Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Enforcing Pesach

My wife has a Jewish friend called Mimí. When my daughter was a little girl, Mimí used to treat her to lunch at a quickfood, so that they became friends too. Now my daughter is a señorita and has a boyfriend to take her out, but she has remained very fond of Mimí, who was the only non-relative adult to be invited to her quinceañera.

On one occasion, Mimí traveled to Israel and brought us back a present: a big box of matzah. Although this foodstuff is also known as unleavened bread, it would be better described as a totally flavorless cracker that sticks to your molars. At first I tried to render it palatable by making sandwiches of prosciutto and swiss with it -- a desecration raised to the power of two. But then my wife had a better idea: she bought two cans of Iranian pistachioes and a few bars of chocolate. Then she spread the chopped pistachioes on the matzah, poured molten black and white chocolate on them, et voilà!, a tasty dessert came to life. Whoever said there can be no Israeli-Iranian collaboration?

It's not likely, however, that Mudabbah Mahmoud Rayik will be able to buy the necessary ingredients to make his matzah tastier. This Israeli Arab, who is serving time for a criminal offense in a prison that houses both Arab and Jewish inmates, has asked to be served bread, not matzah, during the Pesach festival that began last night and lasts eight days. His petition has been rejected by a district court and, on appeal, by the Supreme Court. Haaretz reports:

The Israel Prison Service claimed that facilities with mixed populations are kosher, and that his request cannot be ranked above that of Jewish inmates who wish to follow the rules of their faith, which forbids the consumption of leavened bread over the holiday[.]

But Mr. Rayik doesn't want Jewish inmates to stop following the rules of their faith. He wants to eat bread, just as he does during the rest of the year. Why should the superstitions of certain inmates trump the eating habits of others?

Haaretz goes on to report that

Justice Elyakim Rubinstein said in his ruling that no one disagrees about the importance of bread, but that the state is only obligated to provide inmates with food, not a specific type of food and that there is no harm in substituting one food for another for a matter of days.

"Therefore, there is no legal offense in not providing bread during Passover to wings in which non-Jews reside with Jews in a Jewish and democratic state, especially when a suitable food is being provided," Rubinstein said.

If the State is not obligated to provide inmates with a specific type of food, why is it that matzah is being provided instead of the usual bread? And when Ramadan comes, are Jewish inmates in the same wing asked to fast from dawn to sunset, out of respect for Muslim prisoners?

This is how the official status of Pesach in Israel is different from, say, that of Christmas in Argentina: in its coercive nature, which forces people to do things they don't like for the sake of other people's irrational beliefs. Any analogy between the role of religion in Israel and in the West is more bad faith from the Zionists.

94 comments:

Anonymous said...

Ibrahim Ibrahim
with arguments as weak as that one you'll never make it into "polite" society
- I won't explain to you why because I still can't believe that you aren't capable of knowing for yourself what a crappy point you are coming up with

Try harder next time or I'll feel even more sorry for myself than I do now that I ever took you for a person to be taken seriously
Silke

Mike said...

Ugh, you eat ham? It's high time people of conscience and principle abandon flesh eating. Anyone who eats meat can not call himself a man concerned about human rights.

Levi9909 said...

I always got on very well with matzos and there are a few things you can do with them. You can soak them and make a kind of pancake by frying them. Also, their lack of taste - a small round English version is called a water biscuit - means that you can simply enjoy the taste of whatever you have on/in them.

But I do remember some Jewish youngsters not having to eat during Pesach because they upset their stomachs. Also, the eating of matzo (we say motza) is supposed to be a hardship, so it is not just some kind of food but a kind of food that is considered like one step away from fasting. HB's Ramadan analogy is perfectly sound.

Levi9909 said...

woops - Jewish youngsters not having to eat them during Pesach. They didn't have to not eat, period.

Gert said...

The Jewish character of Israeli prisons...

Anonymous said...

The Jewish State is thriving.

http://www.gallup.com/poll/126977/Global-WellBeing-Surveys-Find-Nations-Worlds-Apart.aspx

Anonymous said...

Gert makes an enigmatic remark - he is getting cleverer and cleverer - congratulations Gert

- the way I understand it he would prefer an Arab prison to an Israeli one any time
especially one where he gets three meals plus wine and beer to his belly's delight during the day while his buddies have to fast in accordance with which rule happens to apply at the time.
Silke

Anonymous said...

Mike
what about chocolate and pistacchios - are they grown in Argentina?
if not they have a carbon foot print that should keep any person of conscience from indulging
Silke

Anonymous said...

I fail to see how this is any different from forcing prisoners to eat things they don't want in ANY prison ANYWHERE.

If you're a vegetarian in a US prison you're outta luck and losing calories. Similarly, you aint getting kosher food or matzah in an Argentine prison. And you're not getting food during the day time in an Arab country during Ramadan no mater what faith you are.

The point of prison, dear Alberto, is coercion. This is such a bad example of what you're trying to indict that its mind-boggling.

This is your example for how Israel forces Judaism on its minorities?! You are really clutching for straws here. Transparently wrong in every way.

I dare you - I double dare you -- to try to defend this ill-conceived post any further! If I were you I'd delete it from your archive since it's kind of embarrassing frankly. (Even Gert and Andrew aren't jumping to defend it because it's bloody indefensibly silly.)

Next!

Anonymous said...

Levi9909:

"Also, the eating of matzo (we say motza) is supposed to be a hardship"

You clearly know nothing about Pesach. At least read wikipedia: "On the one hand, matza symbolizes redemption and freedom, but it is also (lechem oni), "poor man's bread." Thus it serves as a reminder to be humble, and to not forget what life was like in servitude. Also, leaven symbolizes corruption and pride as leaven "puffs up". Eating the "bread of affliction" is both a lesson in humility and an act that enhances one's appreciation of freedom."

Perfect for prisoners on so many levels...

Anonymous said...

It is quite appalling to read this lousy little blogger take such open joy in insulting and "desecrating" matzah; something Jews consider a symbol of their freedom.

Antisemitic drivel.

Anonymous said...

One really has to marvel at the stupidity of this. One hopes that it is indicative of the general intelligence of the anti-Israel crowd, esp. its Arab enemies. Truly unalloyed unmitigated idiocy. The illogical brainfarts emanating from one helluva "goyishe kop" as my bube used to say. Wow, just WOW.

Mike said...

Anonymous,

It does not take ten times more water to grow a pound of pistachios or cocoa beans than it does to grow a pound of beef. Also, cocoa beans and pistachios do not contaminate our rivers, land, and air with feces and carbon dioxide. Also, pistachios and cocoa are not sentient organisms that emote, feel and avoid pain, experience memory, and form relationships.

We can all do slightly more to reduce our carbon footprint, but that's hardly an excuse to contribute to an industry that perpetuates environmental degradation, world hunger, and non-human animal suffering.

Anonymous said...

No wonder this blogger is not being asked to write for other publications.

Anonymous said...

Mike
you have forgotten to mention the amount of dirt that is blown into all our air if pistacchios have to be flown all the way from Iran to Argentine not to mention the lunacy of having everything all the time in general (but maybe Argentines grow their own)
- I don't know where Argentine gets her cocoa from - I guess it is closer by and thus more "permissible"

i.e. if you really and honestly want to go ethical on your food you have to stick to eating locally and never forget that through history some very unpleasant people were food cranks

if let's say you have a nice backyard and neighbors who don't mind your raising chicken or the occasional pig or you have a hunting licence there is nothing wrong with meat unless you deny humans the right to life alltogether
on the other hand if you cut out all nutty and superfluous luxuries of life you'll destroy a lot of jobs and livelihoods
- take your pick - everything in moderation might be a good mantra to start from instead of sucking in a complete doctrine
Silke

Mike said...

Silke,

When the UN releases a report on the amount of dirt blown into the air because of pistachios, then we'll talk. The United Nations HAS released a report that found that the meat industry produces more greenhouse gases than all the SUVs, cars, trucks, planes, and ships in the world combined. Now, that would be permissible if we needed meat to survive, or even if it were of great inconvenience to take on a vegetarian diet. But we don't need meat to survive and taking on a vegetarian diet is quite easy and healthy. And furthermore, eating meat causes massive suffering for human and non-human animals alike. That's in addition to the issue of environmental degradation.

