Anti-Semitism

 Posted by on April 16, 2010
Apr 162010
 

Over the past few years, we’ve had various discussions here about current events.  Some of the debates have been heated, and some of the comments have been very personal and vociferous, particularly on subjects like Gaza and Israel.

I’ve been accused of being anti-Semitic, anti- Arab, anti-Palestinian, anti-Israeli, when in fact all I am is anti-nonsense.

One of the regular commenters (thesystemworks) in favour of the Israeli position has at least had the courtesy to be logical and reasonable during these discussions, and some time ago I offered him the opportunity to write a piece on anti-Semitism if he felt that my coverage was biased.

Here it is, unedited.  There’s much in it that I disagree with, but contrary to popular belief, people contributing to this site are not required to agree with me if they don’t want to.

________________

Introduction

To a decent person, there can be no reasons or causes for anti-Semitism, only excuses. These excuses have, throughout time, been astoundingly varied and even contradictory (as befits the world’s oldest prejudice). Jews have been attacked for being Communists, but also for being ‘rootless cosmopolitan’ capitalists by the Communists themselves. Jews get attacked (sometimes by well-meaning people) for being insular, but at the same time for being great assimilated insiders who infiltrate financial systems and governments.

On top of that, Jews are often criticised, slandered and caricatured as being obsessed with anti-Semitism. Today that criticism is mostly decorated towards Israel, but it has more pedigree than the modern state. Before the Second World War, the parlours of Europe and the backwaters of America were full of voices asking: ‘Who are these bloody Jews, always brandishing past wounds’ who were perhaps ‘trying to lead us into a war not in our interest’. The American isolationist movement, represented by America First, has gone down in history as one that attracted far too many people of THAT persuasion. Some of the darker elements of the current anti-war movement will be remembered the same way. Yet this example shows how Jewish fears have never been unfounded. Jew-hatred, for a start, is no more dangerous than say, hatred of the Kurds – they have both led to genocide and mass displacement. What anti-Semitism is, however, is different. Lots of people hate blacks and Asians, yet there aren’t many people who believe blacks or Asians are trying to control the world, the global financial system or the media. There are few conspiracy theories about other peoples. It’s the Jews who seem to take this kind of stuff, though it’s shared with the Freemasons sometimes.

I want to go into specifically why anti-Semitism needs addressing today, as well as the challenges facing Jews in doing so. I’ll do this later on. First, it’s best to look at the phenomenon itself.

A Brief History of Anti-Semitism

The best way to analyse anti-Semitism is probably to look at history: to see how the Gentile societies have interacted with Jews over time, examine those societies, and spot any major trends.

Jews are the last survivors of antiquity, of the ‘classical civilisations’. Babylon, Ancient Egypt, Persia, Ancient Greece and Rome are dead and buried, and the current ethnic stock in those places has little to do with their ancient namesakes. The earliest Jewish-Gentile relations we have a decent record of are from the height of Greek civilisation. The word anti-Semitism did not exist then (that would be thousands of years in the making), so I am looking at hatred directed towards Jews for any reason, religious, ethnic or national. We have negative accounts of Jews from various Greek sources. Seneca lambasted the Jews for being lazy: how could a people enjoy a holiday after every six days of work, regardless of the Jew’s social or economic prestige? The writer Apion criticised Jews for simply not being pagan, but also was probably the first revisionist historian: he argued the Jews were not an ancient people, but a bunch of imposters who recently made up their history. It was a matter of Greek pride that Jews could not have more history or pedigree than the Greeks. Arguably, the first written rebuttal to an anti-Jewish thinker was written on the basis of this (Flavius Josephus’s ‘Against Apion’, kind of like an early Dershowitz-Finkelstein affair). The pre-Christian writers who attacked Jews generally did so due to an alleged clannishness, insularity and superstitions. And yet, Aristotle spoke fondly of the Jews, as did his successor Theophrastus. The negative attitudes towards Jews was not universal, and some Greek leaders like Alexander the Great treated the Jews as equals and rewarded his Jewish-Greek citizens for their loyalty. Anti-Jewish myths were at that time part and parcel of the Greek attitude to foreigners in general. All non-Greeks were regarded as brutish and uncivilised. So the Greeks used onomatopoeic wordplay to describe them – ‘barbarians’, an imitation of the bleating of sheep. They felt the same way about Jews as they did all of their neighbours. Any hatred towards Jews was essentially on nationalistic grounds.

Something changed with the birth of Christianity. Perhaps it was the fact that many Christians defined themselves primarily in opposition to the Jews, a living people. Christians saw themselves, and many still do, as the new chosen people, part of a new covenant. The Jews, on the other hand, were rejected and cursed. Christian art portrayed the Jews as blind and stubborn for clinging onto something they didn’t like – particularly important because the continued existence of Judaism, no matter how dominant Christianity became, could be very embarrassing for the new religion that felt it was a ‘perfected’ version of the old. Some of the portrayals the early church thinkers concocted pervade Christian thinking today: Judaism was and is still sometimes seen as the religion of strict law as opposed to love, with a vengeful God coming against the Christian God of mercy (despite the fact they are meant to be the same God).

These teachings of contempt were the seeds of the phenomenon that was the Middle Ages. Or at least, the Jewish experience of it. Do we even need to go into this one in detail? The Crusaders, blood libels, allegations of well poisoning, getting blamed for the plague, the expulsions from almost every country in Western Europe, the ghettoes (actually, a Muslim invention) – and it seemed from Luther’s tirades in The Jews and Their Lies being matched by Papal hate-mongering there was really no haven from it. It was a formative time for Jewish world. The epicentre of the Jewish world had to move to Eastern Europe, which lasted until the 1940s. The teachings of Christianity gave birth to a persecuting society, made all the worse by the centrality of Christianity in those societies.

Then there was the great white hope: The Enlightenment. Yes, with a capital E – sounds promising. The Age of Enlightenment was the era when reason began to supersede religious revelation or superstition in importance. So, considering the fraught Christian-Jewish relations so far, it could be expected to get better for the Jews. The American and French Revolutions had declared all men are created equal, and America would become a haven for persecuted people from all over the world, not least the Jews. So in an era when Nietzsche declared God to de dead, how could Judeophobia continue to exist in the secular nation state? The answer came in science. Actually, it was a blend of Darwinism and sociology. Most people do not appreciate just how big eugenics was before WW2. Even the minimum wage was introduced primarily because guys like Sidney Webb and the Fabian socialists thought it would lock blacks, the lower races and other undesirables out of the workplace and starve them out of existence (or at least, keep their numbers down). It was a science eagerly adopted by the intelligentsia, the progressives, and mostly the non-religious. Wilhelm Marr, an atheist German journalist, gave us the name anti-Semitism – he needed the new name to mark a change from the past. Racial anti-Semitism, the idea of Jewish blood poisoning Europe, was born.

This did not come out of nowhere. Enlightenment thinkers, the finest minds of Europe, were not particularly keen on Jews even in the new era. Kant called the Jews ‘the vampires of society’, while Fichte argued all Jews needed to be decapitated. The greatest German philosopher of the twentieth century, Martin Heidegger was an early and enthusiastic convert to Nazism and remained silent for the rest of his life over his betrayal of his Jewish colleagues, as well as his fawning words for Hitler. Old hatreds cannot die overnight. The greatest tragedy of all this was its culmination during the Shoah. Christians could work for the conversion of Jews, but the racial anti-Semites could only aspire to their physical elimination. A painful event in Medieval Spain fore-shadowed all this: the Inquisition. The Inquisition was launched supposedly to root out ‘secret Jews’ from the ranks of recent converts to Christianity. Benzion Netanyahu (yes, Bibi’s father) is the foremost scholar on this era and the authority on Medieval Jewish history. His landmark work on the history of Jews in Spain argued that most of the Jews who did convert at that time were assimilationists – willing converts to Christianity. The small number of forced converts who did not truly adhere to their new religion were merely used in a propagandistic way by the Inquisitors to allege a broader resistance movement. According to Netanyahu, Christian society had never accepted the new converts, for the same reasons Dreyfuss was much later by French society – a Jewish background. There was a good reason for prominent Spaniards to get behind this: Jews that converted to Christianity were exempt from all economic regulations and sumptuary laws imposed on Jews. Now that Jews could join the professions, established Spanish families feared these new Christians ousting them from their prominent positions and exposing them to competition. The painful lesson: no matter how far Jews go to appease the Gentiles, even to the point of getting baptised, it’s not enough. Anti-Semitism will still exist in some form.

Excuses, Excuses

Before we move on to the modern age, we can test whether common excuses or explanations for anti-Semitism hold water, when we are able to look at history before and during the Shoah. As anti-Semitism is an ever evolving doctrine, which history clearly shows, specific explanations are simple fallacy and don’t deserve much space (sorry to spoil the surprise). Statistics show the two most common excuses are:

  1. The Jews possess too much wealth and power.
  2. The  Jews arrogantly claim they are the chosen people.

The first theory is very simple to debunk: Firstly, do anti-Semites persecute wealthy non-Jews as well? At no time in history have Jews been the only wealthy people.  As soon as the hater decides to single out wealthy Jews and ignore wealthy non-Jews, economics no longer can be the cause for this hatred. Similarly, Jews were hated for centuries for being usurers, but legislation in most Christian countries (that banned usury among Christians) forbade Jews from entering any other profession or owning land, partly to actually encourage Jews into usury. These restrictions existed centuries before the Shylocks of the world, and wouldn’t have existed if there wasn’t hatred of Jews beforehand.

Secondly, for the economic theory to be valid, Jews must be noticeably more advantaged in terms of wealth compared to their peers. This was not the case in the fiercely anti-Semitic Russia under the Tsar. The Jews who lived in the shtetls (small agricultural settlements) of Russia and Poland, immortalised in musicals like Fiddler on the Roof and the stories of Sholem Aleichem were, to put it bluntly, dirt poor and powerless. Studies reveal the average Jewish family in the Russian Empire at the beginning of the 20th Century owned one pair of shoes per household. Most Jews wore the same outfit during the week, every week, with one for Shabbat. Forty percent of Jews were unemployed, and there was a forty percent child mortality rate. Yet Prof. Zvi Gitelman, of the University of Michigan, found that in 1905 during a four day period in October, there were 649 pogroms in Russia. And this was small compared to the height of pogroms in the 1880s. The anti-Jewish campaigns caused 40% of Russian Jews to emigrate. Famously, refugees from these pogroms were the bulk of early Zionist settlers and a major motivation for the early Zionist movement.

The ‘Chosen People Theory is even easier to debunk. If the claim to ‘chosen-ness’ gives rise to anti-Semitism, then it should give rise to hatred of other people who make similar claims. Yet it doesn’t.  Is it not, after all, Christian belief that once Jesus made his appearance, and the Jews rejected him, G-d changed his mind about His “choice” of the Jews? At that point the Christians became G-d’s new chosen people. Why don’t the anti-Semites hate them? It is a fundamental aspect of Christian doctrine, as much as it is to Jews. Muslims also believe that G-d spoke to their Patriarch Abraham, as is recorded in the Bible. But they replace Isaac with Ishmael, the ‘father of the Arabs’. According to Islam, G-d made the Moslems His chosen people when Mohammed was chosen as a prophet. Anti-Semites don’t hate the Muslims, however (remember that Marr didn’t care about Arabs, though ‘anti-Semitism’ taken literally might refer to them – he just wanted a more scientific label for Jew-hatred, and Arabs were never a concern of his writings).

How Hate Is Legitimised Today

The heydays of Christian anti-Judaism and racial anti-Semitism have passed. More modern forms of anti-Semitism recycle many of the theories, but it has all been legitimised in new ways. Make no mistake: we have a problem on our hands. The level of anti-Jewish crime has been at its highest since the War, which is the only reason that I write on such a dismal subject. In post-war Britain and America, most Jews for the first time in history grew up in an era without significant anti-Semitism. Many Jews in advanced countries never experienced it at all, and were never concerned about it until the present day. Some people, however, don’t even like to acknowledge it. Norman Finkelstein told the Israeli filmmaker Yoav Shamir that anti-Semitism simply doesn’t exist anymore, and was clearly angry at even having to address the topic in the film ‘Defamation’. Noam Chomsky has dismissed it, saying Islamophobia is a far bigger priority. Ken Loach, when asked his opinion on the rise of anti-Semitism considered it a ‘red herring’. These people will be no help in our modern struggle: they are in fact part of the problem. Chomsky and his ilk could easily look up the FBI statistics for hate crimes in America. The FBI counted 967 anti-Jewish crimes in 2006, verses 156 against Muslims. After blacks, Jews are the biggest victims of hate crimes in America today. There are about twice as many anti-black crimes, but this is still quite shocking when you consider there are six times as many blacks in America as there are Jews. Similarly, the London Metropolitan Police count four times as many anti-Jewish hate crimes in 2009, in the wake of Cast Lead, than Muslim ones (Muslims out-number Jews 4 or 5 to 1 in Britain). Of course, the reason why many people ignore these easily checkable statistics is that the facts don’t suit their agenda. Many thinkers and activists work hard to make us aware of growing Islamophobia since 9/11, or hype up the threat, to exploit it for their cause. Similarly, knowledge of growing anti-Semitism can damage these movements, though most try hard to distance themselves from the phenomenon.

In January 2009, the police reported 220 anti-Semitic attacks in Britain in five weeks alone. Brondesbury Park Synagogue in Willesden was firebombed. A gang of between 15 and 20 youths rampaged around Golders Green one day, forcing their way into Jewish restaurants and shops to scream abuse and threatening slogans, focusing especially on the London Jewish Family Centre (where Jewish ladies go for Pilates classes and the like – surely a Zionist front?). A Jewish motorist was also dragged from his car and assaulted. People stood outside synagogues, like Marble Arch, when they knew Jewish worshippers were arriving to shout things like ‘Hitler should have finished the job’. Countries with significant Jewish and Muslim communities suffered the worst, with the exception of Venezuela, which has very little Muslims but had some of the most shocking incidences. In Toulouse, a car containing bombs was rammed through the front gates of a synagogue and exploded. A Chabad centre in Paris was hit by nine Molotov cocktails in a single night.

