with each side saying this is why they need to fight. Those who back them unequivically are frankly reckless armchair generals who go smugly to sleep at night without fully realising the consequences of this brutal madness.

    Is is so difficult to realise that both sides and both militaries are bloody stupid for carrying on. This isn’t about people its about power and it is a shame people can’t get past the loyalties to see the brutality.

    Tell would you advocate war crimes proceeding for anyone and I mean anyone regardless of side who may have committed war crimes or do you think they should be exempt?

    Would you be willing to campaign for Palestinians who commit war crimes to be brought to justice?

    Would you be willing to campaign for Israelis who commit war crimes to be brought to justice?

    If you answer an unconditional yes to both then we are making progress. If you argue that either side won’t get a fair hearing then thats a problem.

    Look this is quite simple really, both sides are stupid and stubborn and everyone they get one sided unequivocal and unquestioning support means they continue where they are going.

  8. bananabrain — on 28th January, 2009 at 1:27 pm  

    hermes:

    had the jews fired rockets at the nazis? had they suicide-bombed them? had they elected a government whose stated aim was to destroy all germans?(other than the “protocols”, of course!) – of course not.

    as you well know, the israelis are not nazis. you’re only picking that example to try and get a rise out of me and it clearly reveals your own bigotry.

    now do bugger off, there’s a good chap.

    b’shalom

    bananabrain

  9. bananabrain — on 28th January, 2009 at 1:45 pm  

    imran:

    Bananabrain – Your attempt to serparate Gaza and the West Bank achieves what?

    er, clarity about the abuse of the term “self-defence”?

    Surely it is an overall Palestinian struggle for freedom?

    only if one treats all palestinians and all streams of thought and opinion within palestinian society as an undifferentiated mass. which i don’t, because that would be not only inaccurate, but racist.

    Are you saying if Likud has a stronger base in the Settler community then they are seperate from Israeli’s in Tel Aviv?

    well, yes, actually. if you have a problem with the settlers, they are a pretty distinct bunch, albeit even there are strands of opinion. likud itself has two wings, including some reasonably sensible people, but also including some total wingnuts. the same goes for most of the larger israeli political parties. that is why i resist the temptation to make sweeping, generalised statements about entire populations.

    this attempt to continually portray Palestinian’s highligting their plight as cynical use is pretty sad.

    well, i think it’s important, particularly if there are continual attempts to portray all israelis as bloodthirsty child murderers. i just want there to be a more nuanced view.

    Are you saying Israel doesn’t cynically use things for its own propoganda? All sides do to curry favour.

    of course – and i believe it gets caught out, too.

    One could equally say that Israel is cynically using Settlers to provoke violence from the Palestinians to curry favour with the US – couldn’t one?

    er… only if one completely misunderstood the relationship between the israeli government, the settlers and the US. sure, the government attempts to use them as a bargaining chip, but the tail also wags the dog in that case. either way, the settlers in *gaza* were removed, so how did that provoke violence? oh yes, i forget, it’s the shebaa farms argument; the first lot of settlers have gone, so let’s find another batch to complain about. oh, they’re not in gaza, they’re in the west bank? well, that needn’t concern us. we’re palestinians and they’re still settlers, so it’ll play just fine.

    you can’t support the peace for all

    yes, i can. i just endorsed your quite detailed high-level plan more or less in its entirety on another thread, did you not see that?

    Everytime you post a one sided entry you support the current situation by reenforcing to some people that one side is right.

    that’s really, really, not true, as you ought to know.

    Natural settlement growth is a cynical way to grab more land but you don’t come here criticising that do you – unless prodded a few times.

    on the contrary, if you wish me to, i’ll say it right out: “natural settlement growth” is a figleaf for expansion. it fools nobody, not even in israel, especially the israeli left. if obama has any sense and that idiot netanyahu gets back in, he should kick him in the nuts about this immediately; the settlements are a barrier to peace. of course netanyahu won’t admit this because it’ll hurt his electoral prospects.

    Those who back them unequivically are frankly reckless armchair generals who go smugly to sleep at night without fully realising the consequences of this brutal madness.

    i know you haven’t just arrived at the site today, but this reads as if you have. honestly, this is really out of order.

    Tell would you advocate war crimes proceeding for anyone and I mean anyone regardless of side who may have committed war crimes or do you think they should be exempt?

    i think if there is a case, it must be heard.

    Would you be willing to campaign for Palestinians who commit war crimes to be brought to justice?

    Would you be willing to campaign for Israelis who commit war crimes to be brought to justice?

    yes, but, no, not unconditional. providing that you mean the same thing that i mean when you say “campaign”. if you are talking about signing some damfool advert with miriam margolyes and the rest of the bleeding-heart-remember-they’re-jewish-when-it’s-time-to-criticise-israel brigade, then i doubt it.

    b’shalom

    bananabrain

  10. douglas clark — on 28th January, 2009 at 1:48 pm  

    I agree with Imran Khan when he says:

    Its the fact that stupid people keep backing both of them and backing them and backing them that we have a continual procession of funerals taking place with each side saying this is why they need to fight. Those who back them unequivically are frankly reckless armchair generals who go smugly to sleep at night without fully realising the consequences of this brutal madness.

    Is is so difficult to realise that both sides and both militaries are bloody stupid for carrying on. This isn’t about people its about power and it is a shame people can’t get past the loyalties to see the brutality.

    Although I think he is misrepresenting bananabrains’ position somewhat, after that. BB has made it pretty clear that he would prosecute war crimes on either side.

  11. Luis Enrique — on 28th January, 2009 at 2:11 pm  

    Sunny,

    I’m sorry but I think this is dreadful. I think you are letting your animosity toward HP warp your view of HP, catching yourself in a self-confirmatory trap.

    One of the things Neil’s post was about was how you sometimes appear to respond to a version of HP you have constructed. This post makes it look like he has a point.

    First, a general point: the idea of humanitarian support (by HP writers) for the invasion of Iraq is not a “facade that has come crashing down”, despite the fact that they were very wrong about the humanitarian outcome. I think that was a silly thing to write: attributing false motives to people you disagree with is usually a mistake (and ends up being a way of deceiving yourself because you will approach what they write assuming it is duplicitous).

    I have read on more than one occasion HP writers saying they opposed what Israel did in Gaza (I presume, based on concern for Palestinian human rights), yet for you this becomes “enthusiastic championing”.

    I read Gene’s post you link to, and see an argument that the fact Hamas was using the school as a firing point should be taken into account when handing out blame, and that people should not so readily assume the army shelled that school knowingly. Gene could be wrong about that last point, but take his post just to be a “defense” of bombing schools is to see only what you want to see, to confirm your priors. (I think of all the HP writers, Gene is prone to err on the side of pro-Israeli bias – I have no problem with you vociferously disagreeing with him).

    I haven’t read that post you link to under ‘bashing’ very carefully, but it does not look to me like it just amounts to ‘bashing the anti-Israeli left’.

    Finally Neil’s (somewhat ill-judged) riposte suggested that your accusation HP writers do not care for Palestinian rights was unfounded; you appear to have sailed past that argument and seized on something in his post you can mock, instead. As I said in the comments to his post, I think the best way forward would be to acknowledge you shouldn’t have made that accusation* and end this bickering. (I there were things about Neil’s post that were unhelpful too).

    Lord knows there are enough substantive issues you could disagree with HP writers about, without resorting to posts like this. Unlike many HP commentators, I think you are better than this.

    * Unless you want to amend it to something like: “because of the narrow perspective of most HP posts, one could easily get the impression they didn’t care, if one wasn’t reading carefully”

  12. fug — on 28th January, 2009 at 2:32 pm  

    speaks volumes that you actually address harry’s place as an entity worthy of deliberation.

  13. bananabrain — on 28th January, 2009 at 2:35 pm  

    gosh, i haven’t seen luis enrique before, but based on that post, let’s have more, please – it’s nice to see someone so interested in conciliation and even-handedness.

    b’shalom

    bananabrain

  14. sonia — on 28th January, 2009 at 2:52 pm  

    “Surely it is an overall Palestinian struggle for freedom?”

    perhaps the point is this: hamas’s problem is that it has taken the claim for the overall Palestinian struggle for freedom -which is of course legitimate – into, as maid marian says, into a “hyperreligious brand of powerplay. “

    “it’s about this sense of entitlement on behalf of Islam, not just the West Bank. This is all about religion, not international relations.”

    yes and the problem is this crisis seems to have strengthened Hamas’ determination to keep this control and slant on the Palestinian struggle. It becomes problematic then -whether it is about ‘human’ rights, because when it is cast in the religious frame, it becomes about the ‘religious tribe”‘s rights, not human rights.

    this needs to be recognised, as much as the Israel state’s encroachment of human rights. both are crucial – for either ‘side’ to more than ‘co-exist’ as fellow humans.

    the problem is of course that everyone in the bloody ‘HOly Land’ (literally now as then) seems to think their claim to it is on religious grounds.

  15. Hermes — on 28th January, 2009 at 2:52 pm  

    bananabrain, you thick idiot, I was trying to say that the jews during the Nazi oppression had every right to fight back…and many of them did by joining resistance groups who did use rockets and booby traps. They had every right to do so…why not the Palestinians.

    You are such a pompous git!

  16. Sunny — on 28th January, 2009 at 3:11 pm  

    Israel and Iraq are two very different situations.

    The point is about human rights, not the different situations.

    BB: whether you think that hamas is entitled to attack israel as “self-defence” on behalf of the west bank.

    On behalf of the West Bank? Well, since they’re all Palestinians I’m assuming that any resistance, whether on behalf of the West Bank or just Gaza is fine. I just don’t approve of the Hamas way of doing things.

    Luis:
    I think that was a silly thing to write: attributing false motives to people you disagree with is usually a mistake (and ends up being a way of deceiving yourself because you will approach what they write assuming it is duplicitous).

    Not at all. There is a lot of false attribution at HP too – especially at people who support peace efforts (and are then labelled terrorist supporters by flagging up the odd nutbags).

    I have read on more than one occasion HP writers saying they opposed what Israel did in Gaza (I presume, based on concern for Palestinian human rights), yet for you this becomes “enthusiastic championing”.

    I’ve listed a whole host of incidents up there, why not let me know when they were mentioned on HP? Anyone can say they’re for human rights and then go on to justify massacres. Doesn’t make their claim any more valid does it?

    I haven’t read that post you link to under ‘bashing’ very carefully, but it does not look to me like it just amounts to ‘bashing the anti-Israeli left’.

    See my comments underneath that post by Alex Stein.

    I think the best way forward would be to acknowledge you shouldn’t have made that accusation* and end this bickering. (I there were things about Neil’s post that were unhelpful too).

    Luis – my accusation was right – that they’d published two posts supporting the BBC’s decision to avoid mentioning Gaza. And when you see NEil’s post, you see that most of the commenters don’t agree… and in fact I bet neither do most HP writers. So the consensus there is still supporting the BBC position. I don’t think I’m wrong in attributing that position.

    As for the broader point – there’s more to come.

  17. Leon — on 28th January, 2009 at 3:25 pm  

    bananabrain, you thick idiot,

    Please stop with the personal attacks.

  18. bananabrain — on 28th January, 2009 at 3:29 pm  

    hermes:

    and you chose the jewish partisans against the nazis, then, why them in particular? there are plenty of “freedom fighters” in the world you could pick. but nooooo, you want to underline that you think the israelis are *just like* nazis, because that’s *really* what’s going on, you’re a fair-minded person, aren’t you just.

    i’ve got nothing more to say to you.

    sunny:

    On behalf of the West Bank? Well, since they’re all Palestinians I’m assuming that any resistance, whether on behalf of the West Bank or just Gaza is fine. I just don’t approve of the Hamas way of doing things.

    oh, my G!D, sunny. you “don’t approve of it”, but “any resistance” for the *west bank* is fine? how are these two things even compatible? so, is it also all right for hizbollah to “resist” on behalf of “the palestinians”? how about iran?

    i mean, seriously, have you thought what you’re saying here? you’ve just sanctioned hamas firing rockets into civilian areas of israel as if they were the palestinian national authority – and legitimised it as “resistance”? that’s internalising the hamas narrative to a terrifying degree.

    i don’t think i can stay here any more. if this is what you think, i cannot believe that you can truly refer to yourself as “progressive”.

    please come to your senses.

    b’shalom

    bananabrain

  19. Sunny — on 28th January, 2009 at 3:51 pm  

    but “any resistance” for the *west bank* is fine? how are these two things even compatible?

