Apparently it’s the “final solution”


by Sunny
17th May, 2009 at 11:42 pm    

For Melanie Phillips, the two-state solution to Israel/Palestine is the “final solution” for Jews. I can’t believe some people continue to take this woman seriously – she’s a hysterical windbag.

And yet when some Muslims use the word “genocide” or “holocaust” to talk about what has happened to Palestinians, they are beyond the pale.


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  1. soru — on 18th May, 2009 at 3:40 am  

    Proper mass state terror (think Stalin, Hitler, North Korea) can succeed in scaring people enough that they do what you want. But disorganised secret groups who try to copy that are just too small-scale to really intimidate masses of people that way.

    The word terrorism is a misnomer – ‘terrorism’ doesn’t really terrorise many of its targets. It mostly just turns them into Melanie Phillips.

    Maybe it should be called ‘Philipisation’ instead.

  2. Katy Newton — on 18th May, 2009 at 5:30 am  

    Did you read the article, Sunny? I don’t like her any more than you do, but she’s quoting the words of the Fatah ambassador, who says that he believes the two-state solution will result in the collapse of Israel, concluding:

    Let me tell you, when the ideology of Israel collapses, and we take, at least, Jerusalem, the Israeli ideology will collapse in its entirety, and we will begin to progress with our own ideology, Allah willing, and drive them out of all of Palestine.

    I hope they’re both wrong, but it’s a bit unfair to take what she’s said out of context like that, isn’t it?

  3. qidniz — on 18th May, 2009 at 5:54 am  

    I hope they’re both wrong, but it’s a bit unfair to take what she’s said out of context like that, isn’t it?

    Reading an article is one thing. Comprehending it is another, and quite unnecessary when a phrase suffices for some hysterical windbaggery of one’s own.

    HTH.

  4. chairwoman — on 18th May, 2009 at 7:50 am  

    Well done Sunny for displaying your usual heightened sense of fair play.

    You dismiss the words of the Palestinian Ambassador because his speech is quoted by Melanie Philips.

    Why does his speech make her an hysterical windbag?

  5. bananabrain — on 18th May, 2009 at 9:26 am  

    i have to say, like chairwoman, that there isn’t an awful lot of mel phillips’ editorial stance in this piece – if she’s quoting the guy directly, i don’t really see how this can be about her being hysterical. in fact, it illustrates the “there is no partner” school of thought perfectly.

    the sooner, sunny, you realise that just because one happens to be in total disagreement with somebody about a few things, it does not therefore follow that they are 100% wrong about everything, the better.

    although it is no doubt useful in the doctrinaire world of party politics.

    b’shalom

    bananabrain

  6. damon — on 18th May, 2009 at 9:34 am  

    I also don’t really get Sunny’s point.
    I would think that most Israeli’s would find the words of Abbas Zaki to be wholly unacceptable.
    And if that is the supposidly more moderate (Fatah) wing of Palestinian politics, no wonder things are so impossible.
    He sounds like Avigdor Lieberman’s shadow equivalent.

    Don’t give them a truce he says, but he will accept a settlement as a stage in a plan for the eventual removal of Israel being a state in the middle east.

    He says: ”The P.L.O. is the sole legitimate representative [of the Palestinian people], and it has not changed its platform even one iota. In light of the weakness of the Arab nation and the lack of values, and in light of the American control over the world, the P.L.O. proceeds through phases, without changing its strategy. Let me tell you, when the ideology of Israel collapses, and we take, at least, Jerusalem, the Israeli ideology will collapse in its entirety, and we will begin to progress with our own ideology, Allah willing, and drive them out of all of Palestine”.

    I don’t have much time for the views of Melanie Phillips, but I understand why a supporter of Israel would react badly to someone like him .

  7. Rumbold — on 18th May, 2009 at 9:44 am  

    I think the problem is that the way in which Melanie Phillips uses the term ‘final solution’. Obviously the Fatah man is an unpleasant anti-semite, but the way he said it “Therefore, it is high time that we found a final, comprehensive solutionan” didn’t really seem to me to be in the sense of ‘wiping the Jews out’ (though he does get excited later on about the collapse of Israel, and he clearly hates Jews).

    Melanie Phillips then uses ‘final solution’ in the usual way, i.e. one that invokes the Holocaust. However, as some have pointed out, she didn’t pluck this term from thin air, it was a response to the PLO man.

  8. bananabrain — on 18th May, 2009 at 10:03 am  

    Therefore, it is high time that we found a final, comprehensive solution

    that’s what the guy said. it doesn’t take a massive amount of spin, you have to admit, given that he then mentions the aim to “drive them out of all of Palestine.” that, as an aim, is indistinguishable from those of hamas. in what universe do you think the israelis are likely to decamp without massive bloodshed and death? one might even say “ethnic cleansing”. it is clearly implicit. i dislike mel phillips but i find this point to be rather hard to argue with.

    b’shalom

    bananabrain

  9. John — on 18th May, 2009 at 10:21 am  

    I have never commented on this blog although I am a regular reader. But this posting from Sunny Hundal should win some kind of prize in the ‘examples of prejudice overwhelming reason’ category. Sunny’s dislike of Israel and of Melanie Phillips utterly blinds him. She is a ‘right-wing’ supporter of (inter alia) Israel and therefore axiomatically wrong, stupid and – the evergreen – hysterical.

    The ambassador’s speech is a marvel in its entirety including his ideas on how the final solution will come to pass. His comments left me pondering: “They consider Jerusalem to have a spiritual status”. They – Jews or Zionists? – let’s not discuss.

    I look forward to Sunny’s response – something along the lines of ‘But it’s from Memri and they are Israelis, Israelis, Israelis’.

  10. Jess M — on 18th May, 2009 at 10:28 am  

    Can’t believe I’m really saying this, but actually I think Phillips was right to pick up on the use of the term ‘final solution’ by Abbas Zaki.

    That entire quote is vile and disgusting. The only good thing that can be said about it is that at least he’s advocating peace and negotiation as a tactic.

  11. platinum786 — on 18th May, 2009 at 10:37 am  

    I think a 1 state solution is required. Let everyone go back to their own lands, rebuild their homes, live in 1 state, have free and fair elections (unlike the last ones where most arabs were banned).

  12. bananabrain — on 18th May, 2009 at 10:44 am  

    what do you mean “most arabs were banned”? arabs have the vote just like anyone else. they’ve got their own feckin’ parties, platinum. there are arab ministers? what on earth are you on about?

    and who do you mean by “everyone”? do you mean the 1948 refugees? how about their spouses? their children? their grandchildren? where do you propose drawing that particular line?

    in this one state, will jews be allowed to live in hebron? in nablus?

    b’shalom

    bananabrain

  13. Ravi Naik — on 18th May, 2009 at 10:55 am  

    I am not sure why people are complaining about Sunny’s post – the WHOLE point was Melanie Phillips use of the term “final solution“, a plan that led to the Holocaust. Is she equating the plan that led to the extermination of 6 million of Jews by gassing, torture and famine with the proposal of creating two states to end the cycle of violence?

    Hysterical windbag? Sunny is being too polite here.

    Furthermore, she is being her dishonest self by insinuating that the two-state solution imagined by this Palestinian ambassador is necessarily the only solution, or even the one proposed by the British and Americans.

  14. Rumbold — on 18th May, 2009 at 10:59 am  

    Bananabrain:

    Re-reading it, you may be right. It wouldn’t surprise me.

  15. bananabrain — on 18th May, 2009 at 11:31 am  

    Is she equating the plan that led to the extermination of 6 million of Jews by gassing, torture and famine with the proposal of creating two states to end the cycle of violence?

    the point, ravi, is that the stated programme of the PLO ambassador, compared to what most reasonable people believe to be the benefits of a two-state solution, has more in common with the old “drive the jews into the sea” idea that has got the palestinians precisely nowhere in 60 years. and in order to achieve that, massive bloodshed and extermination would be necessary. hence his (not her) use of the term “final solution” is rather more of a concern.

    b’shalom

    bananabrain

  16. Ravi Naik — on 18th May, 2009 at 11:58 am  

    is that the stated programme of the PLO ambassador, compared to what most reasonable people believe to be the benefits of a two-state solution, has more in common with the old “drive the jews into the sea” idea that has got the palestinians precisely nowhere in 60 years. and in order to achieve that, massive bloodshed and extermination would be necessary. hence his (not her) use of the term “final solution” is rather more of a concern.

    He didn’t use the term “final solution” nor extermination, nor bloodshed, did he? It was Melanie Philip who introduced the term precisely to give that meaning. That is a fact, bananabrain.

    It is also a fact that he said that in a two-state context Israel’s “ideology” would collapse by giving up Jerusalem because it has “spiritual” meaning.

    It is indeed a dumb thing to say. I interpret he is talking about Israel’s moral going down because they would lose an important city. I am not aware that US/UK are demanding that Israel give up East Jerusalem, are you?

    You seem to believe that the ambassador wants to physically exterminate the population of Israel (as in the final solution), which is rather strange, considering that position would be for someone demanding a one-state solution, not start by accepting a two-state solution, as the Ambassador did.

    Am I missing something?

  17. platinum786 — on 18th May, 2009 at 12:15 pm  

    Why is it if Jews can plan to use the position of the arab states and the political conditions of the early 20th century to create a Jewish state what is so alarming about arabs planning on in the future taking that state back?

    BananaBrain, I’m talking about the banning of United Arab List-Ta’al and Balad.

  18. Adnan — on 18th May, 2009 at 12:30 pm  

    Just read the MEMRI excerpts Mel’s article links to.

    The ambassador expresses the opinion that the current state of affairs allows Israel to consolidate her hold on the 1967 territories and that the Palestinians will be restricted to small enclaves and (my reading) will get driven out over time. This paragraph is followed by a paragraph starting with “Therefore, it is high time that we found a final, comprehensive solution.” – this paragraph talks about the rest of the world wanting a two state solution, but criticises the Palestinians for putting up with the status quo. So “solution” here is all to do with a settlement rather than Hitler’s “Final solution”.

    The final paragraph appears to be wishful thinking on his part.

    I think the point of the MEMRI article is to show that the PLO cannot be trusted as a partner for peace (i.e. the PLO have different expectations than the US and Europe would). They’ve pasted together the juiciest bits of the interview (and others), but it’s not the same as Mel’s conclusion namely, the two state solution as envisaged by US and Europe will lead to Israel’s destruction.

    So, IMO, Ravi (excellent, as usual) + Sunny are correct.

  19. bananabrain — on 18th May, 2009 at 12:46 pm  

    platinum:

    BananaBrain, I’m talking about the banning of United Arab List-Ta’al and Balad.

    i know there was a proposal to get them banned (because they signed up to a platform which basically refuses to recognise the country whose parliament they want to join) but that’s all part of the “dirty tricks” aspect common to all israeli political parties – it’s a nasty system, you should see what the ultra-orthodox parties do to each other and they’re all basically the same. if you look here:

    http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/1061917.html

    you’ll see the results of the elections, in a little flash app. you’ll be able to see that not only did hadash, ta’al and balad get 10% of the overall vote, but that in non-jewish communities, they also vote for non-arab parties – and some of the bedouins even vote for ultra-orthodox parties. so, i think you’ve probably been misinformed.

    if Jews can plan to use the position of the arab states and the political conditions of the early 20th century to create a Jewish state what is so alarming about arabs planning on in the future taking that state back?

    when exactly do you mean in the early C20th? because a lot of the time, there was an ottoman protectorate and a british mandate, not arab states. more to the point, when the jews were planning to do it, if they failed to consider the arabs, it was out of ignorance and chauvinism, not out of a desire to exterminate them; they simply ignored them as a factor, with historically awful consequences. i’m not excusing the events that led to the creation of the palestinian refugee problem, but they were a byproduct, not the result of a deliberate policy to murder. the problem we’re seeing here is that that it is totally disingenuous for you to suggest that “arabs planning on taking that state back” would not involve deliberate, large-scale bloodshed.

    ravi:

    He didn’t use the term “final solution” nor extermination, nor bloodshed, did he?

    did you not read it? he said:

    it is high time that we found a final, comprehensive solution….

    followed by:

    we will begin to progress with our own ideology, Allah willing, and drive them out of all of Palestine.

    is there some aspect of this that i should not find alarming? do you think there is some way this can be achieved without bloodshed? do you think there is some way it could be achieved without exterminating the israeli population? seriously? do you seriously think that?

    You seem to believe that the ambassador wants to physically exterminate the population of Israel (as in the final solution), which is rather strange

    only if you completely ignore what his actual words were, i’ll grant you.

    Am I missing something?

    *rolls eyes*

    b’shalom

    bananabrain

  20. Amrit — on 18th May, 2009 at 1:00 pm  

    Two words:

    Easy. Target.

    Might I just say also that I find it somewhat dangerous and unfair that you are comparing Melanie Phillips – i.e. one well-documented nutjob – to ‘some Muslims’?

    Poor, poor comparison – weighted to make the latter seem entirely reasonable when that may not always be the case.

    It would have been fairer to contrast her remarks with those of the Ambassador, and/or to make it clear that she doesn’t speak for all Jews. Also, as I’ve already said before, bandying around the word ‘holocaust’ is really not on, whoever does it.

  21. Sunny — on 18th May, 2009 at 1:01 pm  

    What Ravi said at 13.

    Phillips IS opposed to a two-state solution. She doesn’t want any peace in the region that might give Palestinians any more autonomy. Just that stance alone means she supports continuing oppression.

  22. Ravi Naik — on 18th May, 2009 at 1:21 pm  

    did you not read it? he said:
    it is high time that we found a final, comprehensive solution….

    Bananabrain, adnan (#18) pretty much responded to this. But let’s play a game. What is the “final, comprehensive solution”?… is it:

    (a) exterminating the Jewish population as the nazis did in the Holocaust
    (b) “the two-state solution”…

    Hint: the answer is right after the “final, comprehensive solution”.

    Mel cleverly took two words and made it sound like he is defending a Holocaust plan. I am very surprised that people in this thread are actually criticising Sunny for calling Mel out.

    is there some aspect of this that i should not find alarming? do you think there is some way this can be achieved without bloodshed? do you think there is some way it could be achieved without exterminating the israeli population? seriously? do you seriously think that?

    Here is what you have not explained. If the Ambassador accepts a two-state scenario, then he clearly believes that there should be an Israel and a Palestine. So when he says: “Allah willing, and drive them out of all of Palestine.”… Why would he not be talking about Israelis getting out from the West Bank, which he considers Palestine? I mean, Israelis got out of Gaza, right? No physical extermination there.

  23. damon — on 18th May, 2009 at 1:27 pm  

    I still think that what Phillips actually says here, is just about OK. It’s obvious (and she means it to be obvious) that when she talks of a ”final solution” she is being melodramatic for effect.

    Taking Abbas Zaki at his word, she says this as her last word on the subject: ”This is what the American, British and EU governments are attempting to force Israel to accept. As the man says, it’s not a two-state solution — it’s a final solution.”

    That Israel supporters like her have infused Jewishness and the existence of the state of Israel as being part of the same thing (disingenuously and wrongly in my opinion)… to people who think like that, what she says will make sense.
    Abbas Zaki seems like someone who is not to be trusted (if you are a supporter of Israel).
    The two state solution is something that will not be a final settlement to people like him, but a step on the way to ‘liberating” all of Palestine from occupation.

  24. Sunny — on 18th May, 2009 at 1:31 pm  

    Taking Abbas Zaki at his word, she says this as her last word on the subject:

    The guy is talking in Arabic and doesn’t know English. The original phrase was a German one.

    I’m not saying he’s a saint at all – but he sounds quite similar to Lieberman. In which case perhaps Phillips should also accuse Lieberman of the “final solution” for Palestinians, you know, if she’s being even handed.

  25. soru — on 18th May, 2009 at 1:37 pm  

    @22

    ‘Let me tell you, when the ideology of Israel collapses, and we take, at least, Jerusalem, the Israeli ideology will collapse in its entirety, and we will begin to progress with our own ideology, Allah willing, and drive them out of all of Palestine.’

    ‘At least Jerusalem’, and then, afterwards ‘all Palestine’. So by ‘all Palestine’ he clearly doesn’t mean the west bank and Gaza only.

    Mel is a nutter: nevertheless, any successful peace deal will have to contain mechanisms that ensure the ambassador doesn’t turn out to be right.

  26. Jess M — on 18th May, 2009 at 2:13 pm  

    “The guy is talking in Arabic and doesn’t know English. The original phrase was a German one.”

    In that case, it may be the fault of the translator, who may or may not be accurately reflecting intent. Maybe the translator just wasn’t aware of what ‘final solution’ sounds like to English speakers.

    I don’t think he was advocating another Holocaust, but it reads in the translation like an anti-Semitic dog whistle, especially in the context of the rest of the quote.

  27. bananabrain — on 18th May, 2009 at 2:14 pm  

    Phillips IS opposed to a two-state solution. She doesn’t want any peace in the region that might give Palestinians any more autonomy. Just that stance alone means she supports continuing oppression.

    which i am not disputing, this is one of the reasons i dislike her.

    Bananabrain, adnan (#18) pretty much responded to this. But let’s play a game. What is the “final, comprehensive solution”?… is it:

    (a) exterminating the Jewish population as the nazis did in the Holocaust
    (b) “the two-state solution”…

    the point, ravi, is that he talks about the two state solution as being a PRELUDE to “drive them out of all of Palestine”, which would involve the bloodshed of a “final solution”. that is the point, as soru can obviously tell.

    Why would he not be talking about Israelis getting out from the West Bank, which he considers Palestine? I mean, Israelis got out of Gaza, right? No physical extermination there.

    because, ravi, there is a well known figure of speech here: when one of these guys talks about “ALL” of palestine, he is NOT talking about the west bank alone. he is talking about TEL AVIV. if you don’t get that, you have not understood the first thing about the doublespeak that obtains from all sides in this area (i contrast the israeli term “natural growth” for settlements, for example)

    That Israel supporters like her have infused Jewishness and the existence of the state of Israel as being part of the same thing (disingenuously and wrongly in my opinion)…

    the spiritual status of jerusalem is NOT a matter for the state of israel, it is a matter for the jewish religion, just as the political control of jerusalem is a matter for the state. the two are NOT coterminous, but hamas (and, obviously, many in fatah) do not distinguish between “israelis” and “jews”. if you don’t understand this, then it’s a pretty basic fact you’re not getting. read the hamas charter – they talk about jews, not israelis.

    The guy is talking in Arabic and doesn’t know English. The original phrase was a German one.

    hang on – he’s talking in arabic or german? if he’s talking in arabic, he’s well aware of what he said and how it is understood. if what he said was in german and it was subsequently translated into english (by?) for mel to read, it’s a different matter. this is the only objection that holds water for me.

    I’m not saying he’s a saint at all – but he sounds quite similar to Lieberman. In which case perhaps Phillips should also accuse Lieberman of the “final solution” for Palestinians, you know, if she’s being even handed.

    as you know, i detest lieberman, but the fact of the matter is that in his “exchange” scenario, he proposes the annexation of jewish-dominated areas of the west bank IN RETURN FOR THE “TRIANGLE” AREA, which is arab-majority, including such places as umm al-fahm (which will, incidentally, screw the israeli football and basketball teams) – so, even in this scenario, he’s handing a fairly large chunk of land and well-educated, economically active population over to the palestinians and, more to the point, nobody has to move house, arab or jew. i don’t see this abbas zaki doing something similar. no, he’s talking about “all of palestine”. you do the maths.

    b’shalom

    bananabrain

  28. Ravi Naik — on 18th May, 2009 at 2:56 pm  

    the point, ravi, is that he talks about the two state solution as being a PRELUDE to “drive them out of all of Palestine”, which would involve the bloodshed of a “final solution”

    Can you tell me how accepting a two-state solution, that is: an Israel and a Palestine state, leads to genocide and bloodshed on Israel’s side? And what is Fatah’s official position on the existence of Israel, and what land are they reclaiming for Palestine?

  29. bananabrain — on 18th May, 2009 at 3:10 pm  

    am i not speaking english or something? the guy talks about the two-state solution as a stage on the path to the goal of driving the jews out. i don’t know how he expects to do this, but i do know it is obvious that it cannot be achieved without bloodshed. the point here is that what he is suggesting is IN CONFLICT with fatah’s position on the existence of israel AS WELL as their position on what land they think they’re entitled to. so either they were lying when they signed the peace accords, or this guy doesn’t speak for the whole of fatah.

    b’shalom

    bananabrain

  30. fugstar — on 18th May, 2009 at 3:37 pm  

    26.

    If the translator was from MEMRI ,they knew exactly what they were doing, it is their industry to play language games upon which secondary feeders can spin their own malevolent webs.

  31. Refresh — on 18th May, 2009 at 4:47 pm  

    Bananabrain, I really don’t see what you could detest about Lierberman if you can go on to accept his proposal as reasonable. I know that’s not your word, but that’s what your last para in #27 suggests.

    Lieberman to me is Ze’evy reincarnate. Only now with hands on the levers of power.

  32. Shatterface — on 18th May, 2009 at 4:55 pm  

    The German for ‘final solution’ is ‘die Endlosung’ but I doubt that sounds any prettier to older Israeli ears.

  33. marvin — on 18th May, 2009 at 5:14 pm  

    Massive fail. “Final Solution” is clearly referring to Abbas Zakis speech. Sunny, happy as every to shoot the messenger, and give the actual hater a free pass!

    the sooner, sunny, you realise that just because one happens to be in total disagreement with somebody about a few things, it does not therefore follow that they are 100% wrong about everything, the better.

    although it is no doubt useful in the doctrinaire world of party politics

    Exactamon.

  34. Imran Khan — on 18th May, 2009 at 5:44 pm  

    Bananabrain – “in fact, it illustrates the “there is no partner” school of thought perfectly.”

    I find your hyperbole incredible given the fact you wanted to sit down with Lieberman and yet in true Melanie style you maker the statement above which is utter nonsense.

    So when an Israeli says it he doesn’t quite mean it and when a Palestinian says it then its the end of Israel as we know it.

    You really do lack a total grasp on events.

    First of if you bother to analyse the quote she is using then you’d see it is by memri who are known for their manipulation and changing of what was said but hell yes lets just ignore that aspect huh?

    Memri’s dodgy style is outlined here:

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2002/aug/12/worlddispatch.brianwhitaker

    Do you deny they have a Pro-Israel bias in their translations?

    Who funds Memri and how do they remain objective given their alliance?

    Then lets compare and contrast his statement with the absolute fairness of Israels approach which is to grab as much land and build as many bypass roads and lead to well no hope in Palestinians other than fighting.

    You are awfully quick to condemn the Palestinians when in fact it is Israel that is imposing a final solution on the Palestinians.

    Do you or Melanie ever discuss that aspect?

    You were conspicious by your lack of condemnation of Lieberman and yet are quick to come here and back Melanie without discussing how accurate the translation is given Memri’s previous track record.

    Even if it is accurate is it different to the rhetoric of Israel upon which you are so mute. Also given the fact that Bibi wasn’t for a two-state solution in the elections and is now going to the US and paying lip service to a 2 state solution isn’t this a form of deception to which you love to attribute to Muslims.

    The whole premise that the Palestinians are solely to blame is exposed by Israel’s own actions and this is leading to the hysteria of Melanie. The fact that Jews themselves are wanting America to act tough with Israel is causing Mel’s hysteria and the fact that you are jumping is a worrying trend.

    For those who really want to know when loss-of-memri and Mel are so damn hysterical then read here

    http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/julian_kossoff/blog/2009/05/18/jews_want_obama_to_show_israel_tough_love

    Some useful quotes:
    “Barack Obama is going to demand Israel re-commit to the two-state solution to the Israel-Palestine conflict, a toe-curling prospect for Netanyahu and his right-wing supporters, whose preferred end-game is decades of prevarication + settlements expansion = no viable Palestinian state.”

    “Emanuel represents the growing impatience even Jews now have at the failures of Israel to nurture leaders of the calibre necessary to forge a peace (please note: the Palestinians/Arabs have likewise failed utterly).”

    Its about time you actually stood up and admitted Israel’s failings and the extremism of its leadership instead of defending someone who quotes the dodgy translations of an organisation like Memri.

    If there is no partner for either side then they are both equally to blame by their actions. Its a bloody shame you can’t bring yourself to admit that. Its also a bloody shame that you given the contacts you have couldn’t stand up and say that Israel needs to criticise their own extremists.

    The failure of partnership is on both sides, the war talk is on both sides, the talk of ultimate victory if they prevail is on both sides, the talk of overall control of Jerusalem is on both sides and only one is able to carry out its plan.

    The talk of stupidy is on both sides and the fact that you’ve come charging in without really looking at Mel’s one sided approach and her sources and screamed again just makes your position look poor.

    In all the time here you keep saying you are happy to criticise Israel’s actions where needed but you never quite fully do and its always half-hearted and when you are criticised you point to interfaith work. Well interfaith work needs to be brave enough to acknowledge the mistakes on both sides. The biggest problem and I’ve said this to you before is that both sides fail to acknowledge the injustice suffered by the other. This is starting to happen but if we keep jumping in and supporting the lieks of Melanie then there is not much hope.

    Her aticle is biased and one sided and her source is not the best source. If you want to go down this road then for every stupid statement Memri and Mel highlight the Palestinians make then I can find your one from an Israeli source. So how is that going to help?

    It won’t and thats the point you need to understand. How different is the Palestinian Ambassador to Lieberman? The thing is the Palestinian Ambassdors words are mere rhetoric is most cases where as Israel’s are action.

    In the Palestinian territories and even Hamas haven’t objected there are now discussions on the Holocaust and even small Museums whcih have been opened with input from Yad Vashem. So tell me where are the equivalent museums on the Palestinian suffering in Israel?

  35. Imran Khan — on 18th May, 2009 at 5:52 pm  

    “because, ravi, there is a well known figure of speech here: when one of these guys talks about “ALL” of palestine, he is NOT talking about the west bank alone. he is talking about TEL AVIV. if you don’t get that, you have not understood the first thing about the doublespeak that obtains from all sides in this area (i contrast the israeli term “natural growth” for settlements, for example)”

    You don’t half talk nonsense the double speak of natural settlement growth is used to carve up massive tracts of land. What is the limit of natural settlement growth?

    “the spiritual status of jerusalem is NOT a matter for the state of israel, it is a matter for the jewish religion,”

    Its the same for Islam but its been decided that the entire authority for even Islam’s position on Jerusalem rests with Jewish Scholars. So you detest his assumption on Jerusalem but then are mute on the fact that Jewish scholars are deciding what is and isn’t holy is Islam.

    You criticise Hamas on this matter but are Jewish Lobby groups any different. Show me a major Jewish Lobby group that accepts that Jerusalem is holy to Muslims?

    “the point, ravi, is that he talks about the two state solution as being a PRELUDE to “drive them out of all of Palestine”, which would involve the bloodshed of a “final solution”. that is the point, as soru can obviously tell.”
    And the point is there are enough people in the Israeli leadership and in groups like AIPAC who think the same. So what does their solution involve if it isn’t bloodshed? Why the onesided hysteria?

    “as you know, i detest lieberman, but the fact of the matter is that in his “exchange” scenario, he proposes the annexation of jewish-dominated areas of the west bank IN RETURN FOR THE “TRIANGLE” AREA, which is arab-majority, including such places as umm al-fahm (which will, incidentally, screw the israeli football and basketball teams) – so, even in this scenario, he’s handing a fairly large chunk of land and well-educated, economically active population over to the palestinians and, more to the point, nobody has to move house, arab or jew. i don’t see this abbas zaki doing something similar. no, he’s talking about “all of palestine”. you do the maths.”
    Again he is apying lip service and the fact that he is talking of enlarging settlements is a point you are choosing to ignore and to do that will mean the deatha dn strangulation of the Palestinian population which is a point you are mute on.

    If you think Israel is committed to peace then why built massive settlement blocks, why deny Palestinians movemnent on land, sea and air? Thats a bloody good commitment to killing the entire population slowly and driving them out and oh look thats exactly whats happened and you can’t dress it up as not true because it is.

    The rhetoric is the same on both sides its that simple and you are choosing to exvuse one and gettign hysterical about the other.

  36. Ravi Naik — on 18th May, 2009 at 5:55 pm  

    In that case, it may be the fault of the translator, who may or may not be accurately reflecting intent. Maybe the translator just wasn’t aware of what ‘final solution’ sounds like to English speakers.

    He didn’t say a “final solution”, but “a final, comprehensive solution”, and talks specifically about hudna (truce) and the “two-state solution”, and later he emphasises the point: “we want a solution now”. As for the term “final”, he makes it clear: “after 45 years of struggle, we have the right to reach a conclusion to this conflict”. He also says that Palestine should only consider truce if Israel reverts to its 1967 borders.

    I think Damon’s comment (#23) to be reasonable: Mel probably used the “final solution” for sensationalist effect, rather than to imply that Fatah wants genocide.

  37. Imran Khan — on 18th May, 2009 at 6:04 pm  

    Oh and Bananabrain you beloved Lieberman is proposing banning Arabs right to protest their suffering so isn’t that a suppression of freedom of speech but you’ll try and defend that!

    This is the man who is calling for the execution of elected members of the Kneset, who was a member of Kach and you are coming here trying to imply he is for a two state solution.

    See people I told you he’d try and make out that Lieberman wasn’t so bad.

    Two state solution as Bananabrain claims is refuted by his own words:

    “Mr Lieberman is strongly opposed to the concept of “land for peace” on which the proposed two-state solution is based.

    He says it means “a state-and-a-half for one people and half a state for the other” – in reference to the fifth of the population of Israel who are Israeli-Arabs, descended from families that remained in what is now Israel after the state’s creation in 1948. ”
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/middle_east/6084362.stm

    So tell me how are you going to spin a two state solution from his own words that he doesn’t support it?

    You really are pouting nonsense.

    After saying they would abide by all previous commitments then they said they wouldn’t abide by the roadmap.

    Its bloody hysterical how you are here trying to convince people that the most extreme government in Israel’s history is committed to peace and the other side isn’t when the land grab and lying for taht is what it is about natural growth and settlement building is going on. When they have said they have no intention to stop building you are here saying they accpet a two state solution but then tell us oh oracle where the hell is left for another state after carving up all the land and encircling Jerusalem?

    Why the decieve about it when the intention is so clear and visible from space what is being done.

    Come on this isn’t the Bananabrain that people know, if you know its wrong then be balanced and admit that both sides are at fault and please don’t pretend that with his record Bibi and Lieberman are for a two state solution when Bibi in particular did everythign to destroy prospects for peace in his term as PM.

    For once just admit what everyone here knows that Israel is actually doing what the Palestinians say they want to try and do and realise they are both bloody idiotic.

  38. Refresh — on 18th May, 2009 at 6:06 pm  

    Ravi, I think its a little more insidious.

    ‘Mel probably used the “final solution” for sensationalist effect, rather than to imply that Fatah wants genocide.’

    I believe its to imply there is no one to have peace with, all of them really are dreaming of a ‘final solution’ – arabs and muslims. And that is why Israel is the way it is, it cannot afford to sleep with both eyes closed.

    Outright anti-arab racism!

    ‘Aipac’s hidden persuaders:

    The Israel lobby is aiming to soften up US public opinion for an attack on Iran. Americans should resist its propaganda’

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/cifamerica/2009/may/13/aipac-iran-us-obama

  39. Ravi Naik — on 18th May, 2009 at 6:11 pm  

    Mind you, I am not defending Abbas Zaki because I like him, or I think he is better than the Israeli government. I think it is very hard to find people with calibre in either side of the conflict – all we have are a bunch of radicals, who hate the other side, who are uncompromising, and who want to settle past scores rather than look at the future. With different degrees, of course.

    I am very curious to see what Obama’s approach will be. I am unashamed to say I am putting some hope on this guy, which so far has impressed me by his intelligence and pragmatism.

  40. Ravi Naik — on 18th May, 2009 at 6:14 pm  

    I believe its to imply there is no one to have peace with, all of them really are dreaming of a ‘final solution’ – arabs and muslims. And that is why Israel is the way it is, it cannot afford to sleep with both eyes closed.

    I am giving Mad Mel the benefit of the doubt on this particular issue, Refresh. Not on what I described in #13.

    Anyway, we will be hearing a lot about this theme: that Israel cannot afford a two-state solution because it means its destruction. The alternative of a two-state is the status-quo, and that is unsustainable and morally unacceptable.

  41. Imran Khan — on 18th May, 2009 at 6:16 pm  

    Marvin – “Massive fail. “Final Solution” is clearly referring to Abbas Zakis speech. Sunny, happy as every to shoot the messenger, and give the actual hater a free pass!”

    If you read her article then its her words and not his.

    He says:
    “Therefore, it is high time that we found a final, comprehensive solution…With the two-state solution, in my opinion, Israel will collapse, because if they get out of Jerusalem, what will become of all the talk about the Promised Land and the Chosen People? What will become of all the sacrifices they made – just to be told to leave? They consider Jerusalem to have a spiritual status. The Jews consider Judea and Samaria to be their historic dream. If the Jews leave those places, the Zionist idea will begin to collapse.”

    What he is saying is taht the very ideals that Zionism has set so high if they are forced to negotiate them away then the Zionist dream will collapse because they’ve made these things such as the enlargement of Israel to a greater Israel Judea and Samaria and the unity of Jerusalem to be the standartd of Zionism that if negotiated away then Zionism as an ideology will collapse because its fundemental ideals have been given up.

    Then Melanie says and this is highlighted by the flick back to a wider column where as his wortds are in a smaller column – Mel Says:
    “This is what the American, British and EU governments are attempting to force Israel to accept. As the man says, it’s not a two-state solution — it’s a final solution.”

    The worsd Final Solution are hers and she does this for effect which suckers like you fall for.

    Teh fact she is selective about how she appears to quote means that people like you come on board and get hysterical.

  42. Imran Khan — on 18th May, 2009 at 6:22 pm  

    Ravi – “I am giving Mad Mel the benefit of the doubt on this particular issue, Refresh. Not on what I described in #13.”

    If you look at the typesetting then her words are in a wider column and she is the one who said Final Solution.

    If you look at the original Memri article it doesn’t have those words at all.

    The words are Mel’s but she is using typesetting rather than quotes so its not clear who said what which is bloody shoddy journalism. But hey if it gets people like Marvin and Bananabrain convinced why would Mel worry.

    This is what Memri translated:

    “Two-State Solution Will Lead to the Collapse of Israel

    ANB TV, May 7, 2009

    Abbas Zaki: “What is needed is a settlement, not a hudna [truce]. After 45 years of struggle, we have the right to reach a conclusion to this conflict, rather than extending the hudna, enabling Israel to expand on a daily basis.

    “My advice is: we should not give Israel a hudna, because whenever Israel is given a hudna, it consolidates its position and becomes more deeply rooted. What hudna? If they do not withdraw from the 1967 lands – what hudna? Israel will become a fact on the ground, and we will end up as small enclaves, and should be driven out with time.

    “Therefore, it is high time that we found a final, comprehensive solution. The Arabs talk about a comprehensive solution and present initiatives, and the world talks about a solution, yet we say: Let’s stick to the hudna. No, my friend. I personally joined Fatah somewhat belatedly, in 1962. Work out how many years that is. Should I keep on extending the hudnas? Impossible. We want a solution now.

    “They talk about a two-state solution, and when that is achieved… Even Ahmadinejad, leader of the rejectionists throughout the region, said he supports a two-state solution. Nobody fools anybody.

    “With the two-state solution, in my opinion, Israel will collapse, because if they get out of Jerusalem, what will become of all the talk about the Promised Land and the Chosen People? What will become of all the sacrifices they made – just to be told to leave? They consider Jerusalem to have a spiritual status. The Jews consider Judea and Samaria to be their historic dream. If the Jews leave those places, the Zionist idea will begin to collapse. It will regress of its own accord. Then we will move forward.”"

    The words Final Solution are not in there – ah bless Marvin is gonna have to have a good cry now!

    Anyway what he said was that Zionism would collapse if the stated goals of holding Judea and Samaria and a united Jerusalem were negotiated away.

  43. Ravi Naik — on 18th May, 2009 at 6:24 pm  

    If you look at the typesetting then her words are in a wider column and she is the one who said Final Solution.

    #36. They are upset because he said: “a final, comprehensive solution”, but it’s very clear to me what “final” meant, as well as what solutions he was talking about.

  44. Imran Khan — on 18th May, 2009 at 6:32 pm  

    Bananabrain – You claim that Lieberman and Bibi want a two state solution which is nonsense based on their electoral position and also the fact is that getting elected means that Israel doesn’t want one either.

    But here is what the Likud Ministers said today:
    “This time around, no fewer than seven Likud ministers vocally oppose a Palestinian state: Gideon Sa’ar, Bennie Begin, Moshe Ya’alon, Yuli Edelstein, Gilad Erdan, Yisrael Katz and Moshe Kahlon.

    “MKs might be afraid now to say that Bibi doesn’t have a majority for two states in the faction or other Likud bodies, but later on they will make their voice heard,” said Likud MK Danny Danon, who wrote Netanyahu on Friday warning him against concessions to US President Barack Obama in their Monday meeting.

    “In any public campaign against a Palestinian state, Begin and Ya’alon would be at the top,” he added.

    Ya’alon and Begin declined to take upon themselves the leadership of such an effort at this juncture.

    “There is no reason to hurry,” Begin said. “We are waiting until the meeting with the president of the United States in which I am sure the prime minister will present the views of the government and the Likud.” ”

    So tell me is this an Israeli version of Taqqia?

    Its a shame that you can’;t bring yourself to admit that they don’t want a two state solution where their own words are clearly saying that.

    Also please explain why Memri is quick to say that the Palestinians and Muslims say one thing in the Middle east and one int he West and then selectively choose not to highlight the same for the Israeli side – why do you think that is?

  45. marvin — on 18th May, 2009 at 6:34 pm  

    Imran,

    That Brian Whittaker, who wrote the article at the ‘liberal’ Guardian newspaper about MEMRI being terribly wrong and biased, is a real c**t of a hypocrite.

    …he forgot to tell Guardian readers that in addition to his work as Middle East editor of The Guardian, Whitaker also runs an anti-Israel website called Arab Gateway (http://www.al-bab.com). Among other things, Whitaker’s site has pages about non-Arab minorities in the Middle East, such as Berbers and Kurds – but no page on Jews. And Whitaker’s site has a “Palestine” section but no “Israel” section

    Indeed, where is the section on Israel on his website?

    Thankyou, you’ve just reminded me why I hate those hypocritical c***s at the Guardian.

    What a shit-bag thing to say:

    The reason for this secrecy, according to a former employee, is that “they don’t want suicide bombers walking through the door on Monday morning” (Washington Times, June 20).

    This strikes me as a somewhat over-the-top precaution for an institute that simply wants to break down east-west language barriers.

    ‘Over the top’? MEMRI translates and exposes twisted cruel islamist propaganda, people who talk about killing every last Jew and talks about ‘kaffir’ like they are cockroaches to be crushed, and yet Brian Whittaker thinks it’s ‘over the top’ to expect terrorists to respond with terrorism. When has Brian ever took on violent murderers who would kill him with pleasure and zest?

    Brian Whittaker is now on my list of people to punch squarely in the face, along with George Galloway, another ardent ‘critic’ of MEMRI. Of course Galloways crticism was simply, “it’s Israeli, Israeli, Israeli”. What a shower of …..

  46. Imran Khan — on 18th May, 2009 at 6:37 pm  

    Oh and lets lay to rest Bananabrains oft quoted but poorly backed claim that Sharon wanted a two state solution:

    “Secondly, while opinion polls show that most Israelis and Palestinians today favor a two-state solution, many of the critical actors are less than fully committed. Sharon’s version, a chain of Palestinian enclaves surrounded by Israeli settlements, is not a viable two-state solution. The most energetic and dedicated sector on the Israeli political scene, the settlers – whose hard core comprises no more than 100,000 people (out of some 220,000 settlers, not including East Jerusalem), with several hundred thousand non-settler supporters – are working hard, at least hitherto with Sharon’s help, to make a viable two-state solution impossible.

    Notably, Sharon’s motives are not identical to those of the settlers. Sharon believes that Israel must maintain security control over all the territory, by settling key commanding West Bank hilltops, west-east approach roads and junctions, in order to survive militarily over the long term.

    While he wants to “end the occupation” over the Palestinians and he claims to be prepared to make “painful compromises” and most recently to be contemplating unilateral steps, all in order to fulfill a two-state solution, everything in his past and present attitude toward Israel’s Arab neighbors and the West Bank and Gaza settlements points to a policy aimed at compelling the Palestinians to accept an autonomous entity mislabeled a “state”, based on non-contiguous or barely contiguous enclaves in around 50 percent of the West Bank. This is the “security” legacy that Sharon seeks to leave the people of Israel.”
    http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/pages/ShArt.jhtml?itemNo=396557&contrassID=13

    He wanted Palestinian Enclaves and not a state as Bananabrain tried to imply. With Israel surrounding and controlling each enclave. The enclaves when joined up were to be a state without actually being a state and this is the plan he presented to Bush and everyone knows that but we are beign told by people here it was a state which is utter nonsense.

  47. Imran Khan — on 18th May, 2009 at 6:40 pm  

    Marvin – Memri and its translations have been exposed by many people and the fact is that there are Jews who speak of exactly the same as you describe for Palestinians. So whilst Memri highlights one side they choose not to highligth the other.

    Rab bi Ovieda Yosef has said many nasty things and do you or Memri criticise or expose him?

    Why not?

    Why the one sided bias?

  48. Imran Khan — on 18th May, 2009 at 6:42 pm  

    Also Marvin why are Memri not exposing the fact that Israeli Politicians are saying one thing in Israel and one in Europe and the West which they and you insist just the Palestinians do?

    Memri is a biased and dodgy organisation and everyone with an ounce of sense knows that. Their links to Israel and their positions are well known so hardly a neutral.

  49. Ravi Naik — on 18th May, 2009 at 6:44 pm  

    Whitaker also runs an anti-Israel website called Arab Gateway (http://www.al-bab.com). Among other things, Whitaker’s site has pages about non-Arab minorities in the Middle East, such as Berbers and Kurds – but no page on Jews.

    You mean, something like this, Marvin? ;)

    The “Jewish page” is actually linked in the main page, under “Diversity”. It took me 10 seconds to find it.

  50. marvin — on 18th May, 2009 at 6:48 pm  

    I couldn’t give a fuck if it doesn’t give you a ‘balanced’ approach by trying desperately find the odd rabbi or vicar who speaks as as viciously as the islamic fundamentalist imams about killing innocent people because of their beliefs.

    How many Jewish or Christian terrorist organisations are there? How many people have they killed in the past 10 years?? How many vicars have you heard for the culling of homosexuals, apostates and non-believers???

    What a a lot of shit Imran. Absolute SHIT!

    Hundreds of millions of people across the middle east who live under dictatorships are being constantly fed the most vilest propaganda by state television. Yet you want to bleat about some fucking Rabbi who speaks shit and has no terrorist followers??

  51. Imran Khan — on 18th May, 2009 at 6:51 pm  

    What bullshit Marvin even Jewish Organisations are not as biased as you. Its a fact that the rhgetotic and extremisjm is on both sides which is why they are in the mess they are in. Until people can admit that then they can’t move on and because of people like you it makes it that much more difficult.

  52. marvin — on 18th May, 2009 at 6:53 pm  

    Ravi, the original attack piece in 2002. The response was shortly after, he has a had plenty of time to write that page.

    Under “Country by briefing” Israel does not appear. ‘Palestine’ does.

    What do you think this means???

  53. marvin — on 18th May, 2009 at 6:56 pm  

    So Imran, MEMRI has to scour the earth for recording of insane Rabbis that nobody listens to, in the name of ‘balance’?

    MEMRI is there to translate Arabic broadcastings in to English. Of course they cherry pick. Broadcasting incitement to murder of Jews to your citizens is a lot more pertinent than whether a fucking olive grown near christians is halal or haram.

