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  • Technorati: graph / links

    Avigdor Lieberman and Israel’s defenders


    by Sunny on 13th April, 2010 at 3:54 pm    

    Just a quick trip down memory lane. Avigdor Lieberman is currently the foreign minister of Israel.
    Here are some of his views:

    Lieberman advocates “reducing the number of Arabs who are Israeli citizens” through giving the Palestinian Authority Arab-Israeli towns near the West Bank and having Arabs who remain Israeli citizens take loyalty tests and recognize Israel as a Jewish State. Those who refuse would be stripped of their citizenship, but could remain in Israel as permanent residents.

    He was called by the US conservative commentator a “fascist”. The anti-terrorism thinktank Quilliam Foundation issued this statement when Lieberman was welcomed into the UK:

    The British Foreign and Commonwealth Office is today hosting Avigdor Lieberman, the Israeli foreign minister who is also the founder and leader of the Yisrael Beiteinu, a hardline nationalist and extreme Zionist political party in Israel. In view of Lieberman’s previous openly racist and violence-inciting statements, as well as his alleged involvement in a terrorist group banned in the US and Israel, this decision to host Lieberman is inconsistent with recent Home Office decisions to exclude other individuals on the specific grounds that they “promote hatred, terrorist activities and serious violence” and “advocate hatred and violence in support of their religious beliefs”.

    It looks like Israel is already moving towards policies espoused by Lieberman, given this recent move to force all people within Palestinian territories to carry “valid permits” that are intentionally kept vague by Israel itself. Where was the outrage over this here? Did Nick Cohen stand up for human rights then? How about Hitchens? Doesn’t look it.

    Now let’s compare this situation to the Amnesty Int / Gita Sahgal controversy. In this controversy it is regularly alleged by critics of Amnesty that by virtue of working with Moazzam Begg, Amnesty is endorsing the views of Cage Prisoners and its people. Otherwise there wouldn’t be any problem right?

    Defenders of Amnesty Int who say it doesn’t follow that the organisation has adopted CP’s agenda or been influenced by Moazzam Begg are called ‘naive’. The organisation is damned by association apparently, without any investigation into whether its agenda has actually been influenced by Moazzam Begg or CagePrisoners (the latter of whom it has no relationship with).

    Given the two examples, is it then ok to assume that anyone who defends the Israeli government as “a supporter of fascists”. Right?


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    Filed in: Current affairs,Middle East






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    1. pickles

      Blog post:: Avigdor Lieberman and Israel's defenders http://bit.ly/azbLQX




    1. chairwoman — on 13th April, 2010 at 4:13 pm  

      “I’ll assume it’s ok to call anyone who defends the Isreali government as “a supporter of fascists”. Right?”

      You mean there are people on the left who don’t?

      And please don’t forget that I was a cradle Communist.

    2. Sunny — on 13th April, 2010 at 4:19 pm  

      You mean there are people on the left who don’t?

      I guess you think they’re justified then?

    3. chairwoman — on 13th April, 2010 at 4:29 pm  

      No, I just think they listen to only one side of the argument.

    4. cjcjc — on 13th April, 2010 at 4:33 pm  

      You forgot to mention Rushdie and Amis.
      I demand to know where they stand.
      Bastards.

    5. Sarah AB — on 13th April, 2010 at 5:35 pm  

      Based on what I know about Lieberman and these new regulations - not a huge amount I’ll cheerfully admit - both sound pretty bad.

      I have a vague memory of reading somewhere that a future Palestinian state would not allow Arab Israelis the right to settle there - which seemed a slightly odd position. That seems a relevant issue because I assume that there are Arab Israelis who are happy to stay where they are but other Arab Israelis who identify as Palestinians and would prefer to be part of some future Palestinian state. If there were a Palestinian state which offered citizenship to Arab Israelis - any who chose to stay in Israel would seem to have, in a sense, passed a loyalty test of sorts. And perhaps the same would apply to Jewish settlers in the OT.

      I believe Palestinian law forbids the selling of land to Jews - that seems pretty problematic - worse than the discrimination against Arab Israelis in Israel surely? - I believe selling land to Jews is punishable by death. Perhaps Lieberman and the recent developments with regard to permits need to be seen as part of a complex network of problems rather than viewed in isolation.

      I’m no expert though so I’d welcome others’ thoughts.

    6. chairwoman — on 13th April, 2010 at 5:46 pm  

      Jews won’t be allowed to live in a future Palestinian State either, let alone become citizens.

      I think the PA won’t allow Israeli Palestinians to move to and become citizens of future Palestine because it would lessen the Arab presence in Israel and reduce their claim to it.

    7. Kojak — on 13th April, 2010 at 5:56 pm  

      Sunny,

      Why are you trying to draw links between Gita Sahgal and Israel?
      I’ll assume you have a bee in your bonnet. Right?

    8. Sunny — on 13th April, 2010 at 6:17 pm  

      I have a vague memory of reading somewhere that a future Palestinian state would not allow Arab Israelis the right to settle there – which seemed a slightly odd position.

