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Iran Watch, part 5 - a response to some nonsense from Guido Fawkes.
Tags: Iran Watch Israel Nuclear Iran
Uncle Sam, I think I have made it clear that I was not only thinking of Jews when I said that the Iranian government engages in persecution. Think about what they have done to Bahais. Think also what they have done to the Muslims themselves within Iran, who had the audacity to think for themselves and fight for a better future. Did you see the post that I have adduced where the writer takes Muslims to task for failure to criticize human rights violations in Iran? Unlike Iran, where those who criticize the government end up with being tortured and even killed, in Israel, as you would acknowledge yourself, you can criticize the government without anything even remotely close to this. Otherwise, you will not hear dissenting voices from Isral. The government of Iran is a menace not only to other countries but to its own citizens whose rights it has ruthlessly repressed.
the word is spreading! cant wait for the edl irainian division. No need to wait, they are at work on this page.
Israel is perfect. Period. SO says???
It is now too late to destroy the nuclear sites of Tehran because they have got sufficient time to hide them.Iran is a mature country and will not get itself destroyed like Hitler did to Germany.
The whole world loves Israel. The whole world owes Israel a debt of gratitude. If it was not for Israel and the Jewish people, the world would be a terrible place.
Bibi is my first love
Just as mosley's fascism was defeated on the streets of east London in the 1930's; just as hitler and Mussolini were defeated so the the fascism of Islamism, their sick perverted pursuit of genocide against non-Moslems, Christians, Jews and secularists will be defeated. Islamofascist Iran will cease to exist soon. Apartheid Pakistan will be replaced by a one state democratic India. And islamofascism will be be confined to the caves of Afghanistan.
Anybody with a half decent reasonable intellect can see where you are coming from ALexander. You persist time afer time with these out dated myths which have been dsicredited years ago. I put it to you that the beliefs you hold are more in line with right wing fascism which you claim to abhor. If the truth be told, I have no desire to debate with you either because you are still stuck in the same morally bankrupt quagmire. Your submission at 1722 is instructive because it leaves the reader under no illusions as to where you stand in relation to Israel.
Try as much as you like, but you cannot separate the Iran Issue from the Palestine issue. The nature of the Israeli state is such that, by choice, Israel need constant enemies. Not content with subjugating the Palestinians who thus far have not relented, they are trying their very best to browbeat Iran.
Pro-Israel’ and ‘Israel Firsters’ debate not anti-Semitic
“… it is no secret that “pro-Israel” money (albeit, not all of it from Jews) comprises a substantial percentage of all donations to political parties in the United States. Talking about “Jewish” – or more accurately, “pro-Israel” – money in American politics is therefore not inherently anti-Semitic: It is a given, and the effort to silence such debate is the problem.”
The downside of unbridled support for Israel
Mairav Zonszein: Jan. 27th, 2012
‘Israel-firsters’ are not those who put Israel first, but rather those who put an Israeli right-wing agenda first, even at the expense of American interests.
In his op-ed “A case of leftist McCarthyism?” (Haaretz English Edition, January 13 ), James Kirchick declares that the tables have turned in the Israel debate in America, now that liberal critics of U.S. support for Israel’s rightist government are employing terms like “dual loyalists” and “Israel-firsters.” He argues that this is indicative of “just how deep the rhetoric of the far right has seeped into the discourse of the mainstream left,” and deems such language to be anti-Semitic because it has also appeared in white supremacist publications.
Kirchick’s charge of anti-Semitism is baseless and unconvincing. Just because white supremacists used a term doesn’t mean everyone who employs it is an anti-Semite. He also fails to mention that many of those employing the term “Israel-firster” are deeply concerned about Israel’s future and about regional stability, and are no different from members of the Israeli peace camp – not to mention that some of them are Jewish themselves.
His argument also blatantly ignores the highly divisive role Israel plays in U.S. politics. American Jewish organizations are constantly battling over the definition of “pro-Israel,” a term monopolized by powerful groups like AIPAC to mean “Israel right or wrong.”
