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Academics who do not learn

The AUT boycott of the Haifa University and the Bar-Ilan University has been joined by many British Universities.

From Harry’s Place, who is calling on the dissenting members of AUT not to tear their membership cards but act to reverse the decision:

Haifa University is to be boycotted because Ilan Pappe, who is an anti-Zionist academic there, says that he has come under attack from the university which has thereby infringed his academic freedom. The story is long, involved and complex. But Pappe remains in his job, in spite of the fact that his views are extremely unpopular in Israeli society. Let us hope that the university continues to respect his tenure, as it is now doing.

Bar-Ilan University is to be boycotted because it gives legitimacy to the ‘College of Judea and Samaria’, which is a settler college in the West Bank.

The Hebrew University is under threat of boycott because it has built a new dorm block on a disputed piece of land.

It is clear that these stories relating to these three universities are excuses for the boycott rather than reasons – the pro-boycotters actually want to boycott all of Israeli academia and are not actually concerned with these particular incidents.

The AUT decision has aroused tremendous opposition, both in Israel and in England. Members of AUT said opponents of the boycott were not permitted to speak at the discussion, and the decision was taken without requesting the universities’ response. In addition, doubts were raised about the legality of the decision.

Clive Davis has forwarded me one such sign of the opposition by Dr Emanuele Ottolenghi of St Anthony’s College, Oxford, who wrote an open letter to Sally Hunt, the Secretary General of the AUT and bcc’ed to the Guardian, the FT, the NYT and the Jewish Chronicle. From: Emanuele Ottolenghi
To: sally.hunt@aut.org.uk
Sent: Thursday, April 28, 2005 1:02 PM
Subject: AUT boycott

For Publication

To: Sally Hunt,
General Secretary, The Association of University Teachers
United Kingdom

Dear Sally Hunt,

Regarding the AUT recent decision to boycott Haifa University and Bar Ilan University in Israel, I am shocked to learn that, in addition to a call for boycott, the AUT is ready to offer a waiver to scholars on condition that they publicly state their willingness to conform to the political orthodoxy espoused by the academics who sponsored your motion.

Oaths of political loyalty do not belong to academia. They belong to illiberal minds and repressive regimes.

Based on this, the AUT’s definition of academic freedom is the freedom to agree with its views only. Given the circumstances, I wish to express in no uncertain terms my unconditional and undivided solidarity with both universities and their faculties. I know many people, both at Haifa University and at Bar Ilan University, of different political persuasion and from different walks of life. The diversity of those faculties reflects the authentic spirit of academia. The AUT invitation to boycott them betrays that spirit because it advocates a uniformity of views, under pain of boycott.

In solidarity with my colleagues and as a symbolic gesture to defend the spirit of a free academia, I wish to be added to the boycott blacklist. Please include me. I hope that other colleagues of all political persuasions will join me.

Sincerely,

Dr Emanuele Ottolenghi
The Middle East Centre
St Antony’s College
Oxford University
Email: emanuele.ottolenghi@sant.ox.ac.uk

The Foreign Ministry has dissociated itself from the AUT boycott stating:

The fact that the AUT chose to deal with Israel, the only state in the Middle East where there is complete academic freedom for all segments of the population and political streams, is a scandal.

Well said.

36 comments to Academics who do not learn

  • Ian

    These hate-filled c**** at AUT also support the Cuba Solidarity Campaign, which argues “If Castro is such a dictator, why did he receive such overwhelming support in the elections?”

    I used to enjoy the idea that British people were too apathetic to surrender power to commies and fascists, so it couldn’t happen here. But now I see it could.

    There was a powerful graphic some while back juxtaposing a modern, socialist demo outside Marks & Sparks and an older, socialist demo outside a Jewish shop just after Kristallnacht.

    What motivates their racist callousness? A refusal to confront reality, I guess. The other week I dropped by a prop-Palestinian, anti-Israeli stall and asked what they thought about the fact that the Palestinian Authority literally crushes people to death for being gay. They all shied away and refused to say anything.

  • Johnathan Pearce

    Ian, your rage is totally justified. Parts of the left have become outright anti-semites. They single out Israel while overlooking the tyrannies that litter Africa, for instance. It is blatantly obvious what is going on. It is no longer possible to pussyfoot around on this issue. The academics who have signed this repulsive boycott should be condemned for what they are – Jew-hating guttersnipes.

  • I think retaining membership in an organization such as this is a serious, serious mistake. Better to disassociate yourself entirely from these hateful, idiotic nutballs, rather than keep sending them checks and hoping to reform them.

  • Gary Gunnels

    Ian,

    Race doesn’t exist.

