Tag Archives: Palestine

Ice Cream giants take on Priti Patel over refugees. But are their motives really so pure?

Yes, it’s great fun watching Priti Patel losing whatever’s left of her sanity shouting at Ben & Jerry’s.

The ice cream manufacturer took a side in the debate over asylum-seekers taking to boats in attempts to get into the UK:

And Patel ill-advisedly responded:

It seems the company has a history of political activism, and recently made quite a hit by supporting the Black Lives Matter movement.

But a lot of political commentators should have done a bit of research before voicing wholehearted praise for the purveyors of ‘cookie dough’ ice cream (my personal favourite, although I have to try to source it from other makers now).

Steve Topple, of The Canary is the only journo (I’ve seen) who actually understood what’s going on:

That’s exactly what this is.

It is impossible for me to support Ben & Jerry’s making a stand in support of refugees because Ben & Jerry’s has a factory on a former Palestinian village of Qastina, that was destroyed by Israeli troops in 1948. When that land was stolen, it undoubtedly turned a lot of people into refugees. Yes, it was a long time ago but I hope nobody is stupid enough to try to make a point out of that.

Ben & Jerry’s also sells into illegal Israeli settlements in the West Bank and East Jerusalem – land that has been occupied by the use of armed force, its rightful owners displaced.

It is unacceptable for a firm that is complicit in the creation of so many Palestinian refugees to claim the moral high ground over the issue of refugees coming to the UK – much though This Writer would wish the opposite to be the case when the other disputant is Ms Patel.

Still, we can always enjoy the fact that she’s #ShoutingAtIceCream – just for the absurdity of it:

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Pro-Palestine demonstration in London to show support after latest violence

Propagandists for the apartheid Israeli government took a psychological battering when thousands took to the streets of London for a demonstration of solidarity with the oppressed people of Palestine.

Thousands of people marched through central London on Saturday to mark the 71st anniversary of the Palestinian Nakba (Catastrophe), and to call for an end to the latest hostilities between Israel and the remnants of Palesine that the Israeli government is working hard to destroy.

The demonstration was organised for by the Palestinian Forum in Britain (PFB), Palestine Solidarity Campaign (PSC), Muslim Association of Britain (MAB) and Stop the War Campaign (STW).

If you need a reason to understand the need for such a demonstration, consider:

Armed factions in Gaza have given Israel until Monday to deliver on its commitments under a ceasefire agreement reached earlier this week.

That ceasefire brought to an end more than 48 hours of violence across the Gaza-Israel boundary that left 27 Palestinians in Gaza dead – 14 of them civilians killed by Israeli fire – as well as four civilian fatalities on the Israeli side.

The agreement reached on Monday is understood to be similar to understandings that brought an end to major Israeli offensives in Gaza in summer 2014 and November 2012.

The immediate steps expected by Palestinian factions include the reopening of the fishing zone, the transfer of funding from Qatar and the reopening of Gaza’s commercial crossings.

“In Gaza, where the economy struggles for survival and residents face adverse humanitarian conditions, every additional day that passes until these further restrictions are lifted by Israel has severe implications,” Gisha, a human rights group that monitors Israel’s siege, stated on Tuesday.

“Traders cannot fulfil their business commitments, patients miss crucial appointments for life-saving treatment, and fishermen cannot feed their families,” Gisha added.

The rights group said that “Israel’s use of its control over the crossings to deliberately harm the civilian population in Gaza has to stop.”

Even when Israeli bombs aren’t being dropped, the status quo in Gaza – under air, sea and land blockade for more than a decade, and military occupation for half a century – is far from normal.

Every two in three Palestinians in Gaza is a refugee from lands now inside Israel, which forbids Palestinian refugees from exercising their right to return because they are not Jewish.

One wonders what the severely-outgunned Palestinians will do if Israel refuses to to honour the conditions of its own ceasefire – but what else can they do, other than demand that agreements be honoured?

And while it is true that neither side in this conflict can claim the moral high ground, one has to ask why the side with overwhelming military superiority insists on continuing to inflict terror on the weaker side – if not in order to wipe it out altogether, eventually.

Opposition to that was another reason for the London march.

A highlight of the day was the speech by activist Ahed Tamimi, who served an eight-month prison sentence for slapping an Israeli soldier after her cousin, then aged 15, was shot in the head at close range with a rubber-coated steel bullet, severely wounding him.

