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  • Technorati: graph / links

    Land Day


    by earwicga on 31st March, 2010 at 9:09 am    

    Via The Indypendent:

    34 years ago today, the Israeli army killed six unarmed Palestinian citizens of Israel when they were demonstrating against the expropriation of Palestinian land in Israel.  Today, thousands of people across occupied Palestine, and in solidarity actions around the world, continued to protest Israeli occupation and colonization and commemorated March 30, 1976, a day known as Land Day.

    The Palestinian Ma’an news agency reports that Palestinians attempting to plant trees in the West Bank village of Budrus were tear-gassed and shot at with rubber bullets.  In Israel, Palestinian citizens of the Jewish State protested in Sakhnin, in the north of Israel, according to the Israeli news site YNet.  Other actions were held across the West Bank.

    In the Gaza Strip, six marches were held across the besieged coastal area, challenging the Israeli “buffer zone,” which stretches as much as two kilometers inside Gaza, Ma’an reported.  The “buffer zone” renders thirty percent of Gaza’s farmland inaccessible, according to a United Nations report.  During the protests, which crossed into the “buffer zone,” 11 people were wounded by Israeli troops, according to CNN.  In a separate incident, a 15-year-old Palestinian boy was shot and killed near Rafah, although there are conflicting reports on whether Israeli troops killed the boy.

    Around the world, Palestinian solidarity activists commemorated Land Day by mobilizing around the boycott, divestment, and sanctions movement against Israel.

    Update:  The 15 year boy refered to in the third paragraph has returned home today safe and well.


         
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    1. How can I feed my bumble bee catfish!?

      [...] Pickled Politics » Land Day [...]



    1. Kismet Hardy — on 31st March, 2010 at 9:20 am  

      Shot with rubber bullets for planting trees?! God knows there’s a joke there if anyone could bring themselves not to cry

    2. DisgustedOfTunbridgeWells — on 31st March, 2010 at 9:29 am  

      ‘Rubber bullets’ would be the PC term.

      http://www.btselem.org/english/Firearms/Rubber_Coated_Bullets.asp

    3. chairwoman — on 31st March, 2010 at 9:54 am  

      Well done to the Independent, and of course to you too, Earwicga, for using the old Christian ploy of stirring up Jew Hatred at Passover in time for a quick Easter Massacre.

    4. Kismet Hardy — on 31st March, 2010 at 9:58 am  

      It’s not really ’stirring’ though, is it, Chairy? Stirring would be saying something like ‘hey mussie, that jewish bloke over thinks you smell’.

      But at least that was 34 years ago and thank god everyone gets on really well together now. Phew

    5. Sarah AB — on 31st March, 2010 at 10:08 am  

      These events are (or at least seem to be) awful. But so are lots of things and yet it’s always Israel which is singled out for boycott attempts. I don’t think refusing to deal with Israeli academics, for example, is going to achieve anything - except maybe nudge them a bit further to the right.

    6. earwicga — on 31st March, 2010 at 10:17 am  

      chairwoman - your comment at 4 is a little overwrought. Is anybody who writes about Serbia’s ‘apology’ this week or abuses within the Catholic church guilty of ’stirring up’ Christian ‘Hatred’ during Holy Week ‘in time for a quick Easter Massacre.’?

      NB - you misread the first line of the OP.

    7. saeed — on 31st March, 2010 at 10:20 am  

      But so are lots of things and yet it’s always Israel which is singled out for boycott attempts.

      I take it you’re never heard about sanctions put in place during the 90s against iraq…almost half a million kids died cos of this…i don’t hear you bleating about this…mayb e cos you think arabs are of less worth than israelis

    8. Sarah AB — on 31st March, 2010 at 10:36 am  

      I don’t find the reference to sanctions against Iraq particularly helpful or relevant Saeed - and I find your final remark offensive.

      I did find Chairwoman’s intervention a bit startling though - given that the article is a response to another article responding to a specific anniversary.

    9. saeed — on 31st March, 2010 at 10:45 am  

      why do you find it offensive…large sections of both left and right opinion like to insinuate that critics of israel are racist…so i’m gonna throw dirt around as well and insinuate you are an anti-arab bigot…hows that?

      the state of israel is singled out cos its a democracy…not a theocratic, hateful, malignant entitiy like saudi, iran, sudan (you get the picture)

    10. Sunny — on 31st March, 2010 at 11:05 am  

      I don’t think refusing to deal with Israeli academics, for example, is going to achieve anything – except maybe nudge them a bit further to the right.

      I agree Sarah.

      But I’d have more respect for this position if it wasn’t accompanied by hypocritical demands for academics from Palestinian territories to be boycotted because of tenuous links to Hamas or other Islamists.

      Not saying you say this, but I’ve seen it too many times. Furthermore - there are a lot of people who focus a lot on Islamist terrorism. Are we to then accuse them of ’singling out Muslims’? We cover a whole range of countries on this blog. And yet everytime Israel is mentioned, immediately there are accusations of anti-semitism.

    11. Sarah AB — on 31st March, 2010 at 11:28 am  

      I absolutely don’t want to say that this post was antisemitic (and I don’t think it either, to avoid any ambiguity!) I just don’t think boycotts (and I’m a member of the UCU which is associated with Israel boycotts) seem either fair or helpful. I don’t want to boycott any country’s academics. I remember a thread about twinning with a particular Palestian university where I didn’t agree with the parallels being made between ‘twinning’ and ‘not boycotting’ - I think avoiding boycotting a country need not imply special approval whereas twinning would seem to do so.

      Yes I think there is rather a lot of singling out of Islamist terrorists which, at the very least, puts the onus on those doing the singling out to differentiate their position from Islamophobia. Sometimes this is done well, sometimes not. Similarly with pieces critical of Israel. I only really queried the final point of this post (about boycotts). With Rumbold’s post yesterday - I remembered noting to myself that I would need to feel more certain I knew exactly what a war crime was - and more knowledgeable about events in and around Israel - to know whether I agreed with that particular point he made. I certainly didn’t think his sharp criticism of Israel was in any way out of order - and someone’s comment about how his remarks amounted to support for Hamas seemed bizarre.

    12. chairwoman — on 31st March, 2010 at 12:04 pm  

      “NB – you misread the first line of the OP.”

      No, I mis-presumed.

      “Are we to then accuse them of ’singling out Muslims’? “

      Yep. There’s a degree of that too.

      Why are you always being accused of antisemitism? Because you are heavy-handed. You appear not to be able to write about Israel without condemning the whole Israeli ethos. Yes, the Israeli Government, like all administrations, does things for which it should be censored. But there are many things happening in Israel that benefit the whole world, and if you speak to the-Palestinian-in-the-street (when they feel able to speak freely), instead of listening to the rhetoric of their leaders, you may be surprised to know that they benefit too, but the Israel centric posts here are invariably centred on the bad things.

      Ergo, you’re accused of antisemitism.

    13. Boyo — on 31st March, 2010 at 12:26 pm  

      “We cover a whole range of countries on this blog. And yet everytime Israel is mentioned, immediately there are accusations of anti-semitism.”

      Thankfully PP’s obsession with Israel has not yet matched HP for Islam.

      I think they’ve actually gone a bit bonkers.

    14. chairwoman — on 31st March, 2010 at 12:45 pm  

      Aarrgghh!

      Too many italics in my last post.

      Damn, damn, damn.

    15. earwicga — on 31st March, 2010 at 1:44 pm  

      chairwoman - italics are the least of concerns compared with the contents of your comment at 12. You didn’t need to mis-presume a spelling error as the link was there. You also don’t need to call anti-semitism on every post that contains the word Israel. By trolling in this way to stop any meaningful debate regarding Palestine. You are absolutely calling wolf and demeaning the term anti-semitic, which is a terribly dangerous thing to do.

      If you wish to comment on the OP then please do, but any more trolling shall be deleted.

    16. chairwoman — on 31st March, 2010 at 2:28 pm  

      earwicga

      The remarks about antisemitism were a response to Sunny’s question in comment 10.

      Now perhaps you will understand why the italics are important.

    17. Katy Newton — on 31st March, 2010 at 2:31 pm  

      Earwicga, you are far too quick to accuse people of trolling and threaten them with deletion. You have not been contributing to this site for very long and perhaps don’t appreciate that those of us who have been commenting on here for years don’t appreciate being called trolls because you don’t like what we’ve said.

      This is not trolling. The Chairwoman’s comment was a response to Sunny’s question as to why people called antisemitism when Israel was singled out for criticism. This is an ongoing debate between them. The fact that you don’t agree with her doesn’t make it an attempt to stop meaningful debate. The Chairwoman and I have both taken a lot of direct antisemitic abuse from commenters on this site over the years and for the most part we’ve been pretty polite about it.

      There are plenty of people who accuse Sunny and others of Islamophobia when something that relates to Muslims or Islam is held up to criticism. They are not threatened with banning. A little consistency would be good.

    18. Leon — on 31st March, 2010 at 2:32 pm  

      If you wish to comment on the OP then please do, but any more trolling shall be deleted

      Hold your fucking horses, it’s one thing to have a heated debate with someone but to accuse a much respected and long time commenter of trolling so easily is just not on.

      Anymore unjust accusations by you like that and you’ll find YOUR posts deleted.

    19. earwicga — on 31st March, 2010 at 2:36 pm  

      Fine - say what you like.

    20. Kojak — on 31st March, 2010 at 2:46 pm  

      earwicga,

      It wasn’t fine.
      In fact, a polite apology was in order.

    21. Leon — on 31st March, 2010 at 2:50 pm  

      Kojak, please don’t stir. Let thread get back to it’s discussion.

    22. Sunny — on 31st March, 2010 at 3:05 pm  

      well, trolling will get deleted - old skool commenters or not. Don’t think chairwoman is trolling just yet, but she does get het up over this every time. And I get accused of this in any thread I write about Israel too. I just ignore it. But frankly - it’s not needed.

      Boyo - you got that right.

      Sarah - agree with what you said.

    23. Lucy — on 31st March, 2010 at 3:05 pm  

      Views on de-humanisation and expropriation of Palestinians from Holocaust survivor and BDS supporter, Dr Hajo Meyer:

      I heard Hajo Meyer, a Dutch-based 86 year old Holocaust survivor, speak on Holocaust Memorial Day at Portcullis House at a meeting hosted by Jeremy Corbyn and chaired by Selma James. Dr Meyer is the author of three books on Judaism, the Holocaust and Zionism. He was on a lecture tour entitled ‘Never Again’and he drew clear distinctions between Judaism and Zionism, between anti-Semitism, and anti-Zionism and spoke of a commitment to ‘the pursuit of justice and making ethically positive sense out of senseless suffering’.

      In an article in ‘The Huffington Post’ 27.01.2010 entitled ‘An Ethical Tradition Betrayed’ http://www.huffingtonpost.com/hajo-meyer/an-ethical-tradition-betr_b_438660.html, Dr Meyer writes:
      ‘Psychological survival is at least as important as physical survival. In fact, the Nazi concentration camps were their attempt to dehumanize us Jews. If a prisoner became part of the oppression system by being Kapo, the dehumanization would be successful. Obviously, the non-Jewish members of the oppression system were also no longer fully human. I realized there that anybody from a dominating group who tries to dehumanize people from a minority group, can only do so if by education, indoctrination and propaganda he has already been dehumanized himself, independent of the uniform he wears.’

      ‘Auschwitz existed within history, not outside of it. The main lesson I learned there is simple: We Jews should never, ever become like our tormentors — not even to save our lives. Even at Auschwitz, I sensed that such a moral downfall would render my survival meaningless.’

      He continues: ‘Like most German Jews, I was raised in a secular and humanist tradition that was more antagonistic than sympathetic towards the Zionist enterprise. Since 1967 it has become obvious that political Zionism has one monolithic aim: Maximum land in Palestine with a minimum of Palestinians on it. This aim is pursued with an inexcusable cruelty as demonstrated during the assault on Gaza. The cruelty is explicitly formulated in the Dahiye doctrine of the military and morally supported by the Holocaust religion.’

      Hajo Meyer spoke as someone for whom a lesson from Auschwitz learned was to challenge the precepts of Zionism and its policies of ‘dispossession and exclusivity’. He supports the Palestinian call for boycott, divestment and sanctions against Israel as part of a call for ‘moral survival’and expressed his horror at what he regards as ’settler fundamentalism’.

      At the meeting itself, which irritatingly was frequently interrupted by hardline pro-Israel members of the audience, both Jewish and non-Jewish, who finally had to be removed by police because, despite warnings, they did not stop shouting over the speakers, Dr Meyer remarked on what he clearly considered to be a flawed categorisation of anti-Semitism: “Formerly an anti-Semite was somebody who hated Jews because they were Jews and had a Jewish soul. But nowadays an anti-Semite is somebody who is hated by Jews”. That didn’t calm anyone down, but it seemed fitting, particularly given the insults hurled by the disrupters, which included Nazi salutes directed at the octogenarian Holocaust survivor and shouts of ‘Seig Heil’ at both Dr. Meyer and others in the audience who had tried to stop them interrupting. Dr Meyer withstood the tirades - he had experienced worse forms of harrassment in his life - and in the end prevailed and finished his speech.

    24. Sunny — on 31st March, 2010 at 3:06 pm  

      and who the fuck is kojak anyway to start demanding apologies. fuck off.