Countless millions of people around the world took to the streets to protest the Iraq War. They shouted ‘Not In My Name’, ‘War Is Not The Answer’, ‘Stop The War’ and so on. This was not the language of the protestors of the Gaza War. In Times Square, they gathered to shout about ‘Israel: The Fourth Reich’. In LA, Stars of David got replaced by swastikas on Israeli flags, with ‘Upgrade to Holocaust Version 2.0’ underneath. The protests were disgraceful in tone. Posters put on synagogues proclaimed slogans like ‘Gaza – The New Shoah’ and another read, ‘Hamas Recognises Israeli Genocide’. Not only did these display ignorance, but a huge pride in that ignorance – or at least a cocky self-assuredness in their mistakenness typical of the Israel-haters.

The language was not confined to pot-heads on the street, nor Islamic fundamentalists or Arab nationalists/racists. Venezuela’s Hugo Chavez went on TV to say ‘Don’t Jews repudiate the Holocaust? And this is precisely what we’re witnessing’. It is not surprising that fifteen armed men broke into Caracas’s main synagogue and held the caretaker at gunpoint, with an explosive thrown into another. Catholic cardinals called Gaza a ‘big concentration camp’. A few days, even hours, in an actual Nazi concentration camp, and I’m sure they would give their teeth to live in Gaza.

How is this hate being legitimised? Hate cannot be publicly aired without a justification, and there has been a lot of excuse-making recently. There is a pattern in the history of anti-Semitism. In the Middle Ages, and when the Christian Churches were at the height of their power, religion was the supreme source of authority. Hostility to Jews was therefore based mostly on religion. When religion lost much of its influence in 19th Century Europe, the justification was based on social Darwinism and racial science. Science has lost its pristine image of offering unfettered progress since the heyday of eugenics and the invention of the atom bomb. What has emerged as the supreme source of authority in our day is the doctrine of human rights, thanks in no small part to the Shoah. ‘Human rights’ is the new religion, and its holy texts are the Geneva Convention and various UN and EU Charters. Some of these were formulated with preventing another Holocaust as their primary aim. Members of the Church of Human Rights read these texts literally and without compromise. Ironically, they read these documents in the way Jews and Israelis are traditionally ridiculed over, the ‘eye for an eye’ method. They allow for no alternative readings or context-placement. The most fundamentalist branches of the Church of Human Rights are the Palestinian Solidarity Campaigns, a part of the Church of Palestinian Victimhood. The followers of this cult are the most fanatical and dour of worshippers – the Amish or Puritans of the broader movement that allows for no deviation from the cause.

The hi-jacking of human rights to demonise Israel, and by implication, the Jewish world, is one of the most significant developments of our lifetime. It is part of the broader movement to place a halo over the head of groups with a questionable cause. Today, the BNP and the KKK have the gall to call themselves human rights organisations for white people. The Muslim Public Affairs Committee, a British hate group that now has an Irish presence adopts the same tactic, as did the blatantly anti-Semitic ‘Ireland’s Friends of Palestine against Lisbon’. The full flowering of this new anti-Semitism can be seen from people like Mick Napier, the Chairman of the Scottish Palestine Solidarity Campaign. Not only is he awaiting trial at Edinburgh Sheriff Court for racially aggravated assault, he justifies Arab murder of Jewish children (namely, the slaughter at Mercaz HaRav) on the basis that they may soon oppress Arabs. For someone who claims to believe in human rights, it’s very odd that he justifies Arabs punishing Israeli teenagers on the basis of a crime they have not yet committed, and are in reality extremely unlikely to commit. It would seem to run contrary to most people’s conception of justice. Could you imagine if the Israeli government announced it would start killing Arab children indiscriminately because they may one day become terrorists? Even worse, of course, was the anti-Semitic hate fest of the Durban Conference in 2001, where Israel and no other nation was accused by the most vile and racist states, and their useful idiots, of all the cardinal sins of the post-Holocaust world. Thankfully, decency won a victory in 2009.

Today’s most dangerous anti-Semites pose as friends. Their strategy is ingenious. They of course acknowledge anti-Semitism is evil, and the Holocaust as the most evil crime against humanity. Any decent person must adopt the same attitude. However, in their moral blindness they see a moral equivalence between Israel’s behaviour towards the Palestinians and the Nazi treatment of the Jews. Therefore, if you oppose anti-Semitism, you must oppose Israel and its supporters, who just happen to be Jews. This has proven to be of devastating effectiveness. Whether it is from Communists, the Green movement or Muslims adopting Western suits and decent language, Jews and their allies must see through this farce. These individuals are enemies if the Jewish people and by extension, humanity.

There is one logical conclusion to all this: to fight evil and prejudice, we must fight the demonization of Israel, argue the case of the Jewish state incessantly and get the truth out there. When respected academics and journalists, including such figures as Edward Said and Robert Fisk, attribute made-up racist quotes to Jewish leaders (oh, they’ve done it) we must be there armed with the truth. When the BBC airs news programs from the Middle East obtaining all its footage and sources from local Palestinians without questioning them (happens all the time) we must be there. When the UN is hi-jacked by despotic Muslim regimes and tries to pass another Israel-bashing resolution, we must be there. They brought Ahmadenijad to speak at an anti-racism conference. We brought Elie Wiesel.

It’s going to be tough. Israel’s enemies have convinced themselves they are radicals taking on a powerful ‘Lobby’ (a complete straw man and convenient scapegoat for all our post 9/11 ills). Regardless of the fact there is a distinct lack of risk in criticising Israel, our enemies pat themselves on the back for being so ‘brave’ in doing so at their cocktail parties.

But we know the Jewish State. We know we stand for this:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Oa0af9xYiCw&feature=related

Rather than this:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MpGRBu7mzrg&feature=player_embedded

We are on the side of truth, and history will prove that. Let us hope that history proves us right before more masses of Jews die.

  127 Responses to “Anti-Semitism”

Comments (126) Pingbacks (1)
  1.  

    “Could you imagine if the Israeli government announced it would start killing Arab children indiscriminately because they may one day become terrorists?”

    No, I can’t imagine the Israeli government being that equivocal.

    Would you not consider the actions of the IDF in Gaza as the indisciminate killing of Arab children?

    If you are attempting to equate loathing for the actions of the IDF (and, by extension the State of Israel) with anti-semitism, you have failed.

    Try again.

  2.  

    That is not what I’m doing, BoldPilot. I’ve said this on this site many times: Israel has many problems. There is such thing as constructive and honest criticism of Israel, as there is of any state. Its the reckless demonisation, the lies, the de-legitimization that is the problem. And it is showing. Both sides of the debate have to be honest.

    Do you really think the IDF High Command gather around and say ‘Hmmm, how many children shall we kill today?’ The attack on Gaza was genuinely an attempt to hunt down Hamas operatives. Whether it was a wise thing to do or not is up for debate. For instance, many children were likely to be killed in an operation like this. Whether they should have gone ahead with it is a vexed question. The UN Goldstone Report suggests they shouldn’t have. Richard Goldstone himself said Israel should stick to tactics like targeted killings and small-scale incursions as was happening before Cast Lead. Tzipi Livni says she shouldn’t have to be punished for making the tough decision to clamp down on terror.

    But the IDF did not want to indiscriminately kill kids. There is no evidence for that kind of assertion. Thats not the IDF I know. Thats not the kind of soldiers I know.

  3.  

    Thesystemworks

    Very interesting piece. I, like you believe that many of Israel’s most fierce critics are using anti Zionism to disguise their anti semitism.

    However, as someone who has blogged about this issue extensively I am convinced that many of Israel’s most passionate supporters will cry anti semitism far too early.

    Take operation Cast Lead for example. Most observers of that conflict are not scholars of the history of anti semitism. Your excellent article would mean very little to them in the context of that war. All they know is that 13 Israelis died compared to 1400 Palestinians. It is natural that their sympathy would ly with the Palestinians. Anti semitism is a very loaded term and it should not be thrown about lightly. To do so robs the term of it’s significance.

    Ted

  4.  

    You are right about many Israelis and their defenders, Ted. Both Israelis and Arabs have a well developed culture of victim hood, and it makes peace harder to achieve. Where Israel’s comes from is obvious.

    Endemic in the Arab world is a culture of blaming Israel, and the conflict, for all the ills of the Arab countries. This was covered well in the excellent ‘Myths, Illusions and Peace: Finding a New Direction for America in the Middle East’ by Dennis Ross and David Makovsky. Ross was the American Chief Negotiator during Camp David and author of the very good ‘The Missing Peace’.

    However, while Israelis are ridiculed for bringing up past wounds and playing the anti-Semitism card too often, the Arabs are rarely subject to the same criticism. They are even encouraged to play the victim card by ‘post-colonial’ scholars like Edward Said (may his legacy be erased).

    While I regrettably didn’t go into it in this piece, I did want to address the accusation that Israel exploits the Holocaust and such to justify their actions. I find the extent to which that happens is actually minimal. Especially compared to how often Israels enemies invoke the Holocaust (after George Bush, Ariel Sharon was called a Nazi more than any other figure in modern history), along with many other interest groups (including PETA!), for their campaigns.

    On Cast Lead I see where your coming from. Israelis are often criticised for not dying well enough. Though its important to remember that every explosive tip in a Qassam rocket is more powerful than any explosive used in the 7/7 bombings. Our saving grace has been their inaccuracy. I’ve seen the damage those rockets can do if, heaven forbid, they hit a train or a crowded bus. I visited a kibbutz where a house was essentially destroyed by a single Qassam. Luckily, early warning systems and building regulations have minimised the damage, though not as much as the inaccuracy of the weapon itself.

  5.  

    Great piece TSW. Well done.

  6.  

    “May his legacy be erased”?

  7.  

    Here we go again. The article boils down to the claim that:

    anti-Zionism = anti-Semitism.

    Fallacious and infantile.

    Anti-Semitism undeniably exists throughout the world and should be fought. I suspect it’s growth is partly fueled by the treatment of Palestinians by Israel since it’s inception. And it is driven by the equally fallacious notion that to attack Jews is to gain some kind of revenge against the Israeli State by proxy.

    Modern day Israel is an apartheid state. Naming at such somehow makes me an anti-Semite!?

    South Africa was an apartheid state. Those who opposed apartheid in South Africa, should by the logic of the article above be called anti-white racists, I suppose.

    I name Saudi Arabia as a totalitarian theocratic monarchy, propped up by the US until all its oil reserves have been extracted. I guess that makes me an anti-Arab-Semite. And probably anti-American, to boot.

    I’m more than happy for anyone to criticize the Irish state and society for it’s myriad failings, but I undertake not to accuse them of anti-Irish prejudice.

  8.  

    Is this guy for real,or is it a wind up?

  9.  

    It isn’t a wind-up. He has commented extensively in every Israel-related thread on this site and during the course of one debate I offfered him the opportunity to state his case without interruption by writing a post. That means a single post, not a series, so I suppose you could call it a soapbox. It definitely won’t become a platform.

  10.  

    Think scapegoat and you’re there.
    Anti anyone can be taken right back the to a desire to be able to point to a scapegoat to cover up a deep personal fucked-up emotional issue; always.
    Remember it’s only possible for people to be anti other people’
    People are both subject to and subservient to, their emotions.
    The intensity varies with each of us as we’re not all the same.
    Luckily.

  11.  

    There are many questions I might ask of you TSW but I have asked in the past and not found satifactory answers from you.
    The only question I would appreciate your answer to is in regard to your comment on Edward Said
    ” May his legacy be erased ” Why would you say that ?….

  12.  

    I asked the same thing and received no response. It’s very sinister.

  13.  

    Norma: ask any question you want right here. I give good questions good answers. At least, I like to think so.

    On Edward Said: I try not to roll on Shabbos, as it were, so that is why I didn’t respond. I’m quite tired and have to travel to Kent early in the morning, so I can’t go into detail now. For one thing there are the many lies of Edward Said. Though especially perverse was Said’s poisoning of academia and Mid-East University Departments with post-colonial, politically correct bullshit that reinforced Arab prejudices and fed guilty white leftists material to last them a thousand years. The world is better off without people like Edward Said and his work. Ergo, I spit on his legacy.

    Here is a story about a thirteen year old girl owning an obvious devotee of Edward Said (you can tell by her obnoxiousness and level of meaningless guff in her sentences):

    http://www.spittoon.org/archives/5997/comment-page-1

    In the Jewish world, there is an ‘honorific’ for the wicked. It is ‘yimach sh’mo’ or ‘yimach shmo vezichro’, written for example as ‘Mohammad Amin al-Husayni ym”sh’. It means ‘may his name (or name and legacy) be erased’. I thought it be appropriate to curse Said in a similar vein.

  14.  

    You might have the courtesy to explain to your non-Hebrew-speaking readers what Shabbos is.

  15.  

    I thought everybody in the developed world would have seen the Big Lebowski by now…

    Incidentally, I have a cool ‘Shomer Shabbos’ Big Lebowski T-Shirt I love to wear in shul… explained below, if anyone needs it:

    And since I’m giving links to videos…

  16.  

    What would be wrong with Sabbath?

  17.  

    Nobody ever says ‘Sabbath’. In shul… on the street… just about everywhere, we say Shabbos (Yiddish) or Shabbat (Hebrew). ‘Sabbath’ just doesn’t role off the tongue.

  18.  

    Who are you writing for?

  19.  