    Johnathan Pearce,

    So, because of their selectively, that makes them anti-semites?

  • Gary Gunnels

    Ian,

    As far as I can tell, I would perfer not to live in any area of the middle east (Israel included). Israel is of course “more free” than say the tyrannical regimes in Egypt or Saudi Arabia, but if that is the metric by which one measures freedom, well, its a rather easy metric to hurdle.

  • Andrew Kinsman

    Given that Sue Blackwell of Birmingham is one of the people behind the motion, this(Link) may afford some amusement.

  • Pete_London

    Andrew

    Thanks for the link. I’m not remotely worried about the boycott now. It would have been extremely troubling had they been a bunch of sweet, gentle and hopelessly naive academics in dickie bows. I find it strangely reassuring that Blackwell is merely another very sick and demented anti-semitic lefty in the Galloway mould.

  • John Rippengal

    No doubt the boycott is rather petty and stupid and the boycotters’ association with left wing nuttery does not ring any bells with me. However I remember how Israel was created by invasion of an alien people who had no more association with Palestine than I have as partly a Celt with central Europe where my people came from. They created space for themselves by terror and massacre driving half a million or more to becoming refugees. On the sidelines there were also smaller gangs like The Stern Gang and Irgun Zvai Leumi who took hostages and executed them when they didn’t get their way. That ghastly prime minister Menachem Begin was the leader of one of them who carried out those executions. That’s where the modern middle easteners learned their lessons. The recognition of Israel by Harry Truman to ensure the Jewish vote for his second term against the advice of the greatest of American secrataries of state Marshall
    and over the nearly dead body of the post war British who had the Palestine mandate, was a ghastly mistake which the world still suffers from. Allowing them to push for more and more territory which is what the current Israeli government is doing only compounds the original problem.

  • Winzeler

    Allowing them to push for more and more territory which is what the current Israeli government is doing only compounds the original problem.

    I don’t disagree with you, but didn’t they just agree to pull out of a lot of contested areas.

  • John Rippengal

    ‘……..pull out of contested areas’

    Yeah a few hundred in Gaza to be replaced with a few thousand in the West Bank.

  • I see that some in the Uk have become jealous of France’s unmistakable lead in the European Jew Beating and Synagogue burning championship. Congratulations on this last minute attempt to win the cup.

  • J

    I may be missing something, but the raving section of the left has always struck me as anti-israel rather than anti-jewish. Is there any evidence to the contrary? If they were calling for boycotts of Jewish schools in Europe or something like that, I’d feel differently, but they aren’t.

    It’s lazy and annoying to call people anti-semitic when they aren’t. It’s would be like calling me anti-celt just because I hate Ireland.

    The Left hated the old South Africa, but no one accused them of having a racist hatred of Boers (or indeed Zulus).

    Many people can’t see why elements of the left have such a problem with Israel. Ascribing it to racism, rather than bothering to understand their (rather unbalanced) stance, is intellectually lazy at best, or more likely just an excuse to call people who you don’t like racist. I wish people would stop.

    J

  • Ian

    There have been many instances of people shading their speech from Israeli to Jew. There are many people like Tom Paulin. There are many people who still cling to something like the International Jewish Conspiracy.

    But I call them racist not so much because they have it in for the Israelis as because they don’t seem to care about the fate of the Palestinians. Anything will do for the Palestinians, the logic seems to go. If it’s a misogynist, homophobic, illiberal, intolerant state, so be it. But as long as it’s not those nasty Israelis and their American-Jewish friends in charge.

    And I call them racist because they think of the Israelis whom they’re boycotting as a homogeneous lump. But the politics of individual Israelis differ as much as those of individuals anywhere else. I think it is immoral to obstruct the free exchange of academic discourse (or trade or people, for that matter) simply because those people unfortunate enough to be under a *state* or in an institution someone takes objection to.

    Now if Sue Blackwell *also* called for a boycott of British universities because of our government’s policy on Iraq (and she is as against the Iraq War as she is against the Israel-Palestine conflict), then, though I would disagree about boycotting, I could see that her principles were consistent.

    But she is not calling for this. She is singling out Israel. I guess if I told her about the mechanised stoning to death of adulterers and gay men she too would walk away.

    I’m not intellectually lazy, and I recognise that though the Palestinian Authority is barbaric towards its own people, Israel is hardly whiter than white. It is a messy conflict with a messy history and distorting partisanship. Regardless of the rights and wrongs of the situation, I do fear for the Palestinians under the Palestinian Authority, and I fear that, as in many other countries, if the Palestinian Authority got what it wanted, the rest of the world would just wash its hands of the matter and pretend everything was okay just because the politicians it didn’t like weren’t in change. I hear many people protest against Israeli abuses all the time, but I hear few protest against Palestinian abuses. This suggests that their concern is tribalist and not about the ordinary Joes.

