May 17, 2008

No comment on Alan Johnson

Gabriel Ash's post earlier, justly ridiculing the Engagenik and Eustonista, Alan Johnson, for his "concern" about "antisemitism" had me looking at the (not so) original article so as to paste the whole post into the comments. By the time I got there comments were closed. The Guardian has this annoying habit of closing comments over night on the Palestine and zionist posts and closing comments altogether after 3 days but I didn't realise that they closed comments for good early. Well they did in the case of this Alan Johnson piece. Look at the penultimate comment by CifEditor:
This thread will be closing shortly
.That was 9:09 am, less than 48 hours after the article appeared. Then at 9:29 am, the final post, and guess what:

Your impotent rage against anything Israeli has passed beyond a joke and is now thoroughly boring.

We're sorry for the sad loss your lot suffered in 1948, in 1967 and in 1973.

But get over it. You can no more undo them than the French can undo Waterloo.
Yes, it was a pro-Israel post. Apparently you can't unlose a war after it's been lost and that was a point worth making and the CifEditor saw fit to close comments on a pro-Israel note on a piece designed to justify Israel's ethnic cleansing, its Jewish supremacy and its persistent atrocities against the civilian population of Gaza.

So anyway, that made me curious about just who this Alan Johnson character is so to the Cif profile:
Professor Alan Johnson is founder and editor of Democratiya, a free online journal of international politics. His latest book, Global Politics After 9/11: The Democratiya Interviews was published by The Foreign Policy Centre in late 2007. He is also an advisory editor of Engage Journal, a founder member of Labour Friends of Iraq, and the co-author of Unite Against Terror and the Euston Manifesto. An opponent of the invasion of Iraq, since 2003, he has supported the work of Iraqi democrats, including Abdullah Muhsin of the Iraqi Workers Federation. Their book Hadi Never Died: Hadi Saleh and the Iraqi Unions was published by the TUC in 2006.

Alan is a Professor of Democratic Theory and Practice at Edge Hill University, where he teaches a course on the Holocaust. [uh oh]

A lot of links, huh? Why no link for his opposition to the war on Iraq? People have been pilloried for that by the eustonistas.

Ach, I'm just playing here. I'm more concerned about what seems to be the manipulation of the comments of Cif in favour of zionists, not that they're ever happy of course. But let's get back to the article. Johnson has been berating the words of Hamas throughout until the last paragraph where he realises that the occupation might have something to do with Hamas's words and deeds:
Isaac Deutscher famously likened the creation of the state of Israel to a man jumping from the burning ship on to a raft. However, Deutscher also pointed out that the raft was occupied and so the survival of Israel, as well as justice for the Palestinians, demanded accommodation based on "common language". This demands much of both sides. No solution was possible with the language of "Eretz Israel". The occupation must end. Equally, no solution is possible with the language of the Hamas charter and al-Aqsa TV
Deutscher was being famously disingenuous of course. The zionist idea of a state for the world's Jews by way of the removal of the Arabs was formulated and given organisational expression in the 1890s and imperial backing certainly by 1917. The survival of Israel as a Jewish state is incompatible with justice for the Palestinians no matter how clever Deutscher was and Israel is guilty of far more than the language of Eretz Israel and there is no reason why the language of Hamas's charter should impede the withdrawal of Israel from the occupied territories. The way western commentators and governments allow Israel to use the language of its enemies, who would still be its enemies without such language, is a bigger impediment to peace than anything Hamas could say or do.


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