Why is a liberal blog continuing to publish a defender of a homophobic hate preacher?

Sheikh Raed Salah (2nd from Left), who Ben White defended, at PSC/MEMO event the day before his arrest.

Sheikh Raed Salah (2nd from Left), who Ben White defended, at PSC/MEMO event the day before his arrest.

Sunny Hundal runs respected left-wing blog Liberal Conspiracy and regularly appears as a commentator on Sky News and the BBC. But last week I was appalled when he published yet another piece by Ben White, the author of Israeli Apartheid: A Beginner’s Guide.

White’s piece attacked Louise Mensch MP for speaking at a London student conference run by Israel advocacy organisation Stand With Us, who he accuses “of promoting extreme positions and working with disturbing allies”.

Sunday’s conference kicked off with a talk by the Israeli ambassador and was followed by a presentation by Andrew White of Beyond Images. In the afternoon there was advocacy training and Louise Mensch MP closed the conference with a passionate talk.

She basically reiterated her Daily Telegraph articleA family slaughtered in Israel – doesn’t the BBC care?” about the five members of the Fogel family who were murdered in their beds by a Palestinian terrorist earlier this year. She said that she only found out about the massacre on twitter when she followed a link to Mark Steyn’s pieceDead Jews is no news” .

She said that there had been no mention of the attack on BBC TV news and that it was only mentioned briefly on BBC radio, while on the BBC website the attack was given a cursory description.

The BBC responded to her query as to why by explaining that the Japanese earthquake and Libya campaign had dominated the news that day. But, as Mensch pointed out, the BBC has many radio channels and a dedicated 24 hour rolling news channel.

She reckoned that if an Israeli settler slit the throat of a four year old Palestinian boy leaving him to slowly die and then decapitated a three month old baby Palestinian girl in her bed it would have been fully covered.

She said that after apathetic responses to her enquiries the BBC had finally admitted its mistake in not covering the attack more fully.

Her conference talk wasn’t to everyone’s liking. She described the settlements as a “road-block to peace”, but then she implored the students to always remember “the others” who were also suffering in conflicts:

“Keep thinking of your Muslim brothers and sisters who are also victims of suicide bombers, like today in Afghanistan,” she said.

Meanwhile, White’s own attempts to smear Stand With Us as “extreme” are risible.

He cites the UK Chair of Stand With Us’ assertion that the “settlements” might not be illegal.

However, the question of the legality of settlements was recently put to the test in a British court when four anti-Israel activists were tried for “aggravated trespass”. They entered the Ahava shop in Covent Garen and caused it to shut down for some hours. Their main defence was that Ahava’s factory at Mitzpe Shalem on the West Bank is illegal and so they were stopping the Ahava shop from selling illegal products. But, the judge found that Ahava shop was “trading lawfully” and all four defendants were convicted.

White spuriously claims that Stand With Us’ donors “have been accused of anti-Muslim propaganda” and that some Stand With Us activists had intimidated “Palestine solidarity activists”.

Meanwhile, what of Ben White himself?

On June 29th this year White was slated to share a panel at the Houses of Parliament with homophobic hate preacher Sheikh Raed Salah who lives in Israel and who came to Britain intent on preaching that Israel is planning on destroying the Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem so it can rebuild the Third Temple.

Two days earlier Salah had preached this at a joint Palestine Solidarity Campaign/Middle East Monitor event at Conway Hall in London. Salah has also previously said of homosexuality that:

“It is a crime. A great crime. Such phenomena signal the start of the collapse of every society.”

But Salah did not make it to Parliament for the panel discussion having been arrested the night before. He was on the Home Secretary’s exclusion list as “not being conducive to the public good” but had still managed to pass through customs and into Britain.

Ben White (right) waiting to speak at Sheikh Raed Salah panel discussion on 29th June.

Ben White (right) waiting to speak at Sheikh Raed Salah panel discussion on 29th June.

When it came to White’s turn to talk he first defended Salah against his detention:

“It is shameful that because of the actions of the British government another Palestinian will spend the night in prison.”

Here is White in his own words:

Audio: Ben White defending Salah.

Harry’s Place also writes of Salah’s total disparagement of Jews when Salah:

1. Claimed the Jews baked the blood of children into their holy bread.
2. Claimed 4,000 Jews skipped work at the World Trade Centre on 9/11.
3. Laughed at the memory of taunting a Jewish teacher of his with a Swastika.
4. Wrote a poem referring to Jews as “monkeys and losers” and being “the bacteria of all times”.
5. Funded Hamas.

And here is the recent decision of the tribunal that dealt with these points and which then decided, pending an appeal, to deport Salah. It states, inter alia,:

“We are satisfied that the Appellant has engaged in the unacceptable behaviour of fostering hatred which might lead to inter-community violence in the UK. We are satisfied that the Appellant’s words and actions tend to be inflammatory, divisive, insulting, and likely to foment tension and radicalism.”