    Memri is a biased and dodgy organisation and everyone with an ounce of sense knows that.

    I’m sure you ample evidence that they are mistranslating all their articles to make Hamas look bad, right?

  54. Imran Khan — on 18th May, 2009 at 7:03 pm  

    Marvin – you are full of shit and you know it. Memri scours the earth and then mistranslates articles and leading linguists have pointed out.

    Its hysteria generating and you fall for it.

    Sure there is a problem a big problem in the Muslim world but there is also lots of effort at changing this.

    It is people like you who get hysterical about Israel and then won’t admit its significant problems You need a good dose of the new Chief of Staff to get over your issues.

    You come here and ruin every thread with your hysterics.

  55. Imran Khan — on 18th May, 2009 at 7:05 pm  

    Marvin – “Under “Country by briefing” Israel does not appear. ‘Palestine’ does.

    What do you think this means???”

    So obviously you object to Israel running adverts which donot have the occupied territories as occupied but as part of Israel right?

    What does that mean?

    They have one running in London on London Transport now so obviously you’ll object to that right?

    Its the second time they have done it. So do you object to the Israeli Govt Departments doing that?

  56. Ravi Naik — on 18th May, 2009 at 7:05 pm  

    Ravi, the original attack piece in 2002. The response was shortly after, he has a had plenty of time to write that page.

    Oh, 2002? So why did you ask why this site does not have information about Jews? You were clearly referring to the present. Not an event that happened 7 years ago.

    Under “Country by briefing” Israel does not appear. ‘Palestine’ does. What do you think this means???

    It means – brace yourself – that this site is an information portal about Arab nations. According to the site: “Al-Bab aims to introduce non-Arabs to the Arabs and their culture”. Is Israel an Arab nation?

    With that cleared, one mystery remains. Why the hysteria, Marvin?

  57. marvin — on 18th May, 2009 at 7:18 pm  

    Oh, 2002? So why did you ask why this site does not have information about Jews? You were clearly referring to the present. Not an event that happened 7 years ago.

    No Ravi, try reading. I am quoting Tom Gross’ response to Whitakers attack piece on MEMRI. Tom pointed out the man’s an absolute hypocrite and completely biased. That he created a page on Jews afterwards is really neither here nor there; he has to have at least come appearance of credibility of balance if he works for the Grauniad.

    Indeed, Tom Gross’ response is dated August 27, 2002

    Quelle surprise, information regarding Jews as a minority in the Middle East appeared after this was pointed out. It first appeared in October 2002, yet Brian’s website has been around since 1998

    What a slimy toerag. What’s the difference between him and Galloway?

    He completely panders to the prejudices and bigotry prevalent in many Arab countries; yet he’s supposed to be a liberal journalist for a UK newspaper!!! Not only that but one of his missions in life is to attack anybody who points out these vile talking points as simply ‘biased’!

  58. Imran Khan — on 18th May, 2009 at 7:22 pm  

    Oh and Marvin this isn’t the first time the Israeli Government has done this as they did the same in 2008 and were asked to change the advert so having learnt their lesson they did the same again in 2009.

    So pray explain why they then deny the existence of occupied territories and why your girl Mel hasn’t said anything about this abuse of international law?

    Also kindly show me an Israeli Map whcih acknowledges that East Jerusalem is occupied territory, this is the map from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Israel and guess what no East Jerusalem:

    http://www.mfa.gov.il/MFA/Facts+About+Israel/Israel+in+Maps/

    But you don’t complain about that do you?

  59. Chris Baldwin — on 18th May, 2009 at 7:54 pm  

    Well it’s either a two state solution or give the Palestinians Israeli citizenship. If Tel Aviv can’t stomach the latter it will have to embrace the former.

  60. BenSix — on 18th May, 2009 at 8:08 pm  

    Marvin…

    “Sunny, happy as every to shoot the messenger, and give the actual hater a free pass!”

    Inaccurate post or not, Phillips is an “actual hater” if there ever was one; bigoted, and generalising with, it seems from her writing, all the raw compassion of a corpse. She only remains inoffensive because she’s so hilariously funny.

    To consider two recent examples…

    “As Tony Blair said after a visit to Gaza and Sderot:

    ‘I wanted to come to hear for myself first-hand from people in Gaza, whose lives have been so badly impacted by the recent conflict. These are the people who need to be the focus of all our efforts for peace and progress from now on.’

    Note — the people of southern Israel, who have been living in shelters almost continuously, aren’t the real victims of this conflict. That honour goes to those who have been trying to kill them. It is those people who will now be ‘the focus of all our efforts for peace and progress’. And Blair poses as a friend of Israel.”

    So, the “people of Gaza” have all been “trying to kill“. Fascinating.

    http://www.spectator.co.uk/melaniephillips/3406856/liberal-derangement.thtml

    “Almost eighty per cent of American Jews voted for Obama despite the clear and present danger he posed to Israel. They did so because their liberal self-image was and is more important to them than the Jewish state whose existence and security cannot be allowed to jeopardise their standing with America’s elite.

    But the ordinary American people are a different matter. They do value and support Israel. They do understand that if Israel is thrown under that bus, the west is next…”

    She assumes to know the minds of swathes of American Jews, eh? People that she doesn’t rank amongst “ordinary Americans“, indeed. Intriguing.

    http://www.spectator.co.uk/melaniephillips/3590646/obama-prepares-to-throw-israel-under-the-bus.thtml

    “That Brian Whittaker, who wrote the article at the ‘liberal’ Guardian newspaper about MEMRI being terribly wrong and biased, is a real c**t of a hypocrite.”

    It’s rather amusing that just a few posts before you were endorsing the statement that “just because one happens to be in total disagreement with somebody about a few things, it does not therefore follow that they are 100% wrong about everything“. Well, correct that; you were endorsing it as it applied to somebody else.

    Ben

  61. marvin — on 18th May, 2009 at 9:26 pm  

    Indeed there is some conflation here by Mel on the Gazan people and Hamas, she explains

    These governments all piously intone that the money will not end up in the hands of Hamas. This is utterly absurd. Hamas run Gaza. They control it. Nothing happens there without their say-so. UNRWA, which is apparently supposed to distribute the humanitarian aid, is riddled with Hamas operatives amongst its staff; Hamas won more than 80 percent of the vote in the last election for the UNRWA workers association and the UNRWA teachers association.

    To avoid the money going to Hamas, we are told with a straight face, aid is to be funnelled through the Palestinian Authority. But the PA are in the West Bank. They are not in Gaza. Hamas run Gaza. The PA have no more power to stop that money from ending up in the pockets of Hamas than they have of flying to the moon.

    She’s wrong to conflate the the Gazans with Hamas, even if there is (or was) a majority support for Hamas, they are not the same.

  62. Refresh — on 18th May, 2009 at 9:57 pm  

    Marvin, she chooses to conflate. Its not an error, its the intention. The strategy is to generalise.

    The same applies to MEMRI, it is part of the infrastructure. You might notice that very little (if any) effort goes into promoting Israel to its neighbours. And yet Israel mobilises globally to discredit its neighbours and (hopefully) future partners, and MEMRI was set up specifically for this purpose.

    The message is always the same, they are like savages; only we are like you. We are the west, we are you.

    One way or another, the mobilisation will be to bring Obama to heal. It may yet work, and if it does we will all despair and they will be dancing in the streets of Tel aviv, and they will be setting of fireworks in the settlements and maybe chase a few arab shepherds. And if they really are in the mood to celebrate, catch a few sheep.

  63. Andrew Adams — on 18th May, 2009 at 10:20 pm  

    I still think that what Phillips actually says here, is just about OK. It’s obvious (and she means it to be obvious) that when she talks of a ”final solution” she is being melodramatic for effect.

    Probably true, but let’s face it – the absolute last thing we need on this subject is people making melodramatic statements for effect.

  64. imran khan — on 18th May, 2009 at 10:23 pm  

    Marvin – You should go and work at Memri where your selective view of events and presentation would be rights at home. You are more right wing than Israelis, than Jews in the UK and America and even most conservatives.

    Even Republicans have today joined calls for Israel to work with the Obama Administration for peace.

    In your idealistic view of things you fail to realise that by coming to peace Israel is the biggest winner in the region and can rapidly become an Economic superpower in the region.

    Yes there is error but its on both sides, yes their is rhetoric but its on both sides and yes there is racism and its on both sides. Most people including Jews and Muslims can see that. Oh they may be defensive and react in such a way but most of them when you speak to them and really ask them to be honest and objective can see that.

    But you can’t and your protestations are no longer in line with world opinion. The clear answer is that they are both wrong but you’ll die before you’ll ever admit that but then you don’t live with the consequences of your biased support.

    Melanie is whining because people are going away from her policy and Jews are refusing to simply toe the line anymore and with the advent of organisations such as JStreet etc. and with an administration in the USA that wants to push for peace her vision is evaporating and she hates that.

    Possible you do too I don’t know.

    What I do know is that despite the rhetoric even Hamas, Iran etc. will be forced to yield if the parties come to peace, but if they don’t then its Israel and the Palestinians that are the losers and frankly they don’t need people like you stirring up trouble.

    Israel can’t carry on as it is and the Palestinians can’t carry on as they are. Those that support one side blindly are accessories to this madness.

    I know many Jews and Muslims and they are fed up and everytime I speak to them they ask for prayers of peace and they are fed up with their own leaders. Its a shame you aren’t but it highlights your single biggest failing and that is that you can’t see wrong on both sides only one.

    It takes two to tamgo and it takes to hands to clap and it takes two hands to reach together and bring people together. It also takes two hands to fight. Which is the better two hands those of peace or those of war?

  65. imran khan — on 18th May, 2009 at 11:24 pm  

    Katy – “I hope they’re both wrong, but it’s a bit unfair to take what she’s said out of context like that, isn’t it?”

    Why the hysteria and why the need for emmotional statements like the Final Solution which he didn’t say and this is sayng somethig but even Memri didn’t go as far as Melanie so why defend someone who is using and abusing the holocaust for their own agenda?

    Its deliberate and calculated to win support for Israel and its full of the victim mentality which it is so often said needs to be avoided by Muslims by Jewish commentators.

    I’d say that its you who isn’t reading the article fairly. The Ambassador didn’t talk of a Final Solution thats just just Melanie adding her extra bits and it got Marvin going.

    Its hysteria designed to bully people into line and stop any chance of peace. Yes the Palestinian Ambassador went over the top but he isn’t the first or last to do that in a region full of bullshitters.

    Where was Melanie and objective analysis when Lieberman was here and why is it that you react so much to this speech and not his stuff?

    There is a vile and extreme government in the region and each side says its the others as they stand in their own pile of manure and can’t smell the stench or realise that their own is just as bad. Its doesn’t need people to support these stupid stupid people.

    What would it take to make people realise and admit that they are all bad. You know the difference between the politicians here and there?

    Its simply this that here they swindle money there they swindle peace prospects.

    Its about time that you realised what Melanie is doing and its a disservice to your community. The typesetting to confuse people to think he spoke about a final solution which were her own words but designed to invoke holocaust memories. Its just a pathetic lie.

    If the Jewish Community here couldn’t stand up to Lieberamn and indeed the leadership said that they welcome him then don’t complain about other extremists when you won’t about your own.

    The bigger test was last week and the silence was deafening. Now misquoting an idiot to evoke memories of the holocaust is hardly dignified and trying to defend her do it is less so.

    You know she is wrong so blaming the poster who highlighted her over the top nonsense is hardly the way to go.

  66. imran khan — on 18th May, 2009 at 11:28 pm  

    “I still think that what Phillips actually says here, is just about OK. It’s obvious (and she means it to be obvious) that when she talks of a ”final solution” she is being melodramatic for effect.”

    It isn’t obvious and people here were taken in that he said that.

    I can’t believe that people can defend her when she is using tactics that if anyone else used them would be repulsive. Its distasteful and people need to recognise it as such.

  67. imran khan — on 19th May, 2009 at 12:13 am  

    Bananabrain – “i’m not excusing the events that led to the creation of the palestinian refugee problem, but they were a byproduct, not the result of a deliberate policy to murder.”

    You’re excusing the events by making poor excuses for them which are not factually accurate. The policy was to drive people away and the policy was deliberate.

    I suppose Irgun was a peace movement then was it?

    I suppose the bombings and massacres didn’t happen? If they did happen then it was deliberate policy.

    I’ve met relatives of British Mandate Soldiers and they paint a very different picture to what you describe.

    It was this policy of driving out the Arabs that continues to this day that led to the violence that forced Jews to leave the Muslim world.

    As I said to you until you start accepting the injustices done to the other side then progress is limited. As an excuse maker your role is simply going to make the situation worse. Meretz had the courage to educate young Israeli’s about what really happened and you can’t bring yourself to understand the suffering of both sides.

    Are you in denial that Arabs in Israel do not get the same benefits as Jews? Because Israeli government reports accept this and then do nothing.

    The more I read you biased approach to the issues the more I don’t think you are the right person to be doing work to bring together the communities because you will cause more friction with your denial of events and thats just going to cause more problems.

    The simple fact is that both sides did unspeakable things to each other and both wanted to drive each other out. Thats the facts and you are in denial about them.

    Each side wanted to estabish their superiority and that isn’t a defensive things and it involved deliberate violence. Its that simple and that clear. SO take off your rose coloured glasses and see that they both did unspeakable things not one but both.

  68. marvin — on 19th May, 2009 at 7:30 am  

    What a disgrace,MEMRI translate genocide language from state broadcasters in to English and commenters shoot the messenger for not presenting the ‘otherside’ of the story!

  69. Ravi Naik — on 19th May, 2009 at 8:41 am  

    What a disgrace,MEMRI translate genocide language from state broadcasters in to English and commenters shoot the messenger for not presenting the ‘otherside’ of the story

    I have absolutely no problems with MEMRI translation, but people who say that “a final, comprehensive solution” means “genocide”, when the ambassador is actually explicit about what “final” means, and what the comprehensive solutions are (#36) – is at best, pure hysteria, and at worst, demonisation.

    Invoking the Holocaust, Nazism, and so forth is just an old trick, and quite frankly makes me sick when it is used in either side.

  70. bananabrain — on 19th May, 2009 at 10:31 am  

    refresh:

    Bananabrain, I really don’t see what you could detest about Lierberman if you can go on to accept his proposal as reasonable. I know that’s not your word, but that’s what your last para in #27 suggests.

    lieberman is proposing, effectively, population transfer, which is, depending on your attiude, either a way to swap arab-populated land for jewish-populated land, or simply ethnic cleansing by another name. if, as he does, you are committed to maintaining a jewish-majority state (and, bear in mind, he is an ardent secularist and has no interest in the religious status of occupied territories) then this is a way to maintain the desired demographic balance without anyone being forced to move house. now, in his terms and those of his electorate, this is “getting rid of arabs” and i for one find that detestable, despite the fact that it would be bloodless. on the other hand, what this abbas zaki appears to be proposing is removing the jewish population from “all of palestine” (e.g. tel aviv) which could not be done without violence and bloodshed. it may not be much of a distinction to you doctrinaire types, but i think it’s a distinction that’s worth making, even though i do not consider the proposal itself to be reasonable, which i thought i’d made clear. additionally, i find lieberman to be, politically, a thug, i find his electorate to be racist and i find his past association with kach to be shameful and distasteful. additionally, he’s being investigated by the israeli AG for various financial and racketeering charges which i have no doubt are completely well grounded.

    I believe its to imply there is no one to have peace with, all of them really are dreaming of a ‘final solution’ – arabs and muslims. And that is why Israel is the way it is, it cannot afford to sleep with both eyes closed.

    i agree, actually. however (and here’s my nuance again) just because this one guy abbas zaki is dreaming of it it doesn’t therefore mean that there is really nobody to have have peace with and that all arabs and muslims want jews exterminated. that is a faulty generalisation, but i cannot find fault with her specific analysis of what this one PLO official appeared to be implying – unless that is down to translation issues which i cannot comment on. in fact, memri’s headline: “Two-State Solution Will Lead to the Collapse of Israel” appears to be an accurate description of what he said, mel phillips has simply spelt out what that means with her characteristic rhetorical over-egging. it’s a good piece of journalism, but a lousy piece of analysis.

    what on earth is wrong with you, imran? it seems nowadays, that whenever i post, you immediately pounce with a series of essays in which you, pretty much say the following:

    “aha!!! so you are criticising X. will you now go on to condemn this jewish organisation who said Y in periodical Z. will you now condemn this rabbi who said A on radio station B. and what about jonathan sacks who was being reasonable on ‘thought for the day’ only the other morning will you condemn him as well. here is a link to a tendentious analysis of it which only proves my point. in short bananabrain there is silence from you and you are therefore supporting B, C and D positions it is clearly a double standard and you are guilty of hypocracy [sic] and excusing the occupation. when will you stand up and condemn all the jewish organisations on this list i am waving in my hand. eh? eh? eh? also sharon was lying, netanyahu is lying and you clearly love mel phillips even though you say you don’t and you clearly love lieberman and want to give him a big girly kiss on the bottom even though you consistently refer to him as a crooked racist scumbag. it is about time you admitted your faults to all of us and for a so-called interfaith activist you are obviously a big fat smelly liar and go out and build settlements on your day off whilst kicking palestinians in the nuts.”

    it’s getting really old now and you still haven’t learned to spell “hypocrisy” or use question marks. you are sounding more and more hysterical. i have been nothing but reasonable here and instead i get mccarthyite demands for me to make meaningless condemnations of this and that person when it is obvious to anyone with an iota of comprehension what my positions are and insist on attributing opinions to me which i patently do not hold, to wit:

    “Bananabrain – You claim that Lieberman and Bibi want a two state solution”

    “Bananabrain you beloved Lieberman”

    “you are coming here trying to imply he is for a two state solution”

    “See people I told you he’d try and make out that Lieberman wasn’t so bad.”

    “you are here trying to convince people that the most extreme government in Israel’s history is committed to peace”

    “please don’t pretend that with his record Bibi and Lieberman are for a two state solution”

    “its not clear who said what which is bloody shoddy journalism. But hey if it gets people like Marvin and Bananabrain convinced”

    “Bananabrains oft quoted but poorly backed claim that Sharon wanted a two state solution:”

    “The policy was to drive people away and the policy was deliberate.” (precisely – i said it wasn’t to commit murder!)

    i won’t even go into the absolute codswallop you attributed to me on the earlier thread about lieberman. you’re living in some sort of cloud-cuckoo land of Peace Through Revealing Double Standards (another name for “double standards” is partisanship – i am hardly impartial, nor is mel phillips, but my view is not therefore the same as hers on any given subject).

    not only that, but you take the slightest delay in reply as inability to refute your unanswerable logic – well, sorry to burst your bubble, but i do have a life and a job to do and sometimes i’m simply too busy, even had i the inclination to respond to your incessant demands for me to condemn everything jewish you can attribute a quote to. i think this quote sums up your attitude to me, the jewish community and the middle east pretty well:

    For once just admit what everyone here knows that Israel is actually doing

    sorry, imran, but you are really showing prejudice now.

    all i really seem to be guilty of here is *nuance* – i do apologise if that offends you but you have absolutely no right to sit in judgement on my views or actions, when all you do is you sit here and carp incessantly without any real knowledge about how the jewish community works, how the religion functions or how the israeli political system functions, nor the complexity which governs how these things actually relate, in your rush to find something new/old to condemn. this sort of jejune debate belongs in the student union and i refuse to get sucked into it.

    ravi:

    people who say that “a final, comprehensive solution” means “genocide”, when the ambassador is actually explicit about what “final” means, and what the comprehensive solutions are (#36) – is at best, pure hysteria, and at worst, demonisation.

    as i’ve said before, if you think that as abbas zaki wishes, that “Allah willing…drive them out of all of Palestine” can be achieved WITHOUT bloodshed and genocide, then, yes, it’s quite different. i await your insight as to exactly what method his aim could be achieved by and how it could be distinguished from a “final solution” as mel phillips (and, in this case, myself) understand it.

    b’shalom

    bananabrain

  71. Refresh — on 19th May, 2009 at 10:32 am  

    Marvin, I have every problem with MEMRI. I have a problem with its very reason for existence. I have a problem with its resources; I have a problem with its access to the media.

    If there is to be peace, then I would put MEMRI on the list for dissolution.

    You got a problem with that Marvin?

  72. bananabrain — on 19th May, 2009 at 10:36 am  

    refresh: do you have the same problem with press tv (advertising on the tube this morning as “news for the underdog”) and al-manar? how about the state broadcasters in arab dictatorships?

    b’shalom

    bananabrain

  73. chairwoman — on 19th May, 2009 at 10:40 am  

    “I have absolutely no problems with MEMRI translation, but people who say that “a final, comprehensive solution” means “genocide”, when the ambassador is actually explicit about what “final” means, and what the comprehensive solutions are (#36) – is at best, pure hysteria, and at worst, demonisation.”

    I beg your pardon?

    Did you actually read what the ambassador said, Ravi?

    Your comment reminds me of a “Far Side” cartoon which I enjoy that was entitled something along the lines of “What we say and what dogs hear”. The illustration showed a chap having a long conversation with his dog in which the dog’s name appeared a few times. The dog, however, hears something along the lines of “&**$% Fluffy, :’£^&% ()?:@#, Fluffy, “£$%^&>:(“.

    You appear to have heard “$%^&£*( $%&?@~ Israel ‘#+_)*&^% ^%$3@:? Jerusalem “£%&*>@~”.

    I am not sure whether this makes me more sad, more dismayed, or just more blanking angry!

  74. Refresh — on 19th May, 2009 at 11:01 am  

    Bananabrain,

    I think you might be verging on whataboutery. But you do accept MEMRIs sole purpose is to show the Arabs in a poor light don’t you? So that Israelis can be whiter than white?

    Never seen Press TV, al Manar or whatever. No doubt they will have their agenda too.

  75. Ravi Naik — on 19th May, 2009 at 11:02 am  

    if you think that as abbas zaki wishes, that “Allah willing…drive them out of all of Palestine” can be achieved WITHOUT bloodshed and genocide, then, yes, it’s quite different. i await your insight as to exactly what method his aim could be achieved

    He actually says how he wishes to achieve this – by a two-state solution where Jews give up Jerusalem, which according to him, will collapse the Zionist ideology because of the importance of that city. He explicitly talks about Jews leaving their land. He explicitly says that there should be no truce unless Israel goes back to its 1967 borders. You ignore all of this in order to justify your ridiculous assertion that Abbas wants genocide. He clearly is disillusional, but I see no evidence that he wishes to do what Hitler did in concentration camps.

    I asked you before why someone who wants genocide and bloodshed as a “final solution” would even contemplate a two-state solution as a starting point. You said you have no clue. And to me that’s the only sensible thing you have said in this thread.

  76. Ravi Naik — on 19th May, 2009 at 11:09 am  

    I am not sure whether this makes me more sad, more dismayed, or just more blanking angry!

    The “Far Side” cartoons usually make me smile.

    #75 -> disillusional -> delusional

  77. Ravi Naik — on 19th May, 2009 at 11:30 am  

    What an eye-opener Sunny’s post has been.

    How easy it is to take people out of context.

    a) Take two words which are not even directly connected, and make it a genocidal plan, even though enough context has been provided to the intent of either word.
    b) Translate an attempt to recover occupied land as further evidence of intent to commit genocide.

    One wonders why this problem is intractable, when each side is prepared to think the absolute worst of the other side.

  78. Shamit — on 19th May, 2009 at 11:37 am  

    Ravi

    Excellent points at 77.

    The narratives are so stuck in the minds of each side that few thousand miles away people debate this issue with preconceived notions of how evil the other side is.

    Blaming children for their father`s sin has never resolved anything — maybe before people open their mouth they ought to think a bit about how Nelson Mandela united South Africa. While not all of us can become Mandela maybe we could learn a few things from them.

    n the Israel – Palestine Issue this blog has always tended to promote acrimony than a solution.

  79. bananabrain — on 19th May, 2009 at 11:44 am  

    ravi:

    He actually says how he wishes to achieve this – by a two-state solution where Jews give up Jerusalem, which according to him, will collapse the Zionist ideology because of the importance of that city.

    not at all. when zionism was conceived as a modern political movement jerusalem was not in jewish hands. and its importance to judaism (as opposed to zionism) will remain regardless. there are also numerous zionist parties who support the repartitioning of jerusalem so arabs get east jerusalem. so it is unclear how that will “collapse” israel. as a matter of fact, there was a plan for shared sovereignty on the table at the barak-arafat talks which (i heard it from one of the people involved) was all but agreed on. it wasn’t jerusalem, but the right of return that torpedoed the talks.

    He explicitly talks about Jews leaving their land. He explicitly says that there should be no truce unless Israel goes back to its 1967 borders.

    he talks about “ALL OF PALESTINE”. i explained what that means – it does NOT mean the 1967 borders, ravi. this is the doublespeak you are not hearing. i made you aware of it in an earlier post and you’re ignoring it.

    You ignore all of this in order to justify your ridiculous assertion that Abbas wants genocide. He clearly is disillusional, but I see no evidence that he wishes to do what Hitler did in concentration camps.

    excuse me, but genocide does not require concentration camps. it requires a systematic effort to exterminate a group of people. i have asked you several times how israelis can be removed from “ALL OF PALESTINE” without bloodshed – and the answer is that it is impossible, not without bloodshed, but without genocide.

    I asked you before why someone who wants genocide and bloodshed as a “final solution” would even contemplate a two-state solution as a starting point. You said you have no clue.

    no, i said nothing of the sort. why are you saying i said something i didn’t say? i said:

    if you think that as abbas zaki wishes, that “Allah willing…drive them out of all of Palestine” can be achieved WITHOUT bloodshed and genocide, then, yes, it’s quite different. i await your insight as to exactly what method his aim could be achieved by and how it could be distinguished from a “final solution” as mel phillips (and, in this case, myself) understand it.

    refresh:

    I think you might be verging on whataboutery. But you do accept MEMRIs sole purpose is to show the Arabs in a poor light don’t you? So that Israelis can be whiter than white?

    look, you said getting rid of MEMRI (which nobody is disputing, exists for the purpose of translating what people and organisations say about the middle east IN ARABIC for the benefit of arabic- and farsi-speaking domestic audiences, in order to compare with what the same people and organisations say about the same subjects IN ENGLISH for the benefit of non-arabic-or-farsi-speaking foreign audiences. historically – and arafat is the prime exemplar here – they have been quite different; an olive branch in one hand and a gun in the other. if the arabs and iranians say the same thing to all audiences, they have no reason to be seen in a poor light. by the same token, israeli officials’ every utterance is translated and deconstructed on the mainstream channels, whether it’s in english or hebrew; the free press in israel and internationally does the job of MEMRI, as it were, for non-hebrew-speaking audiences. as there is not a similar free press in the arab and farsi-speaking world to do that, MEMRI exists. obviously there is a political point to be made, but i would consider that it is no different from the political point to be made by, say, the guardian, or the egyptian-controlled al-ahram.

    Never seen Press TV, al Manar or whatever. No doubt they will have their agenda too.

    press tv is run by the iranians (not a word about that in the tube adverts) al-manar is run by hizbollah (in other words, also the iranians). you brought it up – i’m simply pointing out that getting rid of MEMRI is not going to solve the issue of translation spin on its ownsome.

    b’shalom

    bananabrain

  80. munir — on 19th May, 2009 at 12:03 pm  

    I love the notion that because she has latched onto this quote somehow Mel Phillips ISNT a rabid loony tune and is in fact a resonable person

    By the way does anyone have the original quote ?.Who translated it. Why did they leave the word Allah (an Arabic word) untranslated rather than using the English equivalent God? Seems pretty obvious they have an agenda.

  81. justforfun — on 19th May, 2009 at 12:09 pm  
  82. munir — on 19th May, 2009 at 12:10 pm  

    BTW the full interview is here (translated by MEMRI so caveat emptor)
    http://www.memri.org/bin/latestnews.cgi?ID=SD235809

    Mad Mel has distorted even the MEMRI translation

    And what does she and the Israel apologists say about the Israeli minister who threatned the Palestinians with a “shoah” ?

  83. Ravi Naik — on 19th May, 2009 at 12:14 pm  

    excuse me, but genocide does not require concentration camps. it requires a systematic effort to exterminate a group of people. i have asked you several times how israelis can be removed from “ALL OF PALESTINE” without bloodshed – and the answer is that it is impossible, not without bloodshed, but without genocide.

    My interpretation is that according to Abbas, it was Zionism that led to the creation of Israel and the occupation of Palestinian territories, hence… the collapse of the Zionist ideology, would put Israelis in a weaker position, which could lead to leaving the country voluntary or forcibly as in 1948 (if ALL Palestine meant to him Israel as well, even though he mentioned 1967 borders explicitly in the video transcript, which does not appear in Mel’s quote). As I said, I do find him delusional, but there is no evidence of genocidal tendencies.

    In any case, the final solution led to genocide at a scale never seen – if you now say that “genocide” may not be applicable, then the comparison is not real fair – that was the point of this thread.

  84. munir — on 19th May, 2009 at 12:19 pm  

    bananabrain

    “look, you said getting rid of MEMRI (which nobody is disputing, exists for the purpose of translating what people and organisations say about the middle east IN ARABIC for the benefit of arabic- and farsi-speaking domestic audiences, in order to compare with what the same people and organisations say about the same subjects IN ENGLISH for the benefit of non-arabic-or-farsi-speaking foreign audiences. historically – and arafat is the prime exemplar here – they have been quite different; an olive branch in one hand and a gun in the other. if the arabs and iranians say the same thing to all audiences, they have no reason to be seen
    in a poor light. ”

    I love this idea that MEMRI are just some innocent public service simply relaying what is said.
    Anyone who watches their clips sees how they fade out or cut so the full point that is being said is obscured.
    There most famous clip was by Muslim hater (and advocate of Genocide) Wafa Sultan – yet they “forgot” to include the whole transcript where her points were refuted (they said because of time LOL)

    http://www.aqoul.com/archives/2006/03/aljazeera_trans.php

    Many zionists leaped on Arafats comments about “a jihad to capture Jerusalem” – but anyone who knows Arabic knows the word is used in numerous ways to denote struggle or effort and isnt exclusive to military fighting (much as crusade is used in English)

    Either MEMRI dont know this and dont understand the context or they do and are lying. Either way they have been proven time and time again to be totally unrelaible.

  85. munir — on 19th May, 2009 at 12:21 pm  

    BTW why dont MEMRI ever do Hebrew translations of things Rabbis have said?

    Its funny to call yourself Middle East Media Research Institute then leave out Israel. If they themselves dont believe Israel belongs in the Middle East why do they demand others recognise it?

  86. Shamit — on 19th May, 2009 at 12:23 pm  

    hmmm..what was the reaction to Bush`s use of the word crusade after 9-11 in the Muslim world.

  87. Refresh — on 19th May, 2009 at 12:24 pm  

    Bananabrain, give me credit. MEMRI wasn’t exactly clear about the fact that they were a psyop. It was exposed much later. Long after lazy western journalists became hooked on using their output as the basis of their stories.

  88. marvin — on 19th May, 2009 at 12:24 pm  

    Either way they have been proven time and time again to be totally unrelaible.

    Of course you have ample evidence that they are ‘unreliable’.

    Please provide this.

  89. Refresh — on 19th May, 2009 at 12:28 pm  

    Shamit

    ‘hmmm..what was the reaction to Bush`s use of the word crusade after 9-11 in the Muslim world.’

    The correct one. It wasn’t exactly Bush calling for a crusade against malaria or smoking.

  90. Shamit — on 19th May, 2009 at 12:40 pm  

    Refresh -

    I think Bush was talking about a crusade against Taliban, Al-Qaeda and their likes — but it was the wrong word to choose. Even though the President of the United States went to a mosque and said that the perpetrators of 9-11 were not representative of Islam and Islam is a great religion.

    My point at 88 was about Munir`s comments about Arafat`s jihad statement at 84.

    If you oppose the statement by Bush and feel aggrieved I am sure one could understand why some Jewish people would find the Arafat statement offensive.

    I am not picking sides — I just think there is enough hypocrisy to go around.

    I am not going to play this stupid game where no one is interested in finding a solution but how best one can dig up history and blame the other side who are of course evil.

  91. Imran Khan — on 19th May, 2009 at 1:09 pm  

    Bananabrain – “on the other hand, what this abbas zaki appears to be proposing is removing the jewish population from “all of palestine” (e.g. tel aviv) which could not be done without violence and bloodshed.”

    Can I ask you a very simple question – have you actually even bothered to read what he said in clear English without your Israel Bias?

    It is quite clear you haven’t and again are getting hysterical and not understanding what is before your eyes. Its the same nonsense as when you claimed Iran was developing nuclear weapons when in fact they don’t even have the right type of nuclear fuel for a weapon.

    Listen let me make this easy for you – he didn’t propose any such thing as removing Jewish People from anywhere. What he said was that the Zionist adventure will self-implode if Jews have to leave the areas that Zionism has made so important. Then it becomes apparent to Jews that the whole ideal wasn’t worthwhile and many will leave of their own accord.

    Tell me if you read the actual text where does he talk of killing Jews? He doesn’t he is talking about the need for a permanent solution with Israel at the start and not an ongoing truce. He said that Israel uses ongoing truces to expand its settlement building thereby taking more land.

    Then at the end he discusses Zionism and he says:
    “”With the two-state solution, in my opinion, Israel will collapse, because if they get out of Jerusalem, what will become of all the talk about the Promised Land and the Chosen People? What will become of all the sacrifices they made – just to be told to leave? They consider Jerusalem to have a spiritual status. The Jews consider Judea and Samaria to be their historic dream. If the Jews leave those places, the Zionist idea will begin to collapse. It will regress of its own accord. Then we will move forward.” ”

    So tell me where does this say anything about the bloodshed? It doesn’t say any such thing except as part of your immagination which you keep pushing. Its Lieberman and Bibi’s and Israel’s approach that is leading to bloodshed but again you are in denail about the consequences of the policy.

    What Abbas Zaki said was in relation to the end of the dream of Zionism if Israel has to make true peace and how that will disillusion people and they will leave.

    He did not say anything about violence, bloodshed etc. which is yours and Melanie’s twist on things.

    You see if you read the english its quite clear:

    “If the Jews leave those places, the Zionist idea will begin to collapse. It will regress of its own accord.”

    If the Jews leave the West Bank and East Jerusalem then in his opinion the Zionist dream will collapse.

    So tell me how the disillusionment of some Jews and their leaving Israel is part of a call for bloodshed when he says quite clearly that peace is the final solution and he said that at the start.

    I think you should apologise for twisting so grotesquely what was said. It is quite appaling.

  92. Refresh — on 19th May, 2009 at 1:35 pm  

    I think what Abbas has actually said makes for a very interesting analysis. Its suggests to me, if the analysis is appropriate, that Zionist Israel has serious political problems.

    Jews have always been part of the region. Zionist ideology hasn’t.

  93. munir — on 19th May, 2009 at 3:04 pm  

    Shamit
    “hmmm..what was the reaction to Bush`s use of the word crusade after 9-11 in the Muslim world.”

    Quite. As English speakers we know that the word “Crusade” is used in a general way to mean fighting (another word used in a general way) for a good cause. Id be the last person to defend Bush but I dont believe for a minute he meant that he wanted to kill all Muslims or force then to become Christians. The people who took umbrage in the Muslim world were those who dont understand English.

    Likewise those in the west who dont understand that Jihad is in Arabic for other than fighting (it is used numerous times in the Quran with this meaning)
    made a fuss about Arafats comment.

    And generalising about 1.4 billion people is simply idiotic

  94. Ravi Naik — on 19th May, 2009 at 3:20 pm  

    Id be the last person to defend Bush but I dont believe for a minute he meant that he wanted to kill all Muslims or force then to become Christians.

    Shamit made a good point to bring this up. I do not think Bush meant to use crusade as it was interpreted, as it would obviously alienate his Muslim allies. I am not even sure he understood what the crusades were when he said it, no doubt he was briefed soon after.

    However, he was certainly surrounded by religious nutjobs. I find this quite alarming.

  95. munir — on 19th May, 2009 at 3:22 pm  

    marvin
    “Of course you have ample evidence that they are ‘unreliable’.

    How able the evidence of my own eyes and ears- I mean seriously Marvin have you ever seen MEMRI clips? Ever notice how they abruptly cut off what someone is saying mid sentence or fade out without letting them finish.

    I could do the same with your quote above -ignore what follows and give a meaning different from what you really meant, imply you approve of what i say.

    “Please provide this.”

    I already provided it with the Wafa Sultan link above. Arent too attentive are we Marv?

    Are you seriously suggesting MEMRI dont cherry pick clips which make Arabs and Muslims look as bad as possible?

    Do you think an ex Israel colonel is really an unbiased filter of news from the Muslim world? Would you accept news from Israel filtered entirely from an ex Palestinian soldier?

    But I am talking to a diehard zionist who is blinded by anti-Muslim animus; so much that he opposes a person being appointed head of religion for no other reason than he is Muslim

    I wonder what you would call a media source comprised entirely of clips of Jewish people saying outragous things. MEMRI is Der Strumer lite.

    If you want more concrete evidence

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/elsewhere/journalist/story/0,7792,773258,00.html

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2007/may/15/arabicunderfire

    Mistranslations
    http://www.richardsilverstein.com/tikun_olam/2007/05/16/memris-fabricated-mickey-mouse-hamas-story-and-how-it-suckered-the-msm/

    http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article16218.htm

    http://www.mideastyouth.com/2007/05/28/how-memri-fooled-the-us-media-with-its-mickey-mouse-translation/

    “Several of Manji’s claims about the Arab world are based on articles translated by the nonprofit organization Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI), which was founded by Col. Yigal Carmon, a twenty-two-year veteran of military intelligence in Israel with the goal of exploring the Middle East “through the region’s media.” MEMRI focuses on the following areas: Egypt, Iraq, Iran, Jordan, Palestine, Persian Gulf, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Lebanon and Turkey. There are three general observations that can be made about MEMRI’s work. One is that it consistently picks the most violent, hateful rubbish it can find, translates it and distributes it in e-mail newsletters to media and members of Congress in Washington. The second is that MEMRI does not translate comparable articles published in Israel, although the country is not only a part of the Middle East but an active party to some of its most searing conflicts. For instance, when the right-wing Israeli politician Effi Eitam referred to Israel’s Palestinian citizens as a “cancer,” MEMRI did not pick up this story. The third is that this organization is now the main source of media articles on the region of Islam, a far greater and far more diverse whole than the individual countries it lists. The reliance on MEMRI highlights Manji’s lack of direct, unmediated exposure to the news media of the area about which she e
    xpresses such fierce convictions. ”

    http://www.thenation.com/doc/20060619/lalami/single?rel=nofollow

  96. Shamit — on 19th May, 2009 at 3:22 pm  

    Munir

    I agree

  97. munir — on 19th May, 2009 at 3:25 pm  

    marvin
    “Of course you have ample evidence that they are ‘unreliable’.

    How able the evidence of my own eyes and ears- I mean seriously Marvin have you ever seen MEMRI clips? Ever notice how they abruptly cut off what someone is saying mid sentence or fade out without letting them finish.

    I could do the same with your quote above -ignore what follows and give a meaning different from what you really meant, imply you approve of what i say.

    “Please provide this.”

    I already provided it with the Wafa Sultan link above. Arent too attentive are we Marv?

    Are you seriously suggesting MEMRI dont cherry pick clips which make Arabs and Muslims look as bad as possible?

    Do you think an ex Israel colonel is really an unbiased filter of news from the Muslim world?

    But I am talking to a diehard zionist who is blinded by anti-Muslim animus; so much that he opposes a person being appointed head of religion for no other reason than he is Muslim

    I wonder what you would call a media source comprised entirely of clips of Jewish people saying outragous things. MEMRI is Der Strumer lite.

    If you want more concrete evidence

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/elsewhere/journalist/story/0,7792,773258,00.html

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2007/may/15/arabicunderfire

    Mistranslations
    http://www.richardsilverstein.com/tikun_olam/2007/05/16/memris-fabricated-mickey-mouse-hamas-story-and-how-it-suckered-the-msm/

    http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article16218.htm

    http://www.mideastyouth.com/2007/05/28/how-memri-fooled-the-us-media-with-its-mickey-mouse-translation/

    “Several of Manji’s claims about the Arab world are based on articles translated by the nonprofit organization Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI), which was founded by Col. Yigal Carmon, a twenty-two-year veteran of military intelligence in Israel with the goal of exploring the Middle East “through the region’s media.” MEMRI focuses on the following areas: Egypt, Iraq, Iran, Jordan, Palestine, Persian Gulf, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Lebanon and Turkey. There are three general observations that can be made about MEMRI’s work. One is that it consistently picks the most violent, hateful rubbish it can find, translates it and distributes it in e-mail newsletters to media and members of Congress in Washington. The second is that MEMRI does not translate comparable articles published in Israel, although the country is not only a part of the Middle East but an active party to some of its most searing conflicts. For instance, when the right-wing Israeli politician Effi Eitam referred to Israel’s Palestinian citizens as a “cancer,” MEMRI did not pick up this story. The third is that this organization is now the main source of media articles on the region of Islam, a far greater and far more diverse whole than the individual countries it lists. The reliance on MEMRI highlights Manji’s lack of direct, unmediated exposure to the news media of the area about which she e
    xpresses such fierce convictions. ”

    http://www.thenation.com/doc/20060619/lalami/single?rel=nofollow

  98. marvin — on 19th May, 2009 at 4:07 pm  

    Munir

    1 & 2

    We’ve already established that Brian Whitaker is a biased c*nt who’s on par with George Galloway for his slimy toegragness. se #57

    3.

    According to Memri, the child replies: “We will annihilate the Jews.”

    The sound quality on the clip is not very good, but I have listened to it several times (as have a number of native Arabic speakers) and we can hear no word that might correspond to “annihilate”.

    What the girl seems to say is: “Bitokhoona al-yahood” – “The Jews will shoot us” or “The Jews are shooting us.”

    This is followed by further prompting – “We are going to defend al-Aqsa with our souls and blood, or are we not?”

    Again, the girl’s reply is not very clear, but it’s either: “I’ll become a martyr” or “We’ll become martyrs.”

    Fuck me Munir, what a massive difference! The child was talking about picking strawberries and MEMRI turned it in to a Jew hate fest! And who is this twat? Never heard of him before.

    4. You quote Information Clearing House, a left wing extremist conspiracy site. Nice source! Yes we know the far leftists and islamists such as yourself love the Iranian president for his straight talking. He holds holocaust ‘revisionist’ conferences. The guys not far from a fucking nazi, and you and other assorted loons go out of their way to defend him!!!!

    5. Fuck munir, you have picked up EXACTLY the same SINGLE apparent mistranslation

    Sanable actually said “The Jews are shooting us” which is entirely different word and different meaning and which makes me wonder as to where in the world the words “we will annihilate the
    Jews come from.”

    So Munir, in conclusion, you ‘ample’ evidence is ridiculously laughable.

    You have come up with websites nobody has ever heard of and they come up with the same mistranslation, Farfour said “The jews are shooting us” not “the jews will anihlate us”.

    MEMRI do a fantastic job of exposing some of the most vile things in the Arab world today.

    Again, where is the ample evidence of widespread mistranslation? You have ONE item which is concurred by two different sources. For arguments sake, let’s assume this one item is mistranslated? Where are the thousands of other rebuttals???

  99. Refresh — on 19th May, 2009 at 4:18 pm  

    Marvin, I think you are in need of an oil change.

  100. chairwoman — on 19th May, 2009 at 4:59 pm  

    “Shamit made a good point to bring this up. I do not think Bush meant to use crusade as it was interpreted, as it would obviously alienate his Muslim allies. I am not even sure he understood what the crusades were when he said it, no doubt he was briefed soon after.”