    Let me get this straight bananabrain, since I’ve already explained myself in previous articles here:
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2009/jan/15/israelandthepalestinians-india

    Do you think Palestinians are wrong to resist the occupation in self-defence?

  20. MaidMarian — on 28th January, 2009 at 3:54 pm  

    Sunny (16) – ‘The point is about human rights, not the different situations.’

    With all respect, that is not what the first two paragraphs of the article seem to say?

    ‘Well, since they’re all Palestinians I’m assuming that any resistance, whether on behalf of the West Bank or just Gaza is fine.’

    Sunny, are you absolutely sure that that is what you mean? That honestly doesn’t read well!

    If so, then you have just effectively said that, ‘resistance,’ is a magic word that anyone can hide behind to justify any political or religious violence. ‘Not in my name’ appears to have just taken on a whole new meaning.

    Out of interest, what do you say about the Greek paramilitaries who joined in with the Pale Serbs in the Srebrenica ‘incident’ (as it gets called over there) to kill in the name of orthodox resistance to a Muslim state in Europe? Since they are all orthodox can I assume that any resistance is fine?

  21. Hermes — on 28th January, 2009 at 3:54 pm  

    I think Bananabrain has thrown his toys out of the pram and walked away with the ball…

  22. Luis Enrique — on 28th January, 2009 at 4:02 pm  

    Sunny,

    are you really asserting that those HP writers who argued for the invasion of Iraq on humanitarian grounds were not in fact motivated by humanitarian concerns? Get a grip! If would be equally daft if HP attributed such duplicity to people protesting against what happened in Gaza. But HP does not do this: it does not label peace protesters as terrorist supporters. Pointing out that the “we are all Hamas now” halfwit minority cannot really claim to be peace activists is quite another matter.

    I am not going to trawl the HP site to find those quotes, I’m afraid. I’m pretty sure I can remember Brownie and Graham saying they opposed what was done in Gaza, and I’d guess David T. Mind you, I’m not disagreeing that they did allow some pretty crazy guest posters on – who was that guy from Z-word? I think that was a mistake.

    And the BBC’s decision to avoid mentioning Gaza? Man, you need to take a break.

  23. Rumbold — on 28th January, 2009 at 4:05 pm  

    The problem is that no-one who has attacked Israel’s actions has really explained what Israel should have done to combat the immediate problem of the rockets. Not what it should have done in the preceding years, as that is over, nor what it should do long term, as most of us agree that Israel should work towards creating a viable Palestinian state, but what it should have done in the short-term; namely how should it have stopped the rockets? A proportional response perhaps? What would this involve- firing the same number of missiles at Palestinian homes? Killing the Hamas fighters? Well, how do you do that if they hid amongst civilians?

  24. bananabrain — on 28th January, 2009 at 4:13 pm  

    i understand what you’ve written in the article. it’s a good article. but knowing what you know about hamas, you support their “right” to attack israel on *behalf* of the *west bank*, which is ruled by fatah, which didn’t vote for them, which is pointedly staying quiet and *not* erupting in support of hamas in gaza – and you would call that SELF-DEFENCE?

    i’ve said that i can understand and even sympathise with resisting aggression by settlers. what i can never understand and never sympathise with is an extreme, racist group, claiming to *represent* the “entire palestinian people”. haven’t you just been arguing that the israelis have no right to punish gaza for the sins of hamas? yet you’re arguing that hamas has the right to punish israel on behalf of people that didn’t elect it, in ways that can’t possibly help the people that *did* elect it?

    how can you possibly justify the logic of this position? it is precisely the same argument that every tariq, dawud and hamzah use to justify attacking israel by any possible way or means, it is the same argument al-qaeda use when they claim to be acting on a legitimate grievance, it is the same argument that people use when they’re petrol-bombing british synagogues – they’re “resisting the zionist occupation” on behalf of “the palestinians”. you cannot say, on one hand, that these things are illegitimate, as you do, but at the same time excuse the same sort of action elsewhere as legitimate. i thought you were against this sort of double standard. clearly i am wrong.

    i can’t actually stomach this any more. i feel sick.

    well done, sunny, you’ve just removed any reason i might ever have to expect fairness from so-called “progressives”. in short, i think you may have just proven melanie phillips right – and i really didn’t think she was. next time a right-winger tells me i’m being a naive fool, i will have very little to argue with.

    b’shalom

    bananabrain

  25. Pete999 — on 28th January, 2009 at 4:18 pm  

    Rumbold, I think that many ‘progressive’ types would answer that Israel should lift the blockade of Gaza.

    Thereby showing Hamas that firing missiles at civilian centres would get results and giving them no incentive to stop, and convincing the leadership that further force will get more from Israel.

    Alternatively Israel could fire thirty or forty unguided missiles into the Gaza strip on a daily basis. A nice, proportionate reaction…

  26. Sunny — on 28th January, 2009 at 4:19 pm  

    MaidMarian: If so, then you have just effectively said that, ‘resistance,’ is a magic word that anyone can hide behind to justify any political or religious violence.

    They don’t? How else would you like me to phrase the point that if we are to care for the human rights of Iraqis, then maybe it was nice if the same attention would also be paid to the human rights of Palestinians?

    I don’t know how to make that any clearer… but let’s hear it.

    If so, then you have just effectively said that, ‘resistance,’ is a magic word that anyone can hide behind to justify any political or religious violence.

    Not at all. My views on resistance are here:
    How far does Palestinian right to resistance go?

    Perhaps you could clarify something for me: are Palestinians allowed to resist an occupation of their lands and the bloackade… and the extra-judicial killings of their people?

    Luis Enrique: But HP does not do this: it does not label peace protesters as terrorist supporters. Pointing out that the “we are all Hamas now” halfwit minority cannot really claim to be peace activists is quite another matter.

    Could you point me to a post on HP which lays out this nuanced position?
    Every post there on the peace protests was to highlight the fringe nutjobs and paint everyone with the same brush.
    Not a single post accepting that the marches against the invasion had a large peaceful element to them. Like I said, just point to one post, thanks. I’m making observations from reading HP too.

  27. Sunny — on 28th January, 2009 at 4:23 pm  

    bananabrain: but knowing what you know about hamas, you support their “right” to attack israel on *behalf* of the *west bank*, which is ruled by fatah, which didn’t vote for them, which is pointedly staying quiet and *not* erupting in support of hamas in gaza – and you would call that SELF-DEFENCE?

    Sorry, at which point did I say Hamas was welcome to take up that cause?

    Btw, Fatah didn’t stay quiet – they actually called for a ceasefire immediately, but Israel ignored them too. They are now finished anyways…. the Israeli attack has strengthened the right in Israel and Hamas’s own political position.

    yet you’re arguing that hamas has the right to punish israel on behalf of people that didn’t elect it, in ways that can’t possibly help the people that *did* elect it?

    No I didn’t. I’d like you to take that back since I haven’t said that anywhere.

    well done, sunny, you’ve just removed any reason i might ever have to expect fairness from so-called “progressives”.

    Can’t read very well today bb, can you?

  28. sonia — on 28th January, 2009 at 4:24 pm  

    this is the question:

    Is Global Democracy Possible?

  29. Katy Newton — on 28th January, 2009 at 4:34 pm  

    Well, since they’re all Palestinians I’m assuming that any resistance, whether on behalf of the West Bank or just Gaza is fine. I just don’t approve of the Hamas way of doing things.

    What do you expect people to take from “Any resistance whether on behalf of the West Bank or just Gaza is fine”, Sunny? You’ve also asked pro-Israel commenters a number of times (and rather aggressively) if they are saying that the Palestinians are not entitled to exercise military self-defence against the settlements and the blockade, and when I asked you to explain what you meant by “self defence” your rather mealymouthed response was “supporters of Hamas (which I’m not) would point to the settlements and the blockade”.

    I have read your recent comments exactly the way that BB did, i.e. that you are coming to the conclusion that the rocket fire on Israeli citizens pre and post ceasefire was justified because of the blockade and the settlements. If I’ve got that wrong you let me know. It may be that you post without previewing and editing, don’t phrase things as well as you could, and then throw your toys out the pram because people think you mean what you say. But there’s no point in saying “I explained myself in this article that I didn’t bother to cross-post on PP” and then going on to say “any resistance on behalf of either the West Bank or Gaza is fine”, and then being outraged when people think that means you’re justifying rocket fire into Sderot from Gaza on the grounds of grievances you impute to the West Bank. People are reading what you say and reacting to it. Perhaps if you didn’t take such an aggressive and unpleasant stance (e.g. accusing everyone who doesn’t agree with you of being a WARMONGER and a CHEERLEADER for MASSACRE), or say “I refuse to engage”, when people tried to clarify what you meant, it would help.

  30. bananabrain — on 28th January, 2009 at 4:43 pm  

    Well, since they’re all Palestinians I’m assuming that any resistance, whether on behalf of the West Bank or just Gaza is fine. I just don’t approve of the Hamas way of doing things.

    you said “any”. i struggle to understand what else you could have meant by that. surely “any resistance” also includes “the Hamas way of doing things”, of which you say you disapprove?

    I’d like you to take that back since I haven’t said that anywhere.

    you said that “any resistance” (hamas punishing israel) on behalf of “the west bank” (people who didn’t elect it) was “fine”. again, i struggle to understand what else you could mean.

    Fatah didn’t stay quiet – they actually called for a ceasefire immediately, but Israel ignored them too.

    normally, when fatah want to make a point, they have demonstrations and call for a general strike, with which israeli arabs normally show solidarity. they didn’t as far as i know. they called for a ceasefire, just like most of the international community did, which most observers would agree is a pretty tame diplomatic response. they know hamas is their enemy and they dealing with iranian infiltration themselves at present.

    b’shalom

    bananabrain

  31. justforfun — on 28th January, 2009 at 4:45 pm  

    Sounds good Sonia – but before going to hear them, what is the catering like at these events?

    Does it make up for anything a Professor of Innovation, Governance and Public policy can possibly say? He is Italian aferall and his take on Governance and Public Policy should be interesting!!

    It is difficult keeping an open mind – but it is alot easier if the sandwiches are good.

    Will they put the recording of the confertance out as a podcast. Can you ask? Things are a bit slow here at work.

    justforfun

  32. Leon — on 28th January, 2009 at 4:53 pm  

    I think Bananabrain has thrown his toys out of the pram and walked away with the ball…

    I think you’re attempts at flame baiting were uncalled for.

    The problem is that no-one who has attacked Israel’s actions has really explained what Israel should have done to combat the immediate problem of the rockets.

    Are you sure? Israel ends the occupation, pulls back to pre 1967 borders and the Palestinian people’s suffering will drop and mean (possibly) that they wont feel so desperate that they turn to electing Hamas to represent them. Thus ending Hamas’ ability to fire rockets into civilian areas in Israel.

    The above in various forms has been discussed the world over, and brought up several times on here.

  33. Leon — on 28th January, 2009 at 4:54 pm  

    this is the question:

    Is Global Democracy Possible?

    Interesting event, I read Monbiot’s Age of Consent when it first came out. Interesting idea but basically a non starter and not likely to happen in our life time…

  34. Luis Enrique — on 28th January, 2009 at 4:55 pm  

    I’d have thought the observation that HP authors are not idiots would be sufficient to assure they do not equate peace activism with support for terrorism. You want to see them put up a post saying “HP makes it official: it’s okay to protest for peace”? I have no idea whether they have ever written a post explicitly stating that position – oh look Neil’s said as much just now and Brownie has “emphatically rejected” the notion that HP tars the left with the Galloway loony brush, in the comments thread you’re involved in over there right now. Will that cause you to revise your position? It should.

  35. Sunny — on 28th January, 2009 at 4:57 pm  

    Katy – your post doesn’t even make sense to me.

    BB:
    normally, when fatah want to make a point, they have demonstrations and call for a general strike, with which israeli arabs normally show solidarity. they didn’t as far as i know.

    They had plenty of demonstrations for peace in West Bank. And there were plenty of demonstrations by Israeli Arabs too. What’s your point?

    i struggle to understand what else you could have meant by that. surely “any resistance” also includes “the Hamas way of doing things”, of which you say you disapprove?