    25. Leon — on 31st March, 2010 at 3:10 pm  

      Sunny, I don’t think Chairwoman is a troll, nor do I believe she’s about to become one. The fact that’s she’s a long time commenter speaks volumes in support of that. No troll lasts as long on here as she has!

    26. Leon — on 31st March, 2010 at 3:10 pm  

      LOL agreed re kojak! :D

    27. douglas clark — on 31st March, 2010 at 3:16 pm  

      I think the fact that Pickled Politics tries to remain an open forum on what is probably the most contentious issue we have ever discussed, is to it’s credit.

      And that can’t have been easy.

      Just saying.

    28. chairwoman — on 31st March, 2010 at 3:17 pm  

      Actually, Sunny, I didn’t get het up. When you asked why you’re always accused of antisemitism, instead of just firing off the usual rhetoric, I looked at the question, and asked myself why you make my hackles rise on this issue in a way that others don’t, and gave you a considered answer.

      To always condemn any group is generally an indication that one is opposed to their existance. I doubt that you are antisemitic per se, and think that you just don’t realise either the effect your words have, or how your views could be perceived.

      You’re not just ‘your average blogger’. You’re a professional journalist, often asked for your opinions, and frequently, an unofficial spokesman for people from the sub-continent.

      Because of that, your comments must be held to a higher standard and criticism will be commensurately tougher.

    29. chairwoman — on 31st March, 2010 at 3:28 pm  

      Lucy - At the end of the day Dr Hajo Meyer’s opinion is only that.

      I am more than probably a lot nearer his age than yours, and see Zionism entirely differently.

      As I mentioned earlier, it is Passover at the moment. In Jewish homes all over the world for the past 2 nights, we have finished our Passover dinner with the words ‘Next year in Jerusalem’. These words have been spoken at the Seder table for 2000 years by Jews exiled from Israel. That is the heart of Zionism. The desire for a country of our own.

      It’s not about grabbing land, it’s about living among friendly neighbours within secure borders.

    30. Sunny — on 31st March, 2010 at 3:35 pm  

      To always condemn any group is generally an indication that one is opposed to their existance.

      I agree. And I make that point when people generalise about Muslims or Asians all the time.

      But to my knowledge I’ve never condemned Jews generally, or generalised about them, nor about all Israelis. Condemning the govt of Israel is of course a different issue. But if you want to point to examples where I’ve done so - pls let me know.

    31. Sarah AB — on 31st March, 2010 at 4:16 pm  

      It’s rather difficult criticising Dr Meyer (and I don’t think I’d heard of him before) given his background. But I’d tentatively suggest that his horrifying experiences may have made him view the situation of Israel through a kind of magnifying lens. I don’t think Israelis (most of whom are Jewish but not all of whom are Holocaust survivors or even immigrants from Europe) are any more like Nazis than are the many other countries who are embroiled in controversial conflicts. I don’t think it’s helpful to compare Israel/Gaza with Nazis/Jews. I can understand why a sensitive person with his background might note similarities between the situation of say Jews in Nazi controlled Europe and Palestinians in the OT but there are crucial differences too. I’m not Jewish and I don’t feel that I’m an expert on Zionism but his views seem rather one sided and don’t acknowledge the many different views held by Zionists - by those Israelis who voted for more left wing parties for example – the assault on Gaza seemed to have more to do with security than expansionism. It’s surely possible to find the settler movement extremely unhelpful and yet still be a Zionist? The responses of the audience sound disgusting though.

    32. mostly harmless — on 31st March, 2010 at 4:24 pm  

      chairwomen
      Surely time to update, maybe ‘Next year in all of Jerusalem?’

    33. Kojak — on 31st March, 2010 at 4:59 pm  

      Sunny,

      “In fact, a polite apology was in order.” is not a demand and doesn’t merit being told to “fuck off’ by you or merit adulation for the insult.

      The point of going on holiday is to come back refreshed and relaxed so as not to react aggressively towards a comment made to the initiator of the article.

      So back to the topic.

      Earwicga’s article was fine on the face of it, but 9 links in 4 paragraphs is a bit heavy handed isn’t it? Or am I the only sensitive soul whose eyebrows raise when a case is being made so forcefully and boycotting is being proposed?

    34. chowder — on 31st March, 2010 at 5:13 pm  

      Curious - my post doesn’t show up but when I repost, Wordpress tells me I’m duplicating my previous comment. Is there some pre-publishing comment filter on this site?

    35. damon — on 31st March, 2010 at 5:21 pm  

      I wince just a bit at the ”Next year in Jerusalem” saying Chairwoman.
      Is it not somewhat out of date now?
      I had a lovely time at a Shabbat evening I was invited to in Jerusalem in 2000, but the people I shared the evening with were mostly from the USA originally.

      I went to the Temple/Mosque in Hebron on that visit, and found being on the Jewish side during a service almost a religious experience - and I’m not religious.

      But still, I thought it wasn’t worth it. That it was selfish at the end of the day.

      Maybe the Jewish State should have been in some other part of the world.
      Wyoming might have been a good choice.

      I like Chairwoman’s posts … but then I’ve been called a troll on here too.

    36. chowder — on 31st March, 2010 at 5:28 pm  

      So when do the Israelis of Arab origin get to remember the fact that the Arab states siezed their land - land roughly four times the size of Israel?

      There won’t be commemorations in the Arab states, because almost all the Jews have been ethnically cleansed, and anyway, it’s not like the Arab governments ever believed in free speech or the right to protest. If Jews protested, they’d face worse than rubber bullets.

      So when is the Mizrahi Jews’ Land Day? Do they commemorate it on Yom Haatzmaut, Israeli Independence Day, the independence day of the country which took them in after the Arabs ethnically cleansed them? But if they dare celebrate Israeli independence, they’ll doubtless be demonised as “right wing Zionists” and “Islamphobes”.

      After all, only Palestinians are allowed to commemorate their lost land. And boycotting a dictatorial Arab regime would be out of the question - we need their oil!

    37. douglas clark — on 31st March, 2010 at 8:50 pm  

      This debate has hit critical mass!

      The audience, me, is expected to choose a side, when, frankly neither side is worth supporting.

      All that is worth doing, and I think it has been Sunnys’ objective all along, is to knock heads together.

      Only to the extent that Israel / Palestine could be a catalyst for a bigger conflict should anyone in the UK actually give a shit.

      Every one of the commentators on here has given up completely on universal human rights in favour of tribal rights. ‘My tribal rights are better than your’s.’

      What nonsense!

      _____________________

      It is only interesting to both sides because it is a proxy war. Something they understand, but in a bad way. Lets let Jews and Muslims fight and pretend we support them, but from a very comfortable distance.

      There are very few British Jews or British Arabs that are going to die as a consequence of any of this.

      It is ridiculous posturing.

      I can’t be bothered with it.

      If you can’t see across a chasm like that, and can only come up with ‘my side is better than yours, nah, nah nah nah’, then you are wasting my time. And everybody else’s…

      Sunny is wasting his time, for all you idiots do is retreat to your own citadels and spit bile….

    38. douglas clark — on 31st March, 2010 at 9:18 pm  

      Sunny Hundal, back from airts and pairts:

      And I should say that Pickled Politics has tried to ‘hold the ring’ in this debate and given everyone an opportunity to speak.

      It is to their disgrace that they have let it descend to the level it has.

      But they have.

      ———————-

      However, there is a new air around here and I don’t particularily like it.

      Not that it was mine to give or take, obviously, however there was an understanding that appears to be falling apart…

      I’d like you to clarify just quite what the criteria for criticism of a post is.

      Earwigca has produced a number of posts I agree with, and a number I don’t.

      Am I to be told that I am a troll? Just because I disagreed with something she said, or you said, or Rumbold said? I’d have thought that was a bit, err, cheap, if you did.

      If so, you are either supporting your authors in a way that seems to me excessive, compared to your commentators. There is a balance to be struck there, and I think you need to reconsider it. It is all very well saying you will support Earwiga, just because she writes here. I am pretty sure Chairwoman has written a damn site more.

      This place would, I expect, be all the worse if it had a party line that we should all go ‘tick - tock’ to.

      Or if your regular commentators buggered off.

      Perhaps you disagree.

    39. Sunny — on 31st March, 2010 at 11:01 pm  

      Earwigca has produced a number of posts I agree with, and a number I don’t.

      Am I to be told that I am a troll?

      I think earwicga is simply settling in. Eventually I think you’ll find you agree with her a lot more than you disagree with douglas :)

    40. Don — on 31st March, 2010 at 11:22 pm  

      I think earwicga is simply settling in.

      Yes, by explaining to the rest of us that we are thick-witted trolling wastes of her time. Subject to deletion as she sees fit.

    41. Shamit — on 1st April, 2010 at 12:26 am  

      “These words have been spoken at the Seder table for 2000 years by Jews exiled from Israel. That is the heart of Zionism. The desire for a country of our own.”

      The Jews do have a country and that is Israel. But right now Israel is on a land grab mission at the expense of whose home it has been for generations.

      And saying it is an religious obligation and dream and something that needs to be achieved irrespective of what the modern world considers to be humane and fair is unacceptable.

      If we accept this to be a divine right of jewish people to have their home because of some edict 2000 years ago - aren’t we opening and accepting the argument that using religion as a license to commit heinous acts??

      Anyone believing that GOD supports eviction of families forcefully, treating them like shit is living in the dream world like the Taliban.

      All religions say love thy neighbour - can’t say Israel is acting like a good neighbour. could we now?

    42. Shamit — on 1st April, 2010 at 12:35 am  

      Just to clarify I detest Hamas and everything it stands for but I do believe that Palestinians have the right to a viable, sustainable state - and as agreed by the Oslo accords.

      I also like Israel and what it has achieved - but that does not mean one can support its treatment of Palestinians and breaking its own words.

      Jerusalem is important for 3 religions - why should Jews get preference? And if the answer is based on that is what God told us thousands of years ago - I am not bloody interested. Because its the similar sort of arguments made by fanatics in all religions.

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

    43. Ben — on 1st April, 2010 at 4:11 am  

      “…Jerusalem is important for 3 religions – why should Jews get preference? ..”

      For several reasons.

      Firstly, Jerusalem is far more important to the Jewish religion than it is to the Christian religion. It is of relatively minor importance to the Moslem religion.

      Secondly, Jerusalem was the capital of the Jewish nation for all the years of Jewish independence, starting 3000 years ago. It has never been the capital of any other nation existing today.

      And thirdly, Jerusalem has had a Jewish majority for the last 140 years. Today, Jews outnumber non-Jews 3-1 in the city.

      Furthermore, the Jews are the only recent rulers of Jerusalem who have respected the rights of other religions, and allowed their adherents to live unmolested in their homes. As a consequence, the population of non-Jews in Jerusalem today is five times greater than it was when the city was liberated by the IDF in 1967. Israel grants Moslems and Christians access to their holy sites, and helps preserve them. In contrast, when the Arabs ruled East Jerusalem between 1948 and 1967, they destroyed all 52 synagogues in the Old City, they desecrated the Jewish cemetery in the Mount of Olives, the oldest Jewish cemetery in the world; they drove out all the Jewish residents and they prevented any Jews from praying at the Western Wall.

    44. damon — on 1st April, 2010 at 10:17 am  

      Ben, isn’t Jerusalem the third holiest place in Islam?

      It seems important enough to muslims, that even here in Dublin, the supposed ”Zionist plot” to destroy the Al Aqsa mosque is being spoken about in the two main mosques.

    45. douglas clark — on 1st April, 2010 at 10:57 am  

      Ben,

      Once upon a time, some Christians seemed to think Jerusalem was quite important too:

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

    46. chairwoman — on 1st April, 2010 at 12:13 pm  

      SarahAB

      Of course it’s possible to be a Zionist without being a fan of the Settler Movement.

      Mostly Harmless

      Heh. No. I like to share.

      damon

      I live in London. Why shouldn’t I wish to have Passover in Jerusalem? And before you ask, circumstances prevent me doing that.

      As for Hebron, why shouldn’t Jews live there too? Why shouldn’t we have access to the Cave of the Patriarchs without the need for armed protectors? Why are we so intrinsically disgusting that Arabs can’t live next door to us?

      Wyoming? Why Wyoming? Where’s the Kosher Konnection?

      Chowder.

      We must make efforts not to become embittered.

      Dougie

      I/P is not the only dog and pony show in town and you’re more than capable of forming your own opinion.

      Leon, Don, Dougie, Kojak, damon et al - many thanks for being my friend :)

      nb: I don’t supply links as I lack the technical know-how!

    47. chairwoman — on 1st April, 2010 at 12:57 pm  

      Shamit

      I don’t see anybody in the region acting like a good neighbour to anyone else.

      I read a lot of Israeli blogs and websites, and the general consensu is that a land swap rather than a land grab is what’s needed.

      But one thing’s for certain, Jews will never relenquish our access to the Western Wall, which is our holiest site.

    48. damon — on 1st April, 2010 at 3:34 pm  

      Sorry if I misunderstood ”next year in Jerusalem” Chairwoman. I always had this idea it meant something like ”next year - pray God - when we have reconquered the city and wrested control back from the Arabs”.

      Hebron is a difficult one - but it should lay outside of Israel’s control. If Jews want to live in the Palestinian state then fair enough, and anyone should be able to visit, like people visit Bethlehem.