    I think it’s reasonable to assume that “crusade” is rarely used in a literal sense these days.

    It’s an extremely long time since a Pope called upon his vassals, the Catholic kings to form armies and march through Europe to the Holy Land, raping, pillaging and murdering en route.

    There was damn little converting, and when they arrived in Constantinople, the European armies didn’t realise that the locals rushing out to greet them as allies were Christians, assumed by their appearance that they were Muslims, and put them to the sword too.

    These days, English speaking people of all faiths have crusades against all sorts of things, disease and poverty being prominent, no real crusading ever takes place, for which I personally am exceedingly grateful

  101. chairwoman — on 19th May, 2009 at 5:01 pm  

    “Marvin, I think you are in need of an oil change.”

    Gentlemen, I am afraid that comment applies to too many of you! :)

  102. Refresh — on 19th May, 2009 at 5:22 pm  

    ‘Gentlemen, I am afraid that comment applies to too many of you!’

    None more than the paranoid android. ;)

  103. Imran Khan — on 19th May, 2009 at 5:26 pm  

    Chairwoman – “Gentlemen, I am afraid that comment applies to too many of you!”

    Oh come on exposing the biased way that comments are distorted is hardly the same as flying off the handle at hysterical translations.

    Show me where the Palestinian Ambassador said anything about killing Jews as a Final Solution in that particular speech. Noone has done it yet and the whatabouttery is amazing. You know he didn’t say it and you joined the chorus at the start as well.

    The whole context is so clear and the distortion and hysteria that Mel inteneded is also clear.

    The Palestinian Ambassador may have said many stupid things in the past obut in that speech he spoke of the need for a settlement and how Zionism may fail if a settlement is reached. He didn’t call for a Final Solution involving bloodshed. So the oil change is needed by all those that implied he did.

  104. Imran Khan — on 19th May, 2009 at 5:46 pm  

    Chairwoman – “You dismiss the words of the Palestinian Ambassador because his speech is quoted by Melanie Philips.

    Why does his speech make her an hysterical windbag?”

    You talk of the need for us to have an oil change and sadly with regards to issues of Israel I’d say the same applies to you when you take Mel’s side.

    She is a hysterical windbag because she is invoking images of the Holocaust to smear what the Ambassador said when he did not invoke the Holocaust, did not call for violence and did not call for Jews to be driven out of Israel.

    She is playing the victim card to bully people into opposing peace.

    Your goodself and Bananabrain have yet to illustrate where in that speech which Mel is hyperventialting about he called for bloodshed or anything other than a settlement. So if you have the evidence the please produce. The fact that Mel couldn’t even quote Meri correctly says somethign about spin and the fact she couldn’t use quotes to clearly highlight where his words end and hers begin in shameful.

    The fact that the words Final Solution are hers to invoke images of Holocaust in an attempt to lead the readers and boy were you led to where she wanted to go.

    The fact is that amidst all the whatabouttery of the actual text talks of the collapse of Zionism, not Jews, not Judaism, not bloodshed, not holocaust.

    On that point you can answer and refute but all the smears of what else he said are just that smears.

    The Oil Change is needed on the Pro-Israeli side to stop smearing all speeches with meanings they don’t have.

  105. Imran Khan — on 19th May, 2009 at 6:42 pm  

    Oh and Bananabrain lets just expose the Israel Taqqia on the need for “natural growth” for settlements which you have said you oppose but the reason for this expose is because you claim incorrectly that Lieberman’s approach won’t lead to bloodshed but a speech on Zionism from the Palestinian Ambassador will.

    So Israel for years has hidden behind natural growth and its needs in this area. Well now Bibi in the USA refused to utter the words two states and he refused to give way on “natural growth” for settlements which is double speaking taqqia for land grab which according to your logic won’t lead to bloodshed.

    This Israeli Doublespeak Taqqia regarding the need for settlement land grabbing is exposed by the fact that:

    “21st Century Israel has a severe ‘population squeeze’. 93% of all Israelis are squeezed into a mere 40% of the available and undisputed land.”
    http://www.jnf.co.uk/campaigns/the-jnf-negev-challenge

    So even the JNF admit that Israel has an availability of 60% of the land which is undisputed. Now there are no doubt there are challenges but Israel has plenty land to settle settlers in its own land so by grabbing more Palestinian Land in the West Bank how can you claim it isn’t a policy that will lead to bloodshed and how can you claim that Israel isn’t deliberatly uprooting Arabs?

    You biggest land owner has said that much of the countries undisputed land is available and your beloved Sharon ensured that he woudl keep stolen land in the West Bank so isn’t that a sign of a deliberate policy sown over decades?

    Why can’t the billions poured into settlements whuch involve land theft be used to settle the remaining 60% of unused land Israel has?

    That is a sign of the double speak which is being supported on a daily basis by a refusal to criticise and it leads to bloodshed and it is a deliberate policy to strave the Palestinians out. Thats a Final Solution but not the one Mel wants you to discuss.

  106. Imran Khan — on 19th May, 2009 at 7:08 pm  

    Oh and here’s another Final Solution from Israel that Mel and Memri won’t critise:

    Jerusalem mayor ‘stepping up demolitions’
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/middle_east/8057759.stm

    So who from the Defenders of Mel will now criticise this Final Solution?

    Will the Board of Deputies critise this? Will the Chief Rabbi as a staunch defender of Israel say this isn’t part of Judaism because by staying quiet is he also complict in implying it is?

    Is this a solution to end or provoke bloodshed?

  107. Refresh — on 19th May, 2009 at 7:08 pm  

    Marvin, I think you need to be convinced about the oil change. So lets begin with your
    ‘We’ve already established that Brian Whitaker is a biased c*nt who’s on par with George Galloway for his slimy toegragness. se #57′

    Do you want to explain yourself with regards both gentlemen? And then your intemperate language. Do not presume your #57 supported any of your own assertions.

  108. chairwoman — on 20th May, 2009 at 9:09 am  

    I am sick to death of being criticised for supporting Zionism.

    Of course I support Zionism, that’s because I know what it means. It means a Jewish state. That is the same, for example, as the United Kingdom being a Christian state.

    Now before you all start flinging your arms about, I had a quick look at Wikipedia.

    The following countries all call themselves “Islamic Republics”:

    Iran
    Pakistan
    Afghanistan
    Mauritania

    There may be more, I don’t know.

    And these countries

    Algeria
    Azerbaijan
    Malaysia
    Tunisia
    Turkey
    Turkmenistan
    Western Sahara

    All have Islamic symbols on their national flag.

    Indonesia, Syria, Egypt, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Libya, Iraq and many more are all proud to acknowledge themselves as Islamic nations.

    I can’t see any difference between Zionism and Islamism except that there’s a whole lot more of one than the other.

    Perhaps changing the name to The Jewish Republic of Israel would be more acceptable.

    Rant away, chaps.

    Tell me how it’s different when it’s Jews wanting their own country. Tell me once again how Jews “stole” all the land, even the land that was purchased by them over 100 years ago, and the land that has always been occupied by Jews. This happened 61 years ago, you think we shouldn’t mention the holocaust? Fine, then why are you still going on about the formation of Israel? Why doesn’t everybody on both sides just bite the bullet, recognise each other, and get on with their lives, so that we all, in our various diasporas can get on with ours. There’s a crisis in this country, the one we all live in, or hasn’t anyone else noticed.

    I won’t be replying. I might not even be reading, but I know how you all love the sight of your own words.

  109. Rumbold — on 20th May, 2009 at 9:11 am  

    Without wishing to get too bogged down in semantics, the terms ‘crusades’ and ‘crusader’ was never used until the 19th century, as a way of designating what happened.

  110. sonia — on 20th May, 2009 at 9:20 am  

    Why do you guys give so much about what ‘mad’ mel says if you do all think she is ‘mad’?

    Really I’m not sure what this thread is offering in the way of interesting discussion- it’s just a re-hash of the usual

  111. Ravi Naik — on 20th May, 2009 at 9:51 am  

    Why do you guys give so much about what ‘mad’ mel says if you do all think she is ‘mad’?

    It’s not about Mad Mel, she just exemplifies the paranoia and the hysteria that keeps this problem from being solved. I can’t believe that some here seem to tolerate how she cleverly equated the “two-state” solution as genocide, and then say that’s what Americans and British want. And then criticise Sunny for taking her out of context? Unbelievable.

    I for one, think this thread has been an eye opener.

  112. Imran Khan — on 20th May, 2009 at 9:58 am  

    Chairwoman – your rant is whatabouterrty. This isn’t about your support of Zionism or Israel as a homeland for Jews. Its about how the Ambassador’s words were twisted by Melanie to invoke Holocaust imagery.

    Its that simple and the fact that you supported her without reading what he said.

    The point he made about Zionism was simply he felt it would implode and leaves Jews disillusioned if they gave up the West Bank and East Jerusalem as part of a settlement with the Palestinians.

    Here he has been accused by whatabouttery of calling for bloodshed. Its nonsense.

    You may disagree that coming to peace will not make you disillusioned with regards to Zionism but thats disagreeing with his theory.

    Thats the point that his speech has been distorted to fulfill an agenda.

    The other responses in regards to Israel’s actions were because Bananabrain claimed again incorrectly that Israel’s actions avoid bloodshed and the Ambassadors speech is calling for bloodshed which as has been shown is nonsense.

    If you can prove that the Ambassador called for bloodshed which is a hell of a reach from his statement about disillusioned zionists leaving then show the evidence.

    Have you read how the speech has been twisted to imply it is saying something else and I fail to see how you can support Melanie in such distrotions?

  113. Katy Newton — on 20th May, 2009 at 10:02 am  

    Melanie Phillips is clearly against a two-state solution, full stop, because she is insane. It’s unfortunate that what the bloke from Fatah said played into her hands. But with respect, it’s a bit naive to expect the phrase “drive them out of Palestine” not to ruffle Jewish feathers, isn’t it? That’s going considerably further than “oh, the Jews will give up on Zionism once they’ve lost Jerusalem”, in my opinion.

  114. sonia — on 20th May, 2009 at 10:04 am  

    And yes – the underlying real problem as Chairwoman points to – is that how nation-states have formed is all higgledy piggledy and very much a product of its time and how ‘successful’ they have been depend on a complex interaction- between the interested parties, the outside ‘interested’ parties, who’s got more military support, whether the ‘losers’ make a fuss, or for how long. And who takes up ‘their’ cause. and who goes around making them look ‘bad’.

    Most of “us” – Cultural groups that is – who have #secured# #our own# nation-states – have thrown out ‘losers’ – who were contesting our claim. Or are keeping them as stateless refugees still (e.g. Biharis in Bangladesh). All our ancestors were up to the same trick. But the Palestinians – the losers of the land in this case – don’t want to let go – is that a good thing for them-pride and ego? over life? should they just ‘go’ somewhere else – like the Circassians did? Like so many other people in history did? Are we sticking up for the Palestinians as symbolic gesture for all Displaced Peoples? Because their story is being played out in front of our eyes? Or just because we like the ‘underdog’? But every group has been at one time or another – the underdog and the Oppressor. Or do we support them on the basis of these so-called claims to the ‘Holy Land’? Does everyone really need to be in this so-called Holy Land? Just because one lot won’t give up, neither will anyone else, that’s the problem there, and I frankly can’t see any solution, if only because these threads on PP are a simple indicator that no one wants to budge.

    Israel and Palestine seem to represent the ‘clash of civilisation’ for many people – so much irony in that it really does make me want to laugh/cry.

    The situation is so messed up – its beyond the ‘jews/palestinians’ which lot do we feel more sorry for – it represents much that is wrong with our human society, and how we have approached making ‘livable’ habitats for ‘ourselves’ – and how we understand those ‘selves’. a tale of oppression all around, and groups desperately trying to stay top-dog in a cut-throat, ‘my group’ competitive world.

    until we all recognise that -there is no Solution! just more ‘internatinal relations’ type politicking, just an endless news story for journalists.

    the only thing consistent seems to be@: every ‘nation’ ( I use this term in the way Appadurai uses it – ‘nations’ in searh of states) wants a ‘State’ to themselves. Some have managed it, some haven’t. Some are still agitating, some have made do with multi ‘nation’ or /’multicultural’ contexts.

    But – the real fact of the matter is, there isn’t much space in this world – certainly not for each and every possible self-identifying ‘boundaried’ ‘group’. Yes we can have more ‘territorial’ fights – or we can rally together as a global group of human individuals.

    the crisis is only going to get worse as the environment degrades, and only certain areas of the world will be inhabitable. then all the petty ‘oh my Gawd you’re a different ethnicity/group/religion/person who shouldn’t share a State!/world’ will either be exacerbated, or seem incredibly stupid.

    I don’t know – but that will be most likely the only ‘solution’ to the “Israel and Palestine” problem, which is frankly, one specific – and ongoing -instance of what happens when human beings insist on seeing themselves first and foremost – in ‘tribal’ terms – and insist on using those ‘lines of differentiation’ to secure habitats for themselves. its the flawed model that has led to the current globalised form of organising ourselves into nation-states. Oh yes some nation-states are ‘multicultural’ – that’s one step – sure -but the boundaries? Ah they still cause problems. No to immigration – well there’s nothing more integral to a nation-state than controlling who is ‘in’ and who is ‘not’. And does it work for the world? perhaps for most people, but not for the most vulnerable.

    So all these people on their high horse about I/P – i really am fed up with those of you who don’t actually understand the issues involved. tis the global way of organising ourselves – that has been the problem. And will continue to be. and a lot of you can’t recognise that and are stuck with your petty tribalisms/political mish-mashes. OOh a fight – quick – which side can we join? I hate to point it out but the whole thing is flawed, the whole project is flawed, as well as people’s responses – for the reasons i outline above.

    We should be offering – as a global community – the opportunity for WHOEVER – wants to leave that ‘holy’ land (what a misnomer) and settle elsewhere (ha as if other nation-states will like that but therein lies the problem!) – and then -if assuming that is then feasible/has some chance – whoever wants to stay and fight over a bit of desert -’to the death’ sod them. its their problem then if they are so wedded to some abstract concept of home and belonging that they will lose their lives over it. Land is nothing but carbon – it should have no meaning. What people need is to be able to make a life somewhere>. Of course what people really want – is to be Top Dog – especially when they’ve been the displaced underdog. This is more true than many people realise.

    God, this is all going to be so much fun when the food and fuel runs out isn’t it? clash of civilisation or lack of civilisation?

    Long post but really these I/P threads ..

  115. sonia — on 20th May, 2009 at 10:11 am  

    this business about MEMRI – what is clearly needed is competition – why leave it all up to them? If people feel they are ‘mistranslating’ – well the rest of us don’t know do we – start another entity and do some proper translating then!¬ really the lack of enterprise and lobbying is only going to play into the hands of those who wish to control information?

    what has always made me suspicious about MEMRI – is that for a non-profit organisation which is subsidised by US tax-payers – it has very little info on its page – About Us. any similar organisation – usually provides more information, and should do – if the public is paying for it, the public has a right to know.

  116. chairwoman — on 20th May, 2009 at 10:26 am  

    Imran – Actually, my rant was simply what I was thinking of at the time, and this seemed as good a place to put it as any.

  117. chairwoman — on 20th May, 2009 at 10:30 am  

    BTW a lot of what Sonia said too.

  118. Imran Khan — on 20th May, 2009 at 10:37 am  

    Katy – “But with respect, it’s a bit naive to expect the phrase “drive them out of Palestine” not to ruffle Jewish feathers, isn’t it? That’s going considerably further than “oh, the Jews will give up on Zionism once they’ve lost Jerusalem”, in my opinion.”

    Again as I said he is a fool for making these types of speeches which can be so easily miscontrued. However that statement based on the fact he was talking about zionism may equally refer to zionists and not jews.

    However what I would say is that the blurring of zionism with Judaism is causing so many issues and it needs to stop. Its the same with Islamism and Islam and that link needs to stop.

    The problem as I see it is that too many people in that region are interested in rhetoric rather than the tougher business of making peace and then people here get all pent up when a statement is mmade and then the likes of Mel twist what is being said.

    Incidently I’ve met many ardent Zionists and when you speak to them in a relaxed atmosphere then even they say that they no longer support the kind of dream that Mel has and most are quite of the opinion that peace is needed. These are people who admit that years ago they would never have said this and one even laughed that he was abit more relaxed now!

    Which is my point that Mel is simply scared that her vision is slipping away as so she is evoking holocaust and by slight of hand is twisting what is being said. That is extremely dangerous and I am disappointed that Chairwoman hasn’t seen what she is up to and the same applies to Bananabrain.

    The point isn’t isn’t about Judaism, it’s about his opinion of what will happen to zionism if peace is made. Thats the point taht can be legiametly debated but implying he is calling for a final solutoion – holocaust and bloodshed to drive Jews out isn’t what he said.

    Do I think Jews will leave Israel if they make peace – some will but not in the numbers he imagines.

    Its ust sad that some people are finding it necessary to accept Mel’s spin and blaming those people who expose her instead of taking her to task for her actions.

  119. Imran Khan — on 20th May, 2009 at 10:42 am  

    Chairwoman – “Imran – Actually, my rant was simply what I was thinking of at the time, and this seemed as good a place to put it as any.”

    Might I make a much more important point – namely that if we are to get hung up on mistranslations of one fools remarks by another then we simply miss the fact that the issues that do need to be addressed are not being addressed.

    There is so much that needs to be done lets not get hung up about a foolish ambassadors statement being twisted by a foolish journalist both of whom are simply interested in somethign that is far from peace.

    As Jews and Muslims we need to build better relations by working together and not being driven apart by two people who are quite possibly detached from the communities.

    I’d prefer to walk down the road of peace with you and Katy and Bananabrain than have to expose the rantings of a women whose contributions to peace are about as much as the leaders in the region.

  120. sonia — on 20th May, 2009 at 10:43 am  

    For goodness sakes, I really can’t see why people – Sunny -???? insist on Linking to Melanie Philips?? You are giving her too much importance – i’m sorry – but her articles are written too poorly, to make much sense to anyone. Please find someone else (someone sensible would help) to ‘oppose’ yourself to. i don’t really see the article linked to above – is saying anything substantive. What’s the point of linking to it – apart from just calling her ‘mad’? ???

    Stop referring to Mel all of you! refer to the situation in israel and palestine if that is indeed what you are concerned with. Otherwise its simply going on about british media journalist types – and at least if we are going to do that – choose someone more intelligent who actually has something substantive to say. Who has “accepted” Mel’s spin anyway? (apart from the people who give her publicity by linking to her articles?)!!

    really this is very shoddy.

  121. Refresh — on 20th May, 2009 at 11:17 am  

    Sonia, Melanie Philips (I call her dangerous, not mad) is a conduit and is on the BBC (moral maze of all things) and a columnist in a national newspaper.

    She needs to be exposed. That is why Sunny should be congratulated.

    MEMRI provides selective ‘translations’ to not just influential journalists, but lawmakers including congressmen.

    If you actually look at the header, he was pointing out the hypocrisy of the situation.

    Your long piece upthread made for very good reading, and as I understood it, it speaks out against Zionism as a concept. Against the idea of nation as well as the nation state. Did I misunderstand?

    It also says to the Palestinians forget it, its over. Go somewhere else to live. Melanie Philips response is unless we finish them off, they will still want what they used to have.

    As for the future and diminishing resources, part of the war in Israel and Palestine is actually about water.

  122. bananabrain — on 20th May, 2009 at 11:33 am  

    this is, quite simply, ridiculous. it reinforces my experience that so-called “progressives” will bend over backwards to avoid the obvious implication that someone with murderous intent means what he says – as long as it’s about jews, sorry, of course i mean israelis, but then again imran keeps saying “your”, so clearly there isn’t much distinction being made here. shoot the messenger, attack the source, it’s a “psyop”, the words don’t mean what you think they mean and the counter-condemnation whataboutery.

    that is what is “appalling”. truly, you people wouldn’t lift a finger as we were marched to our deaths. i’m sure you would tut at the munirs of this world clapping loudly and cry about it later once we were once more the dead, persecuted jews you feel comfortable with. how sad that you should confirm mel phillips’ pessimistic view.

    i am not letting the israelis off the hook here. i am pretty clear that “natural growth” of settlements is a figleaf. i am not denying what i can see to be true – but when even someone as reasonable, open-minded and committed to dialogue and peace as myself is painted as an apologist for lieberman, it does make me wonder what hope there could possibly be.

    well done, imran, refresh and ravi. oh, well done.

    b’shalom

    bananabrain

  123. chairwoman — on 20th May, 2009 at 11:41 am  

    “It also says to the Palestinians forget it, its over. Go somewhere else to live. Melanie Philips response is unless we finish them off, they will still want what they used to have.”

    Isn’t that, Dear Friend, exactly what the Palestinian Ambassador was saying, only marginally more subtly?

    When I started commenting here about 4 years ago, I said something along the lines of both sides needing to realise that they’re not going to get what they want, and must make do with what they can have. Israelis need to accept that they’ve got to exist within pre-1967 accepted borders, Palestinians have got to accept that they’ve got to exist within the West Bank and Gaza, and they’ve both got to accept that they have to share Jerusalem and water, and accept that the other exists and is here to stay.

    And frankly if they are encouraged to do otherwise, by you, Imran, Munir/Blah et al on the Muslim side, and Melanie Philips and her cohorts on the Jewish side, you will all do them, and all of us, an extreme disfavour.

    We’ve all negotiated in our lives, and we all know that the key to a good outcome is both sides bend, but neither is broken. That’s the reality and anything else is madder than Mel.

  124. Refresh — on 20th May, 2009 at 11:45 am  

    BananaBrain, surely you can see MEMRI is a psyop?

    As for Lieberman, your attempt to rationalise upthread does not help.

    Melanie Philips is not a pessimist; she is an agressive thug who will use every dirty trick in the book in pursuit of her agenda.

  125. Imran Khan — on 20th May, 2009 at 11:55 am  

    Bananabrain – “that is what is “appalling”. truly, you people wouldn’t lift a finger as we were marched to our deaths.”

    As you decend into morphing into Melanie Phillips with such absurd statements that too draw on the ever increasing victim mentality that uses and abuses human emmotion to come round to your point of view. I find it offensive for you to think that I wouldn’t lift a finger and others wouldn’t.

    I’d say its the other way round and you are not lifting a finger as Muslism are slowly strangled in the Occupied Terrotories.

    I’ve lifted more fingers than you’ll ever know and I’ve even exposed the falseness of anti-semitism here.

    I’ve never seen you do that fully for the Muslims killed at the hands of your brethrne all I ever see is excuses.

    I find your hysteria and your insuations offensive.

    The Holocaust wasn’t an UK thing and it wasn’t a Muslim thing – it was a German thing so if you want to be scared then be scared of them and those that associate with them. Not of the rest of us and don’t bloody imply none of us would do anything if you were being marched off to that.

    We would make sure it didn’t get to that point so stop invoking such nonsense.

    Show me where he said he wanted to bloodshed against Jews? He didn’t he spoke of Zionism and you are feeling exposed because you can’t bring yourself to criticise Lieberman and his like.

    We can find solace in the fact that the Jewish Community is starting to say enough is enough and thats what scares Melanie and possibly you.

    Youd words are disgusting, unture and simply designed to excuse a woman who can’t find it in herself to perform a proper critical analysis of a speech.

    This in no way excuses the Ambassador but question zionism isn’t calling for bloodshed – you need to get a grip.

  126. Refresh — on 20th May, 2009 at 11:56 am  

    Chairwoman,

    I don’t know precisely what the ambassador is saying, but it reads to me as: zionism as a political construct fails if it does not have dominion over the whole of Jerusalem; and zionism as a project is Greater Israel.

    ‘Israelis need to accept that they’ve got to exist within pre-1967 accepted borders, Palestinians have got to accept that they’ve got to exist within the West Bank and Gaza, and they’ve both got to accept that they have to share Jerusalem and water, and accept that the other exists and is here to stay.’

    How can I disagree. Its a position you and I acknowledged at the time. The issue is how do you go about it.

    I say dismantle MEMRI and Melanie Philips.

  127. justforfun — on 20th May, 2009 at 11:56 am  

    the crisis is only going to get worse as the environment degrades, and only certain areas of the world will be inhabitable. then all the petty ‘oh my Gawd you’re a different ethnicity/group/religion/person who shouldn’t share a State!/world’ will either be exacerbated, or seem incredibly stupid.

    very true

    my bets are on the “exacerbated”.

    As the “seem incredibly stupid ” alternative implies that in the future people will look back and think this from a position where our decsendants will think the opposite. I mean every generation thinks it lives at the pinnacle of moral rectitude – right?

    Persoannly I think the ‘future’ will be very harsh on us – we have pissed it all away.

    However what forces are even beginning to change our mind sets? In fact I would say that there are many forces that are entrenching the existing mindset. A powerful one is ‘religion’ – its revival is my cause for concern, because its revival has not been matched by any revival in morals. But then why should one assume religion and morals are the same thing.

    Sorry Sonia – I won’t be very good to debate with – as I seem to agree with all you write :-)

    justforfun

  128. Imran Khan — on 20th May, 2009 at 11:59 am  

    Chairwoman – “And frankly if they are encouraged to do otherwise, by you, Imran, Munir/Blah et al on the Muslim side, and Melanie Philips and her cohorts on the Jewish side, you will all do them, and all of us, an extreme disfavour.”

    Show me just show me where I have ever said that the two sides do not need to negotiate or compromise?

    Show me just once and I’ll never comment here again.

    The simple fact is that the Ambassador did call for negotiations unlike Mel. You supported Mel in her stance and you can’t stand she has been exposed.

    Mel is worried because Jews are speakign out and calling for Israel to stop. Thats why she is getting hysterical and joining her you are going away from your own principle you outline above.

    This sums up what the rest of us have said perfectly:
    http://Your wwww.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2009/may/20/israel-middleeast

    Mel is far removed from such dicussions and is resorting to emmotional cliches to keep people on side.

    Its a damn sahme you can’t see that.

  129. Imran Khan — on 20th May, 2009 at 12:06 pm  

    This is what is going on due to blind support:

    Israeli settler leader says: ‘We are running rings round the authorities’

    http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/middle_east/article6322442.ece

    “Elyakim Haetzni, 82, a German-born former lawyer, detailed how the settlers had run rings around the authorities’ half-hearted attempts to prevent settlement growth, and scoffed at the idea of a freeze.

    Settlers and Israel’s anti-occupation peace camp agree on one thing: settlement growth far outstrips normal population increases inside Israel.”

    Peace can only be achieved if both sides have the guts to critise each other as well as themselves.

    Ironically its now the Arabs who have an offer on the table and Israel who is running and you just don’t want to admit that. It may need negotiating but its a basis and frankly its your voices that are being distorted by Mel and Memri so if you are happy with that then don’t keep blaming everyone else fro exposing this.

    My point is summed up here:

    “Freedland’s dream, predicated on the fact that Israel is heavily dependent on the support of diaspora Jewry to legitimise its actions, was that diaspora Jews would finally turn round to the Israeli government and say “Enough is enough. The occupation must end. The Palestinians must have their independent state. If not, however much we are with you, we can no longer support you.” Jacqueline Rose agreed, adding that central to this there had to be a full recognition of the injustice suffered by the Palestinians in 1948. And Freedland accepted this too.

    If the tipping point comes and leads to a just peace, perhaps it will be triggered by a form of these true words spoken to Israel by an overwhelming tide of assertive diaspora Jewish opinion.”
    http://Your wwww.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2009/may/20/israel-middleeast

    If you want the peace you outline woith your words then it means standing firmly for justice and not excusing people who choose to distort words and employ emmotional blackmail to limit or negate criticism of either side.

  130. Sensible — on 20th May, 2009 at 12:07 pm  

    You see, this is where partisanship gets you. Almost everyone here agrees that Melanie Phillips and Abbas Zaki are both idiots. But Katy Newton only writes one line about Phillips and multiple lines about Zaki’s opinion. While Imran Kahn writes one line about Zaki and multiple lines about Phillips.

    Clearly the only thing you disagree on is who deserves more focus. But somehow this mental tripwire is enough to generate pages and pages of back and forth arguing.

    The human race is doomed, I tell you. Doooooomed!

  131. Ravi Naik — on 20th May, 2009 at 12:11 pm  

    This is what Chairwoman said:

    Israelis need to accept that they’ve got to exist within pre-1967 accepted borders, Palestinians have got to accept that they’ve got to exist within the West Bank and Gaza, and they’ve both got to accept that they have to share Jerusalem and water, and accept that the other exists and is here to stay.

    Imran Khan – in two sentences, do you totally agree with this or not?

  132. Imran Khan — on 20th May, 2009 at 12:13 pm  

    And another excellent article by Rabbi Michael Lerner:
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/rabbi-michael-lerner/obamas-mistaken-middle-ea_b_204720.html

    “Why then will Netanyahu resist such negotiations? Why will the 50% of the Congress that showed up at the AIPAC conference — to prove their loyalty to Israel’s most extreme rightist government ever — also do everything they can to block Obama were he to decide to demand for Israel to start negotiating a two state solution? Because the Right has learned that it works to press for far more than they can settle with, and then appear to be “compromising” when they are actually giving little more than what they really wanted in the first place.

    Over the past several decades, by vehemently staking out extreme positions the Right both in Israel and the U.S. have managed to shift the center of public discourse far to the Right. Positions once advocated by centrist Labor Party people in Israel (dismantling all the settlements in the West Bank, not just the so-called “illegal settlements”) or by centrist Democrats like Clinton in the US (universal health care) are labeled “extreme leftist” views (health care is now called “socialism,” for example).

    In response, yesterday’s centrists, now stuck with the label “left of center,” think they are doing well if they can achieve success by “winning” concessions that were once the positions of moderate Republicans or moderate Likudniks. So the Democrats in the U.S., and now the peace forces in the Jewish community, imagine that they are winning some serious victory if they get those peace negotiations started again, when there is no reason to believe that they would lead to the kind of Palestinian state that is economically and politically viable, and to a just settlement for Palestinian refugees-the only outcome that could actually provide the preconditions for lasting security for Israel.

    Don’t put it past Netanyahu to make a dramatic “concession,” either when he meets with Obama at the White House or when Obama visits Israel: that Israel is willing to acknowledge the goal of a two state solution and even to start negotiations again, if the Palestinians (including Hamas) renounce all violence (something the US won’t do in regard to its mission in Iraq, Afghanistan or Pakistan) and if they agree to recognize Israel as a Jewish state (though the US would never recognize, say, Saudi Arabia as a Muslim state — because we’d never want to impose a particular religious or ethnic identification on any state we recognize). Still, I don’t put it past Netanyahu to let go of these demands at some point in the process, because he is a wily negotiator who knows how to deal with U.S. pressure — namely to appear to be making huge concessions while actually implementing none of them.”

    I’d say that you two (Bananabrain and Chairwoman) are out of step with your own community which is now saying enough is enough. There in lies hope for us all that this can be resolved and its not because of you two its in spite of you two – its a shame that you can’t see that.

  133. Imran Khan — on 20th May, 2009 at 12:20 pm  

    Ravi – Yes I do. I’ve said it before.

    Let me make it clear for you again. I’d do the above and I’d go further. I’d allow Israel to control the borders and airspace of Palestine in 10 year blocks, they pay for this priviledge and the money is used to build healthcare and education for Palestinians. I’d set-up joint business parks so they can both grow economically.

    My issue with Chairwoman is the support for Melanie Phillips poor article which doesn’t excuse the crass stupidity of the Palestinian Ambassador.

  134. Ravi Naik — on 20th May, 2009 at 12:28 pm  

    Ravi – Yes I do. I’ve said it before.

    My issue with Chairwoman is the support for Melanie Phillips poor article which doesn’t excuse the crass stupidity of the Palestinian Ambassador.

    I do not think anyone here supported Melanie Phillips, they were merely more preoccupied with what the Ambassador said. Like you, I did not see any indication that he wanted genocide (“final solution”) against Israelis, but that’s something we can agree to disagree.

    What is more important is that we agree on the essential part:

    Israelis need to accept that they’ve got to exist within pre-1967 accepted borders, Palestinians have got to accept that they’ve got to exist within the West Bank and Gaza, and they’ve both got to accept that they have to share Jerusalem and water, and accept that the other exists and is here to stay.

    Anyone else disagrees with what Chairwoman said?

  135. Faisal — on 20th May, 2009 at 12:34 pm  

    I for one, think this thread has been an eye opener.

    Not for me it hasn’t.

  136. bananabrain — on 20th May, 2009 at 12:38 pm  

    nor for me, except in how ossified and repetitive imran’s position has actually become.

    b’shalom

    bananabrain

  137. Imran Khan — on 20th May, 2009 at 12:48 pm  

    Bananabrain – “nor for me, except in how ossified and repetitive imran’s position has actually become.”

    For someone whose form revolves around how they are being marched off to die to talk of repetitive positions is pretty silly. Your whole approach around Israel is to keep syaing this as often as possible and avoid real committment to discuss issues.

    For someone who keeps highlighting their dialogue credentials you have an awfully narrow position you’ll discuss and it revolves around making excuses for Israel’s action.

  138. sonia — on 20th May, 2009 at 12:52 pm  

    yeah, bbrain..

    jff (and chairwoman) – thanks..just to point out i don’t think necessarily in the future we’ll be any less ‘tribal’ on the whole, but perhaps i meant that to some of us, the fact that we spent all this time still being petty – might be really frustrating. I must say it frustrates me now.

    imran khan – i put a question to you. What’s the difference between Islamism and Islam?

    Islamism seems to me – a revivalism- for those who want to go back to the ‘original’ Islam – because they claim – that so much time has elapsed, and ‘Muslim communities’ across the globe, are not really practising Islam. (you know, they’re not being all ‘Caliphate’ obsessed etc. operating within national and cultural frameworks, instead of trying to grab more territory in the name of the Lord etc.)

    So what’s going on? Is Islamism going back to the fundamentals of Islam which the rest of us have lost? I’d like to hear what you think – seeing as you said there is a difference between Islam – and Islamism.

  139. douglas clark — on 20th May, 2009 at 12:54 pm  

    Shorter ‘Final Solution’ thread.

    Everyone agrees with Chairwomans’ solution.

    Well, that’s the ME sorted.

  140. sonia — on 20th May, 2009 at 12:56 pm  

    Melanie’s influence? Yo folks – hate to break this to you -but Mel writes for the DAILY MAIL! that pretty much says it all, and she is not at all a competent writer. i hate to say this, but this kind of ‘media’/blog attention is simply raising her profile.

    whilst i was growing up in the Middle East – I can assure you the Daily Mail and its journalists do not figure largely in the grand scheme of things. Mel’s influence might seem a lot to you media obsessed types here in the little island, but…she would have to be a lot more articulate to genuinely garner some attention.

  141. sonia — on 20th May, 2009 at 12:57 pm  

    Yeah Imran, like your position’s not narrow??

  142. Refresh — on 20th May, 2009 at 1:02 pm  

    It wouldn’t take too much to describe islamism to be the equivalent to zionism as an ideology. depending on what definition you might want to settle on.

    As for Melanie Philips, you have to decide whether her project is kept alive by the diaspora and whether she’s reaching parts that matter or not. Its clear she is not interested in what the middle east thinks; nor is Lieberman or Netanyahu.

    Douglas, yes its settled. Again. Nice to see we keep coming back to the same answer.

  143. chairwoman — on 20th May, 2009 at 1:02 pm  

    I DON’T SUPPORT MELANIE PHILIPS, KATY DOESN’T SUPPORT MELANIE PHILIPS, BANANABRAIN DOESN’T SUPPORT MELANIE PHILIPS!

    Exhausted, got to lie down in a darkened room!

  144. Imran Khan — on 20th May, 2009 at 1:02 pm  

    Bananabrain – When was the last time you ever actually criticsed Israel without your normal fear and hysteria of holocaust?

    I can’t ever remember you critising Israel for its actions and leaving it at that and you talk about my repetitive positions.

    Last time I actually said what my position was but as I recall you said you couldn’t come out and say yours because it might expose your undercover position!

    When you read plain English, stop your hysterics about being marched off to die as we all stand by and are able to criticise both sides and not one then you’ll be able to meaningfully contribute. When you are a Mel Apologist in her hysteria then you are just not being just of fair.

  145. Katy Newton — on 20th May, 2009 at 1:06 pm  

    I bet myself a fiver that this thread would end up a 140-post-strong bunfight.

  146. Imran Khan — on 20th May, 2009 at 1:09 pm  

    Sonia – “Yeah Imran, like your position’s not narrow??”

    How can it be narrow when I have cricised both sides and I have put peace ideas onto this blog for resolving the issue.

    I am not the one who is siding with Mel Phillips and distorting what the Ambassador said and if you can’t see that then you’re another Mel Apologist.

    Transposing a statement about zionism imploding if peace is made to bloodshed and being marched off to die wasn’t my handy work but you’ll always charge in to criticise Muslims.

  147. Ravi Naik — on 20th May, 2009 at 1:15 pm  

    What about you Refresh, Munir, Marvin and Bananabrain?

    What do you feel about Chairwoman/Imran Khan/Douglas’ position on the I/P issue?

    “Israelis need to accept that they’ve got to exist within pre-1967 accepted borders, Palestinians have got to accept that they’ve got to exist within the West Bank and Gaza, and they’ve both got to accept that they have to share Jerusalem and water, and accept that the other exists and is here to stay.

    No more than two sentences, please.

  148. Imran Khan — on 20th May, 2009 at 1:16 pm  

    Chairwoman – “I DON’T SUPPORT MELANIE PHILIPS, KATY DOESN’T SUPPORT MELANIE PHILIPS, BANANABRAIN DOESN’T SUPPORT MELANIE PHILIPS!”

    But had earlier said:

    “Well done Sunny for displaying your usual heightened sense of fair play.

    You dismiss the words of the Palestinian Ambassador because his speech is quoted by Melanie Philips.

    Why does his speech make her an hysterical windbag?”

    Bananabrain who also apparently doesn’t support her charged in and said:

    “i have to say, like chairwoman, that there isn’t an awful lot of mel phillips’ editorial stance in this piece – if she’s quoting the guy directly, i don’t really see how this can be about her being hysterical. in fact, it illustrates the “there is no partner” school of thought perfectly.

    the sooner, sunny, you realise that just because one happens to be in total disagreement with somebody about a few things, it does not therefore follow that they are 100% wrong about everything, the better.”

    If that isn’t support I don’t know what is. Then her article and the Memri translation was exposerd for the crap it was but you don’t want to admit that.

    Let me say again he is a fool for thinking Zionism will implode if Israel makes peace but he did not call for bloodshed and he said clearly he wanted a settlement so Israel isn’t allowed to continue on its present course of taking Palestinian land. But he did not call for bloodshed.

    Bananabrain then went further and claimed that Lieberman and Israel’s approach wouldn’t lead to bloodshed and Israeli policy towards Palestinians isn’t deliberate whereas the other side is.

    Those statements need to be addressed.

    There is wrong on both sides and he always always then invokes imminent danger to Jews and Israel isn’t so bad line.

  149. Faisal — on 20th May, 2009 at 1:18 pm  

    I bet myself a fiver that this thread would end up a 140-post-strong bunfight.

    Or a 4-member circle jerk.

  150. Refresh — on 20th May, 2009 at 1:23 pm  

    ‘What about you Refresh, Munir, Marvin and Bananabrain?’

    yes of course, didn’t think I needed to repeat it. Anyone with an ounce of dignity would agree.

  151. justforfun — on 20th May, 2009 at 1:24 pm  

    I bet myself a fiver that this thread would end up a 140-post-strong bunfight.

    matchfixing is illegal :-)

    justforfun

  152. Refresh — on 20th May, 2009 at 1:25 pm  

    #149 Faisal, do you not worry that your kids might read what you write?

  153. Refresh — on 20th May, 2009 at 1:28 pm  

    Katy
    ‘I bet myself a fiver that this thread would end up a 140-post-strong bunfight.’

    I used to have a theory a thread would die by #73. I should ammend that with an exception for I/P.

  154. Faisal — on 20th May, 2009 at 1:30 pm  

    Refresh

    My understanding of “circle jerk” is that it means a pointless group activity performed for personal gratification. Why would my children be offended by the meaning of that? I’m certainly not raising them to be priggish, easily-offended hypocrites.

    Were you perhaps wishfully thinking of something else?

  155. chairwoman — on 20th May, 2009 at 1:30 pm  

    “But had earlier said:

    “Well done Sunny for displaying your usual heightened sense of fair play.

    You dismiss the words of the Palestinian Ambassador because his speech is quoted by Melanie Philips.

    Why does his speech make her an hysterical windbag?”

    This is not supporting her, it is pointing out that Sunny dismisses something said by the Palestinian Ambassador because Melanie Philips comments on it.

    As for your disparaging remarks to bananabrain, you obviously have no idea of how we feel. We all imagine being marched away by men with guns while our ‘friends’ stand by silently and mouth platitudes later. I personally, being older and disabled, imagine my head being caved in by a rifle butt. Mmm.

  156. Imran Khan — on 20th May, 2009 at 1:40 pm  

    Chairwoman – “This is not supporting her, it is pointing out that Sunny dismisses something said by the Palestinian Ambassador because Melanie Philips comments on it.”

    He dismissed it because it was distorted from what he said. So jumping in and criticising him instead of her is supporting her.

    “As for your disparaging remarks to bananabrain, you obviously have no idea of how we feel. We all imagine being marched away by men with guns while our ‘friends’ stand by silently and mouth platitudes later. I personally, being older and disabled, imagine my head being caved in by a rifle butt. Mmm.”

    Oh and it isn’t disparaging to say that we’ll just stand around as you get marched off. That is more of his fiction. The world united to defaet the Nazi’s and to say people stood around is disparaging itself.

    All communities helped to ensure Hitler didn’t succeed and simply using this as a defence for the hysteria that excuses Israeli actions is not on.

    I feel vunerable everytime people attack Islam but I don’t go round making excuses for violent Muslims. Jews may feel vunerable and that I accept but that isn’t an excuse to deny another people their right.

    Thats the point any statement can’t be manipulated and distorted to avoid peace. Thats what is going on.

    Oh and given the current hysteria against Muslims there is more chance I’ll get marched off to be killed due to neocon policies so tell me who do I rely on when they can just say that its to protect Israel to ensure you won’t speak out.

  157. bananabrain — on 20th May, 2009 at 1:53 pm  

    “Israelis need to accept that they’ve got to exist within pre-1967 accepted borders, Palestinians have got to accept that they’ve got to exist within the West Bank and Gaza, and they’ve both got to accept that they have to share Jerusalem and water, and accept that the other exists and is here to stay.

    i’ve never disputed that. the only lack of clarity that obtains is when people try and make out that i hold points of view that i do not, in fact, hold.

    no, imran, you do not understand how i feel when i see men in suits making plausibly deniable remarks where it doesn’t take much to read between the lines, coupled with crowds in my own city, thousands strong, screaming “death to your family and friends”, coupled with the police being unable to protect my child’s primary school due to the threat level, which means i have to pay for a full-time security guard, whilst people petrol bomb synagogues and spraypaint “kill the jews” within a couple of miles of my house.

    no, this by you is “hysterics”. you’ll forgive me if i don’t find you or refresh even remotely reassuring – even given that i disagree strongly with the conclusions that mel phillips draws and have said so from the outset.

    “circle-jerk” is right – and i’m not interested in banging my head against this wall of hostility.

    b’shalom

    bananabrain

  158. Refresh — on 20th May, 2009 at 1:56 pm  

    Faisal, I read it as intended, to insult.

  159. sonia — on 20th May, 2009 at 1:56 pm  

    Refresh, I asked Imran, and I asked him to link it to Islam. I don’t actually know much about Judaism or Zionism, so i’d like the comparison to be drawn to Islam please.

