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Guest Post: Critiquing Islam or Islamophobia?

This is a guest post by Liam Deacon, a philosophy undergrad from Sheffield, England. It’s about a subject I’ve written about many times, the importance (and difficulty) of critiquing Islam even while also criticizing Islamophobia. Liam blogs here and there’s much more to read there.

Critiquing Islam or Islamophobia?

by Liam Deacon

For nine years in a row a controversial resolution on, “Combating Defamation of Religions,” described by some as an, “international blasphemy law,” has been consistently losing support in the United Nations General Assembly. Until 2010, the only religion mentioned in the legislation was Islam, when the authors of the legislation, the Organisation of the Islamic Conference, invented the terms; “Judeophobia and Christianophobia,” too quell criticism. Domestically too, the term Islamophobia has come under intense scrutiny, just this week. Opinion is sharply divided.

The discourse here in the UK often mirrors the international debate. In one camp, the appropriateness of the terms very existence is questioned; critics lambast the fact that in reality there is no equivalent terminology in existence to describe those who critique other ideologies and religions (other than Anti-Semitism, of course). They say it is telling of the particular defensiveness and privilege that Islam demonstrates and is often afforded. Others, however, maintain that the phenomena is one of the most concerning and potentially dangerous of our age. They contend that the recent increase in Islamophobia is akin to the rise of Anti-Semitism in the last century and portray Islamophobia as a current of hate, engulfing Europe and risking unrest, conflict even.

There is truth on both ends of this dialectic. Islamophobia clearly exists. It is a genuine phenomenon. A ‘phobia’ is an irrational fear or hatred of something – one need only browse the Internet momentarily before confronting a plethora of overtly irrational, hateful and inflammatory views directed towards Muslims. On the other hand, the term is very commonly misappropriated to deflect genuine and much needed criticism of Islam. And it is grossly misappropriated when used to scare and accuse those interested in discussing theology, ethics and progress of racism and bigotry.

Academics, agencies and organisations around the world recognise Islamophobia today is the Antisemitism of the 30s. #BoycottFHM

— Mohammed Ansar (@MoAnsar) September 8, 2012

@petermbenglish @DrEvanHarris You allow antisemitism and Islamophobia so long as its an “argument”, as the ‘other’ is being oversensitive.

— Mohammed Ansar (@MoAnsar) September 11, 2012

The comparison between Islamophobia and Anti-Semitism can be useful. Both are genuine and both are often misappropriated. (Israel frequently claims Anti-Semitism is at work when policies of the apartheid state are subject to criticism.) Mohammad Ansar explains here the increasingly worrying similarity between Islamophobia today and Anti-Semitism of the previous century,

http://www.abc.net.au/religion/articles/2013/01/29/3678693.htm

However, misappropriation of the term is so common, and confusion so easy, because alongside the rising tide of irrational Islamophobia described by Ansar, there is an increasing need for a rational critique Islam (a process Ansar is deeply involved in himself).

Religions are not static or homogeneous. They change / evolve over time and at any one time there is often a plurality of voices within any religion advocating differing interpretations. Rigorous and continuous criticism is an important catalyst for this ongoing process. Denying the need for such a critique, and assuming Islam is static and unchanging, is as crude and misleading as islamophobia itself.

Religion is a historical process of change and modernization. Many early religions described man’s relationship with nature. There were Gods of sun, thunder and earth. Later, religions are often seen to embody man’s relationship with the state. The god of Athena, say, represented to the Greeks their relationship with the polis. Later, the great monotheistic religions of Islam and Christianity began to function as the Polis itself. Church and state became one; it was the fear of God, rather that the Police, that kept citizens in line and it was parish / sharia courts who made judicial rulings.

After coming to dominate politics in Europe, Christianity did not give up its political power lightly. From Galileo to Copernicus, for centuries, owners of any voice of decent were persecuted. It was a long and bloody battle before Christianity began to communicate with post enlightenment thought. Christianity was battered and berated into submission by a reformation, enlightenment and a well-established tradition of biblical criticism. The result was the subdued and less political Christianity we know today (maybe not so in America). The simple fact is that Islam is not as far through this stage of its historical development, through which it will be brought to communicate with post enlightenment thought and secular politics, as Christianity, which began it in the 17th century.

Comparatively, very little is know about the true origins of the Koran. Historians such as Patria Crone and Tom Holland have only recently begun this mammoth task. Historical and Archeological examinations of the Bible helped Christians a great deal in reconciling their views with the realities of the modern world. Hopefully the same can be true for Islam.

As I’ve said, Islam is far from monolithic; Muslim feminists and gay rights activists are a historical fact. But today, particularly since the Islamic resurgence, Islam is dominated by conservative, and primarily male, voices. Such voices have been politicizing the religion and pushing an oppressive, conservative social agenda. This has resulted in the social regression we see in Iran and more recently, Turkey and Egypt. Critiquing the authoritarian, misogynistic and homophobic values of these interpretations of Islam is of pivotal importance for the survival and wellbeing of millions of people worldwide.