      I visited the settlement of Kiryat Arba, and that really is not a place that should continue to be like it is. It’s an apartheid situation.
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kiryat_Arba

      There isn’t much of a Kosher Konnection to Wyoming, but, you know - like the Mormons have a home in Utah, maybe the Jews could have had a home in Wyoming. Or down in Patagonia or somewhere.
      Even Uganda would probably have been less problematic than Palestine, and that was a serious consideration.

    49. chairwoman — on 1st April, 2010 at 4:12 pm  

      “If Jews want to live in the Palestinian state then fair enough, and anyone should be able to visit, like people visit Bethlehem.”

      But the PA have made it quite clear that Jews will not be allowed to live in Palestine. Israeli Arabs will, of course, continue to be Israeli citizens and will not be permitted, by the PA, to move to Palestine, even if they have a strong desire to do so.

      The Mormans wanted to go to Utah. They were already Americans and just wanted a place in America where they could be different in peace.

      Bless you, you’re a kind soul, but at the end of the day you don’t, and can’t, understand. The desire for a return to the Land of Israel has been, for the past 2,000 years, a group, tribal if you prefer, yearning that has kept Jews, dispersed amongst many nations, one people. For us it was only that land, some Jews never left, others crept back over the centuries, in small groups, from different lands. Jews were always the largest group inhabiting Jerusalem. Uganda was never a serious option. It was discussed out of politeness.

    50. mostly harmless — on 1st April, 2010 at 4:37 pm  

      ‘but at the end of the day you don’t, and can’t, understand’

      I and many others get this completely chairwomen, a yearning for your homeland is only natural, what many people have a problem with is the evicting of others who happen to be there, recognition of which is sadly absent in your posts.

    51. chairwoman — on 1st April, 2010 at 6:04 pm  

      mostly harmless

      I was a toddler when the United Nations divided what was then known as The British Mandate between Jews and Arabs, and new countries were created without any preparation or reparation.

      The land allocated to the Jews was far smaller than that allocated to the Arabs, but larger than that occupied by Jews today. After the Independence War, everybody settled within the land they held. I am not going to deny that people were evicted from their homes any more than I’m going to pretend that there were no deaths or injuries on either side. In a war that happens. But the majority of Arabs who are refugees today, left at the behest of Radio Cairo, in the belief that they would be back as victors within a very short time.

      Had they stayed put, they would be well on the way to becoming the largest group within the country, but they didn’t, and the Arab League, supported by other Islamic countries, and of course, the former USSR, which used them as proxies in their cold war with the USA, who of course used Israel similarly, persuaded the UN to keep them as refugees in perpetuity.

      My opinion, which I state here quite regularly is this:

      Israel goes back to pre-1967 borders except for Jerusalem which should be divided in a way that gives Israel sovreignty of the Kotel (Western Wall), and Palestine the same over the Al-Aqsa Mosque.

      The refugees move to Palestine and be compensated by the UN, whose lack of forward thinking helped cause this mess, except for those actually evicted by Israel who should take fiscal responsibility.

      Nobody should get exactly what they want, but accept that they have a workable solution and get on with living in peace, and establishing normal, hopefully, in time, friendly relations.

      I’m afraid it’s totally unrealistic for either side to expect more.

      It’s done. It was badly done, but now everybody must move on, for a stagnant pool breeds disease, and if the bearded God botherers on both sides stopped winding their flocks up, everybody could enjoy a land flowing with milk and honey, not to mention state of the art technology and medical advances.

    52. Rumbold — on 1st April, 2010 at 8:14 pm  

      Chairwoman:

      srael goes back to pre-1967 borders except for Jerusalem which should be divided in a way that gives Israel sovreignty of the Kotel (Western Wall), and Palestine the same over the Al-Aqsa Mosque.

      The refugees move to Palestine and be compensated by the UN, whose lack of forward thinking helped cause this mess, except for those actually evicted by Israel who should take fiscal responsibility.

      Nobody should get exactly what they want, but accept that they have a workable solution and get on with living in peace, and establishing normal, hopefully, in time, friendly relations.

      This sounds like an eminently sensible plan. Which is why it will get ignored.

    53. douglas clark — on 1st April, 2010 at 8:22 pm  

      Chairwoman / Rumbold,

      It has also been suggested that the UN takes over Jerusalem, but I don’t think that is likely to be successful either…

    54. Ravi Naik — on 1st April, 2010 at 10:43 pm  

      Well done to the Independent, and of course to you too, Earwicga, for using the old Christian ploy of stirring up Jew Hatred at Passover in time for a quick Easter Massacre…

      Why are you always being accused of antisemitism? Because you are heavy-handed. You appear not to be able to write about Israel without condemning the whole Israeli ethos. Yes, the Israeli Government, like all administrations, does things for which it should be censored…Ergo, you’re accused of antisemitism.

      Quite frankly I am disappointed by your definition of anti-semitism as well as suggesting that this post is somehow designed to stir hate agains Jews. What you are claiming - in my view - is that if one does not show an equal balance of good and bad things about the Israeli government, then you must be an anti-semite. My view is that Israel has a deeply negative impact in the Middle East due to its actions, and if by pointing this out in any debate makes someone a Jew-hater in your eyes, then so be it.

    55. fentonchem — on 1st April, 2010 at 11:06 pm  

      “Hebron is a difficult one – but it should lay outside of Israel’s control”

      So, if the Arab’s conquer a piece of land containing a building of huge religious significance and then murder or drive out the people who lived there it belongs to the Arabs.
      However, though the Jews reconquered Jerusalem after a gap of 19 years during which time it was under occupation by the Jordanian Arabs have to return it the Arabs.

      Do I have this right? The Jews can’t convert the Dome of the Rock and al-Aqsa Mosque into Synagogues, but it’s O.K. for the burial site of Abraham and Sarah, Isaac and Rebecca, Jacob and Leah,the Cave of the Patriarchs, into a Mosque?

      No double standards at work here are there.

    56. Ben — on 2nd April, 2010 at 5:00 am  

      “…It has also been suggested that the UN takes over Jerusalem, but I don’t think that is likely to be successful either…”

      Putting Moslem and Christian holy sites under UN or other non-Jewish administration is a reasonable and plausible possibility. It would satisfy the desire of all religious establishments for recognized status in the city. It would also remove from Israel the onus of responsibility for the well-being and upkeep of these places, which have historically been subject to acts of arson, violent dispute and vandalism at the hands of fanatical believers.

      But there is no justification for extending outside control beyond the holy places, and thereby disenfranchising the Jewish majority that lives in the city.

    57. douglas clark — on 2nd April, 2010 at 5:35 am  

      Ben @ 56,

      You make my point, I think.

      But there is no justification for extending outside control beyond the holy places, and thereby disenfranchising the Jewish majority that lives in the city.

      Clearly, logic has nothing to do with it.

      How the heck would a UN administration effectively disenfranchise the Jewish majority? The point would be to enfranchise other religious groups. Where they had a legitimate interest.

      And, obviously, take Jerusalem out of the debate.

      Of course it is not going to happen. You and your Arab pals are so dug in to a mutual misunderstanding that any solution that it seen as a compromise is viewed as some sort of complicity. Either pro Israel or pro Palestine.

      I have despaired about I/P for yonks on here. Jews and Arabs simply write shit on here from their mutually exclusive agendas. Anyone, me for instance, that suggests a compromise, is viewed as part of the Naturally Wrong Party, by both sides.

      Well, hell mend both of you!

    58. douglas clark — on 2nd April, 2010 at 6:10 am  

      Ravi Naik @ 54,

      As far as I know, and I think as you know too, Chairwomen lives in the UK. She has as much right to be wrong on here as you or I have.

      And we have both been wrong on the odd occasion too.

      Least I think we have. Maybe I am wrong about that. Perhaps you have written exclusively perfect posts?

      I certaintly haven’t.

    59. chairwoman — on 2nd April, 2010 at 7:51 am  

      Ravi

      Well you’ve certainly surprised me.

      You’ve castigated me with an edited version of an early post, without showing how you’d edited it, and ignored the 6 or more of my comments that expanded my views.

      I accused no-one of being antisemitic but answered Sunny’s question as to why he was accused of antismitism.

      Earwicga is testing the water, sne is unecessarily abraisive, and is possibly unaware that historically Easter and Passover were the times when hatred was whipped up against Jews resulting too often in massacres.

      And only Israel’s actions have a deeply negative effect on the Middle East? Really? Hmm.

      So what was the point of your comments? I have long been aware of your antipathy to any opinion that I may have, but I assumed you had higher ethical standards than to subject me to this mediocre cut-and-paste job.

    60. Sarah AB — on 2nd April, 2010 at 8:22 am  

      I agree - or at least partly agree - with a comment made by Douglas earlier in which he says there is a disproportionate interest in this conflict. It wasn’t until a few years ago that I began to take anything more than a vague interest in I/P - I only started to do so when I became aware of the UCU’s (university and college union) attempts to boycott Israel. As I’m a member I felt this small aspect of I/P *did* concern me. I don’t see myself as pro-Israel (except in so far as I’m also pro-Palestinian) but I am opposed to boycotting Israel.

      That leads on to my response to Ravi’s interesting point, addressed to chairwoman: ‘What you are claiming – in my view – is that if one does not show an equal balance of good and bad things about the Israeli government, then you must be an anti-semite.”

      Having begun to take an interest in I/P I did feel that a) there seemed to be a huge, disproportionate amount of coverage b) quite a bit of the mainstream coverage seemed (often subtly) biased against Israel c) comments on blogs from anti-Israel commenters seemed to froth at the mouth with venom (though it’s certainly true that pro-Israel ones can froth too).

      So when I see an anti-Israel piece I find it difficult to assess it purely on its own terms but tend to see it within this larger pattern. Individual items criticising Israel may nearly all be fine (and if biased will normally only be fairly subtly biased) but it’s the *pattern* which is the problem. I realize this is problematic as it seems unfair that anyone who wants to criticise Israel should have to spend the first half of the article proving their anti-anti-semitic credentials - when someone criticising China won’t get grumbled for being Cinophobic or whatever.

      But I think (some of) those who have genuine concerns about Israel could do a bit more to reassure those who are anxious about anti-semitism. For example the UCU invited someone whom the South Africa Human Rights Commission had stated used hate speech against Jews to speak at a conference devoted to discussing ways of boycotting Israel.

    61. chairwoman — on 2nd April, 2010 at 9:22 am  

      mostly harmless

      One further point.

      It is because of the desire for ones own country that I sympathise with, and fully understand, why the Palestinians want theirs.

      What I don’t understand is their leaders refusal to allow them to have it rather than take part in any meaningful negotiations.

      SarahAB

      Because criticisms of Israel are so often followed by remarks about Jews controlling the media, the banks, the government, ruling the world by some cabal with a hidden agenda….

      Let’s face it, as virtually no major newspaper, or television station, here or in the USA speaks up for Israel, the world economy has collapsed, the government in this country has just kicked out an Israeli diplomat, BHO has just fallen out with the Israeli prime minister, there doesn’t seem to be any great empirical evidence that there’s much truth in those allegations.

      But still they come.

      Criticism of China doesn’t have the same connotations, even though their prospect of world domination is far greater.

      I totally agree with you that the amount of time, energy, and discussion wasted on what should be a very minor conflict between 2 very small nations is extreme and excessive.

      I have always been of the opinion that if the rest of the world, and I mean the rest of the world, backed off and left them to sort it out, they would.

    62. Ravi Naik — on 2nd April, 2010 at 9:35 am  

      You’ve castigated me with an edited version of an early post, without showing how you’d edited it, and ignored the 6 or more of my comments that expanded my views.

      This thread is still small and all you’ve written is here for everyone to read - it would be redundant for me to paste everything you’ve said in one single post. My point was to understand your definition of anti-Semitism: that someone is obliged to find equal balance of good and bad things about the Israeli government, or you are stirring hatred against Jews.
      This is what I understood from #12, in particular from what I copy-pasted. I reject that definition.

      I also do not agree that being against the actions of the Israeli government amounts to being anti-Israel, much to contrary: Israel with its warmongering and land grabbing practices, is going to a path of self-destruction, which does nothing to secure peace to itself and its neighbours.

      In my view, you can only be Pro-Israel, if you are Pro-Palestine and believe in the 2 state solution. The Israeli government, in my view, does not share that view and this is what we are heavily criticising. Has nothing to do with stirring hatred against Jews.

    63. Lucy — on 2nd April, 2010 at 10:00 am  

      Extraordinary to read above that no major newspaper here or in the US speaks up for Israel! Even the BBC has stopped referring, largely, to the Occupied Palestinian Territories. On the whole, they leave out the word ‘occupied’.

      But if you are referring to the current ‘hot topic’, the embarrassment of US Vice-President Joe Biden over the announcement of the building of 1,600 new homes in East Jerusalem when Biden was in Israel recently on a mission for President Obama to promote ‘peace’, or the assassination in Dubai, facilitated by the use of stolen identities from British passports, well, there might be a temporary blip here. But Netanyahu’s ‘gaffe’ highlights the fact that there is an international legal ruling on the question of East Jerusalem. In July 2004, the International Court of Justice made it clear that East Jerusalem was ‘occupied Palestinian territory’ because it was acquired during the course of a war - the June 1967 war. Various human rights organisations make the same point as did the Goldstone Report. In that framework, then, it is not a question of conflicting claims to Jerusalem nor, by any stretch, Israel’s exclusive right to East Jerusalem, so it might in the circumstances be difficult for the press to be entirely uncritical of Israel. According to B’Tselem: ‘The annexation of East Jerusalem breaches international law, which prohibits unilateral annexation. For this reason, the international community, including the United States, does not recognize the annexation of East Jerusalem.’