    Whether Melanie Philips influences the diaspora or not – is perhaps a valid question. Is there any reason to think that she is doing that through the Daily Mail?

    she’s probably trying to achieve – with the ‘chavs’ – what many journalists have achieved – across the pond – with americans (not jewish americans) but Patriots – so they will believe that the American Project is the same etc. Just like many Muslim commentators seem to think it is their duty to get all Muslims to support Palestinians.

    though mind you, i don’t think it will work over here – people are not so patriotic, and they’re more likely to be thinking of the BNP if anything, if they’re reading the Daily Mail etc.

    really, we should not be giving this person any more airtime. at the very least, try choosing someone who can actually write.

  160. Faisal — on 20th May, 2009 at 2:01 pm  

    Faisal, I read it as intended, to insult.

    Why would it offend the kids when it’s true?

  161. chairwoman — on 20th May, 2009 at 2:02 pm  

    “I feel vunerable everytime people attack Islam but I don’t go round making excuses for violent Muslims. Jews may feel vunerable and that I accept but that isn’t an excuse to deny another people their right.”

    Have you thought of a life in politics, Imran?

    This is a serious suggestion, I have never known anybody grasp the wrong end of a stick and run with it since the last Olympics!

    “Oh and given the current hysteria against Muslims there is more chance I’ll get marched off to be killed due to neocon policies so tell me who do I rely on when they can just say that its to protect Israel to ensure you won’t speak out.”

    Are you serious? No actually I think you are. This makes me wonder if we’re both suffering from paranoid delusions!

  162. Refresh — on 20th May, 2009 at 2:13 pm  

    Bananabrain, the main thing is we agree what the final outcome should be. I’ve not deviated.

    My issue is with the infrastructure that militates against getting to the end result. That of course includes AIPAC, MEMRI and Melanie Philips amongst quite a few others. And its quite clear this infrastructure is exercisng a lot of serious people, including the Obama administration.

    I don’t think they are working against the Palestinians alone, they are against what you want too.

  163. Refresh — on 20th May, 2009 at 2:23 pm  

    Faisal, I didn’t say it would offend them. I asked if you were happy for them to see you write such stuff. And you answered my question.

  164. Ravi Naik — on 20th May, 2009 at 2:39 pm  

    What about you Munir and Marvin?

    What do you feel about Chairwoman/Imran Khan/Douglas/Bananabrain/Refresh’ position about the I/P issue?

    “Israelis need to accept that they’ve got to exist within pre-1967 accepted borders, Palestinians have got to accept that they’ve got to exist within the West Bank and Gaza, and they’ve both got to accept that they have to share Jerusalem and water, and accept that the other exists and is here to stay.”

    Let me just get the opinions of the remaining two, and then I will bring this up every time an I/P thread goes over 150 messages. I actually didn’t know we all agree on the exact specifics on how to resolve the I/P situation. There is hope after all.

  165. Refresh — on 20th May, 2009 at 2:40 pm  

    sonia
    ‘Refresh, I asked Imran, and I asked him to link it to Islam. I don’t actually know much about Judaism or Zionism, so i’d like the comparison to be drawn to Islam please.’

    The best person here to make a comparison between Islam and Judaism is Bananabrain.

    As for ‘islamism’ and ‘zionism’ to my mind they are political projects harnessing the language of their respective religions. But that’s my opinion, and as i said above it also depends on what definition you want to give ‘islamism’. I have none, never have had.

  166. bananabrain — on 20th May, 2009 at 2:42 pm  

    Bananabrain, the main thing is we agree what the final outcome should be. I’ve not deviated.

    refresh, what we are able to agree on is very far from being the final outcome. it leaves unanswered almost as many things as it answers – it is the things NOT included that are scuppering the deal right now, such as religious interests, geopolitics, the “external stakeholders” of both sides, spoilers like iran and the apocalyptic, millenial so-called “christian zionists” and deeply-ingrained habits of thinking.

    My issue is with the infrastructure that militates against getting to the end result. That of course includes AIPAC, MEMRI and Melanie Philips amongst quite a few others. And its quite clear this infrastructure is exercisng a lot of serious people, including the Obama administration.

    ok, but my issue would be about the *whole* system, not just the bits of it that are fighting the right-wing israeli corner. it includes press tv, the guardian and, yes, the blogosphere, too.

    b’shalom

    bananabrain

  167. Imran Khan — on 20th May, 2009 at 2:48 pm  

    Chairwoman – As you can’t prove your points you’ve now resorted to personal attacks.

    “Have you thought of a life in politics, Imran?”
    No.

    “This is a serious suggestion, I have never known anybody grasp the wrong end of a stick and run with it since the last Olympics!”
    I see – ok so I am wrong. So please show me where the Palestinian Ambassador called for bloodshed?

    I’ve asked you a number of times now. So I admit I am wrong. So show me where he invoked that in clear terms.

    “Are you serious? No actually I think you are. This makes me wonder if we’re both suffering from paranoid delusions!”

    I’m not serious I am highlighting the stupidity of the statement made to imply that people would stand by and watch Jews being marched off to die. When it hasn’t happened in this country for centuries. But hey there is nothing as good as the victim card eh!

    Which I hasten to add you were quick to join in. Just because the Germans did it doesn’t mean the British and Commonwealth who opposed them would do it.

  168. bananabrain — on 20th May, 2009 at 2:49 pm  

    As for ‘islamism’ and ‘zionism’ to my mind they are political projects harnessing the language of their respective religions.

    gosh, i think that is a pretty pithy statement and accurate too, i might even purloin it and use it elsewhere.

    it is interesting, however, that it also reveals what the essential difference is between islamism and zionism, namely that the zionist political project is focused upon a piece of land about the size of wales, whereas the islamist political project is global – it is, as it were, “coming to a state near you”. it is of course possible that this is the reason why so many islamists are so obsessed with showing that zionism is essentially a world domination project, because it makes them look less threatening by comparison.

    b’shalom

    bananabrain

  169. Imran Khan — on 20th May, 2009 at 2:54 pm  

    “it is interesting, however, that it also reveals what the essential difference is between islamism and zionism, namely that the zionist political project is focused upon a piece of land about the size of wales, whereas the islamist political project is global – it is, as it were, “coming to a state near you”. it is of course possible that this is the reason why so many islamists are so obsessed with showing that zionism is essentially a world domination project, because it makes them look less threatening by comparison.”

    More window dressing I see to downplay what you support as a cuddly toy.

    A nuclear armed project with the 4th mlost powerful army in the world which dictates to the world superpower isn’t a threat.

    You must have received a A+ from the Melanie Class you graduated from!

  170. Ravi Naik — on 20th May, 2009 at 3:05 pm  

    More window dressing I see to downplay what you support as a cuddly toy.
    A nuclear armed project with the 4th mlost powerful army in the world which dictates to the world superpower isn’t a threat. You must have received a A+ from the Melanie Class you graduated from!

    You see, you are just insulting, instead of responding to what bananabrain said.

    He said that one of the differences between Zionism and Islamism is that one is focused on a piece of land, whereas the other looks at a global level (Caliphate?).

    So, can you argue against that without ad hominem attacks?

  171. bananabrain — on 20th May, 2009 at 3:08 pm  

    More window dressing I see to downplay what you support as a cuddly toy. A nuclear armed project with the 4th lost powerful army in the world which dictates to the world superpower isn’t a threat.

    yes, the 4th most powerful army in the world is certainly cause for the chinese, australians and venezuelans to worry. israel’s nuclear capability is clearly aimed at holding the bolivians to ransom. there are zionist-inspired militant groups all over south-east asia conducting insurgencies, aren’t there?

    sheesh. you know, sometimes, that whole “i condemn both sides equally” stuff does rather fly in the face of a reality check.

    b’shalom

    bananabrain

  172. chairwoman — on 20th May, 2009 at 3:11 pm  

    Which I hasten to add you were quick to join in. Just because the Germans did it doesn’t mean the British and Commonwealth who opposed them would do it.

    The British went to war with Germany to stop them invading here, not to protect the Jews, and the Empire (no Commonwealth then) joined in because in those days they were obliged to.

    And no, the Palestinian Ambassador didn’t say bloodshed, but I read this before Melanie Philips picked it up, and I certainly read it as a long-term threat.

    Now prove that I am mistaken!

  173. chairwoman — on 20th May, 2009 at 3:18 pm  

    A nuclear armed project with the 4th lost powerful army in the world which dictates to the world superpower isn’t a threat.

    I try, and I try, and heaven knows I try to engage in dialogue to try and bridge the gap, but when I read the words “dictates to the world superpower”, then all rationale goes out the window, and I realise that I have failed, and failed, and damnwell failed!

    BTW nice Freudian slip in the top line of the quote I’ve taken from you.

  174. Refresh — on 20th May, 2009 at 3:30 pm  

    ‘gosh, i think that is a pretty pithy statement and accurate too, i might even purloin it and use it elsewhere.’

    You are welcome to purloin under the creative commons license.

    About the size of this land: If I’ve understood it correctly, the broader project actually covers land between a couple of significant rivers and dominion over all within.

  175. Refresh — on 20th May, 2009 at 3:40 pm  

    Bananabrain

    ‘ok, but my issue would be about the *whole* system, not just the bits of it that are fighting the right-wing israeli corner. it includes press tv, the guardian and, yes, the blogosphere, too.’

    You will never resolve anything if you broaden it to life the universe and everything.

    Cue Marvin.

  176. bananabrain — on 20th May, 2009 at 3:51 pm  

    About the size of this land: If I’ve understood it correctly, the broader project actually covers land between a couple of significant rivers and dominion over all within.

    yes, i seem to remember that you quoted the “from the sea to the great river” verse of Torah, which underpins the “nile to euphrates” maximalist position held by a very small percentage of the israeli population and an even smaller percentage of the jewish diaspora. you seemed to be suggesting that the policy of all israeli governments was ultimately to implement this “greater israel” project. when i saw that, my immediate reaction was “you’re kidding, aren’t you?”

    israeli politicians, like all politicians, are a bunch of bigmouths. not even lieberman holds this view. indeed, he is proposing to exchange parts of the galilee, which would be unacceptable to most religious hardliners. i note, in passing, that islamists still view spain as “waqf”, or islamic land, which is therefore “temporarily” occupied by “crusaders”.

    there is one way i can see to reconcile the various territorial statements in the Torah (which are highly arguable – where is mount se’ir exactly? – and often appear to contradict each other) with the various political programmes of religious rightwingers, namely to define the territory of “eretz yisrael”, the “biblical land” as distinct from “medinat yisrael”, the nation-state. the distinction would then be in terms of halakhah and the issues arising would be in terms of the religious laws concerning, for example, agricultural produce. jews would then be able to live in “the land of israel” in, say, the nation-state of syria. it is the conflation of “the land” with “the state” that is the cause of the attempt by the “national-religious” settler lobby to co-opt the mechanisms of the state for their own purposes, contrast this with the ultra-orthodox, anti-zionist lobby which isn’t at all interested in the mechanisms of the state except insofar as it can divert money out of it towards religious institutions and support for families whose “profession is Torah” – i.e. they don’t have jobs, have swarms of children and sit in yeshivas all day, paying no tax and living off benefits. lieberman’s appeal to his electorate, incidentally, is not just about arabs. it is also about ending the enormous subsidy that the state gives to orthodox and ultra-orthodox judaism.

    You will never resolve anything if you broaden it to life the universe and everything.

    and you will never resolve anything if you expect the israelis to put down all their propaganda guns before the iranians and saudis put down *any* of theirs. or the lefties.

    b’shalom

    bananabrain

  177. sonia — on 20th May, 2009 at 4:04 pm  

    But Refresh – why do you think i am after a comparison of Islam and Judaism – what could possibly make you think that?

    I was after Imran – to clarify what His connection about Islam and Islamism- without reference to Judaism if possible.

    What is a political project by the way – and what is a religion? What about religions that have ‘political projects’? It’s only today in the secular world we have distanced religion from matters of state.

    Was ‘Islam’ at the time of the Prophet – political? And depending on the answer, what about now?
    where was the difference between ‘religion’ and ‘politics’ then? and yes one can say, well it was like that then, and its different now, so there must be a separation now. otherwise, one is an islamist.

  178. Refresh — on 20th May, 2009 at 4:08 pm  

    Bananabrain, thanks that was fascinating. I would be interested in hearing more about what passes for national debate in this regard. A comment in passing, I think you are being very hostile to the orthodox and ultra-orthdox families. Why?

    As for the

    ‘and you will never resolve anything if you expect the israelis to put down all their propaganda guns before the iranians and saudis put down *any* of theirs. or the lefties.’

    There will always be something to hold you back if you want it to. The Guardian and the blogosphere? Really?

    As for Saudis and Iranians, shouldn’t the 2002 offer go a considerable way to resolving that?

  179. Refresh — on 20th May, 2009 at 4:12 pm  

    Sonia, You will need to address Imran then, not me. Maybe you weren’t clear enough.

  180. sonia — on 20th May, 2009 at 4:15 pm  

    “The British went to war with Germany to stop them invading here, not to protect the Jews, and the Empire (no Commonwealth then) joined in because in those days they were obliged to.”

    Well said chairwoman.

    refresh, my long piece was self-explanatory. i am not ‘against’ concepts – but i would think it should be obvious that if one is going to go down the tribal route (zionism is an example of that yes, as is any kind of patriotism, nationalism etc.) then certain problems are going to occur. You could say i am ‘against’ humanity – for pointing out humanity does stupid things, and should be aware of it. but i’m not bothered about being ‘against’ something which is so fundamental – to our entire system of society and governance – that we all work with it. I don’t blame Zionists – cos i can see why they felt like that. Just like i don’t blame people who wanted to create Pakistan – they wanted some place of their own, and so on and so forth. doesn’t mean i can’t see there are going to be consequences… After all, we live in a system, we hold it up. But if we don’t recognise the flaws in the system we all live in, what’s the bloody point.

    It’s going to get to a stage where we either deal with the realities around us, or we don’t. And until we find better ways to share land and resources in a fair manner to ALL individuals, well everyone is going to suffer, and no finger pointing is going to work then – or rather – how far back do we want to go?

    Basically I find it funny that of the so-called monotheistic religions, all subscribe to a similar idea of God, a similar lineage even! and look – can’t even agree on how they are going to split up God’s holy land to them. I understand that people have their beliefs, and that’s great – but perhaps if some of you really do believe in God, you might have some more questions to ask about whose side he is on! I see this is as a human failure, rather than anything else..but there you go…

  181. sonia — on 20th May, 2009 at 4:15 pm  

    good project Ravi :-)

  182. sonia — on 20th May, 2009 at 4:18 pm  

    I was addressing Imran – refresh, i have no idea why you responded in his stead, i guess i wasn’t being very clear.

  183. Refresh — on 20th May, 2009 at 4:18 pm  

    And similarly ask the same of bananabrain vis-a-vis judaism, particularly in light of his last comment.

  184. sonia — on 20th May, 2009 at 4:20 pm  

    But B-Brain did come up with a good metaphor that made me chuckle – 168.

    looks like Imran is making personal attacks too.

    i have my own questions to ask about Islam which i have put on the other thread -about engagement. I would like to hear what Imran and Refresh say about that – will they engage – or won’t they?

  185. bananabrain — on 20th May, 2009 at 4:24 pm  

    i’ve run out of time today, but will respond tomorrow.

    b’shalom

    bananabrain

  186. Refresh — on 20th May, 2009 at 4:25 pm  

    I think you have done it again at #180. Why address it to me?

  187. douglas clark — on 20th May, 2009 at 4:29 pm  

    Chairwoman,

    It must give you great pleasure, not ;-) , perhaps to see so many people agreeing with your solution, but falling apart – arguing amongst themselves – perhaps?

    “Whom the Gods would destroy they first make mad.”

    I have never before seen such angry agreement. It is painful for folk to accept the blind bleeding obvious. Cf Northern Ireland….

    ______________________________________

    Bananabrain,

    I’ve said this to you before, but it is a matter of record that Israel has nuclear weapons. These are not ‘propoganda guns’, they are genuinely life and death to folk. And, as I think you recognised elswewhere on this site, the folk with that life or death decision are not exactly the brightest bulbs in the chandelier.

    The USA was and is a democracy. It dumped two nuclear bombs on Japan, Hiroshima and Nagasaki. There are apologists for that – viz Oliver Kamm – and there are those of us who are not.

    Which side are you on?

  188. Refresh — on 20th May, 2009 at 4:30 pm  

    Sonia

    ‘I would like to hear what Imran and Refresh say about that – will they engage – or won’t they?’

    No I don’t think so. Its a rubbish post, as Ravi has so eloquently exposed.

  189. sonia — on 20th May, 2009 at 4:36 pm  

    Of course you would Refresh, i knew you wouldn’t engage on the factual matters of our Prophet, and our Caliphates. Never actually engage with any point on Islam – are you such a dogmatic believer? it doesn’t bother you at all our Prophet had sex with slaves, did not abolish slavery yet was so obsessed none of us had a drink. @oh you know, we must ‘phase’ these things out – musnt’ we?

    It is really odd that on basic moral questions, you are silent.

  190. douglas clark — on 20th May, 2009 at 4:40 pm  

    The insanity of nuclear weapons and orbital ability, the latter being more important, is something that militarists, will have, ’cause politicians in no country will deny them their erection. Once you have the capacity to drop nuclear weapons from orbit, the world is your oyster. At least if you are first and willing to do it. Remember that the militarists got you there, first of all.

  191. sonia — on 20th May, 2009 at 4:45 pm  

    Refresh – I am sorry i am confusing you so much- in 180 – i was responding back to something you said back in 121 i think. i can’t be bothered to scroll back – but it was what you said in reference to my long post.

    Perhaps what i should clarify – seeing as people are so touchy and sensitive – was that the ‘exclusive’ nature of community – and sharing resources – and organising – is problematic. Having nation-states that compete with each other – is very stupid, having nation-states that deny the possibility of movement when necessary is inhumane – need i say more. this should all be obvious to anyone with the slightest iota of universal human rights. (i.e. universal, not just for my co-religionists/co-ethnicists)

  192. sonia — on 20th May, 2009 at 4:51 pm  

    188 – do you actually know which post i’m talking about Refresh? And why is it so Rubbish? As far as I am aware – Ravi did not actually say that at all, and if he did, which of course he is entitled to – i shall respond accordingly. (over on the other thread, sorry for confusing the rest of you)

  193. douglas clark — on 20th May, 2009 at 4:53 pm  

    Refresh,

    You will never resolve anything if you broaden it to life the universe and everything.

    To the contrary.

    That is the measure.

  194. Faisal — on 20th May, 2009 at 4:53 pm  

    Heh, sonia. Waste of time. Refresh, like other defenders of Islamism, argues from a point of complete ignorance of matters concerning Islamic dogma. Their position is a sentimental and contradictory support of the Islamist agenda because it is anti-Statist and anti-American. My five year old daughter knows more about Islamic dogma than Refresh does but without the doctrinaire knee-jerk anti-Americanism.

  195. sonia — on 20th May, 2009 at 5:03 pm  

    gosh…ah well

  196. douglas clark — on 20th May, 2009 at 5:08 pm  

    Faisal,

    I’d just suggest you read all of Sonia’s site. Here is a woman that thinks, and finds something worth debating, for instance:

    http://shorno.net/2007/05/27/does-anyone-read-this-stuff/#comment-182659

    That is all thoughtful, I’d have thunk?

    Why are her male ‘brothers’ trying to shut her down?

  197. Refresh — on 20th May, 2009 at 5:09 pm  

    Faisal the central problem you have is that you have not yet defined islamism. And when you had the chance (your first ever post), you were too slippery to engage.

    Sonia, #189. Your response to my #121 is at #140. You then address me at #159 thus:

    ‘Refresh, I asked Imran, and I asked him to link it to Islam. I don’t actually know much about Judaism or Zionism, so i’d like the comparison to be drawn to Islam please.’

    Then at #177 you say:

    ‘But Refresh – why do you think i am after a comparison of Islam and Judaism – what could possibly make you think that?

    I was after Imran – to clarify what His connection about Islam and Islamism- without reference to Judaism if possible.’

    And so on. Then of course you bring in that other thread. I think you have confused youself as well.

    But no matter.

    You might look back at that other thread, where I expressed some support to your view (#39 I think), after which you went all nutty.

    So I’ll bow out of that discussion if I may.

  198. Imran Khan — on 20th May, 2009 at 5:13 pm  

    Bananabrain – “yes, the 4th most powerful army in the world is certainly cause for the chinese, australians and venezuelans to worry. israel’s nuclear capability is clearly aimed at holding the bolivians to ransom. there are zionist-inspired militant groups all over south-east asia conducting insurgencies, aren’t there?

    sheesh. you know, sometimes, that whole “i condemn both sides equally” stuff does rather fly in the face of a reality check.”

    I could say the same about your interfaith work which flys in the face of your Israel can do anything stance and anything they do isn’t so bad as the Arabs/Muslims etc. Take your pick. Its the same argument and if you get caught out then you switch to I feel threatened mode.

    Are you saying that Israel doesn’t use its military superiority against its neighbours. Again you try and downplay threats by going wildly out of the region.

    Is Iran a threat to venezuelans, bolivians and the chinese. No. So why then worry about their nuclear aspirations?

    Israel feels Iran is a threat. The Arab World feels Israel is a threat. If you choose to argue then at least stay within the realms of possibility.

    Also who is the guarantor that of where Zionism then stops? You say that the difference between zionism and islamism as political movements is in size but what is your guarantee and who imposes it?

    As an example the original Zionist project was for a Jewish Homeland in historic Palestine. Once achieved the borders expanded and now are bigger than the original aim so who then decides where it will stop?

    Noone in the Jewish Community has been able to decide thus far so when you say it isn’t as big what is your basis?

    I don’t excuse the extremes of the Palestinians and I utterly condemn their approach to indiscriminate killing and vilification of Jews. Equally then I expect the same of Israel that the point.

    As I said you’ve never been able to condemn the excesses of Israel and indeed your reaction is often at odds with even right wing Jewish Oragnisations who do feel obliged to condemn such excess. Even Lieberman was condemned by the ADL and you wanted to talk to him but then at the same time you don’t want to talk to people who hold similar views to Lieberman on the Palestinian side.

    When you can’t be equally just then you are biased and bias doesn’t bring peace. We’ve seen that with the Arabs and Israelis.

  199. sonia — on 20th May, 2009 at 5:23 pm  

    Douglas – thanks for that link – but he has read that blog post, and definitely didn’t try and ‘shut me down’ – he gave his honest opinion. (in case that’s what you thought :-) thanks for your support!

    refresh – yes, let’s not get ‘antsy’ with each other, you are confusing yourself unnecessarily. Perhaps you find it difficult to follow my agile mind leaping around – i am definitely not linear. But i am not confused :-) You are free to say what you like, of course, and you don’t need to agree with me at all. I do not need your support – if you agree with me, that’s fine, but i am not here for ‘agreement’. Nope, and what I said – there is nothing nutty about it – just moralising about the abject failures of the religion Islam – that I was brought up to – and you still seem to hold up. Which is your business of course, but with regards to my moralising about Our Prophet – yes sad that a not very moral person has to do that – about a Prophet really = but there you go. I will not apologise for holding up a so-called Prophet of the Lord – to account, for his actions, when if it was an Israeli soldier, I know many Muslims would be chiming in with me. Still, it is for everyone to make up their own minds.

  200. Imran Khan — on 20th May, 2009 at 5:27 pm  

    Chairwoman – “I try, and I try, and heaven knows I try to engage in dialogue to try and bridge the gap, but when I read the words “dictates to the world superpower”, then all rationale goes out the window, and I realise that I have failed, and failed, and damnwell failed!

    BTW nice Freudian slip in the top line of the quote I’ve taken from you.”

    No you don’t engage in dialogue on Israel you engage in defending the status quo. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again your critisim of an extreme of Israel is half-hearted.

    Yes Israel does dictate to the USA – how can you possibly deny that? Most US Politicians have to display their Pro-Israel credentials and not their pro-peace credentials. You don’t think that leads to dictating.

    If you bothered to read what the good Rabbi said in the article I posted it was precisely taht Bibi doesn’t have to worry about Obama because he has other pressures he can bring down on Obama.

    The whole point is that their are two spoilt children in this argument and its the diasporas who can bring them to sanity. If the diasporas simply put up with the antics how do you come to peace?

    Do Jews hate Muslim – No.
    Do Muslims hate Jews – No.

    So what is their dispute about – Israel/Palestine.

    Those with a realistic grasp of the situation know neither can win so why defend the situation?

    Which is exactly what Melanie was doing.

    Each time there is a discussion then its always made out that the Muslims are the threat and they don’t want peace. It isn’t true. Both sides are bad and you don’t want to admit that.

  201. Faisal — on 20th May, 2009 at 5:31 pm  

    Faisal the central problem you have is that you have not yet defined islamism. And when you had the chance (your first ever post), you were too slippery to engage.

    Being called slippery by one who could never be pinned down on any specfic value on anything? I gotta take that as a massive compliment.

  202. Imran Khan — on 20th May, 2009 at 5:32 pm  

    Sonia – In answer to your question I am all for engagement but as I asked Sid who decides who is an Islamist and as I said many of these organisatiosn are simply manipulating the situation to push their creed as “The One” to follow and mislabelling others.

    How do you protect these organisations from alienating creeds in the Muslim community who are not violent but also do not adhere to the Sufi form of Islam that is being pushed by these think tanks and government because of neocon ideology?

    Also the Muslim Community needs to reach out to the other communities and often the time is spent debating who is and isn’t an Islamist.

  203. Refresh — on 20th May, 2009 at 5:33 pm  

    Sonia, I am not sure I am up to your non-linear agile mind which knows no bounds.

    Yes I am confused.

  204. sonia — on 20th May, 2009 at 5:36 pm  

    its okay refresh, don’t worry :-) yes my mind is perhaps too agile for these discussions – i turn up and write essays and essays so i can’t really expect everyone to follow ;-)

    Imran – the Sufi version of Islam? Do you really think the govt. has any idea of what it wants to push?

    And who is the ~British Muslim- community -? Do British Pakistanis and Bengalis really form a ‘community’ – that’s news to me. Ironic given one lot didn’t want to be part of the other’s Muslim homeland..but there you go. So much for the Muslim Ummah!! -I always knew that was a diasporic thing – you NEVER hear that in a muslim majority country, nope.

  205. Imran Khan — on 20th May, 2009 at 5:36 pm  

    Sid – “Heh, sonia. Waste of time. Refresh, like other defenders of Islamism, argues from a point of complete ignorance of matters concerning Islamic dogma. Their position is a sentimental and contradictory support of the Islamist agenda because it is anti-Statist and anti-American. My five year old daughter knows more about Islamic dogma than Refresh does but without the doctrinaire knee-jerk anti-Americanism.”

    Again the knee-jerk anti-Americanism is due to political policy rather than general anti-Americanism you imply.

    Most of the anti-Americanism in the Muslim world is due to policy issues rather than a general anti-Americanism.

  206. sonia — on 20th May, 2009 at 5:42 pm  

    Imran – “Sonia – In answer to your question I am all for engagement but as I asked Sid who decides who is an Islamist and as I said many of these organisatiosn are simply manipulating the situation to push their creed as “The One” to follow and mislabelling others.”

    very interesting – everyone trying to push their creed as The One – yes that’s religion in a nutshell isn’t it :-)

    Yes the term Islamism – is really a diversion. But you see, people had to come up with a term that distinguised “bad muslims” from “Muslims” – because otherwise they are afraid of offending Muslims. Really the focus should not be on ‘people’ – but belief systems, of course. that might make it a lot simpler, but there you go.

  207. marvin — on 20th May, 2009 at 5:46 pm  

    OK

    Israelis need to accept that they’ve got to exist within pre-1967 accepted borders, Palestinians have got to accept that they’ve got to exist within the West Bank and Gaza, and they’ve both got to accept that they have to share Jerusalem and water, and accept that the other exists and is here to stay.

    I am wholly convinced that if the Israelis were guaranteed that Palestinians would accept this deal, and that rocket and or other attempts at terrorisation would cease then the Israelis would jump at the chance without hesitation.

    There is no way on earth that with the current indoctrination of Palestinians from the age they can talk and understand speech that peace will be achieved.

    There needs to be wholesale changing of the toxic society in Gaza and the West Bank, Palestinian schools would have to start teaching tolerance, an acceptance of the existence of an Israel near to them, and cutting out the hatred of Jews.

    Perhaps if this was introduced now, by some miracle, then in 20 years time peace could be achieved. Israel would cede the territories, they have absolutely no logical interest in maintaining warfare with the Palestinians or other regional hostiles.

    Yes I agree in this though it is in the current Zeitgeist, a near impossible solution. One can hope of course.

  208. Refresh — on 20th May, 2009 at 5:49 pm  

    Two sentences Marvin!

  209. Imran Khan — on 20th May, 2009 at 5:50 pm  

    Chairwoman – “The British went to war with Germany to stop them invading here, not to protect the Jews, and the Empire (no Commonwealth then) joined in because in those days they were obliged to.

    And no, the Palestinian Ambassador didn’t say bloodshed, but I read this before Melanie Philips picked it up, and I certainly read it as a long-term threat.

    Now prove that I am mistaken!”

    I don’t have to prove you are mistaken and I happily accept that you may see it as a threat. I even accept Bananabrain sees it as a threat. What I didn’t liek as I’ve said and been attacked for is that everyone jump in and defend Mel for her usual hysterical spin and added holocaust references to bring people to her position.

    Going to war to stop fascists was what united many of the people who fought the war and to imply it wasn’t is simply unfair.

    Also saying that people would stand by as Jews were killed isn’t true and I hope society is better than that. I’d like to think I’d stand up and try and stop it and I’d also think that you’d do the same if it was aimed at me. Thats what makes us want to see peace in Israel and Palestine.

    But to get to that point we need to be fair and just about points and not accept the spin that is being put out.

    Also many of these problems and the arguments are caused by a lack of understanding of each sides positions.

  210. marvin — on 20th May, 2009 at 5:54 pm  

    Two sentences Marvin!

    Refresh, the last two? :P

  211. Imran Khan — on 20th May, 2009 at 5:57 pm  

    Sonia – “Imran – the Sufi version of Islam? Do you really think the govt. has any idea of what it wants to push?”

    No they don’t but they take their cue from right wing think tanks who believe that Sufi’s are the creed to align with.

    Hence we’ve had government backing the Sufi Muslim Council, the QF etc.

    Even though some advisors have advised them that some non-Sufi Orthodox movements are also anti-violent.

  212. Imran Khan — on 20th May, 2009 at 6:01 pm  

    Marvin – “Perhaps if this was introduced now, by some miracle, then in 20 years time peace could be achieved. Israel would cede the territories, they have absolutely no logical interest in maintaining warfare with the Palestinians or other regional hostiles. ”

    Why would they cede when the whole settlement campaign has been to hold these blocks and Sharon went as far as guarantees from Bush that they wouldn’t be ceded.

    Get real they are ceding nothing and creating facts on the ground.

    Its enclaves they want for a Palestinian state so where does that involve ceding.

    Your the one who is indoctrinated because you fail to see both sides are saying they can’t make peace so both want it all.

  213. chairwoman — on 20th May, 2009 at 6:03 pm  

    Nobody defended her. *bangs head against wall*

    The point was that Sunny was interested in the Ambassador’s speech only because Melanie Philips wrote about it. That was the whole point of my original comment. Since then we have all, as happens in discussions, discussed other aspects of I/P.

    That is not, I repeat, not, defending Melanie Philips, but taking a pop, as they say, at Sunny Hundal.

    Anyhoo, he’s had the effect he so obviously wants, 210 comments and counting, and no trolls!

  214. douglas clark — on 20th May, 2009 at 6:41 pm  

    chairwoman @ 213,

    But that is not the point, is it?

    Your friend, Melnnie Philips did try to prove – hah! -that Barack Obama was a Muslim.

    She is a nutter.

    She also thinks that folk like me are wrong.

    I’d quite enjoy bebating her on here.

    Fat chance.

  215. douglas clark — on 20th May, 2009 at 6:47 pm  

    For she, whether she would admit it or not, makes ridiculous amounts of money by being an idiot.

    Well, that’s what I think….

  216. chairwoman — on 20th May, 2009 at 7:22 pm  

    But it’s still not defending Miss Philips for crying out loud!

  217. Refresh — on 20th May, 2009 at 7:26 pm  

    Knee-jerk anti-americanism – well its not quite knee-jerk and not anti-american to face the facts. Even Hilary Clinton acknowledged some of those facts last month.

    Sonia,
    ‘You are free to say what you like, of course, and you don’t need to agree with me at all. I do not need your support – if you agree with me, that’s fine, but i am not here for ‘agreement’.’

    I should have said my comment to you on that other thread wasn’t intended to boost your ego, or ingratiate myself to you. It was a form of engagement in the debate. After which I realised it wasn’t quite the engagement you had in mind.

  218. Refresh — on 20th May, 2009 at 7:51 pm  

    Marvin, you remind me of a fellow hotel guest I invited to dinner whilst away on business, along with a colleague. great food. great company.

    The guest had just returned from Israel and regaled us with wonderful stories from his 2 week stay. And then he lowered his voice as he turned to the subject of the palestinians. like animals he informed us, something he learned as soon as he got there. ruthless savages they are; and so it went.

    By the end of the evening I almost accidently on purpose stuck my fish knife in his right eye.

    Turns out the guy had been put through some sort of ‘acclimatisation’ process, presumably so he could differentiate between savages and animals. Clearly it hadn’t worked seeing he was happy to try to acclimatise me too.

    So Marvin do not imagine Israel doesn’t use its propaganda guns to target visitors to get its message out. Goodness knows what they teach the kids. Probably put the fear of God in them just so they can look forward to joining the IDF and do their bit.

  219. marvin — on 20th May, 2009 at 9:04 pm  

    They teach the kids, in schools at least, similar to the way kids are taught here. They are generally *not* told to eliminate the Palestinians under god’s command, and that all of the area will be Jewish and every last Arab will be pushed in to the sea. A small minority of parents may tell them that, but that’s a global problem, kids get taught terribly hateful things world over. When it’s taught in the classrooms however you have one helluva problemo.

    With all the amazing scientific and engineering feats of Israeli graduates I suspect they are taught science, maths, technology and engineering to the highest degree.

    I would assume generally they would have very little time to squeeze in a bit of hatred against a group people sanctioned by god in to their official studies. Some may do a bit (of hatred) in their spare time perhaps.

    This conflict could stop if Hamas and the other militias decided to recognise Israel and give up violence, and the authorities new jihad were to educate the youth for peace, not martyrdom. Israel would in return cede the ’67 territory and everyone’s a happy Jewish or Muslim bunny.

    And swine flew. (So you never know).

  220. Ravi Naik — on 20th May, 2009 at 9:20 pm  

    This conflict could stop if Hamas and the other militias decided to recognise Israel and give up violence, and the authorities new jihad were to educate the youth for peace, not martyrdom. Israel would in return cede the ‘67 territory

    Marvin, why can’t Israel retreat to the ’67 borders and recognise Palestine regardless of what Hamas says? It seems like Israel has the power to end this.

    What everyone here agreed – from Marvin to Imran Khan is supported by the international community including Muslim countries.

  221. imran khan — on 20th May, 2009 at 9:56 pm  

    Chairwoman – “That is not, I repeat, not, defending Melanie Philips, but taking a pop, as they say, at Sunny Hundal.”

    Ok fair enough – I thought you were defending the Mel.

    I actually have quite a bit of hope that the I/P issue can be resolved. There is a realisation in the Arab World of the need for peace and the Jewish Diaspora is itself saying enough is enough.

    Hence I don’t want anyone to derail these early hopes.

    I am disappointed Livni didn’t get elected but I don’t think Bibi will survive long.

    Wider a field I think there is growing signs that Jews and Muslims realise that they have much in common and again I hope that the early signs of coming together will bring fruition which we need to encourage.

    I also think that despite Mel there are people in the Jewish and Muslim community who are pushing ahead with building relations and hence I worry these may be derailed by the defensive nature that some people have and the form they revert to when issues of I/P pop up.

    A Muslim friend of mine knows a Jewish person in Israel and they were talking generally when the Jewish person mentioned how frustratedhe was at the state of the region. My friend gave some ideas about setting up dialogue and his Jewish friend liked the idea but wasn’t sure how it could start. So my Muslim friend told him to talk to one person and build from there. The project is growing weekly and people are talking and sharing experiences, even during the Gaza conflict they couldn’t meet so carried on over the phone. Its grown and many people now attend the events.

    That Chairwoman is from two people talking and being honest about the issues.

    Thats what I want from people like Bananabrain who with his contacts can achieve so much. But it needs each person and community to say clearly and honestly when injustices are committed and not to try and justify them.

    If two people can do it then why can’t we?

  222. imran khan — on 20th May, 2009 at 10:02 pm  

    Marvin – “This conflict could stop if Hamas and the other militias decided to recognise Israel and give up violence, and the authorities new jihad were to educate the youth for peace, not martyrdom. Israel would in return cede the ‘67 territory and everyone’s a happy Jewish or Muslim bunny.”

    Look you are asking one side to recognise the other without asking for mutual recognition. Thats your bias right there.

    Why would Hamas recognise Israel without Israel recognising the rights of the Palestinains?

    Equally why would Israel recognise Hamas without it recognising Israel?

    They won’t do it so the only practical solution is mutual recognition yet the onus is always on one side.

    Until Israel commits to returning to 67 borders or thereabouts then no pressure can be put on Hamas. Israel allows Hamas to cop out because it won’t take the first step.

    Its like the right of return – every Arab knows the Palestinians won’t return but why ask them to give up a bargaining chip.

    Its this one sided nonsense which is failing to being peace.

    So what if Hamas recognises Israel and Bibi then fails to follow your script whats been achieved? Nothing.

    Hence the need for mutual recognition.

    Rabin went down this road and got killed for it but he almost brought success.

    The reason Oslo almost worked was because of the mutual recognition.

  223. imran khan — on 20th May, 2009 at 10:20 pm  

    Sonia – “Of course you would Refresh, i knew you wouldn’t engage on the factual matters of our Prophet, and our Caliphates. Never actually engage with any point on Islam – are you such a dogmatic believer? it doesn’t bother you at all our Prophet had sex with slaves, did not abolish slavery yet was so obsessed none of us had a drink. @oh you know, we must ‘phase’ these things out – musnt’ we?”

    Sonia the fact is that certain things can’t be abolishedovernight and indeed even in the west such things went on until very very recently.

    So why the need to criticise the actions of the Prophet when these actions were put in place to remove slavery. The rewards for freeing and educating a slave in Islam are huge.

    Equally other Prophets also had relations with slaves but that isn’t an issue but the Prophet of Islam doing it is.

    Thomas Jefferson had relations with slaves not so long ago and you don’t hear him bashed as much as the Prophet of Islam.

    Slavery was common in many societies until fairly recent times and the Prophet did much to ensure that it was removed from Muslim society as quickly as possible.

    Much was done to advance the rights of women and if you need to analyse such things in context of other religions and the time period.

    “Our Prophet – yes sad that a not very moral person has to do that – about a Prophet really = but there you go. I will not apologise for holding up a so-called Prophet of the Lord – to account, for his actions, when if it was an Israeli soldier, I know many Muslims would be chiming in with me. Still, it is for everyone to make up their own minds.”

    If you don’t accept him as a Prophet then why say “Our Prophet”?

    The Prophet is subject to much more scrutiny than a soldier. His morals were upright – but subjecting such morals to modern standards is suspect.

    Many biblical prophets had similar track records yet its always the Prophet of Islam who is subject to attacks.

    Strange then why so many companions were female and fought to establish Islam. Strange then that many righst for women came from copying Islam.

    Your simply want to vent anger at Islam because of your own experiences, but for your bad experience many many women find a great deal of good in Islam.

    Dare I say its the same for other religions.

    Your are looking at Islam with a preconcieved objective to make it plain it isn;t for you and in your opinion everyone else. Thats fine but at least lets be clear that you have issues with Islam from a personal point of view.

    For others who don’t have that then its not dogmatic which is your comfort point its about belief and understanding. If their belief makes them happy then why do you need to say it can’t be possible.

    Slavery is still parctised today in many parts of the western world and women subject to abuse but you don’t blame the west for that do you? Why not? The trafficking of women is a major issue in Europe – not so much here but in Europe yes where red light areas flourish in a modern day sex trade and many of the elite of Europe frequent them and use and abuse women but do you complain? No – why not?

  224. imran khan — on 20th May, 2009 at 10:25 pm  

    Ravi – “Marvin, why can’t Israel retreat to the ‘67 borders and recognise Palestine regardless of what Hamas says? It seems like Israel has the power to end this.”

    Neither side will end this until they feel they have achieved recognition from the other. So it’ll take mutual recognition.

    The onus is only one side to recognise and thats why the process keeps failing because corrupt politicians in America are purchased to ensure there is no progress.

    The sides need a neutral to bring them together. Obama is trying and there is hope but is needs an honest European power to help like the Norwegians did last time.

  225. imran khan — on 21st May, 2009 at 6:55 am  

    Ravi – “Marvin, why can’t Israel retreat to the ‘67 borders and recognise Palestine regardless of what Hamas says? It seems like Israel has the power to end this.”

    Despite what Bananabrain and Marvin say Israel did want to grab more land and this is proven by reports that emereged later that Israel provoked the Arabs to retaliate its incursions and make an excuse for war.

    Its the same tactic the Americans used to try and provoke war in Iraq.

    With such revisionists in history making every Israel action seem defensive and never to blame is it any wonder they are up in arms at any mere suggestion Israel is to blame.

    A Former Dutch UN Observer said this:

    http://www.deepjournal.com/p/7/a/en/729.html

    Apparently even Dayan admitted this:

    http://www.hartford-hwp.com/archives/51a/022.html

    “In the collective consciousness of the period, Syria was conceived as a serious threat to the security of Israel, and a constant initiator of aggression towards the residents of northern Israel. But according to Dayan, this is ‘bull-shit’ – Syria was not a threat to Israel before 67. “Just drop it” – he says as an answer to a question about the northern residences – “I know how at least 80% of all the incidents with Syria started. We were sending a tractor to the demilitarized zone and we knew that the Syrians will shoot. If they did not shoot, we would instruct the tractor to go deeper, till the Syrians finally got upset and start shooting. Then we employed artillery, and later also the air-force… I did that… and Itzhak Rabin did that, when he was there (as commander of the Northern front, in the early sixties)”.

    And what has led Israel to provoke Syria? According to Dayan, this was the greediness for the land – the idea that it is possible “to grab a piece of land and keep it, until the enemy will get tired and give it to us”. The Syrian land was, as he says, particularly tempting, since, unlike Gaza and the West bank it was not heavily populated. ”

    He said quite clearly “”to grab a piece of land and keep it.”

    Yet apparently this was we are being told a cuddly little operation against those nasty Arabs/Muslims who threatened survival.

    Its a shame Bananabrain tat Israel’s own Defence Minister doesn’t even agree with you.

    An independant UN Observer also says that Israel provoked the war.

    There’s more here:
    “An Occupation for Farmland, Not Security

    As The New York Times reported in 1997, “in conversations with a young reporter five years [before his death in 1981, Dayan], said he regretted not having stuck to his initial opposition to storming the Golan Heights. There really was no pressing reason to do so, he said, because many of the firefights with the Syrians were deliberately provoked by Israel, and the kibbutz residents who pressed the Government to take the Golan Heights did so less for security than for the farmland. General Dayan did not mean the conversations as an interview, and the reporter, Rami Tal, kept his notes secret for 21 years — until he was persuaded by a friend to make them public. They were authenticated by historians and by General Dayan’s daughter Yael Dayan, a member of Parliament, and published … in the weekend magazine of the newspaper Yediot Ahronot.” ”
    http://middleeast.about.com/od/arabisraeliconflict/f/me080424.htm

    With even more here:
    http://www.nytimes.com/1997/05/11/world/general-s-words-shed-a-new-light-on-the-golan.html

    “General Dayan said in his conversations with Mr. Tal that the kibbutz leaders who had urgently demanded that Israel take the Golan Heights had done so largely for the land.