Another issue at hand is the confluence of Islamic culture with Islamic faith. If such a critique is to be as successful as it has been for Christianity then it is likely that many Muslims, especially those living in the west, will come to reject the dogmatism of religion and embrace Agnosticism and Atheism. It is critical that Apostates of Islam can hold on to their cultural identity despite losing their faith. It’s been decades since people, un-ironically, discussed ‘Christendom’ or ‘Christian culture’ instead of ‘western culture,’ and it’s time Islamic culture was more commonly afforded such respect, as something quite distinct from mere faith.

As conservative Muslim populations living inside western liberal democracies become more vocal and politicized, it must be remembered that a central condition of freedom of religion is the freedom of others to criticize your religion. New Atheism and ‘Dawkinism’ are consistently more abrasive and less patient with conservative religious views. If every time the two groups come into conflict commentators call it Islamophobia, the true meaning and importance of the word will very soon be lost.

I must stress, none of what is said above is written to suggest that the majority of Muslims today are not already moderate and do not accept post-enlightenment thought. Rather, if we are to begin to see the end of political Islam and the small but significant strains of radical Islam that western media is so obsessed with, then a vigorous and open discussion must be had about Islam. At a time when genuinely Islamophobic views are on the rise, keeping such a rational discussion distinct from genuinely Islamophobic, irrational prejudice will be increasingly difficult.

Footnote

1) I tweeted the article to Tom Holland (one of the historians mentioned above), and very kindly he replied,

@liamdeacon Very stimulating! This explains why I disagree that Islam will follow Christianity’s course of evolution: http://t.co/AAL8MHU67c

— Tom Holland (@holland_tom) December 26, 2013

The essay he sent brings out a far more nuanced distinction between Christianity and Islam than i am able to describe in this article. As he explains in the essay, with a full examination of scripture and historical context, the holism and authoritarianism present in Islamic scripture is likely to distinguish Islam’s own idiosyncratic evolution from Christianity’s journey. It’s well worth a read.

2) Many of the Reddit comments have pointed out that i omit to define either, or draw a clear line between, Islamophobia and legitimate criticism. I merely describe one as rational and the other irrational or prejudice. Unfortunately this was simply not within the scope of the article. Kenan Malik draws such a distinction, quite excellently, here,

http://kenanmalik.wordpress.com/2013/11/14/when-does-criticism-of-islam-become-islamophobia/

References

http://www.alarabiya.net/articles/2010/03/25/104041.html

http://www.abc.net.au/religion/articles/2013/01/29/3678693.htm

http://cnsnews.com/news/article/un-passes-religious-defamation-resolution-sponsored-islamic-nations-support-dwindles

The idea concerning the evolution of religion and a dialectic of truth is obviously very Hegelian. Taken from Bob Stern’s guide The Phenomenology of Spirit.

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Comments

  1. colnago80 says

    Israel frequently claims Anti-Semitism is at work when policies of the apartheid state are subject to criticism.

    This fucken asshole discredits himself with this canard. I don’t have to read any further in his comment to know that he is an apologist for radical Islam and should be treated as such. This is the type of crap that one reads in articles by Mano Singham’s hero Max Blumenthal. And yes, one who erroneously refers to Israel as an apartheid state is an antisemite.

  2. says

    I don’t have to read any further in his comment to know that he is an apologist for radical Islam and should be treated as such.

    It’s funny that you would say that “colnago” given that you employed that exact tactic against me and others in discussions over in Mano Singham’s blog. Several of us have had the temerity to disagree with Israel’s policies (occupation and ethnic cleansing) and your response has been to imply we agreed with the nazis. I don’t recall your exact words but it was something to the effect that we were supporting the “final solution” — a disgusting and opprobrious claim that came from the lowest gutter I’ve ever been dragged into.

  3. colnago80 says

    Re the Pennsylvania pinhead @ #3

    I really like the accusation of ethnic cleansing leveled at the Government of Israel. Considering that there are in excess of 1 million Arabs currently living in Israel, the incompetence of that Government at ethnic cleansing is readily apparent. Various Arab states, including Iraq, did a much better job of cleansing their nations of their Jewish population. And the former Czechoslovakia did a much better job cleansing that nation of its ethnic German population.

  4. says

    I just finished reading Holland and I’m not tremendously impressed by it. It could have been condensed to a shorter book that read something like:

    The texts around which Islam is built suffer the same problems as the texts around which Mormonism, Buddhism, and Christianity are built: they were repeatedly edited and added-to, their origins are obscure, they represent an oral tradition of embellishment being put on paper hundreds of years after the original material was produced, and they suffer from massive copying and translation drift – to the point where an honest textual critic would say there is little of the divine in them, and more of the dustbin collage.

    Except Holland would write it better.

  5. Wylann says

    [I]colnago80[/I]
    I don’t have to read any further in his comment to know that he is an apologist for apartheid Israel and should be treated as such.

