May 29, 2010

Hate speech, the apartheid analogy and extreme moderation

I keep meaning to do posts and then I don't complete them. I wanted to write one about an article by Benjamin Pogrund on Israel's relations with South Africa during the apartheid era. Then I wanted to write one about how the Guardian's Comment is free appears to be using the stupid EUMC working definition of antisemitism to prevent certain perfectly reasonable criticisms of Israel whilst giving zionists a free rein to post anything they want to say in favour of their racist colony. Then I was reading an article in the Baltimore Jewish Times about how the organisers of the Toronto Gay pride bash were trying prevent a gay group from marching under the banner that dares speak the group's name and that is Queers Against Israeli Apartheid when I was reminded of the other two abortive posts.
So here's Benjamin Pogrund's article in The Tablet, a self-described "new read on Jewish life". His article is pretty much in the Labour good, Likud bad, tradition of soft hasbara but it does acknowledge that Labour governments and individuals were as culpable in Israel relationship with apartheid South Africa as Likud. In fact Pogrund likes to promote the idea that the relationship between the two colonial settler states was forced on Israel by Arab oil weapon diplomacy against black Africa together with the old chestnut of Arab genocidal intent. Something like that. See for yourselves anyway. I left a comment and watched for a few days while it was "awaiting moderation" while later comments were approved so I had another go as follows:
Mark Elf says: May. 23, 2010 at 8:36 pm
Has my comment from May. 22, 2010 at 4:04 pm been overlooked, only there have been four comments approved since I submitted the following:
Mark Elf says: Your comment is awaiting moderation. May. 21, 2010 at 9:16 pm
Israel Shahak wrote of Jews who support liberal causes whilst supporting zionism and suggested that they use the former as cover for the latter. Benjamin Pongrund is a classic example of the type.
Google “Smuts and Weizmann” and several sites appear demonstrating the strategic and ideological alliance between colonialism in South Africa and zionism in Palestine that go back to the turn of the 20th century. http://www.jstor.org/pss/2535527
Pogrund claims that post-67 it was “Arab oil wealth” that led to African states to be bullied into severing relations with Israel. How about the fact that post-67 Israel occupied a large chunk of Africa? The anti-apartheid activist, Pogrund, is stereotyping Arabs as oil rich and negating the idea that anyone might act against Israel on the principle that it is a colonial settler state based on ethnic cleansing and racist laws.
He also tries to make out that in 1973 Israel had come “close to defeat and annihilation”. Israel did suffer a defeat and had to return Sinai to Egypt as a result but annihilation? The anti-apartheid activist, Pogrund, is simply stereotyping Arabs as mindless killers without a cause.
Pogrund has a record of opposition to apartheid in South Africa so he has an undeserved credibility on Palestine but to describe some of his writing on Palestine as disingenuous would be a compliment to the man, certainly an understatement.
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Now please moderate it through asap because I don’t see any analytical critique of the article from an anti-zionist perspective. Thanks
Now when I go to the page, the original comment is still awaiting moderation but the second one isn't! I'm guessing that the ideologically committed moderators stop monitoring after a day or so and then anything gets through until more zealous zios complain but we shall see. The comments are still open if anyone wants to have a pop and I have left another responding to a "singling out poor Israel" comment. By the way, whilst researching the Israel/South Africa relationship I stumbled on this book by Jane Hunter called Israeli Foreign Policy: Central America and South Africa which certainly belies the idea that Israel's relations with the other apartheid state only really kicked off in the seventies. Also, I was sent this wikipedia link by a friend titled, Israel and the apartheid analogy. I haven't had time to read the whole thing but I am surprised the zionists that infest wikipedia have even allowed the title but please check out the content. And so to Comment is free. A couple of weeks ago Gilbert Achcar had this piece about how Arabs relate to the holocaust. Here's a little chunk:
Most stunning of all, on 9 January 2009, at the peak of the brutal Israeli onslaught on Gaza, inhabitants of Bi'lin, another West Bank village known for standing at the forefront of the struggle against the Israeli occupation, organised a demonstration in protest, wearing striped pyjamas similar to those of Nazi concentration camp inmates. An account by the Bil'in Popular Committee states: "Protesters also wore small yellow cutouts in the shape of Gaza with the word 'Gazan' written on them to symbolise the yellow 'Jude' stars of David worn by European Jews during World War II." The BBC briefly broadcast a glance at this astounding event: a video is still available. That the message the Palestinian demonstrators conveyed was "exaggerated" is obvious (and natural); but the point is that they were identifying with the Jewish victims of Nazism and regarding the Holocaust as the highest standard of horror, rather than denying it.
This elicited the following comment from one of the zio regulars:
I'm in complete disbelief: so you are willing to use an example of blatant antisemitism -- namely the intended equation of Israeli policies in the West Bank and Gaza with the Nazi effort to achieve a "Final solution" -- as a proof that Holocaust denial and belittling isn't widespread in the Arab world? Whatever next? Is there no lower limit?
To which I responded:
This idea that comparing Israel to the nazis is antisemitic is completely bogus. In fact, the idea itself is antisemitic as it seeks to connect all Jews with the State of Israel.
I don't know of many comparisons of Israel to the nazis but the ones I know have come from prominent Jews and Israelis. This does not of itself preclude antisemitism but Albert Einstein compared Begin and Shamir to Hitler and Mussolini, Israel Prize winner Yeshayahu Leibowitz coined the term judeo-nazification to describe the changes in Israel following the '67 war and a former Israeli cabinet minister and holocaust survivor, the late Tommy Lapid, likened the Israeli army's demolition policy in Rafah to the nazis and of course the UK Labour zionist, Gerald Kaufman has likened Sharon et al to the nazis. Israel has an official ideology of ethno-religious supremacy, an ideologically mobilised and indoctrinated population, it is relentlessly aggressive and it underpins its ideology with a dogged belief in ancient mythology.
The only trappings of nazism that Israel lacks are the fuhrer principle and the gas chambers, but it is cutting back on liberties within the 67 boundaries and what difference does it make what method it uses in its periodic culls of those it sees as racially inferior. Comparisons of Israel to the nazis have their limitations but they are sometimes perfectly apt and certainly not essentially antisemitic.
I wrote to the "community standards" people at the Guardian to ask them why it had been deleted and I was told by a chap called James that it was hate speech on my part which, logically, means that the article itself was hate speech too but when you're dancing on strings pulled by zios the last thing you can be is consistent. But anyway, where does that lead us? Ah yes, hate speech, hate crimes, that sort of thing. In the same article as the one about Queers Against Israeli Apartheid towards the bottom there is a mini-headline - Toronto Hate Crimes Report Includes ‘Nazi,’ ‘Shikse’. Actually, there appears to be a bit of an editing error because the line isn't in bold but it is a headline and marks the start of a new article but on the same page as the QUIA (sounds like queer - clever acronym) stuff. This is further compounded by more errors that render the piece almost incoherent but it was this that reminded me of the ludicrous behaviour of the Guardian Comment is free mods. Cop this:
“Nazis” and “non-Jewish Shikse,” a pejorative for a gentile woman, are among the victims listed on the latest hate crimes report issued by Toronto Police. The report, which lists hate and bias crimes for 2009, shows an increase in “hate/bias occurrences” over the previous year from 153 to 174. Jews were the top victims, with 52 incidents, followed by LBGT (lesbians, bisexuals, gays and transgenders), with 26 incidents, and blacks, 24 incidents. Mischief, usually graffiti, followed by assault and threatening, was the most common crime. The Nazi and non-Jewish Shikse, along with “police,” each were a victim in a single incident to which police responded last year.
Who on earth is being protected by this hate crime legislation? Who can't you call nazis or police? I understand and agree that shikse is a put-down for a non-Jewish woman. But see the take of the CEO of the Canadian Jewish Congress:
Bernie Farber, CEO of the Canadian Jewish Congress, which has long pressed for stronger hate crime laws, said those laws clearly define victim groups as falling under the headings of race, creed, color, nationality, sexual orientation “and other similar factors.” Referring to Nazis and shikses, Farber said “such groups do not fall under the victims definition of a hate crime law.” It is “almost silly to take groups out of thin air and decide to make them victims,” he told JTA. “That’s not how the law works. It makes anti-hate laws look absurd.”
The Israel lobby is going to make them even more absurd so Mr Farber really can't complain.

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