    ”The kibbutzim there saw land that was good for agriculture,” he said. ”And you must remember, this was a time in which agricultural land was considered the most important and valuable thing.”

    Mr. Tal asked, ”So all the kibbutzim wanted was land?”

    And General Dayan answered: ”I’m not saying that. Of course they wanted the Syrians to get out of their face. They suffered a lot because of the Syrians. Look, as I said before, they were sitting in the kibbutzim and they worked the land and had kids and lived there and wanted to live there. The Syrians across from them were soldiers who fired at them, and of course they didn’t like it.

    ”But I can tell you with absolute confidence, the delegation that came to persuade Eshkol to take the heights was not thinking of these things. They were thinking about the heights’ land. Listen, I’m a farmer, too. After all, I’m from Nahalal, not from Tel Aviv, and I know about it. I saw them, and I spoke to them. They didn’t even try to hide their greed for that land.””

    So why can’t you bring yourself to criticise Israel because as I showed you earlier even the JNF admit that Israel has 60% of its own land which is undisputed available for use. So why keep the pretence up that the Arabs are always to blame.

    You are a serial apologist for Israeli actions that are beyond defensive and are just an interfaith version of Mel. Don’t admit any mistake by Israel then point to your work to say you really care as long as its for one party only.

    Is this the justice you always keep referring to is essential part of Judaism which says do not covet thy neihbours land. They didn’t just covet it they took it by force and then lied about events to justify theft on a grand scale and you won’t even admit that.

    Maybe the Ambassador was onto something when he said the dream would fail if the land so coveted was to be given back and you can’t stand hearing people say that.

  226. douglas clark — on 21st May, 2009 at 7:04 am  

    Chairwoman,

    I know your not defending Ms Phillips. Apologies if it came across like that. It’s simply that she is a red rag to a bull…

    It is my simple, basic, assumption that you can’t be wrong by disagreeing with anything Melanie Philips says. So far, so good.

  227. sonia — on 21st May, 2009 at 12:00 pm  

    imran: you say:

    Even though some advisors have advised them that some non-Sufi Orthodox movements are also anti-violent.

    the emphasis on ‘some’ – is mine, do you mean the advisers think that the Sufi’s are the only ones who are non-violent? And that most Orthodox movements are violent?

  228. sonia — on 21st May, 2009 at 12:30 pm  

    Imran, no certain things cannot be abolished overnight.

    Slavery was not ‘abolished’ overnight and as you point out it exists today as human trafficking, wage slavery in many cases where the employees are practically like indentured labour, working in a restaurant for example at peanuts/or no pay because they are illegal (think brick lane) etc. The point is that these are CRIMES. (and you and many Islamic scholars, seem to have missed this) they are not ‘allowed’!
    By any code anymore, thank goodness for that. And that is why many people -are working to try and address these crimes, Amnesty International has an exhibition coming I think you should see. Trafficking of Eastern European women – and their lives. What kind of mind abuse do you think this is? And all those centuries of women (and Men) who had to go through that – for what? Because Islam was too slow to modernise? Tell me – who will pay for that abuse on Judgement Day? Hmm?

    People are also able to ADMIT that they were WRONG in the past to have enslaved people. On the contrary, the code we should all aspire to – the UN Human Rights Charter – very clearly marks these out as crimes against humanity and being against universal human rights. This is FUNDAMENTAL to notions of HUMAN EQUALITY AND LIBERTY.

    You can’t go ‘two’ ways about this. Either it is wrong or it is not. There is no room for moral ambivalence here.

    I cannot believe i have to point all this out – it is the very bedrock without which – what have we got? Nothing
    And if you cannot IMPLEMENT a change right away – well then, put steps in place. An action plan! HOW is it going to happen? How are we going to discourage it? (ooh yeah baby, by letting the old blokes have sex with them!)>>How will it happen ‘over time’ – automatically? I am sorry to have to say this – but the Islamic morals cannot have been good enough.
    You say it is wrong, condemn it, give some time to implement your changes, you do not write it into your legal system and give maliks the free reign to sleep with them to boot. That is not condemning something – that’s saying ‘ go ahead boy! enjoy the booty!’ (I cannot believe i have to point that out – it is crass.)

  229. sonia — on 21st May, 2009 at 12:45 pm  

    For the record, another thing -given this was supposed to be some religion going around the world ‘changing things’. What did it achieve? A supply of labour, (and freedom to ‘take’ someone at their will) new lands to rule over, ooh – who’s winning here?

    And If you cannot put the fear of the Lord into people over this one thing – why try to do that with anything else? God won’t tolerate worship of other gods, wine, song, and sex with consenting women if you’re a poor bloke, but no! slaves are ok to stay for a while – and in the meantime, the Owners can enjoy. well!

    What’s the point of conquering lands and peoples in the name of religion if all you are going to do is enslave them? What did all those poor women and children ever do to anyone? Sure their husbands were opposed to some invaders – wouldn’t you be? Protecting your land and your women! (Seeing as you claim so much support for the Palestinians, you should be able to understand, right) Do you think it would be OK if the Israeli soldiers just turned up – killed all the Palestinian men, then forced their widows to rape them/even “marry” them? all in the name of some ‘submission’ to God? I bet not somehow.

    Oh no, its only OK as long it was the Muslims doing it, and the non-Muslims were enslaved. Disgusting. If you/some other apologist cannot address how problematic this is, you have no right to whinge about Islamophobia. I guess you just want to have the boot on your foot/be the aggressor, is that it? that’s why you don’t like aggressive tactics when its against Muslims – not because you condone aggressive tactics in general – no you just want to be the WarLord.

    All this in the name of God. D-I-S-G-U-S-T-I-N-G. And how insulting. So much Moral Hypocrisy it’s ASTOUNDING!

  230. sonia — on 21st May, 2009 at 1:03 pm  

    And actually yes Imran, I am very much interested in campaigning against human rights abuses in general – that is why I am an Amnesty International supporter.
    And absolutely i criticise empire and “foreign” policies which are imperialist. You don’t know much about my politics if you think i don’t. You can put down my distaste with religious authority as a big part of my drive, and I criticise everything based on the moral framework i developed. which incidentally, i share a lot of these values with my Dad, who is a very liberal questioning, very deeply spiritual Muslim. I am in part so disgusted and shocked because I feel let down, my Dad has held Islam in high regard and encouraged me to feel there is good reason to do so. However we never discussed any of these issues and they are completely against the moral frameworks we were brought up with, and that i ‘assumed’ – from my Dad – were also part of Islam. Of course now when I next see my Dad, i have some serious questions to put to him about whether he knows about this, and how he reconciles it/if he does.

    I myself have not had a bad experience with Islam – i am lucky enough to come from a liberal powerful family that is able to protect me from the many dangers that befall ‘women without protection’. Given how we now see Muslim men have preyed on them in the past it is easier to see why they are so obsessed with protecting Muslim women, i.e. us. And it makes me feel – all this time i was like, ‘oh poor muslim girls, we’re so hemmed in, blah blah’ and you know what – compared to the treatment of the non-Muslim slave women, well, we all obviously had a blast. a nice hemmed in turkish delight kind of blast. but at least we were ‘free’ women, at least we have that.

    However it seems that YOU are not able to deal with direct questions, in a neutral way. Whether someone has an agenda ‘against’ Islam or not – does not change the simple question’ right or wrong’. And yes, I am engaging you – on a moral note. Ironic, that you religious as you claim to be, are doing the fudging, and moral relativism.

    As for whether I am upset at Islam – i am happy for myself because I’ve found my way. Its not on my own account, but on the account of all those people who have been oppressed, enslaved, forgotten, in history – who make me sad, and the continuing enslavement of people everywhere – which makes me mad. And if people who committed slavery in the past, cannot admit it was wrong, how can we convince those of today – that it is?

    Really – I hope you learn something from this. Ironically a lot of people seem to think people ‘leave’ their religion because they are not ‘spiritual’ or ethical. With Islam – it appears to be the opposite. It is not good enough – for me.

  231. imran khan — on 22nd May, 2009 at 6:39 am  

    Sonia – “the emphasis on ’some’ – is mine, do you mean the advisers think that the Sufi’s are the only ones who are non-violent? And that most Orthodox movements are violent?”

    That is the impression they like to give yes. In fact most Orthodox movements are not violent and they simply don’t like Sufi devotion to the dead and the worship at graves which is often used to manipulate people mostly the poor.

    As I said this who issue is being manipulated by some Sufi’s to bash certain creeds.

  232. imran khan — on 22nd May, 2009 at 7:04 am  

    Sonia – Having read you piece above I believe you are cherry-picking and not really grsping the situation of the time. Any system can only change certain things over time and yes Islam did put measures in place to remove slavery but it wasn’t something that could be done overnight.

    The very systems you say you are comfortable in also took centuries to eradicate slavery.

    Within Islam it was possible for a slave to rise to the top and this is provne by history and thus they didn’t just remain slaves.

    “The point is that these are CRIMES. (and you and many Islamic scholars, seem to have missed this) they are not ‘allowed’!
    By any code anymore, thank goodness for that.”
    That’s utter nonsense and you know it how can make such a statement and then invite me to see the Amnesty Exhibition on the trafficing of women so clearly if Amnesty have an exhibition then they are being allowed.

    You seem to miss the point that even today it still goes on.

    “And if you cannot IMPLEMENT a change right away – well then, put steps in place. An action plan! HOW is it going to happen? How are we going to discourage it?”
    And as I pointed out to you and action plan was put in place to eradicate it. So big rewards were given for freeing slaves, where someone kept slaves they were to treat them well. For female slaves there was encouragement to educate them and if possible marry them rather than keeping them as slaves.

    You really fail to grasp the situation of the time and this is why you can’t rise above and see that aboloshing slavery rapidly in that period was so easy. Its whim that you think one can click their fingers and its gone.

    Can’t you see the wisdom in telling people to educate slaves so they can lead an existence and not suffer more by being thrown out onto the street with no money and few means of survival in a brutal period.

    “For the record, another thing -given this was supposed to be some religion going around the world ‘changing things’. What did it achieve? A supply of labour, (and freedom to ‘take’ someone at their will) new lands to rule over, ooh – who’s winning here?”
    Again this is selective history inspired by orientalists. Its just another way of saying that Islam was spread by the sword. It wasn’t and denying the benefits is distorting history to make a point. Islam has influenced even the western legal systems and it wasn’t simply a land grab.

    “What’s the point of conquering lands and peoples in the name of religion if all you are going to do is enslave them? What did all those poor women and children ever do to anyone? Sure their husbands were opposed to some invaders – wouldn’t you be? Protecting your land and your women! (Seeing as you claim so much support for the Palestinians, you should be able to understand, right)”

    So thats all they ever did was enslave people? Thats nonsense. No religion can advance from the Atlantic to the Pacific if all it is doing is enslaving more and more people – it wouldn’t have the means to control such a population. The fact that many of those areas remain Muslims shows your argument for the hysterical nonsense it is.

    “Oh no, its only OK as long it was the Muslims doing it, and the non-Muslims were enslaved. Disgusting. If you/some other apologist cannot address how problematic this is, you have no right to whinge about Islamophobia. I guess you just want to have the boot on your foot/be the aggressor, is that it? that’s why you don’t like aggressive tactics when its against Muslims – not because you condone aggressive tactics in general – no you just want to be the WarLord.

    All this in the name of God. D-I-S-G-U-S-T-I-N-G. And how insulting. So much Moral Hypocrisy it’s ASTOUNDING!”
    Thats complete nonsense and its selective cherry picking. First of all where did I say I wanted to be warlord or enslave people? The moral code of Islam allowed people to practise their faith and also to run their own legal systems. If Islam was as you claim why did so many Christians and Jews live in the Muslim world including those that fled from Europe.

    The moral outrage that you have is selective and involves simply attacking Islam rather than viewing the overall picture. Also things done in the name of Islam such as slavery doesn’t mean it is accepted as part of Islam.

    Equally things done in the name of Europe doesn’t mean its part of European culture. Do you think most people in the UK accepted Blair’s war – No? So its not something one can pin solely on every Brit is it.

  233. imran khan — on 22nd May, 2009 at 7:31 am  

    “And actually yes Imran, I am very much interested in campaigning against human rights abuses in general – that is why I am an Amnesty International supporter.
    And absolutely i criticise empire and “foreign” policies which are imperialist. You don’t know much about my politics if you think i don’t. You can put down my distaste with religious authority as a big part of my drive, and I criticise everything based on the moral framework i developed. which incidentally, i share a lot of these values with my Dad, who is a very liberal questioning, very deeply spiritual Muslim. I am in part so disgusted and shocked because I feel let down, my Dad has held Islam in high regard and encouraged me to feel there is good reason to do so. However we never discussed any of these issues and they are completely against the moral frameworks we were brought up with, and that i ‘assumed’ – from my Dad – were also part of Islam. Of course now when I next see my Dad, i have some serious questions to put to him about whether he knows about this, and how he reconciles it/if he does.”

    Moral frameworks are fine to discuss as long as one can be objective and also appreciate the circumstances of the time. It also requires a person to be able to understand where people use religion to justify their own authority.

    You keep going on about my support for the Palestinians but equally you fial to mention that I don’t support abuse of Jews eithers. So isn’t that part of the same religious code?

    “However it seems that YOU are not able to deal with direct questions, in a neutral way. Whether someone has an agenda ‘against’ Islam or not – does not change the simple question’ right or wrong’. And yes, I am engaging you – on a moral note. Ironic, that you religious as you claim to be, are doing the fudging, and moral relativism.”

    I’d say the same about you. You have a preset notion of Islam and are debating from there and pretending its a neutral point of view. It isn’t when discussing history then one also needs to look at the circumstances of the time.

    Your simplistic approach is lets just dump what we find wrong and not think about the consequences.

    Its an approach a bit like Mugabe’s Land Reform. Get the land from the whites and give it to the blacks but provide them with no means of survival to actually do much with the land.Its a recipe for disaster. Its the same with slavery it can’t just be abolished and steps have to be in place to allow people out of slavery and they were put in place. In your sensationalism its simply to say that Islam is disgusting and didn’t do anything to set in place the removal of slavery. It did and if Muslims didn’t follow it that isn’t the fault of Islam and thats something you are unable to differentiate.

    Its all very well fighting for moral rights but its bankrupt if you can’t be objective and read history correctly.

    Yes the Ottomans had harems but that was their practise and not an Islamic one, I mean come on in your ever selective approach you fail to mention that the Sultan often enslaved his own brothers to avoid coup’s but that isn’t Islamic either is it. Islam preaches that one should maintain the ties of the womb. But next you’ll be blaming Islam for that as well.

    Simply reading hadith and not understanding them in relation to the religion and then choosing to sensationalise them doesn’t make your position correct.

    There is a woman in London who has researched Islam’s approach to Slavery as part of her research work and her conclusions are far different to the picture you are trying to paint. It might be worth you reading her work and if you have contacts with the London Universities you should be able to find her.

    But What I do say is that at least try and be objective and fair rather than sensationalist so you can take people where you want to go.

    I am against slavery and I believe that Islam is too but I practicale enough to realise it wasn’t something that could be abolished overnight.

    Measures were put inplace to eradicate it. As Aiysha (ra) said in her hadith due to the circumstances of the people measures had to be brought in slowly onmany things because if it wasdone in one go then the people wouldn’t have changed.

    Even in the west such change took place over a long period of time and in fact its still an issue being combated.

  234. bananabrain — on 22nd May, 2009 at 12:16 pm  

    I would be interested in hearing more about what passes for national debate in this regard.

    you mean about the debate about the halakhic status of the state of israel, is that right? well, it’s basically about whether one believes it is the reishit semihat ge’ulateinu (“beginning of our redemption from exile”) or not. in other words, is it of messianic significance? basically the religious world is divided into the following:

    a) yes, therefore we must make sure the redemption is done in such a way that the words of the “endgame” prophecies (lions lying down with lambs, everyone gathering on the “mountain of G!D”, the Temple being rebuilt and being a “house of devotion” for all nations, etc)
    b) yes, therefore we must expect the “birth pangs of the messiah” (i.e. the war of gog and magog and various armageddon-type nastinesses, although some say that this has already happened) and stick to our guns, which means no compromise, stick to your guns in every sense and fight to survive in a book-of-joshua sort of way which might mean unilateral action e.g. rebuilding the Temple (which i don’t need to remind you shares the site with the dome of the rock and the al-aqsa mosque)
    c) no, it is an abomination for the jews to try and set the third jewish commonwealth up before the messiah comes and the troubles israel is facing are because we have defied the Divine Plan
    d) don’t know, but suspect either a) b) or c), either way there are forces at work we don’t understand
    e) don’t know any more, it seemed like a) after 1967 and during the oslo process but now it’s all gone horribly wrong

    i am, in case you didn’t realise, e), although there are times when i am also a d). the *non*-religious world is divided into:

    i) people who either are optimists or suspect a) may be true on some level and therefore want a political programme that can bring that about through negotiation and compromise
    ii) people who are either pessimists or suspect b) may be true on some level and therefore want a political programme that can protect them at all costs
    iii) people who will go for anything which seems to work (NB, this could be a hawkish or dovish solution, or a continual flip-flop)
    iv) don’t knows

    each one of these positions has at least one political party devoted to it. likud, in my opinion is made up of ii). kadima and labour cannot make up their minds about i) and ii), but kadima, originally, was conceived by sharon as a way to break the deadlock by using iii) (whatever it was he ultimately intended to do) – in his absence, it has now reverted back to the deadlock. meretz are made up of i). the national religious party used to be made up of a) and are now made up of b). all the small right-wing parties are made up of a combination of b) and ii), yisrael beiteinu (lieberman’s lot) are made up of a combination of ii) and iii) and the ultra-orthodox parties are made up of a combination of c) and ii), except shas, which is, i believe, more inclined to i). this, incidentally, is the party of r. ovadia yosef, of whom imran so strongly disapproves due to his habit of cursing arabs (and anyone else that annoys him) on the radio. on the other hand, he is also the leading “gadol ha-dor” or supreme halakhic authority (the fact that there are a bunch of them should tell you something) to have ruled that exchanging biblical territory for peace is allowed; this is a key element to resolving the religious issue. the ultra-orthodox parties are also, basically, in politics to maximise the number of state resources that can be diverted into religious education, large [religious] families (also a reason a lot of arabs vote for shas) and religious institutions, which brings us to our next point:

    I think you are being very hostile to the orthodox and ultra-orthdox families. Why?

    i don’t know about *hostile*. i know that they are contributing to the levels of b) and c) not to mention ii) and iii). combine that with the fact that many of them are causing enormous levels of hostility within the non-religious world by refusing to pay tax, but still trying to take the state for everything they can and refusing any level of compromise. the orthodox that hold to c) also won’t serve in the army and in any case the vast majority of them do not work, although some of them are prepared for the wives to work in order to support their husbands as full-time Torah scholars. either way, this causes huge resentment from the secular and working-religious public, because they have to serve in the army, pay taxes and work like normal people and regard the ultras as a bunch of bloodsucking freeloaders; the fact that they’re always getting caught taking backhanders and running all sorts of financial schemes to siphon off state money into the religious sector exacerbates this, but nothing more so than the way that many of the black-hatters regard anyone who isn’t a black-hatter – and i won’t even mention how the non-orthodox religious feel. many of the secular public feel absolute loathing for the black-hatters and not much better about the “national-religious”, who make up the settler lobby. personally, i feel that the way all these groups treat each other is scandalous and nothing less than a desecration of the Divine Name, to say nothing of sinat hinam (“causeless hatred”), which caused the destruction of the second jewish commonwealth.

    There will always be something to hold you back if you want it to. The Guardian and the blogosphere? Really?

    if memri as a source of information is going to be ruled out, then so are other biased sources of information. personally, i think you’re never going to be done with that.

    As for Saudis and Iranians, shouldn’t the 2002 offer go a considerable way to resolving that?

    no, because the 2002 offer amounts to, as i remember “concede everything in advance and then we’ll negotiate”.

    Perhaps what i should clarify – seeing as people are so touchy and sensitive – was that the ‘exclusive’ nature of community – and sharing resources – and organising – is problematic. Having nation-states that compete with each other – is very stupid, having nation-states that deny the possibility of movement when necessary is inhumane – need i say more. this should all be obvious to anyone with the slightest iota of universal human rights. (i.e. universal, not just for my co-religionists/co-ethnicists)

    community cannot be conflated with nation-state. the nation-state is something that communities are going to have to grow out of and ultimately relinquish.

    refresh – @ #218, the eye-fish-knifing is the sort of engagement (sorry, sonia) that i get into all the time in my own community, except, obviously, that i have to talk them round to the point where i don’t want to stick the fish knife in anymore. that isn’t happening here. instead, i am to some extent being convinced by the intransigence of people like yourself and imran that ii) is the only safe option. i really hope that isn’t true.

    b’shalom

    bananabrain

  235. Refresh — on 22nd May, 2009 at 1:35 pm  

    Excellent piece Bananabrain. Also agree with your point about the nation-state to Sonia.

    As for intransigence, we could very easily be, shall we say, intransigent about who is being intransigent.

    It goes back to the response (perhaps perceived) over Gaza, and I said at the time unless (paraphrasing) we cannot universally condemn what was being done then we might as well go back to our bunkers. It was as if there was ‘no partner for peace’.

    I also recall noting that unless jews and Israelis themselves don’t tackle their own ‘extremists’, then there is no way forward. I include Melanie Philips in this; and the role of MEMRI which is to continue to sharpen the divide.

    Your last post is very helpful and would be interested to know more about the make up of Israeli politics. One area of particular interest is Lieberman and his rise, which I presume is mainly due to the last big inrush of jews from Russia. To make up the numbers for Sharon’s political program. And what I see as the continual posturing of being a western country, when most of the population have had little or no experience of the west.

    As for the 2002 offer, what is wrong with agreeing to it? We have had decades of ‘negotiations’ which we have all seen to end up in more land grabbing. I see that as a ‘put up or shut’ up moment for Israel.

  236. sonia — on 22nd May, 2009 at 2:05 pm  

    Imran, you don’t seem to have gotten any of my core points. It wasn’t about you wanting to enslave people – obviously, ha! where do you get that? I am talking about the collective record of our ‘Caliphates’ – obviously.

    And as i said, the critique of their social activities – compared to their counterparts at the time, isn’t significant. Everyone was up to no-good then. But for a movement that claimed itself to be religious and have received ‘guidance’ from God, – it is not a satisfactory excuse no. Either its a man-made thing, or it isn’t. Or you simply have to admit the humans got it wrong, end of story. Humans are fallible – why not just admit that? God said this, we did that.
    And everyone else who was up to the same sort of thing at the time – gets the same critique from me. why is this so surprising to you? Especially if they are trying to pretend to have moral relevancy TODAY!

    As for your question about why were there non-Muslims living under Islam – well what’s that got to do with my point that Islam’s code on slavery is not acceptable to me? People put up with oppressive practices, that’s a well-known fact, that doesn’t mean I – centuries down the line – cannot come and express my opinion.

    I think it was disgusting, that is what I am stating. You – have not really offered any reasons why I should see it any differently. Your excuses seem to be – oh everybody else was doing it, why did people live under Empire (why indeed, why did anyone in history live under Empire?) if it wasn’t good for then, you sound just like Niall Ferguson, apologist for the British Empire.

    So, that’s fine. I didn’t really think you had any other reasons.

    Face it, from within ‘Islam’ – there are no excuses. Brought up as a Muslim, according to the set of morals that are passed of as ‘Islamic’ – Islam’s history does not bear up. This is the problem I see. It doesn’t hold upto ‘Quranic’ ideals you see -or the ideals which are said – by muslims – to be ‘Quranic’. Now you can then say ‘oh but compared to the Infidels, look at us’ – but sorry, the infidels according to you lot -didn’t have the right Code. So you either preach and then practise what you preach, or you don’t. That’s simple enough for you?

    So i don’t see how any Muslim apologist argues their way out of that one. Either Islam has morals or it doesn’t! And according to those very morals, the practice from 9th C onwards – did not fit with those morals. Either that – or the morals weren’t there. Which is it?

    —-
    And I think from now on – I shall apply your moral reasoning to points you bring forward. Come on, the Israelis aren’t that bad. Why are there any Palestinians still there – why they must be enjoying themselves. And HEy- everyone’s doing it?!

  237. sonia — on 22nd May, 2009 at 2:14 pm  

    Anyway, thanks for the valuable practice. As you see, soon I will be taking on the Muslim Ulema :-)

    I find it deeply sad however Imran, that if you are so passionate about the plight of the Palestinians, which you should be feeling, you care not a jot for the human rights of all those dispossessed slaves in the history – of our Islamic Empire. They are not here any more – can we not be ‘big’ enough to say ‘yeah, our ancestors made a mistake’. Can’t we?

    You want all sorts of people to concede points on Israel, yet you show the same obstinacy where your ‘tribal loyalties’ are concerned.

    yes it is sad indeed. When will we actually have a view of universal human rights? And not – my tribe right’s and oh they were right in history to fuck the rest of you over.

  238. sonia — on 22nd May, 2009 at 2:19 pm  

    So you see imran – when i said this:

    Brought up as a Muslim, according to the set of morals that are passed of as ‘Islamic’ – Islam’s history does not bear up. This is the problem I see. It doesn’t hold upto ‘Quranic’ ideals you see -or the ideals which are said – by muslims – to be ‘Quranic’

    I will be bringing this up with my Dad when i see him – because in my opinion, from the teachings of my parents – there were a set of Islamic ideals – which this all contradicts. and maybe other people see it differently, perhaps my problem simply is I had an impression from my family there was actually an ethical framework to Islam. So in any case, you may say slavery doesn’t contradict Islam’s ethical framework, because you have a certain view of what that framework is. Whereas I know what my family taught me – and my family does too – so at least we will be on the same page to discuss this serious contradiction.

    (the poor thing – my Dad i mean, my Mother will of course say, see i told you not to teach them to ask too many questions!! :-) )

  239. bananabrain — on 22nd May, 2009 at 2:23 pm  

    As for intransigence, we could very easily be, shall we say, intransigent about who is being intransigent.

    indeed, “we” could.

    I said at the time unless (paraphrasing) we cannot universally condemn what was being done then we might as well go back to our bunkers.

    as long as “universally” included hamas.

    I also recall noting that unless jews and Israelis themselves don’t tackle their own ‘extremists’, then there is no way forward. I include Melanie Philips in this;

    i agree. but the issue here is not actually about mel phillips or memri – there are plenty of dovish commentators like freedland and aaronovitch to give opposing views. she’s made her name with her point of view, for her to detach her trousers from the mast would require a U-turn from her similar to that made by sharon when he turned on the settler lobby. now, contrary to imran’s point of view, our extremists are actually not people like mel phillips, but the grass-roots that i meet socially and in the community, week in, week out. the best way to engage them is not in print, but face to face, calmly, reasonably and, most importantly, in a way which emphasises how much i understand and sympathise with where they’re coming from; it’s the “mr security” principle. they’re more likely to listen to someone like me who is obviously committed to the survival of judaism than they will to some smooth-tongued opinion former. but i’m only one person – there need to be thousands of people like me to do this kind of work.

    and the role of MEMRI which is to continue to sharpen the divide.

    i’ll give up memri if you give up robert fisk and all the rest of the arab lobby in the commentariat.

    I would be interested to know more about the make up of Israeli politics. One area of particular interest is Lieberman and his rise, which I presume is mainly due to the last big inrush of jews from Russia.

    indeed, it tends to be the russians who vote for him, but he’s picked up a lot of the people who are fed up with the ineffectiveness of the likud and its tendency to cosy up to the religious parties.

    To make up the numbers for Sharon’s political program.

    no, this is something very basic about zionism, whether left or right-wing, religious or secular; the basic belief is that jews should move to israel. why – and to do what when we get there – is what everyone then disagrees on. naturally, you would expect politicians to lobby for particular groups to come if they think they’re going to vote for them, it is proportional representation after all. sharon did assume the russians would be natural likudniks, just as ovadia yosef [correctly] assumed that the ethiopians would vote for shas if he threw the weight of the mizrahim behind them – but where he secured this was by ensuring that their jewish status was recognised as being halakhically valid, not requiring conversion, in contradistinction to sharon leaving the russians to the mercy of the ashkenazi haredim, who refused many of them burial in jewish cemeteries even when killed during national service. it is hardly surprising that a key plank of lieberman’s appeal to his electorate is that he promises to make the black-hats sing for their supper and go out to work. the casual racism of your average russian is not so much of a factor, politically speaking, although they are extremely right-wing and authoritarian, they are more likely to be pragmatic than you might think because they would not have religious attachments to the west bank, let alone gaza.

    And what I see as the continual posturing of being a western country, when most of the population have had little or no experience of the west.

    an interesting notion, i myself have accused israel of behaving like a “banana republic” (unless that’s racist nowadays, i have no idea) more than once. bernard lewis opines that the fault lines in israeli society are between the “jews of christendom” and the “jews of islam”, between which the society was once divided; the arrival of the russians has added a third factor, namely russianness, which is, contrary to what many people think, not at all european to any degree. people just assume they’re european because they’re white, but ’tain’t so in my experience.

    As for the 2002 offer, what is wrong with agreeing to it?

    what is wrong? how about what i just said?

    We have had decades of ‘negotiations’ which we have all seen to end up in more land grabbing. I see that as a ‘put up or shut’ up moment for Israel.

    i dare say you do. from my point of view, we have had decades of “negotiations” which we have all seen to end up in the palestinians trying to avoid confronting the terror infrastructure; fatah has had its put up or shut up moment and is still trying to play both sides; hamas has its moment yet to come.

    b’shalom

    bananabrain

  240. sonia — on 22nd May, 2009 at 2:38 pm  

    Your last 2 sentences Imran – make me think you didn’t actually read my post.

    Measures were put in place to eradicate it.

    People always trot out this sentence – but what does it mean? Can you tell me what these were and what the vision was – how were these measures – over time – going to ‘eradicate’ something that was allowed and codified in Islamic fiqh? Really and truly – what mechanism/what methodology did the Scholars think – was going to ‘eradicate’ slavery – when they were allowing owners to have sex with them? How was this going to stop “over time”? Please can someone explain the 9th C Islamic scholars thinking to me.

    Even in the west such change took place over a long period of time and in fact its still an issue being combated.

    {You continue to compare Islam with ‘the West’. Odd. I thought the West is corrupt! Heh.} But Yes – as i pointed out – slavery is still very much in existence around the world – and it is considered a CRIME, and it is illegal. It is not sanctioned in any law. Human traffickers when captured are put in prison and the authorities are trying to catch them. The time of the ‘change’ is not what i am talking about – as i bolded it up on my comment – it is the intention. Was it made illegal or not? Yes or no. Was it a crime yes or no? Was it considered haraam?

    When people say slavery was ‘abolished’ – they mean the institution was made illegal, everyone knows that from the day you try and make something illegal, it does not stop. What Wilberforce did – was set things in motion, and condemn the practice.#

    Who condemned the islamic practice of slavery in the Middle Ages? did anyone? So we have the ironic situation – where we ‘condemn’ something – but we practise it! With no ideas as to how we will ‘stop’ (maybe because we really don’t want to?)

  241. sonia — on 22nd May, 2009 at 2:48 pm  

    Further: Perhaps we should apply Islam’s approach to eradicating slavery -to all other moral issues.

    Because if I am to accept that explanation, I want to know why we cannot apply it to popular ‘moral evils’ that Islam is so down on.

    *Worship of gods/idols is wrong but we will practise anyway – in time insha’Allah it will be eradicated! We cannot hope for change overnight.

    *Drinking wine and being intoxicated is wrong – but we will practise anyway – in time insha’Allah it will be eradicated! We cannot hope for change overnight. Plus the West does this too!

    * Adultery (whatever that is seeing as a Malik bloke can have sex with so many bloody people it seems as if its only another Malik’s wife we’re referring to here, or – basically – referring to only Muslim women i suppose or poor blokes) is wrong but we will practise anyway – in time insha’Allah it will be eradicated! We cannot hope for change overnight.

    *Eating pork is wrong but we will practise anyway – in time insha’Allah it will be eradicated!We cannot hope for change overnight. Plus the West does this too! so this must make it alright.

    Anyone? What – i can’t be the only bloody person around who sees something fishy going on??

  242. Ravi Naik — on 22nd May, 2009 at 2:51 pm  

    So i don’t see how any Muslim apologist argues their way out of that one. Either Islam has morals or it doesn’t! And according to those very morals, the practice from 9th C onwards – did not fit with those morals. Either that – or the morals weren’t there. Which is it?

    Morals are codes of conduct that allow us to determine good from evil. The contradiction you found is the result of the belief that morals do not change over time. They obviously do. So, there were morals in the 9th century, they just didn’t include “basic human rights” that would have made slavery, torture, seeing women as “spoils of war”, as abhorrent.

    I am not aware that mainstream Islam, Judaism or Christianity defend such practices, much to the opposite.

  243. Refresh — on 22nd May, 2009 at 3:11 pm  

    Sonia, you have said before (many moons ago) that you would pick up these issues with your dad. Why don’t you do that and let us understand where they are coming from?

    Your comments don’t seem to demonstrate a desire to engage nor are they particularly exploratory. They come from a position of certitude. I hope you can at least engage your dad on the matter but recommend the language is a little less abrasive.

    Your questions are not relevant to the issue of this thread. I think you would have been better to continue your outpourings on the ‘engagement’ thread, as it is clearly a distraction here.

  244. fugstar — on 22nd May, 2009 at 4:13 pm  

    i think its NGOitis.

  245. sonia — on 22nd May, 2009 at 4:58 pm  

    Refresh – I can certainly tell you what my Dad has to say about it – (and I am sure you can understand it is a difficult thing to approach an elder with these scurilous matters – not just about the slavery question but the conduct of our most esteemed Prophet. Plus my Dad is not in this country and I have not been to Bangladesh since Dec. 2007.)

    But why do you not expound an opinion yourself? You must yourself have to deal with these issues – surely? Any person with a conscience has to deal with them one way or the other. I am interested in hearing as many people’s ways as possible – particularly how are younger Muslims dealing with this? ( I have no idea how old you are but I imagine you are not 71 years old, which is my Dad’s age)

    Some people may imagine i ask these questions for no reason – or to be argumentative – or to be ‘anti-Islam’ for no reason other than ‘Islamophobia’ -but as someone who has been on this discussion board for a while, I think you must be aware that I am asking these questions seriously.

    And I might be ignored – but rest assured there are going to be many MORE young Muslims who will be asking the same questions too. What will all other Muslims do – ignore these questions? This is what I mean about starting a debate “within” the “Community”- unearthing the uncomfortable questions. This is indeed the crisis within Islam today – it cannot be ignored for long, in this day and age. Because increasing no’s of people will simply not bow down and accept religion blindly as they have done in the past.

    And what about you Fugstar? Have you anything to say about it – apart from one-liners.

  246. Refresh — on 22nd May, 2009 at 5:40 pm  

    Sonia, take it to the other thread. And tell us there what your dad has to say about it. I would have hoped since you are repeating the same questions as c.2007, you might have come back with some of your own findings. I have seen answers to the slavery issue and some of the other stuff you talk about. They have not been particularly at odds with our understanding of a moral world based on universal human rights. But I do not go round collecting them in anticipation of having to respond to you. If you had said these were my questions, and this is what I’ve found out then that might move it a little bit forward. Although I still wouldn’t be interested.

  247. sonia — on 22nd May, 2009 at 5:53 pm  

    Ravi –

    “I am not aware that mainstream Islam, Judaism or Christianity defend such practices, much to the opposite.”

    I have no idea that mainstream Judaism or Christianity thinks, and until recently I myself too thought ‘mainstream’ Islam did not defend such practices too. I imagined that when it happened, slavery was a social phenomenon and certainly not one that was religiously sanctioned. Most Muslims do not seem to be aware of this either. However as Ali Eteraz rightly points out frequently, Islam is a juridical religion so what is actually in our law books requires scrutiny. As Sunny points out, perhaps the real issue is that too many of us brought up as ‘ordinary muslims’ have absolutely no idea on these topics.

    However the fact remains that a closer look at Islamic Fiqh that it is not straightforward. Yes there are certainly passages in the Quran which condemn slavery. Yet there is also the famous passage that scholars interpreted – to allow owners to have sex with their slaves. Based on various sources, including the Hadiths which recount the Prophet’s own actions – slavery was allowed – with conditions attached, when our moral precepts were codified into Law in the 9th Century.

    It could well be that it was the wrong interpretation. (The link above on the Quranic passage questions whether the traditional interpretation is correct) There are accounts which could back either choice – the Prophet had freed his black slave Belal – so one could say, well we should free all slaves, but the Prophet also took slaves through battle – hence the scholars justified continuation and codification into law.

    There are good reasons why so many Islamic feminists are focusing on the 9th century codification of fiqh – islamic jurisprudence – as being male-centric/suiting male appetites, and perhaps therefore not reflecting [what they imagine] to be the core values as set out in the Quran. Of course these same male scholars also interpreted the Quranic passages – in order to formulate their laws – so for some islamic feminists, there are similar questions with regards the whole area of Quranic exegesis.

    Anyhow, it is a complex area – but we are not going to uncover anything about it if people pretend there are no problems with the rulings.

    For the most part, the traditionalist view on sex slavery generally goes unchallenged within Islam – If people are actually interested – they should take a look at this link.

    Of course, I would like to find a traditionalist scholar who still supports the classical fiqh ruling and ask them myself.

    And yes, perhaps it doesn’t matter what happened in the past, if we can say, yeah that was wrong in today’s terms, maybe it was okay then,but definitely not now, and ensure that those rulings are obsolete, and never given the chance to be used again if such a situation were to arise. ( e.g. an Islamic caliphate resurrection which decides it can flount international law for whatever reason, i don’t know). Principles are important – otherwise why bother at all?

    The reality is that slaves were prisoners of war, people who had been captured and conquered as part of the great political project of expanding Islam. This was not a good way of doing it, and shows the early Muslims, and those running Caliphates, were no better than their other Empire-loving counterparts. Also another main issue was that Muslims could not be enslaved. So it was those who were captured in battle, the people from the conquered territories, they were enslaved. Conversion to Islam did not automatically ‘un-enslave’ them – that was up to the master, because they thought all sorts of people could ‘convert’ in theory just to free themselves. So that was not allowed. (Suggests that they were aware of the value of slaves as labour). So clearly, there was some recognition of human rights – but not applied to non-Muslims. This kind of dichotomy of what is right for who – is particularly worrying, and again, typical of Empire discrimination of groups.

    So for those who see in Islam – some kind of ‘antidote’ to the current forms of imperialism we see, and dodgy foreign policies, I really can’t see – what it is they see, unless its simply ‘their’ group in power, or they see some sort of significant reform, compared to our record in the past.

  248. sonia — on 22nd May, 2009 at 6:11 pm  

    refresh: “They come from a position of certitude.”

    Yes – The certitude i have is that slavery is wrong wrong wrong and it was particularly wrong to allow those owners to have sex with their slaves. Yes absolutely I am certain on that point. I am also certain that without resolving this question – there is little moral currency within Islam, unless people are ready to create their own Islam.
    So that’s why I engage people on this topic. is there some information out there – that might ‘redeem’ the scholars, for example, and are there ways to co-exist with this heinous record in our history, and to ensure it never happens again?

    I will stand up for human rights absolutely -and i will not apologise for the certainty with which i do that.

    And with the continuing power of political Islam- for me, this is a very important.
    If i am going to engage with people who potentially support serious transgressions of human rights abuses, i want to know that. If they do so unquestioningly, it is one thing. I can respect people who have thought things through, and say, well i don’t know,but that’s past, i know its wrong, and i will challenge that in the future. And there are various shades of people’s reactions and responses. But if there is a deep ethical rift, well then, it is something to challenge certainly.

    Given I know religion is not going away, and i have been brought up as a Muslim, I want to know how is this is going to play out, in the religion of the future, of my close family and many friends? Its the elephant in the room for me. I’m sorry if you cannot understand that is a moral issue. My own personal lquestions re god – is not an issue anymore. This is about the world I inhabit, the society from which i come from.

    One has to have some moral certitude certainly. With Some things – one simply cannot afford to have moral ambivalence. I am surprised Refresh – that I have to explain that to you.

  249. Refresh — on 22nd May, 2009 at 6:25 pm  

    Sonia, your certitude defines your tone. Which probably puts most people off from engaging with you.

    But do tell us how your father would react vis-a-vis your patronising tone. I have absolutely no problem with your questions, none.

    You don’t have to explain anything to me, other than things I might not understand about you and your personal circumstances, and even that is not really of my concern.

    You stormed in on a thread which relates to I/P, and demand the discussion be about what you want it to be about. I am tempted to think you are more tribalistic than most.

  250. sonia — on 22nd May, 2009 at 6:27 pm  

    Ruffled feathers Refresh? Don’t like what I have to say do you? Thanks for pointing to my comments as ‘outpourings’ and telling me to take them elsewhere. If Sunny thinks i should – I will. Otherwise, I feel it is relevant as it spun off from the conversation we were having, and as long as people respond to me, I will be writing here. Plus given I/P tends to become about Islam and Judaism, I think my comments might well be relevant.

    If you don’t want to hear what i’ve got to say, you’ve only to ignore them. And I most certainly did not ‘storm’ in – I came here like everybody else, and my original comments were very pertinent to this post.

  251. sonia — on 22nd May, 2009 at 6:28 pm  

    And yeah, religious types never like it when anyone else displays morality, or certitude. I wonder why?

  252. Refresh — on 22nd May, 2009 at 6:37 pm  

    If you hadn’t attempted to derail the thread and avoided the patronising tone you might have made progress.

  253. sonia — on 22nd May, 2009 at 6:47 pm  

    I didn’t attempt to derail the thread and I think your tone is far more patronising than mine, old Muslim patriarch you :-) And if i have made progress or not – that is for me to judge, Refresh old boy.

    The point is – in case you have failed to notice, no one else is saying anything – on Israel and Palestine etc. So if i choose to comment on something, and people respond to me (one of them being yourself) on those themes, well then.

    Seeing as there is nothing interesting to converse on anymore – I shall stop. But you do have your knickers in a twist, don’t you? Aw. Poor thing.

  254. imran khan — on 23rd May, 2009 at 8:15 am  

    Sonia – “People always trot out this sentence – but what does it mean? Can you tell me what these were and what the vision was – how were these measures – over time – going to ‘eradicate’ something that was allowed and codified in Islamic fiqh? Really and truly – what mechanism/what methodology did the Scholars think – was going to ‘eradicate’ slavery – when they were allowing owners to have sex with them? How was this going to stop “over time”? Please can someone explain the 9th C Islamic scholars thinking to me.”

    Apologies for the delayed reponse as I haven’t been near the computer much.

    The vision was to eradicate slavery slowly. As I said research work has been done which confirms the Islamic approach.

    The vision to eradicate it was:

    1. Treat slaves kindly
    2. Educate them
    3. Free them for expiration of sins etc.
    4. Any child born to a female slave was the legitimate child of the father and not another slave. Thereby bringing children of slaves out of slavery.

    Slaves could rise to freedom and position as well and indeed become rulers as the Mamluks did.

    “*Worship of gods/idols is wrong but we will practise anyway – in time insha’Allah it will be eradicated! We cannot hope for change overnight.”

    This practise had to be eradicated straightaway to enact the change you want for more righst and freedoms. The society of the time was barbaric and to change it the fundementals of faith had to be established.

    By the same token it was established that people were not to be forced to convert to Islam and the message was to be conveyed only.

    Look as I said to you and you’ve yet to understand that you have a preset conclusion and you just want everyone to reach that point.