    That makes about as much sense. I think you might have dislocated your knee from jerking it so hard.

  6. doublereed says

    @1 colnago

    The apartheid status is still in question, really. The question of whether arabs and palestinians are second-class citizens is a major issue in Israel currently.

    This article is a good starting place:

    Netanyahu’s demand [for Israel to be recognized as a “Jewish State”] has at least three layers to it. The first is symbolic, without practical significance—understandable, but superfluous. The second is partly symbolic, but is meant to have future practical significance; it is contentious but resolvable. The third, however, is legal: it has great practical significance, and is, for any Palestinian or, for that matter, Israeli democrat, deplorable.

  7. says

    colnago:
    really like the accusation of ethnic cleansing leveled at the Government of Israel.

    As usual, when confronted on one topic where you’re undeniably in the wrong, you shift the discussion to another topic (where you’re also wrong but prefer not to admit it)

    Indeed, by confronting my comment elsewhere that Israel is engaged in ethnic cleansing, I’m going to observe that you are grappling with actual political claims I’ve made, which is hardly “anti semitism” on my part: I disagree with policies and actions of Israel and am not disagreeing with Jews in general.(*)

    Do you remember which thread you accused me of anti semitism in? I’d like to post a link but you make so many foamy rantings that a google search comes back with a huge mountain of swill I’d rather not gargle through.

    With regards your comment about “ethnic cleansing” – again you engage in weird comparative morality. Yes, there are a lot of arabs living in Israel. So what? How many have been displaced? Millions, right? What you’re saying is not that ethnic cleansing has not taken place, but rather that Israel hasn’t finished the job, yet. That’s true and that’s what is important to prevent. The state of Israel was founded when European colonists settled land that was inhabited, and displaced the inhabitants. The rationale behind that displacement was ethnic/religious – as you admit yourself when you talk about “Arabs” living in Israel. What the fuck is an “Arab” and how can you tell it from an Israeli citizen? I’ll give you a hint: it’s based on fantasies of ethnicity. What is going on in Gaza is more ethnic cleansing. What is going on by disenfranchising (technically; never giving the franchise to at all) non-Jewish Israelis is … more ethnic cleansing. The fact that a million or whatever number of Arabs have attempted to continue to live in their former lands under Israeli rule does not change anything, any more than saying that the European conquest of North America wasn’t “ethnic cleansing” either because look at the nice reservations that the tiny handful of remaining Native Americans have been given! And now they have cars and televisions!

    (* I doubt we’d even agree what a “Jew” is. I haven’t spared that topic any thought, though, because it doesn’t mean any more to me than what a person’s skin color is, etc. I prefer not to think that way at all.)

  8. eric says

    And yes, one who erroneously refers to Israel as an apartheid state is an antisemite.

    Oh come on, its not an error, its a metaphor. And a pretty damn obvious one at that. South Africa did not consider blacks born on national soil to be full citizens, and Israel does not consider anyone born on their soil to be citizens unless they have citizen parents…which is linked to religion. Its not the apartheid system, but the word “apartheid” is used for lots of forms and types of segregation.

  9. Michael Heath says

    Liam Deacon,

    colnago80 equates nearly all cogent criticism of Israeli policy with anti-semitism and/or aka by him as, “throwing Israel under the bus”. I suggest ignoring him; no here takes his comment posts on Israel (or Iran) seriously. He’s as credible on Israeli policy as John Hagee, John Bolton, or Sarah Palin; especially the latter in terms of unthinking knee-jerk blind reactionism.

  10. says

    @Michael Heath #10 – you mean he’s a discredited apologist for radical Israel, like he was complaining in #1 that Deacon is an apologist for radical islam? :) I always have a chuckle when someone accuses themself in the same breath that they complain about someone else.

    With all the mud flying about, it sure is hard to tell who’s who..

  11. colnago80 says

    Re the Pennsylvania pedant @ #8

    The state of Israel was founded when European colonists settled land that was inhabited, and displaced the inhabitants.

    Let’s reword that: the United States of America was founded when European colonists settled land that was inhabited by Native Americans and displaced them. The same is true of Canada.

    With regards your comment about “ethnic cleansing” – again you engage in weird comparative morality. Yes, there are a lot of Arabs living in Israel. So what? How many have been displaced?

    The Pennsylvania pedant is seriously misinformed. In 1948 when the State of Israel declared its independence, a total of some 800,000 Arabs were displaced. How many were driven out by the precursor to the IDF and how many left because of orders from the surrounding Arab states, namely Egypt, Jordan, Syria, and Lebanon whose armed forces attempted to invade the nascent state for the purpose of finishing Eichmann’s work, is a matter of dispute. However, approximately an equal number of Jews from the various Arab countries were also expelled, some of whom went to Israel and some of whom went to various European countries, the USA, Canada, and Argentina. I find is amazing how folks like Ranum and Gotts like to ignore this.

  12. says

    My my, it doesn’t take much to send our Likudnik chickenhawk regular on a hyperdefensive threadjack, does it?

