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Thread: labour + antisemitism

  1. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by baboon2004 View Post
    Do you mean that supporters of Palestinians' rights - some of whom, unsurprisingly, are Palestinian themselves - cannot have 'unbiased' opinions about anti-Semitism because they criticise Israeli policy (wonder why they might do that?), and so must be silent on the issue?

    The whole idea of an 'unbiased' opinion about anti-Semitism is itself bizarre - not quite sure what it means or who you take to have these unbiased opinions.
    I'm talking - as surely you well know - about (mostly white) people who think the whole world would be rainbows, ice cream and brotherly love if it weren't for the Little Satan.
    Last edited by Mr. Tea; 03-06-2018 at 08:12 PM.
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  2. #32
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    Now you're obfuscating. You were talking about the Electronic Intifada magazine, and how any magazine named after a Palestinian uprising can't be trusted to be objective about anti-Semitism.

    Why not?

    (these are the main guys who set it up, btw: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ali_Abunimah https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arjan_El_Fassed)
    Last edited by baboon2004; 03-06-2018 at 08:23 PM.

  3. #33
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    But since you mention Palestinians, I've seen a couple that I know sharing pro-Assad material on Facebook over the last year or so. This is the same Assad whose forces have killed many times more Palestinians since 2011 than Israel has. This is not a phenomenon that can be explained simply by rational self-interest.
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  4. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by DannyL View Post
    Me and Jon posted a few links towards the end of the Corbyn thread about Moshe Postone, who is saying exactly the same thing as the Ross Wolfe stuff, just via a heavy Marxist lens. Worth a read.
    I'm just going to read this one.

    As a point of interest that just occurred to me, this editorial from 2002 : https://www.newstatesman.com/node/194341 after the NS headlined their January issue " A kosher conspiracy?" (I was doing work experience at the NS when Action Against Antisemitism visited their offices, so remember it well)

  5. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Tea View Post
    But since you mention Palestinians, I've seen a couple that I know sharing pro-Assad material on Facebook over the last year or so. This is the same Assad whose forces have killed many times more Palestinians since 2011 than Israel has. This is not a phenomenon that can be explained simply by rational self-interest.
    Yeah I'm sure that's true, what's your point though and how does it relate to the issue? Many Jewish people living in Israel, by virtue of the way they vote, support policies that impoverish Holocaust survivors, but that's not directly relevant here either.

    The issue - and now I feel like Paxman vs Michael Howard - is that your comment insinuated that it is an obvious matter that those supporting the Palestinian cause (to be free of Israeli oppression), including Palestinians, cannot be trusted on questions about anti-Semitism. Again, why is that?

    In other news: Natalie Portman is apparently anti-Semitic for not receiving an award in the presence of Netanyahu: https://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/...tism-1.6014423

    " "Criticism of Israel is not anti-Semitism. Boycotting Israel has elements of anti-Semitism,” Steinitz (Israeli minister) asserted, adding that Portman would not have boycotted China or India. "
    Last edited by baboon2004; 03-06-2018 at 08:53 PM.

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  7. #36
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    mr tea is a cop. plain and simple.

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  9. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by baboon2004 View Post
    The issue - and now I feel like Paxman vs Michael Howard - is that your comment insinuated that it is an obvious matter that those supporting the Palestinian cause (to be free of Israeli oppression), including Palestinians, cannot be trusted on questions about anti-Semitism. Again, why is that?
    It's not so much that they can't be 'trusted', it's more a case of 'why would you listen to a group who are so clearly for one side, and even more importantly against the other side, if you weren't already in full agreement with them?'.
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  10. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by luka View Post
    mr tea is a cop. plain and simple.
    ur nickd m8
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  11. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by baboon2004 View Post
    The issue - and now I feel like Paxman vs Michael Howard - is that your comment insinuated that it is an obvious matter that those supporting the Palestinian cause (to be free of Israeli oppression), including Palestinians, cannot be trusted on questions about anti-Semitism. Again, why is that?
    But to actually get down into this point: an idea I've come across a number of times recently, and which I think makes a great deal of sense, is that many people - white and Muslim alike - are motivated far more strongly by a hatred of Israel than they are by any particular love of, or solidarity with, Palestinians. The disparate Palestinian death tolls in Syria and the occupied territories over the last seven years, and the relative amount of outrage over each in the Muslim world and among anti-imperialist circles in Western countries, is a case in point (as if there were anything special or particularly worthy about Palestinians compared to the countless other ethnic and cultural groups being brutalized by this state or that jihadi group throughout the MENA region, which there clearly isn't.)
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Tea View Post
    It's not so much that they can't be 'trusted', it's more a case of 'why would you listen to a group who are so clearly for one side, and even more importantly against the other side, if you weren't already in full agreement with them?'.
    The difficulty here is that you conflate "the other side" as being both the Israeli state and the victims of anti-semitism. Which obliterates any potential for criticism of Israel which is not anti-semitic. Which plays into the hands both the Israeli state and anti-semites.


