AQSA. AQSA. Read all about it!

Available at all good British Universities now.

Why read the Jewish Chronicle or the Jewish News, those mere organs of the all-powerful Israel Lobby, when you can get the unvarnished truth about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict from Aqsa News? The January 2010 issue is out now.

And, to boot, Aqsa News is free (which is a huge bonus especially as the JC executives are probably, at this moment, discussing when to push the JC’s cover price up to the £1.10 mark).

Anyway, I digress. Aqsa News is 14 pages long and packed with content and devoid of annoying adverts.

There were three adverts but two were for Interpal, the subject of a Charity Commission inquiry after certain allegations were made about it in the BBC’s Panorama.  The third advert simply asks for donations to the Ummah Medical Academy in India (they need £76,500 urgently)

Aqsa News doesn’t waste its precious coverage on sport. But if you like your news slanted towards total condemnation of Israel and you want to see how its imminent destruction is coming along, then Aqsa News is the only paper to get a hold of.

To be fair Aqsa News doesn’t much like Mahmoud Abbas either (which makes you start to think where its real sympathies lie. Hamas anyone?). In his lengthy article Tom Charles states:

“The Palestinian Authority forces undermine Palestine’s democracy and prop up the quisling leadership of the unelected Mahmoud Abbas.”

There are reviews of books by Ben White (Israeli Apartheid: A Beginner’s Guide) and by Jonathan Cook (Disappearing Palestine: Israel’s Experiment in Human Despair).

There are numerous articles on the various firms and countries being targeted by pro-Palestine activists for doing business with Israel. Volvo, Brimar, Alstom and the German government are all taking a hit.

Another headline screams: “Holland to investigate Origins of Ahava Products” (the false premise is that Ahava has a laboratory on the Mitzpe Shalom settlement “and this is in contravention of the Geneva Convention which forbids an occupying Power from making use of the Occupied Territory’s natural resources.”)

There is also a Question and Answer piece on “Why Boycott matters” and a Palestinain Refugees Facts and Figures section (Did you know that “one in three refugees worldwide is a Palestinian”?)

Ahava is a funny one. Hands up if you knew that Ahava has a nice shop in Covent Garden. I didn’t until I heard that the pro-Palestine Campaign was going to protest outside it.

I went down to the shop to have a look round and to see how business was. The manageress told me business was good, even better when there is a pro-Palestinian protest outside. 

However, the protests can be frightening for the staff working in the shop especially, as happened recently, protesters handcuffed themselves inside the shop while screaming abuse.

Anyway, before I knew it I was persuaded to spend £31 on a Dead Sea Liquid Salt and a Dermud sensitive skin relief.

Sadly, I spent the evening screaming my flat down when I seem to have over-applied the Liquid Salt. So, thank you to the pro-Palestine Campaign for making me £31 poorer, Ahava £31 richer and for causing me intense agony!

Back to Aqsa News. If all this stuff is getting a bit heavy and upsetting for the naive young mind (and some older minds) there is a crossword. Some testing clues for you:

6 across: Palestine’s ‘catastrophe’ in 1948 (Arabic) (5)

9 across: Political movement with the aim of establishing a Jewish state in Palestine (7)

3 down: Third holiest city in Islam (9)

5 down: Israeli Jews who live in the West Bank and East Jerusalem (8)

7 down: Arabic word for Palestinian uprising against Israel (8)

There also some cartoons like that of Palestinians being arrested and assaulted by Israeli soldiers and another of a black South African woman consoling a distraught Palestinian woman in a cemetry.

Just in case you can’t get a hold of your copy of Aqsa News (it isn’t available in your local WH Smith library) then read it online or go to wwww.aqsa.org.uk. Lots of interesting facts and figures to digest there, like:

“All the land of historic Palestine is now occupied by Israel.”

and

The UN has re-affirmed the right of Palestinian refugees to return to their homeland over 100 times, in accordance with international law.

Apart from these two statements being highly controversial (and factually incorrect) it doesn’t sound like the author wants Israel to continue for too much longer.

Aqsa News is available from, and helping to radicalise, all good British Universities near you now!

15 responses to “AQSA. AQSA. Read all about it!

  1. Dear Richard,

    Thanks for the tip on Aqsa News, I wouldn’t have known about it without your post. I’ll be getting my own copy ASAP.