Maybe after all this White has retracted his defence of Salah, but I haven’t heard anything.

But even if he has so retracted his defence White’s own record on anti-Semitism isn’t too impressive either.

He has written of himself, in an article for Counterpunch in 2002, that he isn’t anti-Semitic, but he can understand why some people are. Would Hundal publish on his Liberal Conspiracy blog someone who claimed not to be Islamophobic but who can also understand why some people are?

White also writes that while comparisons between Israel and the Nazis are unwise they are not anti-Semitic (although under the EUMC working definition of anti-Semitism such comparisons actually are anti-Semitic). But then White goes onto implicitly compare Israel to the Nazis anyway when he writes:

“Comparisons between the Israeli government and the Nazis is unwise and unsound, since the Israelis have not (at the time of going to press) exterminated in a systematic fashion an enormous percentage of the Palestinians. Cold-blooded killings, beatings, house demolitions, vandalism, occupation, military assaults, and two historical pushes at ethnic cleansing–yes. Full fledged genocide–no”

What does “at the time of going to press” imply?

While on his own blog White states the Palestinians have “had to endure massacres, death-marches, and ethnic cleansing”, all of which took place in the Holocaust. (See Cifwatch for commentary on the deputy-editor of The Guardian’s Comment is Free’s ridiculous defence of White on this point. David Shariatmadari claims that there can be no such comparison without an explicit reference to, for example, Auschwitz.)

And according to Seismic-shock, in the bibliography of Israeli Apartheid: A Beginner’s Guide White cites an essay by convicted Holocaust denier Roger Garaudy.

White has also defended President Ahamadinejad against accusations that he called for Israel to be wiped off the map and against accusations of Holocaust denial.

With the above in mind White felt forced to write an article for Liberal Conspiracy defending himself against accusations of anti-Semitism. Maybe he should have made himself clearer in the first instance.

When I tweeted Hundal about why White was writing for Liberal Conspiracy he replied:

“I’ll only say this once – I don’t really care what either of you say about what I should publish on libcon.”

and

“why don’t you carry on witch-hunting Jews who don’t toe your line and leave the rest of us in the real world, yeah?”

So I ask again, why is a defender of a homophobic preacher of hate writing for a liberal blog?

79 responses to “Why is a liberal blog continuing to publish a defender of a homophobic hate preacher?

  1. excellent as ever, Richard.
    Good questions, nice presentation of clear facts.
    These people are despicable.

  2. Hmm … Hundal is respected by whom, exactly?

    A political commentator respected by Al Beeb is suspect for a start, I think.

    He is part of the Islington planet. I don’t know why we should find any of this at all surprising these days.

    • richardmillett

      I think you’re right. The more I blog the more nave i feel. I still don’t expect it but you’re right, I should!

    • Me and many many others. It’s the top ranking general blog according to Wikio. To compare it is ranked 6,476 in the UK and 158,690 globally, compared to this site which is ranked 1,630,996 globally.

  3. Richard – don’t be so surprised – what else do you expect from a “liberal”! I have yet t meet one who is actually liberal in any way shape or form – its simply a claim to a nice sounding word so it cannot be disputed that they are sincere, knowledgeable and have the best interests of the world at heart. In fact it is simply a platform for their totalitarian ideology. And if anybody dare say that, they are accused of being fascist or right wing or not humanitarian!!

  4. Richard Millet v Sunny Hundal, I’d throw in the towel now Richard.

    • richardmillett

      Welcome back, Mostly. Can I assume that you also support those who defend homophobic preachers writing on so called liberal websites?

    • Ah yes, mostly once again gives Benn a run for his money for the title of the man on the wrong side in every single issue.

    • Mostly,

      Do you always sneer, or will you ever have anything to say, of substance?

      Do you agree with Ben White?

      • On everything, no, on some things, yes.

      • Such as? Israel is the evil demon that is the source of all ill and strife in the world?

      • “On everything, no, on some things, yes.”

        Mostly,

        Does that mean you think you sneer on somethings, but not everything?

        I can’t see it

        Having read your contributions, off and on, for 4+ years. You mostly sneer, you lack substance, which is surprising as apparently you are an educated man, but your contributions are evidence of your thinking.

        As for Ben White, if you can’t see his negative obsessions, where they come from, what they led him to then you can no discernible capacity for analytical judgement.

      • My comment was in answer to ‘Do you agree with Ben White?’

        WTR to Ben White and his ‘obsession’ with Israel, it’s no secret, he clearly states the following on his website: ‘Ben White is a freelance journalist and writer, specialising in Palestine/Israel.’

        I think if you were to check Nigella Lawson’s writing it’s mostly about food, her website is also pretty damning when it comes to confirming this.

      • richardmillett

        So Mostly, can we assume you have no problem with what Salah says about homosexuals because it is dressed up in religious language?