    And yes, one who erroneously refers to Israel as an apartheid state is an antisemite.

    Well, it’s a good thing we’re not doing this erroneously then, isn’t it? Yes, the creation of occupied-but-not-officially-fully-annexed territories, with border controls continuously hindering the flow of people and goods across internal borders, is part of the basic definition of the word “apartheid.”

    And no, criticizing the Jewish state’s apartheid is not anti-Jewish, any more than Martin Luther King or Nelson Mandela were anti-white.

  13. says

    Colnago:
    Let’s reword that: the United States of America was founded when European colonists settled land that was inhabited by Native Americans and displaced them. The same is true of Canada

    Again, you appear to be confused by the simple moral precept that just because someone does something worse, that it doesn’t excuse something bad that another person did. Yes, the USA was founded on ethnic cleansing. If you’d read for comprehension my comment at #8 I specifically raise that point. It was wrong when the European settlers ethnically cleansed North America, it was wrong with the nazis ethnically cleansed Germany, and it’s wrong when the Israelis ethnically cleansed the territory that they now occupy. All wrong. The observation that one wrong is greater than the other simply argues that all the wrongs should be stopped if possible. For the same reason right-thinking people opposed nazis ethnically cleansing Germany, right-thinking people oppose ethnic cleansing in Israeli-occupied Palestine and North America and Bosnia and Canada and … the list goes on.

    In 1948 when the State of Israel declared its independence, a total of some 800,000 Arabs were displaced

    How are you getting 800,000 wrongs make a “right”??

    The main point here is your dismissal of the OP as an apologist for radical islam, while you’ve shown yourself to be an incoherently rabid apologist for Israel. With that, you are dismissed.

  14. colnago80 says

    Re Michael Heath @ #10

    I am afraid that MH is seriously in error. I equate false charges of ethnic cleansing apartheid, and aggression on the part of the Government of Israel as antisemitism from the likes of Noam Chomsky and Max Blumenthal. However, there is certainly legitimate criticism of that government, particularly Benjamin Netanyahu who is another candidate for a Goebbels award. As former French President Sarkozy was heard to say in a conversation with President Obama, “I can’t stand him (Netanyahu), he’s such a liar”. Or of former Prime Minister was reputed to have once addressed Netanyahu to his face, “you were born a liar”.

  15. colnago80 says

    Re the Pennsylvania posturer @ #14

    Hey, pal, you incorrectly said millions. I was just correcting you.

    To return to the issue of Islamiphobia, a distinction should be made between nutcases like Pam Geller and Robert Spencer on the one hand and critics like Jerry Coyne and Sam Harris on the other hand. Coyne and Harris are pretty restrained about Islam compared to the ex-Muslims like Taslima and Maryam who blog on this network.

  16. says

    I equate false charges of ethnic cleansing apartheid…

    Then you’re misusing the word, and you should just shut the fuck up and let the grownups do the talking.

  17. colnago80 says

    Re the Fairfax fantasizer @ #17

    Then you’re misusing the word, and you should just shut the fuck up

    No.

  18. laurentweppe says

    Let’s reword that: the United States of America was founded when European colonists settled land that was inhabited by Native Americans and displaced them. The same is true of Canada

    SLC’s worldview in a nutshell:

    Your forebearers were rapists and plunderers, therefore I’m entitled to cheer for contemporary rapists and plunderers, but if you dare spell out the fact that the rapists and plunderers I’m cheering for are indeed rapists and plunderers, you’re a fucking antisemite whose kith and kin deserve nothing less than genocide by nukes.

    I wonder how much time will pass until he pulls a Breivik.

  19. matty1 says

    Woohoo that’s my university, of course it’s been so long I doubt I’d even recognise much now but I do feel just a little bit of irrational pride. The post is pretty good and I like the careful citing of sources for so many points rather than just expressing his opinion as is standard for blogging*.

    On the substance I’d be inclined to agree that it is over simplistic to think there is a path to accepting the modern world and Christianity has moved further along it than Islam but that doesn’t mean Islam can’t or won’t adapt only that it would be a mistake to expect the process to go the same way.

    As for SLC until they renounces support for the nuclear genocide of Iran nothing they say related to the middle east or prejudice is worth paying attention to.

    *Not that opinion blogs are wrong or I wouldn’t keep reading them but the alternative style, closer to academic literature is refreshing

  20. says

    Getting back on topic…

    …keeping such a rational discussion distinct from genuinely Islamophobic, irrational prejudice will be increasingly difficult.