      Erm, given that we don’t have anything near one - and neither is it clear who will set up the laws, I find it a bit odd you’re criticising something that hasn’t happened, compared to something that is happening.

      I could spend half my day writing about how rights of Arab Israelis are restricted here.

    9. Sunny — on 13th April, 2010 at 6:18 pm  

      Jews won’t be allowed to live in a future Palestinian State either, let alone become citizens.

      As far as I know, there are restrictions for Arabs moving into Israel and becoming citizens too right?

    10. DF — on 13th April, 2010 at 6:32 pm  

      “by Sunny on 13th April, 2010 at 3:54 pm

      It looks like Israel is already moving towards policies espoused by Lieberman, given this recent move to force all people within Palestinian territories to carry “valid permits”…”

      As far as I understand it the story relates to ammendments to existing orders that date back to 1960 and possibly beyond and have been “corrected” in order to “assure judicial oversight of the extradition process,”.
      Surely an amendment to “assure judicial oversight” is a good thing? Unless of course you believe those responsible for judicial oversight are being controlled by poisoned tentacles.

      http://www.jmcc.org/documents/Order_regarding_Prevention_of_Infiltration_-_1960.pdf

      http://www.jmcc.org/documents/Order_regarding_prevention_of_infiltration_amendment.pdf

      Unless I’m confusing this with an entirely seperate story these “valid permits” have been a requirement in the Judea and Samaria Area for 50 years. Hardly recent.

    11. Lucy — on 13th April, 2010 at 7:17 pm  

      In this case, it is definitely a matter of control - though I think Palestinians have a lot more to worry about then trading poisoned tentacles type insults or some la dee dah abstraction about an exclusive ‘new’ state - duh - they kind of have the old one to worry about.

      Nope,it is not the same thing as it was before. What total disingenuousness. You could see, though, that it is one way of getting off the awkward hook of building illegal settlements. Just ‘transfer’ the Palestinians (yep, that old word) or use Ilan Pappé’s more up to date way of spelling it out - ‘ethnic cleansing’. That is what it is, and by any other name, it still stinks.

      How convenient to twist away from the problem facing Palestinians right now and change into a problem that has not yet occurred. How absolutely glorious to indulge in that degree of deferred decision-making.

      Hmmm..South African apartheid and slavery in the US are clearly do for a comeback. More time simply has got to be spent worrying about what will come next. And let’s take the vote from women away while we are at it…

      From the Palestinian Centre for Human Rights:

      http://www.pchrgaza.org/portal/en/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=6392:pchr-condemn-new-israeli-military-orders-aimed-at-expelling-west-bank-palestinians-&catid=36:pchrpressreleases&Itemid=194

      The new orders define an “infiltrator” in such generic terms that virtually any person currently present in the West Bank could potentially fall under that definition and consequently incur criminal liability and/or be subject to deportation.

      An “infiltrator” is defined as “a person who entered the Area unlawfully” or “a person who is present in the Area and does not lawfully hold a permit”. The ‘Area’ refers to the occupied West Bank.

      Pursuant to Military order No. 1650 any person who unlawfully entered the area shall be sentenced to seven years imprisonment, whereas an individual who has lawfully entered the area but does not “hold a permit” shall be sentenced to three years imprisonment.

      Moreover, regardless of whether the “infiltrator” is charged with an offence under the Order or not, the military commander may order the deportation of the person from the area; the issuance of the deportation order shall be considered as an arrest order and serve as the “legal source for holding such infiltrator in custody pending his deportation”. The deportation can be executed 72 hours after the order, and in some cases even sooner.

      As a consequence of the dramatic expansion and ambiguity of the new definition of “infiltrator” the Order not applies to people coming from so-called “enemy states”, as in the past; it now applies to every Palestinian, both those who were born in the West Bank and those who lawfully moved to it, for instance from Gaza or from abroad.

      In fact over the past number of years, thousands of applications made by persons living in the occupied Palestinian territory (oPt) since decades in accordance with the Interim Agreement between Israel and the Palestinian Authority or by Palestinians seeking family reunification have been illegally “frozen” by the Israeli authorities who refused to grant them status in the oPt.

      Additionally, since 1967 thousands of Palestinians moved to the West Bank from the Gaza Strip and they were never required to have a written permit, as there was no requirement under the military legislation to hold a written permit.

      It appears that pursuant to the new military orders thousands of residents in the West Bank will be potentially subject to immediate deportation.

      These orders form part of the criminal policy that Israel has developed over the years against the Palestinian people; this policy combine occupation, apartheid, colonization and forced displacement of the population.

      The contents of the new military orders are in blatant violation of international human rights standards and international law principles and represent one more tool in the hand of the Israeli occupation forces to control and alter the demographic composition of the oPt and ultimately impose a Jewish majority in Israel and the occupied territory.

      These new orders – ostensibly enacted as ‘security measures’ – are, in fact, aimed at legitimising the forcible transfer and deportation of the civilian population of the oPt.

      Israel, through its military commanders, is taking unlawful measures to eradicate the Palestinian people from their territory and take overall control of the area.