    I’m not intellectually lazy, and when I hear *racist* I look carefully for evidence. But here I see something repulsive, tokenist and callous and I have called it racist. I hope I am wrong.

  • Ian

    I hadn’t read all the links on Sue Blackwell’s page. I now see this, a response in a speech of hers from 2003 to the idea of a boycott on British universities:

    If in a few years’ time Britain is still in occupation of Iraq, and if Tony Blair has been re-elected despite this, then it may well be time for international pressure to be brought to bear, since the British electorate will have failed in their moral duty.

    We’ll see whether she sticks to her guns. It’s curious, though, that she’s prepared to wait several years. Curious, too, that she thinks the British voters, all of them, are responsible for electing Blair as PM. No, we elect individual MPs, who in turn elect their PM. Many of us don’t vote, and some of those who do don’t vote Labour. Are we all to be punished for the failings of a government over which we have little control? Are politics so clear and single-issue?

    So I have to admit that if she still holds this view she might not be racist, but she’s certainly collectivist, and I think that’s a slippery slope.

    But I wait to see her condemnation of Palestinian atrocities.

  • Gary Gunnels

    Back when I was much more vocal in my opposition to China’s brutal occupation of Tibet I used to be called a racist, etc. all the time by supporters of that occupation. Are we seeing the same dynamic here?

    Taylor,

    Everyone knows that the most anti-semitic country in Europe by far is Poland.

  • Gary Gunnels,

    Back when I was much more vocal in my opposition to China’s brutal occupation of Tibet..

    Presumably you are now rather less vocal. Changed your mind or just ran out of steam?

    John Rippengal,

    The Israelis were Europeans who gradually colonised a country and then took it over by force. Rather like the story of the USA and Australia really. However, the Zionists did not develop a military wing until the early 1930’s. Prior to that Jewish settlers mostly obtained land by purchasing it from Arab landowners.

    On and by the by, the first country to recognise Israel de jure was the Soviet Union not the USA.

    J,

    I agree with you that accusations of anti-semitism are intellectually lazy and, in many cases, inaccurate. However there must be some reason why the British left has fostered a singular, obsessive and all-consuming hatred of Israel. My personal view is that it has a lot to do with the increasing convergence of Western leftist movements and radical Islam.

  • GCooper

    David Carr writes:

    “My personal view is that it has a lot to do with the increasing convergence of Western leftist movements and radical Islam.”

    Which are two bedfellows of mind-boggling incompatibility.

    The Left’s desperate quest to identify with “the oppressed” grows funnier by the day. The sight of Marxist, feminist, pro-gay, materialists playing footise with the mullahs is one of life’s richer pleasures.

    As for the academic stance on Israel, personally, I feel it is yet another misapplication of the favourite Leftist knee-jerk chant of “Racist!”. Too many Leftist academics are Jewish for the charge to stick.

    This isn’t racism. It’s idiocy. The proper response would be a cull of our universities to remove non-academic subjects from the curricula.

  • Sheriff

    “No doubt the boycott is rather petty and stupid and the boycotters’ association with left wing nuttery does not ring any bells with me. However I remember how Israel was created by invasion of an alien people who had no more association with Palestine than I have as partly a Celt with central Europe where my people came from. They created space for themselves by terror and massacre driving half a million or more to becoming refugees. On the sidelines there were also smaller gangs like The Stern Gang and Irgun Zvai Leumi who took hostages and executed them when they didn’t get their way. That ghastly prime minister Menachem Begin was the leader of one of them who carried out those executions. That’s where the modern middle easteners learned their lessons. The recognition of Israel by Harry Truman to ensure the Jewish vote for his second term against the advice of the greatest of American secrataries of state Marshall
    and over the nearly dead body of the post war British who had the Palestine mandate, was a ghastly mistake which the world still suffers from. Allowing them to push for more and more territory which is what the current Israeli government is doing only compounds the original problem.”

    Utter rubbish.

    Israelis acquired their land legally, through purchases, or in defensive wars (the latter has been repeatedly offered to the Arabs in exchange for the promise of peace)

    What evidence of terror and massacre do you have? None. Deir Jassin was a battle, not a massacre, though it was in the interests of all concernedto call it a massacre (Lechi ang Irgun because it made them more intimidating, the Israeli government to discredit them, and the Arabs to provide anti-Jewish propaganda)

  • guy herbert

    David Carr:

    However there must be some reason why the British left has fostered a singular, obsessive and all-consuming hatred of Israel.