There was considerable opposition to the Conservative government of Theresa May, over its support for the Israeli government:

The Labour Party’s position is clear. In government, it will recognise Palestine as a sovereign state. Labour was well-represented on the demonstration:

Of course, this is the reason supporters of the Israeli government are so keen to smear Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn and his supporters in the party as anti-Semites, in the face of the evidence showing he has supported the Jewish people as well as Palestinians.

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Backlash against Zionism as Israeli soldiers commit more atrocities

Let’s remind ourselves of the things done by representatives of Israel in the name of their ethno-political ideology, Zionism:

Israeli soldiers shot on Thursday a restrained Palestinian teenager they had detained for suspected stone-throwing as he was attempting to flee, although he was blindfolded and handcuffed.

The soldiers pursued the detainee near the Palestinian village of Tekoa in the West Bank.

The suspect was kept detained at the scene even after he had been shot, however, after clashes between soldiers and Palestinians at the scene, the Palestinians evacuated the suspect to receive medical treatment.

There is video evidence:

It is in this context that supporters of Israeli Zionism including Labour Friends of Israel and the Jewish Labour Movement demanded an apology from Labour MP Richard Burgon after video evidence emerged of him saying Zionism was “the enemy of peace”.

And in this context it is welcome that Jewish lawyers Geoffrey Bindman and Stephen Sedley wrote to The Guardian to express their dismay at the pressure that was put on Mr Burgon, and their shame at Israel’s mistreatment of the Palestinian people.

They wrote: “As Jewish lawyers who have been concerned for much of our lives with opposing racism in general and antisemitism in particular, we see no reason for any such apology.

“We are among the large number of Jews, worldwide, who regard with shame the military oppression by Israel of the Palestinian people and the ongoing appropriation, by illegal settlement, of the little land that is still theirs.

“The Jewish Labour Movement, a pro-Zionist group within the Labour party, has no entitlement to speak for Jews at large in seeking to stigmatise all criticism of Zionism as antisemitic. The undoubted misuse of “Zionist” as a surrogate for “Jewish” has to be dealt with case-specifically, not by immunising Zionism from all criticism.”

Last year, one of the accusations against This Writer, under which the Labour Party wanted to expel me, was that I outed the Jewish Labour Movement as the “Zionist Labour Movement” and said it spoke for Zionists who supported Israel rather than for all Jews – which is exactly what these learned men have said. Apparently this was proof of anti-Semitism.

Labour’s National Kangaroo Court Constitutional Committee decided to find the case against me proved, despite having had it demonstrated that there was no anti-Semitism at all in my comment; it was merely a statement of the facts.

Now these learned gentleman – who are Jewish – have supported my statements. I think I deserve a rather large apology from the Labour Party, don’t you?

Or are these lawyers also “the wrong kind of Jew”?


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United States cut off funding for UN agency providing aid to Palestinians. Why?

Do we really believe the States’ claim that a United Nations agency is “irredeemably flawed”?

Isn’t it just the next step in Donald Trump’s campaign of support for the racist, apartheid goverment in Israel?

He has already given official recognition to that government’s decision to name Jerusalem as its capital, angering Palestinians who have claimed the eastern part of the same city as their own capital.

And he has cut $200 million in aid for Gaza and the West Bank.

Washington has said UNRWA can have the money back if it makes reforms – but it has not said what those reforms should be, so it is a meaningless gesture.

Meanwhile, the plight of the Palestinians worsens every day – while the States, and the rest of the international community, look the other way.

Palestinians have condemned the US decision to halt funding to a UN agency that helps educate, feed and provide healthcare for more than 5 million Palestinian refugees across several countries as a “flagrant assault” on their rights.

The US state department said… that it would no longer support the UN Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA), which operates in the occupied territories as well as Jordan, Syria and Lebanon. It described the organisation as “irredeemably flawed”.

The announcement sparked anger and concern, even though it had been widely anticipated. Critics see the move as part of a concerted plan to undermine core Palestinian demands in peace negotiations and say it could further destabilise the Middle East.

Source: Palestinian anger over US decision to end funding for UN agency | World news | The Guardian

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Netanyahu echoes Hitler. Will his followers call ‘anti-Semitism!’ on those who point this out?