      These new orders – ostensibly enacted as ‘security measures’ – are, in fact, aimed at legitimising the forcible transfer and deportation of the civilian population of the oPt.

      Israel, through its military commanders, is taking unlawful measures to eradicate the Palestinian people from their territory and take overall control of the area.

      PCHR is seriously concerned about the implementation of these orders which could amount to individual or mass forcible transfer, as well as deportation of protected persons, measures absolutely prohibited under Article 49 of the Fourth Geneva Convention.

      PCHR calls the international community to take action and put an end to the illegal population transfer, segregation and displacement that is taking place in the oPt and to impede the implementation of these new unlawful tools. PCHR remind that States Parties to the Geneva Convention have the duty to ensure respect for the conventions in all circumstances.

      Immediate action must be taken if the international community is to prevent the aggravation of the criminal policy pursued by Israel in the oPt.

    12. chairwoman — on 13th April, 2010 at 8:15 pm  

      Are there only 25,000 people living in the West Bank?

      That’s the number I’ve seen mentioned. Apparently these are people who moved to the West Bank from Gaza without registering a change of address over a long period of time.

      I am merely giving you information.

      Which you will of course ignore and disbelieve.

      Then you will ask me for links.

      For the record. I don’t do links.

      Two reasons: I don’t have the technical know-how.
      I never remember where I saw anything.

      However you young technocrats are more than capable of checking this out for yourselves particularly in your zealous desires to prove the Zionist wrong.

    13. chairwoman — on 13th April, 2010 at 8:19 pm  

      “PCHR remind that States Parties to the Geneva Convention have the duty to ensure respect for the conventions in all circumstances.”

      I hear the oinking of porkers flying the Red Cross into Gaza/Syria/Iran to visit Gilad Shalit.

    14. Rumbold — on 13th April, 2010 at 8:21 pm  

      I am a defender of Israel. I am also a defender of Palestine. I don’t understand this headline. Lieberman is a disagrace, but why bracket it under ‘Israel’s defender’?

    15. DisgustedOfTunbridgeWells — on 13th April, 2010 at 8:46 pm  

      Jews won’t be allowed to live in a future Palestinian State either, let alone become citizens.

      Incorrect.

    16. chairwoman — on 13th April, 2010 at 8:51 pm  

      I have always been in favour of the 2 State solution.

      That’s going back almost 30 years. It’s my opinion that it suits the rest of the world to have this perpetual turmoil in the Middle East, and that they go out of their way to stir up one side or another, on a whim, just to keep it going.

      Initially it was the old USA/USSR proxy war (let the Jews and Arabs kill each other and test our new planes/weapons/intelligence gathering equipment under real battle conditions), but now I feel it’s to keep the oil money and new technology and medical advances apart.

      Who would it suit, outside the Middle East, for there to be real peace there?

      I think both the major and the burgeoning economies to the east and the west would not be happy.

    17. chairwoman — on 13th April, 2010 at 8:52 pm  

      I think that you’re mistaken DoTW

    18. Katy Newton — on 13th April, 2010 at 9:16 pm  

      I don’t understand this post. I don’t understand why Gita Sahgal and Amnesty International are being thrown into a post about Israel, for a start. Or vice versa. It looks as if you’re saying that anyone who thinks Gita Sahgal might have got a raw deal or that Amnesty’s stance on Cage Prisoners deserves scrutiny and possibly criticism MUST be a “defender of Israel”. I’m not aware of the whole Sahgal/AI debate being remotely connected to Israel. But then I hear those poisonous tentacles of Zionism do get everywhere…

    19. Boyo — on 13th April, 2010 at 9:20 pm  

      I think the contradiction of having to smear a committed champion for women’s rights in Stalinist-style solidarity with AI is beginning to get even to you Sunny.

      Have you gone too far down the road to turn back now?

    20. Sunny — on 13th April, 2010 at 9:21 pm  

      It’s not that hard to figure out why I wrote this - I’ve explained it briefly at the top. It’s called analogies Katy, there’s no need to being tentacles into it unless you’re trying to insinuate something.

      It’s a simple question: the idea seems to be that if someone defends Amnesty Int then they must be endorsing what Cage Prisoners are saying.

      Or that because Yvonne Ridley is so nasty, and Amnesty hosted an event with Moazam Begg - then ergo Amnesty must be endorsing everything that Ridley says.

      Now, there’s a lot of people making damned-by-association connections here.

      Why can’t the same apply to those defending Israeli actions. After all - they have a fascist foreign minister.

    21. Katy Newton — on 13th April, 2010 at 9:23 pm  

      I mean really, look at all the straw men you’ve set up there. For the record, I am very concerned about the idea of people who’ve been living permanently in the West Bank suddenly becoming liable to deportation. I’m sure I’m not the only person in the world who simultaneously thinks that this is outrageous and that Hamas is a dangerous entity against whom Israel is entitled to defend itself if necessary. I haven’t read the proposed legislation but if that’s what it is intended to do then it’s absolutely outrageous. I think it’s a shame that you’ve chosen to frame this as “defenders of israel and Gita Sahgal versus Amnesty International and Righteous People”, as if there’s no such thing as a nuanced view.