    You claim (rightly so) that Aqsa News is biased towards Israel. Isn’t that rather rich coming from you, Richard? A died in the wool arch-Zionist and defender of the colonial-settler state of Israel? You claim ‘objectivity’, do you? Pot and kettle, Richard, pot and kettle…

    Now I’ve occasionally watched your clownesque appearances on Press TV but the one this week on Israeli – Turkish relationships with (among others) Azzam Tamini really took the biscuit. How that man kept his calm is really rather beyond me, in particular when you offered a second opinion on the number of casualties resulting from ‘Operation Cast Lead’, by citing the 500 – 600 number from Corriera Della Sera.

    Richard, as I’m sure you’re aware there exists also a second opinion of the Holocaust, i.e. that it didn’t happen (or that many died of starvation but not in the gas chambers). Do you believe that the mere existence of such an opinion somehow leads credence to it? I think the answer is a firm “NO!”, don’t you?

    So why invoke a source that’s based solely on the hearsay of one unnamed Gazan doctor? Do you think I should invoke the mad scribblings of Holohoax101.com, just as an alternative view to the Holocaust narrative? Because ‘you never know’?

    Same of course with:

    6 across: Palestine’s ‘catastrophe’ in 1948 (Arabic) (5)

    What’s with the quote marks, Richard? The millions of Palestinians that languish in refugee camps in Jordan, Lebanon, Syria and Palestine are a fabrication? Like those ‘non-existent’ gas chambers the imbeciles from Holohoax101.com claim to be?

    You claim to be an ‘independent journalist’. I find that hard to believe. An independent Zionist smear merchant, yes, I can see that. But the following words:

    Anyway, before I knew it I was presuaded [sic] to spend £31 on a Dead Sea Liquid Salt and a Dermud sensitive skin relief.

    Sadly, I spent the evening screaming my flat down when I seem to have over-applied the Liquid Salt. So, thank you to the pro-Palestine Campaign for making me £31 poorer, Ahava £31 richer and for causing me intense agony!

    … are of such ‘neneer, neneer neneer’ puerility that they cannot be ascribed to any real journalist but the most unsophisticated chip wrapper paparazzo.

    Regards Aqsa News, it’s certainly to be hoped it’s a big hit at British Universities: whether you like it or not, the world is slowly waking up to Israel’s crimes and continued colonisation of Palestine. Even American Jews are beginning to see the light.

  2. richardmillett

    Gert, the quote marks were in the newspaper. I didn’t add them. The clue is “Palestine’s ‘catastrophe’ in 1948 (Arabic). Check it out if you don’t believe me.

    Also, I am not a Zionist. I just happen to think that the Jewish nation has a right to have a state in that part of the world where Jews have always lived and where, at one stage, they were the majority.

    Ok, you might have a point about the number. Then again you might be wrong also. At Jenin they said 1500 died and it turned out 100 did. There has, as yet, been no proven figure and more importantly the amount of those were Hamas fighters has not been ascertained. That said even one innocent death is wrong but it is also difficult to apportion blame. Hamas is just as responsible as Israel is.

    The bit about the salt was my attempt at humour. Sorry it wasn’t acceptable to you.

  3. Richard,

    You claim not to be a Zionist. Personally I think you mean not a ‘Zionist activist’, although most would agree with me you are that too.

    You support the right of Israel to exist and support without any doubt the right of Jews worldwide to ‘return’ to Israel. I don’t know how that’s NOT the definition of Zionism.

    Regards the Jenin argument, that’s essentially the ‘once a thief, always a thief’ argument. Jenin did in fact not turn out to be a massacre. True. But it’s a complete non sequitur that the numbers of casualties in Gaza are ergo also inflated. The numbers accepted by the UN and Israel are only marginally different. It’s therefore folly to give more credence to a source that relies on the hearsay of one still unknown Gazan doctor.

    As regards ‘Hamas is as much to blame as Israel’, that’s plain nonsense. No Occupation, no resistance to Occupation. Palestinians have from day one, well before 1948, resisted what any people, black, white, Arab, Jewish or whatever, would have resisted: resist the expropriation of their land and its occupation by foreigners. Read Zabotinsky for instance, he understood that. Or Moshe Dayan.

    Hamas is very much a latecomer in this whole mess and one that was initially sponsored by Israel. Israel has the right to defend itself you say? Well, I happen to agree. Which is what makes the ‘Israel suffered 8 years of Qassams’ argument so risible: almost each of these attacks were punished by IDF counter-action. So it exercised its right to self defence all along. But Cast Lead went too far. Whether you like it or not, that mistake is costing Israel far more dearly than any amount of unguided bottle rockets could ever achieve.