    My guess is that this is because Israel is (since Nasser went over to the Soviets) seen as chief proxy for America, and is hated as such. It’s notable that Paulin’s often-quoted remarks were directed at American settlers.

    This is not to say either that Israel doesn’t behave a lot worse than we might hope, that it isn’t unduly supported by the US, or that there aren’t some astonishingly unpleasant and frightening fundamentalist American-Jewish settlers to be found on the West Bank. But all those are contingent facts used as emotional, rather than logical, support–and converted to extreme caricatures–by people whose motivation is different.

    There are, one has to realise, many people in the world who feel personally morally validated by hatred. (You can often spot them by a snivelling-toddler overtone in their voice.) And overwrought emotion is the enemy of reason: it looks to hate by association. It is this that turns the residual communist enmity to all things American into such an absorbing fury against Israel, and that’s how it blots up a quasi-anti-Semitism

    If you oppose Israeli policy and object to US support of it, then you should–presuming boycott to be a valid response–also boycott America.

    Why don’t they, despite Buschenhass? Nothing to do with throwing over a lucrative career-ladder and tons of conference freebies, surely?

    Likewise I suspect there’s no prospect of a boycott of Chinese academics on grounds of the continuing very nasty occupation and colonisation of Tibet; nor of Russian for appalling behaviour in Chechenya; nor Indonesia for its colonial policy almost everywhere in
    the Javanese Empire… Those countries are not America; they all still stand in the symbolic world as anti-American, anti-capitalist; and they are all growth areas for prestigious overseas fellowships.

  • John Rippengal

    However one describes the terror – massacre or battle – the irrefutable evidence of terror is the half million or so refugees that fled. The main Israeli military
    organisation was Haganah. The forward party of this army travelling on a ship also called the Haganah was turned back by the Royal Navy on the orders of Ernest Bevin one of the few labour ministers of any stature.
    It returned to France but massive intervention and threats from the United States of America forced Bevin to climb down. That released a flood of tens of thousands of Haganah to perform their military conquest and inspire terror in the land.

    The whole concept of setting up a homeland in an alien territory and suppressing the inhabitants based on some ancient religious mythology giving rights to this land is an absolute nonsense. It was crazy of the world to accept it and for the United Nations to recognise it. We are all threatened by its repercussions.

  • Jacob

    “This isn’t racism. It’s idiocy.”

    What’s the difference ?

    I don’t know how big or important the AUT is. But if it is big and important – the fact that it has allowed itself to adopt an idiotic and lunatic policy has some unpleasant implications about British society in general.

  • Freefire

    Whatever the validity or otherwise of arguments about Israel, the boycotters are completely out of order – quite apart from the obvious inconsistency as has been pointed out and the fact that their chosen tool for pushing their political agenda is to limit academic freedom. I’m all for anyone campaigning about what arouses their passions – but in their own time and using their own resources. A major problem with these boycotters is that they cannot distinguish between their own resources and other people’s resources. To them freedom of conscience or academic freedom includes the freedom to use their organisation’s resources to push their own political agenda completely outside the scope of their professional remit – in this case using the clout of their professional organisation regardless of that organisation’s proper purpose. And what is the main concern on their political agenda? oh yes … people making illegitimate use of other people’s resources.

  • Matra

    OK, so these lecturers are a bunch of posing left wing moralists sticking their noses into the affairs of others…but weren’t many Jews including Israel supporters prominent opponents from afar of the old South African regime which guaranteed Afrikaners a homeland? Did prominent figures like Alan Dershowitz oppose the leftist campaign against white South Africans? I don’t see why the Afrikaners who’ve been living on South African land since the 17th century should be any less entitled to self-rule than the Jews of Israel – keeping in mind that Jews were originally (still?) a minority in Palestine. Many supporters of Israel say there would be a genocide if the Jews were to live in the Middle East under Arab rule but isn’t that what’s slowly happening to white South Africans? I sympathise with the Israelis but I don’t see why they are any more special than any of the other victims of left wing hate campaigns – Afrikaners, pied noirs, Ulster Protestants, whites American Southerners.

  • However one describes the terror – massacre or battle – the irrefutable evidence of terror is the half million or so refugees that fled.

    This “irrefutable evidence” is a joke. The “refugees” fled the advancing Arab armies, which they were told would destroy the Jewish state. Those who did not flee, became Israeli Arabs, who live better than Arabs anywhere else in the Middle East. Mr. Rippengal simply doesn’t have any evidence of widespread terror against Arab civilians — as opposed to insurrection against British colonials — so he takes consequences of entirely different events, and tries to present them as “proof.” Inventive, but not impressive on the whole.