“Israel-firster” is admittedly a deliberately crude response, but use of the term should be understood within the context of decades of American Jewish right-wing rhetoric that has largely silenced dissent on Israeli policies by discrediting those who dare to criticize Israel. Calling rightists “Israel firsters” is not nearly as belligerent and certainly not as preposterous as labeling J Street “anti-Israel” and Thomas L. Friedman an anti-Semite.
This polemic has permeated internal American bipartisan politics, where Israel has taken center stage as a wedge issue. “Pro-Israel” has become political currency in the presidential race, despite bearing divergent connotations. For Newt Gingrich, the term means denying the existence of a Palestinian nation (and thus ruling out a two-state solution ); for Mitt Romney, it means ensuring security at all costs (and thus discounting Israeli settlements as a problem ). For Barack Obama, it means what it has meant for previous American administrations: A secure Jewish nation-state based on the ’67 borders, alongside a viable Palestinian state.
Despite this being U.S. foreign policy for quite a while, GOP candidates and mainstream American Jewish groups – bolstered by what is arguably the most rigid right-wing government Israel has ever had – have attacked Obama regularly for what they deem to be his deficient “pro-Israel” record, simply because he has condemned settlement construction. Obama has capitulated under the pressure and reasserted his strong “pro-Israel” (read: Israel right or wrong ) stance, for fear of losing the political and economic support he needs to win another term. Indeed, it is no secret that “pro-Israel” money (albeit, not all of it from Jews ) comprises a substantial percentage of all donations to political parties in the United States. Talking about “Jewish” – or more accurately, “pro-Israel” – money in American politics is therefore not inherently anti-Semitic: It is a given, and the effort to silence such debate is the problem.
When progressive entities like the Center for American Progress and figures like M.J. Rosenberg use the term “Israel-firster,” they are attempting to deconstruct and challenge the notion that being “pro-Israel” means demanding unchecked support for Israeli policies, even when they directly conflict with the U.S. administration’s stated positions and its declared role as an arbiter in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Such people are trying to dismantle the equation between opposition to Israel’s current reckless agenda, and concern for Israel’s long-term interests and impact on American geopolitics. They are identifying those, whether Jewish or Christian, Democrat or Republican, who, as Rosenberg put it, “consistently – and without exception – thwart the efforts of U.S. presidents to achieve Middle East peace.” “Israel-firsters” are not those who put Israel first, but rather those who put an Israeli right-wing agenda first, even at the expense of American interests.
Thus, Kirchick has it backward when he argues that the language of the far right has seeped into the left. It is, rather, Israel’s far-right policies that increasingly clash with American liberal and democratic values. Long before Peter Beinart became famous for pointing to a conflict between Zionism and liberalism, academics and policymakers warned that unbridled American support for Israel (spearheaded by AIPAC’s bullying influence on Congress ) would backfire.
This concern first surfaced in 1982 during the first Lebanon War, when many Americans began to wonder whether Israeli values were in line with American ones. It is reappearing again now within the context of a possible attack on Iran, on top of the incessant Israeli settlement project in the West Bank – a relentless policy that not only undermines Israel’s claim to being a democratic state, but undercuts America’s ability to be an honest broker of a two-state solution; all of which makes it much harder for American progressives, Jews and non-Jews alike, to cheerlead for Israel – that is, to be “pro-Israel.”
Mairav Zonszein is an Israeli-American journalist living in Tel Aviv and a writer and editor at +972mag.com. An abridged version of her master’s thesis on the history of the “pro-Israel” paradigm in American Jewry was recently published in the Central European University Jewish Studies Journal.
The whole world is jealous of Israel. Israel is a shing example. They the Islamo fascist hate Israel because of our superior way of life. We are the superior race much as it pains me to admit it.
I would like to thank you for your contributions to the forum. You said that you are not an Israeli sympathizer, and I am, so I am sure, if we were to debate, we would disagree on a whole number of points but how refreshing to hear a reasonable, moderate, and really listening and intelligent voice. Thank you so much, and I am sorry that I have not responded to you earlier.
You are right about sending the link, rather than the complete text, but the reason for my sending the text is that sometimes I am concerned that the readers may not be willing to click to read it and, if you send the text, it is right there in front of you. But, perhaps, this rationale is outweighed by the inconvenience of having the entire text on the screen, so in the future I will try to send only relatively short texts in full and links otherwise.