    OK, let’s play this by questions:

    1) Do you think Palestinians are allowed to resist Israeli occupation BB? I think they are.

    2) Does that resistance include attack on innocent civilians? I don’t think it is (for both sides, not just Palestinians)

    3) Do I think West Bank and Gaza are two separate entities and one group on one side has no right to resist for Palestinians as a whole? No I don’t. What do you think?

    4) Do I think Hamas is the ideal form of Palestinian resistance? No I don’t. I don’t like their bigotry and I don’t like their targeting of Israeli and Palestinian cvivilians. Is that straight enough for you?

    5) But I’m not equating Hamas with all forms of Palestinian resistance. Are you? Are you saying that Hamas’s way of doing things is the only Palestinian form of resistance?

    6) I’m agreeing with what David T said earlier, which was:

    A variety of things, including military action aimed at Israeli soldiers, that is proportionate and likely to achieve the aims of an independent Palestine. So far, Hamas hasn’t tried any of this. But then Hamas is mostly interested in keeping the crisis going, while executing members of Fatah, in the hope that they’ll be able to realise their goals, as set out in the Hamas Covenant.

    Not that my position is more clear, you can answer those questions and withdraw you assertion that I support Hamas’s actions even though I’ve continually said I don’t.

    In fact, its become rather common of Israel’s supporters to try and say that everytime someone supports Palestinian right to resist, they must support Hamas. Is that your way of smearing and shutting down debate?

  36. MaidMarian — on 28th January, 2009 at 4:58 pm  

    Sunny (26) – OK, Ok, untwist your underwear.

    ‘are Palestinians allowed to resist an occupation of their lands and the bloackade… and the extra-judicial killings of their people?’

    Crikey man – how many times are you going to put that into other people’s mouths? Of course no one is saying that there is no right to reist and it does you no favours to build that strawman so often. But Hamas’ rocket attacks stretched the definition of resistance beyond breaking.

    Human rights? Fantastic, wonderful things. What more do you want me to say – they are one factor in modern international relations, but – sadly – not the only one. Hamas’ rocket attacks were a thoroughly misguided attempt to force Israel to accept a settlement on it’s terms through military means. You, to my mind, dismiss that for too readily. Hamas’ attempts at international relations have led to this conflict escalation.

    Sunny – there are people who think that in the grand scheme of international relations, Israel might, just might have a bit of a point to be brassed off about Hamas missiles, rhetoric and zealotry. That does not mean I am building a dancefloor on the Palestinian grave. That is also far less absolutist than your assertion that any resistance is fine. (and incidentally, I have no idea what other interpretation of that there could possibly be).

    Now – again. Was it OK for every orthodox paramilitary to pile into Srebrenica in the name of glorious orthodox ‘resistance?’ I don’t think it was – not least because of the human rights considerations for the good citizens of Bosnia. In other words there is a human right and a right to resist. Both are vaild and are necessarily balanced. It’s not nice, but it is contemporary international relations.

    I’m sorry if that makes your head pop.

  37. Sunny — on 28th January, 2009 at 5:02 pm  

    I’d have thought the observation that HP authors are not idiots would be sufficient to assure they do not equate peace activism with support for terrorism. You want to see them put up a post saying “HP makes it official: it’s okay to protest for peace”?

    Wait… when have they ever said they saw those protests against the attacks on Gaza as protests for peace? As far as they were concerned, those protests were to shore up support for Hamas.

    Why shouldn’t I make the assumption? Have you actually seen anything like that being said in a blog post?

  38. Ravi Naik — on 28th January, 2009 at 5:06 pm  

    you said “any”. i struggle to understand what else you could have meant by that. surely “any resistance” also includes “the Hamas way of doing things”, of which you say you disapprove?

    I think by “any” he meant the type of resistance on behalf of *any* Palestinian territory (Gaza or West Bank) – he clearly is not defending any form of resistance considering he said he doesn’t like the way Hamas does things.

  39. Katy Newton — on 28th January, 2009 at 5:07 pm  

    Katy – your post doesn’t even make sense to me.

    Clearly BB isn’t the only one who’s not reading well today. Or perhaps you just don’t have an answer.

    Otherwise, I congratulate you on a classic Sunny riposte. Ignore, evade, deflect with a list of aggressive questions, turn the debate into the one you want to have, and finish with accusing the other person of smearing you and attempting to shut down debate. Hurrah for the centre left!

  40. chairwoman — on 28th January, 2009 at 5:09 pm  

    Punjab – 4 comments

    Thailand – 24 comments

    Sikh Holocaust Museum – 11 comments

    I/P – 294 comments and counting

  41. Sunny — on 28th January, 2009 at 5:10 pm  

    MaidMarian:

    Crikey man – how many times are you going to put that into other people’s mouths? Of course no one is saying that there is no right to reist and it does you no favours to build that strawman so often.

    Not putting words into anyone’s mouths. I’d rather they spelled out their position for me.

    Of course no one is saying Palestinians don’t have a right to resist…. but then everyone goes on to equate that with Hamas (see: BB and Katy) and then say I’m defending Hamas and eat little babies for breakfast. That’s what you call a sane debate.

    But you need to elaborate on this point a bit more, because then you might know what my position is. So… what sort of resistance by Palestinians is allowed, by your standards? Where would you draw the line?

    Israel might, just might have a bit of a point to be brassed off about Hamas missiles, rhetoric and zealotry

    But you haven’t answered my point – Do Palestinians have a reason to be brassed off about Israeli occupations, illegal settlements and blockades? And if they do, then what response are they allowed to that?

  42. chairwoman — on 28th January, 2009 at 5:12 pm  

    Sunny – You were the one that made the statement, so you are the one that needs to answer the questions.

  43. Katy Newton — on 28th January, 2009 at 5:14 pm  

    but then everyone goes on to equate that with Hamas (see: BB and Katy) and then say I’m defending Hamas and eat little babies for breakfast.

    What rubbish. Hamas is the only body taking any sort of military action on behalf of Palestinians whether in the West Bank or in Gaza. No one else is firing rockets into Israel at the moment, are they?

    And when I asked you what constituted self defence in the first thread on this subject, YOU said “Supporters of Hamas would point to the settlements in the West Bank and the blockade.”

    YOU are the one who linked Hamas and Palestinian self-defence. YOU.

    When are you ever going to accept that people comment on what you say?

  44. Sunny — on 28th January, 2009 at 5:19 pm  

    What rubbish. Hamas is the only body taking any sort of military action on behalf of Palestinians whether in the West Bank or in Gaza. No one else is firing rockets into Israel at the moment, are they?

    And who said I was ok with firing rockets? Someone asked if I think Palestinian resistance is justified in general, I say yes. That doesn’t mean I say Hamas is fine and dandy.

    And when I asked you what constituted self defence in the first thread on this subject, YOU said “Supporters of Hamas would point to the settlements in the West Bank and the blockade.”

    I see reading comprehension is a problem for you too, today.

    I said that Hamas use that excuse to justify their behaviour: the settlements and blockades. What I think of that response is abundantly clear… but clearly your only way to discuss this is to ignore what I’ve said before, constantly accuse me of being “mealy-mouthed” and then keep screaming “ignore, evade” etc when I’ve continually responded to every stupid accusation chucked at me.

    You know how you get pissed off at being an “apologist for Israeli war-crimes”…. well now you know how I feel.

  45. bananabrain — on 28th January, 2009 at 5:26 pm  

    They had plenty of demonstrations for peace in West Bank. And there were plenty of demonstrations by Israeli Arabs too. What’s your point?

    my point was that by the standards of fatah and israeli arabs, that is pretty mild stuff. obviously they can’t be seen to approve of palestinian casualties, but it falls a long way short of a general strike – or indeed a third intifada in solidarity with gaza.

    questions:

    1. fine – so does this include kidnapping soldiers from the other side of the border, like gilad schalit?
    2. fine.
    3. right, here is where we disagree. i think you are wrong to hold this position; if they are ruled separately by two different governments, who are each others’ enemies, i think we’re talking separate entities. if there was political unity, it would be a different matter. what is actually going on here is that hamas, at iran’s instigation, is attempting to undermine fatah’s commitment to negotiations, which is not actually in question, at least not by me. hamas are, in short, attempting to torpedo the path of negotiations by trumping it with the clarion call of “resistance” and expecting everyone to fall in line, as the syrians have indeed done. this, of course, suits iran and does not suit fatah. personally, i’d have thought you favoured actions that would be likely to result in negotiations rather than more pointless violence.
    4. fine
    5. ok
    6. i don’t remember you agreeing with david t quite so clearly on this point before.

    in which case, i have misunderstood you and i am glad that that is the case, although i think you have been extremely unclear up till this point.

    In fact, its become rather common of Israel’s supporters to try and say that everytime someone supports Palestinian right to resist, they must support Hamas. Is that your way of smearing and shutting down debate?

    there is no need for you to make such an accusation. i have been really careful to try and work out precisely what you meant and i’m not in the habit of smearing and shutting down debate with people that i consider friends, although i’ve felt pretty stretched here of late.

    b’shalom

    bananabrain

  46. Luis Enrique — on 28th January, 2009 at 5:33 pm  

    Yes, Sunny, you should assume that because (most of) the HP authors are patently not idiots that they do not hold patently idiotic positions. I think proceeding on that basis would be an extremely helpful step, and prevent a lot of pointless bickering. If you changed your stance toward them and stopped taking them to be saying things that they are not, you might find engaging with them more fruitful.

  47. Katy Newton — on 28th January, 2009 at 5:38 pm  

    I see reading comprehension is a problem for you too, today.

    I see that manners continue to be a problem for you.

    Firstly, you did not say that “Hamas use that excuse to justify their behaviour: the settlements and blockades”. That might be what you thought when you wrote it, or what you meant, but it is not what you said. I assume that people mean what they say. I asked you what you considered to be self defence and your answer was simply “Supporters of Hamas (which I’m not) would point to the blockades and settlements.” Which are two things that you’ve since brought up repeatedly in every discussion about Palestinian self-defence. I’m sorry if I was supposed to intuit that those things don’t justify Hamas-based self-defence, but some nebulous theoretical Palestinian self-defence that doesn’t actually appear to exist. But I come back to my point that you need to make what you think clear.

    Secondly, I am getting quite upset at your growing tendency to insult and smear people who don’t agree with you. I’m not talking about the moonbats who turn up and troll, like SE. I mean people like myself, my mother and BB, who have all been commenting on here literally for years. Yes, you respond to what people say, but look at what you say and how you say it. Accusing BB of “smearing” you to “shut down debate”? How unjustified is that? Announcing that everyone who supports Israel is a warmonger, even though everyone apart from Marvin said that they opposed the decision to attack Gaza? The things you say about David T, wh I had understood to be a friend of yours? Telling Rumbold that antisemitic attacks aren’t in your “editorial direction”, and accusing me and my mother of being hysterical because we were worried about our community being targeted by nutcases?

    When I met you I thought you were an incredibly nice bloke and I was very glad to be your friend. That isn’t how you currently come across. I am more than happy to try to be polite if you will do the same, but when I take the trouble to read what you say and ask you for clarification, I expect better than to be told that I’m stupid because I should have realised that you meant something different.

  48. Ravi Naik — on 28th January, 2009 at 5:38 pm  

    You know how you get pissed off at being an “apologist for Israeli war-crimes”…. well now you know how I feel.

    It’s difficult to sit in the middle of the fence, uh?

    So… what sort of resistance by Palestinians is allowed, by your standards? Where would you draw the line?

    That’s actually a pretty good question. Has anyone responded to that question?

  49. Sunny — on 28th January, 2009 at 5:39 pm  

    1. fine – so does this include kidnapping soldiers from the other side of the border, like gilad schalit?

    Yup. And I’m assuming you’d be ok with this, given Israel holds how many “political prisoners” that haven’t been tried…?

    although i think you have been extremely unclear up till this point.

    I don’t think I’ve been unclear, though its obvious some people are coming here only to throw around the word “anti-semite” with abandon.

    3. right, here is where we disagree. i think you are wrong to hold this position; if they are ruled separately by two different governments, who are each others’ enemies, i think we’re talking separate entities. if there was political unity, it would be a different matter. what is actually going on here is that hamas, at iran’s instigation, is attempting to undermine fatah’s commitment to negotiations, which is not actually in question, at least not by me. hamas are, in short, attempting to torpedo the path of negotiations by trumping it with the clarion call of “resistance” and expecting everyone to fall in line, as the syrians have indeed done. this, of course, suits iran and does not suit fatah. personally, i’d have thought you favoured actions that would be likely to result in negotiations rather than more pointless violence.