    By protecting the rights of slaves and then encouraging people to educate slaves, encouraging people to free slaves, by giving slaves prominent positions in Islam when they were free, by setting up a mechanism to allow slaves to rise to the top, by ensuring that children born from slaves were not slaves was all a mechanism to end slavery.

    You just want an on/off switch to end it and that it the time period and even today isn’t a feasible solution which is why you have exploitation of people and human traffiking.

    By improving the position of the slave, educating them, freeing them and allowing them to rise in position is a manner to end slavery and also ensure the slave is able to prosper.

    Your solutionis like Mugabe’s land reforms which means lots of people are dumped on the land with no means to actually do anything to help themselves and are subject to exploitation.

    Slavery is horrible but within Islam is a mechanism to bring people out of slavery and this is illustrated by the fact that some of the companions were former slaves who were purchased and freed by Muslims. Bilal being a prime example of a slave belonging to a pagn who was purchased and freed by Abu Bakr. Bilal then became a prominent companion.

    Also I would remind you of the Prophet’s Order that Muslims are to follow their leader even if he was an Abbysinian Slave. This is a very ppowerful order that no matter the colour or the status of the person if they are knowledgable enough and elected as Caliph they are to be followed regardless of colour or their former status in life.

    That alone shows that Islam allowed people to come out of slavery and assume the highest office possible within Islam.

  255. imran khan — on 23rd May, 2009 at 8:18 am  

    Sonia – “And yeah, religious types never like it when anyone else displays morality, or certitude. I wonder why?”

    Thats nonsense what people don’t like is the tone you are taking.

    I’d say you don’t like it when religion is able to display a moral tone because you don’t want it to and thus if they do show a moral tone you want to slap them down which is what you’ve been doing.

    Engagement in moral discussion is fine but you are putting your position on a pedestal and looking down on religious types. Hardly a good point to start.

  256. imran khan — on 23rd May, 2009 at 8:43 am  

    Bananabrain – “no, because the 2002 offer amounts to, as i remember “concede everything in advance and then we’ll negotiate”.”

    I am always amazed at how you always always spin things in Israel’s favour and are simply a propoganda machine for Israel rather than an objective critic. In fact as I said you criticism of Israel is half-hearted and always always ends with an excuse for Israeli actions.

    The 2002 Peace Plan which even Sharon said had merits which means its a bloody good offer but we want to screw the Arabs for more was based on this premise which is a direct contradiction to your spin:

    “- Having listened to the statement made by His Royal Highness Prince Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz, the Crown Prince of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in which his Highness presented his Initiative, calling for full Israeli withdrawal from all the Arab territories occupied since June 1967, in implementation of Security Council Resolutions 242 and 338, reaffirmed by the Madrid Conference of 1991 and the land for peace principle, and Israel’s acceptance of an independent Palestinian State, with East Jerusalem as its capital, in return for the establishment of normal relations in the context of a comprehensive peace with Israel.”
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/middle_east/1844214.stm

    It wasn’t that Israel give up everything and then negotiate. It was withdrawl for full peace and relations.

    “i’ll give up memri if you give up robert fisk and all the rest of the arab lobby in the commentariat.”

    That frankly is an silly statement and if you want to get into that the Memri has massive power and influence which the Arab Lobby and Fisk don’t. Members of congress and the media don’t use Fisk or the Arab Lobby do they. They use Memri spin which isn’t balanced and thus leads to a dangerous position which leads to injustices against Palestinians and Muslims.

    If an Arab organisation was set-up similar to Memri and did what Memri did then I’d be against that too especially if it had the power and reach that Memri does.

    Its a shame you can’t bring yourself to realise that.

    Arab anti-semitism is disgusting and campaigned against and Israeli sanctioned islamophobia and distortion is accepted. Why???

    “i agree. but the issue here is not actually about mel phillips or memri – there are plenty of dovish commentators like freedland and aaronovitch to give opposing views.”

    Aaronovitch as dovish. Are you serious? Aaronovitchhimself doesn’t call himself dovish and he admits his approach is because people have been anti-semtic to him and thus he is hitting back hard – hardly the words of a dove.

    Freedland is by far the most balanced and practical.

    “am to some extent being convinced by the intransigence of people like yourself and imran that ii) is the only safe option. i really hope that isn’t true.”

    which refers to:

    “b) yes, therefore we must expect the “birth pangs of the messiah” (i.e. the war of gog and magog and various armageddon-type nastinesses, although some say that this has already happened) and stick to our guns, which means no compromise, stick to your guns in every sense and fight to survive in a book-of-joshua sort of way which might mean unilateral action e.g. rebuilding the Temple (which i don’t need to remind you shares the site with the dome of the rock and the al-aqsa mosque)”

    Look I am not instransigent I answer your bias and spin. If you didn’t do it and were balanced then I wouldn’t need to do that now would I?

    Where people try and argue for Hamas then as you know I have argued against that.

    The fact you apologise for every Israeli action here is what leads to the frustrated response of people who have to point out that Israel too is in the wrong which is somethig you don’t want said in public.

    Your position is wrong in the sense that it doesn’t matter who commits a wrong it is a wrong.

    I’ve said this to you before and you said that you always feel you have to defend Israel here no matter what and you are getting fed up of it. That shows perfectly your position in public that you have to defend Israel. You don’t if Israel is wrong about something then its wrong and no amount of spin can change that. Equally if the Palestinians/Arabs/Muslims are wrong about something in regards to I/P then as Muslims we can’t defend a wrong or injustice such as the killing of innocent civilians.

    Its that simple concept that when you justdefend and defend that irritates people and in fact places you at odds.

    If Phillips and Memri are wrong how difficult is it for you to say so?

    If you didn’t put a spin on Israel’s approach I for one wouldn’t need to reply and often I feel pretty damned pissed off at you that I do have to because then even I know I am taking a biaed approach by having to present one side but then its need tobalance out because of your comment.

    All I am asking for is more Freedland from you and less Meri. Do that and I won’t need to reply.

  257. imran khan — on 23rd May, 2009 at 8:58 am  

    Oh and Bananabrain you spin for Israel and refusal to criticise Israel is sadly making me convinced that there is no prospect for peace although I hold out hope there is.

    The more you just defend defend and defend, spin and spin and spin, and blame one side more than the other even though its the weakerside the more this is appearing to be just a justification for a land expansion.

    Dare I say your approach is convincing Muslims that there isn’t hope for peace and thats a poor road for you to lead people down.

    In all the time I have read here I can’t ever actually recall you criticising Israel and leaving it at that and you’ve always demanded and to a large degree got Muslims criticising the Palestinians.

    How on earth do you expect Jews and Israel to make peace when people won’t admit wrongs and the need for justice?

  258. Shamit — on 23rd May, 2009 at 10:24 am  

    Ravi

    Is the Catholic Church mainstream? They have the worst possible social views where a raped 9 year old girl is worse than that of the rapist — her stepfather.

    Sonia – Brilliant

  259. imran khan — on 23rd May, 2009 at 10:53 am  

    Just in time another excellent article:

    Can the Golden Rule dispel the misrule of fear and violence?
    http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/comment/faith/article6345231.ece

    ““Do not unto others that which is hateful to you. That is the whole Torah; the rest is commentary” — this is the “Golden Rule” voiced by Rabbi Hillel, when asked by a prospective convert to summarise the Jewish religion “while standing on one foot”. ”

    “In the fraught Israel/Palestine conflict, the likelihood of empathising with the enemy is rare. But this was what Seth Freedman experienced. A Londoner from an orthodox background, he learned the principles of Judaism from his immediate family and his grandfather and also in the Jewish schools and religion classes he attended. After the second Intifada — Palestinian uprising — he left his job as a stockbroker to go to Israel. While he felt no special antagonism towards Palestinians, the urge to “protect my people” motivated him to volunteer for the army. After some seven months of basic training, however, when he was posted to Bethlehem and had to deal with Palestinians passing through checkpoints day after day, he grew to understand that what he was doing violated the principles he had grown up with. “You see them as people, rather than a faceless mass of ‘us and them’. It was when I had to put what I had learned in training into practice that I heard all my parents’ and teachers’ voices over my shoulders saying ‘love your neighbour as yourself’.”

    Other actions soldiers routinely carried out provoked a similar response. “If you drag an older man out of his house at gunpoint, you should treat him ‘like he’s my dad’. I understood what we had to do for security but, in the bigger picture, if my dad had said ‘someone dragged me out at gunpoint’ I could imagine what an impact it would have had on me as a child. If you saw an 18-year-old doing this to your parents, it would sow rage and hatred.”

    Freedman sees parallels, too, with the Jewish historical experience: “In a wider sense it’s not me dragging the man out at gunpoint, it’s the subjugating of the whole people, and when it’s been done to us, the Jewish people, in the past, those scars have never healed. But if we’re doing this now, the same thing will happen — that’s human nature.”

    He derives some hope from his contact with a number of groups in Israel which aim to promote peaceful co existence with the Palestinians. One, obviously inspired by the ethical principles of Judaism such as the Golden Rule, is Rabbis for Human Rights. They encourage ordinary Israelis to help Palestinian farmers to tend their olive trees and to protect Palestinian homes when their residents are threatened with eviction. Indeed, to show solidarity, a rabbi will sometimes sleep in a Palestinian home so as to be there to confront the soldiers who come to evict the owners.

    “They show Palestinians ‘people you can work with’, people who are prepared to step across the boundary and reach out to the other side, motivated by a sense of humanity,” observes Freedman, who had, himself, been invited into a Palestinian home for tea, while strolling in civilian clothes through an area he had earlier been patrolling.”"

    Bananabrain – this is what gives me hope thatsome Jewish people can and do say what is going on and do somethig about it and not just merely defend things. You know what if Seth had been in your shoes then would we be listening to the same experiences or just spin and defence of actions.

    Hatred is being sown and it just doesn’t appear especially when both parties havelived together for so long. Either we admit injustices and move forward.

  260. chairwoman — on 23rd May, 2009 at 11:36 am  

    On behalf of myself and Katy, and I’m sure bananabrain, we feel no hatred towards Palestinians per se, but a hatred of the constitutions of Fatah and Hamas because they call for the eradication of Israel, and their intemperate and insulting words to describe it.

    I also agree with what Seth Freedman says.

  261. sonia — on 23rd May, 2009 at 11:39 am  

    Thanks Shamit.

    Imran Khan- yes, admitting injustices is usually necessary to move forward.

    And the golden rule you point to – Do not do unto others what is hateful to you. a good precept for all to live by. ( for example – If you don’t want your own people enslaved don’t do it to others.)

    I rest my case.

  262. Ravi Naik — on 23rd May, 2009 at 12:17 pm  

    Is the Catholic Church mainstream? They have the worst possible social views where a raped 9 year old girl is worse than that of the rapist — her stepfather.

    Shamit, let me give you my perspective on this.

    The Church’s view is that abortion at any stage is killing a living human, and it believes it is a far greater sin killing the innocent than raping them. This mindset is prevalent in the way they have dealt with paedophilia in their own ranks, which is to hide rather than to expose, and punish to prevent from happening again.

    Unfortunately, cases like the one you mention happen around the world, and the Church is usually silent. Except that in this particular occurrence the Brazilian priest decided to make an example out of this, and the Church could not justify otherwise given its official position on abortion.

    Most Catholics I know (and this extends to my family) follow their conscience, and not just what the Vatican says. This case is certainly abhorrent to me. At the very least, they should have just shut up, and let the mother do what she feels is right for her daughter.

  263. Ravi Naik — on 23rd May, 2009 at 1:00 pm  

    Sonia – a few words.

    The Abrahamic religions have been around for many centuries now, even millennia. We are still struggling with concepts of equality and human rights even though after the horrors of Word War II we adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. So, no one can expect that the values and morals from 2000 years ago to make any sense in our present day. Slavery being one example.

    So, you are asking, how can imperfect things be in sacred scriptures if they are supposed to be the Truth? Is slavery coming back once people realise what is written in the sacred scriptures?

    The answer is no. People can think the sacred scriptures are the Truth, and still hold on to human rights values. This is because in each generation, people “discover” new interpretations of the sacred scriptures that allows to accommodate both their beliefs.

    I do think for a lot of people, religion gives peace, a sense of purpose, of community, and the acknowledgement of the constant struggle of living up by your morals. And religion becomes more important to a lot of people as they grow older.

    On a personal note, I would say that in your next trip to Asia, that you might want to focus on having a quality time with your Dad, instead of bringing up this subject, specially if religion is important to him. These discussions never end well, and you will regret that you didn’t spend that time with something that you’ll both remember while you are apart.

    And that you keep on asking these hard questions to your local Imams. It is always good to keep the gatekeepers of religion on their feet. :)

  264. Refresh — on 23rd May, 2009 at 1:17 pm  

    What is brilliant Shamit?

  265. sonia — on 24th May, 2009 at 11:45 pm  

    Ravi, thanks for your words, I hear what you say about bringing it up with family – that’s precisely why i didn’t bring it up when i was there in Dec. 2007. I think my Dad could handle it though – its my Mum really I would not broach it with, because she would be upset and not understand my issues.

    As you say,

    “People can think the sacred scriptures are the Truth, and still hold on to human rights values. This is because in each generation, people “discover” new interpretations of the sacred scriptures that allows to accommodate both their beliefs.”

    exactly – that is the way religion should evolve, and allow for ‘new’ interpretations, and many/most people really – in practice – are doing just that. At the same time, we need to have an open discussion about it so that people know that’s what is on the cards, particularly when we have so many people blindly ‘defending’ traditions for the sake of it. And inevitably different people will have different views -and that – also = needs to come out into the open. The very fact that is probably the biggest real problem – is that it is so hard to actually broach this topic without getting people into apoplexic fits shouting ‘blasphemy’ for daring to bring this up.

    I suppose as Bananabrain put it over on the other thread, its a wider point about religions progressing with time, and how that plays out, who controls it etc. The main thing is – as you say – keeping the gatekeepers (and often, “ossifiers” of religion) – on their feet.

  266. douglas clark — on 25th May, 2009 at 12:24 am  

    Imran Khan,

    You wee controlling person, you:

    Thats nonsense what people don’t like is the tone you are taking.

    I quite like her tone. I don’t like yours’ when you get up on your high horse.

    You can be quite reasonable when you debate something, but when you think you have a right to control other people, well, I see that as a fail.

    Like you thinking you’ve got a right. When you clearly don’t.

    Zero out of Ten.

  267. sonia — on 25th May, 2009 at 4:22 am  

    Thanks Douglas, your support is always appreciated!

    The fact that *some* people did not like my tone does not suprise me – given that what I say is challenging to what they clearly hold to be true and dear, and appears to have made them feel defensive (why i’m not sure seeing as they were not the 9th century scholars making the Islamic law) but there you go. Patriotism is a funny thing isn’t it? makes people feel all funny.

    I suppose they don’t like, on a thread where they are trying to hold the high moral ground and criticise Israel’s actions, a bit of side-tracking and directing of similar criticisms of the law of a community/practice they hold dear (as dear as clearly Zionism/some other -ism may be to other people). WHich they then have to defend in knee-jerk ways that they themselves have criticised in others.

    Also I suppose Imran Khan doesn’t like having to defend the Empire, being aware that similar ‘what else could we do, plus we tried to do it as nice as we could’ arguments may be made to excuse, say for example, who shall we pick? ta da! say – Israel’s actions, perhaps, those -from back in January. Or anybody else’s (but of course, my comments have NO relevance for this thread..no none at all, there’s nothing all the I/P combatants could think about..)

    and Imran saying morality isn’t black and white and i’m making it so. {well this is the the usual comment when someone brings up a human rights abuse however if you can’t make that distinction in this case WHEN can you ever distinguish right from wrong? let’s just give up and go home now then. funny line of argumentation from someone upholding religion?ah well} what fun: just think – that could be used on so many an Israel/palestine thread…my little skit below:

    ‘Imran, you don’t know what you are talking about, it is not so straightforward to say Killing Palestinians is wrong! I mean what’s Wrong and what’s right? OK its wrong in THEORY, but Is it wrong really in practice, in THIS context? So we believe its wrong, but we cannot stop it overnight. Over time, it will change…so you see, we are doing our best to stop it, so we are not really in the wrong, we are not really killing palestinians, we are just practising it temporarily. One day it will end!”

    Ooh dear, no of course that’s why *they* don’t like my ‘tone’. {Wow this is great, we could use this on almost anything! The US could also pretend-years down the line- it had ‘never been killing Iraqis’ either, or that really it was only killing iraqis – to try and stop – killing iraqis! (in the same way to stop slavery, you enslave a whole lot of new people who weren’t slaves to start with, to end slavery) and that of course in time, it would change!There would be a time, when you wouldn’t have to kill iraqis, to save them! }

    Golly gosh, its the same argument? Who’d have thunk it/ The great ‘Liberators’ argument..and in the meantime, on the way to Liberty and Freedom, let’s do all the raping and pillaging we can. Because we rape and pillage in order to get to Liberty. We enslave people because we are really trying to Free them. We contradict ourselves but we don’t care because we are the forces of good and if the forces of good commit crimes along the way they are not Crimes! They are in the Name of Good so it must be Alright. Doesn’t matter what it was. What’s this black and white morality you talk about?

    Priceless. Whatever next?

  268. sonia — on 25th May, 2009 at 4:45 am  

    249, i am amused refresh – at your suggestion that i am tribalistic – if i stormed in to a discussion and make it about what I want, then it doesn’t necessarily make me ‘tribalistic’ – it might make me selfish, spoilt, rude, individualistic, but sorry pet, tribalistic is hardly the one to come up with. anarchist individualist might be more the words you’re looking for? disruptive, not following authority and rule..(that’s okay, i know i am all of these things) I know you’re clutching at straws to try and needle me, but really? :-) Community gatekeeper and all that..deciding who is engaging and who isn’t. Lucky for me i’m not some wallflower about to shrivel up…where would the world be if people who stand up to injustice, are told – by the apologists of that injustice, that their tone isn’t nice, that they should go somewhere else, and then feel really really bad about their tone. Heh.

    (We’ve got to learn some lessons from our esteemed Prophet don’t we – i’m sure a lot of people didn’t like the things he had to say to his Society. And told him to go someplace else. Mind you, he declared war on them, (nice eh?) don’t worry im not about to do that.

  269. imran khan — on 25th May, 2009 at 8:24 am  

    Douglas – ” Thats nonsense what people don’t like is the tone you are taking.

    I quite like her tone. I don’t like yours’ when you get up on your high horse.

    You can be quite reasonable when you debate something, but when you think you have a right to control other people, well, I see that as a fail.

    Like you thinking you’ve got a right. When you clearly don’t.

    Zero out of Ten.”

    What high horse?

    I answered her question and she started picking fights and now your on board she is talking more nonsense.

    Does the action of the aethist empire apply to all aethists?!

    Its a farcical argument and the actions of say the Ottomans and Mughals were not necessarilt the actionsof Islam.

    There is a reason slavery wasn’t abolished straights away.

  270. imran khan — on 25th May, 2009 at 8:41 am  

    Sonia – “I suppose they don’t like, on a thread where they are trying to hold the high moral ground and criticise Israel’s actions, a bit of side-tracking and directing of similar criticisms of the law of a community/practice they hold dear (as dear as clearly Zionism/some other -ism may be to other people). WHich they then have to defend in knee-jerk ways that they themselves have criticised in others.

    Also I suppose Imran Khan doesn’t like having to defend the Empire, being aware that similar ‘what else could we do, plus we tried to do it as nice as we could’ arguments may be made to excuse, say for example, who shall we pick? ta da! say – Israel’s actions, perhaps, those -from back in January. Or anybody else’s (but of course, my comments have NO relevance for this thread..no none at all, there’s nothing all the I/P combatants could think about..)

    and Imran saying morality isn’t black and white and i’m making it so.”

    You real;ly are full of yourself aren’t you? When did I say that? You are distorting words to fit your own position.

    I said that slavery couldn’t be abolished straight away and explained why. You then went into hysterical rambling about other issues which if you understood had to be established to begin to end the very thing you are referring to. But oh no you just want on/off switches for Islam rather than long term practical solutions because it fits your Amnestry Int. card schedule.

    Why then has Amnesty failed even in Europe to adddress the issue of human traffiking when you say things are so easy?

    “Golly gosh, its the same argument? Who’d have thunk it/ The great ‘Liberators’ argument..and in the meantime, on the way to Liberty and Freedom, let’s do all the raping and pillaging we can. Because we rape and pillage in order to get to Liberty. We enslave people because we are really trying to Free them. We contradict ourselves but we don’t care because we are the forces of good and if the forces of good commit crimes along the way they are not Crimes! They are in the Name of Good so it must be Alright. Doesn’t matter what it was. What’s this black and white morality you talk about?”

    If you tried to understand then you know I didn’t say that and you are twisting my words. The ending of slavery had to be accompanied first by changing a ruthless pagan society that committed infantcide. So the people had to be educated first that they were accountable to God – if the opne god concept wasn’t established they would have argued their Gods could save them.

    Then the morals of society had to be established.

    Then social issues could be changed.

    “We’ve got to learn some lessons from our esteemed Prophet don’t we – i’m sure a lot of people didn’t like the things he had to say to his Society. And told him to go someplace else. Mind you, he declared war on them, (nice eh?) don’t worry im not about to do that.”

    Do you accept the Prophet? If not then how can he be your Prophet? You are misleading people here by trying to imply you accept him when you’ve said in the past you don’t You’ve said these lines so you can have another hysterical rant so are building up to that.

    Your failure to grasp the situation and the wider issues is astounding given someone with your good intellect. Even Islam’s critics accept that it did much good to end slavery and in your hatred of Islam you are twisting things Wilders style.

    Slavery is part and parcel of human society in some form and carrying an Amnesty Card doesn’t help end it. It is practical measures to bring people out of slavery and Islam has that established.

    Concepts such as good care, education, release and freedom, rights over the master etc. all help towards ending this issue. The issue of taking slaves in war is more complex and I don’t have all the details but again yes they did take slaves but they also treated them well and often set them free.

    The issue you won’t address is that the same history you say I don’t like shows us that former slaves achieved high office in Islam so if the system didn’t work how did they do that.

    Just because Douglas is backing you up it doesn’t justify your position.

    Fine you may not like the Islamic position, fine you may say its not quick enough but your argument was that Islam push forward with slavery and did nothing to end it. That history shows isn’t true.

    As regards Israel its nice to see that your Amnesty Card has an exception for Israel.

    Also these are two different issues. I have never claimed despite your hype that Israel takes slaves and I know you are dying to say that Muslims would. My condemnation of Israel is for its actions and my condemnation of the Palestinians are for their actions.

    Its clear you have an issue because for you Islam has done no good and thus every debate you fire barbs at Muslims which you don’t do for anyone else.

    You don’t want to listen or discuss you want to lecture and you want to judge.

  271. douglas clark — on 25th May, 2009 at 9:12 am  

    imran khan,

    Perhaps it is so ingrained in your nature that even you don’t know that you are doing it?

    The idea that slavery should be abolished slowly is enough for anyone with a moral sense to start shouting ‘I am Spartacus’. It is a complete, utter nonsense. I doubt very much that it is objectionable only to the atheist tendancy around here. And, frankly, any scholarship that contradicts that is corrupt. In fact it is not scholarship at all – it is apologia. Your entire arguement on this subject shows a complete lack of empathy for people rather than political structures.

    Stop standing up for the indefensible and we’ll all get along a lot better.

  272. imran khan — on 25th May, 2009 at 11:19 am  

    Douglas – “Perhaps it is so ingrained in your nature that even you don’t know that you are doing it?”

    I’d say it you who have a high horse and can’t be practical.

    “The idea that slavery should be abolished slowly is enough for anyone with a moral sense to start shouting ‘I am Spartacus’. It is a complete, utter nonsense. I doubt very much that it is objectionable only to the atheist tendancy around here. And, frankly, any scholarship that contradicts that is corrupt. In fact it is not scholarship at all – it is apologia. Your entire arguement on this subject shows a complete lack of empathy for people rather than political structures.

    Stop standing up for the indefensible and we’ll all get along a lot better.”

    Do you actually ever read what anyone says? You spout off and don’t actually read what is said and then complain when you cannot grasp concepts that the concept is wrong and not you.

    Can you understand that we are talking about a situation that was 1400 years ago or is that beyond your grasp.

    This was at a time when circumstances were very different to today. To abolish slavery in this period was going to take time and if you can’t see that then you have little grasp of history.

    Can you not fathom that to change the situation of slaves was going to require a change to society itself?

    You always apply the situation today to the situations from centuries ago.

    By putting in place a system to eradicate slavery in the long term is better than trying to do something straight away people won’t accept.

    Its your logic which is flawed because you can’t accept that developments take time.

    Abolishing slavery in the USA hundreds of years later took war and a huge upheavel and even then it took hundreds more years for former slaves to even get a foothold in society.

    1400 years ago things were even worse so abolishing that was going to take a methodology that was to sustain itself.

    The fact that when black Muslims and former slaves wereput in positions of power and went to negotiate on behalf of Muslims with the Romans, Persians etc. and they wouldn’t sit at the same table even though these were senior Muslims shows the thinking of the time.

    If you can’t see that then you are frankly lacking a grasp of history.

    What Sonia is saying is that it should have been abolished straight away but that wasn’t practical because if slaves have been cast out into a dangerous world they may have suffered even more so concrete steps were needed.

  273. douglas clark — on 25th May, 2009 at 11:41 am  

    imran khan,

    No.

    When do you think slavery was officially abolished in Saudi Arabia? It was in 1962. A mere 1400 years later.

    Which gives a new meaning to the word slowly. To me, that suggests a general apathy towards change, not the humane view you are attempting to push here.

    Only a few centuries earlier Arab slavers traded African tribesmen to Europeans in West Africa. Where was the progress? Only a thousand years had gone past.

    Your prescription would have taken a generation at most. It didn’t happen.

    You have a very Pollyannaish attitude to all of this.

  274. Random Guy — on 25th May, 2009 at 1:41 pm  

    Douglas, you seem to be implying that Saudi Arabia has had one homogenous rule for the last 1400 years, and moreover, putting it forward as some exemplar Islamic state. And somehow involving Africa in all this….where does that come from exactly, with regards to this discussion?

    I agree mostly with what Imran has to say, and it does appear that you are presenting both your argument and critique of his views in a slightly skewed manner.

    Everyone by now knows Sonia’s tendency to derail threads, because every issue to her has to be some sort of ‘Islamic Supremacy’ conundrum. Rational dialogue should follow a single theme to be productive, and not be subject to the whim and/or ego of individuals with an agenda to force down others’ throats.

    Anyway, I think you should try and stay on topic. There are (and will be) plenty of other places and times when you can (once again) vent about whatever the problem-du-jour is with Islam. I will try and step out of this thread now.

  275. sonia — on 25th May, 2009 at 5:45 pm  

    It is on topic actually. If you look at Imran’s responses to my questions, one can see that It’s highly relevant to understanding the impasse that Israel and Palestine find themselves in. And relevant to all other global conflicts too. (so yes, this is much wider than just being about ‘islam’s history’ per se, sod that, i know for a fact that old men raping their maids is nothing original to Muslims and all sorts of people would love their religion to let them get away with it, dirty old men that they are. But look at the defense they get from young men today, not even touching on the angle of how unfair it was on the women who had no choice but to give it up to their owners. but anyway)

    If people cannot see their tribes/governments have made any mistakes/are being selective about how they view abuse of the ‘Other’ and are not willing to admit them and move on, then there will NEVER be a way forward. For ANYONE. Not for Israel or Palestine, not for India and Pakistan, not for USA in Iraq, Afghanistan, wherever. Nowhere in the world. Wars won’t stop and nations will flatter themselves THEY are in the right.

    And if you lot can’t see that, well more fool you. Thank goodness a good-ish amount of us -can see that. And I certainly won’t stop pointing it out, because its a damn important thing to be able to see.

  276. sonia — on 25th May, 2009 at 6:15 pm  

    Heh heh i like that phrase : “because every issue to her has to be some sort of ‘Islamic Supremacy’ conundrum.” Well no actually, every issue to me is really about what i have described in the post above. People thinking their side is in the right, and all other sides are wrong, and that leading to endless global conflict which we then can’t work out how to resolve. Which as far as i can work out, is our human history to date, and sadly, looks like our future too.

    It ought to be everybody else’s issue too.

    I daresay that is a ‘thread’ derailer…too many people don’t seem to be bothered about the future of humanity, just of their own little territorial patch. What will we do when the water wars start, and the environmental crisis means habitable land shrinks? What then? It’ll be too late by then to say ‘oh we should’ve tried to collaborate instead of this endless competition’.

  277. sonia — on 25th May, 2009 at 6:21 pm  

    I like your turn of phrase too Douglas, Pollyanna indeed!

  278. douglas clark — on 25th May, 2009 at 9:18 pm  

    Random Guy,

    I wasn’t implying anything, much, about Saudi Arabia except perhaps that that is where your religion was born and flourished. What one could reasonably say is that the dominant religion in that part of the world was Islam. So, one would have expected the issues that modern day Islamic scholars have identified as being addressed 1400 years ago to have been dealt with. imran khan makes the case quite succinctly @ 254:

    The vision to eradicate it was:

    1. Treat slaves kindly
    2. Educate them
    3. Free them for expiration of sins etc.
    4. Any child born to a female slave was the legitimate child of the father and not another slave. Thereby bringing children of slaves out of slavery.

    This does not look to me like a template for a slave owning society. Nor does it justify the thousand year plus continuation of something that your scholars thought was a wrong all those years ago. A view I share.

    The illustration about Arab slavers is a two edged sword. The Arab slavers had to find a willing market and they found them in European plantation owners. Up until that time it was a relatively low key affair, although imran khan fails to mention that many were castratoris, obviously without anaesthetic.

    As I have said before on here, I am completely equal opportunities when it comes to condemning something I disapprove of.

    You might find this link interesting:

    http://www.arabslavetrade.com/

    One, brief, extract:

    Mauritanian scholar Mohamed Diakho, who has a book in French called L’Esclavage en Islam, which says that the Qur’an actually does everything it can to get rid of slavery, and that it is later interpretations of the Qur’an which, sort of ceding to the powers (the slave-owners), were complicit and complacent about slavery. So the tragedy with Islam; the revealed religion and Islam the practiced religion, highlights the same flaws that Muslims accuse Christians of having. For this reason the religion of Islam and the actions of Muslims are at times two completely different studies. The social conditions of the time are a black hole for truth. Islamic theocracy is still in the hands of man, and if those hands chose to highlight the legality of Slavery before the Qur’anic legality of manumission, then we have the current legacy to which no apologies can be offered. Even today, the continuation of this barbaric trade still gets little response from Muslim communities. The quote by Halie Selassie is most appropriate:

    “Again, the human condition is the error and all the efforts of Christianity, Islam, Judaism, Candomble, Anago et al, seem weak in curbing the perverse selfish ungodly actions of man. And let us not limit our analysis to religion because in all systems the ruling race-class seek to protect their interest and are always reluctant/unwilling to surrender that which grants them advantage over others.”

  279. sonia — on 25th May, 2009 at 9:46 pm  

    Exactly, well said Douglas. People won’t give up something like slavery which suits them fine – plus what with legalising the sexual abuse that slave owners owners all around the world committed anyway – really, who really thought the blokes were going to give it up once it was writ into code it was OK, not haraam?

    i mean pork was haram for goodness sakes. Plus these slaves were prisoners of war, the Arabs conquered territory they didn’t have before, (what was Byzantium, Persia) so it’s not like they had a ‘society; that they couldn’t change. It wasn’t like they just ‘inherited’ some slaves. They ENSLAVED people who were previously free. It was bound up with war and war booty. Still important economically – but the point is, it was a conscious decision and one which helped their political and territorial expansion greatly.

    Come on. Especially seeing as Islamic codes for men seem to assume they can’t control their lust. (which i have said is an unfair slur on mUslim men but you don’t find too many annoyed with this slur. ali eteraz has written some funny posts on this.) Surely any person can see this is a Prime Recipe for the continuation of slavery. If the fear of God couldn’t change that..well..

  280. Shamit — on 25th May, 2009 at 10:53 pm  

    Refresh

    on your question of what is brilliant?

    Sonia using her intellect to question what other “human beings” have said to be eternal truths and having the courage to articulate her thoughts despite people like you or Imran trying illogically challenging her without addressing her concerns.

    Refresh/Imran

    In many threads since January I have articulated my proposed solution through a UN peacekeeping route with a mandate to develop the infrastructure and institutions in Palestine. The mandate would also include security for Israel. That would be a real two state solution.

    I have also suggested that Jerusalem be managed by a UN administrator aided by representatives of all the 3 major religions. I actually wrote volumes on those.

    Sunny posed the questions many times and every time he poses the question I have articulated the response in the exact same way and neither Sunny nor you two like to engage with that as that detracts from your agenda of highlighting Israel as evil.

    And if you want I would highlight the examples over and over again by the links to those threads. So when you two wear the cloak of responsible fair minded individuals I laugh with sheer contempt. Because to be fair neither one of you are.

    With regard to faith, I respect all religions but I do not accept that there is any one way to reach God — and it is a very personal issue. I find Krishna’s behaviour equally abhorrent as some of the behaviour of many other religious figures in history across religions.

    That does not mean that they have not contributed to the betterment of humanity in a massive way but we are humans and we are all bonded through a common bond of humanity which surpasses all religion, culture blah and blah. Why did the OIC almost force the UN to change the Declaration of Human rights to exempt the right to criticise Islam…I found that abhorrent especially when the main players ie Saudi Arabia allowed school girls to be burnt alive in a school and not get rescued because they were apparently not properly dressed.

    If that is religion then I don’t want any part of it as it would make subhuman.

    If questioning St. Paul’s dictum of what bible is supposed to be wrong and is going to take me away from GOD — then I refuse to accept it as religion.

    If questioning your Prophet is wrong and that makes someone worthy of killing then I do not accept that as religion.

    If calling Krishna an intelligent manipulator and a incest prone prick is wrong then Hinduism doesn’t deserve to be a religion.

    My parents are surgeons and have operated many times during the Sabbath to save lives — if that makes them worthy of killing then I refuse to accept that as religion.

    Religion/Faith is supposed to improve the quality of human life by enriching it through love, compassion and understanding and through a commitment of making lives better for all the people and not only those who follow my book or prayers. That is religion or faith — but far too often religion has been divisive and shed more blood than any other cause in the history of mankind. So forgive me if I don’t take that very seriously as ways to reach GOD.

    I am a firm believer in GOD and I wonder what he thinks about all these people who tend to create more divisions and wounds rather than healing them.

    As for the Israel Palestinian issue — as I have said before you two are jokers like many others here who rather dig up history and blame the sons for their father’s faults. If that is balance we do not need that kind of balance.

    I am for State power against terrorists and I do not apologise for that and would not. I was for removing Saddam Hussein as I was for Milosevic and as I was for getting rid of LTTE. And I think Hamas and Hezbollah are no different than LTTE.

    But I also hold Israel responsible for the situation and I hold us the Brits and the Americans responsible too. But I want to bloody move forward and not be held hostage to some goons firing rockets and then seeking glory through the deaths of their own people.

    I hope you read this with an open mind –something hard to do when someone wishes to be stuck in the past as you both have demonstrated time and time again on this site. You want to have a go at me and bring about thousands of links like Imran does then go for it but that would be disappointing. But it won’t surprise me.

    And to end it I say Sonia — Brilliant once again.

  281. Refresh — on 25th May, 2009 at 11:42 pm  

    Shamit,

    Thanks. Although I still don’t understand.

    This thread has taken some very strange turns, most of which are indeed illogical. If you look upthread, I don’t question Sonia’s need to question. These are the same questions she had over two years ago. One would have hoped she would have found some answers, and as I said she had the opportunity to enlighten us rather than keep repeating them, across two threads. If she had questions then she could have had a rational debate by broadening the ‘engagement’ thread. It would have made sense for her to layout her findings along with her original questions.

    As you can imagine anyone can pick any topic (topic de jour seems to be an appropriate phrase) and if it tackles Islam we can have a royal set to, depending on how its handled. As we all know the same applies to I/P. And now we have the conflation of both. Joy.

    I am sure you come to PP to learn as much as share your perspective. I do the same. If we are to develop arguments and understand perspectives then it would make sense to attempt to keep to the topic in hand and deal with each other with modicum of respect.

    Given the views you have now ascribed to me, I will ask you review this thread and outline anything that justifies your assertions.

    As for Israel and Palestine, I think you may want to again review this thread and every other contribution from me and then show whether you’ve really understood my argument.

    BTW if you want to see how silly its getting, then consider her presumption that I am a slave-owning patriarch. Entertaining but not brilliant.

  282. sonia — on 26th May, 2009 at 12:28 am  

    Thanks Shamit, and well said you.

    Refresh no one ever suggested you were a slave-owning patriarch !!- honestly you are strangely confused if you thought my comments ever suggested that, and i am sorry if you thought that. What i suggested is that too many people are defending the slave owning patriarchs, because they happen to be also the Islamic patriarchs, and in the process, are carrying on the patriarchy. (if they are not realising it then they ought to). This is no way suggesting anyone now owns a slave or even carries on the practice of those men. But by not challenging their tradition – what does it say? It is excusing their actions and perpetuating their structures – patriarchy, which allow these practices to carry on unchallenged. This is why feminism is so integral to social action! We don’t just challenge patriarchy because we were bored once the House was Clean. The whole point of do not challenge your elders and betters – is patriarchy. “You are insulting us! How dare you challenge us! Lower your voice, strident young hussies! You just don’t like us! “Your comments on my tone – sounded very much a patriarchal tone, yes. Perhaps you didn’t mean it, in which case i am willing to overlook it, and its by the by, i’m not here to take offence – I am just pointing out to you how people perpetuate social traditions all the time.

    I stand by what I said and if you cannot see it without being all sulky and taking things the wrong way and I am somehow personally suggesting you are guilty of the same crimes, then that is too bad. Because I thought you are someone of high moral standards YOU ought to be able to understand the problems at stake.

    Please, have some respect for yourself – what I am asking you do is bring to bear to this question – the same high moral standards you want others to hold their communities up to. There is a very serious critique here – and which has implications for very serious issues – e.g. the continuation of slave-like practices, as Rumbold’s other thread discusses, and please do not turn it into some kind of personal wrangling match, i certainly do not see it like that. Let’s take personal egos out shall we -. My interest here is humanity.

  283. Refresh — on 26th May, 2009 at 1:10 am  

    Not slave-owning then, but a patriarch. This could be fun, or it could be a productive exchange. I am sure it could be the latter if only I could unwrangle my knickers.

    Since Rumbold has kindly put up the thread on modern day slavery lets take the issue there.

    I am deeply, deeply reluctant to put you straight on your presumptions about me, not least because it weakens your stance. I do my best not to presume anything about you or anyone else, and go by your comments and tone. Your approach lacks the discrimination needed for a healthy debate. You seem to be passionate about human rights and women’s rights but do yourself a disservice by presuming you are fighting a lonely battle based on a solitary analysis.

    Does it not ever occur to you that you might be addressing someone who may have been involved in these struggles, possibly, before you were born?

    And do you ever entertain the possibility that progress on human rights has been an eternal struggle with religion playing a proper role?

  284. Halima — on 26th May, 2009 at 4:40 am  

    “…that progress on human rights has been an eternal struggle with religion playing a proper role?”

    Seems it’s the perfect topic for Pickled Politics to me.

  285. imran khan — on 26th May, 2009 at 9:14 am  

    Douglas – “imran khan,

    No.

    When do you think slavery was officially abolished in Saudi Arabia? It was in 1962. A mere 1400 years later.

    Which gives a new meaning to the word slowly. To me, that suggests a general apathy towards change, not the humane view you are attempting to push here.

    Only a few centuries earlier Arab slavers traded African tribesmen to Europeans in West Africa. Where was the progress? Only a thousand years had gone past.

    Your prescription would have taken a generation at most. It didn’t happen.

    You have a very Pollyannaish attitude to all of this.”

    Douglas again I ask that you grasp the fact that Saudi Arabia isn’t a purely Islamic State and also the fact that just because Muslims do something it isn’t Islamic.

    The laws are very clear and I have outlined them to you and they are set in a way to allow slavery to be eradicated and also to bring slaves into society.

    If you want to bring up the example of Saudi Arabia then fine but the concept of Islam is clear. Also I would remind you that Prince Bandar bin Sultan whose father is the crown prince – well his mother was in fact a concubine. His father refused to recognise him as a son until pressure was brought to bare from the Islamic point of view that a son born of a concubine is a legitimate son.

    ALso Douglas I didn’t deny that Slavery went on in the Islamic World or that Muslims engaged in the slave trade however the question was on Islam. As I said Muslims do many things that Islam prohibits but that doesn’t mena they are sanctioned by Islam.

    As a counter example the Fritzl case in Austria went on for years and Fritzl was a Catholic so by your logic does that mean that the Catholic faith sanctioned that? No it didn’t but you are having a go at me by implying that Islam sanctioned slavery and I won’t say its wrong.

    I am pointing out that the Islamic position as I know it. Which is that Islam put in place a clear mechanism to eradicate slavery. Research work in London which I have been told about shows that Islam did have clear mechanisms to protect slaves and also to bring them out of slavery. Now if Muslims didn’t follow that then that is an issue with Muslims andnot with the religion.

    Thats is the central point.

    Also Douglas Islam itself brought many rights and charters for the welfare of people, animals, protection of civilians during war, religious freedom etc. Much of this has been copied by the West and taken further. If you look at the Islamic world of the period and the West then things were different.

    I don’t have an issue with Sonia asking questions but then there needs to be a fair balance in allowing people to answer.

    Also there needs to be an understanding that religion as written down and the way in which humans implement religious law may not be correct. Just because Saudi Arabia or the Arab world didn’t outlaw slavery until the late 20th Century isn’t a problemwith Islam its a problem with the Arab World.

    I’d also point out to you that nationalism is prohibited in Islam but Arab countries are very nationalistic but that isn’t the fault of Islam.

    The Taleban not allowing girls to be educated isn’t a problem with Islam its a problem with the Taleban.

    Slavery is a fact of life and depsite Sonia’s rhetoric clear mechanisms were put in place to ensure slaves were protected and could go into society. This wasn’t mere worlds as the Prophet and his companions often sent slaves as heads of official delegations and often these were coloured people who were then despised by Europeans for being in such positions.

    So the guidance was clear and ahead of its time but the later implementation did have horrid things take place but that doesn’t detract from the position.

    As regards Sonia’s issue with War and what happened these things go on today and how many people have been brought to book for their role in war attrocities. Not so long ago it happened in Europe twice – once in Germany and once in the Balkans. Does that mean that Democracy is to blame or is the people?

    If a religion has bad episodes then the religion is blamed and if a democracy has it then its not mentioned!

  286. imran khan — on 26th May, 2009 at 9:19 am  

    Shamit – “So when you two wear the cloak of responsible fair minded individuals I laugh with sheer contempt. Because to be fair neither one of you are.”

    Shamit for someone with your approach to refer to laughing at people is comical itself. I doubt you’ve ever grasped what is being said regarding I/P and you solution is justlip service and lacks substance.

    Your approach to fair mindedness is to smash anyone you disagree with instead of listening to them.

    If you bothered to read what was said then it was about the fact that Mel and Memri are twisting things to suit their Pro-Israel agenda and how people shouldn’t be sucked in by this. If thats enough for you to declare us as not fair minded then your bias is clear.

  287. douglas clark — on 26th May, 2009 at 1:44 pm  

    imran khan @ 285,

    Two (and a bit) comments and then I’m going to remove myself from this thread and see how the thread on modern day slavery is progressing.

    I only had a political globe of the world to hand, y’know the map with all the countries on it? So I used Saudi Arabia as shorthand for the Arabian Peninsula, which would have been the more accurate term. But I do think you knew that, didn’t you?