    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Tea View Post
    But to actually get down into this point: an idea I've come across a number of times recently, and which I think makes a great deal of sense, is that many people - white and Muslim alike - are motivated far more strongly by a hatred of Israel than they are by any particular love of, or solidarity with, Palestinians. The disparate Palestinian death tolls in Syria and the occupied territories over the last seven years, and the relative amount of outrage over each in the Muslim world and among anti-imperialist circles in Western countries, is a case in point (as if there were anything special or particularly worthy about Palestinians compared to the countless other ethnic and cultural groups being brutalized by this state or that jihadi group throughout the MENA region, which there clearly isn't.)
    Classic whataboutery.

    When I was picketing Barclays Bank as a teenager because of their links with Apartheid, there would always be one old biffer who came up and insisted that we should also be protesting against "Black African Dictators". Of course, he wasn't doing that.

  13. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Tea View Post
    But to actually get down into this point: an idea I've come across a number of times recently, and which I think makes a great deal of sense, is that many people - white and Muslim alike - are motivated far more strongly by a hatred of Israel than they are by any particular love of, or solidarity with, Palestinians. The disparate Palestinian death tolls in Syria and the occupied territories over the last seven years, and the relative amount of outrage over each in the Muslim world and among anti-imperialist circles in Western countries, is a case in point (as if there were anything special or particularly worthy about Palestinians compared to the countless other ethnic and cultural groups being brutalized by this state or that jihadi group throughout the MENA region, which there clearly isn't.)
    Palestinians don't care about Palestinian death tolls? And they're not allowed to hate the Israeli government, because...? I suppose the people floating this 'idea' are totally in touch with their own motives?!

    The thing that is special about Palestinians in the occupied territories is that they are being brutalised by a state that the West supports, endorses and arms, and makes only very weak criticisms of at best. As far as I'm aware, Britain is at war with Assad (although he is still killing people with weapons supplied by British firms, of course), and was at war with Islamic State, so the pressure that it can bring to bear in that case is somewhat different in nature.

    It's not so much that they can't be 'trusted', it's more a case of 'why would you listen to a group who are so clearly for one side, and even more importantly against the other side, if you weren't already in full agreement with them?'.
    So no-one who objects to the activities of the Israeli government can legitimately have any view on issues around anti-Semitism, in your opinion.
    Last edited by baboon2004; 04-06-2018 at 11:08 AM.

  14. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by baboon2004 View Post
    Palestinians don't care about Palestinian death tolls? And they're not allowed to hate the Israeli government, because...? I suppose the people floating this 'idea' are totally in touch with their own motives?!
    You're reading things I haven't written. Of course they are "allowed" to hate the Israeli government - it would be stupid to suggest otherwise. My point is that when diaspora Palestinians are sharing propaganda that defends a given Arab state when that state has killed far more of their own people than Israel has in recent years, I think it is reasonable to inquire into what exactly is going on.

    Quote Originally Posted by baboon2004 View Post
    The thing that is special about Palestinians in the occupied territories is that they are being brutalised by a state that the West supports, endorses and arms, and makes only very weak criticisms of at best. As far as I'm aware, Britain is at war with Assad (although he is still killing people with weapons supplied by British firms, of course), and was at war with Islamic State, so the pressure that it can bring to bear in that case is somewhat different in nature.
    The USA funds the Palestinian Authority too, remember, and Saudi Arabia is, supposedly, a member in good standing of 'the international community' (i.e. trades with, and cooperates militarily with, the USA and its allies rather than Russia or China and their allies). And of course they're involved in an extremely brutal and dirty war in Yemen, everyone knows that. You do sometimes hear criticism of the Saudis but it doesn't excite nearly as much interest as Israel does, as far as I can see.

