9/13/2009

All I Wanted Was A Flippant Post ......

Hello,
Normally I write things and people agree which is dull as fucking ditchwater. So I'm pleased to announce that I've miffed someone but instead of bombarding me with mad emails they've left a comment. My intention was to reply in the box but my answer got too big. That doesn't mean it's clever but I've done my best(ish) and that's all the Lord can ask of any of us.

This 'racist Israel' and 'Apartheid state' stuff rips my knitting. Being a minority in any country sucks. Laws, institutions and the mainstream culture is usually geared towards the majority or rather those in power because I've yet to see a nation set up to benefit women despite our numerical advantage. Arabs within Israel have equal voting rights, Arabic is an official language,they have political representation. As far as I can tell the sole legal distinction between Arabs and the Jewish majority is that Arabs are exempt from national service.

That doesn't mean that Israeli Arabs don't face appalling discrimination. Just like our anti racism laws don't alter the fact I'm currently assisting a young Pakistani girl get rehoused as a result of her neighbours charming habits like stabbing her, setting fire to her front door, putting excrement through the letterbox and festooning the landing with swastikas. Nor do our laws the alter the fact that the police cannot get their heads out their arses for long enough to go wild and arrest someone or give a fuck. Does that make Scotland racist or an apartheid state?

Enshrining equality in law doesn't sound like racism or apartheid to me. I'd be entirely unsurprised to learn that Israel failed to live up tothe standards it sets in law, after all segregation ended in the USA some time ago but you'll still find the various ethnic groups living separate lives. Nothing can make racism acceptable so if there is a legal fund one can donate to which assists Arabs hold the Israeli authorities to account for any instance of discrimination then put me down for a regular donation.

As for Israel not wanting a settlement. Their rejection of the Arab plan hardly proves that. Unless of course you are arguing that the Palestinian rejection of the 2000 Camp David plan proves that the Palestinians do not want a settlement which I don't think you are. In addition to Israel recognising borders I'd like to see the Arab nations do so, not only to ameliorate the suffering in cramped Palestine but to pressure the Israelis into reciprocation. Not being a resident I don't have a horse in this race and would support any map that didn't cut through my flat and had the support of the majority on both sides.

I have no doubt the Israeli government commits war crimes. Britain certainly did in Northern Ireland and more recently Iraq. Are we to boycott every nation that commits war crimes? If so, dig tunnels and store grain because you're in for lean times. I can also recommend a subscription to 'Grow Your Own' magazine.

I think the boycott of Israel is very different indeed to the boycott of South Africa. Let me declare upfront that I'm very uncomfortable about completely boycotting nations, selective boycotts I'm a little more open to. I did boycott South African goods during apartheid. At that time as a staunch ANC supporter I would have accepted anything the ANC said. Maybe no bad thing but I was also a staunch and uncritical supporter of the Provisional IRA at the time, so you can assess my judgement accordingly.


What I will say is that I remember the 'Boycott South Africa' folk outside my local supermarket. They used to hand you a leaflet listing products they wanted you to boycott rather than request you boycott an entire chain for selling products from a country that all it's competitors were selling. Why should I boycott Tesco but not Sainsburys? Both sell Israeli products. What's the difference? I did ask the fellow I know in the campaign the very same question and sincerely hope the answer he gave does reflect the prejudices of the entire movement he's part of.

However let's compare the two boycotts. In boycotting South Africa, whilst harming the meagre economic interests of black workers we were doing far more harm to minority white rule. In boycotting South Africa we were upholding democratic principles in that we backed the majority. In boycotting Israel we undemocratically boycott the majority of that nation which I believe would have the effect of uniting the Israelis behind their government. I only think how I felt at the prospect of an American boycott at the release of Megrahi. Even if I'd opposed it I'd have resented the outside interference and got behind my government. Back to Israel, 'Kauft nicht bei Juden!' just might have a wee bit of resonance in that neck of the woods. Is that more likely to bring Israel to the negotiating table or have them use it as a barricade?

In any case America has deep pockets and could probably afford to slip the middle east's only friendly democracy a quid or two on top of the usual. Now if a boycott of the illegal settlements was proposed I'd be all for it. But that isnt what is being proposed is it?

The idea that I was being anything other than silly and flippant in my mild irritation at not getting an Irn Bru is quite offensive. In particular when it's used to imply I feel that my passing fancies are more important than the lives of people or children. Palestinian, Jewish or whatever.