But you're essentially right, if it's just as easy to get locally-grown produce as it is to get produce grown abroad, then it's immoral to buy the produce grown abroad. The point is that contributing to the factory farming of animals is immeasurably worse than what you're talking about. For the record, though, I do have a garden and I do buy local.

There IS something wrong with meat. We kill them for pleasure (we don't need to eat animals...surely not at the level at which we are currently eating them). That's wrong. I'll take your mention of local farming as an implicit concession that factory farming is, indeed, quite bad.

"on the other hand if you cut out all nutty and superfluous luxuries of life you'll destroy a lot of jobs and livelihoods"

Oh, the poor slave traders...how will they make a living? Here's an idea: as people shift to more ethical diets, new jobs will be created to meet that demand. Also, I'm not saying people can't enjoy "nutty and superfluous luxuries," just luxuries that cause massive suffering.

Anonymous said...

Mike
I wasn't talking about the diminished livelihood of the "poor slave traders" and you know it

- I was talking of farmers'/peasants' livelihoods in more remote areas of my very rich area of the world - of the life they had before nutty and superfluous luxury became the must-haves and the life they have now ... and that includes incidentally much improved access to medical services and other such negligeables.
Admittedly the life of these villagers was- judged by a world-wide average - even in the mud-road fifties enviable - but as I am familiar with them and the change that occurred there over such a short period of time I feel entitled to extrapolate.
Silke

Yitzchak Goodman said...

If one has made a kitchen kosher for Pesach, there isn't much one can do but serve kosher for Pesach food. Even just dealing with bread ranges from very impractical to impossible, depending on how strict you are.
If they were just giving out matzah for "cultural" reasons and not converting over the kitchen, they probably still would give bread to whomever wanted it.

Ibrahim Ibn Yusuf said...

What you're telling me is that the rules of the Jewish religion are very complicated and, consequently, it would be impracticable not to force Arab prisoners to eat matzah. The rules of the Christian religion are not so complicated, so that prisoners in Christian-majority countries are not forced to eat anything in the name of Christianity.

In other words, the official status of Judaism in Israel has consequences for its non-Jewish citizens that the official status of Christianity in some Christian-majority countries doesn't have for their non-Christian citizens. That's why one situation is not analogous to the other -- which is what I've been claiming all along.

Anonymous said...

Ibrahim
let's assume there are still prisons in Christian countries that adhere to a no meat on Fridays rule are you implying that they will offer their prisoners fish-free or non-vegetarian meals on Fridays? i.e. serve meat?
and what about the much more all comprehensive fasting rules in Orthodox Christian countries - will they offer oil to their prisoners so they can manage to swallow their "fava" without it?
but the most interesting part of the reaction to your post is that Orwell's teacher's saying that food is the most important thing in the world still holds true.

Matzah may be not pleasant to eat I wouldn't know but I'd bet that nobody would experience serious health problems of going without bread for some days.

BTW lots of hospitals in Germany still adhere to the Friday no meat rule and that applies even to those who offer different meals for their muslim patients a demand btw that to the best of my knowledge the Jewish minority never made.
Silke

Yitzchak Goodman said...

What you're telling me is that the rules of the Jewish religion are very complicated and, consequently, it would be impracticable not to force Arab prisoners to eat matzah.

I said it is impractical to use one kitchen for two cuisines, one Pesachdik and one not. I don't think there is much else or anything else in Judaism which would have similar consequences for non-Jewish prisoners in Israel, but if you can think of anything else to justify your generalization, I'd be interested to hear it. Kitchens in Israeli prisons with mixed populations probably operate on Jewish fast days.

I grew up in the Southern US in a town with Sunday "blue laws" which mandated the closure of certain businesses on Sunday. The city just across the river was "dry." You couldn't buy liquor any day of the week. It may still be that way.

Ibrahim Ibn Yusuf said...

(Let's leave aside the fact that banning liquor sales on any day is a moralistic policy not actually based on religion.) The "Blue Laws" are of a different nature than Israel's kosher laws. The US Supreme Court ruled that:

(c) In the light of the evolution of our Sunday Closing Laws through the centuries, and of their more or less recent emphasis upon secular considerations, it is concluded that, as presently written and administered, most of them, at least, are of a secular rather than of a religious character, and that presently they bear no relationship to establishment of religion, as those words are used in the Constitution of the United States. Pp. 431-444.

(d) The present purpose and effect of most of our Sunday Closing Laws is to provide a uniform day of rest for all citizens; and the fact that this day is Sunday, a day of particular significance for the dominant Christian sects, does not bar the State from achieving its secular goals. Pp. 444-445.

Yitzchak Goodman said...

the fact that this day is Sunday, a day of particular significance for the dominant Christian sects, does not bar the State from achieving its secular goals

That was a common argument that was made in the debates over the blue laws. People opposed to them disagreed and said "No, religion is being forced down our throats."
People in favor of them often openly admitted that they thought all of mankind is obligated to rest on "the Lord's day" and at least there weren't going to be contrary practices in their towns if they could help it. When the blue laws were repealed in my home town, I was very happy. I thought the secular purposes of the state were actually being achieved better than ever before.

And the fervant Protestants we are talking about do think the whole world is supposed to be exactly like them. Judaism doesn't expect anything from the rest of the world beyond monotheism and morality.

Ibrahim Ibn Yusuf said...

There's a universal logic to having a day of rest. This logic is not based on any religious consideration, but on the established fact that human beings, as different from sharks, need rest. That said, I agree that the best system is that in Argentina, where companies and workers make their own particular arrangements, so long as the workers have their weekly day of rest. A friend of mine, an engineer at a paper mill, has an arrangement with his employer whereby he doesn't work on Thursdays and Fridays, because most classical music concerts, which he likes to attend, are on Thursdays.

On the other hand, there's no universal logic to forbidding a certain type of food on certain days. It costs the State money -- which could be better spent building homes for the impoverished Arab minority.

And the fervant Protestants we are talking about do think the whole world is supposed to be exactly like them. Judaism doesn't expect anything from the rest of the world beyond monotheism and morality.

Judaism, as a religion, has an attitude that a Jewish soul is more valuable than other souls. But unlike Protestantism, it doesn't want the other souls to become valuable; it wants to retain the quality differential between souls. I can't distinguish very well between this and racism.

Anonymous said...

Alberto,

Your argument with Yitzchak is so full of loopholes, cheap rationalizations, logical fallacies and straight-up bullshit that it is EMBARRASSING. Even to me who actually enjoys watching you embarrass yourself.

But for the sake of your children who no doubt will be reading this drivel of yours one day, please stop typing now!

Anonymous said...

"Judaism, as a religion, has an attitude that a Jewish soul is more valuable than other souls."

Judaism is the first religion in the world that was not auto-chthonic -- i.e. that postulated that all men sprung from the same seed, that we are all brothers.

A thousand times in the Talmud the equality of all men is expounded upon at length.

This is why Jews see no colors, nor races, and why only your mother must be Jewish -- which is why the Jewish People is the most genetically mixed people on earth according to every single study of Jewish ancestry.

You see the Jews as evil which is why you will never understand why it is that even on the likes of you we have shone the Light.

Anonymous said...

p.s. In terms of "souls" in Judaism -- only good and evil matters, never whether one is nominally "Jewish", "Protestant" or "other". This is Judaism 101.

What's your soul, Alberto? Scorched by antisemitism.

Yitzchak Goodman said...

There's a universal logic to having a day of rest. This logic is not based on any religious consideration, but on the established fact that human beings, as different from sharks, need rest.

On a specific and uniformly enforced day? In any event, people found the blue laws to be obnoxious. Most people are off on Sunday anyway, and then because of the blue laws they were limited as to what the could do on their days off. In practice, Southern Baptists and Pentecostals fought hardest to keep them and the Atheists, the Ibrahims of the world, despite not being sharks, fought the hardest to get rid of them.

But unlike Protestantism, it doesn't want the other souls to become valuable

Everyone konws the opening of the conversion laws in halacha. The would-be convert is warned that Jews are oppressed and "slain with the sword." Not many know that once the potential convert demonstrates his sincerity, the instructions to the Bet Din, the court considering the conversion, are designed not to be discouraging. And you are misusing mystical ideas about differences in souls.