Benjamin Netanyahu: echoing Adolf Hitler.

Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu has lowered himself to baiting his critics – trying to lure them into apparent displays of anti-Semitism – by paraphrasing Nazi tyrant Adolf Hitler in a comment on Twitter.

He stated, in a sabre-rattling speech aimed at Iran: “The weak crumble, are slaughtered and are erased from history while the strong, for good or for ill, survive. The strong are respected, and alliances are made with the strong, and in the end peace is made with the strong.”

As you can see from the response by Evolve Politics, Hitler said something almost identical in 1923: “The whole of nature is a mighty struggle between strength and weakness, an eternal victory of the strong over the weak.”

It is true that one of the examples of anti-Semitism listed with the IHRA working definition is “drawing comparisons of contemporary Israeli policy to that of the Nazis”.

For some, that would be enough. We know several right-wing Labour MPs who would scream “anti-Semitism” if anybody compared Netanyahu with Hitler.

However – and this is a biggie:

The working definition of anti-Semitism itself states that examples such as that listed above are “non-legally binding”, only “to guide IHRA in its work”, and are indications of what “might” be manifestations, “taking into account the overall context”.

So – as Martin Odoni clarifies in this Critique Archives article, “the notorious ‘examples’ in the IHRA definition… are not meant to be seen as cast-iron proof of anti-Semitic attitudes. They are merely meant to be seen as clues for ‘where to look’, as it were. Where these behaviours are seen, the person or people demonstrating them might be anti-Semitic in their intentions, and so it is advisable to investigate.”

So the IHRA accepts that drawing comparisons between contemporary Israeli policy and that of the Nazis may not be inherently anti-Semitic – and one occasion in which it most certainly would not is if the Israeli prime minister paraphrased the words of Hitler.

Furthermore, such behaviour encourages unfavourable analysis of Israeli policy towards the Palestinians – not direct comparisons with the Nazis’ persecution of European Jews, although it is clear that, as Hitler believed the Jews to be weak, Netanyahu applies the same description to Palestinians.

So, in context, there is nothing anti-Semitic about this tweet by Craig Murray, no matter how much the pro-Israeli-government lobby rages about it.

This one, by John Clarke, is a valid expression of opinion:

And duncanpoundcake doesn’t go far enough: Hitler had shouted this crap, long before the Nuremberg rallies:

Marcus Chown’s comment can’t be touched because not only is he absolutely right, but he actually places Netanyahu’s remarks in their correct context:

But it seems the pro-Israeli-government lobby has the mass media neatly muzzled. Tom Clark of Another Angry Voice says it loud and clear:

Where indeed?

And Jill Segger teaches the lesson that Mr Netanyahu and all the supporters of his genocidal regime seem to have forgotten:

We are told – constantly – that the Nazi persecution of the Jews is, indeed, hateful to the Jews.

But the leader of what he himself has described as the “nation-state of the Jewish people” has not only embraced the rhetoric that informed that persecution – he uses it to justify doing what is hateful to his own neighbours in Palestine.

And, to their eternal shame, our mainstream news media are spineless, supine and silent.

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Netanyahu’s Israel is victimising Jews who don’t support his apartheid regime

Victimised: Simone Zimmerman.

In the words of Jewdas: “The irony of Israel recently crowning itself as the ‘Jewish Nation-State’ at the same time as it is turning away increasing numbers of Jews due to their political views should not be lost on anyone.”

American Jews have good reason to be afraid. Recent interrogations, harassment, and deportation of left-wing Jewish American activists over their political beliefs and activities have ushered in a new political moment in the relationship between Israel and diaspora Jewish communities.

No longer is Jewish identity enough to protect American activists from the reach of the Shin Bet, Israel’s internal security agency. Jewish privilege is no longer enough to guarantee entry into the Jewish state should one’s ideology or political views contradict those of the Israeli government.

When Simone Zimmerman and Abby Kirschbaum were detained and interrogated on their way back from a weekend in Sinai, the Shin Bet and border authority interrogators were almost exclusively interested in why the two wanted to work with Palestinians. They wanted to know about their politics.