    Alright, I get your point. I thought everybody would have known. At least with the film reference. And the fact ‘Shabbos’ and ‘Sabbath’ aren’t exactly a million miles apart in sound or spelling.

  20.  

    Your film reference contains an element of levity which I think is insensitive at best. In your article you refer to the “Gaza war” in which Palestinian civilians were killed by your army. Like it or not, there are thousands of grieving Palestinians whose people were wiped out by the IDF.

    Don’t call it a war. When one side has F-16s and Merkavas and the other side doesn’t, it’s not a war.

    Call it what it was: a slaughter.

    That mass killing is not an appropriate context for levity.

    When I wrote about my visit to Auschwitz, to honour my friend Henry Glanz, whose parents were murdered there, I didn’t pass it off with a joking reference to some popular movie. I tried to show some respect, as you should for the parents of the Palestinian dead in Gaza.

    No more casual movie-jokes please.

  21.  

    I wasn’t talking about Gaza. You asked me to explain the ‘Shabbos’ concept for everybody. What better way to do that than with Walter?

    I imagine you’ll hate this one though:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DQ9XpNI8hmc

    Alright, no more jokes I promise. If that is how you want to keep the debate, I’m fine with those ground rules. I just felt when we were not talking about the hostilities and the topic had switched a little there was room for fun. I always think there is room for humour. I mean, we have comedies about the Holocaust like To Be Or Not To Be, The Producers, Life is Beautiful and more. I heard a story about two men who claimed to have survived Auschwitz by finding something to laugh about every day. For Jews, humour is historically a survival mechanism they say.

    But look, Hamas had their own weapons, Bock. There are many Israelis who have mourned for loved ones because of them, the Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigades, Islamic Jihad and many others. The difference is that most soldiers of the IDF do not want to kill as many Palestinians as possible during their missions, unlike an Islamic jihadist.

  22.  

    Mel Brooks was Jewish.

    If a Palestinian wants to make a comedy about the Gaza slaughter that’s fine with me, but it isn’t your call.

  23.  

    Sorry to interupt.. but can I just say one more joke please? I can’t get a flight to Ireland at the moment and some muppet with Continental offered to fly me to Tel Aviv. Tel A fuckin Viv.. I don’t think so!

    Came across this joke recently:
    Delegates from several different countries are in an aeroplane. Suddenly it begins to lose height.
    The captain emerges from his cabin and says: ‘Gentlemen, somebody will have to sacrifice himself. The aeroplane is overloaded.’ The first to approach the hatch is a Frenchman: ‘Long live free France!’ he shouts and jumps.The second is an American: ‘Long live free America!’ he shouts and jumps. The third is a Jew: ‘Long live free Israel!’ he shouts and he seizes an Arab and throws him out.

  24.  

    ‘Mel Brooks was Jewish’

    Yeah, but Roberto Benigni is not. And Mel is still alive, to the world’s benefit.

  25.  

    Listen. Enough of this movie crap. A year ago your bombers pounded the shit out of people trapped in the open-air prison called Gaza and killed thousands of civilians. Don’t do this nonsense here. It doesn’t work.

  26.  

    What nonsense am I pulling? You said Mel Brooks WAS Jewish. He still is. I thought you might have believed him to be dead. And I’m open minded on Holocaust humour here. It can have its purpose. You seem a bit close-minded. I don’t know how many civilians were killed during Cast Lead. There were around 1300 people killed in total. But you somehow seem to know the number of innocents. Or do you? I went to Gaza as a kid in the post Oslo optimism. It certainly didn’t seem like a prison. Israelis were visiting all the time and eating in the seafood restaurants. Palestinians were commuting to work in Israel every day. Things seemed hopeful. It can be like this again, and get much better. Its not just Israel’s fault. The Palestinians have created problems for themselves over the years. Of course, members of the Church of Palestinian Victimhood can never utter such heresy. But it’s true.

  27.  

    Mel Brooks was Jewish when he made the movie. Perhaps he still is. I don’t know.

    As a Jew you are free to use Holocaust humour all you want. However, it isn’t up to you to laugh at other people’s suffering.

    Please define what you mean by the term “innocents”.

  28.  

    TSW. Your post of one vein because you have your opportunity to deliver, But when it comes to questions and answers you never fail to deliver your diehard views, With no recourse to discourse.
    I’m not going to get into defending Edward Said, his legacy, his writings and the respect in which he is held is legacy enough, It was in 1977 when Palestinians were unwilling to accept historic Jewish claims to land that he said ” I don’t deny their claims, but their claims always entails Palestinian dispossession ” Hardly the voice of an extremist.
    My apologies if I was disrespectful to Shabbath, However you were under no pressure to respond , The time was your own.
    Your comment @ 2 ” Tzipi Livni says she shouldnt be punished for making the tough decision to clamp down on terror ” What a play on words, The woman had a job to do….correct, and how do you punish someone for doing their job ?
    When that self same job transcends Law and Humanity and descends into obliteration of a peoples and the most basic human rights of those people, Operation Cast Lead was not a clampdown on terror, It will forever be remembered as the most vile and dispicible assault on a people, where the vast number of casualties were innocent victims , Whose descendents and neighbours still remain to-day deprived of basic human needs supplied by charitable donations and EU funds, Yet disallowed entry so as to ease the continued suffering.

  29.  

    In Limerick I’m glad to say the Jewish cemetery is mercifully free of any moronic Nazi insignia. Father Creagh must be rolling in his grave. However, the cemetery, which was renovated back in the 90s, thanks mainly to the efforts of the Mayor of Limerick, the late Jim Kemmy, now needs a face lift as a tree has collapsed on one of the graves and has generally fallen into disrepair. Maybe the Limerick City (or is that County) Council should look into this as said is part of the heritage of Limerick. Unfortunately, anti Semitism keeps re-inventing itself. These days it tries to deny Israel the right to defend itself against attacks
    and threats which any sovereign nation on earth has a legal and moral right to respond.

  30.  

    It’s true that any nation has the right to defend itself, but Operation Cast Lead couldn’t be called a defence by any stretch of the imagination, and this is is a view shared by many Israelis.

  31.  

    Bock you don’t get the point. The best method of defence is attack. Therefore the destruction of all of Palestine and it’s people makes perfect sense. The “poor little us” nature of the initial post is less than pathetic in my opinion .I should not comment on it, however the first two “you Tube” links what was the point TSW? Israel tolerates gay’s and even allows them to parade once a year albeit under heavy police cover and all Muslims are Jew hating paedophiles?

  32.  

    Seconds Out; Israel has the absolute right to defend itself, It would be very beneficial though if they defined exactly what is meant by ” Defend “

  33.  

    It would be beneficial all round if Hamas, Hezbollah and their sponsors in Teheran stopped
    attacking Israel and stopped denying it has a right to exist. They’ll be going on over there with their medieval, jihadist rhetoric and their plans to built nuclear weapons. And how do you reckon Tel Aviv – with its formidable nuclear arsenal – will respond to that. Do you think that Israel, armed with nukes, will allow millions of Jews to be murdered again for the second time in a 100 years by fascists.

  34.  

    This apologia is lifted almost word for word from the work of Daniel Pipes and Alan Dershowitz. It is without any rooted content; picks on Norman Finkelstein and Fisk and could be lifted word for word from any pro-Israel site – such as Litlegreenfootballs – without changing a word. It contributes nothing to the debate; and I say this as someone who “support”s Israel and who believes that anti-semitism exists in Ireland.

  35.  

    Lapsed are you saying the above is a case of outright plagiarism?

  36.  

    Mr. Ireland.. “you don’t get the point. The best method of defence is attack. Therefore the destruction of all of Palestine and it’s people makes perfect sense.” That makes perfect sense does it Gary???! Since when did murder of innocent civilians make perfect sense? If you’re just playing devil’s advocate.. I wouldn’t in this case as it’s distasteful.

  37.  

    Seconds out…. more or less. The arguments put forward don’t sit comfortably with most European thinking. However they’re almost tailored to sit with the current hysterical work of the ADL. Especially with the minimilisation of the Jewish – Muslim experience. You can see in the essay the desperate attempt to “infect” the experience of Jews under Muslim rule with the concept of ” ghetto “, for example. This tinkering with history is common with Pipes, Bat Y’eor, Dershowitz and others.

  38.  

    What’s all this anti-semitism ? I thought Arabs were Semites also. Here is a poem which may be relevant

    THEY CAME FIRST for the Communists,
    and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a Communist.

    THEN THEY CAME for the Jews,
    and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a Jew.

    THEN THEY CAME for the trade unionists,
    and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a trade unionist.

    THEN THEY CAME for the Catholics,
    and I didn’t speak up because I was a Protestant.

    THEN THEY CAME for me
    and by that time no one was left to speak up.”

    Martin Niemöller

  39.  

    Any chance they’d come for the trade unionists in this country Perfidious – some Arabs are semites

  40.  

    The neologism “anti-Semitism” was coined by a German writer and hater of Jews named Wilhelm Marrih in an attempt to replace the word Judenhass (“Jew-hatred”) with a more “scientific” term. His intent was to sanitize and otherwise dress up discourse devoted to defaming Jews. The term “Anti-Semitism” has been accepted and understood to refer specifically to the hatred and hostility toward or discrimination against Jews as a religious, ethnic, or racial group.

    While Semitic tribes (or Semites) included several groups of nomads and camel pastoralists who spoke related Semitic languages and included Arabs, Aramaeans, Jews, Carthaginians, Ethiopians, Abyssinians, and Phoenicians , the word “anti-Semitism” does not consider and include any of these other Semitic groups in its definition.

  41.  

    I have just returned from lovely Kent. The Underground is truly a mess tonight. Before collapsing into sleep, I’ll make the following points:

    Bock: Would you consider what is going on in Afghanistan right now to be a war? The Taliban cannot match NATO forces in terms of equipment (and they even have less numbers). Do your principles apply to there too? Also, I don’t think someone’s religious background should be the deciding factor of their credibility on pretty much anything. Not even humorous works on past tragedies.

    Norma: ‘My apologies if I was disrespectful to Shabbat’

    You have absolutely no need to apologise. You weren’t being disrespectful towards the Shabbat observant at all.

    Though you’ll need to provide me with some evidence of the ‘vast majority’ of Palestinian casualties during Cast Lead being civilians. The IDF puts the number of civilian casualties at just under 300, and Palestinian advocacy groups have given figures of around 900 civilians.

    lapsedmethodist: Now that is a very serious and spurious charge. I don’t read Daniel Pipes, barring one essay he has written on the history of Jerusalem (which I first saw referenced in a book, leading me to locate and read the original for myself). While I have read many of Alan Dershowitz’s books on criminal law, as well as ‘The Case For Peace’ and ‘The Case For Israel’, there is nothing like this article in any chapter of those books. The only time I have ever been on littlegreenfootballs, for your information, was to view some videos and images they posted on photo manipulation by Israel-bashers concerning the 2006 conflict in Lebanon. Please find me the words I have supposedly lifted from Pipes and Dershowitz. I sincerely doubt you have even glanced at any of Alan Dershowitz’s books. You are probably the type who posts negative reviews of pro-Israel books on Amazon lifted from Norman Finkelstein without ever reading your targets. I only criticised Norman Finkelstein once in this article. While Alan Dershowitz does that a lot, I was referring to Finkelstein’s appearance on a documentary film made long AFTER ‘The Case For Israel’ and ‘The Case For Peace’ were even published. You may also be interested in hearing that my opinion of the ADL is quite low. I disapprove of their attacks on right-wing figures like Fox news hosts and Rush Limbaugh, on issues unrelated to anti-Semitism, which have made the ADL an outlet for the Democratic Party.

    Please stop painting all Jewish activists with the same brush. I am just going to ignore you if you continue to make bogus allegations (including denying the fact the ghetto was a Muslim invention. The ‘mellah’ was a Muslim forerunner of the European Ghetto that existed in Morocco before the Ghetto of Venice, the first in Christendom), and recommend you be barred from the conversation. As I said, both sides here must be truthful.

  42.  

    I don’t believe we were talking about Afghanistan. Correct me if I’m wrong. We were talking about Gaza.

    Here’s my position in a nutshell. If I hide behind civilians, I commit a crime. If you shoot your way through those civilians to get at me, you commit a bigger crime.

  43.  

    While Semitic tribes (or Semites) included several groups of nomads and camel pastoralists who spoke related Semitic languages and included Arabs, Aramaeans, Jews, Carthaginians, Ethiopians, Abyssinians, and Phoenicians , the word “anti-Semitism” does not consider and include any of these other Semitic groups in its definition.

    idf.soldiergirl How convenient to be able to dismiss all the other Semites.
    Surely the quotation should be “I am not anti-Semitic, I am anti-Jewish”

  44.  

    Let’s not get bogged down in terminology. We can agree for the purposes of this discussion that anti-Semitic means anti-Jew.

    I’d also like to broaden the discussion a bit. Jew-hatred is a reality and it should be discussed, though not to the exclusion of other forms of hatred. Jews don’t have a monopoly on oppression, as any Irish person will tell you, or on genocide, as any Armenian or Tutsi will tell you.

    It’s unfortunate that TSW chose to drift into paranoia with statements like “Today’s most dangerous anti-Semites pose as friends”, and by trying to justify the slaughter at Gaza. These things do no favours to his case. It’s extreme arrogance to characterise opposition to Iraeli military policy as moral blindness, and displays a contempt for opponents. That sort of line is dishonest, petulant and self-pitying. Israel at the moment is doing a fair job of demonising itself without any outside help.

    Disagreeing with Israel, and condemning it when it commits crimes is not the same thing as demonising it, and if there’s any moral blindness, it lies in the inability to see that the assault on Gaza and the continuing blockade are morally wrong in every way.

  45.  