    That’s not a bug, it’s a feature that the Christian Reich bigots want. Their biggest enemies at this time are liberals (including skeptics and atheists), and Muslims and other nonwhite/non-Christian minorities. If liberals are able to work with significant numbers of Muslims, and get more Muslims to support liberal values, that would be a serious threat to the bigots’ power; so the bigots have to keep liberals and Muslims divided any way they can. So whenever a liberal says anything critical of Islam, the bigots swarm in to flood the debate with anti-Muslim hatred; and as a result, a) sensible criticism of Islam becomes indistinguishable from bigotry, especially in the Muslims’ eyes; b) Muslim bigotry and extremism are exacerbated by the Christian bigotry; c) no Muslim can agree with liberal critics without appearing to cave to bigotry against his own kind; d) cultural barriers, identity politics and clash-of-civilizations rhetoric become entrenched in public dialogue; therefore e) liberals and Muslims will find it almost impossible to achieve any unity against their common enemies.

  21. Pierce R. Butler says

    From Galileo to Copernicus, for centuries, owners of any voice of decent were persecuted.

    The antepenultimate word wins the prize for best typo of the day.

    That opening clause, however, implies that The Church™ moves backward in time, as the first-named gentleman died 99 years after the second-named gentleman did so. While a case could probably be made for this, it seems more the case that The Church™ wants to move us all backwards, in time and otherwise.

  22. Infophile says

    @1: Except that absolutely nothing in the post is an apologetic for radical Islam. It criticizes the Islamic takeover of politics in multiple countries, and doesn’t defend it in any way.

    Since you posed your statement as an “If A, then B” (If X says something crappy about Israel, X defends radical Islam as well), then the contrapositive “If not B, then not A” is just as true. So either nothing crappy was said about Israel, or your logic is faulty. Take your pick.

  23. says

    To put things in a direction other than the antics of a person that seems to love avoiding the real points of another, I’ll just offer this.

    You allow antisemitism and Islamophobia so long as its an “argument”, as the ‘other’ is being oversensitive.

    Whenever I see a statement like this my first demand is the contents of the quotes. Anything other than a link gets an accusation of cowardice or laziness.

  24. Liam Deacon says

    It’s a shame so much of the debate has been concerned with my use of the term apartheid. Indeed, it was quite clearly a metaphor, not a direct comparison or technical classification.

    Here’s an interesting, distinctly Marist, response a friend sent me today. It might help stimulate a more varied debate,

    “Whilst their may (arguably) be an increasing need for the criticism of islam, its a case in point that as you note yourself that religion is embedded in material and historical conditions. its can be misleading to denigrate islam per se when islam doesn’t exist in the abstract, The islam of hegemonic saudi arabia is a very different beast from the islam lower class jihadist nationalist of Iraq as it is the islam of british . Attacking religion in of itself, can often be at the expense of critically considering how it is interwoven with conceptions of ethnic and national identity and the historical issues related to how religion is being drawn upon in a particular way, it is not just religions that are the issue but relations between different groups of identification.”

  25. matty1 says

    This is a very good point, it is easy to forget when discussing the influence of Islam that no one is just muslim, as no one is just atheist/gay/liberal etc.. people identities have multiple aspects and it is how those aspects interact that defines them. A more targeted criticism may also be more effective, what will persuade a man in Bradford not to punish his daughter for going out without her head covered will be very different to what will persuade a farmer in Afghanistan not to join the Taliban.

  26. colnago80 says

    Re Liam Deacon @ #29

    It’s a shame so much of the debate has been concerned with my use of the term apartheid. Indeed, it was quite clearly a metaphor, not a direct comparison or technical classification.

    You have only yourself to blame. You used the term and incorrectly applied it to the State of Israel. This is a term that the Israel bashers like Marcus Ranum and your fellow Limey Nick Gotts like to throw around. This is part of a campaign to delegitimize the State of Israel and will not go unchallenged.

  27. says

    part of a campaign to delegitimize the State of Israel and will not go unchallenged

    Israel’s illegal actions are what are delegitimizing Israel, not anything anyone is saying here. And if you’re going to “challenge” people’s comments you’re going to need to do a little better than demonizing them as “Israel bashers” or saying “Yeah, but Assad sucks worse” or other ridiculous derails.

  28. says

    Hey, pal, you incorrectly said millions. I was just correcting you.

    Don’t call me “pal” we’re hardly friends and you know it.

    You’re being disingenuous when it comes to arabs displaced during the colonization of Israel. There was the first wave which was – what – 600.000 – 800,000. Then there were another 500,000 or so during the arab/Israeli war. I notice that you chose to only count the first wave of displacements, by some coincidence. Then there have been hundreds of thousands during the Israeli expansion of its settlements and its pressure on Gaza. “Millions”? Well, the current population of the refugee camps is about … millions. “Millions” – 1.2 in the Gaza camps, .5 million in Lebanon and .5 million in Syria and maybe 2 million in Jordan. Sure there are a few less after the killings at Sabra and Shatila but any way you slice it – millions.

    Unlike you, I get upset when anyone is disenfranchised because of their ethnicity.
    Unlike you, I get upset when anyone is displaced to a concentration camp.
    Unlike you, I get upset when anyone is put against a wall and shot.
    Unlike you, I get upset when anyone is rendered in an oven.