A week earlier, when Israeli-American author Moriel Zecher-Rothman was held by the Shin Bet at the airport, an agent warned him against going down a “slippery slope” of anti-occupation activism and demanded he provide intelligence on fellow left-wing activists.

Source: In Israel, American Jews can kiss their privilege goodbye | +972 Magazine

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Here’s why people are afraid to denounce the genocidal brutality of the Israeli regime

Benjamin Netanyahu: He seems to think murdering Arabs is great fun.

Those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it.

And some, it seems, examine the worst horrors with notepad in hand, keen to work out how they can achieve the same and get away with it.

So we come to the atrocities of the nation of Israel.

If the people of Gaza, imprisoned behind the apartheid wall imposed by Israel, may be likened to the inmates of a concentration camp – and I think they can…

And if their only defence against the Israel Defence Force thugs who murdered them on Monday was slings and stones – and I think it was…

Then it seems clear that Benjamin Netanyahu has launched a little Holocaust, all of his own, against the Palestinian people.

I know – accusing Israel of behaviour similar to that of Nazi Germany is an anti-Semitic trope. We’re all told we must not do it.

But that implies responsibility on the part of that country – not to emulate the Nazis in any way. It is a responsibility that the current Israeli government has scorned.

Netanyahu and his cronies are attacking Palestinian people purely because of who they are, and the fact that they live on land and occupy property he wants to steal.

A statement is not anti-Semitic if it is factually correct. And it is factually correct that Benjamin Netanyahu and the government of Israel are carrying out the racist, Islamophobic extermination of the Palestinian people.

The massacre of nearly 60 unarmed Palestinians – with more than 2,000 injured – is just the latest item on that agenda.

That it should happen on the 70th anniversary of the establishment of Israel as a nation only amplifies the crime. What happened – did Mr Netanyahu wake up and say to himself, “This is a great day – I think I’ll celebrate by murdering some Arabs”? That is, after all, what he did.

And what response does he receive from the international community and the media? Silence – or unrestrained approval.

It seems the threat of being labelled “anti-Semite” hangs heavily on some. To my colleagues in the mainstream media who don’t have the guts to stand up against brutality, I say: Shame on you. You disgrace us all.

Of course, the 70th anniversary of the establishment of Israel is also the 70th anniversary of the day Palestinians were turfed off land that had previously been theirs. They call it the Nakba, which means “catastrophe”:

Self-governing Palestinian territories like Gaza are entirely reliant on Israel for their water, electricity, telecommunications and other utilities – and the Israeli government has been starving Gaza of all of them. The Israeli government has turned Gaza into a ghetto.

We are told that around 40,000 Gazans have gathered at the fence that separates the territory from Israel. Israeli officials are pushing propaganda that states these people may rush on the fence in protest at their enclosure and effective imprisonment, and Israeli news channels are dutifully reporting that Hamas is using these people – rather than using the more likely explanation that these people are airing legitimate grievances.

In any case, if the Israeli government wants to talk about self-defence, we can always remind its representatives of the moment two months ago when video footage emerged of an Israeli Defence Force sniper shooting a Palestinian civilian deadfor fun.

If you want to know more about the attitude of the Israeli government, consider this hideous hag:

If you’re thinking, “Hang on, Mike, she’s really pretty!” think again. This is Ayelet Shaked, a member of the Knesset (the Israeli Parliament). You may find it bitterly ironic that she is currently Israel’s serving Minister of Justice, considering the fact that she broadcasts vile racism on her Facebook page.

For example, in 2014 she wrote: “Behind every terrorist stand dozens of men and women, without whom he could not engage in terrorism. They are all enemy combatants, and their blood shall be on all their heads. Now this also includes the mothers of the martyrs, who send them to hell with flowers and kisses. They should follow their sons, nothing would be more just. They should go, as should the physical homes in which they raised the snakes. Otherwise, more little snakes will be raised there.

“They have to die and their houses should be demolished so that they cannot bear any more terrorists.”

Do you think she’s pretty now?

Notice the dehumanisation of Palestinians as “snakes”. The Holocaust Memorial Day Trust has a poster on its website detailing the 10 stages of genocide, one of which is “dehumanisation”. “The Nazis referred to Jews as ‘vermin’,” it states. Those who would accuse others of anti-Semitism would be quick to leap on anybody who made such comparisons today. But they remain happy for Israeli politicians to refer to Palestinians as “snakes”.