      • No, because he wasn’t using language of hate or fear. Homosexuality is forbidden according to Islam, so either every believing Muslim must be a homophobe by definition or perhaps, you’ve cast your net too wide.

        He also said that the only solution is “strengthening faith” in other words he was negating all means of coercion; violence, etc.

      • richardmillett

        “It is a crime. A great crime. Such phenomena signal the start of the collapse of every society.” Wow, so that isn’t hate speech because it’s cloaked in religion? Therefore, you can say anything as long as you cloak it in religion. I get it now.

      • “I think if you were to check Nigella Lawson’s writing it’s mostly about food,”

        Mostly,

        That’s all irrelevant and you know it.

        We are not talking about food here. This issue about is certain types of people having certain types of obsessions with certain nations/people

        Despite being an educated man, Mostly, it doesn’t occur to you to ask a few critical questions as to why a public school educated westerner, like Ben White, might have a slight obsession with the Israelis (and Jews)?

        It doesn’t occur to you to critically analyse these issues with the benefit of your education? Does it?

        Go on, make an effort and see if you can work out why Ben White might be so understanding to antisemites? Why he might reference Holocaust deniers (Roger Garaudy) in one of his books?

        Go on, please make a substantive contribution.

      • richardmillett

        No, Sharon, I am sure the lovely Sheikh wouldn’t want that for gays. He isn’t saying anything bad, according to Daniel and Mostly. I mean despite the immigration tribubal wanting to exclude him for hate speech against Jews and for funding of Hamas, he doesn’t want gays to suffer any bad consequences, obviously! And anyway it’s said all in the name of religion so it’s ok!

    • The religious position being that homosexuality is a crime against Allah and should be suitably punished, like being stoned to death, placed under a collapsing wall, whip lashed and other such caring religious rites!!

      • Daniel
        Or perhaps he was simply practicing Taqiya as he must surely know sharia is explicit in the punishment for being gay and he must also know there is no room for reformation in Islam! In any body’s language stoning to death or being killed under a collapsing wall is v-i-o-l-e-n-t.

  5. Once again, and as did my namesake, I shall valiantly enter the lion’s den (of PC) and dare to challenge those who appear to contend that anyone who considers homosexuality to be wrong or immoral, should be labeled homophobic.

    Firstly, from a purely semantic point of view a homophobe is one who fears or hates homosexuals, not one who disagrees with their lifestyle. The two are not the same, and I believe that I represent a significant number of the world’s population who believe that homosexuality is wrong and an illegitimate lifestyle preference, without having any fear or hatred towards those who practice this lifestyle and with no wish to persecute, discriminate against of harm them. In Western countries such as the US polls suggest that between a third and a half of public opinion agree with me, depending on when they were questioned and what the exact question was that they were asked.
    http://www.religioustolerance.org/hom_poll2.htm

    Furthermore, I recognize that their lifestyles are lawful, as are many others of which I disapprove, and have no wish to actively endeavor to alter that state. That is not to say that were one of my children to bring home a same-sex partner, I would not be saddened and if I thought I could persuade him/her to change that decision without causing harm, I would do so. By the way, I’d behave in a similar fashion were my offspring to return home with a non-kosher food, but I am no cheeseburger-phobe.

    Because I live in a Western Democracy and wish to carry on doing so, at least until the return of our Messiah, I will tolerate lifestyles that I consider wrong and opinions that I consider erroneous or even treacherous, but expect those who disagree with my views to do no less. I know that the opinion I have expressed above may infuriate many people, but I further believe that free speech implies tolerating others views even when they are vexing. Before anyone tells me I’m living in the Middle Ages, I’ll remind them that sexual promiscuity is as ancient as man himself – or certainly Sodom and Gomorrah, and the Middle Ages were a period of Jewish history of which I am not ashamed.

    Returning to Sheikh Raed Salah , I have no idea whether the gentleman featured on this excellent page hates and fears homosexuals or like myself he does not, but disagrees with their lifestyle preferences. If the latter is the case, it seems unreasonable and intellectually unfair to dismiss him or label him a homophobe purely on that basis.

    Lastly, surely his opposition to the existence of a sovereign Jewish entity is our real objection to the man and not his attitude towards sexuality.

  6. richardmillett

    “Returning to Sheikh Raed Salah , I have no idea whether the gentleman featured on this excellent page hates and fears homosexuals or like myself he does not, but disagrees with their lifestyle preferences.”

    I think the clue is in his comment on homosexuality:
    “It is a crime. A great crime. Such phenomena signal the start of the collapse of every society.”

    • Hi Richard,

      Where do you hear hatred of homosexuals or fear of them? He is attacking homosexuality not those individuals who practice it, and though it’s not the kind of thing I’d have said, those words could have been said by many Christian and Jewish leaders too.

      I argued for a distinction between hatred and fear of homosexuals and disapproval of homosexuality. There is nothing in the above quote to persuade me that it belongs to the former rather the latter.