I'm sorry but I find comparisons between Israel and Nazi Germany downright offensive. There's a whole lot injustice to go before you get to holocaust. When the Israelis propose the 'final solution' and start loading folk onto trains I'll start screaming holocaust but until then I'll just see a nation with a heavy handed defence policy that does itself no favours.

Quite apart from anything else I'd like to see evidence that Israel is the nation with the worst human rights record at present. For some reason no one can show me that. I seem to remember opposing the Iraq war and being (rightly) told that we can't invade every nation with a dodgy human rights record.

A quick strut though any supermarket will show you how hard it is to boycott nations and eat an adequate diet. So why is Israel top of the list? Is it the world's No1 human rights abuser? If not why are we not boycotting the other chart toppers?

Cheerio

15 comments:

transfattyacid said...

I sense your problem here is that you are confusing reality with student politics.

Buy what you like, boycott what you like and somewhere in the middle you will maintain a moral compass.

FlyingRodent said...

You got away lucky - I got jumped by an honest-to-God 9/11 truther outside my local Scotmid yesterday. I was just standing there smoking a cigarette and this bloke sauntered up, said something about the newspaper I was carrying, then launched into all this shite about hologram-cloaked missiles and thermite residue. He was like a Jesus freak, just bursting to tell me the good news. I thought it was pretty hilarious, but Mrs. Rodent didn't - I think she thought we were either about to be flashed or stabbed.

On Israel/Palestine - I reckon supporters of both in the UK have mistaken the situation for an aggro football match and, being nice middle class types, just spend their time acting like utter fannies on the internet instead of smashing each other in the face with Buckfast bottles.

Clairwil said...

trannyfattyacid,
I think it's just one of those polarised issues that is probably pointless debating.

Flying Rodent,
Eek! A truther. It's been a long time since I tangled with a conspiracy nut. It's impossible to argue with these fuckers. Every bit of evidence you come up with has been planted there by the aliens/ the jews/ the lizards/the bilderberg group and so on.

The one point they can never answer is to explain why this all powerful conspiracy has let them live after rumbling them.

As for I/P you do get the distict impression that the noiser elements on both sides would weep bitter tears if the situation were resolved.

FlyingRodent said...

Aye - Google "Taibbi vs. Griffin" for a long, tedious insight.

As for I/P you do get the distict impression that the noiser elements on both sides would weep bitter tears if the situation were resolved.

Bingo - then it'd be back to arguing over boring stuff like how to pay for roads and hospitals and how many times the bins need to be emptied in a fortnight. Hard to dazzle the starry-eyed, idealistic young ladies with that kind of patter.

joe90 kane said...

. So I'm pleased to announce that I've miffed someone but instead of bombarding me with mad emails they've left a comment.
- Sorry, you haven't miffed me Clairwill.
I am responding to a blog post of yours, correcting your errors about the Israeli racist war crimes regime and also highlighting the plight of those inside Gaza for instance, who are being boycotted by us here in the West.

I'm not sure where you get your demographics about the people under Israeli control, legally and illegally, but there are currently something like -
c.6 million Jewish-Israeli
c.1.5 million Palestine-Israelis
c.4.5 million illegally Occupied Palestinians

In other words, there are 6 million Jewish-Israel and 6 million Palestinians.

This 'racist Israel' and 'Apartheid state' stuff rips my knitting
- The Israeli State operates a racist immigration policy to prevent the Palestinian people it has been ethnically cleansing since 1948 from returning. It's called the 'Law of Return' and is unique to Israel as it doesn't recognise Palestinian Human Rights as enshrined in the UN Charter and UN Declaration.

The situation for Palestinian-Israelis is far from equitable as they live in the worst housing, get the worst public services provision, the worst jobs. They may get a vote but are completely marginalised from politics and government of any sort and aren't allowed to live in Jewish neighbourhoods.


As for Israel not wanting a settlement. Their rejection of the Arab plan hardly proves that.
- The Arab plan, is just the latest reformulation of the 'International Consunsus', Land for Peace, in that Israel abandons its illegal occupation and ethnic cleansing of the West Bank and Gazo in return for full diplomatic recognition, regional security and normalisation of relations.

I notice you give Palestinians the blame for rejecting peace in 2000. This is pure western propaganda.
The Occupied Palestinians are the victims of Israel's war crimes atrocities. Not the other way round. The Israel government didn't offer Palestinians anything except life in Bantustans. No sovereignty. No indepedence. None of these are Israel's to give anyone. The are Palestinians by right.


