November 01, 2005

Israel: a state for the indigenous population?

Strange crop of letters in response to Dr Nur Masalha's call for a democratic secular state. Get this from a Lyn Julius:
Dr Nur Masalha is outraged at President Ahmadinejad's "appalling" comments to "wipe Israel off the map": in truth, there is little daylight between them. The former advocates politicide, the latter genocide. A bi-national secular, democratic, state would quickly result in yet another Muslim Arab state with a Jewish, albeit Hebrew-speaking, minority. Jews do not need reminding that their recent experience as a minority in Muslim Arab states has been an unhappy one. It is time for so-called moderates like Dr Masalha to accept that Zionism is not a "colonial" enterprise but the legitimate self-determination of an indigenous people, whose presence in the Middle East predates the arrival of the Muslim Arabs by 1,000 years.
Lyn Julius
London
Obviously most "Hebrew speaking" people in Palestine now are not indigenous and to suggest that the lot of Jews in predominantly Muslim countries was an entirely unhappy one prior to the advent of Israel is racist nonsense, not so much against Muslims but against Arab Jews. The clear implication being that the Jews of the Arab world were were simply lamguishing rather than living until Ashkenazi Jews came from Europe and liberated them. Still not all the letters are bad:
Once again, a Muslim rhetorical flourish has been perceived as more dangerous than real Israeli crimes. Iranian envoys in western capitals are summoned for chiding, but Israel receives political, economic and military support while perpetrating daily occupation. If Israel were put under real pressure to implement UN resolutions, to give up its nuclear arsenal, and to allow the return of at least some of the refugees it drove out, Muslim support for Ahmadinejad's rhetoric would rapidly diminish.
Robin Yassin-Kassab
Muscat, The Sultanate of Oman
And this:
Eric Heinze and others leap to conclusions when they interpret the Iranian president's words as meaning a holocaust. Ahmadinejad said "wipe out Israel" which I can only support if it means the same as "wipe out apartheid South Africa" did in the 80s. White South Africans have survived the destruction of their racist polity and I suspect Israelis in the Middle East would also survive the wiping out of this unfortunate, racist, Zionist experiment. Meanwhile, Palestine is being more brutally wiped out every day. Let's not get distracted from who is being wiped out and who is doing the wiping.
Bruno Crowe
London
And another reality check:
Words are certainly formidable weapons, but actions tend to have stronger repercussions. Since the inception of the state of Israel, that country has been involved in two major wars and has, at various times, been in occupation of territory belonging to Egypt, Syria and Lebanon. Israel has also been stealing land from the Palestinians. During the same period, Iran has never been an aggressor against a neighbour or stolen territory from another state, though it has been the victim of appalling aggression from Saddam Hussein. Israel possesses nuclear weapons. Iran does not. Iran hasn't the remotest chance of harming Israel; the prospects of Israel attacking Iran are now openly discussed on news programmes.
Lawrence Glover
Liverpool
before giving the last word to the zionists:
The Iranian president's recent remarks are about as serious as you can get from the head of an aspiring nuclear country. With the potential to deliver atomic warheads into the heart of Europe within a few years, now is the time to take this very real threat very seriously. Nuclear blackmail will soon arrive. Failure to deal with this issue head-on will, without doubt, lead to catastrophe. A nation that held 52 US diplomats and citizens hostage between 1979-81, and still that holds a British author under threat of murder, is not to be trusted with nuclear weapons. Especially a nation whose supreme leader regularly calls for the "death of America and Britain" and now whose president threatens Israel with destruction. We have been warned.
Dominic Shelmerdine
London
Still here's one that doesn't appear on the Guardian's site:
It is somewhat paradoxical that having correctly noted that "Muslim fundamentalists have failed to understand the reality in historic Palestine", the secular Dr Massalha falls into the same trap. As with President Ahmadinejad, Dr Masalha implies that the complexity of the entire history of the region, including its current problematics, is reduced to nothing other than the product of Israel's "brutal colonisation", "institutional racism" and "ethnic cleansing" of "Israel-Palestine" (and, the contradiction of how such an inherent violent entity should give rise to a "distinctive culture, language and flourishing literature" is not explained). Having delegitimised Israel's founding and continued existence in this way, Dr Massalha, again echoes President Ahmadinejad, by concluding his comments with a call for the dissolution of the State of Israel (what he terms the "bi-national reality"). It would appear, then, that President Ahmadinejad's "fundamentalism" and Dr Masalha's "secularism" represents more a difference of form rather than content.

David M. Seymour
School of Law
Lancaster University
Assuming the Guardian didn't publish this nonsense in its print edition they did this academic a favour; note he's from a school of Law and yet he sees no difference between democratic and Islamic law. He claims to believe that equality for Muslims is the same as an Islamic state and that equality for Christians, Muslims, Jews and others is tantamount to wiping people out. I wonder what rights he believes should be withheld from Muslims in other countries. Also he seems to be believe that there are only two types of state: Jewish ones and not specifically Jewish ones. And his fellow academic, David Hirsh, hosts this racist rubbish.


Imagine! These people are paid academics. At least I think they're paid. Who knows, perhaps they pay for their positions?

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