  4. richardmillett

    Gert, are you honestly saying to me that 1400 innocent people died in Gaza? If I remember Yvonne quoted that figure. Well, if it was 1400 (and I am not saying it wasn’t necessarily. I was only quoting the newspaper. I wasn’t saying 600 was definitive) many of those must have been Hamas, surely.

    You can label me what you like but I believe the Jews should have a state like all other nations, including the Palestinians.

    You are absolutely right to quote Jabotinsky. He did understand it but he was determined to try to overcome that resistance.

    I do not understand why you want a Palestinian state but not a Jewish one. Isn’t that unjust? Jews have always lived there. And half of Israeli Jews are of Middle Eastern origin anyway.

  5. Richard:

    Gert, are you honestly saying to me that 1400 innocent people died in Gaza? If I remember Yvonne quoted that figure. Well, if it was 1400 (and I am not saying it wasn’t necessarily. I was only quoting the newspaper. I wasn’t saying 600 was definitive) many of those must have been Hamas, surely.

    Straw man. Where did I say that? I said I accept the UN numbers (which include Hamas fighters) and that these numbers aren’t far away from Israel’s numbers. The Corriera number is a one off which presents no evidence apart from the anecdotal, non-verified doctor.

    If Ridley quoted ‘1400 innocent people’ then she was being careless.

    You can label me what you like but I believe the Jews should have a state like all other nations, including the Palestinians.

    As Tony Judt wrote: ‘Zionism is an idea that came too late’. By the time Zionism started to gain traction the idea of the Nation State (as in ‘ethno-state’) had begun to lose its allure in most of the world. Today there are almost no Nation States that are based on ethnicity. In Britain, one of the next PMs is very likely to be Jewish (David or Ed Miliband), yet Jews are a tiny minority on these isles. Despite residual racism (of all kinds), Britain is truly a ‘one man, one woman, one vote’ democracy, warts and all.

    If the Palestinians are willing to accept the crumbs from the table that was once their country then that is up to them (it’s their struggle, I’m merely a supporter). But even Olmert and more recently Barak both understand that Israel is sleepwalking into a de facto one state solution. Once no land is left for the Palestinians they will have no choice but turning their struggle into a Civil Rights struggle, demanding equal rights to their Jewish counter parts in Palestine. And who could seriously withhold them that? On what grounds? The most racist grounds imaginable? That they’re not Jewish? Nuremberg, here we come!

    Incidentally, before finding your blog, I came across this little gem:

    http://www.thejc.com/business/business-features/how-argue-israel%E2%80%99s-case-lessons-a-media-guru

    You attend a workshop on how to argue Israel’s case, yet maintain you’re not a Zionist? I think I just saw a pink elephant…

  6. richardmillett

    Gert, I go to Palestine Solidarity Campaign workshops, lectures and talks also. I cannot help how a journalist writes a piece up or labels me.

    I accept your point about the doctor. 1400 is banded about as the magic figure as if it was a massacre. But a high proportion of the dead must have been Hamas fighters. That was the point I was trying to make although I accept i didn’t make it too well.

    As for ethno-states, isn’t Britian one? It is a majority Christian population. For example, all public holidays are Christian. A Muslim or Jew might well have to take a religious holiday as part of his or her own private allocation. Then what about Iran and Pakistan and all the many other Muslim states? All states are based on religion to a certain extent. The only difference in application is that the UK and USA are massively Christian and so don’t need to apply their own rules so strictly. But if the Christian majority aspect of their countries are ever threatened they will defend it to the hilt with massive restrictions on immigration etc.

    Israel has Arab and bedouin MPs and diplomats too.

    You say that if the Palestinians are willing to accept the crumbs from the table that was once their country then that is up to them.

    But it was never their country. It was a province of the Ottoman Empire. When Zionism started out there was about 500,000 Arabs there and 25,000 Jews in an area that now holds well over 10,000,000. There were also another 1,0000,000 Jews in nearby adjoining Middle East areas. So the Jews had a right to a state in part of that area, like the Palestinians did.

    In 1937 the Peel Commission offered the Arabs 80% of the area but they declined it. In 1947 UNSCR 181 offered 45% and they declined that.

    I accept that 22% is rubbish by comparison but they went for broke and it backfired. You cannot have a second chance and just undo history like that.