    For a start, if you think Hamas is the elected representative of Gaza, then you would support Israel talking to them and accepting their democratic right to rule Gaza.

    Secondly, I don’t see why you’re splitting up the two, even if they are two different entities. Both their aims to defend all Palestinians. I’m not sitting here advocating an independent Gaza and a West Bank still controlled by Israel. I’m talking about an independent Palestine as a whole.

    Of course Hamas is trying to torpedo peace discussion – as is Israel. What happened to the peace plan a few months ago when Mahmoud Abbas was still the main man? Thanks to Israel’s actions now, he’s dead as a political figure…. as are Olmert and Livni by the looks of it.

    So you say Hamas don’t want peace. I agree. But I also say Israel doesn’t want peace, because when the opportunity is there (when Fatah were around or when Abbas was the de facto head for Palestinians, they failed to make any progress, instead building more settlements).

    What you’re doing is saying, like Gene on Harry’s Place, is that Israel has no partner for peace, whiloe completely ignoring that when it did have a partner for peace, then it didn’t fucking do anything about it.

  50. Paul Moloney — on 28th January, 2009 at 5:41 pm  

    (NY Times – “Gaza War Gives Bigger Lift to Israel’s Right Than to Those in Power”).

    So, the current Israeli government have managed to kill hundreds of people, push more Palestinians towards voting for Hamas, reduced the chance of more rockets coming in by square root of fuck all, _and_ reduced their chance of being elected (in a contest between a real hard man and a fake hard man, the real one will always win).

    Well, at least this dispells the reverse-racist myth that Jews are inately clever.

    P.

  51. Katy Newton — on 28th January, 2009 at 5:43 pm  

    but clearly your only way to discuss this is to ignore what I’ve said before, constantly accuse me of being “mealy-mouthed” and then keep screaming “ignore, evade” etc

    Ha. Perfect example. That is not my “only way to discuss this”, as well you know. I posted dozens of moderately phrased comments setting out my position and trying to discuss yours, and you either ignored them or dismissed them. I have accused you of being mealymouthed precisely once, in the comment on this thread. And I have said “ignore, evade” precisely once, again in the same comment. If you want people to be less angry and hysterical, perhaps you could try not wildly exaggerating their stance, and maybe they’d respond in kind.

  52. Sunny — on 28th January, 2009 at 5:50 pm  

    Luis:
    Yes, Sunny, you should assume that because (most of) the HP authors are patently not idiots that they do not hold patently idiotic positions.

    Luis – well, I see most of their positions on the recent war pretty idiotic, so its not difficult to make that assumption.

    I listed a whole bunch of incidents at the beginning of the post. Did you see any of them mentioned on HP?
    Why do you think that is?

    Katy:
    Secondly, I am getting quite upset at your growing tendency to insult and smear people who don’t agree with you. I’m not talking about the moonbats who turn up and troll, like SE. I mean people like myself, my mother and BB, who have all been commenting on here literally for years

    BB I still respect, though I’m sorry to say I’ve lost much of my respect for what you say. All you’ve been doing for the past few weeks is been accusing others of being an anti-semite.

    As for chairwoman, I recall she also pretty much accused me of anti-semitism a few days ago on another thread. I can’t be bothered to respond this lame name-calling any more.

    I never said Rumbold’s post was against our editorial direction – I said he shouldn’t be influenced by what others say. Stop twisting my words around.

  53. Sunny — on 28th January, 2009 at 5:52 pm  

    Ravi: That’s actually a pretty good question. Has anyone responded to that question?

    Yeah, try getting a response to that out of this lot!

    I’ve been asking that question for several days now, and the best I get is the accusation that I’m supporting Hamas… or should stick to talking about how Israel should respond to Hamas’s rockets.

  54. Katy Newton — on 28th January, 2009 at 5:55 pm  

    Yeah, you respect BB so much that you accused him of smearing you to shut down debate.

    I have not accused you of antisemitism at all, nor anyone apart from Tony Benn, who I think will cope; Hermes – after his “jewboys” comment, which your moderators deleted presumably because they agreed with me; and SE – who you yourself said should be deleted because he was an antisemitic troll.

    But never mind. I am sorry that you’ve lost respect for me, even if that does involve completely ignoring my many posts calling for a ceasefire and a lasting peace, and concentrating on the few where I lost my rag after immense provocation by the trolls you and your colleagues deleted, and I will not comment here again as it is clearly only making me even more unpopular than I was to start with.

  55. Hermes — on 28th January, 2009 at 6:09 pm  

    ‘So… what sort of resistance by Palestinians is allowed, by your standards? Where would you draw the line?’

    Now let’s think…how about Palestinians impose a trade embargo against Israel, or withold taxes from the Israeli government, or ban any Jewish political representation in Gaza and West Bank, or secretly arm themselves with nuclear weapons…

    If any of these were an option for the Palestinians, there would be no pea-shooter rockets because the Israelis would start treating them as equals and hey presto…no need for war. But the Israelis will NEVER allow that equality, because they are basically an insecure people who need to rely on their weaponary rather than the rule of international law.

    And Chairwoman – your count of the comments here should tell you how much anger there is on this issue.

  56. chairwoman — on 28th January, 2009 at 6:11 pm  

    As for chairwoman, I recall she also pretty much accused me of anti-semitism a few days ago on another thread. I can’t be bothered to respond this lame name-calling any more.

    Saying ‘you’re an antisemite’ is lame name calling.

    Saying that you are sounding antisemitic, giving reasons why, and putting in a caveat that one knows that you are not in fact an antisemite is debate.

  57. douglas clark — on 28th January, 2009 at 6:12 pm  

    Luis Enrique,

    There are allegations floating back and forth here that suggest that some people have lost their damn minds.

    One headline in Harry’s Place compared a broken window in Starbucks to Kristalnacht. Another over a portrait of a very strange and bewildered looking woman, suggested that Lunacy was imminent. Perhaps so, but my kids have done more damage by accident! Another, that Scottish Muslims were being strangled…

    And so it goes…..

    David T is a very intelligent man. But he knows exactly what he is doing.

    Can I give you a case in point?

    I commented, in quick succession three times on the thread about strangled Scottish Muslims. David T took strong measures against my intemperate and unreasonable posts.

    He deleted two.

    If memory serves, and it does, he deleted the one that questioned who the heck the author was, and the one that questioned his judgement in allowing the post in the first place.

    He did not delete the one that asked about the constitution of the Scottish Islamic Foundation or whatever the hell it is, because that post suited his ends.

    That is what I don’t like about HP.

    Self selecting paranoia…

  58. chairwoman — on 28th January, 2009 at 6:14 pm  

    And Chairwoman – your count of the comments here should tell you how much anger there is on this issue.

    But none for other deaths. Why is that? Is it because the clock’s still set to Israel Double Standards time?

  59. Imran Khan — on 28th January, 2009 at 6:16 pm  

    Bananabrain – “er, clarity about the abuse of the term “self-defence”?”

    What you’ll find is that when fighting an oppressor then parties will unite even if they disagree and then fight each other once they have defeated the oppressor. This is the tradition across history and we saw this in Afghanistan.

    “only if one treats all palestinians and all streams of thought and opinion within palestinian society as an undifferentiated mass. which i don’t, because that would be not only inaccurate, but racist.”

    Erm no because the right to freedom and self-determination exists as single aim for the Palestinians and how they achieve that is where there are differences.

    This continual attempt to say there are differing opinions is in fact designed to deflect from coming to peace.

    This is the kind of tact taken at HP’s outfit to avoid any peace in that they are soo divided and who do we talk to.

    “well, i think it’s important, particularly if there are continual attempts to portray all israelis as bloodthirsty child murderers. i just want there to be a more nuanced view.”

    Just as its important not to portray all Palestinians/Arabs/Muslims as bloodthirsty murderers. I’m sure there needs to be a more nuanced view on all sides. Portrayal of Palestinians and Arabs is fairly horrific in Israel as well and this issue is often overlooked. Senior Rabbi’s calling them cockroaches doesn’t bring the same sense of outrage.

    “er… only if one completely misunderstood the relationship between the israeli government, the settlers and the US. sure, the government attempts to use them as a bargaining chip, but the tail also wags the dog in that case. either way, the settlers in *gaza* were removed, so how did that provoke violence? oh yes, i forget, it’s the shebaa farms argument; the first lot of settlers have gone, so let’s find another batch to complain about. oh, they’re not in gaza, they’re in the west bank? well, that needn’t concern us. we’re palestinians and they’re still settlers, so it’ll play just fine.”

    Err no this is plain spin and you know it. The settlers were removed and Gaza caged in – is that what you call peace? Were Gazans even ordinary ones able to
    conduct business with the outside world without Israel interferring in every aspect? NO. So that isn’t a withdrawl so please stop making it out to be. As Sharon said quite clearly they withdrew to consolodate the hold on the West Bank so don’t keep pretending it was for other reasons.

    The withdrawl from Gaza was not aimed at securing lasting peace but was aimed at increasing the hold of the West Bank.

    The end game was that Sharon withdrew from Gaza in order that no pressure came to withdraw from the West Bank.

    Israel gave the Palestinians crumbs and you are here painting it as if they gave them a massive cake with icing and cherry.

    ” you can’t support the peace for all

    yes, i can. i just endorsed your quite detailed high-level plan more or less in its entirety on another thread, did you not see that?”

    What I actually said was:
    “So if you can’t support the peace for all then perhaps its time you look at yourself and recognised that you are part of the problem we face in ending this maddness and what you can do to help change the situation and not carry it on.”

    What you quoted was a fragment of what I said in that sentance.

    “that’s really, really, not true, as you ought to know.”
    That statement wasn’t aimed at you it was aimed at all those people who are coming here and posting one-sided views of either party.

    “i know you haven’t just arrived at the site today, but this reads as if you have. honestly, this is really out of order.”
    Again this wasn’t at you this was a general statement as I continued my discussion. And before you say I wasn’t refrring to you as an armchair general and in fact much of my ire is at those at HP who sit there dictating military responses without understanding the far reaching consequences.

    My mistake though as I should have been clearer.

    “yes, but, no, not unconditional. providing that you mean the same thing that i mean when you say “campaign”. if you are talking about signing some damfool advert with miriam margolyes and the rest of the bleeding-heart-remember-they’re-jewish-when-it’s-time-to-criticise-israel brigade, then i doubt it.”

    Why not unconditional? If an independant prosecutor said war crimes had been committed would you support prosecution?

    I am not talking about a petition.

    My point and I believe your point is that there are damn fools out there who are making the situation worse.

    As regards HP and Luis response – I am not sure if Luis has actually read what HP often says and its rants. But many inaccuracies exist, in fact to say that Hamas was using the school is inaccurate as Israel has now admitted the actual target was further away. Thus to accept and defend shelling a school when we now know that it was the wrong target is shameful in respect of the fact so many people died.

    How you can say such a post is then balanced is beyond me. The facts in the post don’t add up to what has emerged.

    UN: IDF officers admitted there was no gunfire from Gaza school which was shelled
    http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/1054009.html

    Now surely it would have been balanced for HP afdter having so vocally spoken about the shelling of the school to release this information and also to condemn the actions of Israel.

    I would remind you that when talking about the need for balanced statements taht when I asked Dave T here to support the petition calling on banks not to close accounts of InterPal when they hadn’t been found guilty of a crime he mocked my call. So the conclusion is that if you are Palestinian/Muslim you are guilty until proven innocent and possibly thereafter.

    Similarly where the IDF has admitted no firing came from the school then people including HP should be asking why false information was put out to the newswires so quickly and the reality dripped out slowly a few days later and why no one is being held to account. Then they would have indeed be balanced.

    Instead we have support for IDF actions and then nothing after the true facts emerged.

    This doesn’t even address many of the other unsavoury posts which appear on that site.

    Look even if the Arabs were wrong to fight Israel, then Israel itself had no reason to build settlements if it wanted peace and especiually when much of the military had made clear that this conflict couldn’t be resolved by military means. They could have easily chosen to patroil the borders and left the area intact. They chose not to and that led to the violence which has grown and grown. You can’t deny that.