    64. chairwoman — on 2nd April, 2010 at 10:54 am  

      SarahAB

      The area of Jerusalem is factually ‘North’ rather than East Jerusalem, and it’s the old Jewish Quarter. Many Jews live there, and there had been a de facto agreement that when the Jerusalem issue was finalised, that particular area would be swapped with the Palestinians for one that they actually preferred.

      As for the Dubai assassination, unfortunately all countries have secret services, and they all murder their enemies in the countries of third parties. It is, at the very least, a dubious practice, but a common one. The UK murdered IRA suspects in Gibralter within the last 20 years. The expulsion of the Israeli diplomat was par for the course, it was the holier-than-thou-attitude of the Boy Milliband that got up my nose.

      Ravi

      I’m sorry, I don’t actually see the relevence of your points at all. I have always been for a 2 state solution.

      If, however, you object to me telling people who are not antisemitic that they could appear to Jews to be so, I’ll stop. Suit yourself, it’s no skin off my nose.

      May I wish you a Happy and a Holy Easter.

    65. Katy Newton — on 2nd April, 2010 at 11:04 am  

      Funnily enough, I was reading only yesterday (on an American feminist/antiracist blog) about how it’s now more offensive to point out to someone that what they have said is offensive, than to say something offensive in the first place. No offence, Ravi, but I think that’s where you come from on this topic. I’ve never yet seen you smack down any of the racist/antisemitic trolls who bob in and out of this site on a regular basis but my goodness you’re quick to slap down anyone who complains about racism or antisemitism.

    66. douglas clark — on 2nd April, 2010 at 11:32 am  

      Katy Newton,

      And we are supposed to take that:

      it’s now more offensive to point out to someone that what they have said is offensive, than to say something offensive in the first place.

      Quite apart from that making no sense whatsoever, it seems to me you are a lawyer shilling for business. Would that be correct?

      Lawyers disrespect the law with impunity, for, after all it is not their money on the line.

      Would that be right?

    67. chairwoman — on 2nd April, 2010 at 11:41 am  

      “Quite apart from that making no sense whatsoever, it seems to me you are a lawyer shilling for business. Would that be correct?”

      Dougie

      (a) I think that was pretty much the point that Katy was making.

      (b) Katy is not the kind of lawyer who can ’shill for business’. :)

    68. Ravi Naik — on 2nd April, 2010 at 11:51 am  

      I’ve never yet seen you smack down any of the racist/antisemitic trolls who bob in and out of this site on a regular basis but my goodness you’re quick to slap down anyone who complains about racism or antisemitism.

      I try not to engage with racist or anti-semitic trolls, but sometimes I can’t help it.

      you’re quick to slap down anyone who complains about racism or antisemitism.

      You are correct. I have come on several instances against the sort of identity politics where the “racist” card is thrown too easily, which not only cheapens the word, but also serves to shut down any sort of debate. There was a time when anti-Semitism meant believing in Jewish conspiracies, either controlling the media and finance, fabricating the Holocaust, or being an “evil” force against Christiniaty or Europe.

      I disagree that anti-semitism can be used when criticising the Israeli government and its actions against the Palestinian people.

    69. Katy Newton — on 2nd April, 2010 at 12:11 pm  

      Would that be right?

      Oh, and no, Douglas, I don’t agree. Most of the lawyers I know spend far more hours than they are actually paid for trying to do right by their clients. Many of us frequently take on cases that we know perfectly well we’ll never be paid for because we feel morally obliged to take up that client’s cause. I work 12-14 hour days 6-7 days a week and don’t get paid for anything like all of the work that I do. I also make myself available to help friends and friends of friends who have been wronged and can’t afford representation. Don’t recycle that fat-cat-lawyer crap at me. I’m not going to say that there aren’t lawyers who are out for every penny that they can get but I’m not one of them, I’ve never been one of them and you had NO right and NO reason to accuse me of being one on this thread.

    70. chairwoman — on 2nd April, 2010 at 12:21 pm  

      Ravi Naik

      Antisemitism means Jew hatred.

      That’s it. All the other things you’ve mentioned are used to justify a hatred that has the same kind of rationale as hating someone for the colour of their skin.

    71. Katy Newton — on 2nd April, 2010 at 12:27 pm  

      @Douglas

      Quite apart from that making no sense whatsoever, it seems to me you are a lawyer shilling for business. Would that be correct?

      You know perfectly well that I’m a lawyer as does anyone who’s commented on here for more than five minutes. But I don’t “shill for business” here or for that matter anywhere else. I was simply making an observation about the fact that being accused of being a racist is now as offensive as being a racist is. Why you would think that was “shilling for business” I do not know.

      Lawyers disrespect the law with impunity, for, after all it is not their money on the line.

      Would that be right?

      I don’t believe so, Douglas, no. I don’t know any lawyer who isn’t extremely conscious of the fact that they are on someone else’s budget. I’m not saying there aren’t lawyers who are after every penny that they can get, but I think you’ll find that sort of attitude is prevalent amongst people of every class and every background in pretty much every field.

      This is all getting a bit ad hominem, isn’t it, Douglas? I don’t discuss my work here at all, as you very well know, which ought to dispose of the suggestion that I am “shilling for hire”. But in any event, why would a comment from me to Ravi, which wasn’t directed at you at all, provoke this sort of personal attack on me?

    72. Ravi Naik — on 2nd April, 2010 at 12:36 pm  

      Antisemitism means Jew hatred. That’s it. All the other things you’ve mentioned are used to justify a hatred that has the same kind of rationale as hating someone for the colour of their skin.

      Correct - the real issue to me is how you determine whether X has a hatred rationale behind it when discussing about Israel and its actions towards Palestine and its neighbours. I thought that #3 and #12 was really pushing it, but that’s my personal view.

      On a more joyous note, a Happy Passover and Easter to everyone in this thread. :)

    73. Lucy — on 2nd April, 2010 at 1:09 pm  

      Ravi (#68) I agree with Ravi when he states that ‘I disagree that anti-semitism can be used when criticising the Israeli government and its actions against the Palestinian people.’

      - and his subsequent comment about what the real issue is in talking about Israel and its actions towards Palestine and its neighbours.

      Sarah AB (#60) I don’t myself think there is a disproportionate level of interest in the conflict - precisely because there is a lot of pressure against criticising the Israeli government along the lines you describe, which allows it to behave in an extraordinary way and get away with it at the same time. Tony Judt writes in the LRB:’ Israel should not be special because it is Jewish. Jews are to have a state just like everyone else has a state. It should have no more rights than Slovenia and no fewer. Therefore, it also has to behave like a state. It has to declare its frontiers, recognise international law, sign international treaties and agreements. Furthermore, other countries have to behave towards it the way they would towards any other state that broke those laws. Otherwise it is treated as special and Zionism as a project has failed. People will say: ‘Why are we picking on Israel? What about Libya? Yemen? Burma? China? All of which are much worse.’ Fine. But we are missing two things: first, Israel describes itself as a democracy and so it should be compared with democracies not with dictatorships; second, if Burma came to the EU and said, ‘It would be a huge advantage for us if we could have privileged trading rights with you,’ Europe would say: ‘First you have to release political prisoners, hold elections, open up your borders.’ We have to say the same things to Israel. Otherwise we are acknowledging that a Jewish state is an unusual thing – a weird, different thing that is not to be treated like every other state. It is the European bad conscience that is part of the problem.’ Vol. 32. No. 6 25 March 2010 pp 11-14.

    74. chairwoman — on 2nd April, 2010 at 1:54 pm  

      Sorry Lucy, you’re wrong.

      All states should be treated and judged equally.

      I don’t notice nations refusing to do business with China despite their human rights record, and their invasion of Tibet.

      Explain to me how their behaviour is intrinsically better or different than that of Israel.

      A democratically elected government neither means, nor guarantees that said government does or will carry out the wishes of the majority of the people.

      I believe our armed forces are currently engaged in extremely unpopular operations in Iraq and Afghanistan.

      But I bet the majority of ‘Picklers’ voted for the Government and think the war is a bad thing.

      Are you in favour of the way our civil liberties are being eroded? How about having more CCTV cameras than any other country, or a police service that no longer investigates low-level burglary? Or a post code lottery health service?

      Shall I go on?

      But this is a democratically elected government. Why should democracies be held to a a higher standard of behaviour than a dictatorship or even a theocracy?

      All politicians make pie crust promises and then do just what the hell they want when elected.

      All states must be treated equally.

      Israel is held to a different standard than its neighbours. Infact I’ve heard it referred to Israeli double standard time.

      You can almost set your watch by it :) .

    75. earwicga — on 2nd April, 2010 at 2:20 pm  

      chairwoman:

      @69

      Antisemitism means Jew hatred.

      @59

      I accused no-one of being antisemitic but answered Sunny’s question as to why he was accused of antismitism.

      @3

      Well done to the Independent, and of course to you too, Earwicga, for using the old Christian ploy of stirring up Jew Hatred at Passover in time for a quick Easter Massacre.

      Can you marry up these three statements for me please.

    76. earwicga — on 2nd April, 2010 at 2:54 pm  

      Chairwoman, I haven’t noticed an answer to my question to you @6 - do you have an answer?

      Is anybody who writes about Serbia’s ‘apology’ this week or abuses within the Catholic church guilty of ’stirring up’ Christian ‘Hatred’ during Holy Week ‘in time for a quick Easter Massacre.’?

    77. Naadir Jeewa — on 2nd April, 2010 at 3:24 pm  

      Hello,

      How about this proposal for a single-state Israel/Palestine based on a consociational arrangement. I find the argument has some merit for discussion:

      Now comes the latest installment: sociologist Yehouda Shenhav’s book The Time of the Green Line (or, in its Hebrew title, Trapped by the Green Line), released in February by the impeccably mainstream Am Oved publishing house.

      Shenhav’s book re-examines the very premises on which Israel and its allies perceive the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. He suggests that the dispute’s fundamental problem is that most Israelis and Palestinians are using two different timelines, with conflicting conceptions of the conflict’s “year zero.” For centrist or left-wing Israelis, it is 1967: the year when the West Bank and Gaza were occupied and the hitherto small, democratic, idealistic Israel turned sour. “All that I’m trying to do is allow my grandchildren to live in this country as I lived in it during the quietest, most beautiful decade of its life — 1957 to 1967,” Shenhav quotes Yossi Beilin, an architect of the Oslo Accords and the Geneva Initiative, a private follow-up plan, as saying. For the Palestinians, Shenhav says, year zero remains 1948: the year of the mass expulsion of Arabs and the creation of a regime that systematically excluded them from meaningful participation in political and social life.

      Shenhav suggests that the Israeli consensus over the two-state solution stems from the hope to go back to 1967, without revisiting the original sins of the expulsions and expropriations of 1948. Moreover, he that argues the two-state solution as propagated today will cause lasting damage not just to settlers — most of whom, including the second and third generations, would lose their homes — but to the Palestinian refugees, who will be sidelined, as they were by the Oslo process.

      Curiously for a decidedly left-wing manifesto, Shenhav rejects out of hand the “one man, one vote,” “state of all its citizens” model as an alternative to a two-state solution.

      This model, he says, “presumes the existence of a homogenous population motivated by individual interests and ignores the fact that most people in the contested space are religious nationalists with tremendous differences within both the Israeli and Palestinian communities.” He opts instead for a consociational democracy: a system in which religious, cultural, national, and economic considerations will be balanced by mutual agreement, within a power-sharing government.

    78. chairwoman — on 2nd April, 2010 at 3:42 pm  

      Earwicga

      This one first

      “Is anybody who writes about Serbia’s ‘apology’ this week or abuses within the Catholic church guilty of ’stirring up’ Christian ‘Hatred’ during Holy Week ‘in time for a quick Easter Massacre.’?”

      I was unaware that there was an historic record of regular pogroms and massacres of Christians during Holy Week so I have no comment to make.

    79. Sarah AB — on 2nd April, 2010 at 3:56 pm  

      Lucy - I agree that Israel should be treated as a state as any other but it is *not* treated that way - many of its neighbours won’t recognize it. So it’s difficult to compare its actions with those of a democracy safely tucked away in the middle of Europe. And it’s also not treated like any other state when people apply a kind of magnifying glass to its wrongdoings and don’t recognize the context within which they have occured - eg the wall/barrier’s effects have been deplorable, I’m sure, but it was a response to repeated attacks on civilians which have now massively decreased. That fact may not *justify* it but when people refuse to acknowledge the full background they risk appearing prejudiced. It would actually be good to go back to the specific points raised by Earwicga’s post and hear more (from all sides) about that new information.

    80. chairwoman — on 2nd April, 2010 at 4:12 pm  

      earwicga

      “@69

      Antisemitism means Jew hatred.

      @59

      I accused no-one of being antisemitic but answered Sunny’s question as to why he was accused of antismitism.