    If they are not within Israel itself i don’t see how the Palestinians are necessarily a demographic threat. Israel is a state. The occupied territories are not a part of that sate.

    I just hope the two sides can get back to the negotiating table but there is no chance of that if Hamas and Fatah cannot even reunite.

  7. Richard, 1400 dead isn’t a massacre? Let’s reduce the scale a bit: 48 members of the Samouni family (from Zeitoun, outskirts of Gaza City) died in the onslaught:

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/middleeast/palestinianauthority/4290553/Gaza-Palestinian-family-mourns-48-dead.html

    How would you feel if it was your family? What would you call it? NOT a massacre?

    Britain’s an ‘ethno-state’? What are you talking about? In what way is this a ‘Christian country’ (I’m an atheist, you’re really ruffling my feathers now!)? How are its policies ‘Christian’? How does it discriminate against non-Christians (nowadays you hear more Christians moaning – unjustly – about being ‘discriminated’ against)? This is a Secular State. How come a Jewish person can become Prime Minister here, if it was ‘Christian’? Michael Howard came within an inch really…

    As regards the other ethno-states you mention, I’m squarely opposed to that.

    Israel has Arab MKs because Arabs have the right to vote but not the right to vote themselves into power. Big difference. To maintain the Jewish character of Israel no winning Arab coalition could ever be allowed to achieve power. If the demographics of Israel (even Israel proper) changed, Israel would have no choice but to curtail voting rights of Arabs, or transfer some or import more Diaspora Jews.

    The fact that it was never their country is completely immaterial: the right of return as enshrined by the relevant Geneva Convention isn’t predicated at all on their nationality, race, creed colour or religion, merely on the fact that they lived there, legally, at the time of the war. Had it been a mix of Chinese, Danish, Belgians and some Eskimos, their right to return after cessation of hostilities wouldn’t have been affected by that either.

    I live in Britain but am not British. I own property here (and live in it). If I was expulsed from my home for whatever reason (war, burglary, ‘act of God’) my right to return to my property would not be dependent on my being ‘a true Brit’, a ‘citizen’, ‘Christian’ or what have you. I have that right, PERIOD. It’s the non-right to return that makes the Palestinian Naqba a case of ethnic cleansing, of course.

    It’s very significant that the early Palestinian movement wasn’t Nationalistic: it sought simply to have their right to return from whence they came to be implemented. It’s not much to ask for. Palestinian Nationalism came much later (Avi Shlaim elaborates well on that).

    Regarding the Peel Commission and the Partitioning Plan, they were the height of hypocrisy: imposing a ‘choice’ on a people that no other people would have accepted either. How do you think Herzl’s plan for a New Israel in Argentina (presumably Patagonia – “Argentina it is then, far away from prying anti-Semitic European eyes” he writes in his diary) would have fared? Presumably the settlers would have bought some land in Patagonia until enough contiguous territory had been acquired and then declare independence of the new state of Israel. Do you think the Argentineans would have rewarded them with tea, chocolates and flowers? If not, would you attribute their predictable adverse reaction to antisemitism (for instance)?

    Diane Mason expands on that argument better than me:

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/middleeast/palestinianauthority/4290553/Gaza-Palestinian-family-mourns-48-dead.html

    As regards ‘undoing history’, careful what you wish for: without a just solution there is nothing that would stop a Palestinian Diaspora at some date in the future to turn the tables, on the (feeble) basis that they once were the majority in Palestine.

  8. Ooops, that second link should have been this one:

    http://lawrenceofcyberia.blogs.com/news/2008/12/what-if.html

    My bad.

  9. richardmillett

    Yes, many innocent people were killed but not 1400. You are right, I would call that a massacre if it happened to me. But then Israel has many examples of “massacres” also and there have been no Goldstone Reports to examine them.

    A Jew, Muslim or Catholic cannot become Queen or King. The public holidays are all Christian.

    Howard did not become PM so it is a moot point. And are you saying that no Israeli Palestinian could become PM if enough people voted for him or her? It is unlikely, I admit, but that doesn’t mean it couldn’t happen. The British wouldn’t vote for Sharia Law unless the demographics of Britain also change.

    I don’t see any difference between Britain and Israel in this respect. Britain is just 9 times bigger than Israel so doesn’t have to worry to such an extent about losing its identity. We can all afford to condemn Israel in this respect as we are not under such a threat to our identity.