    The whole concept of setting up a homeland in an alien territory and suppressing the inhabitants based on some ancient religious mythology giving rights to this land is an absolute nonsense.

    Wow, anyone care to toss some change to this begging question? Israel wasn’t “alien” territory to Jews — it is their originating homeland, as evidenced by reams of historical data beyond anything said in the Bible. Jerusalem, Hebron, and other cities in the area had continued Jewish presence since the Biblical times — certainly longer than, say, the Anglo-Saxons have been in Britain, where, as far as I remember, they did not sprout up from unoccupied land, either.

    That’s to say nothing of the fact that the Jews bought land in Palestine legally, had permission to set up a homeland from the Ottoman empire, developed unwanted desert land, and lived in relative peace until Arabs from surrounding countries, attracted by the economic opportunities, moved in and turned nationalist (and, as with the Mufti of Jerusalem, National-Socialist). Even in the face of all this, Arabs living in Israel continue to live better than most Arabs living in, say, Saudi Arabia or Syria. “Suppressing inhabitants” indeed.

    And while I’m on the subject, why is it such a crazy notion for people to move in somewhere and set up a homeland, as long as they live peacefully with their neighbors, as Israel was perfectly willing to do in 1948? Since when did racial purity become the standard? If you want “crazy,” I submit the notion of supporting people who strap bomb vests to retarded 16-year-olds is the better candidate.

    We are all threatened by its repercussions.

    Who is this “we,” Mr. Rippengal? The Israelis are threatened by suicidal Arab obstinacy, but that’s their problem, and they are dealing with it. We — the Western Civilization — are under a much greater threat from Islamic expansionism, driven by Wahhabi fundamentalism. Israel certainly aggravates the large nuttier portions of the Ummah that want to end all infidel presence on lands that were ever part of the Muslim world — but they are a symptom, not the cause. (Didn’t you ever wonder why Indonesians, Pakistanis, or Chechens give a rip about what’s going on in Palestine at all?)

  • Gary Gunnels

    David Carr,

    Ran out of steam. The PRC isn’t about to let go of Tibet. One can hope with the flourishing of capitalism in the PRC that the situation in Tibet will eventually get better. When the Dalai Lama dies it will be interesting to see what happens re: the Tibetan people.

    John Rippengal,

    Much of the West felt fairly guilty about the Holocaust and there was geo-political jockeying going on between the USSR and the USA. I don’t think many folks considered what Arabs might have thought on the subject. After all, much of the Arab world was barely out of colonial occupation.

    Jacob,

    Never even heard of it.

    E. Nough,

    The “refugees” fled the advancing Arab armies…

    That sort of makes them refugees, as a refugee is one who flees for safety.

    …it is their originating homeland, as evidenced by reams of historical data beyond anything said in the Bible.

    No, it was the homeland of their long dead ancestors (most of whom they aren’t even genetically related to). And, to be frank, this sort of strange notion of land ownership would be a disasterous way to run the planet.

    The land was taken – as is the case as far as I know of regarding the establishment of any nation on this planet – by force and is held by force. Everything else is romantic tripe.

    Since when did racial purity become the standard?

    Race is an outdated and rather silly concept.

    Even if I were to accept the term, Jews aren’t a “race,” they are a group of people based largely on a common religious ancestry. If Jews are indeed a “race,” it seems rather strange to have Jews coming out of Ethiopia, Russia, China and Argentina, all with varying facial features, skin tones, etc. Of course, you might be using the term in the fashion it was used in the 18th century (when nearly every sub-group of people was a “race”), but I doubt it.

    And the Jewish state encourages “Jewish purity” of course. Which explains the discriminatory land sales and the like.

    We — the Western Civilization — are under a much greater threat from Islamic expansionism, driven by Wahhabi fundamentalism.

    Because as we all know, millions and millions of Muslims are taking up arms against the West. Not.

  • Gary Gunnels

    BTW, if one were inclined to boycott Israel (I’m not), what products would one have to give up? After all, I can’t say that I have actually ever bought anything from Israel (of course, I generally don’t pay attention to country of origin).

  • John Rippengal

    Gary Gunnels

    “don’t think many folks considered what Arabs might have thought”

    Well I think the British foreign/colonial office were very much concerned about that, foreseeing just the sort of violent mess that now exists. They were steamrollered by Harry Truman and co and in no position of strength to argue.