      @3

      Well done to the Independent, and of course to you too, Earwicga, for using the old Christian ploy of stirring up Jew Hatred at Passover in time for a quick Easter Massacre.

      Can you marry up these three statements for me please.”

      Well, I’ll try, but must confess to having a little problem with the question.

      I am assuming, possibly erroneously, that you’re aware that any discussion of I/P on this blog results in extremely robust discussions, and it has not been unknown for certain people to make remarks so antisemitic that their comments have to be deleted.

      It seems to me, that to post this piece, during Passover and Easter, when it was traditional for Gentiles to boogie on down to the old Jewish neighbourhood, beat up a few Jews, steal their property, and set fire to their homes and places of worship, frequently with said Jews locked inside, when there was the possibility of starting a verbal pogrom here, showed a lack of judgement.

      I explained to Sunny why he could be accused of antisemitism. I happen to know that he isn’t. You weren’t even in the picture.

      The explanation of antisemitism is self explanatory.

    81. earwicga — on 2nd April, 2010 at 6:22 pm  

      Chairwoman - thank for your reply. I understand all three comments in their own rights but don’t understand how you can marry the three together.

      To be more specific: You state the obvious - that jew hating is anti-semitic. You comment that this post is an example of stirring up jew hatred, then state that you haven’t accused anyone of anti-semitism which is clearly not the case as you have accused me of it unless stirring up jew hatred is somehow not anti-semitic.

      You assume correctly that I am aware of the contents of debates that mention Palestine. Very aware.

    82. chairwoman — on 2nd April, 2010 at 6:55 pm  

      I was giving you the benefit of the doubt.

      I assumed that you didn’t believe that that particular post could stir up Jew hatred, and that because of what has happened historically at this time of year, you didn’t realise how insensitive you were being.

      I didn’t believe that you were personally antisemitic.

      I hope this clarifies things for you.

    83. earwicga — on 2nd April, 2010 at 7:19 pm  

      Ok, I saw no ‘benefit of the doubt’ in your comment @3. And you assumed correctly - I don’t think this post stirs up Jew hatred. Neither do I accept that the timing is insensitive. I actually do take the accusation of anti-semitism seriously, but I know many people no longer do because of comments like yours at @3. In my view it was designed to scupper any debate on the contents of this post such as the great points that SarahAB for example has made.

      I read this on Mondoweis on Monday, which I imagine is a site you don’t read:

      Dear Friends and Family, I wanted to offer the following possible addition (or some variation thereof) to your Passover seder if you are having one. Warmly, Donna

      During this Passover Seder, we lift our glasses to a Jewish hero of our time, Justice Richard Goldstone, for issuing the Goldstone Report as part of the “United Nations Fact Finding Mission on the Gaza Conflict.”

      Honoring Justice Goldstone, an internationally respected jurist with a long-time relationship to Israel, is particularly meaningful at this time: Rather than seriously reflecting upon and addressing the content of this evidence-based report, which detailed human rights abuses and violations of international law committed by Israel as well as Hamas, the Israeli government and Jewish establishment engaged in a shameful campaign to silence and discredit Justice Goldstone and the Report.

      As expressed in a statement initiated by Jews Say No! and signed by over a thousand individuals and groups world-wide: “When those within a community try to “excommunicate” and dishonor truth-tellers, it is our obligation and responsibility to speak out vehemently on their behalf and on behalf of the truth they bring.” Therefore, in the spirit of Passover, the holiday of freedom from oppression, we commit ourselves tonight to insuring that the findings of the Goldstone Report are kept alive and to continuing our struggle for Palestinian-Israeli peace and for justice for the Palestinian people.

      http://mondoweiss.net/2010/03/at-your-seder-salute-a-jewish-truth-teller.html

      Some details of protests on Land Day from The Electronic Intifada:

      http://electronicintifada.net/v2/article11181.shtml

    84. Katy Newton — on 2nd April, 2010 at 7:27 pm  

      I actually do take the accusation of anti-semitism seriously, but I know many people no longer do because of comments like yours at @3.

      Shame on them if you do, and I hope you tell them so. I have seen many allegations of racism (other than antisemitism, although I have seen that card played where I didn’t think it was justified too) that I consider to be groundless but it doesn’t stop me from pointing it out where I see it.

      In my view it was designed to scupper any debate on the contents of this post such as the great points that SarahAB for example has made.

      Just to be clear, you are still accusing the Chairwoman, in terms, of intellectual and deliberate dishonesty, then? Of consciously manufacturing an allegation of antisemitism with the deliberate intention of stopping other people from talking about Israel? You’re saying “Chairwoman, I think you made up the concerns you expressed in your comments because you have a secret agenda to stop people from debating the I/P issue”? Is that what you’re saying?

      I just want to see if I’ve got it right, because if I have then you aren’t just bad-tempered and rude, you’re downright paranoid.

      The other thing I was wondering was whether you’ve noticed how many good-natured, generally chilled out people you’ve alienated since you started blogging here. If it was me, I’d think about the image I was putting out. I really would.

      (And yes, people have said similarly hurtful things about me too, and yes, I was forced to admit that there might be some truth in what they said.)

    85. earwicga — on 2nd April, 2010 at 7:29 pm  

      Katy Newton - have you read this? http://www.z-word.com/on-zionism/antisemitism-and-anti-zionism/anti-zionism-and-antisemitism%253A-decoding-the-relationship.html?page=1

    86. Katy Newton — on 2nd April, 2010 at 7:33 pm  

      Incidentally, I do find it interesting that the Chairwoman’s proposals for peace and compromise, which pretty much ARE the roadmap, are completely ignored in your latest comment, earwicga. (I’ve often found myself that people ignore what I actually think about I/P and concentrate on what they think I think, which involves worshipping at the feet of the IDF and rejoicing in the spilled blood of Palestinian children.) Would I be right in thinking that it’s because they don’t fit with the frothing Zionazi that you want her to be?

    87. Katy Newton — on 2nd April, 2010 at 7:35 pm  

      @84: I haven’t, but I will. What should I be looking out for?

    88. Katy Newton — on 2nd April, 2010 at 7:45 pm  

      In the meantime, are you going to clarify whether you’re saying that the Chairwoman deliberately made a false allegation, knowing that it wasn’t true, with the deliberate intention of diverting conversation from I/P on this thread? Because that does sound, you know, a bit like a conspiracy theory.

    89. KJB — on 2nd April, 2010 at 7:46 pm  

      People on both sides here need to remember that this is THE uber-divisive topic and just take a deep breath before they comment, please. I refrain from commenting on these issues because I don’t really see the point of getting into fights with others over misinterpretations and misunderstandings before re-stating an essentially sensible opinion for the nth time.

      Might I just say - chairwoman and Katy, you might not really have noticed me around much, or responded to me, but I am a long-time regular here too. I have seen the flight of both of you from PP and since I know you’re both reading this thread, I would just like to say that I for one really appreciate having you here. Obviously an apology from me on behalf of other people making anti-Semitic comments doesn’t amount to much, but I am sorry anyway, and I hope in time that you will feel more comfortable here, and not end up leaving altogether. I do agree with Sunny a lot, but I have also many a time bemoaned his heavy-handedness on the Israel issue and completely understood where you were coming from in your criticisms of him.

      *switches off the heart-felt music* Apologies for being O/T. Might I just say to Earwicga, without trying to be patronising in any way: are you applying the moderation standards usually used on feminist blogs here? Because it seems to me like you are (being a regular reader of many of those), but the community on this blog is pretty unique *switches back on the heart-felt music* I’m usually a zero-tolerance appreciator, coming from a feminist blogger background, but I have actually seen commenters manage to engage successfully with people who either began as trolls or seemed to be (platinum and damon - no offence intended, guys). Yes, even cynical ol’ me has had the power of goodwill demonstrated (proven, if you will) to me by the regulars here!

      So you will have to get used to the new rhythm, and holster that deleting finger for a while. :-D

    90. earwicga — on 2nd April, 2010 at 7:49 pm  

      Katy Newton, I am sure you have noted that I haven’t mentioned Zionism or hasbara. I didn’t see the last two paragraphs when I last responded to your comment at @83. I personally don’t care what people think of me, and I have no problem with apologising when I am wrong or have mis-read a situation. That is why I apologised to Damon when I got it wrong about him and I also apologised to Ravi when I wrote something without any explanation or seeking any clarification, and quite rightfully he took umbrage with me.

      I find it abhorrent when Israeli actions are compared to Nazi actions - it is divisive, highly offensive, usually inacurrate and I think that this comparison should never be used. Similarly comparisons between Gaza and the Warsaw Ghetto are not only revolting but entirely inaccurate. These are major ways of getting it wrong, and there are many more forms of anti-semitism that can be used, as you know. I won’t be aware of them all and don’t mind it being pointed out if/when I miss something. On this occasion I don’t feel that I have and reject the accusation that I am ‘inciting jew hatred’ with the timing of the post. The link at @84 regarding the “Livingstone Formulation” interests me greatly and I blog with sensitivity to it - I don’t accept it 100% but think it very much has legs. I would be interested in your opinion on it.

    91. chairwoman — on 2nd April, 2010 at 8:07 pm  

      earwicga

      From where I’m standing, it looks to me that the pot is addressing the kettle.

      As I see it, you are the one who is cracking the whip. I didn’t like your post, I felt that it could be dangerous in the wrong hands, and I exercised my right to free speech by giving you my opinion.

      You then threatened me with deletion and banning.

      Perhaps you would like to think about the implications.

      To you and KJB, when we started fighting the feminist fight round about 1967, we wanted equal pay, equal benefits, equal opportunities and primarily not to be bullied or talked down to by men (do you realise most women weren’t allowed to wear trousers to work, and when I went for an interview for an executive post, which I got, at equal pay, but no pension, I had to sign a form saying I wasn’t planning to start a family). We were supportive of each other and where there were disagreements, we tried to persuade rather than bludgeon.

      A lighter touch does not denote an ineffectual one. Surely it is better to win ones opponent over by cogent reasoning than with a big stick.

    92. Katy Newton — on 2nd April, 2010 at 8:11 pm  

      On this occasion I don’t feel that I have and reject the accusation that I am ‘inciting jew hatred’ with the timing of the post.

      I think that’s fair enough. But accusing someone of deliberately making a false allegation is a big thing - it’s as offensive as accusing someone of being racist, which apparently is as offensive as being racist. I don’t like to see race cards being played at all, but I think for the most part people who play them play them genuinely.

      One of the things that vaguely upsets me about PP these days is that when someone complains of racism of any sort, they generally get shouted at or ignored. I would prefer it if the approach to racism was to say: “What was it about what I said that was offensive?” and try to understand what the other person is thinking. I think it’s rare that people say it if they don’t think it, and I also think that the thing that people really want, when they say “That is racist” or “That is antisemitic” or “That is islamophobic” is to be listened to, and reassured that that was not the intention behind what was said.

      A lot of the time we’re talking about inadvertently offensive or misunderstood comment, not about people actually BEING racist or antisemitic or islamophobic, and I think that was what Chairwoman was getting at when she answered Sunny.

      I read the link at 84. I think it gets to the heart of the concern that Jewish people have about Israel. It’s difficult to draw the line between fair comment and antisemitism sometimes, but I guess a good example might be an organisation like AIPAC (which I personally am not a fan of). If you say to me “I disapprove of pro-Israel lobbies like AIPAC lobbying the US and I don’t think the US should listen to it”, that’s fair enough. If you say to me, “I disapprove of Jewish lobbies trying to sway US policy”, I’d say that’s antisemitic, really, because AIPAC is not a Jewish lobby and Jews and Israel are not to be conflated. And if you say to me, “AIPAC is a shadowy, sinister organisation that promotes the interests of Jews worldwide”, that’s out of the realm of fair comment and into the realm of antisemitism.

      The divisions are sensitive and it’s hard to put your finger on them. Take the word “Zionists”, which is thrown around a lot by Israel’s more virulent critics. A lot of the time we get trolls on this site wittering about “Zionist money” and “Zionist funding”. Words like “Zionist” bother me a lot. For me it’s a strong indicator of antisemitic leanings - here’s why. If you push people on why they say “Zionist” they’ll say they mean Israeli and accuse you of trying to shut down debate by raising antisemitism (this isn’t a dig at you, it’s just what happens). But here’s what I think: if you want to talk about “Israelis”, there’s a word you can use for “Israeli”: it’s “Israeli”. Why would you say “Zionists” if you mean “Israelis”? The conclusion that I have come to is that it is a word intended to evoke both Israel and Jews, and that people who use it generally have issues that go beyond Israel and encompass Jews generally, even if they make arbitrary divisions between “good Jews” (Jews who don’t support Israel or who criticise it to the required standard, whatever that is) and “bad Jews”, in the same way as your average BNP voter might tell you his landlady is Hindu or his doctor was from Zimbabwe and it’s only the “bad immigrants” that should go back where they came from.

      So yes, I think the Livingstone Formulation has identified a genuine issue. I think the most anyone can do is do their best to work out the difference between (a) people who are antisemitic, (b) people who are not antisemitic but may inadvertently drift into antisemitic discourse because of the blurring of the boundaries between the Israeli Government, the Israeli people, “Zionists” and Jews, and (c) people who are just criticising Israel, and try to meet whatever is said on those terms.

