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Total number of comments: 9 (since 2011-07-30 10:06:14)

London-based

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  • The deafening silence around the Hamas proposal for a 10-year truce
    • yes, a number of the 10 points seem reasonable. However, there's a very basic "yes, but", which Hamas supporters seem to wish to ignore. It's the vile content of Hamas' charter (its constitution), which calls for the elimination of Israel and indeed for war against "the Jews", and refers also to the Protocols.

      Eliminate those things and I bet the Israelis will be more amenable to your 10 points. Eliminating those things should be basic and should not be the sorts of "concessions" which await a full and final settlement.

      Retaining those things only reinforces Israeli fears and thus intransigence. I think this is obvious. I write as a long-standing opponent of the settlements policies (which initially were to a great extent the fruits of improvisation following the unexpected outcome of the 1967 war, but have since then crystallised into state policy -- how foolish for Israel, and how unfortunate and such a harship for the Palestinians). Peace requires a real ceasefire on both sides, sincere efforts by Israel to meet to the extent possible the Gazan concerns, and revision by Hamas of its charter.

  • 'Washington Post' conflates anti-Semitism with anti-Zionism
    • "The ideology of Zionism is from the same ugly rightwing tree of racism as anti-semitism". Wrong and completely lacking in historical grounding. Anti-Semitism has emanated as much from the left as from the right. "Anti-Semitism -- the socialism of fools". Remember? Read history and you will see that it is far from a solely right-wing illness.

  • Oldman labels himself an 'A-hole' for saying Jews run Hollywood
  • Oldman says Hollywood is 'run by Jews,' then offers over-the-top apology
    • a little elliptical in places but i have the feeling i agree with what you said in that post, Yonah. Points well taken.

      I would say this:

      1. ADL doesnt matter -- it simultaneously does an important job, and goes over the top sometimes, and it's good to call the ADL out when it does.

      2. "The Jews run Hollywood" --- i would say, yes to a great extent, they do (I'd like to say "we" coz i am jewish but sadly, i have no piece of that particular action ). It would also be fair to say that as a people, we bestride the legal world (at least in the US) like a colossus. Neither statement is inherently anti-semitic, but either COULD be if the intent was to be racist in saying so. Thus, as an example, one could say --- without being racist -- that "the African American community seems to produce a large number of excellent athletes". That might just be a statement of fact. But we all instinctively know that this kind of remark COULD be intended to mean blacks are "natural athletes" (sub-text -- they should stick to entertainment and sports) and if it is uttered to make that kind of point, yes, it is very deeply racist. So "The Jews run Hollywood" is a distraction. Context is everything. It's complicated. Some things just are

      3. What a lot of the comments in this thread seem to miss is that Oldman was saying that the things the very publicly visible movie star Gibson was saying were not anti-semitic. In other words, Oldman (ab)used the public forum of a published interview to opine that to say the things Gibson said was OK because it was just letting off steam and fundamentally not racist. And that is where Oldman is terribly wrong.......and the sometimes OTT, sometimes just really annoying ADL was entirely correct to excoriate him for his interview ---even if they could have done it in any number of different tones (they should try a few new ones out).

      But I don't get a scintilla of satisfaction or enjoyment in reading Oldman's drivel about how we are the Chosen People blah blah blah -- he should have cut that cringe-worthy, toe-curling crap out because this concept of "Chosen People" is, frankly, the stuff of theology and repeated misunderstanding throughout history by both christians and jews, and it is clear that Oldman hasnt got a clue what he's talking about.

      A simple apology for a stoooopid and uninformed white-washing of the odious Gibson would have sufficed. Shouldnt have needed more than a few sentences.

  • Michael Oren's misuse of the Holocaust
    • wrong on many points. Germany has brought in millions of volksdeutscher --- german speaking inhabitants of Eastern Europe -- under preferential immigration arrangements. That doesnt make it an Aryan-preferring nation, just a state where rights of entry and settlement are preferential. A valid test in terms of apartheid would however have to include at the very least whether or not once admitted into citizenship, people have equal rights under law. That is a separate issue from the issues raised by social discrimmination. Well, israel's 20% Arab population --although no doubt suffering pretty extensive social discrimination of various forms -- have the right to vote, to run for political office, etc etc. None of the facts about social discrimination which can be adduced in the charge sheet against the State of Israel can change the fact that this doesnt add up to apartheid. Similary, it is easier for ethnic japanese to obtain immigration and permanent residence in Japan than for non ethnic japanese. that does not make Japan a racist state, although there is plenty of social discrimination. FInally, the most surprising example of all -- surprising in that no-one mentions it very often -- is our neighbour, the republic of Ireland. It takes astonishingly slight connections, in terms of "blood lines", to make a successful claim for Irish citizenship. I as a Jew of Eastern European background dont have the ability to claim Irish citizenship because I have no Irish blood flowing through my veins. So what?