    If you are against other ethno-states do you raise your voice against them as you do against Israel?

    You are getting into the complicated area of property rights. Not all owned their homes. Some were tenants (I don’t know the statistics on this, I admit, so I am willing to being proved wrong). Those that owned property have claims and should be fully compensated like the 1,000,000 Jews who were thrown out of Arab countries.

    But UNSCR 194 specifically deals with the so-called right of return. I say so-called because it isn’t a right. Conditions are attached. But yes proprietary rights and 194 taken together mean that compensation is due but no right of return, unless 194 is fully complied with.

    The Peel Plan would have given them 80%. That is very high. You rightly mention the Samouni family but while the Jews were walking aroung Germany wearing yellow stars the Arabs could not even give the Jews a state in 20% of a country that was fairly empty by today’s standards and which used to be their home. That is not only the height of greed, it is cruel.

    As for Patagonia, it is another moot point. The Jews went back to their old homeland. They had no interest in Patagonia or East Africa or all the other possibilities.

    There was no Palestinian state or even national movement at the time and there was plenty of land and it was the old Jewish homeland.

    You are looking at a historic situation as if it all took place in 2010 as opposed to 1910. It was much different then. You are reinterpreting history.

    And you are looking for justice but many people want that. Unfortunately, justice is an unquantifiable term.

    What you want as justice for the Palestinians will be viewed as injustice to the other side and so the hatred and bloodshed will just continue.

    There must be a better way.

  10. Richard,

    A Jew, Muslim or Catholic cannot become Queen or King. The public holidays are all Christian.

    And all these are anachronisms from days long gone. You might as well argue that ‘Britain is White’ because the majority is indeed white. It’s nonetheless beside the point: apart from some residual racism Britain doesn’t favour one ethnicity over another, it’s policies are no more ‘White’ than they are ‘Christian’. Those who want precisely those things we call the BNP or the EDL.

    If you are against other ethno-states do you raise your voice against them as you do against Israel?

    Pot and kettle: your blog is almost entirely about Zionism. When it’s not about Zionism, it’s about branding those who protest against Zionism’s crimes as antisemitic.

    That is not only the height of greed, it is cruel.

    I don’t know how you have the temerity to speak about greed when your Israeli Zionist brethren are slowly (well, not that slowly!) ‘Judaising’ a very significant part of the West Bank and E. J’sem and while we know that some 725,000 Arabs were made to flee in 1948 and another 250,000 in 1967.

    On the incorrect grounds of ‘indigenousness’, the proverbial Yehudi from Brooklyn, about as indigenous to Palestine as I am to New York, is allowed, encouraged even, to make Aliyah in Palestine. Even though Yehudi already has statehood, full rights including the right to worship and a guarantee of protection against persecution. By contrast Ahmed from Jabaliya refugee camp, either a surviving refugee or the son or grandson of one, stateless (and now maybe once again also homeless), is refused to return to where or he or his direct ancestors came from and which he can practically see with his naked eyes from his current dwelling. He’s even forbidden to visit that place. And you talk about ‘Arab greed’… In a different context there would be hell to pay for such blatant racism.

    What you want as justice for the Palestinians will be viewed as injustice to the other side and so the hatred and bloodshed will just continue.

    I’m not sure you know what I see as justice for the Palestinians but you’ve certainly hit the nail on the head in one way: all this two state solution will achieve is to legalise what was an abject crime and massive land grab. No one who favours justice and abhors racism can disagree that a state for Jews, Muslims, Christians and other minorities with some claim on the land in Palestine, on a ‘one man, one woman, one vote’ basis, with full rights and equality for all, is a just solution.

  11. richardmillett

    Gert, I favour justice and abhor racism and i think the Jews should have their own state. I’m sorry to repeat myself but the Jews are a nation that deserve to have a state in their once-homeland. When the Jews started to go back there in significant numbers in the 1890s Palestine was pretty vacant. I know it wasn’t a “land without a people” but there was just over half a million people there whereas now there are over 10 million.

    The Jewish people have an identity, which isn’t just religious (I will take you out for some jewish food one day and to hear some Jewish music) and they have a right to have a state in which they can express that identity just like the british, americans, germans, french, palestinians. I just don’t see why you can’t allow the jews a small portion of the world to call their own just like there are many christian and many muslim countries (anachronism or not they still exist however you want to portray them. Britain, France and America just have the luxury of being huge and so there is no threat to their identity)

    And it isn’t like the Jews weren’t there once. They would have still been there en masse if it wasn’t for being expelled two thousand years ago. And they weren’t all expelled. There have been jews there for thousands of years long, long, long before Islam became a religion.