Anonymous said...

Fake Ibrahim
"On the other hand, there's no universal logic to forbidding a certain type of food on certain days. It costs the State money -- which could be better spent building homes for the impoverished Arab minority."

you are getting more ridiculous and show yourself to be totally ignorant with every sentence

Never is food more extravagant and more ample as during feasting times - people after all have to make up for the off-limits and "deprivation" believe me they do ...
thus by your logic the state is actually making money out of eating rules imposed by the Church
So by the workings of real life the clerics should impose many many more food rules to bring more money into the state coffers which then can better help it's "impoversihed" minorities.
... and of course the state should help the scheme along by taxing foreign food stuffs that avoid the "embargo" heavily ..
Silke

Levi9909 said...

oi! so many anonymous comments. regardless of what pesach and its many components symbolises. matzo eating is still an aspect of sacrifice by the eater and it shouldn't be foisted on people. though in democratic secular israel, prisoners are not alone in having it foisted on them.

4infidels said...

You mention that Israeli Arabs who are in the same prison units as Jews do not get bread on Passover.

This is certainly a crime against humanity that human rights groups across the world should be shouting about. In addition, this proves, you say, that Israeli judaism is an intolerant religion that seeks to impose its values and rules on everyone.

Either you know nothing about how the rest of the Middle East operates, or you are so blinded by hatred that you can't see the obvious. I am not going to waste my time detailing the many evils that occur in prisons in the rest of the region nor the various ways those governments systematically discriminate against religious minorities in so many aspects of daily life. Islam imposes second class status on religious minorities living under its rule as a fundamental aspect of the faith, and the effects of this can be felt by religious minorities even in more "moderate" countries such as Egypt and Jordan.

You are essentially screaming about someone jaywalking while murder is being committed right in front of you. You weep over the Arab prisoner who gets matzoh rather than bread for one week in Israel while genocide is going on in the Sudan, political prisoners are being raped and murdered in Iran, Turkey threaten 100,000 Armenians with expulsion and torture is common practice throughout all 22 Arab countries.

What is your point?

Levi9909 said...

I can't speak for the Hasbara Buster but one point is surely that Israel is not the tolerant democracy that it pretends to be.

Anonymous said...

4infidels
I am willing to bet that Fake Ibrahim is going to tell us next that all those "authoritarians" can't help themselves because they are dominated by the evil Americans who in turn are manipulated by the wily Jews
the misdemeanour of Israel's enemies is never their fault let alone responsibility. It is always somebody else who is doing "it" and they are the poor victims who just have to act out to make the intolerable suffering bearable..

Levi9909
pure logic or familiarity with human nature as it is should tell you that Israel is as much of a tolerant democracy as all the other tolerant democracies on earth and citizens of the other tolerant democracies enjoy nothing better than to chastise Israel for one of its faults while oh so generously and self-righteously overlooking the shortcomings of their own societies.
One definite ugly part of the make-up of seemingly every other tolerant democracy on earth is that it is addicted to magnifying every flaw than can be discovered in Israel until it looks like the greatest crime ever invented.

Silke

Ibrahim Ibn Yusuf said...

What is your point?

My point is that, contrary to a Zionist claim, the official status of Judaism in Israel is not equivalent to the official status of, say, Catholicism in Argentina. The Argentinian state does not spend money to ensure that the precepts of Catholicism are followed.

I'm not saying that Israel is the worst country in the world. However, I do say that Israel is the worst country among those who claim to be world champions of morality.

One definite ugly part of the make-up of seemingly every other tolerant democracy on earth is that it is addicted to magnifying every flaw than can be discovered in Israel until it looks like the greatest crime ever invented.

Again; no one claims that Israel is the worst human-rights offender in the world.

However, Israel apologists constantly angelize the country, maintaining it holds moral and ethical standards that are among the highest in the world. And, as you know, that's not true. In no other democratic country will you see Cabinet ministers openly inciting against a minority, like the Shas and Yisrael Beiteinu ministers do in Israel. In no other democratic country will you see the State funding anti-miscegenation programs. In no other democratic country do you have an anthem that excludes 20% of the population. In no other democratic country will you see a systematic policy of spending three times more money (on a per capita basis) on the education of one ethnic group than on another, more impoverished one.

So, please, don't be disingenuous.

Anonymous said...

Ibrahim or whoever

"In no other democratic country will you see Cabinet ministers openly inciting"

your knowledge of the world is woefully incomplete
but - oh oops - the case I most clearly remember in my country was not a cabinet minister just the governor of one of our states and one of those who do really well economically to boot.

but the part that really interests me is while in your country "disappearances" happened no cabinet minister mouthed off ?

and don't tell that you had for all the time disappearances happened officially declared not to be a tolerant democracy

we have a saying "who is sitting in a glas house should refrain from throwing stones"

But I owe you one compliment you are good at rumour mongering but so bad on facts that you are bustering nothing.

and just in case you shouldn't have noticed Israel has neighbours whose published policy is her destruction - normally one assumes that a country that has such neighbors is at war, but of course since it is Israel they are are asked to keep their paranoia in check.

Silke

Anonymous said...

just found a "lovely" one for you Ibrahim
from another tolerant democracy and EU-certified to boot
- it quotes only a mayor, sadly no Cabinet Ministers but from what I know how public funds are allocated the final decision must be from very high up somewhere.

we are the old world Ibrahim and to date we have never managed to start from scratch i.e. we have always done such things and obviously we have no intention to stop doing them

Silke
http://www.nytimes.com/2010/04/03/world/europe/03roma.html?ref=global-home

4infidels said...

I can't speak for the Hasbara Buster but one point is surely that Israel is not the tolerant democracy that it pretends to be.

Levi9909,

Let's say--for the sake of argument--that Israel isn't among the most tolerant democracies. Let's even pretend that among enlightened democracies, Israel is the least tolerant. Why are you and the Hasbara Buster so devoted to demonizing Israel out of all proportion to other nations?

There are plenty of nations, allies of enlightened democracies, that don't live up to their purported values. I don't have a website demonizing them. Why does Ibrahim think it is important to carry on his verbal assault on Israel? Is there a purpose to this, other than to supposedly expose Israel's misdeeds, though the misdeeds of the rest of humanity don't really bother you all very much?

And of those most tolerant democracies, how would they conduct themselves if surrounded by enemies bent on their destruction? Look how France conducted itself in Algeria. Look at the treatment of native peoples throughout South America? What is it about Israel that so offends you like no other nation?

4infidels said...

Ibrahim,

I'm not being disingenuous. The idea that people who like Israel have a very positive impression of the place is nothing different from people who have a love of, or kinship with, any other nation. So why does that bother you and what is your purpose?

Mexicans, Pakistanis and others in the US often speak highly of their countries of origin in a way that many others would not think reflects reality. Does that mean I should start a website devoted to attacking those countries?

What is your point? To say the US should support Israel's enemies, to end foreign aid to Israel, to encourage the West to go to war against Israel? What are you aiming to accomplish, that you feel the need to demonize this one country?

Surely there must be solid arguments for whatever cause you are devoting yourself. What you like to share that or would you like to continue giving the impression that this is nothing more than a hate site or a cry for attention?

Anonymous said...

4infidels
from talking to my elders I quite often felt they were just plain jealous but why they would be jealous of a prominent Jew while not being jealous of a prominent Teuton always eluded me
maybe Ibrahim can provide the answer

Silke

Levi9909 said...

Israel is founded on an on-going principle of population transfer. It is a state for the world's Jews and not a state for its people. All other states are for their people no matter how appalling they might be run at the current time.

There is no other state that pressures its natives to leave whilst inviting and even mobilising people from abroad to come and live there.

In spite of its sheer illegitimacy, Israel gets more support from states professing politics of democracy, liberty and the rule of law than any other state and more diplomatic and media cover than any other serial human rights abuser.

Exposing Israel's racism and criminality doesn't of itself amount to demonisation but if any state deserves to be demonised then it is the State of Israel.

I know of no other official ideology for the adherents being so wantonly dishonest about everything from the aims and objectives of the movement, the history of the movement and of the founding of the state, for misrepresenting the arguments of their critics and opponents and for lying about the nature of their victims.