    What pisses me off is that if I say anything against the state of Isreal I am considered to be an anti semite – I have no problems with people of the Jewish faith but I do have a problem with Isreali foreign policy.

    I wish Isreal would stop playing the anti semite card….

  46.  

    But surely Bock there is a huge anti-Semitic presence in some of the most powerful and influential Israel-bashing groups. For instance, the Chairman of the IPSC is a state-funded composer of Aosdana by the name of Raymond Deane. He is a paranoid hack who believes Israeli propaganda pervades our daily lives. He wrote a letter into the Irish Independent recently claiming the IDF never sent a medical team into Haiti, where possibly thousands of lives were saved by the IDF. He claimed the medical team landed there to take pictures of themselves an go home. The paper actually printed this vile and dangerous lie. They did not print my response, and the anti-Semite Raymond Deane’s charge went unanswered. I don’t like to throw around the ‘anti-Semitism’ charge, believe me, but when I see something like that I ask myself why someone would peddle such an obvious lie if they were not anti-Semitic. The IPSC and others do this stuff all the time, its not an isolated incident.

    Interesting aside on Israeli medical teams: Shortly after Israeli troops withdrew from Gaza, a Magen David Adom clinic was set up on the Israeli side of the Erez crossing. It was seen firsthand by Shadow Defense Secretary Liam Fox MP on a visit there. All the Israeli personnel working at the clinic speak Arabic and are giving their services away for free to Palestinians (I believe its still there, hence the present tense). There are no patients at this clinic as Hamas diverts those seeking medical attention away from the area and forbids Palestinians to seek medical attention from Magen David Adom. The Palestinians have done this before. Israel offered to helicopter over 200 seriously wounded Palestinians (including combatants) to Israeli hospitals during the Second Intifada at one time, who were likely to die under Arab care. The PA refused to let them be treated. Perversely, those Palestinians that subsequently died are placed in conflict statistics as killed by Israel.

    Though I feel its a shame wider aspects of Jew-hatred have not been discussed so far, like Christian and Muslim ‘confessional’ anti-Semitism, or where Musslolini and Franco as non-Nazi fascists stood on anti-Semitism (this area is pretty fascinating. Franco saved more Jews during WWII that neutral Ireland).

  47.  

    “Do you really think the IDF High Command gather around and say ‘Hmmm, how many children shall we kill today?’”

    Based on the evidence available to me, I am led to the conclusion that the IDF didn’t even consider the civilian population of Gaza as worthy of a first, let alone second, thought. They treated the residents of Gaza as sub-human.

    “Tzipi Livni says she shouldn’t have to be punished for making the tough decision to clamp down on terror.”

    I hope Ms Livni has a robust line of defence should she ever find herself facing the International Court of Justice. We may yet see that day come to pass.

    “But the IDF did not want to indiscriminately kill kids. There is no evidence for that kind of assertion. Thats not the IDF I know. Thats not the kind of soldiers I know.”

    The behaviour of the IDF in Gaza last year cannot be denied, much less justified. I think it’s worth pointing out (to readers here) that the IDF is not exclusively comprised of full time professional service personnel. Israel has conscription, and (with limited exceptions), males serve 3 years and women 2 years, with a recurring obligation to serve one month every year. I have to wonder to what degree the atrocities committed in Gaza are attributable to poor discipline and blood-lust, and not just official strategy.

    I get twitchy when entire nations (such as Israel) are labelled by the actions of one sector of their society. With that in mind I’d like to offer readers a few fact that you, TSW, may well find inconvenient.

    Your choice of words (using the Yiddish “Shabbos” in place of the far more common “Shabbat” in Hebrew) is interesting. It suggests to me that you are of the Reform, or possibly Conservative, branches of Judaism. It should be pointed out that the population of Israel is not exclusively Jewish. Some 10 to 20 percent of the population (depending on which sources you choose to believe) do not identify themselves as Jews.

    Of the remainder who claim Jewish ethnicity, only 63% believe in a god at all, to say nothing of those who are Jewish in name only, and are not observant. Conservative Jews are very much a minority in Israel.

    Internally, Israel is a secular and largely tolerant society. There are Israeli Arabs, Arab Jews, Israeli Muslims, Arab and Israeli Christians, Baha’i, athiests, agnostics, chancers and spoofers. In that respect, Israel is just like any modern western democracy, really.

    So, TSW, I find your choice of words interesting. When you use two apparently polar labels (Jew and Arab) you display your true colours. Your words have a ring reminiscent of the language used by Jews like the late Meir Kahane. He and his ilk were instrumental in the ethnic cleansing of Palestinians that led to the Intifada, and the subsequent creation of the ghetto that is Gaza.

    Islam does not have a monopoly on extremism, you know.

  48.  

    Iknow nothing about Raymond Deane and I can’t comment on what he says or does. However, terminology like “Israel-bashing groups” is meaningless. If I set up an organisation to protest at Israeli policy towards Palestinians, would that be an Israel-bashing group?

  49.  

    I class the IPSC as ‘Israel bashers’ and ‘Israel haters’ for a few reasons. For one, they don’t seem to stop at protesting Israeli policies in relation to the conflict, settlements and such. They also seem to endorse lying as a tactic to achieve their aims.

    I glanced through their website once to read opinion pieces written by their members. This included attacks on Israeli authors like Amos Oz. They claimed his books were trash and only sold among ‘apologetic Germans’. Now, Amos Oz primarily writes romantic fiction, or fictional drama. His novels stay away from politics. He is a better writer than anyone in the IPSC will ever be, and is also a prominent dove. The IPSC were attacking the work of an Israeli author for no other reason than because he is an Israeli. It had nothing to do with the conflict. This is a hatred, a hatred of anything to do with Israel, and it is dangerous.

    I agree with this fellow 100%:

    http://twentymajor.net/2005/03/21/ireland-palestine-solidarity-campaign/

    http://twentymajor.net/2005/03/30/irish-palestine-solidarity-campaign/

    I have no problem with an organisation that is sympathetic to the Palestinians, but why must these people lie so much?

  50.  

    BoldPilot: You listed some facts you claim I might ‘find inconvenient’. The first fact you gave was wrong, and was anyway completely unrelated to the topic at hand. I am committed to Orthodox Judaism. I attend an Orthodox synagogue, and only ever attend Orthodox synagogues unless I’m visiting a wedding or function in a non-Orthodox one. In fact, the Rabbi of my congregation is not only Orthodox, he is a Chassid.

    The use of ‘Shabbos’, as in ‘Gut Shabbos’, is probably more likely amongst the Orthodox, in fact. Especially so considering that much of the Ashkenazi Haredi population use Yiddish as their vernacular language (including my own rabbi, who speaks it in the home, and whose children use it on the playground in their school in Stamford Hill). Again, this is all completely unrelated to the topic.

    You seem to assume I have no knowledge of Israeli demographics, as well as assuming I care about the number of Conservative (or Masorti) Jews in Israel. I am aware a huge bulk of Israeli Jews are completely secular. On my first night out in Tel Aviv, I went out with a few people I met at a hostel. I woke up in a bathtub in a house full of junior doctors. Much of what actually happened that night I cannot remember. Tel Aviv, Eilat, Haifa, Givatayim, Ramat Gan… most Jews here are secular or not particularly observant. Tel Aviv is just sex, sex and more sex. Honestly, I’ve never seen a place where it is so easy to get laid. You don’t have to try very hard. If you don’t want to try at all, any particular vice can be purchased.

    This doesn’t mean these people are not Jewish. Anyone born of a Jewish mother is a Jew. Judaism is not a religion in the way Christianity is. Judaism has no formal creed, and is based around a legal system rather than belief. Jews are referred to in the Bible as a ‘nation’ and that is the term I like most. It says a lot about Jewish identity. This stuff was obvious until the nineteenth century, when the Reform movement came to be formed in Germany. The Reformists wanted to turn Judaism into an ethical creed, devoid of the centrality of Jewish law. They also removed references to the Land of Israel from the prayerbooks, and any notion of its restoration as a Jewish Kingdom. Essentially, they wanted Christianity without Jesus. Indeed, David Friedlander, one of the fathers of the movement tried to achieve such a thing via a mass baptism. This is what has caused a lot of confusion, though the Reform movement has retracted many of these changes and regrets them. It is now even officially Zionist.

    On Meir Kahane: You seem to have an inflated view of his influence. His party won a single seat in the Knesset, and was later banned. His movement did form part of a terrorist underground that emerged amongst settlers in the 1980s, but Israeli police and intelligence has kept very much on top of them. I think CNN estimated there are a few hundred of them now, mostly engaged in vandalism and such. Kahane was never involved in Cabinet affairs and was always politically isolated. He had no influence on Gaza policy, and certainly never succeeded in some ‘ethnic cleansing’ plot. You seem to be one of those hysterical people who are convinced a constant ethnic cleansing project is going on in Israel, and mere facts will not change their opinion on the matter. It is a fundamental aspect of the ‘thinking’ of Israel-bashers. They will twist any information they receive, sometimes very creatively, to fit this conviction.

    Kahane may have had more respect in Israel before he came there. When he was in America he was well known to be a great activist on the Soviet Jewry crisis, and anti-Nazi activist (as can be seen from the following videos of a younger Kahane at Skokie, where Nazis attempted to march through a village with thosands of Holocaustt survivors):

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kI1O4QzWU18

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IIXubdoXClk

    For your interest, there is a fantastic debate between Meir Kahane and Alan Dershowitz during the early 80s available online:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_mfnsRA2EEw

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bo70FvlBGqI

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yiLUnnxiAsI

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GMe08ASETtI

    So in short, Kahane had little support and was widely reviled in Israel:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j9_ZiTovRAs

    He may have had much good to say on Judaism, but in terms of his political vision I have no love for it.

  51.  

    I can’t speak on behalf of the IPSC, but since you mentioned them, I had a look at their website, and it seems to be concerned with Palestine, as one would expect from something called the Ireland Palestine Solidarity Campaign. Are you basing your assessment of them on the fact that they don’t like Amos Oz?

    Maybe I should ask them to write a post for this site.

    By the way, that’s certainly an authoritative and well-researched source you quote. Noted for its balance and logic.

  52.  

    I don’t use his site on the basis of authority on the issue at all. I just used his humorous account of the events to show what these people are like. What happened during that IPSC poster campaign is true.

    My assessment of the IPSC is based on their lies and their leadership ( a combination of paranoid far-left activists and Irish Republicans. I always felt the organisation was a bit of a Sinn Fein/IRA front). As well as that, I have been harassed by some of their hateful and ignorant grunts.

    If you want people to write a post, why not ask more sensible Israel critics? There is B’Tselem, an Israeli organisation, that could do a much better and reasoned job. But why don’t you use your own James Carr, certainly no member of the WZO?

  53.  

    TSW — People might have told me to invite more sensible people than you to write this piece, but I would have ignored their opinion of you. Obviously, I will also be ignoring your views on which critics of Israel to invite here.

  54.  

    Alright, I was just giving you my own opinion on who could do a better job. B’Tselem are a mostly decent bunch of people and they live in Israel, which gives them a major heads-up over the others.

  55.  

    I’m wondering why TSW is surprised that there might an anti Jewish bias in many western countries when, by his own lights, Judaism is not a religion but a nation. Surely no country would take kindly to a nation within a nation supporting its own legal system. This country has certainly seen enough of that with Canon law taking precedence over civil law. And what about Sharia law….maybe there isn’t a lot between the 3 major religions after all.

  56.  

    King’s Bard, the anti-Semites define Jewishness in whatever way suits them, on the basis of race, confession, nationality and such. They rarely pay much attention to the nuances within Judaism, or my particular take on them.

    I don’t think the comparison is fair. The a priori basis for Judaism is the practice of Jewish Law. Judaism does not have a formal creed like the Nicene Creed or the Islamic Declaration of Faith, and certainly no concept of ‘salvation’ or ‘damnation’ for people that don’t pour water over themselves or say the latter declaration publicly.

    Judaism calls for Jewish Law to be enforced in one country only, the Land of Israel. Yet even the full gamut of Jewish Law can not be enforced there today without the Temple. Judaism does not proselytize and force this legal system on others to ‘save’ them, and has no ambitions on the Diaspora. Good works and deeds are important for Jews and Gentiles in Judaism, not creed.

  57.  

    My comments on Israeli demographics etc. are addressed to all those joined in the discussion, TSW, not just you.

    I’m not sure if you are being intentionally obtuse, or whether you are genuinely ignorant of the recent (post 1967 war) history of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

    When I refer to Kahane and his ilk, I include those right-wing ultra Zionist (predominantly Orthodox, it must be said) settlers of his time. They started in earnest a process that I can only call ethnic cleansing. They displaced Palestinians from their homes and lands, built their new settlements, and fended off the remaining peasant underclass, more often than not at gunpoint.

    That process, which I will again refer to as ethnic cleansing, continues to this day, and was instrumental in fuelling the unrest that resulted in the Intifada (plural). The atrocities committed during those times led directly to the construction of the Israel-West Bank wall, and the blockade of Gaza.

    You appear to be wistful for the days when Israelis could dine on fish in Gazan restaurants, and the underclass could travel through the checkpoints to happily toil away in the fields sequestered by Israeli settlers. Tell me, in those halcyon days did you happen to notice the abject poverty that the occupants of the Gaza refugee camp endured? That was before the near total blockade by the IDF.

    It is interesting to hear you dismiss me as an hysterical Israeli-basher. Nothing could be further from the truth, and I form my opinions based largely on my firsthand experiences and observations in that country, not on propoganda.

  58.  