      • richardmillett

        Well as homosexuals take part in homosexuality it is the same thing. It is like those who argue that boycotting Israeli academic institutions is not the same as boycotting Israeli academics themselves. But Israeli academics work in academic instituions. Does that make sense? It’s late.

      • Sure is!

      • I’m not sure that your comparison holds water. You talk of two cases of boycotting an individual or an institution and there I would agree. On the other hand, I am talking about on the one hand not accepting homosexuality as a legitimate life choice and on the other hating or being afraid of homosexuals.

        I have two daughters who are vegetarian for ideological reasons and the killing of animals for eating to be immoral and illegitimate. Without discussing whether they or right or not, I suggest it would be ingenious to assume that because of this belief they either hate all meat-eaters or are afraid of them. If you are looking for an analogy, I think that is closer.

        Let me ask you a question Richard (or Sharon). Do you believe that everyone who sees homosexuality as an illegitimate life-style choice is homophobic or just the anti-Zionists among them?

      • richardmillett

        But you are not taking into account how words are used in modern day parlance. If someone is accused of being Islamophobic it seems to be generally accepted that they are aganist Muslims, not just Islam. That is why they are accused of being racist.

  7. That is my point. Islam-phobia is a scientifically undocumented myth often used to label anyone who disagrees with any Muslim. It is a one-size-fits-all way for anyone losing an argument to refocus discussion from the issue being debated to the absurd question, “Are you an Islamophobe or not?”

    Ignorant supporters of Israel use a similar methodology accusing anyone who knows more than them anti-Semites – though many undoubtedly are. I myself have been labeled an anti-Semite on this blog by you-know-who, for similar reasons.

    When it comes to homosexuality I see no reason to fall back on the homophobe argument too early. Homosexuals have a strong case to make in support of the acceptance of their lifestyle, a case I might well support were I not bound by Halachah and neither they nor their sympathizers need run to the trenches of name calling too often.

    I’ve still seem nothing to prove that Sheikh Raed Salah either hates homosexuals or is afraid of them and if you choose to single him out as a homophobe because Islam, like almost all religions a sizable percentage of humanity, does not see homosexuality as a legitimate life-style choice, let’s admit the absurdity .

    • richardmillett

      Fine but why can’t Salah keep his views to himself then instead of expressing them in such a vile manner. Or he could simply have said he disapproves but he went further and crossed into hate speech and possible incitement against gays. I think you’re wrong.
      Sent from my BlackBerry® wireless device

  8. “Fine but why can’t Salah keep his views to himself then instead of expressing them in such a vile manner.” Free speech baby! In a free society we have the right not to keep our views to ourselves and express them in our own ways. By the way, when you say “expressing them in such a vile manner” are you referring to content again, or to the way in which he communicates?

    “…he could simply have said he disapproves but he went further and crossed into hate speech and possible incitement against gays…” – That’s the bit I’m waiting for. What did he say?

  9. All I have found is:

    “It is a crime. A great crime. Such phenomena signal the start of the collapse of every society.”

    Is that what you mean?

  10. By the way. The full quote is:

    “It is a crime. A great crime. Such phenomena signal the start of the collapse of every society. Those who believe in Allah know that behavior of that kind brings his wrath and is liable to cause the worst things to happen. There is no solution for this, unless the individual’s faith is strengthened.”

    In other words he is saying that the only way to “solve” of what he sees as the problem of homosexuality is by strengthening Muslims’ faith. Does that make him a homophobe?

    • richardmillett

      Yes!

      • So the world is divided into three types of people; homosexuals, those who support them and homophobes?

      • how come three types? are their “self-hating” homosexuals? If yes I haven’t come across them.

      • I meant these three types:

        1. Homosexuals
        2. Heterosexuals, who support homosexuality.
        3. Heterosexuals, who are homophobic.

        I contend that there is a fourth group that us:

        4. People who do not see homosexuality as a legitimate life-style choice, but neither hate homosexuals nor are afraid of them.

        If such a group exists, I belong to it.

    • I think the interpretation of what the Sheikh says hinges on whether the Sheikh approves of those of his faith who hang or otherwise execute homosexuals.

      If he lobbies or expresses approval elsewhere for incarceration and/or apartheidian measures he crosses a line.

      (in my youth homosexuals for example were denied access to their partners when those were in hospital which caused a lot of unnecessary suffering besides the highly undesirable side-effect that, as long as homosexuality was considered a crime by the state, homosexuals were supposed to become more easily subjects of – successful – blackmail.

      PS: I think with the declaration of one’s sexual preferences in public and the firm commitment to one or the other homosexuals don’t do themselves a favour, but maybe there is no other way to get the balance right than by exaggerating in the other direction. From total denial to celebrating it.)