I have been ticked off for saying that there is no such thing as an honest zionist but I really do believe that to be the case.

Ibrahim Ibn Yusuf said...

What is it about Israel that so offends you like no other nation?

Apartheid South Africa was uniquely attacked, including through UN sanctions (which Israel has never faced), even as Mozambique, Zaire and Saudi Arabia violated human rights on a much wider scale.

Do you think it was wrong to attack the Afrikaner regime in South Africa? Was it a double standard?

You see, no one is under any obligation to write a treatise on human rights abuses before they can focus on a particular country. Questioning my right to attack Israel (or any other country) would be an infringement on my freedom of thought.

If you browse the Internet you'll see that an awful lot of people still claim that Jewish terrorists never targeted civilians, or that Israeli soldiers are required to risk their lives so that civilians won't be hurt, or that Israel is generously taking refugees from Darfur, or that the Jews have never sought vengeance, or that Arabs enjoy full equality in Israel. No other country is as angelized as Israel is. That's why I write about Israel/Palestine, not China/Tibet.

4infidels said...

Ibrahim,

I'm not denying your freedom of thought, nice attempt at victimization though that was. I am simply asking why an atheist from Argentina would care whether people thought a little too well about Israel or whatever. You are obsessed with hatred for Israel out of all proportion to reality, and you believe that Israel represents a unique evil in the world, regardless of the facts.

There really is no point having a discussion with you as you have nothing to offer but hatred.

Levi9909,

Israel wasn't founded on the principle of population transfer; it was founded to be a refuge for Jewish people. Not one Arab was evicted from what became Israel until the Arabs went to war to destroy Israel. Even then, the majority of Arabs left under their own free will or under encouragement from Arab leadership, and only those in areas where they posed a threat to Israel's defensive war effort were they evicted from their homes.

Even if the the worst version of historical events was accepted, it shows your bias that you think this would make Israel a uniquely evil country that is illegitimate.

How is the Islamic Republic of Iran a state for all its citizens, including Jews, Christians and Zoroastrians who all lived in Persia prior to the Islamic invasion?

How is the Islamic Republic of Sudan a state for all its citizens when it has killed more than 2 million Christian and Animist Africans?

The difference between Israel and most others is that the Jews actually made an effort NOT to displace the local population, until that local Arab population and its neighboring Arab states went to war with the express purpose of committing genocide against the local Jewish community.

Why is Australia, the United States, Jordan, Brazil, Argentina or any other country any more legitimate than Israel? How did Islam get from Arabia to conquer previously Christian countries that we now consider part of the "Arab world:" Egypt, Syria, North Africa, etc? Why are those countries legitimate?

Ibrahim Ibn Yusuf said...

I'm not denying your freedom of thought, nice attempt at victimization though that was. I am simply asking why an atheist from Argentina would care whether people thought a little too well about Israel or whatever.

The second sentence contradicts the first.

If you believe that I must explain why I think about certain problems and not others; or if you believe that my background must determine what I care about and what I don't; then you're not granting me freedom of thought.

You are obsessed with hatred for Israel out of all proportion to reality, and you believe that Israel represents a unique evil in the world, regardless of the facts.

Where have I said that Israel is uniquely evil? Nowhere.

But you have failed to answer the one question I asked you. Do you believe Apartheid South Africa was unfairly singled out for criticism? After all, Yemen behaved far worse human-rights-wise, and it wasn't subjected to UN sanctions.

andrew r said...

The difference between Israel and most others is that the Jews actually made an effort NOT to displace the local population, until that local Arab population and its neighboring Arab states went to war with the express purpose of committing genocide against the local Jewish community.

Oh brother. If you want to know why Israel is "demonised" you just answered your own question.

Yitzchak Goodman said...

I do say that Israel is the worst country among those who claim to be world champions of morality.

http://english.iribnews.ir/newsbody.aspx?ID=3478

"President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in a TV live address to the nation Tuesday night said the presidential election held on June 12 in Iran was the healthiest, freest, and the most beautiful election in the world."

Levi9909 said...

4infidels - Your silly games are deliberately dishonest. If you hadn't have led on the idea that a "safe haven for Jews" somehow contradicts the idea of population transfer I might have assumed that you were ignorant and not just a deliberate liar. But your first move (in your latest comment) gives you away.

Whether or not Israel was founded to be a safe haven for Jews does not alter the fact that it is based on an on-going transfer of populations.

The zionist movement began the ethnic cleansing of Palestine and the expansion of zionist controlled territory in November 1947. By the time the Arab states mobilised against Israel in May 1948 there were already 350,000 Palestinian refugees and the zionists controlled territory beyond the boundary recommended by the UN's partition plan.

There is no evidence for the idea that Arab leaders called on Palestinian Arabs to leave. There is evidence that they called on them to stay put or risk losing their homes. There is also recorded evidence of zionist broadcasts threatening to slaughter Arabs if they remained and of course there were massacres of Arabs prior to the mobilisation of the Arab states. All of this was exposed by 1952 when two journalists trawled through archives kept by the US Congress and the BBC.

Regarding my bias, I don't try to hide it. It is not based on ethnicity or religion but on morality and politics. And it does not lead me into wilful dishonesty.

Religious rule is problematic wherever it is found but Iran is a state for Iranians, not for Muslims. Jews from anywhere have more right to live in Israel than non-Jews who come from there. That is not the case with Muslims from anywhere and Iran. That's not to say that I approve of the regime but the state exists on lines accepted by a clear majority without recourse to colonial settlement and/or ethnic cleansing.

Sudan's existence is not predicated on the killing of non-Muslims. Again, it's a nasty regime but the existence of the state is sound.

This is the point that in your commitment to Jewish supremacy you are deliberately missing.

I am not saying that other states are nice or that they commit less atrocities or human rights abuses than Israel. I am saying that Israel's existence is predicated on its on-going human rights abuses. That is not the case with either Iran or Sudan.

So try to understand or at least try to stop deliberately misunderstanding. Other states have bad regimes but Israel is a bad state.

Incidentally, Israel is the most dangerous place in the world that a Jew can live. It doesn't make zionism any less popular with its adherents. It's almost as if they thrill to the danger as long as more Arabs than Jews get killed.

Anonymous said...

Comparing Israel to South Africa, as Alberto does in order to justify his singling out of the Jewish State, is so historically inaccurate it just makes me gawk to see it constantly invoked.

If South Africa had fought 7 wars against neighbors ten times its size and population, if it had been boycotted by the rest of the continent and attacked by African terrorists around the world for decades, if Afrikaners had been its original inhabitants millennia ago and had been expelled from it, if many of the Afrikaners who had founded South Africa had been the survivors of a genocide in Europe, etc. -- then he'd have some basis for a historically accurate comparison.

Otherwise, it's just intellectually dishonest.

Anonymous said...

Levi9909:

"Other states have bad regimes but Israel is a bad state."

This statement really sums it al up. It is the essence of the New Antisemitism - i.e. the Jewish State as uniquely bad in the world. The fact that this is written by someone with the Jewish handle "Levi" or that its followed immediately by a disclaimer about how supposedly bad Israel is for the Jews (funny that the vast majority of Jews themselves don't feel this way) does nothing to mitigate the author's clear demonization of Israel. It is exactly what Europeans said about the Jews in the 30s; that they are uniquely bad, criminal, etc. Just as the Jewish State is supposedly uniquely evil today.

At least in the 30s they were honest enough to admit that they just hate Jews. Levi, Alberto, Gert, etc.: your anti-Israel campaign really is a case of the emperor's new clothes...

Ibrahim Ibn Yusuf said...

Anonymous at April 4, 2010 12:38 AM:

Why do you keep calling me Alberto? Next thing, you'll claim that my father is Jewish! Of course, I don't need to give any explanations or to respond to every troll that shows up on the web, since it is well known, at least to my target audience, that lies don't become truths through repetition. But please be aware that bringing up or making an issue of what trolls say about me is a form of ad-honinem that somewhat diminishes the quality of your intervention.

Not that your intervention is very brilliant in any event. I'm not comparing apartheid South Africa to Israel. I'm comparing it to other countries that behaved much worse, such as Zaire, where millions of people died in government-sponsored wars, or Saudi Arabia, where the practice of slavery was widespread, or Jordan, where thousands were killed in Black September. My question is whether it was unfair to single out Apartheid when far more repressive regimes were in place elsewhere.