    TSW ; You asked me at comment 41 for ” evidence of vast majority of Palestinian casualities during cast lead ”
    From PCHR. 1414 deaths, of which 1180 civilians, link to list below.
    http://www.pchtgaza.org/files.pressR/english/2008/list.pdf
    Hope that link is correct.
    From B’tselem. 1387 deaths 773 civilians
    From Israeli Army. 1166 deaths 709 combatants. 295 civilians. 248 Police (are Police viewed as Combatants or Civilians, why seperate count )
    I’m sure you will make your own of the stats.
    When the continuation and proliferation of events lack transparancy or even basic co-operation , such as the refusal of entry for Judge Richard Goldman and his team into Gaza via Israeli crossing, in order to carry out their investigation, They had to enter via the Rafeh crossing, As did our own Minister Michael Martin, Then obviously conclusions are reached and questions are asked and the whole cycle of suspicion is engaged yet again.
    I agree with you that B’tselem provide an incredible service , And act with integrity and dedication, However I think BoldPilot has offered a wealth of insight which is accurate and correct as like him my own observations are also based on experience of real and actual events, many of which i sometimes wish i had never seen.

  59.  

    I can’t access your link for some reason. Though I believe PCHR revised the civilian casualty figure downward to 926. In the interests of impartiality, I’ll but the figure between the IDF and PCHR counts at 611 civilians out of 1304 total deaths. Which is a little under half.

    The ‘investigation’ of the Goldstone Panel wouldn’t have counted for much anyway. We can see this from the likes of Col. Desmond Travers, the sole authority on matters military on the panel. He only examined two of the many mosques alleged to be stuffed with weapons in the Strip, as he said allegations of arms in mosques might lead to or come from ‘negative perceptions of Islam’. Meanwhile, Col. Tim Collins did a special for Newsnight, where he walked into a random mosque and instantly recognised evidence of secondary explosions (the place was obviously full of weapons). Travers also accused ‘Jewish Lobbyists’ (again with the Lobby… yawn…) of hi-jacking British foreign policy. This guy embarrassed himself at a recent discussion with LSE on the Goldstone Report and pretty much turned everyone in the room against it and probably the UN in general. One of the judges on the Panel even wrote a letter to the Times during the conflict plainly stating Israel committed specific war crimes. Hardly the woman who should be judging the same case a few months later. Co-operation by Israel would have given legitimacy to this farce. Thankfully, I think word has gotten out about the Goldstone Report and very few people are committed to all its contents now. I don’t think Israel can or should take it seriously, its not much of a threat. Only people who still cling to the idea that politics doesn’t matter at UN bodies and inquiries view the thing with any significance.

    In fairness to Richard Goldstone, his daughter told Army Radio that he decided to take the job as he thought he could bring balance to what would be a very biased panel. Such a thing might be noble, but its a fight one member of five on the panel could never win. If true, however, he ended up putting a Jewish a face on the report, allowing his background to be used in the usual disgusting way by Israel’s enemies. Finding a Jew who agrees with what you are saying and using it against Israel is a classic tactic of Israel bashers, as if citing the religious background of a person gives them more credibility.

  60.  

    TSW. You cannot and should not try to estimate on averages about the civilian deaths,during cast lead, That is just disrespectful.
    I’m sorry the link does’nt work, but i’m sure you can find the list on their site.
    My comment regarding Richard Goldstone and team was merely to point out the difficulty presented to him entering Gaza.
    I must be brief as its late and this day began very early for me.
    I will just say i hate the term ” Israeli bashers ” its unproductive and misleading.
    I will have to say Good Night, eyes are closing.

  61.  

    Good-night, ladies; good-night, sweet ladies; good-night, good-night.

  62.  

    TSW

    Col. Desmond Travers contribution to the Goldstone report was an embarrassment to Ireland. His reports were full of anti semetic innuendos.

    Bock, I have to say I find your opinions on Gaza to be over-simplistic. We all want to see the same thing. We want to see the suffering of the Palestinian people come to an end. We want to see them with their own viable nation. Do you think that if enough of us put pressure on Israel and give it enough of a hard time that they will simply withdraw from the occupied territories? Anybody who is honest with themselves knows that if tomorrow Israel stood down, withdrew all its forces to the 67 line, it would be attacked on all fronts. Anybody who thinks that the truly unbelievable levels of anti semtism and ingrained hatred of the Jew that exists in the Arab world would simply fade away along with an end to the occupation, is at best naive. Israel will eventually withdraw from occupied lands. They have demonstrated on many occasions that they are willing to give up land in exchange for peace (Sinai, Gaza). But they will not do so as a result of pressure from western liberals like us. Nor will they even do so as a result of pressure from the US. They will do so when it is safe and secure. They will do so when the Palestinians and the wider Arab world stop glorifying Jew hatred and using Israel as a tool for domestic purposes. There are 22 Arab nations that do not recognise Israel. You may want to see Palestine liberated, but many powerful Arabs want to see Israel destroyed. If you want to see peace and justice for Palestinians, you should be writing about democracy movements in the Arab World. You should write about how the government of Qatar were threatened with expulsion from the Arab League if they recognised Israel. Hurling constant abuse at Israel while ignoring Arab obligations is pointless.

    I would say that the key turning point in the early days of the Northern Ireland peace process was the framework document when the Dublin and London governments agreed that instead of bickering with each other both governments should focus on solving the Catholic Protestant conflict. Once they both agreed that they had the same national interest, huge progress was made. The Arab states and Israel need to do the same. We come from a country that overcame a conflict that many people the world over thought was unsolvable. This should be the main message out of Ireland regarding the Arab Israeli conflict. All this one sided Israel bashing achieves zero.

    Ted

  63.  

    Always with the Israel-bashing. It’s like a mantra.

    When did criticism become bashing?

  64.  

    Sensitive lot – any criticism of anything Israeli and you’re an Anti Semite Israeli Basher…..

  65.  

    Fair enough, remove the word “bashing”. All this one sided criticism of Israel is pointless.

    Ted

  66.  

    Ted, the criticism wouldn’t be happening at all if TSW had not described the assault on Gaza as a war. That was an extraordinary choice of words for such a slaughter, and did nothing to enhance people’s understanding of anti-Semitism. In the context of what was done to Gaza, your use of the term one-sided rings sourly ironic.

  67.  

    Ted: The stupidity of Travers was simply amazing. The guy just did not have a grasp of very basic details. He claimed the number of rockets Hamas fired into Israel in the month before Cast Lead as ‘something like two’. Hamas had fired almost 100 rockets and mortars in an attack known as Operation ‘Oil Stain’ on December 24th alone, and made no secret of it. There were many more that month.

    Bock: Everybody calls Cast Lead a war, other than propagandists in the state-run media of the Muslim world. Get over it:

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

  68.  

    I also believe that the IDF’s conduct of the war in Gaza was excessive. But as I said Israel is not going to change its ways because we don’t like it. They don’t care about what Europe thinks. Last time Europe was in charge of the safety of Jews 6 million of them were murdered. As a nation that see itself in a vulnerable position they do not take action for the sake of PR. They take action to kill their enemies.

    When the new Irish state was under genuine threat from republicans in 1922/23 it resorted to some quite extrordinary illegal measures to ensure the survival of the state. When Britain was backed into a corner back in 1940 it ultimately responded with fire bombing of entire cities. Israel are not in this to look good. They are in it to keep the Jewish homeland safe. I want to see a secure Israel and a viable Palestinian state. My criticism is aimed at those trying to prevent this. The guilty parties being Jewish settlers hell bent on steeling more Palestinian land and the numerous Arab terrorist organisations dedicated, not to Palestine’s liberation, but to Israel’s destruction. The conduct of the IDF in their fight against Hamas IS NOT the reason that there is still no peace in the holy land.

    Ted

  69.  

    Those can consider themselves to be friends of the Palestinians could start asking them the hard questions – as the IRA had to ask themselves in this country – instead of indulging their victim mentality and continuously banging on about their besieged neighbours.

    Such as.

    How the fuck are you a refugee after sixty two years of Egyptian, Israeli and PLO rule?. In that time, Israel, just a Quassan rocket launch away, have built up a modern liberal style democracy.

    Why do you continue to allow yourselves to be ruled by warlords, like that corrupt bastard Arafat, whose Catholic wife, Suha, is living in luxury in Paris. She has, allegedly, a couple of million dollars in her account. The money was allegedly “inherited” from her late husband, who was, allegedly, pocketing tens of thousand per month from the “salaries” of a fictitious police force in Palestine.

    Why did you vote for Hamas when its charter clearly calls for the complete destruction of Israel? Do you – and your fans clubs here in the west?- agree with Hamas and its call for a campaign of genocide against Jews? Then again you can read so I’m assuming you do agree with the Hamas charter?

    Why do you allow Hamas to launch rockets at Israel from your residential areas knowing that when Israel responds it will be your wives and children that will bear the brunt. Hamas don’t bear the brunt. They start a war they can’t finish and you allow them to hide behind your women and children.

    Why do you allow these people to use your families as human shields? Is the anti Israel PR gained from your dead women and children of greater value to you than the lives of your loved ones?

    Why didn’t you support the Palestinians (as reported) that ran Hamas out of their neighbour hood when they were launching rockets at Israel from your backyard, quite literally, last year.

    Why do you continuously reject attempts to implement a two state solution? Is it because in your hearts you don’t want a two state solution, you want a one state solution, one state where there will be no Jews left in Israel and where your capital will be Jerusalem.

    Why are you clinging onto this absurd irredentist claim. Sure you lost some land in the late 40s following your invasion of the sovereign state of Israel. However, up to quarter of a million Jews were booted out of Iran, Syria and a number of other countries in that region – and their property confiscated – as a direct result of Israel being declared a state. Have they the right to return to their homes? Will they be compensated? Will I be penning a three year deal with Real Madrid?

    http://www.mideastweb.org/refugees.htm

    Look around you. Israel has build a wall to keep you out. The Egyptians, your brothers, have gone one better with an underground, bomb proof steel wall to keep you out.

    Why would your fellow Arabs lock you out. Would it have anything to do with the fact that you can’t wean yourselves off warlords.

    Would if have anything to do with the fact that you can’t wean yourselves off Islamic fundamentalists who want to murder millions of Jews en route to dragging the entire region back to the 5th century?

    Over here in Ireland we had the same problem, only smaller. The IRA, pursuing an irredentist claim in relation to the north, nearly dragged us all into a civil war because one million Unionists don’t want to be part of United Ireland.

    It wasn’t until Adams and McGuinness began to think their way back out of a situation which was leading this island down the path of death and destruction that a relative peace was achieved.

    Likewise in Palestine. Get rid of the religious nuts. Negotiate a two state solution and get on get on with building your country for your children. Choose life, not jihad. Israel is going nowhere.

  70.  

    Well this one was worth it, Bock!

    Some utterly jaw-dropping stuff from the man for whom the system works.

    People might want to move on the National Review on how a militarised state can do wonders for the economy. Then on to Tel Aviv to get laid!

    Those who are unconvinced might want to help the Aosdána Shinners, communists and illiterates at the IPSC (anti-Semites to a man and woman, of course) in working for a campaign of divestment and disengagement to persuade Israel to engage with Palestinians for a meaningful peace settlement.

  71.  

    Second’s Out: Forbes Magazine put Arafat’s wealth at 300 million dollars, but he likely had three times that hidden away. This was stolen from the billions in aid given to the PA after the Oslo Agreement. In fact, the Palestinian Authority is the biggest beneficiary of foreign aid in history, receiving 54 billion dollars after Oslo up until the early years of the Second Intifada. That is more than Germany received from Marshall Aid after WWII. Despite the PA being a human rights nightmare and the fact that it was common knowledge most of this money ‘disappeared’ into the Swiss bank accounts of PA officials and terrorists, it has never been politically correct to call for a re-assessment of the money we give to the Palestinian Authority.

    I received the Taxpayers’ Alliance Report entitled ‘Funding Hate Education’ in the mail recently. It makes pretty grim reading. Between 300-400 million euros is being given away by the EU alone to Palestinian causes every year now. School textbooks distributed by the PA glorify suicide bombing not only in Israel, but Iraq and Afghanistan. They encourage ‘martyrdom operations’ against Westerners, including Australian tourists in South East Asia. They are loaded with anti-Semitic content. Many of these textbooks expressly thank European governments (such as Belgium) for ‘their monetary support of this curriculum project’. No doubt Ireland is pumping millions into this as well.

  72.  

    Wow – look at the size of this empty hull http://irishingaza.wordpress.com/.

    We need to fill it with cement, steel, medical supplies, fire-fighting equipment, wheelchairs and a host of other essential supplies long denied the beleaguered people of Gaza who have been under siege for over 1000 days and under occupation since 1948.

    The MV Rachel Corrie is due to dock in Cork within the next few weeks to take on supplies before departing to join up with the seven other ships in the international flotilla which will break the Israeli imposed siege in May.

    If anyone has contacts in the Fire Brigade service of in the Medical services the organisers are particularly interested in getting donations of fire fighting equipment and wheel chairs and other medical supplies which are badly needed in Gaza where an additional 5000 people were injured during the Israeli assault last year.

    In order to help raise funds to purchase cement and other essential building supplies we are organising a Car Wash for Gaza on Limerick’s Pennywell Road (between A & R Plumbing and Limerick Laundry) next Saturday from 9:00 am till 5:00 pm. We need volunteers so if you can spare an hour or two that would be a great or just come along and have your car washed and let others know about it.

  73.  

    So. Robbed by Arafat and bombarded by Israel.

    The Palestinians are getting it from all directions, aren’t they?

  74.  