      • I have no objection to homosexuals stating their sexual preferences in public, or even celebrating them if they so wish. I see no reason why I should not be allowed to condemn such practices, if I so wish, as I might condemn any other action that, though legal, I see as wrong or immoral.

        This does not mean that I hate homosexuals, which I don’t, or am afraid of them, which I’m not.

    • It maybe doesn’t make him a homophobe – only he knows if he fears homosexuals or not. However, it seems to me that strengthening the individual’s faith in Islam is to adhere more closely to sharia and I understand that it is clear as to the verdict on being gay:

      http://wikiislam.net/wiki/Islam_and_Homosexuality
      Islamic Shari’ah law is extracted from both the Qur’an and hadiths. Islamic jurisprudence are expansion of the laws contained within them by Islamic jurists. Therefore, they are seen as the laws of Allah. You need only look to the rulings under Shari’ah to see the accepted mainstream interpretation of Islam and its commandments to its followers. Homosexuality under this law, is not only a sin, but a punishable crime against God.

      In the case of homosexuality, how it is dealt with differs between the four mainline schools of Sunni jurisprudence today, but what they all agree upon is that homosexuality is worthy of a severe penalty.

      In the Hanafi school of thought, the homosexual is first punished through harsh beating, and if he/she repeats the act, the death penalty is to be applied.

      As for the Shafi`i school of thought, the homosexual receives the same punishment as adultery (if he/she is married) or fornication (if not married). This means, that if the homosexual is married, he/she is stoned to death, while if single, he/she is whipped 100 times. Hence, the Shafi`i compares the punishment applied in the case of homosexuality with that of adultery and fornication.

      The Hanafi differentiates between the two acts because in homosexuality, anal sex [something that is prohibited, regardless of orientation] may also be involved, while in adultery [and fornication], the penis/vagina (which are reproductive parts) are involved.

      Some scholars, based on the Qur’an and various ahadith, hold the opinion that the homosexual should be thrown from a high building or stoned to death[1] as a punishment for their ‘crime’, but other scholars maintain that they should be imprisoned until death. [2]

      Another view is that between two males, the active partner is to be lashed a hundred times if he is unmarried, and killed if he is married; whereas the passive partner is to be killed regardless of his marital status.[3]

  11. if I get it right, then Daniel is making the freedom of religion argument here, which is fine by me, only I’d like it to be defined a bit more clearly.

    Once upon a time I had a colleague who had gotten a divorce because her husband was a member of a Christian? denomination which forbade medical treatment. I’ve read that there are cases where the state infringes on parents’ rights to freedom of religion in order to be able to get the kids into life saving medical treatment. Right or Wrong?

    Back to the times when homosexuals weren’t allowed visiting times with their partners who were on a relatives only regime due to the severity of their illness. Shouldn’t doctors make sure that very very sick patients are getting made as comfortable as possible which, I think, should include the right to get embraced and/or consoled and/or accompanied by his or her loved one. Right or Wrong?

    I hope that when it comes to doctors’ dilemmas Judaism shows more sense than Christianism but surely they have their own border cases i.e. where not personal preferences collide with the demands of religion but one highly valued principle with another.

  12. I believe it does.

  13. Richard:
    “But you are not taking into account how words are used in modern day parlance. If someone is accused of being Islamophobic it seems to be generally accepted that they are aganist Muslims, not just Islam. That is why they are accused of being racist…”

    There are several issues in this discussion:
    1. the use of language – modern day parlance
    2. placing the Israel/Jew hatred debate in the same pool as liberal sensitivities
    3. the debate about homosexuality

    Use of algebraic methodology with the symbol x is a great tool to unmix metaphors. So the equation might look like:
    x + phobic =? when phobic means to be frightened, anxious, paranoid, horrified, to dread, to have irrational fear
    so that
    if x = Jew and Jew = Judeo (one emanating from Judea) then Judeo + phobic = Judeophobic = fear of Jews, anxiety about Jews, paranoid about Jews etc.
    then
    if x=Islam and Islam = Islamo (a belief in Islam) then Islamo +phobic = Islamophobic = fear of Islam, anxiety about Islam, paranoid about Islam etc.
    Working out the meaning of homophobic follows the same equation.
    However, the above two equations reveal something remarkable:
    • it shows the distinction between this fear of Jews and the fear of Islam
    • it delineates the first as fear of an identifiable people and the second as a fear of a belief system or ideology
    This is the mixing of metaphors:
    • Jews as an identifiable and tangible people = hardware
    • Islam as an identifiable and non-tangible belief system = software
    So the phobia is of something that can be seen, touched, described visually as opposed to something that is simply of the mind, a discussion, a debate, an ideology
    In terms of a computer, hardware is what it is, it exists and can be proven to exist as it can be touched and seen. However, nobody simply installs software without a big study and the installation first of an anti-virus programme, as software cannot be seen until it is exposed and by that time it could cause a lot of problems. So most people do a lot or reading around a particular software before using it.