    You seem to be OK with all of the above as long as its someone other than your tribe. And you resort to deflection, cherry-picking, and goal-post moving to attempt to defend your horrendous racism.
    Unlike you, I get upset when anyone is shot.

  29. laurentweppe says

    It’s a shame so much of the debate has been concerned with my use of the term apartheid

    There was no debate: there was an authoritarian troll indulging into one of his usual displays of public martyrbation while everyone else was facepalming.

  30. says

    PS – in reviewing my comments I notice I have some trouble with capitalization. I admit, I have trouble capitalizing the names of gods, states, and ethnicities, since I do not think they are proper nouns; they belong to the realm of fairy tables more than anything else though I will capitalize them when specific (i.e.: Smaug or my world of warcraft character)

  31. Ichthyic says

    SLC’s worldview in a nutshell:

    Your forebearers were rapists and plunderers, therefore I’m entitled to cheer for contemporary rapists and plunderers, but if you dare spell out the fact that the rapists and plunderers I’m cheering for are indeed rapists and plunderers, you’re a fucking antisemite whose kith and kin deserve nothing less than genocide by nukes.

    spot on and humorous at the same time.

    well done.

  32. colnago80 says

    Re Marcus Ranum @ #33

    Hey boyo, yes indeed, via natural growth, the number of Palestinians living in refugee camps has increased. So has the number of Jews expelled from Arab countries. The number of Jews who were expelled from Arab countries and their descendants now living in Israel number some 3 million via natural growth. But of course, the Pennsylvania poopdeck considers them unpersons so they don’t count.

    Re Marcus Ranum @ #32

    Of course, the Pennsylvania poopyhead doesn’t consider the homicide bombings of pizza parlors and the firing of Qassems from the Gaza Strip into Israel as illegal actions.

  33. colnago80 says

    Re Ichthyic @ #37

    Comparing the treatment of Palestinians by Israel with the treatment of Native Americans by the colonists from Europe is like comparing the guy who steals some silverware from a restaurant with a guy who sticks up a bank and machine guns the tellers.

  34. Thumper: Token Breeder says

    Ah, first comment, and what a shock! It’s colnago jumping in all guns blazing in defence of his favourtie apartheid state, and right off the bat admitting he didn’t even read the article he’s criticising. Great.

    Moving on; I for one found the article insightful and intresting, not to mention important. That said, the criticisms regarding the lack of a clear line between criticism and Islamophobia have some merit. I think everyone can agree (everyone here, at least) that criticism of the darker aspects of Islam is necessary and distinct from Islamophobia, and that the latter is undesireable, but until we can define the distinction then anyone criticising Islam is open to accusations of Islamophobia regardless of how rational or irrational such accusations may be in reality.

  35. Thumper: Token Breeder says

    @colnago

    And yes, one who erroneously refers to Israel as an apartheid state is an antisemite.

    Once again, you manage to conflate Jewish, the ethnicity; Judaism, the religion; and Israel, the state. They are not the same thing, and criticisng the political policies of Israel is not the same as criticisng the religion or the ethnicity. And you are, frankly, an idiot for thinking so. Among a varitey of other reasons.

  36. colnago80 says

    Re Thumper @ #41

    And once again, the false accusation of apartheid is made by an Israel basher, joining those cretins who Prof. Singham regularly cites. Of course, the Arab states are not apartheid states relative to Jews. That’s because they expelled almost their entire Jewish populations so these communities which existed long before Arab communities in Palestine, don’t exist any more. The evidence shows unequivocally that the Arabs were far more competent ethnic cleansers then the Israels were. But all that doesn’t matter to the Ranums, the Thumpers, the Bees, the Gotts, the Deacons, and the Singhams of the world. For them, like Sir Lancelot on the subject of global warming, ideology trumps evidence.

  37. colnago80 says

    Re Thumper @ #42

    Once again, you manage to conflate Jewish, the ethnicity; Judaism, the religion; and Israel, the state. They are not the same thing, and criticisng the political policies of Israel is not the same as criticisng the religion or the ethnicity. And you are, frankly, an idiot for thinking so. Among a varitey of other reasons.

    Unfortunately, all too often criticism of Israel is a cover for antisemitism, much like birtherism is a cover for racism. It’s not nice to use the K word or the N word any more so lying about President Obama’s legitimacy or apartheid in Israel is a surrogate for hating Afro-Americans and Jews.

    In this regard, we might consider the words of Martin Luther King. Here’s the money quote: Anti-Semitism, the hatred of the Jewish people, has been and remains a blot on the soul of mankind. In this we are in full agree-ment. So know also this: anti-Zionist is inherently anti-Semitic, and ever will be so.

    http://goo.gl/rkhf4T

  38. Thumper: Token Breeder says

    @colnago80

    Firstly, I feel the need to point out the irony of you using the phrase “limey” to describe British people, in your post at #31, while accusing others of racism, specifically anti-Semitism. In your #44 you mention such harmful words as “kike” and “nigger”, but feel free to use phrases like “limey” and , further up the thread, “frog”; presumably to referr to a French person, though I do not know laurenteweppe’s nationality. While the latter two are undeniably less harmful than the former two due to the lack of historical baggage which the former two are loaded with, they are never the less offensive. Please refrain from using them.