    22. Katy Newton — on 13th April, 2010 at 9:26 pm  

      Oh, I see, an analogy. You were taking what may be a serious abuse of Palestinian human rights and turning it into a cheap point to be used against critics of Amnesty International’s stance on Caged Prisoners. Got it.

    23. Sunny — on 13th April, 2010 at 9:29 pm  

      Jeez. I thought it was obvious what I was saying. But ok, I’ve updated the post to expand further on my thoughts.

      If you’re quite finished making insinuations about “tentacles” Katy - perhaps you could engage with the analogy.

    24. cjcjc — on 13th April, 2010 at 9:51 pm  

      It’s not a terribly good analogy.

      And I don’t think many people are saying that AI has “adopted” CP’s agenda.
      Though if calling CP a “leading human rights organisation” isn’t an endorsement, I’m not sure what it is.

    25. Katy Newton — on 13th April, 2010 at 9:51 pm  

      My reference to “poisonous tentacles” was a joke, referencing an article written by Yvonne Ridley, the patron of your beloved Caged Prisoners, and published on their website. It was not an “insinuation” directed at you, it referenced an insinuation by them which, by the way, was directed at people like me. I consider it to be an antisemitic reference but I made light of it. I believe that it was clear from my comment that it was a joke. I do not believe that you could seriously have taken it as an insinuation against you - particularly given that I have taken issue many times with commenters who have accused you of being racist, antisemitic and most recently sexist - comments that you must have seen, although you’ve never acknowledged them. But it does rather surprise me that you now, knowing that I have defended you against people who accused you of prejudice in the past, choose to take an obvious joke out of context to try to paint me as playing a race card. That’s a smear, to use your language. You owe me an apology.

      I don’t need to engage with your “analogy”. You didn’t need an analogy. Your point, if I have it right, is that you shouldn’t judge an entity’s entire worth, whether it be AI or Israel, on the strength of one issue. I agree.

    26. Kulvinder — on 13th April, 2010 at 10:36 pm  

      Jews won’t be allowed to live in a future Palestinian State either, let alone become citizens.

      Really? Someone should tell Ilan Halevi and Uri Davis (amongst others) that. The former is a longstanding, largely independent member, of the PLO, the latter a longstanding member of FATAH, and now on its revolutionary council.

      Criticise the PLO for selling out/corruption/incompetence etc, but at least acknowledge their membership is formed largely by left leaning secularists. They may oppose zionism (along with much of the left) but they’re hardly ‘out to get or ban the jews’

      HAMAS are a different matter, they’re obviously islamist and anti-semitic; for what its worth though thousands of jews live under similarly theocratic conditions in iran - that isn’t to support iran or hamas, but to point out islamism and jewish citizens aren’t mutually exclusive.

    27. soru — on 13th April, 2010 at 11:57 pm  

      It’s a simple question: the idea seems to be that if someone defends Amnesty Int then they must be endorsing what Cage Prisoners are saying.

      Here’s an analogy. Say someone was defending the Israeli state, perhaps against what they saw as deadly enemies who genuinely wanted to destroy it.

      Someone else (call them Sita Gahgal) spoke up about the fact that the Israeli state, or perhaps the notion of the capitalised Nation of Israel in general, was getting tangled up with fascists and parafascists in a way that was seriously compromising it’s moral legitimacy and/or diplomatic relations.

      Would you:

      a: acknowledge they may have a point, even if it is perhaps expressed more strongly than you would prefer, and work to ensure they are wrong.

      b: talk about how bad very bad your enemies are, and so how mentioning any moral compromise on you side is giving them aid and comfort, and so a person who would do such a thing must be a bad person who must not be listened to, and did you mention how evil your enemies are? And in any case, they are not really fascists, and no court actually found them guilty of anything, and who’s to say a bit of fascism isn’t justified given the circumstances? Plus, what about Champa? Why does everyone want to talk about Israel instead of the Urjanchai Republic? Even the spell checker has forgotten them.

      I think you can tall a lot about the character of a person from which of those options they take.

    28. emanuel appel — on 14th April, 2010 at 1:55 am  

      Avigdor Liberman is the foreign minister of Israel.
      Whether you like it or not, you deal with him as the foreigners that you are, hat in hand and on bended knee.

      The internal affairs of another country is not your business unless they threaten yours. Are you A-rabs? If not, shut up.

    29. Sunny — on 14th April, 2010 at 2:45 am  

      soru - how about a third option, whereby we recognise that Israel is run by a hard-right govt that does not deserve the support of progressives.

      But the right of Israel to exist, within the context of being threatened by terrorist organisations (although frankly Israel is far stronger than them put together) should be defended. And that by asserting the right of Israel to exist you’re not supporting its govt directly.