Thanks again, and, again, I apologize for the belatedness of my acknowledgement of your contributions.
Mariella, as I already stated in another reply to your post, you are an unequaled queen of numerous and voluminous messages. Try to be laconic yourself.
They Came, We Saw.. They Flopped. They are The EDL
8:44 pm, Tue 13 Mar 2012
After weeks of endless social media speculation, the Walsall Youth Division, an offshoot of the right-wing English Defence League, 'graced' the northwest of Birmingham – my harmonious hometown of Walsall. The so-called ‘demonstration' which took place on Saturday 3rd February 2012 at midday, consisted of only 8 Walsall Youth Division members. The English Defence League was apparently invited, but it seems that they’re to stockpile their energy for the mass demonstration planned for Walsall in July. I went in to town to observe what would happen and I’m pleased to say it was a great flop. The organiser "Richard Johnson" was full of threats, claiming he was going to start fights and went as far as saying there would be stabbings too.
Islamists there is justice in this world. You will soon answer for your slaughter of 400,000 Black people in Darfur; you will be accountable for the atrocities committed by islamofascist Iran; you will be held accountable for mass murder and ethnic cleansing in apartheid Pakistan. You will be tried for mass murder in Syria and Libya; you will be tried for your alliances with nazism and your Holocaust-denial.
Laconic, my word. Alexander is getting tetchy. He can't take the fact that very few people, if any, have acutually read his long (truthful, factual) postings.
You really do insult the intelligence of NS readers.
Go on, find us another one of your priceless gems. I don't think however that you will be able to top the claim that your insight on matters poltical and moral is greater than Mandela or Ghandhi.
You could't make it up.
Arise Sir Mehdi for services to open debate
Again, typical demagoguery, instead of even an attempt to engage in substantive debate. Typical of you, of course.
When I am looking for advice as to how to conduct a substantive debate, I will be knocking at your door!!
You have already excelled yourself. Don't stand on ceremony as they say.
Gather the troops for the next instalment.
If I am not mistaken, this thread was about Osiraq. Could anybody care to explain the relevance of EDL for this debate, please?
You're right stevem. There's nothing democratic about Israel. Well, except for the fact that the people who live in Israel choose it's government every few years. And the fact that it has a free press and an independent judiciary. Apart from those things, it's just like Stalinist Russia.
really, it is part of the right wing fascism ideology to support freedom of speech,political opinion, and religion. If so, I am a right wing fascist,indeed, plead gulty to the charges.
JJ - "To Julia and Alexander: We've won the debate" - What fucking debate? Expresing you hatred and cut and paste propaganda from a slack handful of half wits does not constitute a debate.
Thank you for your kind words, Mariella. I appreciate
FINALLY ALEXANDER ADMITS THAT HE IS A RIGHT WING FASCIST. SO you want freedom of speech for yourself and the Zionist lobby, but not for the Palestinians.
Keep digging!!! I REST MY CASE.
Re. Alexander. Your contorted logic knows no bounds. Israel is addicted to a constant and perpetual warfare mindset. We are not talking about the 1930's'; we are talking about the here and now. As long as the US offers unconditional support to Israel, this aggressive militarist policy will continue. The unresolved Palestine question should be the most important urgent political question for Israel. Instead we are told that Israel needs to engage in yet another foreign war in Iran. After Iran, who will be the next enemy. More importantly, will Iran just sit down and take whatever Israel has to throw at it. We don't really know what Iran's weapons capabilities are. Having superior weapons capability is no guarantee of success.
MUSLIMS MUST CONDEMN THE KILLING OF 3 JEWISH CHILDREN
MURDER is murder and must be condemned, be it the murder of 3 innocent Jewish children by an extremist Algerian French in France in 2012, or be it the murder of over 400 innocent children murdered by the Israeli army in the indiscriminate air attacks on the Palestinians in Lebanon in 2006 that left more than 1200 civilians dead and over 4500 wounded.
Murder is murder and ought to be condemned, be it the murder of innocent Israeli pedestrians in Israel by a disturbed Palestinian-Israeli driver, or be it the murder of 100s of Palestinian women and children bulldozed by Israeli soldiers in the occupied Palestine or by the illegal settlers.