    And the idea that the UK is 'at war with Assad' in any meaningful way is laughable. There were a handful of desultory strikes against some of his facilities a couple of months ago. That's it. It has done absolutely no meaningful damage to his offensive capabilities and after a few days' respite the slaughter carried on as if nothing had happened.
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  15. #43
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    We've got no nearer answering my original point really, have we? Palestinians can express valid opinions on issues of anti-Semitism, seeing as they can distinguish Jewish people from the Israeli government as well as anyone else can (or can't). I'm guessing you now agree that your original comment re Electronic Intifada was misplaced, given that you haven't answered the issue.

    Of course the support of some Palestinians for Assad is completely misplaced, but it's a different issue. And no doubt has a lot to do with the human impetus to want to take sides (in this case presumably seeing an Assad collapse as a victory that will enhance Israel and ultimately lead to greater misery for Palestinians in the Occupied Territories; leading to ignoring Assad's slaughter of Palestinian refugees in Syria) and then to justify that stance by whatever means necessary even if it seems completely untenable. I'd need to know more about relations between Palestinians in the OT and Palestinians in Syria to understand it further

    My other point was to do with the West having leverage to change things in Israel and Saudi Arabia, since it supports them (and I disagree, Saudi Arabia is very frequently criticised by all kinds of people). It can't of course change Syrian policy in this way. Nothing to do with the paucity of strikes against Assad.
    Last edited by baboon2004; 04-06-2018 at 08:07 PM.

  16. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by baboon2004 View Post
    Now you're obfuscating. You were talking about the Electronic Intifada magazine, and how any magazine named after a Palestinian uprising can't be trusted to be objective about anti-Semitism.

    Why not?
    Alright, to answer your original question. I mentioned that piece that came up in the context specifically of the Labour party's current internal struggles and PR woes, rather than just anti-Semitism in general. If you want to talk about obfuscation, consider the following points:

    * First, the idea that Labour even has a "hard right". Labour is a left-wing party, and its right wing, such as it is, is centrist - not rightist, in any absolute sense, and certainly not "hard right". This fallacy is a consequence of the worldview that centres opposition to the USA and Israel as the definition of 'left-wing', i.e. Good, and the opposite of 'right-wing', or Evil. (Making Hamas pretty much the last word in progressive politics.)

    * Then there's the idea that the anti-Semitism accusations are about Israel and only Israel, which is blatantly false. Most of those that have made the news have nothing whatsoever to do with Israel - rather, it's been a rehashing of well-worn anti-Semitic tropes about Jews being to blame for the transatlantic slave trade, having orchestrated WWII, having faked or exaggerated the Holocaust or simply 'running the world'.

    * Putting these two points together, we're now in the bizarre position where some leftists, or people who consider themselves as such, at any rate, think that calling people out for reproducing precisely the racist tropes that form part of the ideological bedrock of Nazism and neo-Nazism is "right wing".

    * And once again there's that phrase "witch hunt". Which I think can be dismissed on the basis that witches - in the literal sense of malevolent women with magical powers conferred on them by Satan - don't exist, whereas anti-Semites do. Or, to look at it another way, don't whinge about witch-hunts when a bunch of your mates have green warty skin, a penchant for pointy hats and cauldrons and a black cat called something like Samael or Beelzebub.
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  17. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Tea View Post
    Alright, to answer your original question. I mentioned that piece that came up in the context specifically of the Labour party's current internal struggles and PR woes, rather than just anti-Semitism in general. If you want to talk about obfuscation, consider the following points:

    * First, the idea that Labour even has a "hard right". Labour is a left-wing party, and its right wing, such as it is, is centrist - not rightist, in any absolute sense, and certainly not "hard right". This fallacy is a consequence of the worldview that centres opposition to the USA and Israel as the definition of 'left-wing', i.e. Good, and the opposite of 'right-wing', or Evil. (Making Hamas pretty much the last word in progressive politics.)
    I think it's a shame that you won't simply admit you were wrong about your comments on the Electronic Intifada.

    I don't accept that the Labour Party is, or always has been, a left wing party. It's quite clearly a lash up of socialists, social democrats, neoliberals and all sorts of other things.

    These things are not left wing:

    Deregulating the City of London

    Invading Iraq

    Selling off council estates across London

    Opening Yarls Wood

    The Partition of India

    The war in Malaya

    Ramsay MacDonald saying "Strikes for increased wages…not only are not socialism ... mislead the spirit and the policy of socialism"

    David Blunkett saying "refugee children are swamping schools and should be taught separately"

    Tuition fees.

    ID Cards

    Prosecuting thousands of people for not paying the poll tax.

    James Callaghan supporting indefinite internment without trial of IRA suspects.

    Academy Schools.

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