    Its interesting that we hear so little criticism of Arafat’s tenure. During the First Intifada, 1000 Palestinians were killed by Israeli forces, which is well known. Yet 1000 Palestinians also died at this time in internal violence, which is almost unheard of. Most of this killing was directed by Arafat against political opponents. Arafat succeeded in becoming a Palestinian dictator before the Palestinians even had self-rule, which is what the PLO wanted. Palestinian activists who promoted peaceful methods were intimidated and forced to immigrate, if not killed, as the PLO wanted a monopoly on ‘resistance’. People were assassinated on trumped up charges of ‘collaboration’ (often this meant being friendly or associating with Jews). Torture was widespread, and became even more common after the PLO came into power due to Oslo. In fact, in the time of the First Intifada up to the beginning of the Second, far more Palestinians were probably killed by Arafat than by Israeli forces.

    On top of that, Arafat and the PLO destroyed the Palestinian economy. Before Oslo, the Palestinian rate of economic growth was twice that of Israel’s. The Palestinian economy was predicted to exceed the Israeli one in size in a very short time. This was when Israel was still in the grips of a statist ideology and suicidal socialism, before Netanyahu held his first term and introduced liberal economic reforms. However, when the PLO came to power they devastated the Palestinian Territories in a way unseen during a period of relative peace. Much of this was down to corruption, mismanagement, wasteful spending on huge, top-heavy armed forces. Unfortunately, looking at the Palestinian leadership, this is very likely what a future Palestinian state will look like – lots of torture and blaming the Jews for the world’s problems, little economic activity.

  75.  

    Yeah. They’re as lazy as niggers, aren’t they?

  76.  

    While Israelis are out there working like blacks.

    Seriously, Bock, you know thats not what I’m saying. Without a doubt the PLO ruined the Palestinian economy in the 1990s, and they should never have been let in charge. This was explored very well by the amazing George Gilder in ‘The Israel Test’, where he claims one’s attitude to Israel correlates very much with one’s attitude towards wealth creation. This man is a cure for the twin diseases of Israel bashing and socialism.

  77.  

    Since you’ve been commenting here, there’s been plenty of opportunity to express whatever was on your mind.

    But in all that time, I’ve never seen you write anything about how proud you are of your heritage. You’ve never once volunteered such a thing, which amazes me.

    My town is the subject of silly, unwarranted slurs, and I never waste an opportunity to show the world the good things about it, because I’m proud of my town, for all its faults.

    You have never done that, and it strikes me that without external enemies, you’d be stuck for something to say.

  78.  

    You mean on Judaism, or Israel? I don’t think this site is the most appropriate place to harp on about what I LOVE about Judaism and Israel. I could do that all day, mind you. I happened to be at a communal Lubavitch Passover Seder this year. I spoke to a Polish girl sitting in front of me for most of the night, and made her promise she would make aliyah by 2AM. We’ve exchanged many e-mails on the matter since. She has taken up Hebrew lessons now. An Israeli woman sitting by us was pretty blown away by my appreciation of her country. I’m an idealist. Israel is part of that.

    Israel is too the subject of silly, unwarranted slurs and I don’t waste any opportunities in defending it. Same goes for the Jewish people. Though its unfortunate I always seem to be tackling the negatives. Ask me to write about what I believe are the good things about Judaism and Israel however, and I could produce many times as much material.

    Only in Israel:

  79.  

    I mean on your heritage, whatever you wish that to be.

    There are a number of things about your approach that strike me.

    One is the tendency to make ad hominem attacks on those with whom you disagree. I could go back through this thread and produce a dozen instances if you push me for examples. That strikes me as hypocritical from somebody who complains about demonisation.

    Another is the tendency to ignore inconvenient replies to your statements. Again, if you push me on it, I can go back and find many examples, though I’d rather not have to do that leg-work as it’s late and I’m tired.

    I suspect your post and your subsequent comments might have sent out a different message from the one you intended to convey.

    By the way, what do you mean “Only in Israel”? Are our own efforts too pathetic to acknowledge? I would never dream of introducing the following video by saying “Only in Limerick”. I wouldn’t be that arrogant.

    http://bocktherobber.com/2010/03/limerick-mob-takes-over-streets

  80.  

    Well, I’ve received many replies which I am told I may find ‘inconvenient’, including in this conversation. I mostly find them stupid, which is what these people don’t realise.

    Anyways, I hope I have adequately informed you that I have a genuine affection for living a Jewish life and for Israel. As I said, I don’t see why I should go into details on that on this site. I don’t feel such a thing would be welcomed. If I want to go down that route, I’ll do it.

    However, the notion of ‘pride’ in one’s heritage, as in ‘black pride’, ‘Limerick pride’ or ‘Hispanic pride’ is an illegitimate concept. ‘Pride is the result of only one thing: achievement. And it can be earned by only one type of entity: an individual human being’ (from an Ayn Rand Institute newsletter on multiculturalism). I have no reason to be ‘proud’ of my birthplace, though I am fond of it. There is no reason for me to be proud of the achievements of Jews, Whites, Englishmen or Irishmen, though I benefit from them. I moved around a lot as a kid, and haven’t got much in the way of ‘local pride’ or national sentiment. I’m attached and committed to ideas more than anything else: Torah Judaism, Austrian economics and Objectivism amongst others.

  81.  

    You find them stupid.

    Ok. Thanks. That seems to wrap it up.

  82.  

    What, you don’t think there are a lot of stupid commenters around? I’m not just talking about Israel related stuff, now. Though the conversation about Israel abroad is too often dominated by hacks.

    Israel bashers tend to have some fierce mental retardation and paranoia about them, to be honest.

    ‘Hey ya stupid Jew, you should know better!’ (heard from an IPSC placard bearer).

  83.  

    So you disapprove of their attacks( the ADL) on FOX NEWS figures ? ” Figures ” ??
    Parodies more like. So far you’ve said nothing that disproves my point that your politics is
    100% American in origin. And on that particular rock you’ll perish. You know what Binny said when he had the lunatic theories of the Christian Zionists explained to him ? ” I’ll take ’em ! ” I have to admit that in that he’s only a small degree worse than our own lunatic Mary ” Bostontoseehowtheydoit ” Harney.

  84.  

    Oh bother, lapsedmethodist has actually returned and it sounds like he’s been drinking.

    ‘So far you’ve said nothing that disproves my point that your politics is 100% American in origin’

    You didn’t make that point at all, you arrogant fool. First you claimed that I plagiarised my article from Alan Dershowitz and Daniel Pipes ‘word for word’. Then you changed your tone a little after Second’s Out quizzed you on it, saying it was plagiarised ‘more or less’. Now you seem to have forgotten about your own insulting allegation, and my challenge for you to find the original pieces by Pipes and Dershowitz. Then you got your facts wrong about the origins of the Ghetto model, and claimed I was re-writing history when I (correctly) stated it was a Muslim (specifically Moroccan) invention.

    You know bubkes about me or my politics. Or probably anything else for that matter. I’ll choose to live and die on whatever ‘rock’ I damn well please. You are not contributing anything to this conversation and I doubt you ever will, or are even able to, with such a selective memory and absence of etiquette.

  85.  

    “it strikes me that without external enemies, you’d be stuck for something to say.’.. You summed up the whole post and comments from TSW for me Bock!!

    In response to that from TSW is .. “I happened to be at a communal Lubavitch Passover Seder this year. I spoke to a Polish girl sitting in front of me for most of the night, and made her promise she would make aliyah by 2AM. We’ve exchanged many e-mails on the matter since. She has taken up Hebrew lessons now. An Israeli woman sitting by us was pretty blown away by my appreciation of her country.”..

    ‘made her promise’ – I’m blown away by your fanaticism TSW! You do nothing for your cause.

  86.  

    Alright. If I don’t specify how much I actually love Israel this is all a case of ‘it’s the anti-Semite that makes the Jew’. When I do, I’m a fanatic.

    Please know that I do it all out of love and appreciation. The Jewish people returned to Eretz Israel out of love, attachment and appreciation. The enemies of the Jewish people have always been driven by hate. The only way we’ll beat them is with a counter-fundamentalism of love. In this case, I am proud to be a fundamentalist.

  87.  

    You’re twisting what was said, and by no means for the first time. It seems to be standard operating procedure for propagandists, which is what I’m coming increasingly to regard you as, given the contempt you display for the other commenters here and your refusal to engage with points you don’t like..

    As I already said, this is a once-off soapbox for you, not a platform. This is not your private little piece of the internet.

    The point I made, and which you have altered to suit your own purposes, was that you personally seem to need external enemies. I didn’t say anti-Semites, although I will concede that you possibly consider opponents and anti-Semites to be the same thing.

    They could be anti-Iraeli, anti-you or just anti- starvation. It doesn’t seem to matter as long as you have bogey-men to make you feel secure.

  88.  

    Now hang on a second. I wrote an article, and you kindly put it up. And now I am criticised for engaging with the readers? And just because I disagree with you, I’m a propagandist? I could have said the same thing about you, Bock. You often sound like something out of Press TV here.

    I don’t think I have brushed off any commenter on this thread. I’m hardly going to put an article up and leave the conversation. I will stop if you don’t want me to, but I think forcibly limiting my involvement here is quite unfair.

    Since I have been commenting here I have been accused of being brainwashed, working as a propagandist for Israeli intelligence, and now a plagiarizer. People who believe this must seriously look at themselves. If they think all friends of Israel must be brainwashed to believe what we do, it is likely themselves are in need of an intervention.

  89.  

    Nobody is limiting your involvement Where did you get that from?

  90.  

    Even your invective is Americanised. I may be an old fool but I’m not an arrogant one. Your political philosophy -where it is actually political and not merely racist – isn’t even shared by the majority in Israel. And that’s in modern day Israel where, since 1967 the effect of living in control of hostile territories, the ethos has changed so much since I was there in the “60’s. Anyone reading your piece can google Pipes, Dershowiz et al and see the similarities in their hard-line take and yours, so I have no intention of labouriously copying and pasting what any adult is perfectly capable of doing for his/herself.
    BTW I actually said that your article COULD BE TAKEN almost word for word from the work of the above; meaning that it has its political slant in current rightwing, American thinking. I didn’t say you lifted it from anyones writings. You should calm down.

  91.  

    “lapsedmethodist: Now that is a very serious and spurious charge. I don’t read Daniel Pipes, barring one essay he has written on the history of Jerusalem ….While I have read many of Alan Dershowitz’s books on criminal law, … there is nothing like this article in any chapter of those books.”

    Do you hear that now Lapsed, a very serious and spurious charge. A charge that is very serious and spurious. How serious? Very serious! Citizens arrest!! Citizens arrest!! :)

  92.  

    lapsedmethodist: ‘This apologia is lifted almost word for word from the work of Daniel Pipes and Alan Dershowitz’ is what you initially said. Sounds pretty straightforward to me. You have now accused me of being a racist as well as ‘tinkering with history’ (though the point about the Moroccan Mellah you now seem to have forgotten).

    You sound to me like an arrogant Gaullist or sour-faced Little Englander. Grrrr… American things…Grrrr…

  93.  

    I’m from dacent people. And you’re right, I failed to edit my first post, but my second sentence there correctly says could be… what one meant in the first place.

    QUOTE :In cities, a mellah was surrounded by a wall with a fortified gateway. Usually, the Jewish quarter was situated near the royal palace or the residence of the governor, in order to protect its inhabitants from recurring riots since its inhabitants played a vital role in the local economy. In contrast, rural mellahs were separate villages inhabited solely by the Jews. UNQUOTE..

    NOT NOT NOT a Nazi Ghetto. You’re still minimilizing the co-existance between Muslims and Jews throughout history. You’e accusing Said and Fisk of misquoting Jewish leaders, whereas the so-called misquotes are where they quote the likes of Illan Pappe or Schlomo Sand neither currently not flavour of the month with Likudniks.
    BTW what particular manifestation of anti-semitism caused Israel to invade Egypt during the Suez War ?
    Shimon Peres helped plan it.
    My advice to you is quite simple. Look at the source of the figures you give for the rise of anti-semitism in, for example the UK. The numbers are padded by the category “abusive behaviour ” which does not include violence. Take a tip… grow a thicker skin. I’m a Nothern Irish Prod by birth… the absolute lowest of the low ! I get by hassle-free !!

  94.  

    I didn’t say it was a Nazi-style ghetto. I compared it to the later Ghettos of Europe. In England, the Ghetto was known as the Jewry, also usually situated near the palace to protect the inhabitants from hostile locals. This and similar Ghettos in Europe came after the Muslim ones.

    I’m in a hurry to go out right now, but the quotes I am referring to from the likes of Fisk and Said, and others are different. Fisk and Said have both attributed ignorant and racist statements to Israeli Prime Ministers and early figures within to Zionist movement to try and ‘prove’ some link with Nazism or other racist philosophies. The use of false quotations has proved to be an invaluable tactic to Israel bashers, and something I would like to return to ASAP.

    On Muslim-Jewish history, it is a shame that western anti-Semitism has penetrated modern Islam so well. Apologists for the Palestinians, Iranians and such like to point out how Muslims were more tolerant of their Jewish populations in Medieval times than the Christians. This may be true, but guess what? Times have changed since Medieval Spain. The tolerant Islam of Rumi, the Sufis and Medieval Islamic philosophers has vanished since the rise of Wahabbi Islam 200 years ago. This is the Islam that has conquered Saudi Arabia and taken over huge swathes of the Muslim world. This movement lends itself well to anti-Semitism. The Islam we see today would probably appall Muslims like Rumi.

    But one can easily argue that Muslims were more tolerant of Jews when they were powerless and scattered, and could easily have subservient dhimmi status imposed on them. Powerful Jews who defeat Muslims on the battlefield is something that they can tolerate much less. That is why they had to exile 850,000 Mizrahi Jews from their lands after 1948. Islam is meant to be the true fatith, the Muslims G-d’s chosen. Jews are not entitled to independence in a ‘Muslim’ neighbourhood.