In addition to Israel recognising borders I'd like to see the Arab nations do so, not only to ameliorate the suffering in cramped Palestine but to pressure the Israelis into reciprocation
- It is Israel that is committing crimes against Palestinians so why have you chosen to lay blame on these other states in the region?
Israel is the criminal for its on-going illegal occupation since 1967. As it's the criminal of the peace it is the one which has to make reparations - not innocent bystanders or its victims.

Also, Syria and Lebanon do recognise their own borders with Israel. It is Israel that doesn't, as it currently illegaly occupies a bit of Lebanon and also the Syrian Golan Heights which it has also subsequently ethnically cleansed since 1967. Israel also refuses to recgonise the 'ceasefire' borders of Gaza and the West Bank

joe90 kane said...

I have no doubt the Israeli government commits war crimes. Britain certainly did in Northern Ireland and more recently Iraq. Are we to boycott every nation that commits war crimes?....So why is Israel top of the list? Is it the world's No1 human rights abuser? If not why are we not boycotting the other chart toppers?
- Iraq was put under a sanctions regime. So was Libya. So Is North Korea. China is under an embargo in certain respects. So is Sudan. Iran at the moment is suffering from sanctions.

The fact is our government doesn't support these regimes and is actively engaged in various actions against to intereven and make them stop their crimes. With Israel it is different. It actively intervenes to ensure it can carry on committins its crimes.

Our own government doesn't need to actively intervene to boycott Israel. All it needs to do is to actively stop participating in Israel's racist war crimes.

I object to the UK committing war crimes and try to do something about them if and when they happen. Likewise, I object to its decades of support and partcipation in Israeli ethnic cleansing and illegal occupations.


I'm sorry but I find comparisons between Israel and Nazi Germany downright offensive. There's a whole lot injustice to go before you get to holocaust. When the Israelis propose the 'final solution' and start loading folk onto trains I'll start screaming holocaust
- I wasn't comparing the plight of illegaly occupied Palestinians (and Palestinian-Israelis) to treatment of Jews in The Holocaust. I was comparing two racist regimes, the German Nazi Regime with the current zionist Israeli regime. I was also comparing 2 similar ghettoes, the Warsaw and the Gaza ghettoes and the treatment of their inhabitants for being the wrong 'race'.

I never mentioned The Holocaust, although it is a zionist hasbara tactic to aplogise for the racist war crimes of the current Israeli regime by claiming they aren't as bad as what the Nazis got up to.


I'll just see a nation with a heavy handed defence policy that does itself no favours....
- Out of 6 million Jewish_israeli inhabitants (native Palestine-Israeli aren't allowed to join the military), Israel has the 3rd largest army in the world with the 4 largest airforce.
The Israeli attack on Lebanon in 2006 wasn't heavy-handed defence, but a racist war crimes atrocity.
The Israeli attack on illegaly beseiged Gaza in January 2009 wasn't heavy-handed defence, but a racist war crimes atrocity.

Clairwil said...

Joe,
1.I was of the impression that roughly 23-25% of the population were Arab and around 73% were Jewish. I can't recall where I read that but will endevour to read more carefully in future. However a very quick google serach offers similar figures so perhaps I can be forgiven?

2. The reason I state that Israel is not an Apartheid state is because my understanding
of apartheid comes from South Africa. There was complete racial separation enforced by
law down to petty stuff like white only beaches and public toilets. Any black person
violating these laws would have been prosecuted. There are not comparable laws in Israel.
That is not to say Arabs are not discriminated against. I cannot think of a country on earth where minorities do not face discrimination. Often resulting in being disproprtionately affected by poverty and so on.

3. You may notice that I blame Palestine for rejecting the 2000 peace deal. I don't. That does not accurately reflect my position. You said that Israels rejection of
the Arab peace deal showed that they did not want peace. I merely stated that using that criteria one could say the same about the Palestinian leadership. I do however think it was a tactical error for the Palestinians not to put forward an alternative
deal back in 2000 when they were invited to do so. One can argue that they shouldn't have to but if that's their position why bother turning up for negotiations at all
with all the give and take that implies?

Clairwil said...