    The rest of your post I actually largely agree with. There is a saying that comes to mind that kind of covers this:

    All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing – Edmund Burke

    Which I think is apposite in this case, despite the ribbing that it gets here:

    http://tartarus.org/~martin/essays/burkequote.html

    However Sonia does have a point about the hadiths, or interpretations which seem at odds with manumission don’t you think?

    Off topic, heh!, I’d quite like to read an English translation of Mohhamed Diako’s book. I’m a little surprised that it hasn’t been translated already. Well, Amazon doesn’t recognise him, anyways. But I would repeat this quote from his work:

    So the tragedy with Islam; the revealed religion and Islam the practiced religion, highlights the same flaws that Muslims accuse Christians of having. For this reason the religion of Islam and the actions of Muslims are at times two completely different studies. The social conditions of the time are a black hole for truth. Islamic theocracy is still in the hands of man, and if those hands chose to highlight the legality of Slavery before the Qur’anic legality of manumission, then we have the current legacy to which no apologies can be offered.

    Which has a ring of truth about it. And from what you have said above, something you would agree with?

    Damn shame, really.

  288. sonia — on 26th May, 2009 at 2:30 pm  

    @“…that progress on human rights has been an eternal struggle with religion playing a proper role?”

    Quite right, and as Halima points out, a perfect topic on PP. that’s why i’ve brought it up – to ensure that this struggle continues, and that relevant parts of our history – are not forgotten conveniently when we want to pretend we’re all whiter than white. This is why it was so pertinent to the discussion about global conflicts and global human rights – ad also why this Israel and Palestine thread is a suitable place.

    Human rights – we have by no means (we as a collective human global society) achieved this fully through any of our ‘ideologies’ to date – absolutely it is a continuing struggle. And one to raise our voices very loudly on, and it involves standing up against oppression when we see it, where we see it, past present and going into future. its all connected

  289. bananabrain — on 26th May, 2009 at 3:40 pm  

    pollyanna:

    I am always amazed at how you always always spin things in Israel’s favour and are simply a propoganda machine for Israel rather than an objective critic.

    if that’s what i am i don’t see why you’re wasting your precious time going on at me. however, most people don’t seem to agree with you. besides, i’ve never claimed to be “objective”. i have a personal stake in this game, which means i take it very seriously indeed. does the fact that i am not “objective” mean i have nothing worth saying? most people seem not to agree with you. if you think *i* am a “propaganda machine” then you should try dealing with actual “hasbara” people. i am not even right-wing. but that isn’t good enough for you, is it, because “objective”, in your terms, apparently implies that israel is “objectively” wrong at all times. you claim to be “objective”? what a load of nonsense. there’s nothing objective about you. periodically trotting out the “both sides are to blame” card doesn’t qualify you as objective.

    In fact as I said you criticism of Israel is half-hearted

    by your standards, perhaps. it is interesting to see that in your opinion, i am disqualified from “objectivity” by not making “full-hearted” criticism of israel. revealing, isn’t it?

    and always always ends with an excuse for Israeli actions.

    context is not “excuses”. dress it up any way you like, the fact is you want to give israel a kicking – and you want me to join in. when i don’t, this is taken to mean that i am not “objective”. well, good luck finding people not from IJV and JFJFP to join in your little grass-roots initiative. you need to deal with the community as it is, not as you would like it to be.

    It wasn’t that Israel give up everything and then negotiate. It was withdrawl for full peace and relations.

    egypt has “full peace and relations”. somehow there is a lot of room between the diplomatic language and actual peace and good relations. you need to learn to read small print, mate.

    the Memri has massive power and influence which the Arab Lobby and Fisk don’t.

    hur hur hur. memri has billions in oil wealth to spend? memri has spent twenty years using it to subvert islamic education worldwide, has it? memri is a daily newspaper with a circulation of 215,504 (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_newspapers_in_the_United_Kingdom_by_circulation) hard copies and many more on the web, does it? how many books has robert fisk sold? don’t make me fecking laugh.

    Aaronovitch as dovish. Are you serious? Aaronovitch himself doesn’t call himself dovish and he admits his approach is because people have been anti-semtic to him and thus he is hitting back hard – hardly the words of a dove.

    he is dovish compared to, say, mel phillips, as you well know.

    The more you just defend defend and defend, spin and spin and spin, and blame one side more than the other even though its the weaker side the more this is appearing to be just a justification for a land expansion.

    don’t give me this “weaker side” nonsense. the islamic world vastly outnumbers israel in terms of its population, its GDP and certainly its WMD. you are simply being selective about what facts you are picking. either the palestinians are on their own or they’re not. i hardly think that can really be argued with any degree of credibility. as for your point about land expansion, show me where i have justified it, or retract that point.

    How on earth do you expect Jews and Israel to make peace when people won’t admit wrongs and the need for justice?

    in the kangaroo court of the blogosphere that is unlikely to happen, but ultimately, of course, as sonia says, admitting injustices is usually necessary to move forward. but you know, what’s sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander. without everyone concerned admitting injustices, the process is worthless.

    You know what if Seth had been in your shoes then would we be listening to the same experiences or just spin and defence of actions.

    equally, if he had had his comrades blown up by a suicide bomber wearing a burqa, you would probably also not be listening to the same experience. all this is is windy rhetoric. you are still showing me that you have no conception of my actual positions, which is why you are still conflating them with those of mel phillips, despite the fact that i have repeatedly differentiated them.

    On behalf of myself and Katy, and I’m sure bananabrain, we feel no hatred towards Palestinians per se, but a hatred of the constitutions of Fatah and Hamas because they call for the eradication of Israel, and their intemperate and insulting words to describe it.

    quite.

    b’shalom

    bananabrain

  290. munir — on 26th May, 2009 at 3:43 pm  

    douglas clark

    “However Sonia does have a point about the hadiths, or interpretations which seem at odds with manumission don’t you think?

    Off topic, heh!, I’d quite like to read an English translation of Mohhamed Diako’s book. I’m a little surprised that it hasn’t been translated already. Well, Amazon doesn’t recognise him, anyways. But I would repeat this quote from his work:

    So the tragedy with Islam; the revealed religion and Islam the practiced religion, highlights the same flaws that Muslims accuse Christians of having. For this reason the religion of Islam and the actions of Muslims are at times two completely different studies. The social conditions of the time are a black hole for truth. Islamic theocracy is still in the hands of man, and if those hands chose to highlight the legality of Slavery before the Qur’anic legality of manumission, then we have the current legacy to which no apologies can be offered.”

    You, Sonia and Mohhamed Diako’s are all mistaken.

    “In an interview titled “Dr. AminaWadud leads
    the Ummah in a Historical prayer”8 she is quoted
    as saying: “The end conclusion was that the principle
    of Ijtehad will be used to discontinue slavery
    even when the Quran did not advocate for its
    immediate end.”

    While it is true the Qur’an did not command the immediate end of slavery it certainly
    advocated for its immediate end by equating the freeing of slaves with salvation and worship in many verses.

    Our teacher Nur al-Dın ‘Itr gave this golden rule for self-hating Muslims over the issue
    of slavery in Islam: “Not one of the books of jurisprudence or its principles has a single chapter entitled ‘slavery’ in all Islam but they all have a chapter entitled ‘emancipation.’”

    http://mac.abc.se/~onesr/d/ufaw_e.pdf

  291. imran khan — on 26th May, 2009 at 4:20 pm  

    Douglas – “However Sonia does have a point about the hadiths, or interpretations which seem at odds with manumission don’t you think?”

    Douglas hadith interpretation can only be done on a basis which is outlined in Hadith Sciences and anything else is just misleading the people.

    As I said the fact that the Prophet and his companions brought and then freed slaves is the example to be followed.

    Also the hadith are clear and they take precedence over any interpretation.

  292. imran khan — on 26th May, 2009 at 4:48 pm  

    Bananasplit – “if that’s what i am i don’t see why you’re wasting your precious time going on at me. however, most people don’t seem to agree with you. besides, i’ve never claimed to be “objective”. i have a personal stake in this game, which means i take it very seriously indeed. does the fact that i am not “objective” mean i have nothing worth saying? most people seem not to agree with you. if you think *i* am a “propaganda machine” then you should try dealing with actual “hasbara” people. i am not even right-wing. but that isn’t good enough for you, is it, because “objective”, in your terms, apparently implies that israel is “objectively” wrong at all times. you claim to be “objective”? what a load of nonsense. there’s nothing objective about you. periodically trotting out the “both sides are to blame” card doesn’t qualify you as objective.”

    Ah the victim card being played again. I am replying to your propoganda which you force me to do with your nonsense.

    I’ve actually been more objective than you can ever be. At least I put down what I saw as a viable peace solution which was good for Israel and the Palestinians which you agreed with in a previous thread. However when I asked you to put down your position you refused so who is objective!

    “by your standards, perhaps. it is interesting to see that in your opinion, i am disqualified from “objectivity” by not making “full-hearted” criticism of israel. revealing, isn’t it?”

    No by most people’s standards including most decent Israeli’s. The simple fact is that if either side needs full hearted criticism then it shouldn’t be avoided – tell me with your avoidance of full hearted criticism what do you achieve apart from continuing a sad situation. That is the end result of your approach.

    “context is not “excuses”. dress it up any way you like, the fact is you want to give israel a kicking – and you want me to join in. when i don’t, this is taken to mean that i am not “objective”. well, good luck finding people not from IJV and JFJFP to join in your little grass-roots initiative. you need to deal with the community as it is, not as you would like it to be.”
    Yes an uncritical community that stands by and is mute to abuses and refuses to act as the necessary check and balance that Israel needs. Israel doesn’t need blind cheerleaders if it wants to progress down the road of assimilation into the region.

    “egypt has “full peace and relations”. somehow there is a lot of room between the diplomatic language and actual peace and good relations. you need to learn to read small print, mate.”

    Same crap different day. You need to learn to read without spin. The offer is withdrawl to 67 borders for peace. The situation with Egypt which you are desperately trying to invoke is a cold peace due to the lack of progress towards a wider peace. Your lack of understanding highlights that you can’t see diplomatic protests at Israel’s actions and lack of progress.

    The reason you hate Egypts approach is because you subscribe to the Israeli Rights attitude rather than the peace attitude you claim to advocate.

    “hur hur hur. memri has billions in oil wealth to spend? memri has spent twenty years using it to subvert islamic education worldwide, has it? memri is a daily newspaper with a circulation of 215,504 (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_newspapers_in_the_United_Kingdom_by_circulation) hard copies and many more on the web, does it? how many books has robert fisk sold? don’t make me fecking laugh.”
    You are so full of shit really this sums you up for what you are. The Arabs may have the money but they don’t spend it.

    Lets be clear you are now in denial about the influence and reach of Memri with regards to news organisations, politicians etc.

    The Arab media’s circulation is local whereas Memri has reach in the corridors of power in the world’s superpower and it has reach into the Wests media outlets.

    So tell me what does the Arab or Palestinian world have in comparison to Memri?

    This is propoganda extraordinaire from a Memri Apologist.

    I say Chairwoman you said this BananaPropoganda didn’t agree with Mel and yet here he is defending utterly and completely and wholeheartedly which is quite a contrast to the position people assumed he had.

    This shows you for what you are.

    “he is dovish compared to, say, mel phillips, as you well know.”
    That is not what you said in your statement and you know that. You said he was dovish full stop not compared to Mel. Nice try but your own words give away your position.

    “don’t give me this “weaker side” nonsense. the islamic world vastly outnumbers israel in terms of its population, its GDP and certainly its WMD. you are simply being selective about what facts you are picking. either the palestinians are on their own or they’re not. i hardly think that can really be argued with any degree of credibility. as for your point about land expansion, show me where i have justified it, or retract that point.”

    What a joke, you really are full of nonsense. The Islamic world has nowhere near the military strength and it doesn’t have the nuclear, biological, chemical and many other capabilities of Israel. Numbers are useless as is wealth without military power. Its just more spin from you. Tell me are you an Israeli Embassy Staff Member because only they come up with this type of nonsense.

    “in the kangaroo court of the blogosphere that is unlikely to happen, but ultimately, of course, as sonia says, admitting injustices is usually necessary to move forward. but you know, what’s sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander. without everyone concerned admitting injustices, the process is worthless.”
    Yes but you are the first to jump into kangaroo courts for Muslims/Arabs/Palestinians but when the shoe is on the other foot then you want to take your ball and run away.

    Let me start for you, the Palestinian approach to peace is exceptionally poor and acts of terrorism against innocent civilians are abhorant and against human rights.The Palestinians need to live in peace with their neighbours.

    Tell me if I have missed any injustice to Israelis and if its fair I’ll say so here.

    So now lets see you do the same or are you going to hide away behind you can’t do that because it would reveal your secret identity in the community or will we get a half hearted response.

    Lets see the objectivity now? Time to put up or shut up.

    “equally, if he had had his comrades blown up by a suicide bomber wearing a burqa, you would probably also not be listening to the same experience. all this is is windy rhetoric. you are still showing me that you have no conception of my actual positions, which is why you are still conflating them with those of mel phillips, despite the fact that i have repeatedly differentiated them.”
    No you haven’t. The fact is that in war comrades die but as we have see with some IDF people they stand up against injustices and thats something you could learn from but your refusal is crystal clear.

    “quite.”
    An apologist who can’t bare to admit any injustice can’t claim to have no hatred to Palestinians per se.

    We’ve head this nonsense time and time again.

    Sorry but the more I read your propoganda and the influence you have then the more I worry about exactly what you are doing. You are a clear sign that Israel is simply being encouraged to continue as is because apologists like you will make sure that it gets its way no matter what and there can be no peace with people like you eggig Israel on.

    You are a polar opposite of people like Freedland, Seth etc. Its just you don’t want to admit it and want to be seen as someone who is for peace but your rhetoic and propoganda betray your claim.

    Lets see.

    BTW its better to be a Pollyana than a spinmeister and rotten banana stinking out the joint

  293. blah — on 26th May, 2009 at 4:53 pm  

    sonia
    “There are accounts which could back either choice – the Prophet had freed his black slave Belal – so one could say, well we should free all slaves”

    !!!

    Bilal was never a slave of the Prophet . He was a slave of Ummaya bin Khalf who tortured him intensely for accepting Islam (why did so many slaves accept islam?)
    He was freed by Abu Bakr – not the Prophet.

    Your making a mistake on this (something the average 10 year old would know) seriously wrecks your credibility.

    The Prophet did however greatly honour Bilal- saying he heard his footsteps in front of him in paradise and when the Muslims conquered Mecca appointing him to call the call to prayer. The pagan Arabs greatly revered the Kaaba and despised black people and slaves- the Prophet had Bilal a black ex slave stand on top of the Kaaba and give the call- a truly revolutionary act.

  294. douglas clark — on 26th May, 2009 at 8:42 pm  

    munir @ 290,

    You seem to see me as your enemy or summat. There is not a hell of a lot of difference between what you quoted here:

    While it is true the Qur’an did not command the immediate end of slavery it certainly
    advocated for its immediate end by equating the freeing of slaves with salvation and worship in many verses.

    Which I think I can take it as read was the original position of Islam?

    Which I have already said I agree with.

    So what are you bloody well arguing about?

    The failure of Muslims to abide by that standard? That seems to be your problem, not mine.

    It seems to be a historical fact that many Muslims were slave traders, dealers and users. It seems to be quite well documented from the 16th c or so.

    Which really asks the question of you, not me. Why are you denying it? Why are you pretending it didn’t happen?

    Of course, you are going to say that they weren’t ‘proper Muslims’ or some such.

    And just so’s you know, it is no more acceptable for a fucking white Christian to do that. And they did, viz the complete hypocrisy of the Dixie States. Fuck the slaves and call the offspring mullatos or quadroons or some such racist shite.

    But whatabouttery is your defence here, isn’t it?

    Point to evil elsewhere as though that deflects from the complete, utter failure of your lot to deal with it within your own naescent society – the Arabian Peninsula – where the teachings on manumission seem to have been abnegated. Well at least until 1962 or so. An oversight?

    Perhaps.

    Perhaps not.

    There is a thesis on interpretation to be had. You’d deny it even occurred. Though your perfect religion hummed and hawed over slavery. Your religion is no more perfect than anyone elses’, I think.

    It is like all sorts of projects, it starts with good intentions – from what I can tell from this thread the abolition of slavery within a generation – and it ends up corrupted by men.

    Frankly, you are just an apologist right now, you can’t, or won’t debate.

  295. douglas clark — on 26th May, 2009 at 9:02 pm  

    I’d assume that there is a Lawyer 101 that makes the obvious point that most judiciaries are based on religion? That that seems to be how we got to where we are today?

    The better half of religious belief was incorporated into law.

    The worst half appears as a comment on blogs.

    Perhaps it took a while to move beyond the ‘ducked Witches are dead, and thus Witches, and the ones that survive are Witches too’

    But, there you go, stupid beliefs are stupid beliefs.

    Frankly, I find the lack of genuine debate pretty pathetic.

    These folk, munir, imran khan, blah, etc..couldn’t argue their way out of a stank, without invoking their God.

    I think that is pathetic

  296. douglas clark — on 26th May, 2009 at 9:26 pm  

    imran khan @ 291,

    You said this:

    As I said the fact that the Prophet and his companions brought and then freed slaves is the example to be followed.

    Also the hadith are clear and they take precedence over any interpretation.

    Well, would you answer Sonia’s reasonable point that the hadiths’ say otherwise? Particularily in relation captured women?

    I’d like to know who I am addressing here? Are you just an idiot or just an apologist?

    You certainly seem to me to be an apologist. But there you go. You are a hero in your own mind…

  297. blah — on 26th May, 2009 at 11:02 pm  

    Imran Khan
    “Douglas hadith interpretation can only be done on a basis which is outlined in Hadith Sciences and anything else is just misleading the people.”

    No you are talking about Hadith authentication
    There is no such thing as “hadith interpretation” because hadiths dont exist as a source independent of others sources (such as the Quran)
    In the Hanafi school unless a hadith is mutawatir it doesnt hold the same importance as a Quranic verse
    In the Maliki school the amal of Medina takes precedence over hadith ahad.
    Leaving aside other sources such as ijma etc.

    The hadith quoted – is it khass or amm? ahad or mutawatir? mansukh or naksh? The idea someone can come up with a ruling by quoting a hadith in English is laughable

    This takes ulema – faqihs (lit. those who have understanding). Hadith scholars simplt relate hadiths and their isnads- the fuqaha and the ulama of istinbat weigh numerous sources before arriving at a ruling

    The superiority of fiqh over Hadith
    http://www.livingislam.org/n/sfh_e.html

    Would you advise individuals to study hadith from al-Bukhari and Muslim on their own?

    http://www.islamfortoday.com/keller01.htm

    “Our teacher Nur al-Dın ‘Itr gave this golden rule for self-hating Muslims over the issue
    of slavery in Islam: “Not one of the books of jurisprudence or its principles has a single chapter entitled ‘slavery’ in all Islam but they all have a chapter entitled ‘emancipation.’

    http://mac.abc.se/~onesr/d/ufaw_e.pdf

  298. douglas clark — on 26th May, 2009 at 11:19 pm  

    blah,

    Thanks for that

    The hadith quoted – is it khass or amm? ahad or mutawatir? mansukh or naksh? The idea someone can come up with a ruling by quoting a hadith in English is laughable.

    I have no idea what you think you are talking about, the secret language of the believers is enough to make me laugh. You are are a believer in that secret language, a personal belief in obscurantism that suits you.

    blah, you are are a moron if you think that that is a winning arguement.

  299. douglas clark — on 27th May, 2009 at 6:03 am  

    I suppose we share a language. I can talk, fairly sensibly I’d have thought, about stuff like punctuated equilibrium in evolution, cosmic background radiation as a measure of the age of the Universe, and other stuff that believers in any religion are uncomfortable with.

    The measure of sense in debate is not really down to belief. It is down to being able to argue a case without it. Which is what imran khan has conspicuously failed to do.

    He, and his alter ego munir, are really, really good on what Muslims should be, rather than what Muslims actually are.

    For the avoidance of doubt, there ain’t anything special about being a Muslim, you have all the human failings of the rest of humanity, wrapped up in jargon.

    And, as you are likely to see that as a solo attack on Muslim beliefs, can I say, just before you post a reply, that all religions play that game of exceptionalism. I was brought up as a Christian until my brain said: “This is rubbish”. It is not an easy path to go down. Christians might not have apostasy as a crime in criminal law, but they do have social measures that they most certainly envoke. Believe in this or be sent to Coventry.

    Such were the views of the righteous in the West of Scotland in the early 1960′s. Atheism was not a moral option. It is a lot easier now.

    For, generally, being an atheist is no longer exceptional. It is almost mainstream.

    And that is what will happen to your community too. Education brings with it doubt in the story that we are told about our morality, it brings with it a challenge that no religion is able to accomodate.

    I, as a fairly quiet atheist, admire the intellectual hiatus that the likes of Sonia and others have undertaken. You, however, retreat into jargon.

    Seen it. Been there. Bought the T shirt.

    Quite why anyone should concern themselves about religious sensibilities, or orthodoxy, is beyond me. Except for the lever of social control, which, frankly is all you have.

    On the topic of the latter part of this thread where is the evidence that what good folk see as a wrong – slavery – which is evidenced by manumission in the Koran – practically implemented anywhere? It took a Civil War before practicing Christians were forced to give it up. And their descendants still have their share of arseholes.

    It would be quite good, I think, if rather than quoting others, the Hizby lite tendancy around here could come out with a clear statement that slavery is wrong, always has been, and is actually a bit of a blight on the Muslim faith. But no, your compatriots come across as perfect, when they are clearly just apologists for a wrong. There is, in fact, denial in their very words.

    It is what bananbrain said, reconciliation takes two to tango.

    For the absence of doubt, I think Europeans were just as guilty, so no whataboutery, please!

  300. douglas clark — on 27th May, 2009 at 7:37 am  

    Katy Newton,

    Was there an upper limit on your wager? 300 posts and counting!

  301. douglas clark — on 27th May, 2009 at 8:05 am  

    blah,

    I have read your links. On the basis of that, I don’t know what to make of your philosophy.

    It seems to suggest that the written word requires interpretation by wiser council or somesuch. It is as though words on a page had a fluid meaning. Perhaps they do.

    Perhaps the words on the page are open to any interpretation anyone wants to place on them?

    Huh?

  302. sonia — on 27th May, 2009 at 8:22 am  

    Heh Blah i have hardly set myself up as a ‘credible’ expert in fact I have relayed the ‘journey’ i went through as a complete ingenue who had no clue about Islamic law re: slavery to finding out bits and pieces here and there which didn’t add up to me. Hence my questions to all and sundry here on PP and elsewhere on the internet. My role is as a challenger. I’d be very happy if someone turned up/some piece of evidence turned up and said well actually its not true islam didn’t allow slavery blah blah/or that the charges i’ve laid against Islam’s doors are not true because of xyz. I’d rather believe humans don’t do nasty things if i can. I don’t want to live in a world where people think nasty stuff is ok if its done to other people one ‘side’ is right and or as a means to some kind of mythical end. I want to believe in the inherent goodness of people – is that so bad!- but every corner you turn and there you are, humans, they’re at it again. I don’t want to end up a cynical old cow so i need to believe there is a point in trying, you know, to not just give in and be ‘nasty’ humans. That for me, is why this bugs me, on top of all the other things that have been bugging me for the last 31 years.

    I certainly have no ‘expert’ idea of the ins and outs of Islamic Caliphate history, my take on this is of a lay, ‘questioning’ [former] Muslim.

  303. imran khan — on 27th May, 2009 at 12:21 pm  

    Douglas – “Well, would you answer Sonia’s reasonable point that the hadiths’ say otherwise? Particularily in relation captured women?

    I’d like to know who I am addressing here? Are you just an idiot or just an apologist?

    You certainly seem to me to be an apologist. But there you go. You are a hero in your own mind…”

    Douglas as you become ever ruder your own failure to distinguish between Sonia’s points is apparent as you are trying to combine discussions to reach your own conclusions which naturally are to bash religion and then have a go at me because I don’t say what you want me to say.

    There is two seperate points here and I haven’t hidden anything if you had bothered to keep up which I know from previous experience is difficult for you. Sonia’s point about capture and enslavement of slaves during war is correct so I didn’t discuss that point.

    The point I addressed was in relations to slavery and how people can emerge from that. Are you able to understand the difference betweeen the two?

    As regards Sonia’s point about enslavement as part of war booty then yes this did happen. The same rules apply however that people are able to emerge from such slavery.

  304. imran khan — on 27th May, 2009 at 12:26 pm  

    Blah – “No you are talking about Hadith authentication
    There is no such thing as “hadith interpretation” because hadiths dont exist as a source independent of others sources (such as the Quran)”

    No its the companions who wrote down hadith and which verses of the Qur’an they related thus the knowledgable scholar is able to interpret a decision based on the Qur’an and Sunnah.

    So for example driving a car within the speed limit isn’t something that is in the hadith but if someone asks then the hadiths about the welfare of people for example can be interpreted to apply in this case. Equally many of the decisions taken today are based on the interpretation of hadith by knowledgable scholars and I don’t mean normal mosque imams.

  305. imran khan — on 27th May, 2009 at 12:53 pm  

    Douglas – “It is what bananbrain said, reconciliation takes two to tango.

    For the absence of doubt, I think Europeans were just as guilty, so no whataboutery, please!”

    This of course is the same Bananabrain who is mute at the conditions of the Palestinians which also defy all human rights but then again you don’t attack him do you but you love attacking Muslims. Strange standards you hold.

    Can you not understand that despite the rhetoric slavery hasn’t ended in Europe and its still going on. But you won’t address that because its easier to bash the Muslims and sit on your perch.

    Every time here you charge in to have a go at Muslims but you never hold others to the same standards and you are as ever a typical Islam-Hater.

    Even on this thread you’ve had a go at Muslims but stand side by side and shoulder to shoulder with Bananabrain despite his continual failure to condemn Israel’s excesses which he said he won’t do.

    Then you have the fecking gall to say Muslims wn’t say slavery is wrong and start attacking us. It is a convienient double standard.

    What you can’t understand is that Islam accepted slavery existed and set about to make the position of the slave better and encouraged Muslims to set slaves free. That itself is an acknowledgement that slavery is to be eradicated and not merely driven underground.

    Surely in the process of encouraging freedom for slaves is a recognition itself that slavery is to be ended. What is the point of rhetoric you can’t back. We have Bananasplit saying he is for peace but then thats window dressing as it changes nothing.

  306. imran khan — on 27th May, 2009 at 1:41 pm  

    Douglas – “The measure of sense in debate is not really down to belief. It is down to being able to argue a case without it. Which is what imran khan has conspicuously failed to do.

    He, and his alter ego munir, are really, really good on what Muslims should be, rather than what Muslims actually are.”

    Yes and the same applies to you and the systems you support.

    You simply want rhetoric so you can sit proudly. Slavery in Europe has been driven underground but not eradicated and you want statements from Muslims without trying to sort out your own issues.

    Women are traffiked in huge numbers for the use and abuse worldwide so it isn’t just an issue for Muslims which is what you’ve made it and from there its just becomes another one of your excerises which frequently occur to bash Islam and Muslims which rarely happens with such venom or regularity to other faiths whom you stand shoulder to shoulder with as you blindly ignore their excess.

    All the Muslims here have done is explain that Islam has a methodology for ending slavery. If Muslims carry on and ignore the guidance then of course we are all to blame.

    So by that token do you blame yourself for the human traffiking that occurs to Scotland or do you excuse yourself by the fact you have a bit of rhetoric to say you don’t approve?

    Its all window dressing you want similar to this:

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/6497935.stm

    rather than practical steps.

    By the same measure did Blair apologise for leading this country to war and does that mean all of democracy is to blame?

  307. imran khan — on 27th May, 2009 at 1:55 pm  

    Sonia – This verse may explain the position on war captives:

    [047:004] “So, when you meet (in fight – Jihâd in Allâh’s Cause) those who disbelieve, smite (their) necks till when you have killed and wounded many of them, then bind a bond firmly (on them, i.e. take them as captives). Thereafter (is the time) either for generosity (i.e. free them without ransom), or ransom (according to what benefits Islâm), until the war lays down its burden.”

    So the order is to take captives when the war is running but to free them or ransom them once the war is near its end. I think this order combined with the general instructions on slavery appear to show that freeing captors is the preferred method and if not then ransom them and free them once the ransom is paid.

    I’d say you need to talk to a knowledgable scholar about your issues.

    But again from what I have read the institution of slavery was to be abolished slowly under the system of Islam. I have also read that the companions appointed someone as part of the Muslim Treasury to buy and set fre slaves using the funds in the Muslim Treasury.

  308. imran khan — on 27th May, 2009 at 2:34 pm  

    A Holy War few condemn or would dare to condemn.

    World Agenda: Israel’s war effort gains religious imperative

    http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/world_agenda/article6360126.ece

    “During the Gaza war this year, Schmuel Kaufman, a military rabbi from a West Bank settlement, used to stride between the Israeli soldiers’ tents and urge them to fight what he deemed an “obligatory war” ordained by ancient scripture.

    “It’s a holy war to protect women and children from the south of the country after a long period of endurance on our side,” he told The Times. “The commander of the battalion asked me to blow the shofar [a ram’s horn] every time before going into the fighting. I’m blowing the shofar while 500 soldiers stand behind me praying. They went in wrapped in holiness.”

    Rabbi Kaufman and many other religious soldiers attributed Israel’s very low casualty rate in the month-long conflict to the newfound religiosity of its Armed Forces. In recent years, the army has become more devout, with an increasing number of recruits from religious and nationalist groups, including settlers.”

    “But anti-settlement groups, such as Peace Now, warn that the national-religious movement has now become so strong in the military that no future government will dare to use the army in evacuating the increasing number of settler outposts that have sprung up across the West Bank, which they say explains the reluctance of the Ehud Barak, the Labour Defence Minister, to take such a politically explosive task.

    One religious paratrooper who fought in Gaza and who asked to be identified only as Ilan, said that leaders of religious and settler communities encouraged their young people to join the army and to work their way up the ranks. The new recruits attend special pre-military seminaries, known as hesder yeshivas, to prepare them for army service. Most of these are in the occupied West Bank, which Israelis call Judea and Samaria.”

  309. bananabrain — on 28th May, 2009 at 8:16 am  

    Ah the victim card being played again.

    it’s got nothing to do with the victim card. this is simply you, yet again, failing to comprehend that your opinion about what constitutes “objectivity” is itself a biased opinion and, further, to continue to maintain against any logic that objectivity is something both attainable and desirable. this is a massive set of quite unwarranted presumptions and one which i wholeheartedly dispute. referring to my opinions as “propaganda” is a case in point. you don’t like them, so you’re calling them propaganda. i could, perfectly easily and with good reason, dismiss your opinions in the same way. i don’t, because it’s a pointless conversation. you have failed to convince me and so you have resorted to rhetoric.

    I’ve actually been more objective than you can ever be.

    well, hurrah for you. i hereby award you the nobel prize for objectivity and the mrs joyful prize for raffia work. congratulations. now what?

    At least I put down what I saw as a viable peace solution which was good for Israel and the Palestinians which you agreed with in a previous thread. However when I asked you to put down your position you refused so who is objective!

    so, you’re saying that a viable peace solution which i agreed with in a previous thread, requires me to “put down my position” again? why don’t you just read the thread again if it makes you happy? that is what ticks me off, that it isn’t enough for you to be happy with broad outlines (as if it makes any difference what you and i agree) but you have to insist on my signing up to a pointless and, moreover, tendentious series of condemnations which do nothing in my opinion to further the cause of peace. you then call that “objectivity”. codswallop.

    No by most people’s standards including most decent Israelis.

    i don’t remember you being crowned king of defining what “most people’s standards” are. which people? defined by who? and who defines what a “decent israeli” is? you? you sound like one of those trotskyist types who defines “the good of the people” as being the same thing as “whatever i and my chums in the politburo define as the good of the people”.

    The simple fact is that if either side needs full hearted criticism then it shouldn’t be avoided – tell me with your avoidance of full hearted criticism what do you achieve apart from continuing a sad situation.

    how does my joining in with a chorus of condemnation that nobody apart from a sort of international marriage-of-convenience between lefties and muslims is interested in? how does me giving you a nice warm self-satisfied feeling bring peace to the middle east, imran? tell me, because i really want to know. i fail to see how increasing the amount of pompous self-congratulation in the blogosphere does anything to get the palestinians and israelis out of the firing line.

    an uncritical community that stands by and is mute to abuses and refuses to act as the necessary check and balance that Israel needs.

    yet again you reveal just how little you understand the community. did you check what happened in the board of deputies chair elections, imran? do you hear the conversations that i hear, the disgust with the t-shirts, the impatience with the settlers, the rude remarks about israeli hard-headedness? that is one thing. however, if you think that netanyahu and lieberman are sitting around waiting for the UK BoD, let alone the jewish chronicle or the limmud conference to pass judgement on their defence policy you are utterly clueless. it matters what the americans say – and i’m not even talking about AIPAC here. look at the budgets, because it is the bottom line that is going to make the difference, not some self-indulgent one-page ad in a newspaper signed by a bunch of leftie actors and academics.

    The offer is withdrawl to 67 borders for peace.

    it is a vague offer and so hedged about with preconditions that it is all but meaningless. it is a jumping-off point, not a final deal – and it doesn’t include iran, who hold the purse strings and the keys to the ammo dumps for hamas and hizbollah – or syria.

    The situation with Egypt which you are desperately trying to invoke is a cold peace due to the lack of progress towards a wider peace.

    yes, it’s got nothing to do with the fact that the egyptians are doing feck-all to help the palestinians as per usual except to use them to focus the anger on the street away from the dictatorship and onto the zionist whipping boy. do you remember sandmonkey, imran? i do. i wonder what’s happened to him in mubarak’s prison system?

    Your lack of understanding highlights that you can’t see diplomatic protests at Israel’s actions and lack of progress.

    i can see ‘em all right, i just don’t give the same weight to my wishful thinking as you do to yours.

    The reason you hate Egypts approach is because you subscribe to the Israeli Rights attitude rather than the peace attitude you claim to advocate.

    yeah, you clearly know so much about the attitude of the israeli right (there’s only one, is there?) don’t you? you should try dealing with a real hard-arse hardalnik some time. go pick a fight with the people on the arutz sheva forums, why don’t you?

    The Arabs may have the money but they don’t spend it.

    in the words of john mcenroe, you cannot be serious. *jaw drops*

    you are now in denial about the influence and reach of Memri with regards to news organisations, politicians etc.

    yes, clearly the indy and the guardian and the bbc are all in thrall to the dreadful clutches of memri. deary deary me.

    The Arab media’s circulation is local

    that’s funny, i have al-jazeera on my sky box and every arabic speaker i know watches it. press tv (ok, it’s iranian, not arab) is advertising on the tube.

    That is not what you said in your statement and you know that. You said he was dovish full stop not compared to Mel. Nice try but your own words give away your position.

    what are you now, a lawyer? you asked for clarification, i gave it. i still think he’s dovish, because i clearly define “dovish” differently from you. if you think aaronovitch is not dovish then clearly the definition of “objective” you are working to is, as i have previously pointed out, not one i recognise.

    The Islamic world has nowhere near the military strength and it doesn’t have the nuclear, biological, chemical and many other capabilities of Israel. Numbers are useless as is wealth without military power. Its just more spin from you.

    i suppose the hizbollah rocket arsenal, the pakistani bomb, the syrian chemical and biological weapons facilities, the egyptian and iranian nuclear programmes, those are all there (to quote omid djalili) because they have a really powerful power shower? that’s to say nothing of the hordes of fanatical guerrillas armed, trained, educated and equipped with funds from iran, saudi and the gulf, those were just created in the name of performance art, were they?

    Tell me are you an Israeli Embassy Staff Member because only they come up with this type of nonsense.

    yes, it must be that i’m on the payroll, isn’t it? it couldn’t possibly be that you’re talking absolute bollocks?

    Tell me if I have missed any injustice to Israelis and if its fair I’ll say so here.

    imran, this is a pointless exercise from the outset, that is what i am saying to you. i have little confidence in your judgement at this point because you appear to be saying that i am a liar and a right-wing apologist on the payroll of the israeli embassy. i don’t see a great deal of point in continuing to discuss it if you can’t deal with the basics of dialogue.

    So now lets see you do the same or are you going to hide away behind you can’t do that because it would reveal your secret identity in the community or will we get a half hearted response.

    look, i don’t post here under my real-world name for work-related reasons and i don’t appreciate your tone, it is somewhat threatening. i also think you should be steering clear of the issue of “revealing secret identities” if i were you. what i have to say here are real opinions and they are based on a closer acquaintance with the jewish community than you obviously have. you are so far from the centre you can’t even come to terms with the fact that i’m not actually right wing.

    Lets see the objectivity now? Time to put up or shut up.

    i don’t accept your right to dictate the terms of dialogue and engagement. objectivity is, as i have already said, irrelevant and, moreover, your own continued attempts to appear objective are really not working.

    An apologist who can’t bare to admit any injustice can’t claim to have no hatred to Palestinians per se.

    again with imputing positions to me that i do not hold. i will claim what i like – there are people here who understand me a lot better than you do. you have not the least clue and that is rather sad considering how long you’ve been posting here.

    the same Bananabrain who is mute at the conditions of the Palestinians

    i’m not mute at it. i’m just not joining the high-kicking respect party chorus line along choreographed by busby galloway.

    Bananabrain despite his continual failure to condemn Israel’s excesses which he said he won’t do.

    i’ve been quite clear about my criticisms (the piece above about the settler lobby trying to subvert the army into fighting a religious war is a particular case in point in which i think you and i are in complete accord), but i don’t think anyone here apart from you is actually disputing that, but you are quite obtuse in that regard. what i won’t do is ask “how high?” when you tell me in that high-handed fashion to jump.

    douglas:

    I can talk, fairly sensibly I’d have thought, about stuff like punctuated equilibrium in evolution, cosmic background radiation as a measure of the age of the Universe, and other stuff that believers in any religion are uncomfortable with.

    i’m not uncomfortable with any of that stuff.

    b’shalom

    bananabrain

  310. imran khan — on 28th May, 2009 at 12:04 pm  

    Banana – “one which i wholeheartedly dispute. referring to my opinions as “propaganda” is a case in point. you don’t like them, so you’re calling them propaganda. i could, perfectly easily and with good reason, dismiss your opinions in the same way. i don’t, because it’s a pointless conversation. you have failed to convince me and so you have resorted to rhetoric.”

    How can it not be propoganda when you and the Israeli spokepeople quote from the same sheet? An Israeli spokeman will use propoganda but if as you claim you are neutral then you wouldn’t.

    “but you have to insist on my signing up to a pointless and, moreover, tendentious series of condemnations which do nothing in my opinion to further the cause of peace. you then call that “objectivity”. codswallop.”
    It does further peace because it illustrates that people like you in influential positions are pushing for peace. Its not about signing up its about acting as a check and balance.

    “i don’t remember you being crowned king of defining what “most people’s standards” are. which people? defined by who? and who defines what a “decent israeli” is? you? you sound like one of those trotskyist types who defines “the good of the people” as being the same thing as “whatever i and my chums in the politburo define as the good of the people”.”
    So you are saying most Israelis don’t want a two state solution?

    “how does my joining in with a chorus of condemnation that nobody apart from a sort of international marriage-of-convenience between lefties and muslims is interested in? how does me giving you a nice warm self-satisfied feeling bring peace to the middle east, imran? tell me, because i really want to know. i fail to see how increasing the amount of pompous self-congratulation in the blogosphere does anything to get the palestinians and israelis out of the firing line.”

    This is nonsense and with respect if both sides can’t admit wrong, injustice and simply revert to defensive positions then how does that move them forward.

    Ok so don’t join in, so by being mute then how does your methodology move things forward?

    If there is no check or balance of Israel by people like you then what will make Israel stop and make peace. Today they have said they intend to carry on taking more land and has anyone said anything so how does that further peace?

    How does staying quiet bring peace because that policy hasn’t stopped settlement activity has it now?

    “yet again you reveal just how little you understand the community. did you check what happened in the board of deputies chair elections, imran? do you hear the conversations that i hear, the disgust with the t-shirts, the impatience with the settlers, the rude remarks about israeli hard-headedness? that is one thing. however, if you think that netanyahu and lieberman are sitting around waiting for the UK BoD, let alone the jewish chronicle or the limmud conference to pass judgement on their defence policy you are utterly clueless. it matters what the americans say – and i’m not even talking about AIPAC here. look at the budgets, because it is the bottom line that is going to make the difference, not some self-indulgent one-page ad in a newspaper signed by a bunch of leftie actors and academics.”

    Frankly you are talking complete nonsense and it shows. As reported and I quoted here the BoD elections as reported by the JC reaffirmed that no criticism of Israel was going to be made and that Israeli politicians were welcome to visit the board. These behind the scene discussions you allude to are not what is being reported by the Jewish Communities own media.

    Where such things happen in the Muslim community you are the first to criticise it and now its oyur own community you are using the old trust us line that things are being discussed which is at odds over the statements being made by the BoD. Are you then saying the BoD is lying?

    You are clueless in the fact that if the diapora won’t bring pressure on Israel then why woudl Israel change its policies.

    In the past 40 years what has staying silent done to make Israel change course?The settlement acticity and colonisation of East Jerusalem has increased not decreased. So you are advocating a continuation of a policy that is failing daily, monthly and yearly.

    Its nonsense and you can’t see that the everytime building a failure to condemn such things brings the tensions we see.

    “it is a vague offer and so hedged about with preconditions that it is all but meaningless. it is a jumping-off point, not a final deal – and it doesn’t include iran, who hold the purse strings and the keys to the ammo dumps for hamas and hizbollah – or syria.”
    Then why can’t it be negotiated or why can’t Israel come back with a counter offer? Why can’t the diaspora come back with a counter offer? WHy just sit there and say its not good and here is a counter offer.

    Iran will be neutralised by peace not by avoiding peace. By saying it doesn’t include Iran highlights you lack of understanding – the deal is accepted by the OIC of which Iran is a member. Iran would lose big time by derailing any deal so they have said they will abide by any peace deal the Palestinians make.

    A peace deal would then expose Iran’s position and if it carried on then it would be exposed and then dealt with.

    “yes, it’s got nothing to do with the fact that the egyptians are doing feck-all to help the palestinians as per usual except to use them to focus the anger on the street away from the dictatorship and onto the zionist whipping boy. do you remember sandmonkey, imran? i do. i wonder what’s happened to him in mubarak’s prison system?”
    No doubt and I’ve said this to you before. But as I said this to you before the biggest winner of peace is Isreal. The zionist whipping boy can stop getting a whipping by pursuing peace.

    “i can see ‘em all right, i just don’t give the same weight to my wishful thinking as you do to yours.”
    Your wishful thinking is all about support and that wholesale support is being abused to carry on with settlement activity and ethnic cleansing in East Jerusalem.

    “yeah, you clearly know so much about the attitude of the israeli right (there’s only one, is there?) don’t you? you should try dealing with a real hard-arse hardalnik some time. go pick a fight with the people on the arutz sheva forums, why don’t you?”
    Oh please this is another standard propoganda line – we have to deal with the Israeli right and they are so tough. They wouldn’t be so tough if people stood up to them.

    If people won’t stand up to this bully then it won’t stop.

    This is the same bullshit used by people like Bibi – we have the right to deal with.

    Why then is the BoD choosing to stand up to the BNP but scared of standing up to the Israeli Right?

    “in the words of john mcenroe, you cannot be serious. *jaw drops*”
    Of course I am serious. How much do the Arabs spend on even promoting themselves, their religion and the Palestinian cause. If you knew about such things as you claim then you’d know that even in Jewish circles there is a joke that each time the Arabs need to do some promotion they set up a number of committees, who then rarely ever deliver a strategy and the whole project dies away. They also joke that getting a decision from them is painfully slow.