      In the same way, one may say that Amnesty int has a stellar reputation when it comes to activism on human rights, women’s rights specifically, and opposing state-sactioned terrorism. That includes state-sanctioned terrorism by Israel, where the govt is anything but progressive.

      And within that context one can criticise Yvone Ridley and Moazzam Begg for what they’ve said without necessarily leading to the conclusion that Amnesty’s research and work is forever tainted by some bizarre association.

      There is infact a closer relationship between Avigdor Lieberman and the state of Israel than Amnesty Int and Yvonne Ridley. Bizarrely enough though - this fact has not been picked up by all these defenders of human rights.

      I think it says a lot about people’s characters when they don’t apply their standards equally - no?

      Katy - I owe you an apology for you using the “poisonous tentacles” reference in a comment that was anything but lighthearted? C’mon, that is surely a stretch too far. I agree that you’ve defended me in the past and I’m not saying you’re calling me a racist, but there was no need to bring that in when no one’s defending Ridley. I find that woman abhorrent. Your reference was not needed at all. And it did not come across as a joke.

    30. jeff — on 14th April, 2010 at 3:15 am  

      You cannot call yourself an Israeli citizen without recognizing the right of the Jewish state to exist.

    31. Sarah AB — on 14th April, 2010 at 6:47 am  

      Lucy - and others - I agree that Lieberman seems a hateful person with abhorrent views. The permit issue may be used to intimidate and persecute Palestinians - and I’d condemn that unequivocally. There was rather a lot going on in Sunny’s post - so I did also want to pick up on the points about demographics, race and loyalty and place them within a wider picture - admittedly not a very clear picture as is apparent from contradictory responses - which takes in current Palestinian law - concerning the sale of property - as well as future proposals.

      Sunny - you said ‘I find it a bit odd you’re criticising something that hasn’t happened, compared to something that is happening.’ But much of what you say about Lieberman’s views *also* refer to a future two state scenario so it seemed relevant to bring in Palestinian views on such a hypothetical future situation - though if I’m wrong about it being a widely held view that Arab Israelis would not be allowed to settle in a future Palestinian state then please correct me.

    32. emanuel appel — on 14th April, 2010 at 7:53 am  

      Israel is.
      Who gets to live within her borders is something determined by Israel alone and not you.
      The Arabs have shown again and again their goal is the destruction of the State and her citizens reduced to serfs and slaves of the Moslem Arabs.
      Look at the status of Christians within Iraq or Egypt to get the picture. Even Europeans with large Moslem minorities in their countries are looking over theri shoulders.

    33. Lucy — on 14th April, 2010 at 8:11 am  

      Archbishop Desmond Tutu:

      “I have been to the Ocupied Palestinian Territory, and I have witnessed the racially segregated roads and housing that reminded me so much of the conditions
      we experienced in South Africa under the racist system of Apartheid. I have witnessed the humiliation of Palestinian men, women, and children made to wait hours at Israeli military checkpoints routinely when trying to make the most basic of trips to visit relatives or attend school or college, and this humiliation is familiar to me and the many black South Africans who were corralled and regularly insulted by the security forces of the Apartheid government.”

      http://www.salem-news.com/articles/april112010/desmond-tutu-dt.php

    34. Abu Faris — on 14th April, 2010 at 8:13 am  

      I would like to know what is wrong with Zionism?

      Zionism is the demand for the national self-determination of the Jewish people. One may be a Zionist, support the existence of Israel AND fundamentally disapprove of the actions of the Israeli state.

      There are as many varieties of Zionism as there are political perspectives in the Jewish community (both in Israel and the Diaspora). I find Lieberman and other extremists intolerable. Their views are despicable and unforgivable. I also know a large number of Jewish people, both within and without Israel, who agree that Lieberman is an appalling shame. Does this mean that both Israel and the entire Zionist project are automatically thereby to be tarred with the same brush? I think not.

      I shall continue to support Israel’s right to exist and the Jewish people’s right to a homeland, as both a refuge and a democratic right.

    35. Lucy — on 14th April, 2010 at 8:52 am  

      from Haaretz Editorial IDF bid to expel West Bank Palestinians is a step too far - Haaretz - Israel News

      “Implementing this new military order is not only likely to spark a new conflagration in the territories, it is liable to give the world clear-cut proof that Israel’s aim is a mass deportation of Palestinians from the West Bank. While all Jews can settle wherever they wish, in Israel or in the territories, Israel is trying to deprive the Palestinians of even the minimal right to choose where to live in the West Bank or Gaza. The prime minister and defense minister should immediately shelve this military order before the IDF feels free to begin carrying out expulsions.”

      http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/1162382.html

    36. Sarah AB — on 14th April, 2010 at 8:53 am  

      emmanuel - if you aren’t an antizionist troll - then you are certainly doing a very good impression of one!

    37. Brownie — on 14th April, 2010 at 9:09 am  

      It’s a simple question: the idea seems to be that if someone defends Amnesty Int then they must be endorsing what Cage Prisoners are saying.

      Does it? You keep saying things like this, but AI’s critics are not actually saying that*. I’m not, and I’m not aware of any critic who has posted to the relevant PP threads who has said this.