    But life was not all peaceful for Jews under Muslim rule. In 1066 over three thousand Jews were murdered by a fanatical Muslim mob in Grenada. Another massacre happened again in 1090, and in the next century the Jews suffered onslaughts from an Islamic sect known as the Almohads. The Jews of Yemen were often persecuted by the Muslim majority, as can be seen from sources like Maimonides’ ‘Epistle to the Jews of Yemen’. The Blood Libel also made its way to the Muslim world, appearing as far back as 1811 in Aleppo, though most famously in Damascus in 1840.

    Its important to remember that while todays anti-Semitism found in the Islamic world is mostly of European origin, it is not like there is nothing within Islam to lend itself to anti-Semitism. Islam began with a massacre of Jews in Medina. Fanatical Muslim leaders today often call Jews ‘apes’ and ‘pigs’, and these slurs originate in the Quran. The saving grace for the Jews in Muslim lands was that unlike Christianity, Islam did not claim to ‘supersede’ or ‘replace’ Judaism, meaning things more peaceful in day-to-day life. I hope that one day the Muslim world will wake up and rediscover its more tolerant heritage, and become sick at what so many Muslims today have become. I hope one day the Islam of Al Andalus and the Umayyads is rediscovered, the Islam evoked beautifully in ‘The Ornament of the World’ by Maria Rosa Menocal.

  95.  

    Coul you provide a reference for the false quotes by Fisk? What specifically did he say?

  96.  

    Fisk, though perhaps not as bad as the shrill John Pilger in this regard, has been instrumental in the spreading of false Zionist quotes from the hate sites into the mainstream media. For the people who still take the buffoon Bob Fisk seriously, here is one of the most notorious:

    [Arafat] is chastised by George Bush while his people are bestialised by the Israeli leadership… Menachem Begin called them “two-legged beasts”… (from the Observer in 2001)

    Fisk has repeated this quote a few times. Thanks to him, it is now pretty much regarded as truth that Menachem Begin referred to the Palestinians as ‘two-legged dogs’ or ‘beasts’. However, the full quote by Begin where he used the term goes like this:

    ‘The children of Israel will happily go to school and joyfully return home, just like the children in Washington, in Moscow, and in Peking, in Paris and in Rome, in Oslo, in Stockholm and in Copenhagen. The fate of… Jewish children has been different from all the children of the world throughout the generations. No more. We will defend our children. If the hand of any two-footed animal is raised against them, that hand will be cut off, and our children will grow up in joy in the homes of their parents.’

    Begin was defending a no-confidence motion in the Knesset at the time. According to the Associated Press his ‘his voice quavered with anger and sadness’ during the speech. It is clear from looking at this that he is referring to terrorists rather than to the Arab people.

    This is only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the lies of the Israel bashers around false quotes, one of the most common and distinctive tactics of this movement. The British lawyer Anthony Julius has written very well on this subject in his new book ‘Trials of the Diaspora’. Though he wrote an earlier article on the subject here:

    http://www.z-word.com/z-word-essays/false-confessions%253A-how-anti-zionists-incriminate-zionism.html

    CAMERA has a few articles on debunking false Zionist quotes also.

    lapsedmethodist: Obviously, the 1956 invasion was a disaster in terms of publicity and lack lack of benefit. However, it was not without some causus belli, though I don’t think it should have happened. Nasser had been training Palestinian suicide battalions to enter Israel on missions of dubious military importance for years. They attacked Jewish population centers and killed 230 Israeli civilians alone in 1955. Several hundred civilians died over the years. Dayan wanted this stopped. The Israelis were happy with a UN presence in the Sinai as a security buffer after the war, until Nasser illegally expelled the UN wimps before 1967.

  97.  

    It’s a very melted iceberg tip, if that’s the best you have to throw at Fisk. Is that really the basis on which you dismiss him?

    If so, I’m embarrassed for you.

    Can’t you come up with something more damning, since you accused him of printing lies?

  98.  

    Obviously, there is lots one can go at Robert Fisk for, such as his false allegation that Israel was secretly using uranium munitions in Lebanon in 2006, his role in spreading the myth of the Jenin ‘massacre’ (3,000 dead, claimed the front page of the Guardian, just over 50 combatants and civilians according to subsequent investigations)… there is also his whole philosophy and outlook on life. Remember his hilarious piece when he wrote about getting beaten up by those Afghan kids? The way he claimed that he though to himself at the time that it was his own fault, and if he were in their position he would have done the same?

    Bock, I would have never figured you to be am member of the Church of Palestinian Victimhood and the Robert Fist brigade. My house was robbed by Irish Travelers once, when we were doing a lot of work on it. They got away with thousands of euros worth of construction equipment. I found these same people who claimed that it is entirely the fault of ‘settled’ people like me for the problem of traveler crime were the same guys who shed tears reading Fisk’s articles in the Observer. I would never to have figured you for a guy who thought like Robert Fisk and the typical European journalist and academic. C’mon, Bock, you can see through this crap!

    It may seem small to you, but the Begin lie is a common staple of ‘anti-Zionist’ arguments, and it is commonly though in some circles that Israelis often call Palestinians ‘two-legged dogs’ colloquially. I’ve often been hit with this staple on other blogs.

  99.  

    Do not, even for one second, attempt to make me a member of your derisory “brigades”. It’s a dishonest slur which you constantly apply to others but I will not stand for it.

    Clear?

  100.  

    No problem. I’ve said it before, you’re a unique guy with an admirably diverse bunch of targets.

    Hey, I get into rant mode just like everybody else. Especially when I remember getting robbed and followers of Fisk subsequently blaming me for it. Then I get angry with people who like Robert Fisk.

  101.  

    I have read everything Robert Fisk has written, and I admire his integrity.

    Discussion should be on the facts, not on the person.

    Characterising people as buffoons, idiots and the like is simply diminishing your position. Don’t do it.

    Make factual arguments. Stop slinging mud.

  102.  

    A recent study found that the dramatic increase in anti-Semitic manifestations in west European countries was influenced considerably by the virulently anti-Israel discourse and propaganda that portrays Israel as a Nazi state, and consequently tries to delegitimize its right to exist.

    Anti-Israel groups and its supporters preach and disseminate anti-Semitic messages. The most conspicuous and supposed leitmotif of anti-Semitic expressions is the abuse of the Holocaust: equating Israel’s offensive against Hamas in Gaza with the systematic mass murder of six million Jews by the Nazis. Other reoccurring leitmotifs are comparing Gaza to a concentration camp; associating Israelis/Zionists/Jews with Nazis and the Star of David with the Swastika. These anti-Semitic expressions have become favourite axioms with European anti-Israel groups and their supporters.

    The study shows that while anti-Israel supporters, radical left and anti-racist activists, and even mainstream politician adamantly reject the linkage between extreme anti-Israel allegations and anti-Semitism, in reality this imaginary line is breached constantly.

    Incited by the demonization of Israel, most make no distinction between Israel and Jews worldwide, who for them are part of a single evil entity. Demonization of the Jewish state, its people and its Jewish supporters as a symbol of all evil and a major source of the world’s troubles leads to the implication, whether wittingly or unwittingly, that the elimination of the State of Israel might bring global salvation. Thus, all Jews are potential targets, including myself.

    Am Yisrael Chai.

  103.  

    What is a concentration camp?

  104.  

    I have called Fisk a buffoon. I think he should be flattered by a comparison with a buffoon. But I have also stated the facts, just a couple of the instances where he spread lies about Israel. There is a lot more. Though I admire how one man can be so consistently wrong (mostly in his war and invasion coverage). You criticised me for the insults, and that’s reasonable, but not on the substance of the argument: that Fisk lied on the occasions I mentioned above.

  105.  

    I’ll ask you to do do a number of things.

    Stop making personal attacks on people you disagree with.
    Stop labelling people.
    Respond to points people make.
    Produce documented references when you attribute statements to your opponents.

    You have been gravely deficient in all these areas and have abused this site’s hospitality accordingly.

    Patience is running out.

  106.  

    Bock, do you realise there have been no recorded deaths by starvation in Gaza?

    And yet, the Scottish Palestine Solidarity Campaign sponsored a phony Holocaust Memorial Day event, where the promotional posters displayed a pair of Jewish women with their hands in the air near an SS officer. This was juxtaposed with a Palestinian women with a defiant look into the camera displaying a ‘V’ sign with her fingers. Perverse. But it speaks to the moral ambiguity displayed by Israel’s critics. The Palestinians have their ‘Nakba’ Day, Land Day and others. Now they want Holocaust Memorial Day as well! What is the obsession with comparing Israel to Nazi Germany? Are they trying to say ‘Ha, now you are bad as you say you grandfather’s were!’ Everything needs to be compared with Nazism, including Zionism itself and the security fence in Judea and Samaria. There seems to be a cottage industry of cranks devoted to this.

  107.  

    Would you mind answering the question I asked you?

  108.  

    TSW. I can no longer take you seriously in any capacity, Your unsubstantiated criticism of people such as Robert Fisk is as Bock said just embarrasing.
    Whatever means you employ to contradict evidence,You cannot contradict what i have seen for myself.
    IDF soldiers deliberatly and inhumanely kicking an elderly man waiting quietly at a crossing, Stamping on a young womans foot, shoving a 6yr old child to the ground for peering out behind his Mother, while saying ” who do you think you are looking at, you filthy Arab ant ”
    An elderly stooped lady making her way home with her shopping being accosted by young teen age Orthodox Jewish boys who emptied her shopping on the ground and stamped on it, while their friends shouted at her and spat at her, That particular incident, i intervened and delivered a swift kick to one of the boys while trying to assist the lady, These were some of the lesser offences i saw for myself.
    Maybe i am stupid, maybe a buffoon but you answer your own question, You do not want to see, you do not want to understand, You just want to enforce your own beliefs.
    It is not right that the diaspora suffer the wrath of people who are extremely offended by the blatant apartheid in Israel, So maybe it’s time that The Israeli Government realised the consequences of their ideology is very far reaching.

  109.  

    norma — Would you mind holding off for one second?

    I don’t mean to be ill-mannered but I asked TSW a question, which he chose not to answer, and I think it would be good to get a specific reply to it.

  110.  

    I thought you asked that to the woman above. I don’t know what the exact definition of a concentration camp is. There have been models used to confine ethnic groups and political opponents, often in terrible conditions. Like a gulag, or what the British did in South Africa. The Nazis did this, but also turned them into centers of production and medical experimentation. The Death Camps were a different model so I won’t include them. Gaza could not possibly be known as a concentration camp. Its autonomous territory. It’s at war with its neighbor and doesn’t recognise it, so naturally they aren’t keen to trade with them. Though the basics of life, like bread, rice, sugar and such are provided to it. Israel has specified that its aim in blockading Gaza has been ‘no economic development, no humanitarian crisis’. This is not a concentration camp by any stretch. Though no doubt someone will then compare it to some other feature of Nazi history to keep the theme going. Most commonly, this is a Ghetto.

  111.  

    I wasn’t aware that concentration camps were a Nazi phenomenon. The example that springs to my mind is the British model in South Africa.

    You still haven’t answered my question.

  112.  

    I said I don’t know the exact definition. Like Justice Potter Stewart, however, ‘I know it when I see it’. A Nazi Death Camp is not a concentration camp, Gaza is not either, by any stretch. A gulag could very well be considered exactly the same as a concentration camp.

    My criticism of Fisk was not unsubstantiated. If you want the exact date and article name for the Begin quote, I’m sure I can find it. The secret uranium weapons farce made the front page of the bloody Independent I believe. His contribution on the Jenin fiasco you can probably find on-line easily: ‘an enormous slaughter…has overwhelmed the Palestinians’ he claimed, in one of the biggest occasions of dishonest reporting in history. Our friend Mark Humphrys has a detailed list of his misgivings I’m sure.

  113.  

    Norma: Contrary to what you might think, I am glad you have come out about what you have experienced in Judea and Samaria. Whenever I hear of that kind of behavior coming from Jews, I think of a book called the Kuzari.

    In the Kuzari, a medieval book of philosophy/religion arguing for ‘the faith of Israel’, a rabbi debates with a king to convince him of the superiority of Judaism. Only on two occasions does the king ‘stump’ the rabbi. One is when the rabbi draws attention to the clean record of the Jewish people when it comes to persecuting others. The king points out that this might be down to the fact Jews have no power, and were never in a position to do so – ‘if you had the power, you too would slay’, he says.

    Now that the Jewish people are not totally powerless and scattered, the beloved victims of the world, the Jewish people have an opportunity to be a light to other nations in this regard. Jews must, I believe, always strive to do better, much better than others even in similar situations. Non-Jews will pounce on any mistakes Jews make – partly to alleviate themselves of guilt, but also for many other reasons. This is the opportunity to ‘win over’ the king – so it is time to step up to the mark, a much higher mark Jews must set for themselves.

    Practically speaking this must be so for every Israeli soldier who lets his or her anger get the best of them. We see that today when the crimes of one Israeli doctor – seeking to make a quick buck selling organs – were held against the entire country of Israel – its people, army and government (though Israeli Jewish bodies were treated exactly the same way by this doctor as Arab corpses were).

    In 2002, when anti-Jewish sentiment was alarming university students in Britain, the Chief Rabbi Dr. Jonathan Sacks met with the Union of Jewish Students to formulate a plan for the fight ahead. While he assured the help of the adult Jewish community would always be there, he also very strongly insisted that Jewish students lead the fight against Islamophobia, which I thought was inspiring and a good approach. The Coexist Foundation was formed out of this meeting, where young Jews and Muslims fight prejudice together with our Christian colleagues. I fully endorse action like this.

    On another point, an interesting anti-Semitism related story this week:

    http://www.thejc.com/news/uk-news/30880/jenny-tonge-quits-palestine-telegraph-over-kkk-video

  114.  