    “yes, clearly the indy and the guardian and the bbc are all in thrall to the dreadful clutches of memri. deary deary me.”

    The BBC actively quotes from Memri and many discussion on Newsnight, BBC News etc. actively quote Memri and you know this so please don’t try and make out otherwise.

    Sky News, Fox News, NBC, CBS, ABC etc all quote Memri.

    The right wing press all quote Memri so why the denials?

    “that’s funny, i have al-jazeera on my sky box and every arabic speaker i know watches it. press tv (ok, it’s iranian, not arab) is advertising on the tube.”
    These are new projects and Al-Jazeera is hardly pro-Palestinian its neutral and doesn’t have the reach into the circles of Power in the UK and USA that Memri does.

    How many MP’s will listen to PressTV compared to Memri briefings?

    Why deny the reach of Memri when it supplies its briefings to so many on Capitol Hill?

    Does Press TV or Al-Jazeerah do that? Nope.

    This is classic whatabouterry from you to divert the fact that Memri has substantail reach into the corridors of power where decisions are made.

    You are so biased you can’t bring yourself to admit the power and reach of Memri and the grave danger of their biased work being used to set the agenda – unless of course you approve of their aims and agenda?

    “what are you now, a lawyer? you asked for clarification, i gave it. i still think he’s dovish, because i clearly define “dovish” differently from you. if you think aaronovitch is not dovish then clearly the definition of “objective” you are working to is, as i have previously pointed out, not one i recognise.”
    Yes I am ;-) As I said Aaronovitch himself says he isn’t dovish so you take on his position is quite revealing. Aaronovitch at one time was dovish but his own experiences took him in the same direction as Mel.

    “i suppose the hizbollah rocket arsenal, the pakistani bomb, the syrian chemical and biological weapons facilities, the egyptian and iranian nuclear programmes, those are all there (to quote omid djalili) because they have a really powerful power shower? that’s to say nothing of the hordes of fanatical guerrillas armed, trained, educated and equipped with funds from iran, saudi and the gulf, those were just created in the name of performance art, were they?”
    Oh yes a real danger, rockets that are crude, cehnical and biological weapons that are a fraction of the size and less sophisticated that Israels. Nuclear programmes that as you well know are for civilian purposes as they are not producing military grade material are a really hyped danger that your Israeli Embassy manual is telling you to say pose a military threat!

    So tell me how Egypt and Iran’s CIVILIAN NUCLEAR programmes are a danger when they CANNOT in their present state be used for military means?

    Also then tell us which country in the region has active nuclear weapons despite lying and saying they won’t introduce them to the region?

    Armed guerrilas who have crude weaponary. That isn’t to excuse them but its hardly a major threat to such a powerful army as Israel’s.

    Come on be serious a couple of fanatical idiots with crude weapons hardly constitute an threat to end the state of Israel.

    This doesn’t mean that I don’t agree with you that Iran needs to be stopped but the best way to end Iran’s influence is peace.

    Also please don’t make hype where there isn’t any, Egypt, Pakistan and Iran have nuclear programmes which are of no threat to Israel and trying to imply they are is factually incorrect and simplymaking hype for Israel.

    “yes, it must be that i’m on the payroll, isn’t it? it couldn’t possibly be that you’re talking absolute bollocks?”
    Even if I am talking bollocks your position matches closely the hype of the Israeli Embassy and you utter the same nonsense. From them its understandable but from you who claims to be objective its a contradiction.

    “imran, this is a pointless exercise from the outset, that is what i am saying to you. i have little confidence in your judgement at this point because you appear to be saying that i am a liar and a right-wing apologist on the payroll of the israeli embassy. i don’t see a great deal of point in continuing to discuss it if you can’t deal with the basics of dialogue.”
    I knew you’d never do this. You want one sided criticism of the Palestinians alone. It isn’t a pointless excerise because if we cannot be honest about injustices then how do we move forward?

    I didn’t say you were a liar but I don’t see you as a champion of a just peace and I do see you as someone who just blindly follows the lines of Israel.

    We can’t deal with the basics of dialogue if the dialogue is one sided. You expect and demand criticism of terror from the Palestinians/Arabs/Muslims and won’t do the same yourself.

    “look, i don’t post here under my real-world name for work-related reasons and i don’t appreciate your tone, it is somewhat threatening. i also think you should be steering clear of the issue of “revealing secret identities” if i were you. what i have to say here are real opinions and they are based on a closer acquaintance with the jewish community than you obviously have. you are so far from the centre you can’t even come to terms with the fact that i’m not actually right wing.”
    I didn’t ask for your name – I asked for your position and I predicted you’d hidebehind I can’t reveal my position as it affects my identity which is exactly what you did.

    The Jewish Community I know is far different to you and that is why I fear your influence over them. They are for peace, for greater dialogue between Muslims and Jews which is what I dearly want. Your position is for all that on Pro-Israel terms which is a long trem danger and that worries me. I see you as a barrier to better relations and peace based on your own statements.

    How can my tone be threatening when all I am asking for is your position?

    I’d say your position and rhetoric is threatening.

    “i don’t accept your right to dictate the terms of dialogue and engagement. objectivity is, as i have already said, irrelevant and, moreover, your own continued attempts to appear objective are really not working.”
    Says the man who is not objective. How difficult is it to admit injustice? I did it but I’ve never seen you do it. You wanted to sit down with Lieberman and you excused a Senior Chief Rabbi’s call for ethnic cleansing and yet when a Muslim extremist comes here you are so vocal and always say they are danger to your personal existence.

    “again with imputing positions to me that i do not hold. i will claim what i like – there are people here who understand me a lot better than you do. you have not the least clue and that is rather sad considering how long you’ve been posting here.”
    I find it sad that in all the time you’ve been posting here you make wild claims about the positions you hold and yet your own statements and actions are a direct contrast to your claimed positions.

    “i’m not mute at it. i’m just not joining the high-kicking respect party chorus line along choreographed by busby galloway.”
    You are mute when you won’t even make criticism under an assumed name which you use here.

    I’m not asking you to make unwarrated criticism of Israel what I am asking is that you follow the same thing with regards to Israel that you are askign Muslims to do with regards to extremism in our community. You want Muslims to be vocal and speak out about extremism in the Muslim community which I back but then you are failing to do the same in your own community.

    “i’ve been quite clear about my criticisms (the piece above about the settler lobby trying to subvert the army into fighting a religious war is a particular case in point in which i think you and i are in complete accord), but i don’t think anyone here apart from you is actually disputing that, but you are quite obtuse in that regard. what i won’t do is ask “how high?” when you tell me in that high-handed fashion to jump.”
    As I recall when the religious influence in the IDF was highlighted you were quiet! So how do people knwo that you are in accord with people who disagree with this.

    The best way to combat extremism and terror is to acknowledge it and its effects in each community. How does that happen when people excuse one and get hysterical about the other?

  311. Imran Khan — on 28th May, 2009 at 12:15 pm  

    Bananabrain – Also I would be grateful if your could explain to me what I am supposed to say everytime I speak in my community of the need for peace and understanding, to condemn terror when I get told that British Jewry doesn’t speak out against Israel’s actions so why should we?

    What reply do I give when I see it as well time and again all I hear is we must stand behind Israel so why shouldn’t the Muslim community stand behind the Palestinians? What reply do I give?

    This is why I am saying to you that there must be calls for justice and criticism where needed of Israel and not the Mel approach of uncritical support because its leading to problems.

    Staying quiet is bringing a similar response on the Muslim side and it just brings more problems.

    So tell me what do I say?

  312. Refresh — on 28th May, 2009 at 12:45 pm  

    B’brain,

    ‘if the diapora won’t bring pressure on Israel then why woudl Israel change its policies.’

    This has got to be right. There is the view that the diaspora can be more right wing than Israeli citizens on matters concerning Israel.

  313. bananabrain — on 28th May, 2009 at 2:33 pm  

    How can it not be propoganda when you and the Israeli spokepeople quote from the same sheet?

    i don’t see that i do such a thing at all. that is what you are saying, not what i am saying. take what mark regev has just said about justifying “natural growth” in settlements, rebuffing hillary clinton’s call for a freeze. i agree with her, not with him. it is unsophisticated in the extreme for you to do as you continually do, to seize upon any point of agreement i have with anyone even vaguely right-wing in order to claim that i am some sort of secret right-winger. it does you a disservice.

    if as you claim you are neutral then you wouldn’t.

    am i not saying this right? i am NOT neutral, i am NOT impartial and i am NOT objective – BUT NEITHER ARE YOU. i simply strive to be fair-minded. what do you not get about this?

    It does further peace because it illustrates that people like you in influential positions are pushing for peace. Its not about signing up its about acting as a check and balance.

    what on earth do you mean “influential positions”? look, i’m not about to tell you who i actually am, but i think you’re under a bit of a misapprehension about this “influential position”. what do you consider an influential position? i’m not a community worker, a rabbi, a journalist, a teacher, an academic, a fundraiser, a synagogue, movement or communal organisation functionary, or a BoD member. i just know a lot of people who are and all i am is someone who knows and talks to a lot of very different people all over the community, not in any formal or professional sense, purely informal; i am, however, unusual in that i mix in a wide variety of circles, as far as i know. and, as far as i am aware, i *do* act as a check and a balance, but only insofar as the people i know respect my opinions because they know me personally and they know i speak in good faith. i don’t represent anyone.

    So you are saying most Israelis don’t want a two state solution?

    is that your definition of a “decent” israeli? if so, it is really missing a lot of the detail in israeli society.

    with respect if both sides can’t admit wrong, injustice and simply revert to defensive positions then how does that move them forward.

    but if both sides use any admission by the other to score cheap propaganda points (i don’t think you can accuse me of that with any justice) i would be far more likely to go down that road. all i can tell you is that in the communal conversations i have, we are quite prepared to admit wrong and injustice, but standing up and attempting to speak for the community as a whole (as opposed to a distinct portion of it) is quite simply not something anyone other than the BoD can do – and even they do not speak politically about israel, because there is absolutely no consensus across the community about it other than the most basic acknowledgement that it is basically a good thing – and even that isn’t a complete consensus because it ignores the ultra-orthodox. and guess who the settlers listen to?

    Ok so don’t join in, so by being mute then how does your methodology move things forward?

    i’m not mute. i’m simply not doing things by the preferred lefty route of demos, platforms, manifestoes, statements, boycotts, snide journalism and all the other accoutrements of gesture politics. i am changing things, as myself, one person at a time. if every person i influence then goes on to influence other people, just imagine. this is grass-roots activism at its most fundamental and granular. i feel there is very little benefit indeed from sessions on the internet with keyboard warriors, whether jewish or not. politeness, civility, good manners and a presumption of good faith are what i value. i’m not getting that from you recently.

    If there is no check or balance of Israel by people like you then what will make Israel stop and make peace.

    when they feel that there is someone that actually wants to make peace with them, not just trying to turn every advantage no matter how small into a bigger chance to advance the “final solution” that abbas zaki appears to want. not firing rockets over the border to no purpose would be a start.

    Today they have said they intend to carry on taking more land and has anyone said anything

    nobody asked me. i object to them doing that. do they care? no. is there anything i could say, in any forum, that would make them care? no. with all due respect, imran, if they’re prepared to tell hillary clinton to feck off then what difference does it make what anyone in the jewish diaspora, let alone the UK, says?

    How does staying quiet bring peace because that policy hasn’t stopped settlement activity has it now?

    no, you’re right. this is about the way that the settlers have co-opted the organs of government and that is a matter for the israeli electorate and political system. there is very little i can do about it other than criticise it when there is an appropriate opportunity, but this thread ain’t it.

    Frankly you are talking complete nonsense and it shows. As reported and I quoted here the BoD elections as reported by the JC reaffirmed that no criticism of Israel was going to be made and that Israeli politicians were welcome to visit the board. These behind the scene discussions you allude to are not what is being reported by the Jewish Communities own media.

    that’s because they’re behind the scenes. look, it’s you that’s talking nonsense. the board just elected a peace now activist and one who was a founder member of the new israel fund. if you don’t understand the significance of that then you don’t really understand anything. the BoD has always been dominated by the mainstream united synagogue as they are the most numerous in the UK and those people tend to be likud sympathisers to a greater or lesser degree. similarly, most of the reps are in their 50s and 60s and generally more conservative even when they are from the reform or liberal movements. finally, it is moving to represent the far more centrist view of the community as a whole. BUT – and this is a very big BUT, you are completely misunderstanding what the board does if you think it is there to take positions on israel which are by definition party political IN ISRAELI TERMS. any criticism would be the same. that is simply not what the board does.

    Where such things happen in the Muslim community you are the first to criticise it

    no. i’m sorry, but you keep saying this and there’s no evidence of it. this thread was started by sunny, criticising mel phillips about something that the palestinian ambassador said. i fail to see how that is something “in the muslim community”. if someone brings something to my attention, i will criticise it. i don’t spend my time like some surfing the web looking for muslim silliness to point my finger at.

    You are clueless in the fact that if the diapora won’t bring pressure on Israel then why woudl Israel change its policies.

    because, you ignoramus, israelis think they fecking know it all. they have an amazing ability (like most people) to be selective with what criticism they take up and what they ignore. that goes for us too.

    In the past 40 years what has staying silent done to make Israel change course?

    oh my G!D this is so fecking *vague* and clueless about the relationship between israel and the diaspora. israel is not steered by the opinions of the diaspora, nor, up until at the very least 1982, has there ever been much of a difference of opinion about whether they were going about it the right way. there hasn’t even been the *option* of peace until 1989 at the earliest. when you say things like this this reveals to me what a gulf of understanding there is – yet you won’t accept that your understanding is in any way deficient. how about this statement of yours:

    Why can’t the diaspora come back with a counter offer?

    do you still not understand that the diaspora doesn’t have a say in the matter?

    Then why can’t it be negotiated or why can’t Israel come back with a counter offer?

    if the offer doesn’t come from people who can deliver, what is the point of negotiating? can the OIC stop the iranians and syrians? can they stop the fundraising for terrorist groups in the gulf? the arab press doesn’t think so. they’re promising far too much. of course it can be negotiated but it has to start from a realistic basis. otherwise, it’s just grandstanding.

    A peace deal would then expose Iran’s position and if it carried on then it would be exposed and then dealt with.

    i fear you have far higher expectations of iran’s commitment to fair play than i do.

    Oh please this is another standard propoganda line – we have to deal with the Israeli right and they are so tough. They wouldn’t be so tough if people stood up to them.

    well, that is precisely what rabin, barak, sharon and olmert tried to do – but they’re a tough nut to crack. not for nothing are there periodic predictions of an israeli civil war. you don’t seem to get this.

    Why then is the BoD choosing to stand up to the BNP but scared of standing up to the Israeli Right?

    because the BoD are british, not israeli. there are plenty of groups standing up to the israeli right and they are well-represented in this country, the new israel fund, british friends of peace now, kibbutz movement, the youth movements, much of the progressive synagogue movements, most of the academics, about half the journalists and so on. the BoD, as i’ve said, cannot be seen to be taking party political sides in terms of israeli politics.

    Of course I am serious. How much do the Arabs spend on even promoting themselves, their religion and the Palestinian cause.

    walk into any shop on the edgware road and look at the collection boxes. look at who pays for the islamic books in the mosques. read the FSA report on hawala and money-laundering. look at zogby! look at the feckin’ al-yamamah oil deal, for feck’s sake!!

    If you knew about such things as you claim then you’d know that even in Jewish circles there is a joke that each time the Arabs need to do some promotion they set up a number of committees, who then rarely ever deliver a strategy and the whole project dies away. They also joke that getting a decision from them is painfully slow.

    i’ve never heard that about arabs, especially not in jewish circles, but we certainly have that joke about ourselves.

    The BBC actively quotes from Memri and many discussion on Newsnight, BBC News etc. actively quote Memri and you know this so please don’t try and make out otherwise.

    right, that must be why the bbc is so balanced on israel that it had to have an internal inquiry. as for the american press, i’m not especially interested in what they have to say. i am not denying that memri has influence, but this all begins to sound painfully like the well-known myth of jewish media power, oh, they’re all-powerful and we poor muslims can’t do anything. what a crock.

    Al-Jazeera is hardly pro-Palestinian its neutral

    that’ll be news to the israelis.

    You are so biased you can’t bring yourself to admit….blah blah blah

    ok, now you’re hectoring me again. i’m not interested when you do this.

    Oh yes a real danger, rockets that are crude, cehnical and biological weapons that are a fraction of the size and less sophisticated that Israels.

    hizbollah still managed to use their “crude” rockets to get a million people in the north of israel into the bomb shelters in 2006. that’s the point – israeli military sophistication is becoming increasingly irrelevant in the face of irregular, ubiquitious low-level attrition warfare. and, to my knowledge, israel has neither chemical (i don’t include white phosphorous) nor biological weapons. i would be most upset if they did. that would be a desecration of the Divine Name.

    your Israeli Embassy manual

    stop it, imran. you’re being a dick now.

    So tell me how Egypt and Iran’s CIVILIAN NUCLEAR programmes are a danger when they CANNOT in their present state be used for military means?

    right, because nuclear material can’t be passed to terrorist groups for use in a “dirty bomb”? absurd.

    The Jewish Community I know is far different to you and that is why I fear your influence over them.

    what am i now, dr evil? i can’t believe on the basis of what you say that you actually have an acquaintance beyond the denizens of JfJfP and the jewish socialists group.

    As I recall when the religious influence in the IDF was highlighted you were quiet!

    sad to say, i do not sit around all day waiting to post on PP. besides, you just mentioned it – and i just gave my opinion. but no, that’s not good enough, is it?

    Also I would be grateful if your could explain to me what I am supposed to say everytime I speak in my community of the need for peace and understanding, to condemn terror when I get told that British Jewry doesn’t speak out against Israel’s actions so why should we?

    maybe condemning terror is not the answer. perhaps we should be starting by actually building some relationships and social capital, not an adversarial campaign based on an argument 3000 miles away. you’re finally asking a decent question here, one that admits you don’t have all the answers, just as i don’t have all the answers. ask them questions back:

    1. what do you mean by british jewry?
    2. what do you mean by speaking out?
    3. when you say “israel’s actions”, what do you mean? the army? the settlers? the government? the nation as a whole? do you understand the relationships there?
    4. why do you think that “israel” would listen to “british jewry”?
    5. what influence do you think british jewry has on israel?
    6. why do you think they don’t?
    7. why does it have to be public – who is the real audience? israel – or you?

    What reply do I give when I see it as well time and again all I hear is we must stand behind Israel so why shouldn’t the Muslim community stand behind the Palestinians? What reply do I give?

    ask more questions:

    1. what do you mean by “the muslim community”?
    2. what do you mean by “stand behind”?
    3. what do you mean by “the palestinians”? hamas? mrs ghassam in gaza city with 14 kids? the PNC?
    4. how are you actually going to help “the palestinians”? what do they need?
    5. how will you know that your help is effective?
    6. what would “peace” look like?
    7. what should “palestine” look like?

    This is why I am saying to you that there must be calls for justice and criticism where needed of Israel and not the Mel approach of uncritical support because its leading to problems.

    all i can say to you is that there is such a dialogue and if you are unaware of it then perhaps it is not a dialogue that you are part of. maybe it’s a conversation we need to have with ourselves. maybe the question of the palestinians is a conversation you guys need to have with yourselves.

    b’shalom

    bananabrain

  314. Refresh — on 29th May, 2009 at 1:08 am  

    Just read this article about the proposed law to ban Israeli Arabs from commemorationh the Nakba:

    ‘Israel should remember Nakba day

    Trying to erase Palestinian history by banning Nakba day would not strengthen Israel but undermine it’

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2009/may/28/israel-palestine-nakba-day

    What caught my eye was this comment from someone who would usually be supportive of Israel, and for me it captures the essence of the debate:

    TrueLeft
    28 May 09, 4:56pm (about 9 hours ago)
    For nearly two thousand years Jews in Europe were subject to oppression and violence, seemingly eternal refugees- fleeing one place and driven out of another.

    During that time the reason for the exclusion, the attacks, the lack of rights, was in large part based on two things: an alternative view of history (and especially historiography) from the Christian majority, and a faith-based prohibition against oaths of fealty to worldly authority. We didn’t place any great import on Jesus’ life or death while Christians not only disagreed but held us responsible for the crucifixtion; and we refused to swear our loyalty to kings and kingdoms because Jewish law contains a specific interdiction against oaths.

    It is therefore particularly ironic and distressing that the Jewish State may try to impose similar prerequisites upon its minorities as were placed upon Jews as conditions for equal rights. Such a history may not place upon Jews any obligation to be more understanding of the situation in which minorities exist (such an obligation is present in every society regardless of whether it itself suffered as a minority), but it does at least raise the hopes of such comprehension. Vain hopes, it turns out.

    The Jewish Torah states in numerous places that we must treat minorities among us with compassion because we were a minority of slaves in Egypt. To that we can now add our experience during exile. But the religious authorities in Israel are strangely silent regarding a pair of bills which criminalise another’s history, and which require very non-Jewish oaths of fealty. These authorities are Zionists before they are Jews, apparently.

    Jews were dispossesed refugees, without rights and vulnerable to attack by the majorities among which they lived for two thousand years. Palestinians are now in precisely the same situation. We Jews and our Palestinian brothers are taking turns at being the dispossessed- we should be trying to make the duration of their exile as short as possible. Instead, the Jewish State is the jailor, the torturer, the executioner. Since that is the case, “Jewish State” is a misnomer perhaps.

    So Shabi is quite right: the ones pursuing these laws are the greatest risk to the Jewish State. The danger for Jews is that the Jewish State will simply be the Zionist State and Jews themselves will be as Stateless as the Palestinians before too long.

  315. Im ran Khan — on 29th May, 2009 at 10:35 am  

    Bananabrain – “am i not saying this right? i am NOT neutral, i am NOT impartial and i am NOT objective – BUT NEITHER ARE YOU. i simply strive to be fair-minded. what do you not get about this?”

    Being fair-minded also involves being fair which involves being somewhat balanced in regards to issues and not taking one side or apologising for one side.

    “what on earth do you mean “influential positions”? look, i’m not about to tell you who i actually am, but i think you’re under a bit of a misapprehension about this “influential position”. what do you consider an influential position? i’m not a community worker, a rabbi, a journalist, a teacher, an academic, a fundraiser, a synagogue, movement or communal organisation functionary, or a BoD member. i just know a lot of people who are and all i am is someone who knows and talks to a lot of very different people all over the community, not in any formal or professional sense, purely informal; i am, however, unusual in that i mix in a wide variety of circles, as far as i know. and, as far as i am aware, i *do* act as a check and a balance, but only insofar as the people i know respect my opinions because they know me personally and they know i speak in good faith. i don’t represent anyone.”
    Influential in the fact you know lots of influential people and if you behave with them as you do here then how will their view be changed or affected if all their friends are like you?

    Sometimes people change due to the influence of friends and family. Olmert was a right winger whose own family disagreed with him and he changed.

    “is that your definition of a “decent” israeli? if so, it is really missing a lot of the detail in israeli society.”
    In part yes, but also people who stand up for justice, fairness etc.

    “but if both sides use any admission by the other to score cheap propaganda points (i don’t think you can accuse me of that with any justice) i would be far more likely to go down that road. all i can tell you is that in the communal conversations i have, we are quite prepared to admit wrong and injustice, but standing up and attempting to speak for the community as a whole (as opposed to a distinct portion of it) is quite simply not something anyone other than the BoD can do – and even they do not speak politically about israel, because there is absolutely no consensus across the community about it other than the most basic acknowledgement that it is basically a good thing – and even that isn’t a complete consensus because it ignores the ultra-orthodox. and guess who the settlers listen to?”

    So then if they use it to score points we shouldn’t do whats right or whats needed? It doesn’t matter if you can’t influence Israel but if Israel is hearing criticism it will change and the same applies for the Palestinians. If everyone is uncritical in public then why does either side need to change its approach – they’ll think they have support and carry on and guess what that is what is going on.

    Its not about speaking for the whole community but its about standing up.

    Imagine if the Germans had bothered to stand up and not gone along with things quite a few people may have survived.

    “i’m not mute. i’m simply not doing things by the preferred lefty route of demos, platforms, manifestoes, statements, boycotts, snide journalism and all the other accoutrements of gesture politics. i am changing things, as myself, one person at a time. if every person i influence then goes on to influence other people, just imagine. this is grass-roots activism at its most fundamental and granular. i feel there is very little benefit indeed from sessions on the internet with keyboard warriors, whether jewish or not. politeness, civility, good manners and a presumption of good faith are what i value. i’m not getting that from you recently.”

    Same applies to you recently and not just with me especialy on issues of I/P and you are prepared to dish it out for Israel but not listen back.

    “when they feel that there is someone that actually wants to make peace with them, not just trying to turn every advantage no matter how small into a bigger chance to advance the “final solution” that abbas zaki appears to want. not firing rockets over the border to no purpose would be a start.”
    Back to form. What is the definition of someone who wants to talk and while they claim to want to talk they are establishing facts on the ground which is hardly the mode of people wanting peace.

    “nobody asked me. i object to them doing that. do they care? no. is there anything i could say, in any forum, that would make them care? no. with all due respect, imran, if they’re prepared to tell hillary clinton to feck off then what difference does it make what anyone in the jewish diaspora, let alone the UK, says?”
    Thats just a cop out and is the reason the situation continues as it does. We can’t do anything and they won’t listen to us so lets stay silent and offer suppot. The reason they won’t listen to Hilary is because they know the diapora will back them mostly uncritically.

    If the diaspora can’t influence Israel then why support it and why do all the lefty things you so hate such as news appearances, rallies, petitions etc. in support of Israel. It is ironic that you say no to lefty ideals when Israel is to be criticised and do them when Israel is to be supported.

    If they won’t listen to you then why give them a platform in return? Why hold Israel National Days in the Square etc. when they ignore you and why do those lefty things to say to Israel you are alright when you won’t do them when they are wrong?

    What message does that send to Israel apart from an uncritical one. Why have religious leaders in this country eulogise Israel and then mute themselves when the need to be critical is there?

    The diaspora in the USA and UK are supportive of Israel and do everythiong you say the left do and I dare say you take part in these events probably or some of them and yet when it comes to criticism then it won’t have influence.

    If it won’t have influence why have events in London which cost taxpayers money in support of Israel.

    “no, you’re right. this is about the way that the settlers have co-opted the organs of government and that is a matter for the israeli electorate and political system. there is very little i can do about it other than criticise it when there is an appropriate opportunity, but this thread ain’t it.”
    Which is the time for the diaspora to say enough is enough and not just celebrate all the time. At the Israel National Day celebrations why can’t speakers say the are unhappy why the support solely and not the messages. If this isn’t the forum and I accept it might not be what is? The Chief Rabbi keeps saying as do the BoD that it is right to criticise Israel but now isn’t the time or this isn’t the place so when and where? Its never happened. All they want is 100% uncritical support for Israel which is why you have Louise Ellman and her LFI which is also so uncritical.

    Where are these fictional places where criticism is to take place?

    Israel will never change its course if it knows it can rely upon you and others to never say anything especially publicly and it can then threaten Hilary and co. with its support base. Hey guess what thats what happens!

    “that’s because they’re behind the scenes. look, it’s you that’s talking nonsense. the board just elected a peace now activist and one who was a founder member of the new israel fund. if you don’t understand the significance of that then you don’t really understand anything. the BoD has always been dominated by the mainstream united synagogue as they are the most numerous in the UK and those people tend to be likud sympathisers to a greater or lesser degree. similarly, most of the reps are in their 50s and 60s and generally more conservative even when they are from the reform or liberal movements. finally, it is moving to represent the far more centrist view of the community as a whole. BUT – and this is a very big BUT, you are completely misunderstanding what the board does if you think it is there to take positions on israel which are by definition party political IN ISRAELI TERMS. any criticism would be the same. that is simply not what the board does.”

    Frankly this is stinking hypocracy because they demand public statements for Palestinian Terror which is fair enough but then want to do things behind doors for Israeli State Terror. Thats comical.

    ALso if that isn’t what the board does then why the need to criticise the Palestinians because that isn’t what the board does because it isn’t involved in ME Politics or it is selectively.

    Can’t you see that what you say is part of the problem. The baord won’t criticise Israel but will criticise those that do! Also if that isn’t what the Board or the Chief Rabbi do then why do they have positions for people who do advocacy for Israel -s what they do is in fact give Israel uncritical support which is what Israel relies on so yes they do it but only one way.

    “because, you ignoramus, israelis think they fecking know it all. they have an amazing ability (like most people) to be selective with what criticism they take up and what they ignore. that goes for us too.”
    If they won’t listen then why support them? You can’t have it both ways. Why the need then for lobby groups for Israel by non-Israeli’s? Frankly you are talking nonsense – its not that they won’t listen its the fact they know they won’t get any criticism which drives them on.

    “oh my G!D this is so fecking *vague* and clueless about the relationship between israel and the diaspora. israel is not steered by the opinions of the diaspora, nor, up until at the very least 1982, has there ever been much of a difference of opinion about whether they were going about it the right way. there hasn’t even been the *option* of peace until 1989 at the earliest. when you say things like this this reveals to me what a gulf of understanding there is – yet you won’t accept that your understanding is in any way deficient. how about this statement of yours:”

    No your is deficient and you are selective about the portrayal. Fine there was no partner until 1989 but why couldn’t they be told not to build settlements? Why were people jumping up to support Israel saying at the time they would be demolished when peace came and now they say they are facts on the ground?

    Its the lack of criticism and toeing the Israeli line that has us partly where we are. Its the same with the other side because there was no criticism and people followed their line they carried on without a blind hope of achieving their aims!

    “do you still not understand that the diaspora doesn’t have a say in the matter?”
    If they don’t as you claim then why blindly support a country that won’t listen to you? You want it boths ways. Why give it money and support? You wouldn’t do it elsewhere so why for Israel when it has such contempt it won’t listen to you?

    Israel uses the dispora as leverage and this fictional claim the dispora doesn’t have influence is not true because of the funding and support Israel relies on.

    Its not that Israel won’t listen its that it doesn’t have to because the leverage is never used.

    Al-Quaeeda won’t listen to Muslims in the West but does that mean we give up? Oh no we are told we have to speak out against terror even in Israel and shouldn’t support it.

    “if the offer doesn’t come from people who can deliver, what is the point of negotiating? can the OIC stop the iranians and syrians? can they stop the fundraising for terrorist groups in the gulf? the arab press doesn’t think so. they’re promising far too much. of course it can be negotiated but it has to start from a realistic basis. otherwise, it’s just grandstanding.”
    That is nonsense, any starting point is just that a starting point. From here you bring people on board and show people peace is achievable and then yes you can stop it.

    How can you stop something if you don’t start somewhere?

    “well, that is precisely what rabin, barak, sharon and olmert tried to do – but they’re a tough nut to crack. not for nothing are there periodic predictions of an israeli civil war. you don’t seem to get this.”
    No you don’t get it – there won’t be civil war.The right will just melt away as it always does. They are bullying to get their way because no one will stand up to them. The issue is used by the very politicians you name to avoid agreement as they always say to the USA, UK etc. oh we have to deal with the right and they won’t like this and we have to go slowly. Its propoganda and no other country uses this like Israel.

    By your logic the government here could keep saying that it has a right wing to deal with but guess what they don’t.

    Does dealing with a right wing mean you avoid the necessary?

    “because the BoD are british, not israeli. there are plenty of groups standing up to the israeli right and they are well-represented in this country, the new israel fund, british friends of peace now, kibbutz movement, the youth movements, much of the progressive synagogue movements, most of the academics, about half the journalists and so on. the BoD, as i’ve said, cannot be seen to be taking party political sides in terms of israeli politics.”
    Then why ask others to? Why then provide uncritical support? If you can’t take sides then stay quiet but they won’t do that either? Why act as an advocate and fail to be critical? Its simply a case of wanting it both ways.

    “walk into any shop on the edgware road and look at the collection boxes. look at who pays for the islamic books in the mosques. read the FSA report on hawala and money-laundering. look at zogby! look at the feckin’ al-yamamah oil deal, for feck’s sake!!”
    Thats not money spent to support the Palestinians or their position is it. Was the al-y deal money to support Palestine?

    “i’ve never heard that about arabs, especially not in jewish circles, but we certainly have that joke about ourselves.”
    I have – I do know a lot of Jewish people you know and I laughed with them when they said this as its so true!

    Thats why I find your position so difficult to grasp because even ardent zionists I’ve spoken to from the right are vastly different to you or maybe thats just the way you are presently coming across.

    “right, that must be why the bbc is so balanced on israel that it had to have an internal inquiry. as for the american press, i’m not especially interested in what they have to say. i am not denying that memri has influence, but this all begins to sound painfully like the well-known myth of jewish media power, oh, they’re all-powerful and we poor muslims can’t do anything. what a crock.”

    I didn’t say Jewish Media Power so please don’t twist my words. As I have said to you in the past I’ve heard Israeli Commentators say that if the Arab world used its wealth and used it well then Pro-Israelis wouldn’t have such an easy time and that is true.

    As the World Superpower influencing the USA is critical and Memri is able to do that.

    “that’ll be news to the israelis.”
    Please don’t talk nonsense – as people know Al-Jazeerah became very popular amongst Israelis during the Gaza Conflict becauseit was neutral so many turnt to them for a more balanced view than what they were getting. Check out Hareetz they had the story at the time.

    “hizbollah still managed to use their “crude” rockets to get a million people in the north of israel into the bomb shelters in 2006. that’s the point – israeli military sophistication is becoming increasingly irrelevant in the face of irregular, ubiquitious low-level attrition warfare. and, to my knowledge, israel has neither chemical (i don’t include white phosphorous) nor biological weapons. i would be most upset if they did. that would be a desecration of the Divine Name.”

    Oh please – Israel is a mass producer of Chemical and Biological weapons and this is well known.

    “In 1993, the U.S. Congress Office of Technology Assessment WMD proliferation assessment recorded Israel as a country generally reported as having undeclared offensive chemical warfare capabilities.[2] Former US deputy assistant secretary of defense responsible for chemical and biological defense, Bill Richardson, said in 1998 “I have no doubt that Israel has worked on both chemical and biological offensive things for a long time … There’s no doubt they’ve had stuff for years”.[11]”
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Israel_and_weapons_of_mass_destruction

    “right, because nuclear material can’t be passed to terrorist groups for use in a “dirty bomb”? absurd.”

    Frankly you are being an idiot. Why would Egypt give a dirty bomb to terrorists when its impactwill affect Egypt as well. Why would Iran when it would bring similar response and wipe out Iran. You are being a dick now. Any dirty bomb in Israel will be met with a nuclear strike most likely on Iran so why would thye give it when their influence is spreading. It would set back their efforts.

    “what am i now, dr evil? i can’t believe on the basis of what you say that you actually have an acquaintance beyond the denizens of JfJfP and the jewish socialists group.”
    I don’t talk to any groups at all just ordinary Jews including right wing Zionists.

    Will answer your other points later

  316. chairwoman — on 29th May, 2009 at 11:46 am  

    “If the diaspora can’t influence Israel then why support it”

    Aaaarrrggghhh!!!!! I support the existence of the State of Israel but not some of the actions of its various governments.

  317. bananabrain — on 1st June, 2009 at 8:09 am  

    imran,

    i don’t think i’ve ever met anyone who was quite so obtuse about this. i have tried to clarify my positions over and over again and you are still maintaining that i have said things i haven’t said. i can’t dialogue with someone who has no concept of dialogue. all you appear to understand is point-scoring.

    b’shalom

    bananabrain

  318. imran khan — on 3rd June, 2009 at 4:07 pm  

    Bananabrian – “i don’t think i’ve ever met anyone who was quite so obtuse about this. i have tried to clarify my positions over and over again and you are still maintaining that i have said things i haven’t said. i can’t dialogue with someone who has no concept of dialogue. all you appear to understand is point-scoring.”

    Please don’t talk nonsense. I am answering your points and you don’t like that. Your point about a dirty bomb and how Iran and Egypt can supply one was asnwered by the fact they have no reason to!

    It isn’t about point scoring – its about understanding that in this dispute the supporters of both sides fail to condemn their own sides excess and denying you can’t do anything and won’t be listened to is nonsense.

    Israel will listen to its diaspora and the Palestinians to their diaspora and the wider Muslim world. The failure is that those groups on the outside won’t use their positions to bring peace and won’t use their positions to condemn excesses.

    Its a point you are in denial about.

    If you don’t want to discuss with me then don’t answer – I didn’t force you to talk to me.

  319. imran khan — on 3rd June, 2009 at 4:12 pm  

    Chairwoman – “Aaaarrrggghhh!!!!! I support the existence of the State of Israel but not some of the actions of its various governments.”

    Aaaaaaaaaaarrrrrrrrrrrrrgggggggggggggghhhhhhhhh!!!!!!!!

    Do you not see that there is a difference between support of a state and the actions of the state?

    In your heated response and if you had followed the thread you’d see the context of the statement support was in reference to the actions of the state and not the state!

    Sheesh!

    You can support Israel and criticise its actions towards the Palestinians. That was my point that community organisations can criticise Israel but won’t and the BoD said that they wouldn’t.

  320. imran khan — on 3rd June, 2009 at 4:31 pm  

    Bananabrain – “maybe condemning terror is not the answer. perhaps we should be starting by actually building some relationships and social capital, not an adversarial campaign based on an argument 3000 miles away.”

    First of all yes we should condemn terror – all terror. I happily condemn terror against innocent Jewish people by extremists in the region.

    Yes we should build social capital and this is sorely lacking. There is absolutely no reason why the two can’t go hand in hand.

    “you’re finally asking a decent question here, one that admits you don’t have all the answers, just as i don’t have all the answers. ask them questions back:

    1. what do you mean by british jewry?”

    Look the BoD claims to speak for British Jewry so with respect if I say they can its based on their own words;

    http://www.boardofdeputies.org.uk/

    If you don’t like it ask them to change their slogan not me!

    “2. what do you mean by speaking out?”
    Speaking out to condemn the actions of Israel.

    “3. when you say “israel’s actions”, what do you mean? the army? the settlers? the government? the nation as a whole? do you understand the relationships there?”
    I do understand the relationship there and Israels actions are those of the State, Government, IDF, Settlers etc.

    “4. why do you think that “israel” would listen to “british jewry”?”
    Why do you think they won’t when you’ve never tried hard enough? Israel is dependent upon the Jewish Diaspora for support and influence. If the disapora speaks out Israel has to listen.

    Why would Israel stop its present course when its knows that it won’t be told off?

    “5. what influence do you think british jewry has on israel?”
    Plenty – it just isn’t used and critics are silenced or condemned as self-hating.

    “6. why do you think they don’t?”
    Huh?

    “7. why does it have to be public – who is the real audience? israel – or you?”
    Are you for real? Of course it has to be public – Israel and its supporters argue for public condemnation of other states so why the double standard for Israel. Public also means that the hostility between Jewish and Muslims communities abroad is abated because it can be seen that Jewish Organisations are even handed and not biased.

    ” What reply do I give when I see it as well time and again all I hear is we must stand behind Israel so why shouldn’t the Muslim community stand behind the Palestinians? What reply do I give?

    ask more questions:

    1. what do you mean by “the muslim community”?”
    I mean the Muslim Community – you know what I mean.

    “2. what do you mean by “stand behind”?”
    As you stand behind the principle of a state for the Jews – Israel – so most Muslims stand behind a state for Palestinians.
    “3. what do you mean by “the palestinians”? hamas? mrs ghassam in gaza city with 14 kids? the PNC?”
    This is getting silly now!
    “4. how are you actually going to help “the palestinians”? what do they need?”
    How can I help the Palestinians – well by making them see that the endless violence isn’t getting them anywhere. By helping to improve their daily lives by helping with education, basic needs etc.

    “5. how will you know that your help is effective?”
    It may not be but we must try.

    “6. what would “peace” look like?”
    Peace looks like Jews and Muslims living together and not killing each other.

    “7. what should “palestine” look like?”
    Already told you ’67 borders, military cooperation between the two, rental of borders and airspace by Israel, joint business parks and ventures. Integration of Israel into the region. Israel able to do business in the ME.

    Look you and I essentially want the same thing peace in the ME and peace and better community relations here. To get there we need to be just and we can’t hide behind community positions saying our voice doesn’t count.

    Frankly if it doesn’t count the feck em and let them carry on killing each other and don’t support them.

    If they want our support then its conditional on good governance, justice for all and community harmony.

  321. imran khan — on 3rd June, 2009 at 5:55 pm  

    I came across this and again it highlights what I’ve been saying:

    http://www.thejewishweek.com/viewArticle/c55_a15922/Editorial__Opinion/Opinion.html

    “This Is Zionism?

    by Rabbi Sidney Schwarz

    Then one speaker launched into a tirade about how every American president since Jimmy Carter had betrayed Israel by courting the favor of Arab nations. Applause. Another speaker announced that Hillary Clinton cared more about Palestinian national aspirations than about Israel’s survival. Applause. Candidate for Congress, Elizabeth Berney, slammed Rep. Gary Ackerman (D-NY), chairman of the House Sub-committee on the Middle East for his characterization of Israeli settlement activity in the territories as part of a “destructive dynamic” in the region. More applause.

    Then a band launched into a rousing rendition of Am Yisrael Chai. I spent more than 25 years as an activist for Soviet Jewry. This was our theme song signaling solidarity both with the history of our people and with all those oppressed Jews in the world whose cause we championed. A group of young men in their 20′s with kippot and tziztzit were right in front of me dancing in a frenzy. But they alternated the verse that meant “the people of Israel lives” with “all the Arabs must die.” It rhymed with the Hebrew. Given the way all joined in, it was clear that this was not the first time it was sung.

    I leaned over to a young man who was next to me, also wearing a kippah and tzitzit. I nodded at the dancers and asked: “Does this song bother you?” He looked at me with a suspicious look and replied: “This is Zionism.”

    There were a dozen or so sponsors of the rally including the Zionist Organization of America, Americans for a Safe Israel and the National Council of Young Israel. Rally sponsors cannot control every statement of every speaker and they certainly can not control the actions of those in the audience. Yet the messages from the stage were all in ideological alignment and the MC was generously doling out yasher koachs after each presentation.

    Jewish leaders are quick to demand that Muslim clergy condemn the extremism that has hijacked Islam into a religion of terrorism and death. We need to make the same demands of the rabbis of institutions whose students make a chillul hashem (a desecration of God’s name) by singing “all the Arabs must die”.

    Finally, Jews who love Israel and who want peace need to ask themselves how we can reclaim the public discourse about the future of the Jewish state. Islam is not the only religion that is in danger of being hijacked.”

    The last sentence is indeed one that most people are in denial about and the apologists for Memri here well now lets see if they speak out.

    Will Melanie Phillips or Memri discuss this? Will Hazel Blears demand clarification that such things do not go on here – well she can’t anymore cause she’s resigned but you get the point!

    We’ve had denial after denial here that only an extreme minority of Jews say such things.

    Yet here it is in song at a major Jewish event and no one says a thing.

    These are not some minor organisations this is what is said about the Zionist Organisation of America:
    “”The ZOA is the most credible advocate for Israel on the American Jewish scene today.”
    The Wall Street Journal

    “The ZOA is one of the most important and influential Jewish groups in the U.S. today.”
    The Jerusalem Post”
    http://www.zoa.org/content/about_us.asp

  322. bananabrain — on 8th June, 2009 at 8:10 am  

    imran: you clearly haven’t understood the point of my questions. you aren’t even taking them seriously, because apparently you don’t even understand them. that is why you and i are having a problem.

    Yet here it is in song at a major Jewish event and no one says a thing.

    a respected orthodox zionist rabbi wrote a headline piece in the largest jewish paper in the states, which was picked up here in the largest jewish paper – and that, to you is “no one says a thing”?

    sheesh.

    b’shalom

    bananabrain

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