At the ceremony to mark the US embassy’s move to Jerusalem, this woman accused Hamas, the Islamist party which rules the Strip, of “sacrificing its people as part of a PR effort”. What, is she trying to pretend Hamas killed an injured all those people? Israeli fingers were on the triggers. It seems clear that it is the Israeli government making the PR effort.

And failing, if there’s any justice in the world. Notice that Ms Shaked’s words fulfil another of the 10 stages of genocide: Denial.

Here’s the reality:

But, thanks to creeps like Ms Shaked, people feel justified in coming out with rubbish like Joe Stal’s comment below:

https://twitter.com/stal_joe/status/996382643917852673

He got what he deserved:

What about Israeli government spokeswoman Michal Maayan, who advocated genocide because, “We can’t put all of these people in jail”?

Thank goodness Jeremy Corbyn is man enough to call an atrocity out for what it is:

But then, like myself, Mr Corbyn has already been accused by those who tar their enemies with the brush of anti-Semitism. What does he have to lose?

Notice that Theresa May – whose Conservative government sells arms to countries like Israel, in order to help them commit such vile crimes – remains silent. It seems it is up to Mr Corbyn to lead the call for international law and justice.

Appallingly, the Jewish Chronicle is reporting that Tory ex-Work and Pensions Secretary Stephen Crabb, “chair of the Conservative Friends of Israel group, outlined its support for Israel’s right to defend itself from attempts to breach the Gaza border while accusing Hamas of “manipulating the citizens of Gaza”.

The United States – the country that likes to portray itself as the world’s police service – has blocked a United Nations motion for an investigation into the massacre. Don’t you think that a little suspicious?

On Tuesday (May 15), MPs gathered outside Parliament to protest against the slaughter:

When you consider the total number of MPs in Parliament – and what about the Lords? – it’s a pathetically small number. Presumably the others left their spines at home. One of them was Labour’s Grahame Morris:

Unfortunately these efforts have been totally undermined by the – at best – misguided efforts of Labour Friends of Israel (LFI), an organisation set up to support the government of that country, no matter what it does.

In the immediate aftermath of Monday’s massacre, LFI released a statement on Twitter that attempted to put the blame for Palestinians being shot by Israelis entirely on Hamas:

The tweet, blaming the Gazans for their own deaths, has been roundly condemned and has since been deleted – without comment. But the damage to LFI has been done and the Labour Party is being urged to reject the organisation. This may present a problem for MPs and other Labour representatives who are members:

The LFI’s director tweeted similar propaganda – and took it down with similar haste:

I would like to know the opinion of ordinary Israeli citizens about the massacre – and that of Jews around the world.

Are they not as horrified as the rest of us by this outrage committed by the Israeli government?

That is what many of us want to see:

Here’s one Jew who thoroughly disapproves:

And he has found evidence that Israelis are indeed appalled by the actions of their government:

Here’s another:

https://twitter.com/maxberger/status/996056635708723200

As for the rest of us – well, see for yourself:

https://twitter.com/xugla/status/996171241491968000

I could go on and on but I think the point is made.

I await another wave of fake-outraged claims of anti-Semitism against me. Members of the Campaign Against Antisemitism are probably salivating as they type their latest screed.

But, as I said at the start, it isn’t anti-Semitic to point out a blindingly obvious fact.

In fact, let’s see a few more people highlighting the Netanyahu government’s racism, Islamophobia and genocide – starting with the UK government, the ‘Friends of Israel’ movements, the Board of Deputies of British Jews, and everybody else who claims to speak for Judaism around the world.

And while we’re about it – what’s holding the tongues of all the reporters at the BBC?


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Here’s the best video on Jews, Arabs, Israel and Palestine for a long time. See for yourself

This is uplifting because it’s not about hate, but about understanding.

See for yourself – and don’t be fooled by the title:

We must always remember that there is a solution to the situation between Jews and Arabs in Israel, Palestine, or whatever you want to call that much-disputed land in the Middle East.

And it can be found, if people just put away their preconceptions, hang up their hate for a while, and try – I don’t know – talking for a while.

Maybe they could start by talking about the weather, as suggested in the video! It’d be a start.

Let’s see more communication like this, please – and less of the hate that we’ve had for so long.