    Mark Humphrys isn’t part of this discussion. You made the accusation about Fisk and it’s up to you to substantate it. I read Begin’s “two-footed animal” statement to the Knesset and it was said in the context of the Palestinians (unless there was another conflict going on, perhaps with the Japanese or the Fijians, or the Italians, that I didn’t know about).

    Fisk wasn’t the only one who overestimated the deaths at Jenin. I understand senior members of the IDF also overestimated the number of deaths. It amazes me, however that you should be so hung up on numbers. After all, Israel makes no apology for violent retaliation if even a single Israeli is harmed. Is there a different arithmetic of death for Palestinians?

    In any event, you’re somewhat selective in this. Will you also deny the reality of Sabra and Chatila, where Israel’s proxies, the SLA, slaughtered civilians while the IDF looked on? Three months after Begin’s two-footed animals speech, the IDF let the killers into the camps, watched them massacre Palestinian civilians, and let them out again.

    I searched for definitions of a concentration camp that don’t carry Nazi overtones, and found this one: a guarded compound for the detention or imprisonment of aliens, members of ethnic minorities, political opponents, etc.

    In other words, a place for concentrating troublesome people.

    Gaza is guarded, fenced in and highly concentrated. To my mind, that makes it a concentration camp. In fact it’s the most densely populated place in the world. Are you saying it became that way because Palestinians like the seaside?

    I would appreciate it if you wouldn’t cherry-pick your replies to this.

  115.  

    I said I recommended checking his site, not that he was part of the discussion.

    Begin said Israel would act no different than the Danes, the Americans, the Russians and the Chinese in defending the children of the nation. Unless the Palestinians were launching some terrorist campaign against Denmark or their generous benefactors in the Soviet Union, I can only see him as referring to terrorists, not to Arabs. You can read it creatively and say he was referring to Palestinians, but I think it would be dishonest.

    The IDF may have initially thought there would be a couple of hundred casualties in Jenin, but a margin of error of + 2950 deaths is unacceptable, especially from Britain’s premier broadsheets. This number was prominently displayed on the front pages of the Guardian, and they never apologised for it. 3,000 deaths in a refugee camp of 30,000 or so is an unbelievable figure. After the truth began to leak out, Fisk and the Guardian kept referring to a massacre in Jenin. John Pilger was claiming an ‘unconfirmed number of people were bulldozed to death in their homes’ (‘unconfirmed’ is the weasel word here). The story has survived refutation. Its in the Palestinian interest of course. I find it hilarious to watch the footage of Palestinian ‘funerals’ in Jenin where ‘corpses’ were falling off stretchers and somehow crawling back on again.

    You asked if I would also ‘deny the reality of’ Sabra and Shatila. You are being dishonest. I have presented the reality of Jenin (56 casualties, combatant and civilian, according to the UN) and not denied it like Robert Fisk.

    Sabra and Shatila was indeed a horrible event. But here we see how language becomes so important. You emphasise the Phalangists as Israeli proxies: I see them as the genuinely popular militia of the Christian population. They were part of the sectarian strife in Lebanon that possibly saw the deaths of hundreds of thousands of Lebanese, but the PLO were no more innocent than them in the whole thing.

    The Phalangists should not have been allowed into the camps alone. It was estimated there were a couple of hundred PLO in the midst of the camp, and Israeli forces would have been more trustworthy in this kind of combat. The leader of the Lebanese Christian community and President of Lebanon Bashir Gamayel had been murdered that week, by allies of the PLO. The Phalangists were out for blood. How far can Israel be blamed? How much did the IDF know? Hillel Hankin, who fought in Lebanon, has written a fair piece on the whole thing:

    http://www.commentarymagazine.com/viewarticle.cfm/the–waltz-with-bashir–two-step-15082

    What I find amazing is the muted response that came to subsequent events in Lebanon. In May 1985, Muslim militias attacked the Shatila refugee camp and one other. According to UN officials, 635 were killed and 2,500 wounded. No one has heard of this event. During a two-year battle between the Syrian-backed Shiite Amal militia and the PLO (when the Syrians were not on their side: this is a mightily confusing conflict indeed) , more than 2,000 people,a huge proportion of them civilians, were killed. No outcry was directed at the PLO or the Syrians and their allies over this mess. In October 1990, Syrian forces overran Christian-controlled areas of Lebanon. In the eight-hour clash, 700 Christians were killed — the worst single battle of Lebanon’s Civil War. This didn’t make the front covers of TIME or Newsweek. I’m not saying that Sabra (the first massacre) and Shatila shouldn’t have, but that there is a marked lack of interest when Israel is not involved in such things. The Phalangists have never gotten the criticism they deserve. While the Kahan Commission in Israel found Sharon culpable and he was forced to resign, Bashir Gamayel’s brother Amal never looked into the event and never punished anybody.

    I don’t want to get into this all day. Its off the topic of anti-Semitism for the most part, and I think its best we don’t get bogged down in specific military operations. If you want my position on Sabra and Shatila in short: I think there was negligence on the part of the Israeli forces. Perhaps unforgivable for the armed forces of a country. But I don’t think a massacre was planned beforehand. The Phalangists had recently come on board and the IDF wanted to keep them desperately and ask few questions. I don’t know how much the IDF saw at night. They probably decided it was best to wait until morning and daylight to investigate. Again, I see negligence, though not an extensively premeditated massacre.

    On Gaza:

    Does this look like a concentration camp to you? These are photos the BBC won’t show you:

    http://www.paltoday.com/arabic/News-64161.html?hq_e=el&hq_m=2225148&hq_l=18&hq_v=cc6520f6f2

    Its funny. Lauren Booth, the Press TV propagandist went to Gaza and called it a concentration camp, but was photographed a little while later i a very well stocked Gazan supermarket. Its hilarious, I must find it again for you.

    Gaza is not a concentration camp because its population has always lived there before being blockaded by Israel, after they elected Hamas and we saw a 500% increase in rocket fire from the area. If there is a peace agreement, and may it come soon, there will be no need for a blockade.

    Gaza is not actually the most crowded place on earth either. Neither is the PA, as Robert Fisk has said. Good article on that here:

    http://blog.z-word.com/2009/09/gaza-the-overcrowding-myth/

  116.  

    ‘You can read it creatively and say he was referring to Palestinians, but I think it would be dishonest.’

    By which I mean Palestinians as Arabs or as a race, rather than the PLO or the Abu Nidal Organisation.

  117.  

    Something I meant to ask to Norma: You have no issue with kicking Jewish children who harassed an Arab lady to teach a lesson in civility. But when it comes to people who try to blow up synagogues in the Bronx, you call it ‘the wrath of people who are extremely offended by the blatant apartheid in Israel’, and blame the Jewish state immediately. Are you a person who would walk by Jewish colleagues getting hurt? Can you tell yourself ‘well, its only the Zionist/Bolshevik/bad Jews they are against’, blame the victim and move on? Can Palestinians and the collection of racists and thugs who support them commit crimes, or are they always the fault of someone else?

  118.  

    TSW. A thoroughly classic example @117 of how you alter and manipulate words and scenarios to fit your agenda.
    Firstly, I am not in the habit of ” kicking ” anyone, and I said ” teen-ager” not ” child “, That particular ” teenager” was about 15/16 and twice my size in height and width, I had asked them to stop, but that particular one would not let go of the ladys remaining bag, nor would he stop spitting on her, It was the one and only time i ever intervened in such a manner.
    I never made any mention of ” people who blow up synagogues ” and when I wrote the ” wrath of people who are blatantly offended by the apartheid system in Israel ” You know perfectly well it was in response to IDF Soldiergirl and her comment on Anti Semitism, It was in defence of those who should not have to suffer insults or offence because of Israeli Government Policy.
    “Would i walk by Jewish or any colleagues getting hurt ? ” I would not judge a person according to their beliefs or ethnicity.
    When you ask ” Can Palestinians or the collection of racist thugs who support them commit crimes ? ”
    That in itself is an extremly prejudiced and racist question, Why ? Because are you asking ” Can a Palestinian person commit a crime ” To that my answer is No, a crime is a crime, But you asked about Palestinians ( plural ) commiting a crime which signifies you see all Palestinians in a light very prejudicial to a race of people.
    With regard ” The collect of racists and thugs who support them ” Are you including Aid workers, Doctors, Physchologists, Teachers, the many and various charities who work tirelessly for Palestinian Orphanages and try daily to provide for the basic needs of those people ? Because there are many people who support the Human rights and basic needs of the Palestinian people and many of those people also happen to be Jewish.
    I have stated on other threads several times that I do not support violence of any kind, The incident you have so ludicrously twisted was an isolated one per my reaction, The lady in question was completly defenceless and the barrage she was subjected to was hate filled and relentless, I reacted protectivly and defensivly as I would have done out of instinct, as if it were one of my children.
    I have several Jewish friends but fortunately none with your talent for manipulation and blind sided views.
    I deeply resent your insidious and manipulative insinuations, I have responded to you politely but you are one of those people who gratefully I have not met too many, for with whom communication is dangerous because you are more focused on manipulation than understanding, You always seem to have an agenda and that agenda seems to be prosletysing with a particular one sided if not racist curve, I will not respond to you again.

  119.  

    “Palestinians and the collection of racists and thugs who support them”.

    Which one am I then, TSW — a racist or a thug?

  120.  

    I’m not referring to you, Bock,or the aid workers like those of UNRWA in the PA, wasting their time for the most part (as long as idiots are still in charge there).

    By the racists and thugs I am referring to people like the several jail house converts to Islam who tried to blow up four Bronx synagogues a while back. Norma seemed to whitewash the hate among people like them by portraying those who commit anti-Semitic crimes in the Diaspora communities as understandably concerned about the Palestinians. I’m referring to the regimes and thugs in North Korea, Syria, Venzuela and Iran. I’m referring to Al Qaeda, Hezbollah and Islamic Jihad. The National Front in this country, Raymond Deane in Ireland and the KKK in America. Historically, I’m talking about the Soviet Union and Idi Amin. You know, all those people who seem to have been concerned about human rights in relation to the Palestinians over the years.

    My question wasn’t racist Norma. I’m asking you if you are capable of condemning crimes committed by Palestinians (like the direct slaughter of thousands of Christians in Lebanon) and Palestinian supporters abroad, or must you always try to blame Israel first?

    Note: I forgot to say that Raymond Deane recently left the IPSC, along with many hard-liners, as the IPSC refused to condemn Fatah an the PA for ‘collaborating’ with Israel.

  121.  

    The very question is an implicit slur. Nobody will condone murder, and this has been repeated many times in the comments here. Murder is murder, and always wrong. You have no need to explain that fact to grown adults or to question them on such an obvious fact. (Which isn’t by the way, all that obvious to you or the IDF)..

    This thread is close to running its course, since you have now managed, in a gutter-press way, to smear everyone who disagrees with your point of view. It’s not an honourable way to conduct a discussion and I regret that you have chosen to use such a shabby tactic.

    I think I should close it here before others start to follow your example and it degenerates into an exchange of insults.

  122.  

    I thought Norma’s line was such a whitewash: ‘It is not right that the diaspora suffer the wrath of people who are extremely offended by the blatant apartheid in Israel, So maybe it’s time that The Israeli Government realised the consequences of their ideology is very far reaching.’ The knee-jerk response to thugs who throw Molotovs into Paris Chabad centers was to instantly paint them as concerned about human rights, the new religion. My criticism of all people I mentioned was substantiated. If you didn’t like me calling Fisk a buffoon, fine. You respect the guy, it shows. I don’t. But my points against him still stand, along with the responses I have given posters here on issues relating to the experience of Jews in Muslim lands and such. I feel it is a shame that broader aspects of anti-Semitism were never really discussed except briefly in regards to Muslim theological anti-Semitism. Which is why I feel its a shame to shut the thread. As I said, I would have liked to discuss Italian Fascism and such, and whether if you find Jews in the movement can it be called anti-Semitic. 10,000 Italian Jews were members of Mussolini’s fascist party before 1938, for instance. Palestinian supporters seem to have this awful tactic of saying ‘see, this Jew agrees with me on this issue, so I must be right and Israel must be wrong’. This is logically and empirically ridiculous, and I’ve seen yourself and Norma use it here… I didn’t complain about this childish ways of arguing, but it is culturally ingrained now in Israel’s critics.

  123.  

    I have no difficulty with continuing if you can manage to conduct a a discussion without trying to undermine the personal integrity of everyone you disagree with.

    It doesn’t matter if you think somebody is a buffoon. That contributes nothing to the debate and nobody is interested in your private opinions about another individual.

    So far, you have accused people of being fools, drunk and members of the IRA. You have questioned the wilingness of good people to condemn murder, and you have deliberately twisted and misrepresented comments made by many here, including myself and Norma. That kind of thing has no place in a civilised debate.

    You have behaved like a propagandist.

    What matters is whether people’s argument stands up or not. You can leave the smear tactics to Israeli intelligence.

    However, if you are willing to debate with people on facts, and drop the slurs, the jibes and the smears, I’ll keep this thread open a little longer.

  124.  

    Hey, I called lapsedmethodist a fool, and said he sounded drunk, because I was very angry with him saying I was a plagiariser while incorrectly blurting out that I was wrong on a fact of history. Then he kept coming back to criticise me and spewing anti-American stuff, that had nothing to do what we were talking about, in what I honestly thought sounded like a drunken rant. He apologised for the ‘word for word’ plagiarism allegation and things are fine now, and I went into what I felt was a balanced brief look at Jewish-Muslim relations. I won’t be referring to him insultingly any more, we have gone over the problem.

  125.  

    As I already said, if this discussion can be continued without attempting to question the personal integrity of people you disagree with, well and good. Otherwise, we’ll just close it off now, because there will be no point in carrying on.

  126.  

    Unfortunately, there has been no reply from TSW after 8 hours.

    In the absence of a commitment to conduct the discussion in a respectful way, this thread is now closed.