    On to your #44; yes, I agree that criticism of Israel is often used as a front for anti-Semitism, but that in no way means that all criticism of Israel is anti-Semitic. In exactly the same way, as is pointed out in the OP, criticism of Islam is often used as a front for Islamophobia, but this in no way means that all criticism of Islam is Islamophobic. Presuming you agree with the latter, it would be inconsistent to disagree with the former.

    It’s not nice to use the K word or the N word any more so lying about President Obama’s legitimacy or apartheid in Israel is a surrogate for hating Afro-Americans and Jews.

    On the face of it this appears to be an entirely illogical non sequitur. Can you elaborate?

    As for your quote, Martin Luther King Jr. was undoubtedly a great man who did great things, but that doesn’t mean I agree with everything he said. As far as this quote goes, I feel that would depend entirely on what definition of Zionism you are using.

  39. Thumper: Token Breeder says

    I missed your #43; apologies. However, it really can be answered in one sentence, albeit a tired and cliched sentence.

    Two wrongs don’t make a right.

    The fact you have trouble understanding that is frankly shocking. I don’t care what someone’s anscestors did to someone else’s anscestors. They are dead and gone. What matters is the real people who are suffering right fucking now. The fact that Jewish people were kicked out of Israel by Arabic people however many years ago does not somehow excuse those Jewish people’s descendants re-settling the area and then proceeding to make life miserable for the descendants of the Arabic people.

  40. matty1 says

    Sigh – I know there is no point in explaining this to someone who has “bomb bomb Iran” as a ringtone but the following are all logically separate though any of them they may of course occur together.

    -opposition to a specific action of the state of Israel
    -opposition to overall Israeli policy towards the West Bank and Gaza
    -opposition to the existence of the state of Israel
    -opposition to the religion of Judaism
    -opposition to people who identify as Jewish

  41. Dunc says

    Comparing the treatment of Palestinians by Israel with the treatment of Native Americans by the colonists from Europe is like comparing the guy who steals some silverware from a restaurant with a guy who sticks up a bank and machine guns the tellers.

    Yes folks, you heard it right… That’s the man for whom practically everything is WWII, and anybody who disagrees with him is either Chamberlain or Hitler (sorry, “Frankenburger”), complaining about somebody using a overwrought metaphor.

    Please stop abusing irony’s poor, mutilated corpse like that. At least in public.

    Although I do notice that it does actually contain an oblique admission of at least some wrong-doing on the part of Israel, which I think is a first…

  42. says

    Of course, the Pennsylvania poopyhead doesn’t consider the homicide bombings of pizza parlors and the firing of Qassems from the Gaza Strip into Israel as illegal actions.

    Liar. I do not believe that at all, your “of course” implies you’re making a statement of fact, but you’re flat-out lying.

    Of course those are illegal actions.

    And it’s also illegal to launch airstrikes against the neighbors of the perpetrators in retaliation.

    What’s more tricky is the question of what’s appropriate in terms of an occupied population attacking the uniformed military of an occupying power. Resistance may be justified, in the same sense that the French resisted the Germans, the Vietcong resisted the French and Americans, the Afghanis are resisting the Americans, and the Iraqis resisted the Americans. For that matter, the Jews in Palestine resisted the Romans and the Native Americans resisted the European colonists. Those are vastly more tricky questions and I haven’t got clear answers for how I feel about them in specific though I’ll observe that it’s easier to get in front of occupation and genocide by trying to head it off at the pass, than to fix it after it’s too late. You may chose to interpret that statement as a blanket observation that I think Israel should never have happened and you’d be substantially correct.

  43. colnago80 says

    Re thumper @ #46

    Just as a mater of fairness, it was the Romans who expelled the Jews from Palestine 2000 years ago, not the Arabs. Subsequent to 1948, it was various Arab nations who expelled the Jews from their midst and stole their property. Somehow though, this fact never seems to enter the minds of the Israel bashers like you.

  44. says

    The evidence shows unequivocally that the Arabs were far more competent ethnic cleansers then the Israels were

    Glad to see you admit the Israelis are ethnic cleansers. Are we done now?

  45. says

    it was the Romans who expelled the Jews from Palestine 2000 years ago, not the Arabs

    I thought the disapora started with the Babylonians. Then Egyptians. Then it was the Romans. Aaaaaaaand sometime after WWII then it all became the Palestinians’ fault – presumably for not standing up to the Germans as effectively as they could have?

  46. colnago80 says

    Re thumper @ #45

    Laurentweppe is a Frenchman, sorry frog. The appellation limey refers to the use of limes to prevent scurvy on British ships in the 18th Century (Captain Cook comes to mind). The appellation frog refers to the French delicacy frog legs.