    May I suggest that you spend a day with soemone you don’t knwo and they decide your every move and then you’ll get an idea of life in Gaza that Israel left behind. They decide when you can go shopping and they decide when you cabn go from place to place in your house then tell me Israel withdrew from Gaza!

  60. Hermes — on 28th January, 2009 at 6:20 pm  

    Chairwoman – I would be angry about other deaths around the world, but I am not aware of any being caused on such a scale from the safety of lethal jet fighters. There is anger because this has been a cowardly attack on slum-dwellers by soldiers without the guts to emerge from their armoured tanks. The casualties on both sides speak for themselves.

  61. Ravi Naik — on 28th January, 2009 at 6:27 pm  

    Saying that you are sounding antisemitic, giving reasons why, and putting in a caveat that one knows that you are not in fact an antisemite is debate.

    Sorry, that’s hardly a debate, that’s trying to end the debate, and igniting a stream of personal insults. Saying someone sounds like a racist , or sounding like a retard is really an insult no matter how objective you are in explaining the reasons.

    A debate should be centred on issues – not on commentators, and certainly not around trolls.

  62. MaidMarian — on 28th January, 2009 at 6:30 pm  

    Sunny – ‘Do Palestinians have a reason to be brassed off about Israeli occupations, illegal settlements and blockades? And if they do, then what response are they allowed to that?’

    On the first part of that – what part of, ‘yes,’ do you not understand?

    On the second part, a response in line with international relations, not jihad. I know and appreciate that that is not always going to be satisfactory. Lobbing rockets and rhetoric is not part of the deal in being an international actor.

    Sunny, I am big enough and honest enough to say that I really can’t reconcile everything connected to I/P to my satisfaction, let alone anyone else’s. This is shades of grey.

    Maybe it is just the way I approach ‘international relations.’ I think it is something to do with Hamas as religious rather than primarily political construstion.

    Now – for a third time. Your principle of, ‘Well, since they’re all Palestinians I’m assuming that any resistance, whether on behalf of the West Bank or just Gaza is fine.’ Does that make legitimate the glorious orthodox brotherhood laying waste to Srebrenica?

    The reason, incidentally, I picked Yugoslavia Sunny is because the cynic in me is wondering if the muslims in question are not sufficiently brown to fit in with your script. Or is orthodox sentiment and resistance different somehow? After all, they are all orthodox.

  63. douglas clark — on 28th January, 2009 at 6:31 pm  

    I’d like to say, just in case this all goes tits up, that Chairwoman, Katy Newton and Bananabrain, I’d prefer it if you stayed around, even when times get this hard..

    ’cause we need as many sensible people commenting on here as we can get.

    Least, that’s what I think.

    From one old stager to three others.

  64. Sunny — on 28th January, 2009 at 6:39 pm  

    MaidMarian: The reason, incidentally, I picked Yugoslavia Sunny is because the cynic in me is wondering if the muslims in question are not sufficiently brown to fit in with your script. Or is orthodox sentiment and resistance different somehow? After all, they are all orthodox.

    The browness has no real impact here… Arabs are not South Asians, and I’m the first to point out the amount of racism in Arab countries against South Asians.

    I think your comparison is wrong because Fatah and Hamas are both Palestinian groups. Your analogy would be better if you were referring instead to Hizbullah.

    On the second part, a response in line with international relations, not jihad

    Umm… we just had an Israeli govt chuck white phosphorous on a densely populated area, which is clearly against such conventions.

    And then Israel doesn’t allow its soldiers or military to be tried on such issues and nor will the US govt allow it.

    So essentially, by only talking of Hamas’s actions, you’re allowing Israel to get away with breaking these codes while saying Hamas shouldn’t be allowed to. All I want here is equal standards. That’s really it. And I want to explore to what extent people actually apply equal standards.

    chairwoman: Saying that you are sounding antisemitic, giving reasons why, and putting in a caveat that one knows that you are not in fact an antisemite is debate.

    Erm, thanks for proving my point. I guess you’d welcome the chance to discuss a debate if I responded by saying you actually sound like a BNP sympathiser but I’m sure you’re not.

  65. Imran Khan — on 28th January, 2009 at 6:41 pm  

    Chairwoman – “But none for other deaths. Why is that? Is it because the clock’s still set to Israel Double Standards time?”

    This is in very poor taste and frankly betrays the reality. Here in the West the death of an Israeli is covered in much greater detail than that of a Palestinian. However that is by the by and I’ve avoided replying to you before because the death of all people is to be deplored but you’ve kept repeating this Pro-Israel mantra.

    Its your clock that is set to Double Standard Time and instead we should be questioning every innocent death that occurs.

    You should also be aware that the Israeli Ambassador has had far far far far far far far far far more coverage than any Palestinian but you don’t complain about double standards there – why not?

    The BBC and Sky have denied an appeal for humanitarian aid to Gaza – why aren’t you complaining about the double standard there?

    Also I would highlight that more often than not the Israeli view is put forth by either an Israeli Diplomat or a Jewish Organisation. The Palestinian/Muslim view is often put forwrad if at all by a reporter so there is Palestinian Double Standard Time there.

    It really isn’t the right comment for you to make and make continually about Double Standards when you know full well that Israel gets more than its fair share of coverage and far in excess of Palestinians.

    The problem is in fact Jews who shriek and holler about bias when such a human tragedy has occurred and to put a price on airtime at such occassions is simply letting your humanity down.

    Fox News as an example only reports from the Israeli side and usually just their position. You don’t complain about double standards there – why?

    Sorry but an unusually poor comment from you and a departure from your norm.

  66. chairwoman — on 28th January, 2009 at 6:44 pm  

    Ravi – Actually your insult is the final straw. I was more than happy to engage with Sunny, but he preferred to stick out his lower lip and sulk.

    The people who have been called foul names here have primarily been Jewish, and there have been remarks made by SE, Hermes and Fug, that stand happily against those made by Jew baiters and haters over the centuries.

    Of course, as the educational level here is somewhat higher than that of the serf-in-the-lane, there’s been a fresh twist to the old blood libel libel, but it’s still been poking its head out from under the duvet.

    Douglas, thank you.

    I’m going outside now, I may be some time.

  67. MaidMarian — on 28th January, 2009 at 6:52 pm  

    Sunny (62) – Yes very nice, so in view of your earlier comment is it just fine for the glorious orthodox resistance to lay waste to Srebrenica?

    Should NATO just have left well alone because the ‘resistance’ rights were crimped? Should the Bosnian muslims have been resisted? Or does not not matter because no one is brown enough to have these rights debated?

    As Lord Melchett said, you twist and turn like a twisty turny thing.

    ‘Umm… we just had an Israeli govt chuck white phosphorous on a densely populated area, which is clearly against such conventions.

    And then Israel doesn’t allow its soldiers or military to be tried on such issues and nor will the US govt allow it.’

    There you go again putting words into other people’s mouth. It’s whatabouttery again! Sunny, those things are an outrage – it is not nice for you to infer that I said that Israel should have carte blance.

    Equal standards are a phantom and you will twist and turn (again) if you go down that line. Sunny, the world does not reconcile nicely or neatly. One man’e equality is another man’s outrage.

  68. justforfun — on 28th January, 2009 at 6:55 pm  

    I can’t be bothered reading the back catalogue of posts
    but …

    ….. Saying someone sounds like a racist , or sounding like a retard is really an insult no matter how objective you are in explaining the reasons.

    could just as easily describe the actions of friend. I wish my friends pointed out my mistakes sometimes.

    justforfun

  69. douglas clark — on 28th January, 2009 at 6:59 pm  

    Imran Khan,

    I usually admire your posts here. So, you know what is coming next. Sorry.

    Rant coming on.

    Chairwoman is saying the exact opposite of what you accuse her of. She is saying that the deaths that are ‘off camera’ are as important as the ones that make the media headlines.

    It is deaths in far off countries, whose names we hardly know, that is Chairwomans’ point, I think.

    Bear with me, this is a Russell Brand moment, we masturbate over crisis’ we think we understand, we fellate over what we know.

    Elsewhere, we just go limp. See here for instance:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ongoing_conflicts

    Here’s one:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Colombian_armed_conflict_(1964%E2%80%93present)

    Who gives a shit?

    Not a fucking soul.

  70. Ravi Naik — on 28th January, 2009 at 7:04 pm  

    Ravi – Actually your insult is the final straw. I was more than happy to engage with Sunny, but he preferred to stick out his lower lip and sulk.

    I was debating what constitutes a debate, not insulting you.

  71. douglas clark — on 28th January, 2009 at 7:16 pm  

    Chairwoman ‘ 66,

    You are not Captain Oates. And we do need you.

  72. Imran Khan — on 28th January, 2009 at 7:32 pm  

    Israeli army used flechettes against Gaza civilians

    http://www.amnesty.org/en/news-and-updates/news/israeli-army-used-flechettes-against-gaza-civilians-20090127

    As reported by Amnesty International – Israel used a variety of weapons some of which may be illegal or questionable in built up areas.

  73. Imran Khan — on 28th January, 2009 at 7:39 pm  

    Douglas – I would accept your point:

    “It is deaths in far off countries, whose names we hardly know, that is Chairwomans’ point, I think.”

    if there hadn’t been a reference to Israel Double Standard Time:

    ““But none for other deaths. Why is that? Is it because the clock’s still set to Israel Double Standards time?””

    Which to me at least implied that Chairwoman felt that coverage of Israeli Deaths wasn’t getting comparable air time and hence felt a double standard and I didn’t think she meant the wider wars.

  74. chairwoman — on 28th January, 2009 at 7:53 pm  

    I wasn’t going to say any more here, but Imran, Douglas was right.

    600 people apparently have been towed out to sea by the Thai army, with rice and water, and cast adrift with no way to steer/drive/sail the boats.

    And there is no public outcry.

  75. douglas clark — on 28th January, 2009 at 7:58 pm  

    Chairwoman @ 66,

    Get a grip. There are a lot of folk that love you to bits around here.

  76. douglas clark — on 28th January, 2009 at 8:04 pm  

    Could Chairwoman, Imran and me have a group hug? Anyone else want to join around here?

  77. Sunny — on 28th January, 2009 at 8:08 pm  

    Maid Marian: Yes very nice, so in view of your earlier comment is it just fine for the glorious orthodox resistance to lay waste to Srebrenica?

    No, I believe in proportionality.

    Equal standards are a phantom and you will twist and turn (again) if you go down that line. Sunny, the world does not reconcile nicely or neatly. One man’e equality is another man’s outrage.

    So what’s the answer? Take one side, revel in the praise some people will offer, and ignore the mud that others will throw at you by painting them as fascists?

    It might work for Harry’s Place but not for me, thanks.

    I’d rather be shot down by both sides, and say what I truly believe in. At one point I was being accused here of feeding into anti-Muslim hysteria and now I’m being likened to an anti-semite.

    If I wanted to make friends, I wouldn’t have picked political blogging, would I? :)

  78. Imran Khan — on 28th January, 2009 at 8:24 pm  

    Chairwoman – Ok sorry my mistake for misunderstanding what you said.

    The situation you outline is tragic and needs attention.

    I think the point is that people get very emmotional about the issue in the Middle East.

    We as people who have a form of linkage to the region need to stand up and be counted and work towards the following:

    1. Peace
    2. Better understanding
    3. Reduction of anti-semitism and Islamaphobia

    There are good people here who can help towards that and we can make the situation better.

    Either we do it or we leave it to the likes of HP and I know which I’d prefer :-)

    Anyway have a hug from me ;-)

  79. Imran Khan — on 28th January, 2009 at 8:40 pm  

    Might i recommend people read the analysis of Operation Cast Lead and where do we go from here whch was in The Jewish Chronicle and it makes frightenting reading:

    http://www.thejc.com/articles/analysis-after-cast-lead-where-do-we-go-here

    Some extracts
    “The tactic of going into Gaza with an unprecedented degree of force, destroying every building that might be used to launch an ambush, returning massive fire on every spot from which missiles were launched, was chosen in the clear knowledge that it would lead to hundreds of civilian deaths. Many commanders admitted this behind closed doors.”

    Their summary:
    “The fact is that the high civilian death toll in Gaza was not necessary. The IDF could have put its soldiers at greater risk and reduced the toll on the Palestinian side. The great majority of the Israeli public went along with its government’s policies as the fighting raged. Whether or not a debate on this policy does now begin, will perhaps indicate the future conduct of Israeli policy.”