    Why is it then that a majority of people will readily install this modern day parlance and all its connotations into their minds and use them as fact without the same big study and installation of an anti-virus system? Why is it they automatically accept equivalence in the meaning of words simply because there is a shared suffix, or simply because many people buy into certain words phrases or descriptions?

    This is the real debate: placing the Israel/Jew hatred debate in the same pool as liberal sensitivities.

    It is accepted that human beings are expected to be kind, generous, charitable, caring, concerned. These are positive values that make one an acceptable being, one of value, good. In a modern day parlance these sentiments have been accepted as intrinsic to the left and devoid in the right, the left having framed themselves as liberal, SOCIAList, JUDICious with connotations of social justice and so on. They term the right as being the opposite, to the extent that the left/right terminology has been polarised and accepted in modern day parlance so that left = good and right = evil. So a person who believes in private enterprise to become independent and caringly contribute to the state’s coffers is denigrated as right and capitalist and all its connotations of evil, greed etc, whilst one who believes the state (taxpayer) is responsible for all salvation is “socialist” and therefore caring, kind etc., without aforethought as to who is doing what for whom. The debate can get very involved here with the right being neo-cons and devout, embracing Christianity whilst the left is largely secular. But…Christianity is all about Christ being caring kind etc, so what about these mixed metaphors in modern day parlance?

    Modern day parlance has a lot to answer for – not modern day parlance itself, but those who embrace it without aforethought, who download it without careful investigation and installation of an anti-virus system in terms of always questioning and seeking the backup of source material. It allows concepts and givens to creep into acceptance by stealth like the argument that brings homosexuality, gypsies and the disabled into the Holocaust, that brings the rejection of promiscuity, homosexuality, and women’s rights into the debate about Islamic attacks on Jews; it brings the notion that adherents of a belief system are somehow distanced from the ideology of that system; it brings the notion that “settlements” are the biggest danger to world security and that “occupation” is defined solely as Jews taking over “Palestinian” land.

    It is this mixing of metaphors in modern day parlance that permits people of supposed conscience to discuss whether or not a people can exist, specifically and solely focused on the Jewish people and where they should live. This is not dissimilar to the discussion that took place before the final solution was arrived at; after all there cannot be a final solution without an investigation as to what has to be solved in the first place.
    It is also this mixing of metaphors that allows for laws to be passed unopposed, making it illegal to debate the voracity of certain proclamations of an ideology that purports to be a religion, resulting in court actions against certain people and silencing of the media so as not to offend the sensibilities of adherents to that system.

    It installs replacement theory firmly into the human hardware so that Jewish history is totally replaced by the Islamic virus and Norton can do nothing about it once it is embedded in the system. And so the system begins to use this virus as its own thus propagating it and allowing it to grow and invade other systems until reality ceases and total replacement is achieved.

    So we see that modern day parlance is the biggest weapon in the arsenal of a propaganda war. It perpetuates the Ghetto mentality of Jews, always looking to justify their right to be by disseminating the view that they are not alone in this overt and illogical partnership between liberals and Islam, crying out loud that if they care about homosexuals they should also care about Jews!

  14. Good post – just a really picky point (as a UCU member I’ve taken an interest in the working definitiion) the EUMC working definition of antisemitism, doesn’t, it could be argued, state categorically that parallels between Israel and Nazis are antisemtiic – it depends on the ‘overall context’. I’m not defending such parallels (which generally seem designed to offend and are antisemitic) but some bits of the WD are more marginal, and it’s important to remember the ‘overall context’ bt – partly because its critics often seem to ignore it.

  15. The main point I wanted to make was that the WD is actually rather a cautious document (by contrast with the accounts of it given by some critics). It *does* in fact include the Nazis/Israel parallel as a specific instance of antisemitism, as Richard notes, although of course I agree that there are all sorts of other tropes it probably doesn’t specify, but that doesn’t let them off the hook. I have seen several examples of the parallel and I can’t think of one I wouldn’t describe as antisemitic, though to different degrees, and *perhaps* sometimes inadvertently.

    • and *perhaps* sometimes inadvertently

      Sigh … yes, to be sure, it’s an obvious thing to say ‘inadvertently’ … “Israeli Jews are just like the Nazis” … absolutely anyone might say this at any time, quite innocently.

  16. Does the Sheikh only live in Israel or does he hold Israelis citizenship?

    If the latter is the case he is of course free to lobby for a majority to vote for the introduction of Sharia, just as, I assume, any citizen of any western democracy is free to lobby for the re-introduction of the death penalty for all kinds of things.

    If my memory is halfway correct I have heard child-protectors advocate for rather drastic and final measures.

    Personally I heartily dislike people who interfere and/or pontificate and/or give unasked for advice what people do in the privacy of their homes but I can’t link approvingly to Yaacov Lozowick’s defense of Rabbi Ovadia with one hand and condemn a muslim imam for voicing his religious views.