I’d be especially keen to run a video along the same lines from a Jewish point of view – or from that of people who don’t belong to either ethnicity but live in the same area. How about it?


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Uncomfortable facts that should be addressed – not just on Holocaust Memorial Day but every day

A woman and a man at the memorial plaque at Buchenwald concentration camp near Weimar, Germany [Image: Jens Schlueter/Getty Images].

Here‘s a worthwhile article on the Beastrabban blog, making an important point about the way the scope of Holocaust Memorial Day seems to have been limited.

Today is, I believe, Holocaust Remembrance Day, when the world, or at least the Western world, reflects on the Shoah and the calculated extermination of six million Jews.

As we commemorate the sufferings of the Jews during the Nazi regime, we also need to take on board that it isn’t just about anti-Semitism, but about similar horrors that have disfigured human history down the centuries, and murderous, criminal regimes that are perpetrating them today.

Just so. The Nazi Holocaust, the killing of millions of Jews, and the way in which they were murdered, should never be forgotten. But part of this remembrance must involve recognition that similar hate-motivated atrocities can happen – and are happening – even now.

Unfortunately, there are some highly vocal people who seem to want to mask this fact, as we have seen on This Site over the last few days.

Holocaust Remembrance Day isn’t just about commemorating the Holocaust and its victims, but other genocides and their victims that have occurred throughout history. Hitler partly made his decision to go ahead with the extermination of the Jews because of the complete lack of western reaction to the Young Turks’ massacre of the Armenians. He commented, ‘Who remembers the Armenians?’ And before then, the German colonial authorities in what is now Tanganyika had attempted to exterminate the Herrero after they revolted, using similar eugenicist logic.

It is … important to remember the other victims of the Nazi camps as well.

This included the congenitally disabled, who were murdered by Nazi doctors under the Aktion T4 programme with the assistance and supervision of the SS… This prefigured and prepared for the murder of the Jews, particularly in the use of poison gas.

I made the point that disabled people are being persecuted to their deaths by the Conservative government in the United Kingdom – right now – in a response to comments in Prime Minister’s Questions on Wednesday (January 24).

And what initial response did I receive?

Denial. And denial is one of the ten stages of genocide, as we all know from the Holocaust Memorial Day website. Right?

The Nazis also attempted to exterminate the Romanies – the Gypsies – as they too were considered, like the Jews, to be subhuman and a threat to German society and racial industry.

Other victims of the camps included the mentally ill, neurotics, prostitutes, recidivist criminals, Prisoners of War, and political prisoners, such as trade unionists, Socialists, Communists, Anarchists, gay men, and slave workers from the Slav nations. The last were worked to death in horrific conditions, including building the Nazi fortifications and tunnels in the Channel Islands.

The Holocaust Memorial Day website devotes a couple of paragraphs on a page to these victims of the Nazi Holocaust. The highest estimate of the death figures shows they outnumber Jewish victims by a ratio of nearly two to one.

The website also devotes several pages each to the genocides in Cambodia, Darfur, Bosnia and Rwanda, and mentions the atrocities against Armenians which encouraged Hitler to commit his own.

It omits many other genocides, both recent and historical.

Nothing is said about the indigenous people of America, for example. Those of you who are aware of the HMD website may not even know there is a site for Aztec Natives, which makes the following pertinent point:

“The Mexican people are the descendants and the end product of five centuries of genocide – the greatest Holocaust in human history. Over 100 million of our ancestors, i.e. at least 90% of natives were killed.”

100 million dead, and no commemoration on Holocaust Memorial Day. It seems some groups have stronger public relations people than others.

Genocides have continued to be perpetrated, such as the various crimes against humanity committed by Fascist regimes across Latin America, Asia and Africa, supported by American foreign policy. The persecution of the Rohingya is just the latest of these.

Isn’t it interesting how we can identify the wrongdoings of people in other countries, yet we say nothing about what’s happening in our own? “It couldn’t happen here”, as the saying goes.

It has; it does; it is.

Those who deny it are complicit.

Fortunately, the Beastrabban piece provides a ray of hope. We see that not everybody supports the overwhelming concentration of attention on the Nazi Holocaust, and it is important to note that Jewish scholars are among those leading the way in this regard.