It is a relevant question because you seem to maintain that it is unfair to condemn certain countries when others violate human rights on a wider scale.

Anonymous said...

Ibrahim (fake)
"That's why I write about Israel/Palestine, not China/Tibet."
thank you Ibrahim for making it finally clear to me that I am right when I figure you on a stallion of the finest breed in the best Omar Sharif fashion (never mind if he rode a camel it's the attitude I am talking about)

Levi9909
"Regarding my bias, I don't try to hide it. It is not based on ethnicity or religion but on morality and politics."

wouldn't I love to see you upholding moral and politics while cowering behind whatever or whomever when confronted with a man with an axe who claimed that you were responsible for his murderous intent - a claim which you support on this site albeit indirectly again and again.

4infidels
chapeau to you - you made at least Levi9909 come out of the closet quite a bit with Ibrahim showing himself to be not up to his aspirations as being great at disputes again.

but my personal price for best post on this site goes to Mr. Goodman for this gem of a quote:

"President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in a TV live address to the nation Tuesday night said the presidential election held on June 12 in Iran was the healthiest, freest, and the most beautiful election in the world."

Silke

Anonymous said...

if I read (fake) Ibrahim correctly he now begs to let be left alone with his "target audience" (sic)

isn't that cute?
- first he lures Dr. Lozowick under false pretenses into a one on one
- then he finally finally gets the wider traffic he obviously aimed for because Dr. Lozowick asked for example me to visit him to keep me busy while Dr. Lozowick was off-line and now Ibrahim moans that he isn't left in peace to shmooze with his "target audience". Shouldn't he be rather proud of himself that I seem to be unable to leave his oh so interesting site alone even though Dr. Lozowick is back online?

what a enigma this Ibrahim is in seemingly every aspect ...

Silke

Levi9909 said...

HB - I know you don't like to delete trolls' comments but you can insist on coherence. Obviously if you insisted on honesty you'd never get any zios here.

Troll are in such a feed frenzy here I'll address the various lies in no particular order.

I may have mentioned already that one reason to maintain the exposure of the racist war criminals of the State of Israel is that there is no ideology like zionism for the adherents being so thoroughly dishonest when it comes to the aims and objectives of the movement, the misrepresentation of their opponents arguments and for the position (if there is one) of their victims.

Silke has implied that I have absolved certain wrong-doers of responsibility for their own actions I have not. It is you who is making out that the ethnic cleansing that the zios intended from the 1890s and commenced in 1947 had to do with something the Arab states did in 1948 and subsequent to that. That is plain ludicrous and it shows you to be the one who absolves murderers of their responsibility for their actions.

Regarding Ahmadinejad's remarks about the latest Iranian elections, it is no more ludicrous than the mantra that Israel's army is the most moral in the world. Google Ahmadinejad's statement and then google the lie about the Israeli army. See who the propagandists do the most overtime for.

Suggesting that I have "come out of the closet" makes out, again totally dishonestly, that I have tried to conceal my position on the question of zionism and the Palestinians or my identity. A bit of googling gives the lie to that one.

The idea that the Jews of today are the ethnic descendants of people who inhabited or ruled Palestine 2,000 years ago and that that justifies Israel's ethnic cleansing of Palestinians is a racist argument and suggests that only the most racially pure of people can inhabit a territory. As it happens many Afrikaaners justified their racist rule by pointing out that the black population of South Africa were more recent arrivals than the whites. There was an element of truth in that. The whole truth is more like the whites annihilated the black population of South Africa and then blacks from outside the area moved in. It didn't justify apartheid. And if it's true that Jews ruled or inhabited Palestine 2,000 years ago, that still doesn't justify zionist rule in occupied Palestine.

I've already spent too much time here but could I just ask of the trolls to try to engage with the actual arguments and try to keep your responses factual rather than fictitious. And definitely don't be inventing your opponents arguments.

Israel is a colonial settler state based on ethnic cleansing and racist laws. There are states that do bad but if they were prevented from doing bad the states would still exist. Israel's core existence is predicated on its wrong-doing and that is why its right to exist is, at best, questionable.

Israel's ruling ideology is a flat contradiction of professed western values of democracy, liberty and the rule of law and yet it has more supporters in western governments, official oppositions and media than any other serial human rights abuser.

These are powerful reasons for humanists to focus on Israel rather than the serial human rights abusers that don't act as watchdogs for western interests.

HB - if you are still allowing the trolls back on this could you at least insist that they quote what it is they are arguing against rather than allow them to simply invent other people's arguments as they tend to? Or perhaps you could prevent people from posting anonymously whilst accusing others of being "in the closet".

Thanks if you can. I understand it's difficult if you can't.

Anonymous said...

Levi9909
I sincerely apologize that I judged you from the few comments I had read and not took the trouble of reading all of your no doubt enlightened and extremely well informed and unbiased writings and thus concluded from a rather small treasure chest of information that a certain, let's call it, increase in temperature had taken place after the "trolls" had dared to contradict you.

But please note that it was you who started calling people trolls - nobody has ever called Ibrahim that when he commented at Dr. Lozowick's. Should make you think, doesn't it?

I remember one incidence of one commenter calling somebody (not Ibrahim to the best of my knowledge) a troll - Dr. Lozowick intervened immediately and nobody has ever used that kind of argument since.
Silke

Ibrahim Ibn Yusuf said...

I tend to agree with Silke, and disagree with Mark (aka Levi9909), that the various anonymouses commenting here are not trolls. They argue things, and if they misrepresent what we say, or don't respond to the points we make, it's not because they're trying to disrupt the blog, but because they can't articulate a convincing answer.

Certain small abuses (like calling me Fake Ibrahim, as though I had ever claimed it's my true name, or Alberto, as though I had been concealing something grave if I were actually called that) do have a disruptive nature, but they're harmless enough not to punish the offenders.

Anonymous said...

Ibrahim/Alberto & Mark/Levi:

I simply point you to the EU's definition of antisemitism: http://www.zionismontheweb.org/antisemitism/EU-definition-of-antisemitism.htm

Both of your anti-Israel rhetoric clearly fits this definition, so read it carefully and think long and hard - or else come clean and admit that you're obsessions with Israel and its supposed wrongdoings are actually motivated by antisemitism (although I think Alberto already admitted this once.) Which puts you in a long and inglorious tradition of the Egyptians, Romans, crusaders, Saracens, the Inquisition, Cossacks, Nazis, etc. And they all ended-up in history's garbage can while the Jews still thrive and prosper.

In particular, I refer you to the following passages:

1) "Antisemitism is a certain perception of Jews, which may be expressed as hatred toward Jews. ... In addition, such manifestations could also target the state of Israel, conceived as a Jewish collectivity."

2) "Examples of the ways in which antisemitism manifests itself with regard to the state of Israel taking into account the overall context could include:
Denying the Jewish people their right to self determination, e.g., by claiming that the existence of a State of Israel is a racist endeavor.
Applying double standards by requiring of it a behavior not expected or demanded of any other democratic nation.
Using the symbols and images associated with classic antisemitism (e.g., claims of Jews killing Jesus or blood libel) to characterize Israel or Israelis.
Drawing comparisons of contemporary Israeli policy to that of the Nazis.
Holding Jews collectively responsible for actions of the state of Israel."

Anonymous said...

just a reminder Mr. Buster
you lured Dr. Lozowick under false pretenses into a one on one
-THAT is the reason why I feel fully entitled to call you fake whenever I feel like it.

also have you noticed the charming idea of Levi9909 that you should ban the "anonymous" ?
while you yourself are one at least to somebody with my level of skills and patience in sleuthing people's identity on the net.

not to be misunderstood - I am all for keeping one's identity well protected when on the net - way too many nuts out there

Silke

andrew r said...

So in other words, when an Israeli diplomat calls it, "the state of the Jewish people," that's anti-semitism because that's holding Jews collectively responsible for the actions of Israel.

In one single breath the EU portrays Israel as an entity representing all Jews (not a chance) and makes it anti-semitic to hold every Jew to account for Israel (this much is agreeable). I'd call it a step in limiting free speech and protecting Israel from human rights activism.