    In both cases I wish of course they’d restrict their stuff to their communities and don’t expect us not versed in the intricacies of world views of religious communities to understand the deeper meaning of what they say.

    • richardmillett

      citizen.

    • I understand what you’re saying Silke, but it seems to me that quite frequently these people are talking to their followers and believers, then some journalist overhears them and quotes them selectively. This is often the case with Rav Ovadia, who is incidentally not “my rabbi” and whom I do not follow.

      In the case of the gentleman to whom this excellent page was devoted, he was interviews ten years ago by the Ha’aretz newspaper and was asked:

      “What is your opinion of homosexuality?”

      I assume that it was Ha’aretz who initiated the interview, so was he to do when asked the question? Lie? Refuse to reply?

      I do not consider myself a propagandist, and since I speak only for myself I do not believe that I will harm any cause by breaking with party-lines on this occasion and defending a man, who in many ways might consider me his enemy.

      Though I love Richard in a wholly heterosexual way, I consider that on this occasion he cast his net too wide in calling Salah homophobic. He has brought no evidence to prove his charge, other than the quote:

      “It is a crime. A great crime. Such phenomena signal the start of the collapse of every society.”

      Richard explained, “…he (Salah) went further and crossed into hate speech and possible incitement against gays.” This, to my mind was not wholly fair, as the full quote was:

      “It is a crime. A great crime. Such phenomena signal the start of the collapse of every society. Those who believe in Allah know that behavior of that kind brings his wrath and is liable to cause the worst things to happen. There is no solution for this, unless the individual’s faith is strengthened.”

      The final line should have made it clear that there was no incitement and that Salah’s view was similar to that of many religious leaders, Muslims and others.

      I believe that the distinction between a propagandist, and one who is not is that the former sees debate as a kind of vicarious battle-field, he will support his fellows at arms even when he thinks them to be wrong, and will use arguments to attack his “enemy” even when he is no longer wholly convinced that they hold water.

      I have consistently challenged views of posters, even if they are Zionists, and been unafraid to acknowledge that our critics may not always be wrong in every matter. It would be a pity if this excellent blog went from being a superb parliament of communication between its author and various commentators on key issues of the day to being another exclusively pro-Israel or anti-Israel blog intolerant of all rational, reasonable and legitimate viewpoints and tolerant only of some.

      • richardmillett

        “It is a crime. A great crime. Such phenomena signal the start of the collapse of every society. Those who believe in Allah know that behavior of that kind brings his wrath and is liable to cause the worst things to happen. There is no solution for this, unless the individual’s faith is strengthened.”

        Brings Allah’s wrath? Is liable to cause the worst things to happen? No solution unless that gay person reforms himself? Sounds like a threat to me. So what happens if he/she fails to reform himself/herself? Nothing?

      • Daniel,

        we had a Catholic Bishop in Fulda (he is dead now) who fought against homosexuality and abortion and all the rest very vigorously. Legally permissible (i.e. under very narrow conditions) abortion he famously compared to the holocaust.

        Once I saw him in some local school house venue pannel debate on TV which some homosexuals had chosen to show up in a bit of very tasteful but unmistakeable finery. The Bishop launched into a rant, spluttered got all red in the face and I wondered whether it was really becoming of a wanna-be holy man to lose his cool so very very much because of some men wearing glamourous ear-rings and a bit of rouge in public.

        Given Germany’s long history of animosity between the churches and our less than ideal separation of state and church I have of course knee jerk reactions whenever somebody of that kind shows up, especially since at least at work one knew which colleagues are homosexual and watched until not so long ago the stuff they had to tolerate day in day out. It was all so unjust.

        But you can pride yourself that you made me think again and so I’ll try to be a bit more discriminating in the future i.e. abstain from calling the Sheikh a homophobe (since I agreed with Richard wholeheartedly I did) but given the opportunity I reserve the right to protest against his calling homosexuality a crime. Surely there must be a religiously connotated word that would be more apt, like for example sin. Do Muslims use the concept of sin?

        Birds and bees do it and since I consider myself to be just another animal I can’t see why it is not OK for humans unless of course their choice of religions makes it impossible.

      • richardmillett

        Another thing that believes me to consider this not to be necessarily religiously inspired but hate is that he speaks of “crime” and “society”. Do those words even figure in the Koran?
        Sent from my BlackBerry® wireless device

  17. Now I think I’ve got it. When you said, “…possible incitement against gays..”, you meant that he was inciting Allah!

    Although, I naturally can’t speak on Allah’s behalf, I wouldn’t worry too much. He has a mind of his own and I very much doubt that His attitude towards sexuality is much influenced by an old interview given by Salah.

    Truthfully, I’m not even sure that the good Lord reads Ha’aretz. It’s a frightful rag.

    • richardmillett

      Well there may be some followers who don’t like seeing Allah angered. Remember the reaction to the Mohammad cartoons?