    “strange notion of land ownership “

    Indeed. No group except the Zionists would dream of advancing such a preposterous claim even after just a few generations. After about 100 generations and thousands of years it’s raving lunacy. How were we all taken in? Holocaust guilt no doubt played a part although I don’t see why. I felt no guilt and I together with millions of others played a small part in defeating the forces that perpetrated that evil.

    Anyway before Palestine the Jews came from Egypt!

  • Mr. Gunnels,

    The “refugees” fled the advancing Arab armies…

    That sort of makes them refugees, as a refugee is one who flees for safety.

    Wow, pedantic today, are we not? Perhaps the Arabs who didn’t want to be underfoot as Arab armies slaughtered the Jews are indeed “refugees” — though I suggest “willing accomplices” is the better alternative. But in no way does that make them refugees from Jewish “terror,” as Mr. Rippengal implied. Nice attempt by both of you at bait-and-switch, though.

    Even if I were to accept the term, Jews aren’t a “race,” they are a group of people based largely on a common religious ancestry.

    Since Jews didn’t convert people (and, in fact, continue to discourage conversions into the faith), religious propagation was heavily tied to family membership. In other words, Jews are as genetically related as any other nation or race. Yes, the various tribes scattered through the world intermixed with others in the lands they passed through, but there are still genetic ties among Jews — and, more importantly, cultural and emotional ties to other Jews.

    And the Jewish state encourages “Jewish purity” of course. Which explains the discriminatory land sales and the like.

    There is a lot of controversy in Israel over this, but the idea is the basis of Zionism: to keep a “critical mass” of Jews, to ensure the ability to fight back against new attempts at extermination, which seem to be a recurring fad in the world. Still, however discriminatory and unacceptable you find this, it’s not equivalent to the repeated Arab attempts to cleanse Jews off Palestine — attempts that you so readily apologize for with this rhetoric.

    The land was taken – as is the case as far as I know of regarding the establishment of any nation on this planet – by force and is held by force. Everything else is romantic tripe.

    I quite agree, though I do find something romantic about a small, poorly-armed force of idealists wiping the floor with one of the largest, best-equipped, bloodthirstiest collections of fascist and Islamic thugs ever put together. To each his own, etc.

    Of course, since you acknowledge that the Israel’s establishment is no different than that of any other nation, I’m not sure what your point was.

    No, it was the homeland of their long dead ancestors (most of whom they aren’t even genetically related to).

    This is utter tripe. I won’t even bother with the absurd argument that Jews “aren’t genetically related” to their ancestors (then how are they ancestors??), but there has always been a continued Jewish presence in Palestine, however small.

    And, to be frank, this sort of strange notion of land ownership would be a disasterous way to run the planet.

    Would you care to back up this bald assertion? There’s always all this high-flying rhetoric where Israel is concerned, but no one ever seems willing to substantiate it. Frankly, no one has asked you or anyone else to “run the planet.”

    Because as we all know, millions and millions of Muslims are taking up arms against the West. Not.

    Oh, brother. I suggest you crack open a history book on occasion (how did Bosnia get such a large Muslim population, anyway?), then catch up on the news for the past few years. Take a look at a map, see where predominantly Muslim areas meet those of “infidels,” and check out the levels of violence.

  • Mr. Rippengal,

    Indeed. No group except the Zionists would dream of advancing such a preposterous claim even after just a few generations.

    Oh? Check into the Assyrians some time. They still want a homeland of their own, in parts of what is now Iraq.

    There is nothing “preposterous” about the Jews’ claim to Palestine. It had been their land for millenia, they were forcibly run off it, and frequently mistreated — as aliens usually are — in lands they had to run to.

    That such claims are not more frequent is simply because few nations get completely run off their land, and fewer still survive after that happens. Inconveniently for your and Mr. Gunnel’s concepts of propriety and world order, the Jews did both.

    After about 100 generations and thousands of years it’s raving lunacy.

    On the other hand, Arabs arriving from Egypt, Jordan, and Syria in the early 1900s, parking on desert land reclaimed by the Zionists, and then, circa 1967, magically becoming a “nation” called the “Palestinians,” innovating the airplane hijacking, collaborating with communist dictatorships for recognition, and receiving sympathy from all manner of leftist idiot — well, that’s just full-fledged sanity, there.

    How were we all taken in? Holocaust guilt no doubt played a part although I don’t see why. I felt no guilt and I together with millions of others played a small part in defeating the forces that perpetrated that evil.

    Well, you can advance whatever theories you wish. The Jews didn’t want to stick around in Europe after having been nearly exterminated, and the Europeans didn’t want them there to act as a reminder. Israel was not supported much by Western Europe or the U.S. after its foundation, and was initially used by the Soviets as a tool against Anglo-American interests in the region.