By the way, when did the Romans, Crusaders, Cossacks and Nazis ever take a principled stand against mass expulsion as a way to demonize Jews? And no one singles out Israel. It distinguishes itself as the only state to commit human rights abuses which receives ideological and financial support from not-for-profits, nevermind from governments, and certain aspects of "polite society" like academia. The chancellor from my alma mater signed a letter against boycotting Israel.

Gert said...

Well, well, well, missed a bit of action here.

A few words only. Ibrahim is of course right in saying is imposing religious values on non-Jewish prisoners by not providing an alternatives choice (so easy to do too!) for non-Jews. How other countries deal with such matters doesn't matter: most don't claim to be such super-democracies as Israel does all the time. 'It's the only democracy in the ME!' is a constant tantrum from the pro-Israel/pro-Zionism crowd, as if by sheer magic being a democracy somehow absolves a state from the crimes it commits.

Secondly: trolls. Strictly speaking the various Anons are not here to disrupt debate but in reality they do. I've often compared it to trying to play tennis with a very bad tennis player: most of the time 'playing' is spent on retrieving the ball from miles outside the court, where it landed after another trollish attempt to get the thing into orbit.

And so the Anons here do the same: distort a simple argument (HB's) beyond recognition and now the defenders just end up running after balls fired in no particular direction and landing outside the court.

Exhibit X is the Anon of 9.07 AM who managed to drag the EUMC working definition of antisemitism into it. I believe this is the same Anon who defended this ridiculous and clumsy formulation of antisemitism on the grounds that antisemitism was not a form of racism. When asked to elaborate at the time, he didn't Perhaps he cares to have a go now?

andrew r said...

We should just ban the trolls. They'll go tell their buddies Ibrahim doesn't tolerate opposing viewpoints. Except they don't have any. If they could explain why Zionists are entitled to racism and why they should drag every Jewish person's name through the mud, we'd have a dissenting view. Instead they call our views anti-semitism.

Anonymous said...

"Ban the trolls" for "disrupting debate"

You just want an echo chamber where your disgusting antisemitic slander goes unchallenged.

According to the EU your "activism" is antisemitic. Period. And I'm going to call you on it for as long as I can!

Anonymous said...

Gert,

I've explained this before but I'll do it again, briefly. There is a ton of literature on the distinction between antisemitism and racism. In short, racism is typically based on feelings of superiority and contempt for others that are deemed inferior to the "in group", whereas antisemitism is about fear of the Jews as the "in group" and therefore as being superior to one's own. This involves feelings of inferiority vis-a-vis Jews and is therefore in an important sense the exact opposite of racism.

There is also an important difference between racism and antisemitism in terms of visibility -- i.e. racism is based on visible differences between "us" and "them" whereas antisemitism is usually based on anxiety about invisible differences between "us" and "the Jews".

Again, there is a lot of fascinating literature on the subject of why antisemitism is distinct from racism (which is why the EU, UN, et a. treat them as separate phenomena) -- off the top of my head, I'd recommend Sandor Gilman's work. James Carroll and Robert Wistrich have significant essays on the subject as well.

Anonymous said...

Hi there Gert - if you'd waited a bit longer to reappear I might have missed you

your argument is really nicely put: any psychologist would like to hold it up as an example for what they call Projektion (and frown upon)

to the "troll"-banning advocates:
don't you see in what a tight spot you put Ibrahim
- if he pleases you who are presumably his "target audience" than he has to ban those you call trolls
but if he bans the "trolls" then he looses his right to claim to be a protector of free speech which makes him automatically less courageous than Dr. Lozowick.

now what is he to do, the poor fellow?
- maybe teach you guys how to cope with irony, sarcasm and banter and double tongued speech - might turn out to be a hard job but that's the one thing Ibrahim knows at least a little how to do. At least I seem to have noticed every now and then that he enjoys having his brain tickled.

Silke

andrew r said...

The EU has two members of the British National Party in parliament. And we don't consider the EU an authority on anything except maybe privitization.

andrew r said...

By the way, let's not pretend Yaacov practices zero censorship. He deleted the posts of a certain Carol Herman because she rambled stream-of-consciousness on several tangents. Second, a person's blog is like their home. You can stand outside the bank and hold a placard with "Andrew R is a self-hating half breed" on it but you're not doing that on my turf.

And I've followed both long enough to know a greater % of Ibrahim's blog is overrun with "dissent" than Yaacov's. When Yaacov gets his own equivalent of the two anons, Yitzchak Goodman and Silke, then you can tell me he's a greater champion of free speech. It's easy for him not to ban any one when repulsing them accomplishes the same thing.

andrew r said...

I'd like to modify that last paragraph. When Yaacov gets his own equivalent of As'ad abu Khalil, Gabriel Ash, Ali Abunimah, Uri Davis...

Gert said...

Anonymous 19:44

"whereas antisemitism is about fear of the Jews as the "in group" and therefore as being superior to one's own. This involves feelings of inferiority vis-a-vis Jews and is therefore in an important sense the exact opposite of racism."

Nonsense on multiple levels. Racism is about attributing certain traits (real or perceived) to a group and believing these traits are universal to that group, essential even. This may involve feelings of superiority or inferiority by the racist about the target group, it matters not one iota which way. Claiming 'Blacks are universally less intelligent' is as racist as claiming 'Blacks are universally better at basket ball than we are'. That the latter may invoke (erroneous) feelings of envy and inferiority changes nothing: it's still racism. And claiming the racist undoubtedly (?) values intelligence over the ability to play basket ball doesn't change that either.

"There is also an important difference between racism and antisemitism in terms of visibility -- i.e. racism is based on visible differences between "us" and "them" whereas antisemitism is usually based on anxiety about invisible differences between "us" and "the Jews"."

More nonsense. 'Differences' between Jews and non-Jews may be visible or they may not be. Never has it stopped antisemitism. The antisemitic literature is in any case full of visual stereotypes of Jews with 'essentialised' shapes of noses, hairstyle, head dress and clothing.

I doubt very much if Sandor Gilman, James Carroll and Robert Wistrich have interpreted antisemitism in the way that you do. If they have then I can only find them guilty of trying artificially to elevate antisemitism to 'special status racism', always more heinous than other forms of racism, more prevalent and the justification of recent Zionist crimes.

Zionism does indeed rely on attributing special traits to antisemitism, most notably the highly racist notion that antisemitism is somehow innate to Goyim. Innate, immutable, incurable.

Anonymous said...

andrew r
Dr. Lozowick deleted Carol???????
to the best of my memory he very politely suggested to her that she might try to stay a bit more on topic or look for a blog which dealt with the things dear to her heart.

also please explain to me why according to you the commenters on Dr. Lozowick's blog have such an easy time repulsing commenters when on the other hand some of you dearly want to get rid of me and somehow only inspire me to another taunt.

Last but not least I wish to draw your attention to the fact that Dr. Lozowick is so well respected by his commenters that one very mild protest of him against calling people trolls silenced the accusation whereupon when poor Ibrahim tried the same with his "target audience" they released a stream of reinforced troll banning demands. - should tell you something about the personal esteem the provider of the blog is held in by his "target audience" as well as his "target audience's" fitness for polite society

Silke

andrew r said...

I meant Dr. Lozowick himself is repulsive. Here are three of my favorite examples.

"they aren't civilians"

excommunication

"ultimate burden a nation can ask of its men" (like what, bombing people's homes from the air?)

He's a cultured thug.

If telling me I'm impolite is supposed to be a taunt... whatever you say, ma'am.

Anonymous said...

no andrew r
I didn't say you were impolite I said you were not fit for polite society
BTW I have no doubt that figuring out the difference between the two is more than you can or are willing to manage

but I have been very glad to learn that you have at least been browsing through Dr. Lozowick's blog and that you obviously didn't get "it" so I gather to advice you to try a bit of Sapere Aude is futile but I needn't worry any longer that your views are due to lack of contact with something better than what you find here. Because you see besides being a vicious Teuton I have also a very distinct mothering drive

Silke

Anonymous said...

oh andrew r
I must apologize again - you actually got it!

"(like what, bombing people's homes from the air?)"