    Now for me The Jewish Chronicle used to be a good paper and well balanced until the arrival of the current editor whose lurched to the right and taken away much of the enjoyment of this paper. But this analysis from a very very Pro-Israel paper shows that even commanders admitted that they were firing knowing many many many civilians were going to be killed and the paper says this could have been avoided.

    No one can justify this action and its end result is more hatred. It doesn’t say the commanders were bragging and possibly – I don’t know – but possibly they were letting people know because they didn’t approve.

    In fact I am suprised people are still defending what went on because these statements and the evidence gathered by Amnesty hardly show care taken to avoid civilian casualties.

    Livni or Bibi may win but was it worth it.

  80. comrade — on 28th January, 2009 at 9:24 pm  

    Livni or Bibi may win but was it worth it.

    When Condaleeza Rice was questioned on the death of half a million Iraqi children under UN senctions she repied ‘ It was a price worth paying’ This facist don’t give a shit.

  81. Desi Italiana — on 28th January, 2009 at 9:34 pm  

    “When Condaleeza Rice was questioned on the death of half a million Iraqi children under UN senctions she repied ‘ It was a price worth paying’ This facist don’t give a shit.”

    You mean Madeline Albright. Under the Clinton administration.

  82. Paul Moloney — on 28th January, 2009 at 9:34 pm  

    “When Condaleeza Rice was questioned on the death of half a million Iraqi children under UN senctions she repied ‘ It was a price worth paying’ This facist don’t give a shit.”

    I think you’ve got the wrong person, the wrong administration, and the wrong quote.

    0 out of 3 ain’t bad I guess.

    P.

  83. Refresh — on 28th January, 2009 at 9:34 pm  

    Comrade, you are correct. But it was Madeleine Albright.

  84. Refresh — on 28th January, 2009 at 9:35 pm  

    oops – I am clearly behind the times. although I’ll claim the point on spelling.

    Although I was tempted by Madline al brite

    Condaleeza would have probably bid higher and Rumsfeld would have obliged.

  85. Steve M — on 28th January, 2009 at 9:48 pm  

    “Condaleeza would have probably bid higher and Rumsfeld would have obliged”

    Or you could just say “Sorry, Condi”.

  86. comrade — on 28th January, 2009 at 9:49 pm  

    Refresh. Cheers. Read this article and give us your views, its on the use of violence written in the 30s. I think it’s beautifuly written.

    http://www.shahidbhagatsingh.org/index.asp?link=bomb

  87. Refresh — on 28th January, 2009 at 9:55 pm  

    You are welcome, Comrade. Can I have your reassurance that by reading it I do not jeopardise my liberty?

  88. Desi Italiana — on 28th January, 2009 at 10:02 pm  

    Chairwoman:

    “Punjab – 4 comments

    Thailand – 24 comments

    Sikh Holocaust Museum – 11 comments

    I/P – 294 comments and counting”

    1. Maybe because some of us commentators are based in the US and are US taxpayers, a country which gives billions to Israel and provides unconditional political, military, and economic support which is then used by Israel to continue colonial expansion and uproot/kill the indigenous people, whereas we American taxpayers are not funding the killing of the other groups you mention to the same extent

    2. Because as I’ve mentioned throughout the years here on PP and elsewhere, we have double standards when it comes to Israel, and that is why so many people get riled up about it. We all say categorically that the killing of Sikhs, Thais, etc is wrong and there is no dispute in that, but when it comes to Israel, apologies abound. In fact, the perpetrators are seen as the victims. If any other country was doing what Israel has been doing, and its name was not Israel, we’d be all over it. Like, can you imagine some nitwit justifying, prettying up, or even removing the word “apartheid” when speaking about 1980s South Africa? No, you’d call him/her an idiot. But take a look at all of the previous I/P threads on PP. And you know what I’m talking about.

    And no, I am not an anti-semite, in case you feel the urge to throw the “DI, you just try to look all the Joos down” card.

  89. Desi Italiana — on 29th January, 2009 at 12:13 am  

    Chairwoman:

    “But none for other deaths. Why is that? Is it because the clock’s still set to Israel Double Standards time?”

    You’ve got to be kidding me. Why are you being dishonest by saying something like this? Do you really feel like Israel has been given the wrong end of the stick? Be honest. No other state has gotten away with so much shit in the past 7 decades as Israel has. Even when it’s caught on tape!

    And do you honestly feel that global citizens, the UN, Red Cross have no right to be pissed off by Israeli military actions in Gaza–the targeting of civilians, the Israeli government’s doublespeak, launching what could be phosphorous bombs, etc, all with the certified stamp of the EU, US?

    Also, your argument is completely irrelevant, that no one is denouncing other deaths nearly as much as the Palestinian ones. This is an I/P thread, and protesting Palestinian deaths does not mean that one wouldn’t apply the same vigor and standard to other people who are wrongfully killed, like the Balochis in Pakistan, Gujarati Muslims in India.

    And by this technique, you are, as usual, obfuscating the issue once again. Regardless of whether people’s voices of protest are not as loud towards say, Darfur, that does not take away the Israeli state’s actions. Let me repeat that. Regardless of whether people’s voices of protest are not as loud towards say, Darfur, that does not take away the Israeli state’s actions. You want to argue that we should give equal attention to unjust killings and inequality, imperialism, colonialism, what have you, and I’d totally agree with you on that. But doing all of that in terms of relativity? I don’t think so.

  90. douglas clark — on 29th January, 2009 at 12:27 am  

    Desi,

    Good to see you back.

    You are no idiot, so why do you think someone like Chairwoman would end up saying that?

    Hint: It is because she has come under almost universal attack, not for what she says, but for who she is.

    I don’t think that is fair, reasonable nor sensible. This site has always stood for listening to others’ points of view. Yours, and mine, included.

    Love you lots and all that shit, but you really ought to stand up for the diversity this site has to offer or be a dork.

  91. Anas — on 29th January, 2009 at 12:47 am  

    Excellent posts as usual Desi. What happened to your blog, BTW?

    To reinforce what Desi said, focusing on Israel’s actions is important because

    a)the UK and US governments support its actions militarily, financially and diplomatically, giving it a moral precedence over crises in which we as UK citizens have less responsibility.

    b)Israel has more than its fair share of uncritical supporters in the public sphere who are willing to act as conduits for Israeli propaganda.

    c)Because of the higher standards to which it supposedly holds itself as a prominent member of a select club of highly civilised and sophisticated Western democracies all of which pride themselves on their humanitarianism and enlightened political systems. So that the reality therefore gives a lie to so many of the bullshit assumptions which abound in supposedly intelligent discourse regarding the role of these first world powers in the world.

    d) Because I/P is a critical flashpoint and anything that happens there has knock on effects in that part of the world which, as we have all seen, could rebound and be potentially of great consequence to us here in the UK and therefore it is vital we pay attention to it just for self interest’s sakes.

  92. douglas clark — on 29th January, 2009 at 1:09 am  

    Anas,

    I doubt that anything that happens over I/P ought to matter much on a little island off the west coast of Europe. It would be daft if it did

  93. Refresh — on 29th January, 2009 at 3:03 am  

    I did say a few days ago that Chris Patten had something interesting to say, before he said it.

    And here he is:

    ‘Writing cheques for Gaza is easy. Politics is the tricky bit
    It is time to question Europe’s historic role of financing the failure of policies laid down in Israel and the US’

    Chris Patten The Guardian, Tuesday 27 January 2009

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2009/jan/27/gaza-israel-hamas-eu-us

  94. Desi Italiana — on 29th January, 2009 at 6:43 am  

    Douglas:

    “You are no idiot, so why do you think someone like Chairwoman would end up saying that?”

    Her comments on Israel have almost always been 1: apologist for Israel; 2) deflecting the attention from what is going on, particularly w/r/t to Israeli state actions; 3) making irrelevant comments/analogies.

    “Hint: It is because she has come under almost universal attack, not for what she says, but for who she is…but you really ought to stand up for the diversity this site has to offer or be a dork.”

    It’s been a while since I’ve regularly delved in-depth into the comments on PP, but apart from anti-semitic trolls, WHO here has attacked her for who she is? Certainly not me– I’ve always taken issues with her comments, I’ve NEVER said anything about her religious beliefs, even if she brings up her religious affiliation all the time.

    So don’t lump me into the same category as those nutjobs and address whacky-ass comments to me about failing to champion “diversity” on PP. I’m against certain political positions, ideologies, and so on, so I have every right to comment on someone else’s opinions.

    And unrelated to the Chairwoman, but seriously, “diversity”???? So if some jackass comes on here being an anti-semitic or justifying, say, the genocide of Native Americans in the “New World” I should not be a “dork” and appreciate the diversity of thought???? Douglas, you need to drink and smoke some!!

  95. Desi Italiana — on 29th January, 2009 at 6:46 am  

    Sunny, glad to see you back in action.

  96. douglas clark — on 29th January, 2009 at 6:54 am  

    No desi ;-)

    No desi no!

    Your ability to write compete shite is unsurpassed!

  97. Desi Italiana — on 29th January, 2009 at 8:16 am  

    Then don’t read it.

  98. bananabrain — on 29th January, 2009 at 9:01 am  

    i think i’m going to take a break as well. sunny is being really quite unpleasant, childish and needlessly insulting, particularly unwarranted in katy’s case where frankly, all she’s done is take his way of arguing to pieces.

    if this is the way you want to conduct business, fine. i like dialogue. this isn’t it. i don’t fancy being a “house jew” in this kind of atmosphere, so i’ll take my comments elsewhere. if anyone would like to stay in touch, i moderate over at http://www.interfaith.org where debate is a bit more civilised.

    b’shalom

    bananabrain

  99. douglas clark — on 29th January, 2009 at 10:30 am  

    bananabrain,,

    Stop being ridiculous. You are no more a ‘house jew’ than I am token scot.

  100. Jai — on 29th January, 2009 at 11:10 am  

    I think a lot of people have been talking past each other on this thread and on the other I/P discussions recently. The fact that valued commenters like Katy, her mother Chairwoman and now Bananabrain have essentially been chased off the blog is not good at all. If I was in a more combative mood I’d say that the lunatics really have taken over the asylum.

    As one of PP’s editors once told me offline, “this is just a website”. Unless someone commenting here is being deliberately, maliciously bigotted and offensive, it really isn’t worth raising your blood pressure over, especially if this is affecting your state of mind in the real world. Most of all, this isn’t worth breaking or damaging any friendships over either.

    Perhaps the best move would be to just amicably & politely agree to disagree, shake hands/hug/whatever, and drop the argument. I doubt that much of what people here say on I/P will have any impact on the real situation in that part of the world, or government policy anywhere, or military strategy utilised by anyone involved.

    I also doubt that anyone on this blog has much real, direct influence on global politics, unless you think that Barack Obama likes to lurk on PP in his rapidly-diminishing spare time — and frankly, if anyone here really wants to make their thoughts/objections/suggestions known to someone who can genuinely make a difference, you’d be better off contacting the Obama Administration directly via the “Comments” function on the new White House website. It’s what that facility is designed for.

    Otherwise, all this discussion on this particular blog is doing is shedding a little light on I/P for those who don’t know too much about the history & dynamics involved, and (more to the point) really pissing off numerous people on both sides of the fence. The latter really isn’t worth it, especially if it spills over into the real world and aggravates mutual animosity between various individuals & groups even further. It would also be a very good idea for some people to have a think about the company they may recently be keeping in real life if it’s affecting their conduct here towards those who definitely don’t deserve to be treated that way, especially if they view Barack Obama as a better role model to emulate than Donald Rumsfeld.

    In any case, I think that a few steps back in order to get some perspective would be a great idea for all concerned.

  101. Katy Newton — on 29th January, 2009 at 11:24 am  

    Jai, if you or anyone else would like to keep in touch please leave a comment here and I’ll email you. (Your comment won’t appear on the site as all first-time commenters go into moderation, so fear not the spam.)

  102. douglas clark — on 29th January, 2009 at 11:36 am  

    The Katy Newton cloaking device. Lose an arguement and run, run, run away.

    Pathetic.

  103. Katy Newton — on 29th January, 2009 at 11:38 am  

    I didn’t lose an argument. I just gave up. And I had hoped that you would be one of the people who would want to keep in touch. Thanks for that.