    So two great people deserve their own states but great, you are a one state solution merchant. You can live here in relative peace and luxury while you espouse something that is never going to happen and if it does happen it will involve total bloodshed. If that makes you feel like you are supporting the Palestinian people then all well and good but you are in fact doing no one any favours.

    You ask most Palestinian people to choose between having one state in some godforsaken distant time and having a thriving state now where they can educate their children and have a quality of life then they would choose that option not the OSS. But no, Gert wants something for them that they probably don’t want.

    And as it happens this blog is not about Zionism. It is about Israel, Palestine, Iran, football, anti-Semitism and many, many other things i haven’t even touched on yet.

    And as for me branding anyone as anti-Semitic because they do as you have suggested above I really cannot see where i have done that. Would you mind please pointing out where I have done? Thanks.

  12. Richard,

    Well, there isn’t much left to say from my perspective, so I’ll keep it relatively short. A few points:

    You can live here in relative peace and luxury while you espouse something that is never going to happen and if it does happen it will involve total bloodshed.

    The 1996 South African Census showed the following figures: 10.9% for ‘White’, 76.7% ‘African/Black’, 8.9% ‘Coloured’, and 2.6% ‘Indian/Asian’ (3.5% including ‘Unspecified Other’).

    During the struggle against the Apartheid regime violence between the parties (including much internecine black-on-black violence) exceeded that between Palestinians and Israeli Jews by several factors of magnitude. Black South Africans in principle were numerous enough to annihilate their White counterparts, yet such a massacre never occurred. Today SA is a State for all its citizens, with equal, including political, rights for all. The idea that reconciliation between people who were once at each other’s throats over the same piece of land is impossible isn’t only thoroughly refuted by the example of SA, it’s also thoroughly racist because it implies the hostility to be innate and immutable (if so I’d be afraid of a two state solution too if I was you, because it also implies creating two innately hostile states, on the same piece of land and practically intertwined!)

    As regards ‘living here in relative peace and luxury’, that applies equally to British Jews, yet they have the right to obtain citizenship in Israel and go live in the West Bank (cheap housing too!) if they so wish.

    You ask most Palestinian people to choose between having one state in some godforsaken distant time and having a thriving state now where they can educate their children and have a quality of life then they would choose that option not the OSS. But no, Gert wants something for them that they probably don’t want.

    As a journalist you seem thoroughly unaware of why the call for a one state solution has emerged stronger and stronger in the last years (I too was once a two state supporter). How is it possible to create a Palestinian State on what is left of Palestine? Have you forgotten that Zionism has encroached on territory reserved for that State to the tune of nearly 500,000 settlers in the WB and E.J’sem? How can 40 years of building those settlements be seen as other than playing for keeps? How about Netanyahu’s skilful outmaneuvering of Obama on the settlement ‘freeze’? How about the Zionist Religious Nationalistic Far Right, who have no appetite for any concessions and make that very clear in increasing numbers of demonstrations, largely in part because objectively speaking they are winning the battle of course.

    And as for me branding anyone as anti-Semitic because they do as you have suggested above I really cannot see where i have done that. Would you mind please pointing out where I have done? Thanks.

    Well, here for instance:

    https://richardmillett.wordpress.com/2010/01/29/holocaust-denial-day-down-at-westminster/

    … where you write:

    The pro-Palestinian campaign can have sympathy for the people of Gaza without equating Gaza to Auschwitz. But this equation is nothing more than implied Holocaust denial.

    … which goes much further than branding them antisemitic: you’re actually branding them Holocaust deniers.

    What these protesters do isn’t remotely Holocaust denial, what they are doing though is pointing to the simple fact that ‘Never again!’ should apply across the board and that the Palestinian tragedy is the result of Zionism, that same Zionism that claims to uphold ‘Nevver again!’ When 4.6 million people languish refugee camps and some of these refugees have been made refugee not once, not twice but three times, some of us get seriously pissed off at that hypocrisy.

    I know the British anti-Zionist movement well: any form of racism or Holocaust denial is punished with immediate banishment and excoriation. Despite that, people like Hoffman, as well as several others on your blogroll (e.g. Caroline ‘can we please bomb Iran now?’ Glick, Engage, Harry’s Place and Melanie Phillips) routinely try and connect antisemitism and Holocaust denial to those critical of Israel’s foreign policy.