    93. Katy Newton — on 2nd April, 2010 at 8:14 pm  

      … thanks, KJB, for your comment :D

    94. chairwoman — on 2nd April, 2010 at 8:15 pm  

      earwicga

      I too followed your link and pretty much agree with what Katy has just said, and we have not yet discussed it, but no doubt will.

    95. Ravi Naik — on 2nd April, 2010 at 8:27 pm  

      One of the things that vaguely upsets me about PP these days is that when someone complains of racism of any sort, they generally get shouted at or ignored. I would prefer it if the approach to racism was to say: “What was it about what I said that was offensive?” and try to understand what the other person is thinking.

      That really goes both ways, Katy. I can’t see how #3 can induce anyone to have a respectful and fruitful debate such as the one you, Chairwoman and earwicga are having now. Perhaps the benefit of the doubt should be given to both sides, before using strong terms such as “Christian ploy to stir Jew hatred” and “Easter Massacre”.

    96. earwicga — on 2nd April, 2010 at 8:38 pm  

      Chairwoman - I didn’t mention banning and I didn’t think it. I would have prefered a debate about the contents of the post.

      A lighter touch does not denote an ineffectual one. Surely it is better to win ones opponent over by cogent reasoning than with a big stick.

      And you think your comment @3 is an example of ‘a lighter touch’?

    97. earwicga — on 2nd April, 2010 at 8:40 pm  

      Katy Newton - Thanks, I’m in general agreement with your comment. I think of Zionism as a political movement which has changed over time as all political movements do - is that fair comment?

      It’s difficult to draw the line between fair comment and antisemitism sometimes

      I suppose it is but the more one reads the more obvious it becomes.

    98. KJB — on 2nd April, 2010 at 8:40 pm  

      Before everyone starts in on the chairwoman pile-up - LET’S ALL DO A BLU CANTRELL IN FUTURE, AND BREATHE, YES? Thank you!

      Her comment was intemperate, yes. It has been known to happen to all of us - we’ve all misunderstood something in the past - and there is a context to Katy and chairwoman’s feeling defensive, given the way Sunny has posted on the I/P topic in the past.

      So, PLEASE, let’s just all give the defensiveness an Easter break.

      chairwoman @ 90 - That’s exactly what I was saying!

      I know that earwicga is a feminist blogger, because I’ve seen her around on The F-Word, and elsewhere. Feminist blogs attract the most vicious trolls that I’ve ever seen in the blogosphere, which is why feminist bloggers, such as earwicga, HAVE TO develop almost a ‘deletion reflex.’ Many supposedly left/liberal sites are also overrun with hateful trolls (see Cif…) and that’s another reason why one’s BS detector tends to get quite honed.

      It seems to me that there is a context here which needs to be taken into account by everyone.So I’m saying this for the benefit of the regulars as much as for earwicga’s, and trying not to patronise, honestly. If I am being wrong and out of order, earwicga, please say so.

      Katy - glad you saw my comment. I have ranted many a time to one of the writers here (who is my partner), about Sunny’s heavy-handedness driving you and chairwoman away, but I didn’t really feel like there was much either of us could do about it.

      One of the things that vaguely upsets me about PP these days is that when someone complains of racism of any sort, they generally get shouted at or ignored.

      I think this may in part be down to the fact that we have had a TROLL! INFESTATION! for a while, and it’s only recently that many of the regulars are becoming ‘regular’ again.

      Might I just say as a general rule: if you recognise the name from Cif, DO NOT ENGAGE. I’ve seen ‘fentonchem’ popping up on here recently with that Cif-patented brand of bullshit that should be avoided at all costs.

    99. chairwoman — on 2nd April, 2010 at 8:41 pm  

      Ravi

      As you know I am always willing to debate, and generally am pretty concilliatry. I don’t tell the Israelis and Palestinians to do what I wouldn’t do myself :) .

      At this time of the year, I tend to be particularly aware of who I am, and what my history is, and frankly, it offended me to read that post with my matzo, and when I thought about the thousands of Jews who’d been murdered at Passover, purely for being Jews after some rabble-rouser had whipped up the old Jew hatred, I became angry, and dealt with it in a way, though more aggressive than my usual style, still was pretty low key for a PP I/P thread.

    100. chairwoman — on 2nd April, 2010 at 8:44 pm  

      earwicga

      May I direct you to my @98 :)

    101. douglas clark — on 2nd April, 2010 at 9:08 pm  

      Katy Newton @ 70,

      Lawyers disrespect the law with impunity, for, after all it is not their money on the line.

      Would that be right?

      I don’t believe so, Douglas, no. I don’t know any lawyer who isn’t extremely conscious of the fact that they are on someone else’s budget. I’m not saying there aren’t lawyers who are after every penny that they can get, but I think you’ll find that sort of attitude is prevalent amongst people of every class and every background in pretty much every field.

      Carter Ruck?

      http://www.carter-ruck.com/

      Carter-Ruck has unrivalled expertise in advising a wide range of individuals and organisations who find themselves subject to adverse or intrusive media coverage and who need fast and reliable advice on their legal rights.

      The firm’s claimant practice is the largest in the country, being described in Chambers Guide to the Legal Profession as ‘unsurpassed’.

      Lawyers use the law to silence poor people that challenge rich people. That is how they advertise themselves - see above. It is how - most - lawyers in the litigation field at least, make their living.

      We, as a society, need to take lawyers out of debate. We certainly don’t need cases like the Simon Singh affair to decide what is right and what is wrong. It costs, apparently, £200,000 to determine what a few words mean. Absolutely brilliant judgement, by the way. Was it worth £200,000?

      No.

      Any reasonably sane human being could have given you that decision for two pints of lager and a packet of crisps.

      So, it is not ad hominem. It is ad lawyerem!

    102. douglas clark — on 2nd April, 2010 at 9:29 pm  

      Chairwoman @ 98,

      I was, am, unaware of this murderous Christianity. Are you saying that idiotic Christians go around killing Jews at Easter, just because?

      It might be a tad inconvenient for them, but Jesus Christ was almost certainly a Jew.

      With the obvious caveat that he might not have existed at all.

    103. earwicga — on 2nd April, 2010 at 9:45 pm  

      douglas - use google and you will see plenty.

    104. DF — on 2nd April, 2010 at 9:58 pm  

      “Sunny — on 31st March, 2010 at 11:01 PM
      Earwigca has produced a number of posts I agree with, and a number I don’t.

      Am I to be told that I am a troll?

      I think earwicga is simply settling in. Eventually I think you’ll find you agree with her a lot more than you disagree with douglas”

      To quote Charlie Brooker “Tickety-Tock It’s bum-kiss O-clock.

    105. DF — on 2nd April, 2010 at 9:59 pm  

      “Sunny — on 31st March, 2010 at 3:05 PM

      Boyo – you got that right.”

      Not from where I’m sitting he didn’t - This site appears to the casual observer like every other Islamist or Trot site - a place where every single misdeed by Israel or an Israeli is examined in minutae and salivated over with glee. Perhaps if you devoted as much webspace to abuses elswhere in the world - Iran - Iraq - Afganistan - Pakistan etc like Harrys place does that may have been considered fair comment.

    106. douglas clark — on 2nd April, 2010 at 10:02 pm  

      earwicga @ 95,

      Chairwoman – I didn’t mention banning and I didn’t think it. I would have prefered a debate about the contents of the post.

      Earwiga @ 14:

      If you wish to comment on the OP then please do, but any more trolling shall be deleted.

      Sunny has to decide whether he allows comments that are anti OP or not. His contribution to this thread @ 22,

      well, trolling will get deleted – old skool commenters or not. Don’t think chairwoman is trolling just yet, but she does get het up over this every time. And I get accused of this in any thread I write about Israel too. I just ignore it. But frankly – it’s not needed.

      doesn’t really cut it.

      It seems to me that you expect respect.

      Respect, around here, has to be earned. Least, that’s the way I see it.

      Using admin rights to try to silence your critics is, frankly, wrong. That’s not to say that some folk shouldn’t be silenced, it is to say it shouldn’t be used as a hammer on discussion.

      I’d like you to think about that….

      For that has been the name of the game around here for a long, long, time.

      I get to write shit, you get to write shit and we all, usually, compromise.

      There are times when I doubt that Sunny appreciates why folk come here. It is not, necesarily, for his words of wisdom. Wise though he can sometimes be. It is perhaps because he gives us a space to negotiate ideas.

    107. earwicga — on 2nd April, 2010 at 10:15 pm  

      douglas - I expect nothing. I have no wish to silence my critics - it would have been much easier to simply delete comment 3 wouldn’t it? I too wish for a ’space to negotiate ideas’ - preferable ones in the OP. I’m not that keen on debating whether my motives for publishing a post were anti-semitic or not or whether you respect me or not. I don’t care what you think about me so sorry, but you have given me nothing to think about.

    108. KJB — on 2nd April, 2010 at 10:23 pm  

      I’m sure no-one needs me to remind them, but DON’T FEED THE TROLL, otherwise known as ‘DF’ above.

      Douglas @ 105 - well said, sir. I agree. Although I think your characterisation of lawyers was a bit on the harsh side - there are ‘good’ and ‘bad’ lawyers. Let us not forget that there are lawyers fighting for Simon Singh, just as there are the lawyers who sued him. I feel as strongly about his case as you do - I even donated to his campaign, which was probably not a good idea in retrospect, as I am currently in poverty of the abject variety.

      I know that Rumbold would probably agree heartily with you, though… :-) The real problem is how bankers, accountants and lawyers work together to ensure that tax contributions to this country are minimised as much as possible!

      I’ll stop with the off-topicking now, though.

    109. douglas clark — on 2nd April, 2010 at 10:36 pm  

      earwicga @ 95,

      Chairwoman – I didn’t mention banning and I didn’t think it. I would have prefered a debate about the contents of the post.

      Earwiga @ 14:

      If you wish to comment on the OP then please do, but any more trolling shall be deleted.

      Did you say that?

      Frankly, you are using your friendship with Sunny as platform for repressing debate.

      Sunny has to decide whether he allows comments that are anti OP or not. His contribution to this thread @ 22,

      well, trolling will get deleted – old skool commenters or not. Don’t think chairwoman is trolling just yet, but she does get het up over this every time. And I get accused of this in any thread I write about Israel too. I just ignore it. But frankly – it’s not needed.

      doesn’t really cut it.

      It seems to me that you expect respect.

      Respect, around here, has to be earned. Least, that’s the way I see it.

      Using admin rights to try to silence your critics is, frankly, wrong. That’s not to say that some folk shouldn’t be silenced, it is to say it shouldn’t be used as a hammer on discussion.

      I’d like you to think about that….

      For that has been the name of the game around here for a long, long, time.

      I get to write shit, you get to write shit and we all, usually, compromise.

      There are times when I doubt that Sunny appreciates why folk come here. It is not, necesarily, for his words of wisdom. Wise though he can sometimes be. It is perhaps because he gives us a space to negotiate ideas.

      It is clear, earwigca, that we see this ’space’ in different terms.

    110. douglas clark — on 2nd April, 2010 at 10:55 pm  

      Heck,

      Sunny, what are you running here?

      I thought I understood, but perhaps I don’t?

    111. Ravi Naik — on 2nd April, 2010 at 11:02 pm  

      All is well, Douglas.

    112. Katy Newton — on 2nd April, 2010 at 11:12 pm  

      Actually, I’d still like to know what on earth Douglas thought he was doing accusing me of “shilling for business” on this thread. Douglas, I’m not getting into an argument about Carter Ruck or anyone else. This wasn’t about lawyers in general or some sort of debate about law, so don’t try to turn it into one. This was you, on this thread, accusing me of some sort of profession-related dishonesty, for absolutely no reason, without justification. Have your rant about lawyers with someone else, and leave my job out of it, as I do. Thanks.

    113. Katy Newton — on 2nd April, 2010 at 11:20 pm  

      Edited on taste grounds.

      I’ve been following the whole Simon Singh thing with great interest. Hopefully this will lead to an overhaul of libel law generally.

      Although that will be AWFUL for ALL THE LAWYERS because we’re ALL JUST LIKE CARTER RUCK.

    114. earwicga — on 2nd April, 2010 at 11:27 pm  

      Katy Newton - You’re a bit late to be nominated as a PPC as that’s the job you really need to make the poor miserable ;)

      douglas - may I suggest that you give this (my newest YouTube find) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EqI4NzuqegU a listen a couple of times and chill?

    115. Sunny — on 2nd April, 2010 at 11:42 pm  

      Jeez, you guys are still going on? Time to close the thread I think, the discussion doesn’t seem to be going anywhere…

    116. chairwoman — on 2nd April, 2010 at 11:45 pm  

      et tu Douglas?

      Katy works her backside off for her clients.

      She’s out the house before 6am at least once a week, and most nights she’s working past midnight. No holiday she takes is unaccompanied by papers to prepare, and very few weekends when she doesn’t work on both days.

      That is in addition to the stuff she has to do for me.

      She doesn’t get to choose her clients, by the way, they choose her.

      I rarely praise my daughter in public, but her ethics and integrity are beyond reproach.

    117. chairwoman — on 2nd April, 2010 at 11:48 pm  

      “Jeez, you guys are still going on? Time to close the thread I think, the discussion doesn’t seem to be going anywhere…”

      I don’t know about that, some of us are getting acquainted…

    118. earwicga — on 2nd April, 2010 at 11:51 pm  

      I don’t know about that, some of us are getting acquainted…

      I’d like to second that.