      Or that because Yvonne Ridley is so nasty, and Amnesty hosted an event with Moazam Begg – then ergo Amnesty must be endorsing everything that Ridley says.

      Or this. I’ve been one of the more prolific criticis of AI’s associations with Begg and CP these last couple of motnhs, so much so that you’ve labelled me a troll. Can you find anything I’ve written - and I’ve written a lot - that comes close to a suggestion that AI is “endorsing everything that Ridley [or anyone else] says”? I’ll bet you can’t. The reason is that I haven’t said such things.

      You claim you have an analogy here, but to make it work you have make false claims about the nature of the criticism AI has received. That’s not an analogy; it’s a pack of lies.

      Can you do anything other than call me a “troll” or misrepresent the position of those criticial of AI’s relationship with Begg and CP?

    38. bananabrain — on 14th April, 2010 at 9:33 am  

      ah, emanuel appel, i remember him from ruth gledhill’s blog at the times, like a cartoon central committee likudnik. deary deary me. if you’ve never heard of “oom schmoom” before, this is what it looks like.

      you may, of course, remember that i frequently describe avigdor lieberman as a “crooked racist scumbag”. it is of course useful to be reminded of this from time to time, as in the famous israeli satirical sketch where he was shown in a bomber jacket and dark glasses, surrounded by thugs and attack dogs and accompanied by the “darth vader theme”, transcript and clip available here:

      http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/1063706.html

      you might well think that a country which is capable of producing satire like this (and, more to the point, has a press that is able to do so) has more to it than meets the eye of, well, sunny. and you’d be right.

      abu faris is quite right:

      Zionism is the demand for the national self-determination of the Jewish people. One may be a Zionist, support the existence of Israel AND fundamentally disapprove of the actions of the Israeli state.

      this is no different from how i, as a british citizen, may violently disapprove of british government policy in a number of areas. an area in point is what is going on at present with this new military order, which is yet another step towards turning israel into one of those laughable banana republics. i’m going on holiday there shortly and will be doing some research on the ground into attitudes, values and so on.

      furthermore, the idea that jews will be welcome - and equal - residents and citizens in a future palestinian state deserves more than to be scoffed at, if arabs are to be welcome - and equal - residents and citizens in the current israeli state. you all know my support for the ray hanania peace plan. unfortunately, what we see here is the usual disingenuous armchair middle east “expertise”, so briskly dismembered by bradley burston of haaretz (apologies for lengthy quote):

      How Do You Know When a ‘Mideast Expert’ is Lying?

      1. The Expert knows with certainty which of the two sides - only one - is responsible for the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and which - the same one - for the failure of Mideast peace efforts.

      2. The Expert treats the civilian victims of violence on one side as individuals, but assesses collective responsibility for the violence on the whole of the other side.

      The Expert speaks as though the entire civilian population of the other - call it the Dark - side, were directly, actively, complicit and thus accomplice to whatever excesses were committed in its name, and therefore deserves whatever sanction, condemnation, or reflexive collective punishment the Dark Side civilian population is about to experience.

      3.Field Guide

      Dark Side: Commits atrocities, war crimes, crimes against humanity.
      Expert’s Side: Exercises its right to self-defense.

      Dark Side: Violates peace deals with impunity.
      Expert’s Side: Cannot move forward in light of Dark Side’s bad faith.

      4. The Expert hints, implies, or states outright that the actions of the DS are comparable to those of the Nazis.

      5. The Expert begins, “The conflict is fundamentally very simple.”

      6. The Expert advocates a One State Solution, but doesn’t come out and say so.

      This is the intersection of lying and True Belief.

      In some cases, the obfuscation about being a One Stater, or the reliance on phrases like “It is not for me to say what the solution is, only to give voice to those whose voices go unheard” may have something to do with not wanting to come right out and say that you really believe that there should be no Palestine at all, ever, or that Israel should not continue to exist. Especially when a two-state solution, as difficult as it will doubtless be to effect, is the stated goal of most parties to the conflict, including the Obama administration, the UN, the PA, and Benjamin Netanyahu.

      For various reasons*, the closet One-State Expert may instead attack every other option, by the process of elimination. “Peace Plan A can’t be implemented, Peace Plan B will cause civil war, Peace Plan C will cause thousands of deaths, Peace Plan D is another word for genocide …”

      Or, One Staters may use lies aimed at reinforcing their side:

      “Jews should be able to live anywhere in East Jerusalem. After all, Arabs can live anywhere they want in West Jerusalem.” [Untrue]

      “Arab rulers have always related to their Jewish subjects with tolerance, respect, security and freedom.” [Untrue]

      Oddly, both in the case of pro-Israeli and pro-Palestian True Believers in their respective One State solutions, the tactic is the same: foil, undermine and otherwise ice any Israeli-Palestinian peace deal.

      *The unstated belief on the part of the True Believers is that time is on their side, and only their side. If current trends and historical processes continue, the reasoning goes, my side will have its One State.