    Please also read:
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2010/feb/15/hamas-gaza-israel-palestinians/print

  13. richardmillett

    Gert,

    I quickly looked at the link. There are always people unhappy with war and i don’t blame them. I wouldn’t want to go to war but there is conscription so they have no choice. But they can vent their spleens and say all they want to say in Israel as there is democracy.

    They say there is democracy in Gaza as Hamas was democratically elected but if you don’t agree with Hamas you are thrown off the top of a tall building with your hands tied behind your back.

    You can call Israel an apartheid state till the cows come home but you are mistaken. Israel is not. There is no segregation inside Israel. A Palestinian Israeli is more free to express himself and far better off in Israel than in any other Arab state.

    As for occupied Palestinians they are occupied for reasons far removed from the colour of their skin or their religion.

    Last night someone said that the biggest crime is not the Holocaust but what is happening to the Palestinian people. That sounds a bit like Holocaust denial to me. Holocaust denial is widespread. I don’t honestly think that any of the muslims i talk to are anti-Semitic in the slightest. In fact many are not even political. We have an excellent time together.

    But i have heard quite a bit of Holocaust denial to make me very cynical. But i accept your argument and maybe my cynicism has got the best of me. I will endeavour to maintain an open mind on this point as far as possible.

    It isn’t just the Zionist right that has no appetiete for concessions but everyone in Israel. The left has disappeared in Israel due to 8 years of rockets that led to Cast Lead. The withdrawal from Gaza is proof to Israelis that Hamas does not want peace.

    Instead of building up Gaza they used the materials and money to turn it into a rocket launch pad.

    I also know the anti-Zionist movement well. In fact, believe it or not, I am helping them publicise an event in Parliament coming up soon. I am only doing that because they have a representative from One Voice on the panel. Maybe i will meet you there.

    I don’t speak for phillips, engage, hoffman, glick, harry’s place etc. but i am sure they would strongly refute your suggestion and, once again, put you to proof.

  14. Richard,

    It’s quite clear that carrying on this discussion is quite futile. You have an uncanny ability to skate round most issues I bring up, all the while bringing other arguments or straw men (I didn’t bring up Apartheid as an analogy: only that the struggle shows reconciliation is always possible).

    And I’m not likely to ever meet you simply because I live up North and thus a bit cut off from most British events re. Israel – Palestine.

    I would nonetheless like to use my last (?) comment here to try and persuade you not to use a certain type of argument which I saw you use against Azzam Tamimi (with Yvonne Ridley).

    The argument in question is that of the Grand Mufti and his meeting with the Nazis. Those contacts did of course exist and that’s not the bone of my contention. But arguments against using the ‘Mufti argument’ are plenty and powerful.

    Firstly, the argument seems to imply that Palestinians have no rights because they were implicated in the Holocaust. But that is nonsense: modern day Palestinians have as much to do with the Holocaust as modern day Brits, or even modern day Germans. The net effect of the Grand Mufti on the outcome of the war and the Holocaust was also negligible.

    Secondly, pockets of support for the Nazis existed all over the world, including Britain (BUF) and the US. Collusion between some prominent US business figures and the Nazis is well documented. We don’t hold these nations collectively responsible for the Holocaust either.

    Thirdly, invoking the argument can only lead to the other side invoking contacts between Zionism and Nazism, in retaliation. Even quite recently the IDF colluded with what was back then an openly Nazi-styled organisation, Pierre Gemayel’s Christian Phalange of Lebanon, leading to the Sabra – Shatilah massacres in Beirut.

    Invoking such largely immaterial arguments constitutes IMHO a form of ‘trolling’: deliberate disruption/railroading of any meaningful discussion.

  15. Richard,
    [Also, I am not a Zionist. I just happen to think that the Jewish nation has a right to have a state in that part of the world where Jews have always lived and where, at one stage, they were the majority]

    Dahhhhhh! This is what a ZIONIST is.
    Zionists believe the Jewish nation has a right to have a state in that part of the world, i.e. Israel (Incl Judea and Samaria) where Jews have always lived and where, at one stage, they were the majority.

    What did you think being a zionist consisted of? I think you are really and truly misguided my friend. YOU ARE A ZIONIST. Pure and simple. So don’t deny it. Be PROUD of showing it. I am a zionist and bloody proud at that too!

    Zionist = Real Jew.