Murder is murder, be it murder of an innocent Israeli citizen by Palestinian shelling, or be it the murder of 4000 civilian Palestinians in 1982 in Sabra and Chatila (Beirut) with the aid of the Israeli army.
We are all waiting to hear your next masterpiece.
Come on, have you completed your search. Your troops are slacking!!!
The Zionist lobby have won the argument, so they say. Moving on from their success they are now accusing me of being Mehdi. I must say I take that as a great compliment.
No reason to waste masterpieces on you, Mariella. You will not understand them, anyway
Mariella, you are really worse than I thought. Either you are incredibly naive and tone deaf not to understand IRONY in my statement (as you have shown before with reference to my remark about the "Nazi Germany domination) or you really are gasping at the straws because you are desperate. You are really hopeless
Khosrov is saying that the Holocaust did not touch Iran. True enough. However, he should acquaint himself with an article on the connection between Iranian anti-Semitism and German National Socialism that I provided in the course of the discussion of another article on the same forum.
THE MAN WHO CRIED WOLF
I am watching. I am waiting. I am observing. I am waiting for the Wolf to do more damage to the herd, then I could have ever dreamed of.
Most of the world knows that Israel is an apartheid regime, even many Israelis and Rabbis know it too,
is it still groundhog day...?
"As for holocaust deniers, who in their right mind would deny the holocaust?". I agree with you completely. However, the entire Iranian "rational leadership" does
EDL Makes Link with Jewish Defence League in Canada
Posted on January 12, 2011 by Richard Bartholomew
News from Toronto:
Several protesters were arrested and a police officer sent to hospital with a broken rib after a protest against a right-wing British organization in Toronto Tuesday night.
The protest was sparked by a meeting to hear a webcast of a speech by the founder of the English Defence League… The meeting at the Zionist Centre was organized by the Jewish Defence League, to hear a live speech broadcast via the Internet, from English Defence League founder Stephen Lennon, who goes by the name Tommy Robinson.
An earlier report has some background:
Meir Weinstein, national director of JDL Canada, said he was visiting Israel when he met someone connected to Mr. Lennon. The two later got acquainted on the phone.
Back in 2009 I noted that the EDL-linked Casuals United website had included a prominent link to the Jewish Defense League in the USA – however, this was taken down shortly after I noticed it. Nachum Shifren, the California-based “Surfing Rabbi” who addressed the EDL in London in October, used to be JDL founder Meir Kahane’s driver, although he was “excommunicated” from the JDL in 2005 for supporting Pat Buchanan. Israeli flags have been prominently dispalyed at EDL events, both to counter accusations of neo-Nazism and as a sign of vicarious identification with the country and its conflicts.
Kahane, of course, is remembered as a belligerent extremist, and Kahanist groups have been associated with acts of violence. Weinstein, however, has tried to create an impression of distance – as was explained in a Canadian radio report in 2009:
Bernie McNamee: There’s another twist tonight in the George Galloway saga. The controversial British MP was refused entry to Canada because of his alleged support for the Palestinian militant group Hamas. Now it turns out the man claiming credit for tipping off immigration officials is Meir Weinstein. Galloway’s supporters say Weinstein himself was a spokesperson for a Jewish extremist group on Canada’s list of banned terrorist organizations. Our security correspondent Bill Gillespie has the story.
[Bill Gillespie] …In 1994 he was identified in a Canadian Press article as a spokesperson for the Kach Party, also known as Kahane Chai. A Kach member in Israel had just massacred more than 50 Palestinian worshippers. Weinstein refused to condemn the attack. He doesn’t deny making the statement but he denies ever being a member of Kach.
Actually that's not strictly true. You have to be accurate rather than making sweeping generalizations that you are accusing them of doing. Lets keep a minimum standard of moral integrity. At least for ourselves.
Is the war with Iran nothing more than a fabricated sense of crisis and arbitrary deadlines. Read the article in Rootless Cosmopolitan by Goldberg on the Bogus Ticking Clock on Iran (http://tonykaron.com/)
I'm interested in the truth. A balanced, objective version, not biased to either side. In fact to err on the side of caution, most of my sources are Israeli and Jewish organizations. I have worked with Jews for a Just Peace by the way...