      And what about the other? While the reply of the Expert will likely be sophisticated, the bottom line will be plain:

      “They had their chance.”

      http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/1162455.html

      every one of these answers “present and correct” in the current discussion.

      not one palestinian will be helped by this approach, you fools.

      b’shalom

      bananabrain

    39. Ravi Naik — on 14th April, 2010 at 10:57 am  

      Does it? You keep saying things like this, but AI’s critics are not actually saying that*.

      But that’s what you are insinuating, right? That when AI associates with Cage Prisoners for the purpose of creating awareness about Gitmo, that they are somewhat endorsing or closing their eyes to the less progressive views of CP members.

    40. cjcjc — on 14th April, 2010 at 11:22 am  

      If AI referring to CP a “leading human rights organisation” doesn’t count as an endorsement then I’m not sure what would.

      Never mind Cordone’s little “defensive jihad” problem.

    41. Ravi Naik — on 14th April, 2010 at 11:39 am  

      If AI referring to CP a “leading human rights organisation” doesn’t count as an endorsement then I’m not sure what would.

      I guess brownie didn’t read your posts.

      Never mind Cordone’s little “defensive jihad” problem.

      And what problem is that? Can you spell everything out? I assume that in your mind the term “jihad” is terrorism, hence AI endorses terrorism and the killing of innocents when in self-defense.

      For some, that’s reductio ad absurdum. But I guess in times of desperation anything goes.

    42. cjcjc — on 14th April, 2010 at 11:42 am  

      Well, he (or she?) and I are different people.

      On the little “defensive jihad” problem see Conor Foley here:

      http://liberalconspiracy.org/2010/04/06/amnesty-and-defensive-jihad/

    43. Sarah AB — on 14th April, 2010 at 11:47 am  

      @Ravi - 38 - There is a difference between ‘closing your eyes’ to the less progressive views of CP members - and we’re talking about the most prominent members, the patrons - and endorsing them. There’s also a difference between actively endorsing their views by stating you agree with them or acting as though you agree with them and more passively or indirectly endorsing their views by describing them as a leading human rights organisation and having some kind of relationship with their most prominent member, Begg. I would say AI certainly wasn’t actively endorsing the more dodgy views associated with CP but was in danger of passively endorsing them. Is that putting it too strongly maybe? ‘Closing their eyes to’, certainly seems fair enough.

    44. cjcjc — on 14th April, 2010 at 11:49 am  

      I don’t see how you can describe CP as a “leading…etc.” without having your eyes shut!

    45. chairwoman — on 14th April, 2010 at 11:54 am  

      “Implementing this new military order is not only likely to spark a new conflagration in the territories, it is liable to give the world clear-cut proof that Israel’s aim is a mass deportation of Palestinians from the West Bank. While all Jews can settle wherever they wish, in Israel or in the territories, Israel is trying to deprive the Palestinians of even the minimal right to choose where to live in the West Bank or Gaza. The prime minister and defense minister should immediately shelve this military order before the IDF feels free to begin carrying out expulsions.”

      This is an opinion.

      It is the opinion of a far-left Israeli newspaper. Note that it is free to roundly criticise the current Israeli government. Its editor is not going to be imprisoned nor are its presses about to be shut down.

      Regardless of one’s opinion of Israel’s government, there is still a free press, and people are still aloowed to congregate and demonstrate against that government.

      Just like they can here.

      Do you imagine that similar can be said about Israel’s neighbours? Do you imagine that the governments of other countries in the Middle East would similarly publish their intentions to move a large quantity of people from one place to the other?

      I think that an honest answer to both questions would be ‘no’.

      Israel’s current government is not one thazt I would vote for, but it, democratically, is not hiding its actions from the Israeli people, who could easily and probably will, vote them out at the next general election.

      Anyhoo, as I said at the begining, you quoted an opinion, that’s fine, but, even though I mostly agree with it, that does not make it fact.

    46. Sunny — on 14th April, 2010 at 1:10 pm  

      cheers Ravi.

    47. DisgustedOfTunbridgeWells — on 14th April, 2010 at 1:21 pm  

      I think that you’re mistaken DoTW

      Incorrect, again.

      “Palestinian National Authority Prime Minister Salam Fayyad said Saturday that Jews would enjoy freedom and civil rights in a future Palestinian state.”

      “Jews to the extent they choose to stay and live in the state of Palestine will enjoy those rights and certainly will not enjoy any less rights than Israeli Arabs enjoy now in the state of Israel.”

      http://www.aspendailynews.com/section/home/135325

    48. soru — on 14th April, 2010 at 2:32 pm  

      And within that context one can criticise Yvone Ridley and Moazzam Begg for what they’ve said

      Is there any evidence you can do so without getting sacked and your name dragged through the mud?

      without necessarily leading to the conclusion that Amnesty’s research and work is forever tainted by some bizarre association.

      Is there any evidence that anyone (who didn’t previously hate Amnesty and everything they stand for) is saying that?

      There is infact a closer relationship between Avigdor Lieberman and the state of Israel than Amnesty Int and Yvonne Ridley.