(cont)

4. I am well aware of Israels transgressions in the area.I was not seeking to shift blame.
The reason I mentioned restoring the areas of Palestine in Jordan, Syria and Lebanon was not
because I think the entire situation is their fault but because I'm led to believe the
Palestinians could use a bit of land and it would nip the oft repeated argument that no
Arab nations are willing to return to land to Palestinians so why should Israel in the bud.
It would be a kind and humanitarian gesture and would put the pressure firmly back on Israel
to scale back it's settlements out with it's legitimate borders.

5. I'm well aware Iraq was under sanctions. I used to campaign against them. Not because
I supported Saddam Hussein but because of the appalling humanitarian cost.
Our government supports Saudi Arabia which treats migrant workers, women and Shia Muslims
appallingly. No sanctions there. Iraq still isn't too hot on that score but we're all pals now.
Haiti has a terrible record but I don't see much hand wringing about the state of that country.
Whilst it wouldn't do much on the human rights score America could stop dumping it's subsidised
rice on the Haitian markets and undercutting impoverished local farmers. Yet campaigning for poor
old Haiti is virtually invisible. Not sexy enough.

6. I accept you were not comparing Israel's behaviour to that of the Nazis during the Holocaust.
I apologise for misunderstanding. Other people have made the comparison and that was why I assumed you were. I still don't see that Israel can be compared to the Nazi regime.The Nazis planned to wipe Jews, Gypsies, Homosexuals and others off the face of the planet and the ghettos were the
mere start of the horror to come. Israel on the other hand does not appear to have any such ambitions.
I don't believe people are dying or suffering oppression because the Israelis dislike Arabs. It is
because they are on land Israel wants and have not gone quietly. If they were black, Asian, French,
dissident Jews or some hitherto undiscovered tribe from the Amazon the situation would be the same.
Israel like most countries is ruthless in defending it's security interests not being an Arab hasn't done Marcus Klingberg much good.

Finally I don't have a horse in this race. I'd like to see a peaceful settlement that both sides can live with. Sadly I don't think I'll be seeing that soon. I don't see any convincing evidence
that the leadership of either side really want peace and are willing to put in the work to bring that
about. I imagine that a scared population united against a common enemy is easier to control and
distract from the shortcomings of their leaders.

transfattyacid said...

Let's not debate it then and spend the time guerilla gardening

transfattyacid said...

btw - it's your blog and I'm not about to tell you how to deal with cranky guests but I notice that your nutty Jew Baiter claims that Israel has the 3rd largest army in the world.... roll eyes.... I've done a quick search of the net and can confrim that this is total bollocks.

The largest armies are

China 1.7million
India 1.2million
N Korea 900,000
S Korea 560,000
Pakistan 520,000
United States 475,000
Iraq (pre invasion) 360,000
Burma 325,000
Russia 320,000
Iran 320,000

Which is pretty interesting information in itself, and does rather suggest a pattern that may or may not explain the conflict in Afghanistan.

The claim of Israili air dominance is even more interesting because who knew that Russia has the largest airforce, 3996, or that Taiwan had the fourth largest, 598, - or indeed that Egypt is the seventh largest with 583 planes.

joe90 kane said...

1.
Israeli demographics
If you don't understand that 6 million Jewish-Israelis are oppressing c.1.5 million Palestinian-Isrealis as well as c.4.5 million illegaly occupied Palestians it shows your grasp of the basics about Palestine-Israel is shaky to say the least. On top of that, there are the illegaly ethnically cleansed Palestinian refugees who number anywhere from 5 to 15 million in the wider diaspora.

2.
There is complete racial segregation in illegaly occupied Gaza and the West Bank.
Gaza is under an illegal siege reminiscent of the Warsaw Ghetto, so there is definitely no mixing there. Gazans aren't even allowed to mix with the outside world by their racist jailers, Israel (and the American-client regime of Egypt).

The West Bank Palestinian natives are ruthlessly excluded from Israel's illegal settlements, acess roads etc.

3.
I do however think it was a tactical error for the Palestinians not to put forward an alternative deal back in 2000 when they were invited to do so. One can argue that they shouldn't have to but if that's their position why bother turning up for negotiations at all with all the give and take that implies?
- A strange argument.
The Israelis are the aggressors and Palestinians are the victims.
Why should the illegaly occupied victims be compelled to providing an alternative to the crimes they are being subjected to?
The alternative is that Israel stops breaking the law and stops committing illegal war crime attrocities against Occupied Palestinians. All Israel needs to do, if it wants peace, is to go back home to Israel, inside the Green Line, and that's it. That's peace. Why is it so difficult for Israel to stop committing the war crime atrocity of its illegal occupation? I suppose its all the fault of the Palestinians that they're being subjected to violent racist zionist horrors from at least 1948 is it!