And Jews have been involved in protesting and commemorating them and their victims as well. In Canada, the leader of the mainstream Jewish organisation, Bernie Farber, organised a ‘Shabbat for Darfur’ after that city was attacked by the Islamist Janjaweed Militia in the early part of this century. Farber’s generous action has been bitterly criticised by members of the transatlantic conservative Right, who feel that Jews should concentrate solely on their own sufferings in the Holocaust, and not expand their experience of suffering, persecution and attempted genocide to form solidarity with the other persecuted ethnic and religious groups.

Why not form solidarity with other persecuted groups? We all know there is strength in numbers. Is it because making such connections might reveal uncomfortable truths about events closer to home?

Israeli scholars have also noted that the Holocaust, while horrific, was not a unique event. See Genocide: A Critical Bibliographic Review, edited by Israel W. Charny, the executive director of the Institute on the Holocaust, Jerusalem, and Director of Postgraduate Interdisplinary and Graduate Social Work Programs in Family, Therapy, Bob Shapell School of Social Work, Tel Aviv University. Dr. Charny’s book also includes a chapter on the ethnic cleansing of Israel’s indigenous Arab population, which is definitely unwelcome to the Likudniks.

But it bears out Ilan Pappe’s assertion that Israelis are still decent people, who need to have the situation and issues properly explained to them. But odiously, Netanyahu, Likud and other ethno-nationalists in his ruling coalition are doing all they can to prevent that occurring. As are his little helpers over here in the shape of the Jewish Labour Movement and the Campaign Against Anti-Semitism.

Food for thought, I hope. But I wonder if critics of This Site and This Writer will be able to forgive me for including more groups in my own commemoration of Holocaust Memorial Day than they do.

Source: Wishing Everyone a Solemn and Reflective Holocaust Remembrance Day | Beastrabban\’s Weblog


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Anti-Semitism debate: Michael Rosen on Israel’s ‘right to exist’

Theodor Herzl: The founder of modern Zionism planned the ethnic cleansing of what is now Israel - removing Palestinians from their land in order to replace them with Jews. How can that ever be supportable?

Theodor Herzl: The founder of modern Zionism planned the ethnic cleansing of what is now Israel – removing Palestinians from their land in order to replace them with Jews. How can that ever be supportable?

Does Israel have a right to exist, as many Zionists have claimed – stridently, whilst demanding that anybody who argues otherwise is an anti-Semite?

It’s an interesting question – and the alleged anti-Semitism being hung around its metaphorical neck makes it worthy of discussion. Here‘s Michael Rosen’s view – and he makes some excellent points.

Is he an anti-Semite (or, considering his heritage, a “self-hating Jew”)? Of course not. He’s a rational, thinking human being.

So consider his arguments and – when faced with opposing points of view – ask of their proponents are as rational as him.

‘Israel’s right to exist’ is not based on internationally recognised law. Nations do not have the ‘right to exist’: people seize them, create them, construct them, and defend them – usually with armaments. There is no abstract ‘right to exist’. Or if people think there is, let it be stated. I think many native peoples would be delighted to hear of it, including the Palestinians.

When or if Israel’s ‘right to exist’ is made ‘non-negotiable’, this makes the Palestinians’ right of return non-negotiable. If we say that any discussion or doubt about Israel’s right to exist is anti-Semitic or ‘hors du combat’ , or not up for debate, then in so doing we accord Israel its right to have founded a nation based on dispossession, and that it is entitled to claim continued dispossession. In fact, Israel demands that all peace negotiations begin with acceptance of its ‘right to exist’. Rather than this demand being described as unacceptable, and that this demand has at its heart at the very least some racist overtones towards the dispossessed, the situation is reversed and it is those who question this, who are told that we are the racists.

The main justification for this demand seems to be that the holocaust (genocide of European Jews) took place. This justification is not a universal rule or law. There has been the attempted genocide of the native people’s of Australia and north America. The ‘best’ that either of these peoples got from the conquerors and/or the international community in terms of land were ‘reservations’. They are not accorded any status in terms of a ‘right to exist’ as nations.

To be clear, it is quite possible for what I am saying here to be part of an antisemitic line of thought ie that it is part of a viewpoint which hates all Jews because they are Jews. What I am talking about here is to do with founding principles of nation states, and people’s rights.

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