      This is true. Correspondingly, I would strongly condemn Israel, and only weakly condemn Amnesty.

      Unlike those who are spending more time defending the indefensible than the fullback in a Conference team up against Barcelona…

    49. Sunny — on 14th April, 2010 at 3:36 pm  

      Is there any evidence you can do so without getting sacked and your name dragged through the mud?

      yes. It’s the slight problem of dragging your ermployer’s name through the mud that sometimes poses a problem in employee-employer relations.

    50. chairwoman — on 14th April, 2010 at 3:59 pm  

      “Incorrect, again.”

      There is often a difference between what Palestinian leaders say to Western audiences and journalists in English/French/German etc, and what they say in Arabic to Egyptian/Jordanian/Syrian and of course Palestinian audiences and journalists.

      I think you’ll find, when the day comes, that I will, regrettably, be correct.

    51. soru — on 14th April, 2010 at 5:42 pm  

      It’s the slight problem of dragging your ermployer’s name through the mud that sometimes poses a problem in employee-employer relations.

      To clarify:

      1. you support Amnesty’s right to sack GS for what they see as disloyalty.

      2. you object to Israel’s right to expel West Bank Palestinians they see as disloyal.

      3. You think your original post was based on a good analogy between similar situations that can be used to demonstrate that you are clear thinking and consistent.

    52. emanuel appel — on 14th April, 2010 at 11:21 pm  

      To all you nitpickers,

      You focus on Avigdor Liberman because he doesn’t crawl thorugh the mud to please you. Good for him.

      I’m glad that I’m so unusual that one of you wankers remembers me from another website months ago! How flattering.

      You are not qualified to tell Jews where they shall live nor how to set their immigration policy. You don’t control them!

      I realize you’re used to the simpering LEFT Wing sissies produced by the English educational system but this is a different matter.

      When you give the IRA the crown, then you may advise Israel. Otherwise, sit on it.

    53. bananabrain — on 15th April, 2010 at 12:46 pm  

      emanuel:

      i’m a shomrei-mitzvot zionist with friends and family who serve in the army.

      i’m not a left-winger.

      i think lieberman is a crooked, racist scumbag.

      (ok, he may be foreign minister, so he is entitled to the relevant diplomatic facilities, protection and protocol, but he’s still a crooked, racist scumbag and his party are not much better, nor are most of the people in the current government)

      i think you’re a disgrace. you confirm every single prejudice some of the sillier people here have about israel and zionism. thanks a lot.

      b’shalom

      bananabrain

    54. emanuel appel — on 15th April, 2010 at 10:07 pm  

      dear bananabrain,

      You miss the point.
      The goyim and the LEFT ideologues focus on Liberman as a personality in order to attack the State.

      Do you ever see them attacking Abbas or other Hamas personalities? No.

    55. vildechaye — on 19th April, 2010 at 12:52 am  

      I’m prepared to take Fayyad at his word, as he seems to be a decent bloke and wants the best for his people. That being said, he is a modernizer in a body politic where western-style modernization is not exactly a given, and there is hardly a guarantee that what Fayyad says, whether in English or Arabic, is actually what comes to pass, or that Fayyad will actually be in charge, or, for that matter, alive, when and if the Palestinian state does come to pass.

      On the other hand, there are facts already on the ground. There is not a single Jew living in the neighboring country of Jordan. Saudi Arabia doesn’t even let Jews in (that was their stated policy for a while, now they hide it, but i wouldn’t expect if you wearing a magen david around your neck your chances of getting in will diminish significantly). Obviously, no jews live there either. The prejudice against Jews in all the neighboring arab countries, including Egypt, is palpable and certainly no less than anything Lieberman advocates.

      And while it is no doubt not completely true that Arabs can live anywhere in West Jerusalem, it is far less untrue than where Jews may live in Arab countries, given the fact that there are over 1 million Arab citizens of Israel, and there isn’t 1/10th that number of Jews in the entire Arab/Muslim world, including Iran, Turkey and Morroco.

    56. Lese Majeste — on 28th April, 2010 at 12:12 am  

      Avigdor Liberman is the foreign minister of Israel.
      Whether you like it or not, you deal with him as the foreigners that you are, hat in hand and on bended knee.

      The internal affairs of another country is not your business unless they threaten yours. Are you A-rabs? If not, shut up.

      Sorry, bub, but as long as the corrupt and bought out US Congress keeps sending our tax money to Apartheid Israel and keeps giving thousands of tons of weapons, like they did when Apartheid Israel was perpetuating genocide in Gaza in late 2008 and as long as more billions are given to Apertheid Israel in the form of ‘loans,’ which are never repaid, then I’ve got a G-d given right to protest about how MY tax money is being used.

      You want us Americans to STFU about Apartheid Israel?

      Then get off the welfare rolls and stop sucking the USA dry.

      P.S. Didn’t Apartheid Israel get enough loot when their agents like ‘Bernie’ Madoff stole hundreds of billions out of 401k retirement acounts and pension plans on Wall Street and shipped it to Israel?

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