    119. chairwoman — on 3rd April, 2010 at 12:00 am  

      :)

    120. Sunny — on 3rd April, 2010 at 12:05 am  

      If I can get the jist of this…

      Douggie is arguing with earwicga, Katy and possibly me. Katy and Chairwoman are arguing with Douglas, earwicga and possibly Ravi.

      KJB is trying to keep the peace and a few others are randomly trolling.

      Did I miss anything?

    121. chairwoman — on 3rd April, 2010 at 12:19 am  

      Katy and Earwicga and KJB and Chairwoman are inching towards an understanding (and possibly a cabal?) :)

      Douggie is feeling a bit Friday nightish.

      You’re getting the general idea.

      Ravi appears to have gone to bed.

    122. douglas clark — on 3rd April, 2010 at 2:24 am  

      Yup, Sunny @ 119.

      I am not arguing with you. I rarely disagree with you.

      I think earwicga is assuming an authority that you might want to row back. See here:

      If you wish to comment on the OP then please do, but any more trolling shall be deleted.

      I think that that is insulting to a regular commentator on here. I have made the point:

      I think the fact that Pickled Politics tries to remain an open forum on what is probably the most contentious issue we have ever discussed, is to it’s credit.

      And that can’t have been easy.

      Just saying.

      I think that is what you do, Mr Hundal. I admire you for that.

      I don’t see commenting here as requiring me, or anyone else, to pretend to be someone we aren’t. It ought to be apparent that I am an SNP troll. It is who I am. It is what I am.

      If you lived up here, I’d expect you’d agree with me.

    123. douglas clark — on 3rd April, 2010 at 2:51 am  

      Chairwoman,

      Ré Katy Newton.

      @ 115?

      Although that will be AWFUL for ALL THE LAWYERS because we’re ALL JUST LIKE CARTER RUCK.

      Well, perhaps not. I hope not. Maybe you can all grow up and challenge the likes of Carter Ruck.

      For they are genuinely wrong, as in their spiel:

      Media Law

      Carter-Ruck has unrivalled expertise in advising a wide range of individuals and organisations who find themselves subject to adverse or intrusive media coverage and who need fast and reliable advice on their legal rights.

      The firm’s claimant practice is the largest in the country, being described in Chambers Guide to the Legal Profession as ‘unsurpassed’.

      That is what tit’s manage to do. You may have got the idea that I detest that sort of lawyerism.

      No, I really do!

    124. chairwoman — on 3rd April, 2010 at 8:59 am  

      Douggie

      2 things

      The Carter-Rucks of this world make huge amounts of money and do give lawyers a bad name.

      Katy’s are of practice couldn’t be much further from the CRs of this world if it tried.

    125. Sarah AB — on 3rd April, 2010 at 9:00 am  

      I googled ‘pickled politics’ gaza on google blogs and came up with 2618 hits. When I googled ‘pickled politics’ Kashmir I came up with 43 hits - then I tried ‘pickled politics’ Tamil and came up with 22. For a blog which identifies itself as having a ‘South Asian tinge’ these figures seem quite suggestive.

    126. Ravi Naik — on 3rd April, 2010 at 9:34 am  

      I googled ‘pickled politics’ gaza on google blogs and came up with 2618 hits. When I googled ‘pickled politics’ Kashmir I came up with 43 hits – then I tried ‘pickled politics’ Tamil and came up with 22. For a blog which identifies itself as having a ‘South Asian tinge’ these figures seem quite suggestive.

      Actually, it is with a “British Asian” tinge. Given that most Muslims in this country are Asian, it is understandable the interest on this issue.

      Incidentally, your google search gives you all the pages that have the terms “pickledpolitics” and Gaza, not web pages from pickledpolitics about Gaza.

      When I google site:pickledpolitics.com Gaza, I get 321 pages. With site:pickledpolitics.com Kashmir, I get 266 pages. For Tamil, I get 161 pages.

    127. Lucy — on 3rd April, 2010 at 10:16 am  

      ‘pickled politics’, ‘Israel’: 6,122 hits

    128. Sarah AB — on 3rd April, 2010 at 10:27 am  

      I take the point about the very different results on the ’site’ search Ravi!

    129. Kojak — on 3rd April, 2010 at 10:32 am  

      Ravi,

      Even so, the term Asian covers anyone from Istanbul to Mandalay (and far beyond) and that the majority of Asian people in the UK are from the Indian Sub-continent, isn’t at least a bit odd that Gaza appears above Kashmir?

    130. Katy Newton — on 3rd April, 2010 at 10:34 am  

      To be fair, though, quite a few of the Kashmir and Tamil hits will be commenters on I/P threads shouting “BUT WHAT ABOUT KASHMIR?” or “THIS THREAD IS NOT ABOUT THE TAMILS”

      :D

    131. persephone — on 3rd April, 2010 at 10:55 am  

      Coming in at the tail end of this debate, a proportion of which is over the comment @3.

      It could be my interpretation but my feeling is it will be impossible for a site to ensure that topics do not transgress religious/cultural occasions. Apart from it being difficult I do not think I would want to see so much control/’censorship’.

    132. Sarah AB — on 3rd April, 2010 at 11:10 am  

      Katy - I think I noticed that one of the ‘hits’ I came up with was actually an HP article grumbling about PP not saying enough about the Tamils - or Kashmir - can’t remember which! I wasn’t having a go at PP by the way - just noting an apparently unusual emphasis on Israel to reinforce my earlier comment about Israel being disproportionately covered in the media generally.

    133. Ravi Naik — on 3rd April, 2010 at 11:38 am  

      just noting an apparently unusual emphasis on Israel to reinforce my earlier comment about Israel being disproportionately covered in the media generally.

      Sarah, I think your point about the extended coverage of I/P in the media and PP stands. I just do not see what is wrong about it, unless you feel the coverage of Gaza was dishonest and incomplete. I did not find that.

    134. Paul Moloney — on 3rd April, 2010 at 11:41 am  

      “Using admin rights to try to silence your critics is, frankly, wrong”

      +100

      I’m astonished that a new contributor to a blog should attempt to bully long-time commenters on the blog in the above way.

      P.

    135. damon — on 3rd April, 2010 at 11:53 am  

      Can it be agreed at least that Mark Regev was not a good spokesman for Israel?

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VdpcbgwjfEI&NR=1

    136. chairwoman — on 3rd April, 2010 at 12:18 pm  

      damon

      Indeed.

      As potential world rulers, you’d think the Israelis would develop better PR.

    137. chairwoman — on 3rd April, 2010 at 12:28 pm  

      “It could be my interpretation but my feeling is it will be impossible for a site to ensure that topics do not transgress religious/cultural occasions. Apart from it being difficult I do not think I would want to see so much control/’censorship’.”

      My sentiments exactly, Persephone.

    138. Sarah AB — on 3rd April, 2010 at 4:23 pm  

      Ravi - just to focus on one aspect of I/P, Cast Lead - it attracted masses of coverage, some of which I felt was anti-Israel - although only mildy so, on the whole. For casual consumers of news the most striking aspect of the coverage would, I assume, be the distressing images of innocent civilians being killed and maimed, particularly children. This coverage, I think, has the capacity to tap into low level anti-semitism. By contrast there was comparatively little coverage of the rather similarly complex conflict in Sri Lanka. Just glancing at PP’s own coverage I see an article referring to OCL as a ‘Holocaust’ which was ’specifically executed to kill as many civilians as possible.’ This seems provocative and distorted - even if you think it was counterproductive and disproportionate and executed without due care for civilian casualties.

    139. Sunny — on 3rd April, 2010 at 5:06 pm  

      To be honest, I don’t pay any attention to accusations of bias when the only metric people have it doing a search on Google to see how many times its mentioned.

      In some cases it may even be me criticising some Islamists who spouted some anti-Israeli rhetoric.

      And not all discussion is just focused on Tamils, it als includes Sri Lanka. And you may as well go on to count the number of times we’ve written about Muslims VS Hindus, and make the assertion that perhaps we’re just Islamophobic.

      Basically, the entire premise of any such ‘research’ is crap, and it’s the kind of stuff Harry’s Place does that to point fingers at others while they remain obsessed by Muslims.

      Me, I can’t take it seriously as I said. And I stop paying attention to people who get all excited by such ‘research’.

    140. Ravi Naik — on 3rd April, 2010 at 5:15 pm  

      Ravi – just to focus on one aspect of I/P, Cast Lead – it attracted masses of coverage, some of which I felt was anti-Israel – although only mildy so, on the whole. For casual consumers of news the most striking aspect of the coverage would, I assume, be the distressing images of innocent civilians being killed and maimed, particularly children. This coverage, I think, has the capacity to tap into low level anti-semitism.

      Sarah, in my view, I do not think the media should try to portray events as a zero-sum game in order to present itself as unbiased or engage in self-censorship to avoid being seen as promoting hate on one side.

      I have seen little or no objections of the extended coverage of the full scale of Islamic terrorism, including images of death and destruction since 9/11 because of Islamophobia and the likes of the BNP. Why would covering the bombings of highly-densed civilian areas be any different? Furthermore, objectively speaking, the toll of destruction and killings on both sides speak volumes about the massive disparity between the attacks, and no amount of spinning by the Israeli government can hide that fact.

      By contrast there was comparatively little coverage of the rather similarly complex conflict in Sri Lanka.

      I think the I/P conflict affects a larger number of regions including the West, which creates more interest. I do agree that the Sri Lanka conflict was under-covered. But it would be great if it had the same interest and coverage as the I/P one.

    141. Ravi Naik — on 3rd April, 2010 at 5:28 pm  

      To be honest, I don’t pay any attention to accusations of bias when the only metric people have it doing a search on Google to see how many times its mentioned.

      It would be best for everyone if we stop the pretence that blogs can or have to be unbiased. It is clear that this blog is biased towards the Left and tilts over issues that interest British Asians, British politics and current events. Other blogs will be biased towards other interests and ideologies.

      What I expect (and this is the reason why I keep coming to this blog) is some degree of honesty, coherence, intelligence, and openness. This to me these are far more important attributes than whether certain topics are covered more than others.

    142. Sarah AB — on 3rd April, 2010 at 7:50 pm  

      Sunny - I was perfectly happy to stand corrected by Ravi - i.e. when he pointed out that the metrics came out very differently when computed in a different (and more appropriate way). I chose ‘Tamil’, ‘Gaza’ and ‘Kashmir’ because they seeemed appropriately comparable key words for their respective conflicts.

    143. Sarah AB — on 3rd April, 2010 at 8:12 pm  

      And in fact the disparity between my original stats and Ravi’s would appear to demonstrate that PP has a much healthier distribution of interests than the blogosphere as a whole. Which is nice.

    144. Sunny — on 3rd April, 2010 at 10:13 pm  

      because they seeemed appropriately comparable key words for their respective conflicts.

      But its also all very British news driven. Kashmir may be a flashpoint but its also been very quiet for the last few years. We had a fair few articles on the conflict in Sri Lanka when it was going on and they don’t all mention the Tamils everytime. And on top of that it’s no indication of a positive or negative attitude.

      Sorry if I sound over-sensitive but I’ve seen people use this terrible metric to justify all sorts of accusations of bias. This is why I started taking the piss out of Harry’s Place and accusing them of being anti-Tamil because they kept trying it with me!

    145. Naadir Jeewa — on 3rd April, 2010 at 10:26 pm  

      There’s another reason that Israel gets a lot of attention re: its actions compared to other states.

      It simply pushes way above its weight in international relations, whilst simultaneously being a democratic state. Israel’s actions are therefore more open and visible to domestic and international audiences, lowering the costs of criticism. That’s the good thing about democracies.

      Also, democratic regimes are more heavily influenced by international public opinion then authoritarian regimes. CF: US-Israel relations which happen on multiple levels vs. US-China relations which are simply executive-to-executive. Authoritarian regimes also find it harder to build lobbies - China’s influence on Capitol Hill has declined precipitously over the last year whilst India’s has gone up a fair amount.

    146. Lucy — on 3rd April, 2010 at 10:52 pm  

      First I’ve heard that Israel is heavily influenced by international public opinion. That certainly raised a chortle. It’s not exactly what it’s known for. Quite the opposite.

      I don’t think China’s influence has declined recently. And ‘Capitol Hill’ is not the world’s only target for influence anyway.

    147. Lucy — on 3rd April, 2010 at 10:58 pm  

      It’s true there is a lot of criticism in the press of Israel within Israel. More then in many other places (of Israel, that is).

    148. Naadir Jeewa — on 3rd April, 2010 at 11:29 pm  

      “First I’ve heard that Israel is heavily influenced by international public opinion. That certainly raised a chortle. It’s not exactly what it’s known for. Quite the opposite.”

      Well, in comparative terms.

      “I don’t think China’s influence has declined recently”.

      China’s main lobbying partner is/was the US Chamber of Commerce, but they’ve been pushing Obama to take stronger action against China lately over trade deficits and currency values. And, Capitol Hill still matters most in the current era of US hegemony.

      “It’s true there is a lot of criticism in the press of Israel within Israel. More then in many other places (of Israel, that is).”