YES YES and YES
- the allied pilots who were ordered to bomb German cities to smithereens shouldered a very ultimate burden for the sake of their country but also for me their "victim"
- they gave me a country to live in that was free of Hitler and his adorers at least to the point that they couldn't hinder me in living the life I wanted to live.
and as I guess that you buy that crap about war crimes and militarily useless I hereby forgive you beforehand for your answer

Silke

andrew r said...

Polite society = Dressing up, having colleagues and working some type of managerial or at least some white collar position where you can "get ahead." Got any more brain teasers?

Yaacov was an active participant in an Israeli war on civilians (1982 invasion of Lebanon). Now he writes defensive screeds when people say things about Israel he doesn't like. I get it better than you think, I just don't want to join the cause.

andrew r said...

Now Silke, you just compared Palestinians to Nazis. Every Palestinian is a Nazi regardless of what they think and do. Sometimes I think you Zionist people are more forgiving of Germans for being Nazis than Palestinians for living on Jewish land.

Levi9909 said...

The EUMC working "definition" of antisemitism is complete bullshit and it is in itself antisemitic. It claims that it is antisemitic to compare Israel to the nazis. But that is only the case if the State of Israel equates to Jews in general and to suggest that is antisemitic. The same goes for likening Israel to apartheid South Africa and to saying that the estblishment of the State of Israel is/was a "racist endeavour".

The working definition states that it is ok to criticise Israel but only if you criticise other countries for the same things but can one of the anonymouses or Silke or somesuch name a state that is established on the grotesque principle that Israel is?

Go on, which state mobilises people from all around the world to come and live there whilst denying that right to people that actually come from there?

You might also consider answering the question, which country has an equivalent organisation to the World Zionist Organisation to liaise between itself and people around the world who it purports to exist for?

HB - point taken. BTW - I dream about 73 comments to a post!

Anonymous said...

Of course you all hate the definition because it shows that your faux "activism" is really rank antisemitism in disguise. But you're out of luck. Here's a document committing the OSCE to promote the EU's working definition of antisemitism in all 50 OSCE member states: http://www.osce.org/documents/odihr/2009/09/39748_en.pdf

The OSCE understands that the fight against the new antisemitism is a global struggle.

Mark, there is just about nothing more insulting to Jews (i.e. antisemitic) than comparing Israel to the Nazis. It is designed to insult the memory of the millions of innocent Jews murdered 60 years ago, besides being patently absurd (more Jews were killed in a single day in the Holocaust then all the Arabs killed by Israel since 1948!) It is a sure sign of an antisemite today.

Gert, as your garbled example of basketball v. intelligence shows, you really know nothing about the research into this subject. Read up on the literature - I'm not going to walk you through it. But your understanding of it is completely wrong: antisemitism is not a form of racism but a completely separate phenomenon.

Levi9909 said...

It is not for you or for anyone else to say what is insulting to Jews. I'm Jewish and I find the working definition insulting because it associates me with the racist war criminals of the State of Israel.

Maybe you're Jewish. If so, clearly you like to be associated with the racist war criminals. Ok, you have to lie on their behalf which suggests you're not quite as proud of them as you make out. Ashamed would be more accurate.

But me, I'm comfortable with my Jewish identity and if people want to draw obvious comparisons between Israel and the nazis then that's fine with me. It's not me they're accusing. It's the agents of a state that exists for one ethno-religious group at the expense of another.

I know that the zios are trying to get their bogus definition of antisemitism stitched into the laws of EU states. We could end up with the absurd situation where Jewish critics of Israel get put away for antisemitism whilst antisemitic supporters of Israel get fawned all over by Israeli politicians, diplomats and the lobby.

It is indeed bad luck for me, but then, I'm Jewish and I have a name. I don't know if you're Jewish or not and you prefer, for obvious reasons, anonymity.

Anonymous said...

andrew r
interesting image of polite society you have ...

if you want to learn about it I'd recommend to start READING with Mr. Knightley - though he is errs a bit too much on the strict side - still I can't think of a better character to start the quest with

to give you a wee hint - polite society is all about tact not about ties
Silke

Anonymous said...

andrew r
interesting image of polite society you have ...

if you want to learn about it I'd recommend to start READING with Mr. Knightley - though he is errs a bit too much on the strict side - still I can't think of a better character to start the quest with

to give you a wee hint - polite society is all about tact not about ties
Silke

Anonymous said...

Ibrahim
have you noticed that Levi9909 was only agreeing to respect your wishes AFTER I had pointed out that you were less respected by your "target audience" than Dr. Lozowick is?
should tell you something about them shouldn't it?

Levi9909 said...

Anon - with every comment you reveal yourself to be either a liar or a racist or both. In this case, a light hearted comment from me, according to you, "you something about them". It is so typical of racists to elevate the words or behaviour of the individual to the level of a complaint against a collective.

Anyway, since now your history has been shown to be bogus and your worldview to be racist, you're reduced to twittering about nothing. Time to go, huh? Or is there literally no end to your capacity for inventing pseudo debate? If so you might want to consider what a cultural, intellectual and moral vaccuum your support for Jewish supremacy has made of you.

Anonymous said...

Levi9909
if you were capable of reading carefully you might have noticed that my "them" referred to what Ibrahim calls his "target audience"
- if you can read racism by ME into that, be my guest - but maybe you should have a good look at saint Ibrahim ...

I move on when I get either banned by Ibrahim or too bored with yall's combined predictability or maybe just because it might stop to rain for a change.
Silke

Ibrahim Ibn Yusuf said...

Actually, Silke, my target audience includes also you. It consists of people smart enough to recognize that if someone makes some weird assertion about me and I don't respond, that doesn't mean I agree or acknowledge or confirm what is being said about me.

Re the "Working Definition": there exists an excellent essay by Michael Neumann, in which he discusses the "definitional inflation" that the concept of anti-semitism has undergone. Excerpt:

Inflating the meaning of 'antisemitism' to include anything politically damaging to Israel is a double-edged sword. It may be handy for smiting your enemies, but the problem is that definitional inflation, like any inflation, cheapens the currency. The more things get to count as antisemitic, the less awful antisemitism is going to sound. This happens because, while no one can stop you from inflating definitions, you still don't control the facts. In particular, no definition of 'antisemitism' is going to eradicate the substantially pro-Palestinian version of the facts which I espouse, as do most people in Europe, a great many Israelis, and a growing number of North Americans.

In the particular case of analogies between Israel and the Nazis, I think they're completely wrong, unless you copycat the Zionists' techniques and claim: "in the New Nazism, you don't exterminate peoples anymore; you keep them under siege, allowing them to import shoes or clothing only once every three years...". In other words, only through more definitional inflation can Israel be equated to the Nazis (though I'd like to see those incensed by the analogy to go ballistic over the Americans comparing Hugo Chávez to Hitler).

The analogy between Israel and apartheid South Africa, on the other hand, has very solid foundations and has been endorsed by mainstream Israeli politicians like Shulamit Aloni or Yossi Sarid. It is very telling that the Working Definition puts both analogies (with the Nazis and with apartheid) at the same level, as if accusing someone of racial segregation were the same as accusing them of genocide. It is that all-encompassing nature that renders the Definition worthless.

Levi9909 said...

anon - given that you see it as your zionist duty to either mislead people or to waste people's time, and given that you comment anonymously there is no need and certainly no onus on me to read your bullshit carefully. You attributed the comment of one person to several people which bears comparison to racists who do the same sort of thing.

It's like when I compare Israel to the nazis. I'm not saying they are the nazis, just that they bear comparison. In your case, you are a racist and you apply the same logic to those you want to be treated as racial inferiors as you do to each and all of Israel's critics.

So don't you misunderstand me. I am not simply saying that you are merely like a racist, I am saying that your penultimate comment was like your racism. All of your comments are down to the fact that you are a racist, it's just that the penultimate comment was like racism without being the real thing.

If I expressed myself badly or didn't take due care, that's because I am conscious of what a time waster you are and I don't think honest anti-racists (like me) should waste too much time on you.

Anonymous said...

ach herrje
something went wrong or I did wrong with my oh so brilliant and well thought through answer to Levi9909 and Ibrahim and now it's gone
what a pity
- no this comment is not a hoax it is just to let you guys know that you really made me try hard and now it turns out it was all for nothing - I feel really sorry for myself
Silke

andrew r said...