      On the issue of indigenous people ---- come on, where do you draw the line? Are the Copts the "indigenous Egyptians"? Remember that the Arabs didnt show up in the Levant and Palestine until relatively recently (i mean by that some 1400 years ago). It's a mug's game, playing the indigenous card. There are plenty of claimants. Perhaps the Jews and the Samaritans should make this claim. The "Canaanites" and Moabites and all the others mentioned in the old testament as well, except that they dont exist anymore. But jews and Samaritans do --- does that exclude the modern-day Palestinians, be they christian or muslim? Not in my opinion. But it does mean that claims made on the basis of legitimacy through indigenousness are spurious, IMHO.

      So what's the claim of the jews? Sure, their history. But also their mere presence in increasingly large numbers over the course of the 19th century. During which time (and since) there have, around the world, been lots of displacements of populations (only partial in the case of the Palestinians, and in much smaller numbers than their current population). Nowadays we dont approve (one of the reasons i am against expansion of settlements). But to some extent, we all have to adjust to the things that happened in earlier periods. I can cite the Greeks and Turks. The Indians and the Pakistanis. Etc etc -- there are plenty of examples. I want to see a Pal state, and practical measures by Pal political class to focus on the development and reconstruction their people really need. And an abandonment of the wish to turn back the clock....... Sorry if that sounds harsh but if you think about the Greeks and the Turks, and imagine yourselves urging upon them the kind of revanchist reconquista which you urge upon the Palestinians, you might see that this is all rather heroic but in no-one's interest.....

    • The quote from Tony Judt is absurd ("I know no one however angry about Israel’s behavior who thinks the country has no right to exists.”) (sic)

      I have met plenty of people who contest Israel's right to exist. Advocates of the so-called "One-state solution" want to so fundamentally change the nature of the state that it is disingenuous to suggest these advocates do not contest the right of Israel to exist. Similarly, the many marchers i have seen on the streets of london, brandishing posters with israel eliminated and substituted by a Palestinian state ---these people, too, deny the right of Israel to exist. It is clear that for these two groups of people, the goal is not to improve Israel's democratic character by ending the very real prejudice and destructive practices which bring great hardship to many Palestinians ---rather, they seek to end Israel. Why is this so hard to admit?

      She also conflates secularism with anti-Zionism. I am a completely irreligious, culturally secular jew who supports the creation of a Palestinian state and opposes the settlements policies, which are not just a mistake but bring great hardships. And yet, if Zionism is an affirmation of the principle of a Jewish state -- the right of jews to assert their own ethno-nationalism as everyone else seems to be entitled to do ----- then throw whatever brickbats you'd like -- i am a zionist. And yet, a zionist who was glad to have represented (on a pro-bono basis), as a lawyer, a Palestinian woman who claimed refugee status in canada vis a vis three countries all of which denied her protection (ie residence, citizenship, passport etc): Kuwait, where she grew up and trained and qualified as an architect; Egypt, where she was born; and Israel, birthplace of her father. It was my view that she had a legitimate claim on all three bases. We won -- Canada took her in. Who had denied her human rights? --- Israel, Kuwait and Egypt. How can I be a "zionist" when I represented a Palestinian and asserted that denial of citizenship by ALL THREE countries was a denial of her human rights? I dont think it was hard ---- the right of return is not going to happen in large numbers, and guess what? international law doesnt require Israel to offer it, but people still deserve legal redress. She got more from Canada than Israel, Egypt or Kuwait was offering - which was nothing. But that just makes Israel a flawed democracy in a very peculiar geo-political situation. I am still a zionist.

  • Tell FIFA to dump Israel now, urges international campaign
    • are you kidding? "Great reporting"?! Tell me you're kidding with that.

      One does not need to agree with Ms Robbins (I don't, you obviously do) to nevertheless realise that her piece is anything but reporting. It is advocacy. And advocacy is not reporting.

      Well, it's a few more things as well ---- let's see:

      1. it takes on the coloration of a hate-filled screed in various passages

      2. shallow and one-sided (not just vis a vis Israelis and Palestinians but also the rest of the world as well ---- since I take it (please correct me if wrong) that Ms Robbins' FIFA-related crusade is about Israel and no other country.

      3. polemical rather than reasoned.

  • Yeah, Mick Jagger speaks Hebrew
    • exactly.

    • your memory is letting you down. He was a student at the LSE (London School of Economics) which has a long reputation as a hotbed of……Leftism. So much for your insightful analysis of the character and motivations of someone whom, i think it's same to assume, you actually don't know. He's not a bad joke -- he's an excellent performing artist. He's a rock and roller. A successful one. That's all. Stop trying to turn him into a target and a proxy for….what? accountants? people without political values? whatever…. just because you are angry that he played in Israel. Get over it.

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