4.
The reason I mentioned restoring the areas of Palestine in Jordan, Syria and Lebanon...
- This is a complete misunderstanding of the situation.
Jordan isn't being illegaly occupied by anyone.
The SYrian Golan Heights and the Shebaa Farns area of Lebanon are being illegaly occupied by Israel but have nothing to do with illegaly occupied Palestine (West Bank and Gaza).

Egypt was illegaly occupied after 1967 but Israel was forced to make peace and abandon its illegal occupation and ethnic cleansing of the Sinai after Egypt nearly wiped the Israeli army out in 1973.

A large part of southern Lebanon was illegaly ocupied after Israel's illegal invasion in 1982 but has had to abandon practically all of it after the Israel Army was chased out by the efforts of the South Lebanese Resistence Movement aka Hezbollah.

5.
Yet campaigning for poor old Haiti is virtually invisible. Not sexy enough.
- Given the nature of your objections to Palestinian Solidarity campaign it seems that if Haiti did receive the same attention as Palestine, you would only object to it for being 'sexy' as well

This sort of abuse is always is leveled against human rights campaigners. Anti-war supporters objecting to UK and US war crimes against Afghanstan and Iraq. We're accused of doing it only becuase its fashionable rather than it being the moral thing for a person to conscience to do. The same was true of Vietnam etc.

One can only wonder about the sort of tactics you would find acceptable as you seem to criticise human rights campigns for attracting attention and 'activists' taking their campaign to the general public, the very outcomes many campaigners always try to achieve.

joe90 kane said...

6.
The Nazis planned to wipe Jews, Gypsies, Homosexuals and others off the face of the planet and the ghettos were the mere start of the horror to come. Israel on the other hand does not appear to have any such ambitions.
- As you aren't a direct victim of the violent expansionist racist regime of Israel then you can afford the luxury of claiming zionist Israel isn't as bad to its victims as Nazi Germany was. Although, you have already claimed that you don't like the crimes of different racist regimes being compared to one another but you don't seem to mind indulging Israel, especially when such comparisons makes it look good.

Again, I'll just repeat, I was not claiming Israel is engaged in a Holocaust of its neighbours. What Israel is engaged, and has been since 1948, is the usual Western imperialist colonialist expansion and ethnic cleansing of its neighbours to steal their land and resources.

Claiming zionist Israel isn't anti-Arab beacuse it just so happens Arabs are its neighbours isn't really a defence against Israeli zionist racism, but an acknowledgement of Israeli xenophobia.


I'd like to see a peaceful settlement that both sides can live with. Sadly I don't think I'll be seeing that soon. I don't see any convincing evidence that the leadership of either side really want peace and are willing to put in the work to bring that about.
- The democratically elected government of the Palestinian National Authority (ie HAmas) has repeated, time and again, its willingness to accept a 2-state solution, with a Palestinian state on the West Bank and Gaza, side by side with an Israel state. Israel as usual has rejected this emphatically by kidnapping and imprisoning democratically elected Palestinian representatives and by its January 2006 attempt to exterminate the whole of the democratically elected government of the Palestinian National Authority currently illegally imprisoned inside the Israeli warsaw ghetto of Gaza .

Given that zionist owned only 6% of pre-1948 Mandate Palestine, but 78% after it, I would say the elected Palestinian representives are very generous in accepting only 22% of the land that used to be all theirs anyway, only 60 years ago before the zionists stole it from them by terror and violence.

ps
transfattyacids said -
..that your nutty Jew Baiter...
- How original, yawn.
I get smeared as an antisemite for daring to criticise the racist war crime state of Israel.
Th real antisemitism, of course, belongs to Israel and its zionist supporters. Claiming Israel's appallaing human rights abuses are committed in the name of Judaism and on behalf of Jewish people everywhere, regardless of wether they live in the racially sterilised zionist utopia, or even agree with its crimes, is antisemitic. It is a form of collective guilt not too disimilar to the kind of accusations against Jewish people that the old Nazis are infamous for.

FlyingRodent said...

Dear God, this gets less fascinating with every keystroke. More, please.

Clairwil said...

Flying Rodent,
In light of reader sanctions. This blog will be returning to it's pre Irn-Bru gate subject matter shortly.

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