Rabbis and Jews Protest against Israel and Zionism EVIDENCE
I must confess, I do not understand irony. As pointed out by Alexander I am naive and tone deaf. Never mind that I have put forward a plethora of evidence to discredit the old myths which he has attempted to peddle. Rememeber you heard it from the learned Alexanders' own words that the Palestinians are to blame for the situation they find themsleves in.
EDL Jewish head attacks its ‘Nazis’
– 13/07/2011Posted in: News
The leader of the English Defence League’s Jewish Division has quit, claiming the organisation has been infiltrated by “Nazi elements”.
Activist Roberta Moore, who has led the division since its launch last year, has been a divisive figure within the EDL.
The JC reported on rifts within the anti-Islamic fundamentalism group last month, apparently caused by attempts to link to organisations such as the far-right American Jewish Task Force and what one EDL spokesman said was Ms Moore’s “gung-ho attitude”.
She has repeatedly denied holding extremist views and has claimed opponents have lied about her actions to “destroy the group”.
On the Jewish Division’s Facebook profile, Ms Moore claimed “Nazi elements” had hijacked the EDL. She wrote: “I do wish the EDL the best of luck in this fight, as they surely need it. And I sincerely hope that the leaders will get the strength to squash the Nazis within, for they will destroy this movement if allowed to remain, and thus lose the fight against the Islamisation of their countries.”
Ms Moore’s departure has led to American blogger and commentator Pamela Geller also withdrawing her support for the EDL.
Ms Geller, co-founder of the Stop Islamisation of America group and an ally of Ms Moore, opposed plans to build an Islamic cultural centre near Ground Zero in New York.
On her blog, Ms Geller said: “It has become increasingly clear that the EDL has morphed and diverged from its original course. They now have clearly been infiltrated by the worst kind of influences. They are now unrecognisable to me.”
EDL leader Tommy Robinson said the Jewish division had been built on “Israel’s right to defend itself” and added: “The EDL will not be deterred from its support for Israel and the Jewish people. Recently there have been internal arguments, which are nothing more than that.
“Every large family has its disagreements, but, when push comes to shove, we all stand on the same side.
“Some people have jumped on the EDL bandwagon and tried to use our platform to express antisemitic views. These statements are not in accord with the fundamental beliefs of the EDL. These people are not welcome, never have been welcome, and never will be welcome within the EDL.
“We reject all antisemitism.”
He said the EDL wanted “Jewish people and all free people to remain free forever. We all stand together in this fight against Islamic jihad”.
The Board of Deputies, CST and other communal groups have repeatedly warned British Jews against supporting the EDL.
No matter how much they plead, no matter how much they implore, the idea that the rest of the world needs to see the manufactured Iranian crisis as being the central problem confronting the world is not working. Thanks to the internet, we no longer have to rely on impartial information fed to us by mainstream media. The monopoly of the media which the Zionist lobby once enjoyed has long gone. There exists a plethora of information out there. I refuse to accept the world view which says I must believe Israel or else. I am entitled to express my views. That the Zionist lobby do not agree with me is no great mystery or surprise. That they will go to great lengths to post comments about me shows that they are spitting blood that I could dare to have an opinion which is contrary to theirs. Their pattern of rubbishing anyone who does not agree with them is a tactic used by the Zionist lobby and has been repeated on several threads against other who do not agree with them. I will not relent!!!!!!!!
At least, check your own sources, Mariella. This is not by Goldberg but by Karon on Goldberg.
Very droll, Mariella: when you say that you
"refuse to accept the world view which says I must believe Israel or else. I am entitled to express my views."
you're being a bit tongue in cheek, aren't you? I'd be surprised if your social circle includes many people whose view of Israel differs from yours in the slightest. And no one is being any more critical of you than you're being of others. Maybe you should take the-admittedly more difficult-option of being more sceptical about the left's received wisdom on Israel?
Thanks for your kind comments, JJ and Alexander. As you say, A., we would probably disagree with one another on a lot of questions-I think the Israeli state is far from being as humane or flexible as it should be, but I can understand why the fear of external enemies exploited by Netanyahu et al exists. It's ironic that the hatred of Israel expressed by so many on the left is grist to the mill of some cynical and chauvinistic politicians in Israel-apart from the fact that it's in the interests of demagogues in other ME countries who can whip up anti-Israeli sentiment to distract their populations from their own oppressive regimes.