  104. Rumbold — on 29th January, 2009 at 11:38 am  

    That’s harsh Douglas. She just feels that she is getting abused just for being Jewish. We need to show her that, apart from a few weirdos, that is not true.

  105. chairwoman — on 29th January, 2009 at 11:43 am  

    Thank you for validating our tickets, Douglas.

  106. Hermes — on 29th January, 2009 at 11:45 am  

    This blogging business really is an incestuous little industry, isn’t it. A handful of people talking to each other, bitching about each other’s blogs…and gradually disappearing up each other’s asses. Grow up all of you, have some strong coffee and you might realise that this tiny little community, here on PP and elsewhere, is totally irrelevent in the wider world. And if people take offence over some strong comments on I/P and want to leave…let them piss off.

  107. Sid — on 29th January, 2009 at 11:48 am  

    Wow, this is quite an aftermath. Sorry I haven’t been around, I’ve been battling Islamist beardies on the IFE blog. And I come back here and it looks like the the only person left standing is douglas clark!

    This is sad because I think we’re all roughly on the same side. Apart from douglas of course, he’s weird and nasty.

  108. Anas — on 29th January, 2009 at 11:54 am  

    Anas,

    I doubt that anything that happens over I/P ought to matter much on a little island off the west coast of Europe. It would be daft if it did

    Naive parochialistic thinking. Anything that threatens the stability of the major oil producing nations, that serves as a cause celebre for the recruitment of disaffected Muslims by terrorists and that deepens the rift between the West + Muslim world very much concerns this wee island.

    Stop being ridiculous. You are no more a ‘house jew’ than I am token scot.

    Ahem. There cant be more than one token Scot.

  109. douglas clark — on 29th January, 2009 at 11:58 am  

    Katy,

    If you can’t make your case in an open forum…

    Rumbold.

    No. It isn’t.

    I have supported Katy, Chairwoman and Bananabrain on here. Check my posts, all of them. There might be criticism, there might be anger, but what there certainly isn’t is criticism based on religion. I genuinely like them.

    I really thought of writing to Chairwoman to say that I had a spare back bedroom, and if she felt herself under attack in London, she was welcome to it. The reason I didn’t is because it is on the first floor.

    Please, do not assume, or aver harshness when none is present.

    I care for these folk. As much as I take it, you do.

  110. Sid — on 29th January, 2009 at 12:07 pm  

    Jesus douglas, I didn’t think psychopaths had the faculty of compassion. You’re obviously the exception that proves the rule…

  111. Rumbold — on 29th January, 2009 at 12:09 pm  

    Douglas:

    You need to be clearer then, as Katy and Chairwoman aren’t recognising that support.

  112. Katy Newton — on 29th January, 2009 at 12:13 pm  

    She just feels that she is getting abused just for being Jewish.

    I don’t, actually. It’s just an uphill struggle and I’m tired of it. I’m tired of everything. I have a lot to do and I’m not getting much sleep and I’m tired and miserable and at the moment commenting on here only makes all of that worse. And when I saw everything I’ve posted on here described as “nothing but hysterical allegations of antisemitism” it was the last straw.

    As for you, Douglas, thanks. I’m feeling the love. There’s nothing like being called “pathetic” to reinforce that warm snuggly feeling. The Katy Newton cloaking device, indeed. I don’t know what I’ve done to you to make you so spiteful. I’m just not very happy and I don’t want to argue anymore. It’s not personal to you.

  113. douglas clark — on 29th January, 2009 at 12:15 pm  

    Anas,

    We are going to move to a hydrogen economy, probably in your lifetime, though not in mine. So, in the longer term, stuff the Middle East. They will become as irrelevant as they have always been.

    Ahem. There cant be more than one token Scot.

    At least we don’t take ourselves too seriously?

  114. douglas clark — on 29th January, 2009 at 12:25 pm  

    Rumbold,

    How can I say it more clearly?

    I respect and admire Katy and Chairwoman. I always have and I always will.

    Doesn’t mean I’ll agree with them all the time.

    I respect and admire you too.

    But, you know, whilst I agree with you on a lot of stuff, your knowledge of history blows me away, it would be ridiculous to see us as bedfellows. Though we seem to be able to rub along together?

    Yes? No?

  115. Sid — on 29th January, 2009 at 12:33 pm  

    But, you know, whilst I agree with you on a lot of stuff, your knowledge of history blows me away, it would be ridiculous to see us as bedfellows. Though we seem to be able to rub along together?

    blowing? rubbing? bedfellows?
    easy on the homoerotica douglas…

    How about some rimming and fisting as well?

  116. douglas clark — on 29th January, 2009 at 12:37 pm  

    Katy,

    You’ve no idea.

    Really.

    You don’t.

    You and I have always argued. But, contrary to what you seem to think, I have always thought of you as a person worth challenging. Debating with, even. You are one of the few folk that have actually changed my mind on an important issue.

    Katy,

    Love you lots and I’ll be sad if you say goodbye.

  117. douglas clark — on 29th January, 2009 at 12:40 pm  

    Sid,

    Interesting.

    Not sure if you should worry about me, or whether I should worry about you.

  118. Hermes — on 29th January, 2009 at 12:51 pm  

    ‘Not sure if you should worry about me, or whether I should worry about you.’

    Why worry, Douglas, I thought this blogging business was incestuous…go for it!!Wont be many of you left soon.

  119. Ravi Naik — on 29th January, 2009 at 12:53 pm  

    A few things:

    1) Since the beginning of blogs, there were trolls. There are still trolls, and there will be trolls in the future. Trolls should not be fed by taking their arguments seriously – you are supposed to have fun with them (by ridiculing them), or you simply ignore them and spend your time replying to someone more deserving. I feel like a lot of time we are discussing how bad PP is because what SE or Hermes says. Who cares what they say? I had a BNP troll saying in this blog that I should go back to India that this is not my home place. From time to time, you see racist comments directed at you. In my best days I ignore it.

    2) I agree with everything Desi said – and I believe a lot of us who are clearly not anti-semites, but incredibly angry with the Israeli government feel like putting a disclaimer at the end of our messages saying: our words should not be misconstrued as anti-semitism or sounding as such. When we say that the Israeli government doesn’t care about the safety and welfare of the Palestinian civilians when launching this attack, we are not engaging in the anti-semitic attack that Jewish people are evil. When we say that Israeli government is mounting a PR operation to soften its global image after this war, we are not saying that Jewish control the media.

    3) I think the Jewish perspective on this issue is valuable. I specially enjoy reading bananabrain’s messages, and cherish the debates we had in the past. I also understand that attacking Israel is hard for people who have deep connections with this country. But everyone here wants Peace, and wants a safe Israel and a prosperous Palestine. I think that Israel’s actions are contrary to that goal.

    4) A number of notables PP commentators have threaten to leave… they moved to other blogs, and then they all came back. They all do.

  120. douglas clark — on 29th January, 2009 at 12:58 pm  

    Hermes,

    Just for the record. I’ve got three sprogs..

    How are you doin’

  121. Imran Khan — on 29th January, 2009 at 1:02 pm  

    I think the problem is that people find the issue emmotive on both sides and it is draining.

    I don’t think they should leave and it will be sad and a loss if they do.

    I find it the same from the other side but what I would say too Katy, Bananabrain and Chairwoman is that what will leaving achieve?

    I appreciate this is a difficult subject but in between all the needless bashing much good and indeed a lot fo common ground has appeared.

    Ideas have been exchanged for projects and without talking this wouldn’t have happened.

    I really don’t think you should leave and would ask that you don’t.

    Those that upset you and if that includes me then ignore them.

    But I would like to keep in touch with all of you :-)

  122. Rumbold — on 29th January, 2009 at 1:10 pm  

    Katy:

    Hopefully you will return one day (or even better, stay).

    Douglas:

    I respect you as well, but I do think that people in general are getting overpersonal with the debating on Israel/Palestine. Yes, it is an important topic, but we need to remember who our really enemies are. There are certainly not the other regulars on this site.

  123. douglas clark — on 29th January, 2009 at 1:17 pm  

    Ravi,

    Interesting comment.

    1. If this is not a country for folk like you, then it is not mine either.

    2. Point. Desi brings a welcome and different opinion to the table.

    3. Of course it is. Contrary to the opinion of some of them I admire what they have to say. (which is not to say that I admire one word that comes out of Harry’s Place. Just for the record.)

    4. I’d like to see Katy back for good. And not throwing her encyclopediac brain out of the pram.

  124. douglas clark — on 29th January, 2009 at 1:29 pm  

    Rumbold @ 122,

    Of course not!

    Point me to me being overpersonal.

    I just reject running away as a tactic. Perhaps that is what you meant?

    Look, this is a thread about the idiots on Harry’s Place, it is not a thread about us! Frankly I couldn’t declare much more affection for Katy without being accused of stalking, or some such. And the way this is going, that is not beyond the bounds of possibility!

  125. douglas clark — on 29th January, 2009 at 1:38 pm  

    Bloody obviously, I agree with Imran Khan at 121.

    How much stronger do you expect me to state it?

  126. bananabrain — on 29th January, 2009 at 1:40 pm  

    look, i appreciate what you guys are saying, but this is really now about sunny’s attitude. this is his site and i have till now considered him a friend. i’ve got better things to do than field wild accusations and justify my feelings. if leon says something is racist, do we trust his judgement or tell him he’s being over-sensitive? i think i’m entitled to know when fair comment has crossed the line into venomous abuse from trolls and when reasonable objections are being answered with unreasonable accusations. if you trusted my integrity at all, you’d respect my judgement when i make it clear that the prejudice line has been crossed. as i have said ad nauseam, i am not someone who tosses accusations of anti-semitism out as easily as breathing.

    if you want jewish people to feel comfortable participating on this blog, you’ll need to create a less forbiddingly hostile, adversarial environment. that’s if we’re of value to the “progressive” discussion as something other than pet jews, something to prove that we can tick the anti-racism box. it seems now that to some, when it comes to israel, we are merely ethnic placeholders. if that’s what you want, you can do it without us, like all those stupid, stupid demonstrations. i’m not asking for special treatment, just common courtesy, which i have asked for many times. the reason i have never got involved with harry’s place is because people there don’t have common courtesy.

    b’shalom

    bananabrain

  127. Anas — on 29th January, 2009 at 1:53 pm  

    I think bananabrain, katy and chairwoman are valuable to PP NOT because they’re Jewish (ethnicity shouldnt have anything to do with it) but because they are willing to defend the main thrust of Israeli policy in Palestine, although they may feel uncomfortable with some particulars of that policy.

    It’s important to have people on that side who come across like decent truthful human beings who hold fast to a certain set of beliefs which OK I may disagree with but who aren’t obnoxious and malicious liars who make rational and honest debate impossible a la Harry’s Place.

  128. Refresh — on 29th January, 2009 at 1:59 pm  

    Look guys its very simple.

    I blame SE and Hermes for their obominable comments. In SE’s case many times, and in Hermes case the once. But what a comment!

    If there are other examples from Hermes I’d like to know.

    To me SE is most definitely here to cause the most grief to us all. And we are letting it happen. I have never agreed with banning people, when my preference is ridicule. A lot more fun. Hopefully for everyone. In the case of SE I would have banned him a while back. He is poison.

    He seeks to make it jews v. browns. He is an agent provocateur.

    As for Hermes, he/she clearly has views to express and wishes them to be taken seriously. But given his/her one remark he/she has sidelined him/herself. A punishment that fits the crime, fits the attitude?

    There are many forms of sanctions: ignoring trolls, ridiculing bigotted views, borderlining thugs, deletions and bans.

    As for deletions, I would prefer to have the comments placed in a sin bin for all to see. And then reward ‘corrective behaviour’. I do not believe that anyone has views that are set in stone.

    Then there was that major editorial ‘cock-up’ – Rumbold’s post about growing anti-semitism. It needed to be aired and experiences shared and validated. That is a clear cause of grief for Katy, which is not surprising.

    My personal views are very clear and do not need reiterating. I am unimpressed with Marvin, but have noted even with him there is a shift taking place, however imperceptible. Equally I am concerned about Bananabrain’s worldview, however eloquent it leads to the same thing – he seeks to present it as a proxy war. That is the most dangerous view expressed to date. That said he has backed off from supporting targetted assasinations.