    In the end, the Israelis don’t need your support or legitimacy, though it’d be nice to not have them held to standards that no nation on earth — including the U.K. — could ever meet. It would also be just peachy if, while decrying Israeli foundational history and tactics, their critics would give just a smidgeon more time to the historical absurdities and consant unspeakable atrocities that are the norm for Israel’s enemies.

  • Gary Gunnels

    E. Nough,

    Wow, pedantic today, are we not?

    Pedantic or not that makes them refugees. Or are you gonna all Clintonesque with me?

    Since Jews didn’t convert people (and, in fact, continue to discourage conversions into the faith)

    Wrong. Don’t know much about medeival Jewish history, do you? It was very common, especially in Spain (prior to the expulsion by the Spanish Catholics in 1493), for individuals to convert to Judaism, especially by marraige (a Christian or Muslim marrying into an important Jewish family was often a leg up). It was very, very, very common. One of the reasons why it was so common was because of the conversions of Jews to Islam or Christianity. After all, not everywhere in Europe in every historical period were Jews treated like shit as they were say in 13th century England. So no, you are wrong.

    In other words, Jews are as genetically related as any other nation or race.

    Actually, they are genetically related as Coptic Christians, “white” Alabama Baptists, Andean Catholics, etc. are. If you were to take mouth swabs of one thousand randomly selected Jews and test the material from the swabs via PCR you would find that they are an incredibly genetically diverse population. Of course, that’s not surprising.

    There is a lot of controversy in Israel over this, but the idea is the basis of Zionism: to keep a “critical mass” of Jews, to ensure the ability to fight back against new attempts at extermination, which seem to be a recurring fad in the world.

    Well, it is an effort to enforce ethnic purity, is it not?

    Still, however discriminatory and unacceptable you find this, it’s not equivalent to the repeated Arab attempts to cleanse Jews off Palestine — attempts that you so readily apologize for with this rhetoric.

    Inapposite. Bullshit is bullshit. You are pro-Israeli and Rippengal is pro-Palestinian. As I don’t fall into either camp I am not forced to take sides.

    I quite agree, though I do find something romantic about a small, poorly-armed force of idealists wiping the floor with one of the largest, best-equipped, bloodthirstiest collections of fascist and Islamic thugs ever put together.

    I don’t believe the Arab armies in the 1940s were all that well equipped or well-trained for that matter; and the Zionists were hardly poorly-armed or trained. After all, they had been holding their own against the British for a number of years.

    And let us note that without the re-supply by the U.S. in 1973, Israel was on the verge of collapse.

    Of course, since you acknowledge that the Israel’s establishment is no different than that of any other nation, I’m not sure what your point was.

    My point is obvious. I’m not buying the romantic notions of historical pedigree as the rationale for Israel’s existance. Note that I take no issue with its existance, I just don’t base my political philosophy on several thousand year old land claims and religious beliefs.

    This is utter tripe. I won’t even bother with the absurd argument that Jews “aren’t genetically related” to their ancestors (then how are they ancestors??), but there has always been a continued Jewish presence in Palestine, however small.

    You won’t argue against it because I’ve demonstrated that my point is true. Of course why a genetic link matters to you I cannot say. It does seem to indicate some sort of primitive notion of nationhood or something which I thought had been rejected long ago.

    Ancestors need not be genetically related of course.

    Whether there was always a presence there or not is irrelevant of course. Shit, can you imagine what sort of fucked up world we would live in if we were to follow your form of nationalism? I’d be having to give up the property I now own to the Abenaki!

    Frankly, no one has asked you or anyone else to “run the planet.”

    My statement wasn’t referring to myelf running the planet; it was referencing your rather strange notion of nationality potentially being the way the planet is run and me balking at the idea. After a while, in light of the Anglosphere non-sense and the like you get an idea that “ethnic pride” or some other moronic nativist concepts are especially liked here.

    Oh, brother. I suggest you crack open a history book on occasion (how did Bosnia get such a large Muslim population, anyway?), then catch up on the news for the past few years.

    The news of the last few years don’t demonstrate millions and millions of Muslims taking up arms against the West, does it? It doesn’t. Do show me any evidence that such is the case. You can’t. What the news does show is that some thousands of Muslims have taken up arms. But thousands is hardly millions, is it?

    Take a look at a map, see where predominantly Muslim areas meet those of “infidels,” and check out the levels of violence.