The way I see it, there are several problems with Nazi analogies or at least in overuse. Anti-semitism is not one of them. This is basically going to say in so many words there are better comparisons.

- As Max Ajl explains, it demonizes the Nazis as the only true evil. I'd expand that to include demonizing them as a unique phenomenon existing on its own terms separate from the history of colonialism, Germany's own included. In fact, the concept of avodah ivrit was taken from Bismarck's kulturkampf which forbade German settlers in Poland from hiring Polish labour. It may be more helpful to analyze where Zionism and Nazism came from, not to mention Apartheid, than to make comparisons.

- This point is a mirror image of 1) though it's worth mentioning, it also implicitly accepts the Jewish suffering under the Nazis as the only true suffering

- Clarity. It's easier to explain the "Suppression and Punishment of the Crime of Apartheid" and how it relates to Israel and South Africa than the "Prevention of Genocide" vis-a-vis Israel and Germany.

- Apartheid is more sound with or without state power. The NSDAP enacted political violence out of power but it had no bureaucratic power over Germans. Zionism accomplished that much even in the Ottoman era since they established a measure of autonomy over the settlements. By the time the NSDAP formed, there was already a pattern of dispossessing the native Palestinians and abusing Middle Eastern Jews. Arabs were evicted from newly acquired property at gunpoint, Yemeni Jews were hired as labourers at "Arab" wages and their European "brethren" didn't lift a finger to include them in striking or even make demands on their behalf. This parallels the development of apartheid more closely than the Third Reich.

That's not to say the comparison should be forbidden. When Norman Finkelstein links the self-pity of high ranking Nazis with Israeli soldiers, he probably chose the best scenario for that one, simply because it's so cliche to view them as intractable evil. There's also the Ha'avara agreement and German policy during the 1936 revolt though that wasn't pro-Zionist so much as pro-British. However, that could only happen because Zionism and Nazism share essentially the same values. It's just limiting to make Nazism the basis for comparison.

Anonymous said...

Comparing Israel to Nazi Germany is an antisemitic smear.

Calling Israel an apartheid state is an antisemitic slander.

This is what the EU's definition of antisemitism says, and this definition - written by experts after a painstaking process of consultation within member states - has been picked up by many other countries and organizations, such as the OSCE.

You can call the definition "wrong" and "worthless" all you want, but it is the international consensus among democratic nations and as such has great authority in this world.

So if you make such noxious comparisons you are by definition an antisemite under this enlightened consensus. End of story.

Ernie Halfdram said...

Sorry I haven't been following this thread, but I can't leave these references to the EUMC 'Working Definition' unrefuted.

Kenneth Stern of the American Jewish Committee may be an expert on transforming graffiti and odd comments into the next holocaust, but he doesn't have a clue about how to define a concept. If you actually read the 'Working definition' it's quite clear that it doesn't actually define anything.

Furthermore, and more importantly, it is tendentious in asserting that comparisons witn nazism are antisemitic tout court. It is actually silent on the matter of comparisons with apartheid. The way the actual definitions of the crimes of genocide and apartheid as enunciated in the relevant conventions are framed makes it obligatory to accuse Israel of committing those crimes, if anyone thought that would do any good. Apart from which, on the face of it, the EUMC appears to have been setting itself up as endorsing restrictions on freedom of expression.

But the most fatal flaw of the WD of course is that judged in its own terms, it is itself an instantiation of antisemitic speech. In insisting that 'Drawing comparisons of contemporary Israeli policy to that of the Nazis' is antisemitic, it clearly implies that to do so impugns all Jews and not just the state of Israel, in other words, 'Holding Jews collectively responsible for actions of the state of Israel'. (http://bureauofcounterpropaganda.blogspot.com/2007/04/eu-slams-gandhi.html)

If clueless anonymous trolls were really concerned about fighting antisemitism, a good place to start would be getting rid of this antisemitic 'enlightened consensus' and combating the racist 'experts' responsible for it.

andrew r said...

Anon - Here's a conundrum for you. I once got a letter in the St. Louis Jewish Light asserting Israel is "gerrymandering an ethnic majority in a land that does not have this majority." Now, this paper probably wouldn't print that if it was an anti-semitic slander and/or had no clue what I was talking about. I employed that phrase specifically to avoid using "apartheid." Do you have a better term for it? Please tell us what Israel is doing by denying millions of refugees and occupied people citizenship and in what way is that different from denying black South Africans the same rights.

Maybe instead of blowing methane you can come up with a different model for viewing the systematic behavior of Israel where several international jurists have failed.

Levi9909 said...

Ernie - I made the same point as you several points back but the anonymous one chose to ignore the point and repeat the mantra.

Here's what I said, though admittedly, you put it better:

The EUMC working "definition" of antisemitism is complete bullshit and it is in itself antisemitic. It claims that it is antisemitic to compare Israel to the nazis. But that is only the case if the State of Israel equates to Jews in general and to suggest that is antisemitic. The same goes for likening Israel to apartheid South Africa and to saying that the estblishment of the State of Israel is/was a "racist endeavour".

The working definition states that it is ok to criticise Israel but only if you criticise other countries for the same things but can one of the anonymouses or Silke or somesuch name a state that is established on the grotesque principle that Israel is?

Go on, which state mobilises people from all around the world to come and live there whilst denying that right to people that actually come from there?

You might also consider answering the question, which country has an equivalent organisation to the World Zionist Organisation to liaise between itself and people around the world who it purports to exist for?


So anon, instead of repeating mantras (or is it mantrae?) and hiding behind lobby documents, respond directly to some of the points being made.

Thanks

Yaacov said...

Off topic - but then, most things Fake Ibrahim talks about are.

Over at my blog, Fake Ibrahim recently dabbled in the provenance of international law as it may or may not be applied to the control of the West bank and Jerusalem (the two are not the same by international law, but FI doesn't know that). In response, I alluded to the single most important document in the discussion; the legal fundament on which all other documents are based.


Fake Ibrahim looked blank and told me I shouldn't be vague.

The only reason I mention all this is that it's yet another demonstration of the fact that FA really doesn't know what he's talking about. It's as if we were having a discussion about Catalunia (he teaches Catalan, after all), and he'd never heard of Franco - except that my example was more fundamental.

Give it a break, Fake Ibrahim. Find yourself a life.

Levi9909 said...

Yaakov - I'm not interested in your personal beef with the host here but I followed the link in your name and apparently you wrote "Right to Exist, A Moral Defense of Israel's Wars" and you were "Director of Archives at Yad Vashem". I thought Yad Vashem was supposed to be the "moral defense of Israel's wars".

Ernie Halfdram said...

Sorry about that, Mark. I don't usually intervene in threads I haven't read and now I remember why.

Levi9909 said...

no no, it's nice to concur with somebody and you do put it better

Ibrahim Ibn Yusuf said...

Fake Ibrahim looked blank and told me I shouldn't be vague.

The usual method when someone is wrong is to quote the relevant portions of the documents that prove them wrong. By not doing so you're certainly being vague.

Over at my blog, Fake Ibrahim recently dabbled in the provenance of international law as it may or may not be applied to the control of the West bank and Jerusalem

What is it with Zionists believing that the legal status of Israeli settlements in the West Bank and Jerusalem has never been decided by a court of law?

I'm not a lawyer and you're not a lawyer. You want to make a case for Israel. I point out the small detail that the ICJ and the UNSC have already decided that the settlements are illegal. I don't need to say anything further.

It's like if I quote Newton's law of gravity. I don't need an apple to hit me on the head to know it is true -- other people, more knowledgeable than me, have ascertained it is. Similarly, I don't need to travel to Hebron to know that Israel can't build in the occupied territories. Thomas Buergenthal's authoritative opinion is more than enough.

As for the rest of your comment, I'll quote myself: [My target audience] consists of people smart enough to recognize that if someone makes some weird assertion about me and I don't respond, that doesn't mean I agree or acknowledge or confirm what is being said about me.

Ernie Halfdram said...

'The Court [ICJ] concludes that all these territories (including East Jerusalem) remain occupied territories and that Israel has continued to have the status of occupying Power.' (http://www.icj-cij.org/docket/files/131/1677.pdf)

I wonder if that was the International Law Bogus Yaacov was alluding to when he wrote, 'the two are not the same by international law'?