      And I would think that those publics do care about Israel’s image abroad, and the Israeli executive can’t completely ignore them when they wield electoral power.

    149. Lucy — on 4th April, 2010 at 7:55 am  

      “And I would think that those publics do care about Israel’s image abroad, and the Israeli executive can’t completely ignore them when they wield electoral power.”

      Historically, it has not - over decades now - worked that way. Would that it had. But it hasn’t. Even though Israelis themselves care a lot about their image abroad. It has not changed policy. The settlements encroaching has never stopped, under any administration, as Netanyahu himself, truthfully, observed with some surprise at the reaction to the fallout from Biden’s visit & the 1,600 new homes in E Jerusalem announcement coming, as it did, at the same time. It is nothing new, he said. And he was right. The discrepancy between ‘agreements’ and practice is the way it is - what goes down. Just bad timing in this instance. Well, more than that, because of the sheer arrogance of that timing. But the reality is what Netanyahu says it is. There is a ripple effect. More power to it.
      But it is just a ripple in a vast sea of intransigence…

      ‘Comparative terms’ Yep. For sure, the Burmese population has more to worry about, for instance, than Burma’s image (everyone has more to worry about than their image). But comparatively, as you say. Fat lot of good that bad image has done for the majority of the Burmese. Not.

      “China’s main lobbying partner…”

      All I was suggesting was that China wields a lot of influence in the world irrespective of Capitol Hill. The hegemony you point to is not to be denied, but perhaps it is not quite as impermeable everywhere as it once was- even though there are many moments of the old get out and get ‘em triumphalism. The US has a lot of weight to throw around. No disagreement there.

    150. chairwoman — on 4th April, 2010 at 9:50 am  

      “It simply pushes way above its weight in international relations, whilst simultaneously being a democratic state. Israel’s actions are therefore more open and visible to domestic and international audiences, lowering the costs of criticism. That’s the good thing about democracies.”

      Actually, Lucy, it doesn’t punch above its weight in international relations. For many years as the USA’s proxy - or pawn, either will do - in its war against initially the USSR, and more recently Iran, it has been forced to fight the battles on the ground that the USA wanted fought while appearing an honest broker in the region.

      Successive American administrations from both sides of the House have done this, which is why BHO’s sudden jettison of his country’s ally seems so harsh to the Israelis, and somewhat surprising to the 6,000,000 Jewish American Democrats who voted for him, especially as he assured them time and time again that his support for Israel was unwavering.

    151. chairwoman — on 4th April, 2010 at 9:51 am  

      Why has the PP clock not gone forward?

    152. Ravi Naik — on 4th April, 2010 at 10:12 am  

      why BHO’s sudden jettison of his country’s ally seems so harsh to the Israelis, and somewhat surprising to the 6,000,000 Jewish American Democrats who voted for him, especially as he assured them time and time again that his support for Israel was unwavering.

      I am not sure why everything the Israeli government does should be seen as ‘pro-Israel’ or ’support for Israel’, and why the US should accept everything Israel does to show its unwavering support. And most Jewish American Democrats are progressives and I have not heard that they are dissatisfied with how Obama has dealt with Netanyahu. And neither the Israelis.

    153. chairwoman — on 4th April, 2010 at 10:58 am  

      I’m sorry Ravi, but I actually don’t understand your first sentence.

      Could you please try again? :)

    154. Lucy — on 4th April, 2010 at 1:06 pm  

      “It simply pushes way above its weight in international relations, whilst simultaneously being a democratic state.”

      Chairwoman@149, it was Naadir Jiwa who made the above statement - @147 - not me. It looks like you thought that was what I thought.

      On the subject of Jewish American attitudes surveyed, not just Democrats, a few stats here from the San Francisco Sentinel of 2 April 2010 [san francisco sentinel. com / ?p=67103] to throw into the discussion:
      ‘ in a Gerstein-Agne poll of American Jewish attitudes conducted during the current crisis:

      American Jews by a four-to-one margin, 82-18 percent, support the United States playing an active role in helping the parties to resolve the Arab-Israeli conflict, with 73 percent of American Jews supporting this active role even if it means that the United States were to publicly state its disagreements with both the Israelis and the Arabs.

      And by a 71-29 percent margin, American Jews support the United States “exerting pressure” on both the Israelis and the Arabs to make the necessary compromises to achieve peace. An earlier J Street poll last March found a similar level of support.

      A majority of all American Jews, 52-48 percent, still support an active role even if the United States were to publicly state its disagreements with only Israel.’

    155. chairwoman — on 4th April, 2010 at 1:35 pm  

      Unfortunately a J-Street poll is as reliable any party with an agenda. It is very much to the left on American Jewish politics, and I take its polls with the same large pinch of salt as AIPACs.

      Personally, I don’t see the current administration as taking an active role at all. I am waiting to see the administration do one of two things, either bash together the hard heads of both sides, or back off completely. They have asked nothing of the Palestinians, and everything of the Israelis. Regardless of which side one supports, common sense must tell one that such a policy is not helpful.

      It seems to have a general foreign policy policy of brown-nosing its opponents while pushing long-term allies away.

      It is not only Israel that this administration has let down, Poland and Georgia are two other very disappointed ‘friends’ of the USA who feel that they have been let down.

      Except during the Vietnam War, when Harold Wilson refused the American’s request for British troops, this country has always supported American overseas actions, as it now does in Iraq and Afghanistan. This has not prevented BHO slighting Gordon Brown, both as the political leader of the UK, and on a personal level. Similarly both Nicolas Sarkozy and Angela Merkal have complained that they have been rebuffed. Apparently the French President was so vocal in his dismay, that a hasty dinner was arranged to placate him.

      I feel that BHO and Hillary Clinton’s policy advisors are doing them no favours at all.

      But that’s going off subject, so I’ll stop there.

    156. Naadir Jeewa — on 4th April, 2010 at 3:35 pm  

      Lucy:

      I think it’s important to not consider Israelis as a monolithic block. For example, on the issue of East Jerusalem settlements, there were outcries from Israeli academics over the upgrading of status of the “Ariel College” to “Ariel University”, since they believe that this will make an academic boycott in Europe much more likely to happen (can’t find the link anymore).
      The problem for any Israeli administration seeking to resolve its long-standing conflicts now is how to keep the right-wing settler groups happy, who form an increasingly larger proportion of voters each year.

      Chairwoman:

      I wasn’t passing judgement on reasons why Israel pushes above its weight, just that it’s important in its own right.

      Another way to look at it, which would perhaps support the idea that Israel is treated less like an ally nowadays, is increasing polarisation in US public opinion between Republicans and Democrats. You may ignore J-Street polls, but Paul Starobin, in the Beltway rag National Journal has painted a similar story. Pew Research polls actually show a huge increase in Republican support for Israel since 1978 (39% to 68%, whilst Democrat support has stayed fairly constant (38% to 43%). However, of Obama’s main voting block, only 34% of self-identified liberals express sympathy for Israel. As Starobin frames it, “this particular White House, probably more than any other administration over the past 40 years, has the least to fear from a domestic political backlash from its base were it to take a tough stance with Israel.”

      I do think J-Street’s now an important player. For starters, 78% of Jews voted for Obama, and he has met with J-Street delegates a number of times. A number of peeps think that J-Street’s main achievement is that it’s made space in American politics for criticism of Israel to exist without being labelled by AIPAC and its cohorts as anti-semitism. I also think that AIPAC will lose relevance amongst voters identifying/lean Democrat by continuing to pursue that approach (if in doubt, trust Spencer Ackerman, always).

      I don’t think Obama is jettisoning Israel. Aid continues to flow to Israel, and he isn’t vetoing the AIPAC-authored Iran sanctions bill, as he was urged to do by some analysts.
      I think it’s more likely that the administration is signalling to Netanyahu to drop Yisrael Beiteinu as a coalition partner in favour of Kadima. We should at least all agree that Avigdor Lieberman is a twat who does nothing but disservice to Israeli foreign policy. As Dan Drezner put it, Israel must have worked pretty hard to make people feel sorry for Turkey during Sofagate, only a few weeks after PM Erdogan threatened to “expel all the Armenians.”

    157. chairwoman — on 4th April, 2010 at 4:26 pm  

      Of course Leiberman’s a twat, but I am not thrilled with Tzipi Livni, who refused to enter a coalition with Netenhayu.

      I am invariably infuriated by politicians who put party before country in that way.

    158. Lucy — on 4th April, 2010 at 5:26 pm  

      Naadir Jeewa @155: ‘now’ as opposed to ??? There is no real policy difference between now and then.

      Check out: http://www.whoprofits.org/

    159. Ravi Naik — on 4th April, 2010 at 7:31 pm  

      I’m sorry Ravi, but I actually don’t understand your first sentence. Could you please try again?

      You seem to say that Obama’s support for Israel is tied to whether he accepts everything the Israeli government does. And if Obama is fiercely against a government action that he believes goes against short and long-term prospects of peace and the resolution to the I/P problem, that his support for Israel can be put into question. This is not an ally relation that is neither sustainable nor desirable.

      They have asked nothing of the Palestinians, and everything of the Israelis.

      What do you mean?

    160. Sarah AB — on 5th April, 2010 at 7:57 am  

      I agree with Ravi’s response to Chairwoman’s first question (158). I have read what seem to be measured explanations of why Obama’s response to the building project in East Jerusalem might be ill judged - though I can’t fully evaluate such arguments - but certainly the principle that Obama shouldn’t feel he has to support every single action of the Israeli government seems completely reasonable!

      Just going back to the OP and the update - that the 15 year old boy has been found safe and well - that’s excellent news and it’s also a rather familiar story. Here’s a little extract from the link Earwicga supplies: ‘Dr Muawiya Hassanein, of Gaza’s health ministry, announced on Tuesday that the teenager had been killed during protests near to the Gaza border to mark Palestinian Land Day … He said the boy had been left “bleeding for hours” before a medical team was allowed to collect his body.”

      Here is what at first seemed like a convincing account of a young boy being shot and then callously neglected by the IDF. If I’d read that before the update I’d probably have assumed it was true. The story now seems to be *completely* untrue of course. But I suspect a lot of people will have read the original story - and I think it was the only alleged death in this business - but not the BBC’s correction.

    161. Lucy — on 5th April, 2010 at 8:53 am  

      It is good that the dead teenager returned home alive. It doesn’t happen very often. Even in that part of the world.

      Fortunately mistakes in the news occasionally do get corrected. If I had read Commissioner Ian Blair’s initially released statement on the shooting of Jean Charles de Menezes, I probably would have assumed that was true as well. And then there were all kinds of contradictory statements released to the press. That does not seem to have happened in this instance.

      [from AFP article/google-hosted news]:
      ‘Palestinian medics must coordinate with Israel before they can safely enter the dangerous buffer zone to retrieve bodies.
      Last month two Israeli soldiers and two Palestinian militants were killed in fierce clashes along the heavily guarded frontier, but the body of one of the Palestinians was not recovered and identified until more than 24 hours later.
      Zeidan al-Faramawi, 42, Mohammed’s father, was worried sick when he heard his son was killed.
      “When my son’s death was announced on the radio and on television on Tuesday I immediately went to the hospital in Rafah, but they didn’t have the body,” he told AFP. “Every time an ambulance arrived I ran to see if he was inside.”
      Over the next few days neighbours told the father of six to let go and hold a funeral, while he frantically contacted different hospitals and the Red Crescent Society for any information.
      When he received word on Saturday that his son had been detained by Egypt and would soon be released, he held his joy back. “I refused to believe them until I could see him in front of me.”‘

    162. Ravi Naik — on 5th April, 2010 at 11:17 am  

      Here is what at first seemed like a convincing account of a young boy being shot and then callously neglected by the IDF. If I’d read that before the update I’d probably have assumed it was true. The story now seems to be *completely* untrue of course. But I suspect a lot of people will have read the original story – and I think it was the only alleged death in this business – but not the BBC’s correction.

      That is absolutely correct, Sarah. And doesn’t give you much confidence in the Palestinian media if this sort of unverified reports happen too often.

    163. Lucy — on 5th April, 2010 at 11:38 am  

      “And doesn’t give you much confidence in the Palestinian media if this sort of unverified reports happen too often.”

      True of any media. The report in question [see topic/top] came from Ha’aretz, a well known and well respected Israeli journal.

    164. Lucy — on 5th April, 2010 at 12:39 pm  

      ‘The report in question [see topic/top] came from Ha’aretz’

      CORRECTION: Ha’aretz’ reported on the incident, but its source of information was the “Palestinian news agency Ma’an [which] said that Al Farmawi was killed while attempting to enter Israel to join demonstrations marking the 34th Land Day, commemorated annually by thousands of Israeli-Arabs.’

    165. earwicga — on 5th April, 2010 at 2:44 pm  

      I was pleased that Muhammad al-Faramawi hadn’t been killed on Land Day. Others weren’t so lucky.

      As for the comments on reporting - the OP did say there were doubts and the involvement of the IDF isn’t that far-fatched considering the way the IDF sometimes operates which has been documented in the words of IDF soldiers here.

    166. douglas clark — on 5th April, 2010 at 8:21 pm  

      I went over the top in this thread and I owe Katy Newton an apology. It is obviously not the case that all lawyers are the same.

    167. Katy Newton — on 5th April, 2010 at 9:51 pm  

      Thanks Douglas :)



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