    If millions and millions of Muslims were taking up arms against the West we’d have far more events like 9/11 or 3/11. But we haven’t, have we? Indeed, even in Iraq, the country most plagued by terrorism today, it is clear that the VAST majority of the Muslims there are NOT sympathetic to the cause of the terrorists (shit 60% of the population eligible to vote turned out to do so vote after all).

    And of course this is exactly what the Bush administrations says all the time. Is the Bush administration now lying?

  • Jacob

    Gary Gunnels:

    And let us note that without the re-supply by the U.S. in 1973, Israel was on the verge of collapse.

    That is not true.

    In 1973 Israel’s leaders were indeed worried and alarmed, and urged the US to send supplies urgently, just to be on the safe side. Or maybe Israel’s leaders, who weren’t very well informed or capable, indeed beleived the supplies were essential.

    In the end, by the time the supplies arrived and were distributed, the war was already decided. They played no role in determining the outcome of that war.

    And, we must remember too, that at that time the Arabs had access to an infinite stream of military supplies from the Soviet Union.

  • John Rippengal

    Gary Gunnels says I am pro Palestinian. Well I am not. I just see the tacit acceptance of the setting up of Israel and the active support of it, particularly by the US as a terrible mistake. It is seen in the Arab world and indeed in most of Islam as a gross violation of their space with some justification plus all the overtones of the religious totems in that area.
    I do not for one moment support the terrorist activity that they engage in nor am I an admirer of their culture; quite the reverse.
    Israel will need more and more territory for security reasons and will create more and more resentment. I can see no end to it and they have a massive WMD pile of atomic weapons to boot.

  • Gary Gunnels

    Jacob,

    Well, I’d have to research the point to accept your assertion.

    Also, they were getting an “infinite stream” of sub-par equipment from the Soviets. :) Back when I used to study Soviet trading schemes it always struck me just how much they screwed over their “allies” with crappy equipment.

    John Rippengal,

    Indeed, it was a rather boneheaded manuevre, though I am certain that many had the right intentions. Anyway, carving out a chunk of say Australia (a very thinly populated patch) would have been a better solution in hindsight (indeed, not every Zionist in even the 1940s thought that making the “homeland” in the Levant was the brightest idea). :)

    But be that as it may, the die has been cast, we’ve crossed the Rubicon, etc. Israel exists and encouraging Palestinians and Israelis to live together in peace is the way to go forward.

  • Jacob

    ” It is seen in the Arab world and indeed in most of Islam as a gross violation of their space… “

    The French and the British also carved up considerable chunks of Arab land in the past and ruled over it hundreds of years, and managed to cope with Arab resentment …. And the Turks, which ruled all of the Middle East before that, for centuries, aren’t Arabs either ….

    I just see the tacit acceptance of the setting up of Israel and the active support of it, particularly by the US as a terrible mistake.

    Yeah, like letting China fall to communism in 1948 … terrible mistake; or letting Japan conquer China before that … terrible mistake. etc. etc.

    Things happen in History not by deliberate design of anyone, and no one controls the process. This talk about “mistakes” is futile. To say that Israel was created by the US or Britain, or that it is sustained by them – is what the Arabs say, but no less ficitonal than many other of their claims.

    Say, wasn’t it a mistake to create Poland, or Bosnia, or Taiwan, or Kuwait, or Jordan or Iraq (the last two created by Britain) or Syria and Lebanon (created by the French) ?? To say nothing of ALL African countries, crated by the colonial powers.
    Maybe it was a mistake to “create” Rwanda ….

    Isn’t it useless to ask such questions ?? Same goes for Israel.

  • Jacob

    To continue:
    Those who say “wasn’t it a mistake to create Israel ?” are actually saying (or implying, or wish to say) “wouldn’t it be great if we could destroy Israel ?! ”

    Well, Israel is now a fact. Most Arabs don’t accept that and want to destroy it. Is that what you want too, Mr Rippengal ? You are entiteled, of course, to wish it … or to encourage the Arabs in their endeavour …

  • Gary Gunnels

    Jacob,

    Actually, modern European rule of core “Arab” lands can generally be measured not in centuries, but decades. Essentially from the close of WWI to the 1950s.

    As to managing to cope with the situation, well, let’s note that there was not a decade of that rule that wasn’t punctuated with some sort of significant strife. That’s why Churchill wanted to use chemical weapons on the “Iraqis” in the 1920s for example. They apparently didn’t want a bunch of European overlords.

    If we also consider places like Algeria, violence was a commonly used tool to keep the “native” population in place.

    Isn’t it useless to ask such questions ??

    No. Asking such questions hopefully forewarns one against future mistakes. Anyway, I thought that counter-factuals were welcomed here. :)