    I think we all need to take stock. This is an important debate, as the issues aired will affect us all for years to come. As such we need to be open with each other. If anyone feels a particular view is anti-semitic, lets not dismiss it out of hand. We need to understand why. A loose comment can be misinterpreted, and it would be useful to ask for clarifications.

  129. Leon — on 29th January, 2009 at 2:03 pm  

    The Katy Newton cloaking device. Lose an arguement and run, run, run away.

    Pathetic.

    That’s uncalled for.

    We need to show her that, apart from a few weirdos, that is not true.

    Indeed.

    I respect and admire Katy and Chairwoman.

    And you’ve proved this by saying not wanting to read abuse about themselves is pathetic?

    I’m tired of your bloody mood swings; one minute you’re being constructive and friendly, the next petulant and obnoxious.

    Cut it out. Whatever it is that’s fueling it stop it or stop posting here while under it’s influence.

  130. Refresh — on 29th January, 2009 at 2:04 pm  

    Sid #115, pathetic. Are you trying draw Clairwil back?

  131. Leon — on 29th January, 2009 at 2:05 pm  

    if leon says something is racist, do we trust his judgement or tell him he’s being over-sensitive?

    You what?

  132. douglas clark — on 29th January, 2009 at 2:09 pm  

    bananabrain,

    Look too.

    If this place, forget the sites ownership for a moment, becomes a singularity, then it will not just be you tearing up your jotters.

    You add a lot to what makes this an interesting place to hang around.

    I do not agree with everything you have to say, and equally, you do not agree with everything I have to say either. But I’d quite like to think of you as a chum. Someone who, if I were to meet you in real life would not immediately attack me with a machete, nor be scared of me either. Which is what I thought this place was all about. Trying to find common ground.

    There are sites like, say, Pharyngula, where my atheism wouldn’t be challenged, in any sensible way.

    They are incredibly boring.

    I dunno whether Sunny realises what he has achieved here or not, but this is a debating chamber par excellence.

    If you and I can discuss stuff, without going yah! sucks! at each other, then we can make this place what we want of it.

    Sunny, usually, is a pretty reasonable host.

  133. El Cid — on 29th January, 2009 at 2:18 pm  

    :(

  134. Sid — on 29th January, 2009 at 2:20 pm  

    douglas, if you’re looking to fellate Sunny, please do it in the privacy of a room, it’s getting boring.

  135. Refresh — on 29th January, 2009 at 2:20 pm  

    Douglas, yes cut down on the horlicks : )

  136. Refresh — on 29th January, 2009 at 2:21 pm  

    Sid, resist the temptation. Leave that keyboard alone!

  137. bananabrain — on 29th January, 2009 at 2:21 pm  

    leon -

    i mean, if you say something’s racist, i trust your judgement and integrity more than, say, to pick a random example, lee jasper.

    b’shalom

    bananabrain

  138. douglas clark — on 29th January, 2009 at 2:26 pm  

    Leon,

    I’m pretty well tired of being censored by you too. I have made it as clear as day that I think losing Katy, Chairwoman or Bananabrain would be a disaster. How I go about trying to rectify that seems to be beyond you.

    What the heck have you tried to do about it?

    Sweet Fanny Adams.

    Cheers mate. Always on the sidelines.

  139. Leon — on 29th January, 2009 at 2:26 pm  

    i mean, if you say something’s racist, i trust your judgement and integrity more than, say, to pick a random example, lee jasper.

    Phew! You had me hitting the search button for a second then wondering when I’d accused something of racism!

  140. Rumbold — on 29th January, 2009 at 2:31 pm  

    Being ranked above Lee Jasper for integrity- there’s a comforting thought for Leon. Also, you have a smaller ego then George Galloway and are more modest than Paris Hilton.

    Good points from Anas (#127) and Refresh (#128), though the comments waste bin idea is a bit unwieldy.

    Douglas:

    Look, you know a great deal about science. And most scientists are logical. So let’s look at this logically. You say that you care a great deal for Katy. Katy does not recognise that. Since you are both intelligent people, there must have been a failure of communication somwhere.

    She was sticking up for you on Harry’s Place, by the way.

  141. douglas clark — on 29th January, 2009 at 2:33 pm  

    Eh!,

    Sid @ 134,

    Not sure if that would be possible, given that you seem to have booked the room!

  142. Ravi Naik — on 29th January, 2009 at 2:40 pm  

    I would propose a ranking system where below each message you would have a “recommended” icon, and an “abuse” icon. And a score. People would be able to vote by clicking on either icon.

    Too negative, and the moderators could remove it, or have a script that automatically removes messages if they reach a certain threshold.

    Best comments (high score) would be highlighted. If the comments reach an extremely high-score, then it becomes an automatic guest post (ok, I am stretching it…)

    This way, people would have a better feel about what the majority of us think about certain content, without having to express it in words that can derail threads.

  143. douglas clark — on 29th January, 2009 at 2:40 pm  

    Rumbold,

    I really do like Katy. I just think she’s a bit stroppy sometimes. Do you have to like people uncritically? Perhaps that is so in the wide wide world of Pickled politics.

    She stood up for me on Harry’s Place?

    Respect.

    I have a high regard for Katy, so I do.

    Despite the fact that she thinks otherwise.

  144. Rumbold — on 29th January, 2009 at 2:43 pm  

    Ravi:

    But then you would get people just coming on to click on comments to get them removed. And think of the effort required from the moderators. Our current system works best.

    Douglas:

    You don’t have to agree with people uncritically, but sometimes people can feel overpowered by the wieght of criticism directed at them.

  145. Imran Khan — on 29th January, 2009 at 2:45 pm  

    Bananabrain – As I said this is difficult issue and from the other side I sometimes feel the same at comments people make and its a constant battle. Personally I found some comments as unbalanced and you found them balanced.

    However draining this is we all need to keep talking and I would strongly urge you, Katy and Chairwoman to continue to comment.

    To be honest without debate about this issue I wouldn’t have known about Chairwoman’s family dying in the holocaust and discussing ideas to help Jews trace family and friends.

    So out of each argument good ideas appear.

    There is nothing to gain by leaving and if you do I would be sad to see you go. I may argue like hell with you but it doesn’t mean I don’t listen to what you say and you need to understand that.

  146. Anas — on 29th January, 2009 at 2:51 pm  

    I kind of have an idea what bb katy and chairwoman are going through. I remember a wee while back Sonia accused me of sounding like a terrorist for no reason I could understand and that put me off coming here for a bit. It’s never pleasant having to endure nasty name calling. But the thing about PP is that a lot of its value lies in the mix of views of the regulars who comment here, it really sustains the site itself, for me anyway.

  147. Ravi Naik — on 29th January, 2009 at 2:55 pm  

    But then you would get people just coming on to click on comments to get them removed. And think of the effort required from the moderators. Our current system works best.

    DailyKos is pretty impressive in that sense – but they require people to register. I think Sunny has already said that it would take a lot of work to implement this type of blog.

  148. Hermes — on 29th January, 2009 at 2:57 pm  

    All this is like a break up in a school playground, and some petty little spoilt brats running away with the ball….while others try to talk them around by offering them a share of their tuck shop goodies.
    Hurt feelings? What about the fucking Palestinians mothers whose babies have been shot in front of their eyes…now look me in the face (which you cant) and tell me whose feelings have been hurt more. The slum dwellers taking shelter from a shower of phosporous rain…or some spolit brat sitting in front of a computer screen.

    A bunch of people fast disappearing up their own fundament

  149. douglas clark — on 29th January, 2009 at 3:02 pm  

    Rumbold,

    Bloody hell:

    You don’t have to agree with people uncritically, but sometimes people can feel overpowered by the wieght of criticism directed at them.

    Would it help if they knew I was no-one important? Would it help if they read nine out of ten of the comments I’ve made here? Which are, contrary to Leons’ daft beliefs, largely supportive? Me criticising anyone should be water off a ducks back.

    My pathetic attempt is to keep Chairwoman, Katy and Bananabrain engaged here. I think they add weight to this site.

    So, there you go.

    Next thing I’ll be accused of is inter species sex.

  150. Ravi Naik — on 29th January, 2009 at 3:03 pm  

    It’s never pleasant having to endure nasty name calling.

    Oh please…

  151. Sid — on 29th January, 2009 at 3:03 pm  

    douglas, what’s the deal with the goat you keep tethered in the back yard?

  152. Rumbold — on 29th January, 2009 at 3:08 pm  

    Douglas:

    I wasn’t trying to criticise you per se. Just point out that there has been a lot of criticism (and a fair few insults from the more intellectually-challenged readers) directed at our Jewish commentators from many persons, and you can see why this would have an impact.

  153. Refresh — on 29th January, 2009 at 3:10 pm  

    Anas, I wouldn’t worry too much about Sonia. She was playing Just a Minute & QI rolled into one (and forgot about the deviation rule).

  154. douglas clark — on 29th January, 2009 at 3:14 pm  

    Sid @ 151,

    douglas, what’s the deal with the goat you keep tethered in the back yard?

    I keep it there just on the off chance you’ll pop around.

    Good host or great host? You decide.

    After.

  155. Rumbold — on 29th January, 2009 at 3:15 pm  

    Brilliant.

  156. Refresh — on 29th January, 2009 at 3:20 pm  

    Hermes, what do you want? Do you want people to say yes you are completley right? Mea culpa? When perhaps its not so simple on a very personal and emotional level. How can it be? And the fundamental point is that ‘people’ you refer to are NOT RESPONSIBLE.

    The ‘style’ of your last post demands that people accept and agree with you. However who in their right minds is going to come to YOU and say, yes I agree?

    Angry? I am. Seething. But it does not allow me to accuse others of not sharing someone else’s pain. No one here has ever supported what has happened. Rationalisation, which is a natural thing, perhaps. But no support.

  157. Sunny — on 29th January, 2009 at 3:20 pm  

    The fact that valued commenters like Katy, her mother Chairwoman and now Bananabrain have essentially been chased off the blog is not good at all.

    This is, frankly, rubbish. Out of most popularly commented on blogs, PP still has more of a fix of opinions than say places like HP, where one view rules.

    I haven’t chased anyone off, and I spent a lot of time responding to you above BB so I resent that accusation.

    But I remember the same atmosphere a few months/years ago when Anas was being accused of being a terrorist sympathiser and other stuff, as were other people like Refresh who said the atmosphere had turned hostile against Muslims.

    But they didn’t start to threaten to leave every thread, and neither did I change my articles because of them.
    And now when the shoe is on the other foot, the Jewish commenters are complaining. Listen – I respond to accusations chucked at me BB, so you can’t say I’m being unpleasant while giving a free ride to people like chairwoman (who accuse me of sounding anti-semitic) and Katy who has also thrown baseless accusations at me.

    But, whatever. I’ll keep writing what I want to write. People can engage in the comments if they want or not, it’s up to them.

  158. Sunny — on 29th January, 2009 at 3:27 pm  

    And also, enough of this navel gazing… as far as I can see above, I responded quite nicely to BB but he chose to take offence at… what I’m not sure. The guy has seen much worse at the interfaith thingys and now suddenly he’s getting sensitive.

    and lastly, I don’t think people are being attacked for whether they’re Jew or Muslim. Sure, people like Marvin come over and if Anas says something he’s automatically a terrorist supporter because he’s Muslim.

    Largely though, people tackle the argument than the man/woman. Its just that Katy/chairwoman are trying to defend Israel’s actions and frankly right now there isn’t a lot to defend. So inevitably they feel run down. I’m sorry the atmosphere isn’t much better but then that’s the times we live in.

  159. Sid — on 29th January, 2009 at 3:27 pm  

    I keep it there just on the off chance you’ll pop around.

    Oh, I thought it was the rebound girl, after, sore point I know, the relationship with Ms donkey fizzled out. hur hur.

  160. douglas clark — on 29th January, 2009 at 3:28 pm  

    Rumbold,

    I really do not want to come across as rude. I actually do like most of the people that write regularly on here.

    Honest injun.

    Tho’ I do think Leon should get off my back. I think most of what I’ve said is well within reasonable bounds, certainly compared to what goes without comment by other folk.

  161. Refresh — on 29th January, 2009 at 3:28 pm  

    Rumbold,

    ‘Brilliant.’

    Enough, Sid needs no encouragement.

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