Finally, my experience of ordinary Iranians is that they don't care that much about Palestine or Israel-they've got their own problems to deal with. The Iranian people have no linguistic or ethnic kinship with Sunni Palestinians. Lucky people like Mariella and Uncle Sam are around to set them an example of genuine compassion, isn't it?
RACISM DIRECTED TOWARDS MEHDI HASAN
It is regrettable that instead of having a constructive forum through civilized discourse and mutual respect, some of commenters abuse the freedom of expression provided here, as there is no 'moderator' to prevent disturbing remarks that, instead of challenging unfounded convictions, bring the matters to the level of ‘personal’ abuse, hence, often foul language and cheap and long propaganda pieces backed by explicit deplorable racist statements discourage the reader from continuing to engage in any discussion. I experienced a similar abuse last week, as I have pointed out above. To use foul language, to generalise and smear people’s faith and race is not a great achievement.
Surely none of these comments would have been here without Mehdi Hasan's articles. To attack him in order to have him conform to certain agendas is arrogant and irresponsible. It seems that certain readers, instead of being interested in opening up discussions to get a fuller perspective on proposed topics, are unhappy that on the contrary Mehdi Hasan’s articles open up new debates that invite entirely different perspectives and information or discourse that not only exposes their intellectual impotence and shallowness of their argument but leaves them speechless, hence the violent lashing and outpouring of verbal abuse being levelled against the author of the article. The debates are also skilfully diverted by certain commenters who seem to lack maturity or sense of responsibility - the point in having a forum is: to share, to debate, to learn.
Let us not forget that millions who were photographed living normal lives shortly before the outbreak of W.W.I had no idea they would perish within months, even when the signs were becoming evident they still carried on with their daily engagements instead of challenging the war mongering politicians. Their silence led to their own destruction. What about us? What about our photos in 50 years time?!
If a war breaks out both sides will suffer, the Iranian public and the Israeli public, not the politicians, and not those who enjoy demonising and smearing from the safety of their homes outside the conflict zones, commenting to satisfy their abhorrent hatred for others. You haven’t seen war. I have. No child should become victims of hatred and hegemony, if we believe in human civilisation, if we respect ‘life’, if we claim to believe in human goodness, or as Anne Frank believed that “in spite of everything ….people are really good at heart”, or if I may add, if we believe that people CAN BE and SHOULD BE good at heart.
War is the end of civilisation.
Thank you Mehdi Hasan, and thank you New Statesman for making it possible for us to engage in discussions around a highly important topic.
Shock!! Horror!! I can see you are hanging onto my every word trying to extrapolate errors.
The important point here is what Karon said and that is the war with Iran is nothing more than a fabricated sense of crisis and arbitrary dealines.
Mariella, the fact that you and your cohorts cannot offer anything else than these stale arguments shows that, of course, we have won the debate. But the parallels to the 1930's are striking, indeed. To quote Auden: "Intellectual disgrace stares from every human face" If it is true that history repeats itself, then the forces of humanity will win again.
No Lox, I am entitled to have my opinions. Classify me as left or right, I simply don't care. I am entitled to my opinion.
Since you raise the point about:
I think the Israeli state is far from being as humane or flexible as it should be, but I can understand why the fear of external enemies exploited by Netanyahu et al exists.
WHat Israel not being humane or flexible. Netanyahu exploiting the fear of external enemies.Perhaps you could ask your new found friends if they agree with you on these points. I would be interested to see how you get on.
You say that most of the Iranians you have met care not about Palestine or Israel. That is not my experience. Iranians I have come into contact with are very pro Palestinian. The experience you cite is not one I recognise. On the question of compassion, perhaps you could ask your new friends to show some compassion for the Palestinians. Not much chance of that I suppose if conventional wisdom dicates that the Palestinians brought their dispossession on themsselves.
Mehdi Hasan is a contributing writer for the New Statesman and the co-author of Ed: The Milibands and the Making of a Labour Leader. He was the New Statesman's senior editor (politics) from 2009-12.