  18. Salah may well be a homophobe, though to my mind the fact that he said that something may anger G-d and others may mistakenly misunderstand this as a call to violence hardly seems to prove this.

    Well, this has been an interesting discussion and I think that we’ve all understood each others’ opinions. I feel that I’ve already repeated myself over several matters and shall not do so again. I shall leave the final word to whoever wishes it and wish you all a good week.

    Rubin Katz and his wife are hopefully visiting is tomorrow. We’ll finally be opening that Judean bottle.

    • richardmillett

      Me! People claim wanting israel destroyed isn’t being anti semitic.

    • Have fun with The Katz’s. Open a bottle for me as well!

    • Salah may well be a homophobe, though to my mind the fact that he said that something may anger G-d and others may mistakenly misunderstand this as a call to violence hardly seems to prove this.

      There is no ‘misunderstanding’. You need to see this in a context, and the context is the treatment of gays in Muslim-majority countries (including the self-declared Muslim country of Tower Hamlets).

      • I thought the discussion was over, please read the thread. We’ve already agreed that by Salah saying that “..There is no solution for this, unless the individual’s faith is strengthened.” he was specifically negating other man-made options such as violence, etc. We then considered the possibility that while he may instead have been inciting G-d to punish gays, a possibility which doubtless you, a self-confessed atheist, consider to be inconsequential.

        Our final concern as expressed by Richard was that Islamic followers may misunderstand Salah’s words. He spoke of those who missed the “There is no solution for this, unless…” bit and “who don’t like seeing Allah angered”.

        In other words, and unless anything else he’s said emerges, we’ve narrowed down Salah’s homophobia to the unintentional incitement of Muslims who are clever enough to read the Ha’aretz newspaper, but not clever enough to understand what they’re reading.

        Were I a homosexual living in the aforementioned gentleman’s parish, I dare say I’d sleep quite soundly. If anything was keeping me up, it would hardly be Ha’aretz reading, but not comprehending Salah inspired homophobes.

        Now, can we move on?

      • richardmillett

        What are you talking about? We haven’t agreed anything. How you put a benign spin on this quote is still beyond me.
        Sent from my BlackBerry® wireless device

      • I have read the thread, and “we” have not agreed anything. You have agreed with yourself. Richard and I and several others are agreed among ourselves that this was clear incitement.

      • Richard,

        How strange!? I thought we had agreed.

        Have a great week!

      • Richard,

        How strange!? I thought we had agreed.

        Just had a charming lunch with Rubin Katz and his lovely wife.

        Have a great week everyone!

  19. He’s driving. I suspect one will do it, but we’ll toast you!

  20. XX

  21. http://www.jpost.com/Opinion/Columnists/Article.aspx?id=245169

    Martin Sherman is a very clever man. Epilogue below, but do read the entire article. It covers both the question of gays in Islam and modern day parlance!

    “………….Epilogue
    Let me conclude with the observations of a gay intellectual regarding the propagation of Islam in Europe, where private Islamic academies – subsidized by European governments – “reinforce the Koran-based…

    morality learned at home that prescribes severe penalties for female adulterers and rape victims (though not necessarily for rapists), and that demands… that homosexuals be put to death.”

    With some foreboding he remarks: “If fundamentalist Muslims in Europe do not carry out these punishments, it is not because they’ve advanced beyond such thinking, but because they don’t have the power.”

    Not yet……….”

    • I am getting told that they have been successful at creating no-go areas at least in big cities.

      Given that streets are paid for by the taxes of all of us I think that “they” have achieved already way too much.

      • You are told correctly.
        They have achieved way too much because of the connivance – born of stupidity, ignorance, cowardice, cynicism, lust for power, greed and treason – of governments and law-enforcement agencies (police forces, prosecuting departments and courts), aided and abetted by what is laughingly known as the intelligentsia.

        I really, genuinely don’t know where these clowns being paraded as the sages of the age come from or which planet they live on. For example, I read this morning that the (former?) editor of the Financial Times admits he was wrong to cheerlead for the euro. I predicted the current (currency) problems right from the start, but “Noooo, you don’t have an MBA, you don’t have a qudruple First from Oxford, you are an economic ignoramus”. Turns out that never studying economics helps you understand economics.

      • At least that Financial Times editor admits to having been in error, but I am still waiting for anybody from the finance wizards chattering establishment to publicly remember that he/she has been chastising/ridculing Germany all through the splurge for not splurging also.

        I haven’t checked but I think it is the same guys who chastise/ridicule us now for not ponying up fast or generous enough.

        When the Euro was about to come Frederick Forsyth (of Odessa file fame) wrote in German Der Spiegel that in the end Germany would have to pay.

        Maybe it is right that we have to pony up as a kind of belated justice but to get both admonitions sold as higher wisdom owed to scholarship acquired at state institutions paid for by tax money angers Miss Marple minded me more than a bit.