    Of course, all criticism of Israel isn’t antisemitism. However, the criticism should be directed at the actions of the Government of Israel, which, like the Governments of the USA, Canada, Great Britain, Russia, China, etc. often does bad things. However, all too many criticisms are, in reality, directed at the legitimacy of the State of Israel. No same person questions the legitimacy of, say, the USA, despite the fact that the land was stolen from Native Americans. Critics of Israel sometimes behave as though the Statute of Limitations ran out for Native Americans but somehow hasn’t run out on Israel (and, if the Blumenthals of the world have their way, never will).

  47. colnago80 says

    Re Marcus Ranum @ #52

    The Mufti of Jerusalem was a Nazi collaborator who, had the British lost the Battle of El Alamein and been forced to evacuate North Africa, would have participated in the mas murder of the Jews in Palestine with his Nazi pals. But of course, the Mufti is probably one of Ranum’s heroes.

  48. Thumper: Token Breeder says

    @colnago80

    I’m glad you’re trying to be fair, but as I understand it the concept of a sudden and comprehensive expulsion of the Jews from Palestine by the Romans is a point of contention among historians.

    Either way, persecution of ethnic Jews by ethnic Arabs can hardly have “slipped my mind” when I brought it up, can it? Don’t be a pratt all your life.

  49. Thumper: Token Breeder says

    @colnago80 #53

    Yes, I’m well aware of the etymology of the two pejoratives, thanks. Nigger comes from the Spanish negro, meaning black, which in turn comes from the latin niger, also meaning black; but knowing that doesn’t make it OK for me to call someone that, does it? So knock it the fuck off.

    And you will note that no one here has “directed [criticisms] at the legitimacy of the State of Israel”. If you think they have, please provide quotes. No, what people here have been doing is criticising the Israeli Government’s political stance towards Gaza, the West Bank, and Israeli Arabsl; most notably their policies of segregation and economic deprivation.

  50. dingojack says

    SLC opined “… Arab communities in Palestine… ”
    But Palestinians aren’t Arabs, they’re a Semitic people.
    Oops your Anti-Semitism is showing.
    Dingo
    ——–
    Total number of Jews ‘displaced’ (1948) from:
    Maghreb:: 475,000 to 548,000
    Arab Countries: 758,350 to 881,350
    Non-Arab Countries: 202,000 to 282,500
    Total: 1,435.350 to 1,711,858

    Total number of Palestinians ‘displaced’ from Israel (Nov 1947 to Jul 1949):
    more than 4,502,000?

    Deliberate displacement (tit-for-tat especially) is to be condemned in the strongest terms. Particularly when the purpose is to eliminate 70-90+% of the population of towns and villages as a form of genocide..

  51. dingojack says

    SLC – BTW James Cook didn’t use limes, he used sauerkraut. At first he restricted it to the Captain’s Mess only, and when the sailors found out they wanted to eat it too. He was blessed with a good grasp of the psychology of sailors.
    Dingo

  52. colnago80 says

    Re the chihuahua @ #57

    Where does the chihuahua get the figure 4.5 million? There weren’t even a fraction of that number of people in Palestine in 1947-1949.

  53. Thumper: Token Breeder says

    Well, kind of. I should expand. Arabs are a pan-ethnic group which is really united by a shared langauage and culture rather than genetics, and the vast majority of peoples who are normally termed “Arabic” today are the descendants of ancient Semitic peoples, a genetically defined ethnic group that originated in the Arabian peninsula and migrated the to Meditteranean Middle East.

  54. Thumper: Token Breeder says

    *to the.

    Why has colnago developed this new habit of attempting to think up cutesy pseudo-insulting nicknames for other posters which are very vaguely, very tangentially, at best, related to said poster’s ‘nym?

  55. dingojack says

    Ruling Palestine, A History of the Legally Sanctioned Jewish-Israeli Seizure of Land and Housing in Palestine. Publishers: COHRE & BADIL, May 2005,

    And from what source do you get your Palestinian population estimate of the area that had ceded to the Israelis?

    Dingo

  56. colnago80 says

    Re dingojack @ #63

    As I understand it, the number of Palestinians who were displaced as a result of the formation of the State of Israel was about 800,000. That number has grown over the years to an estimated 4 million only some of whom are in refugee camp while the number of Jews expelled from Arab countries has grown to some 3 million in Israel. Leave us not forget that more then half of the Palestinians resident in Palestine in 1947 were living on the West Bank and the Gaza strip and were not displaced.

  57. Thumper: Token Breeder says

    The point you are missing, colnago, is that those Palastinian Arabs who have been expelled are not responsible for the crimes of those Arabs who expelled those Jews. So your point is frankly irrelevant.

  58. colnago80 says

    Re dingojack @ #68

    Correct. The British Navy didn’t start using limes or lime juice until somewhat later.

    Re Thumper @ #56

    Yes, I’m well aware of the etymology of the two pejoratives, thanks. Nigger comes from the Spanish negro, meaning black, which in turn comes from the latin niger, also meaning black; but knowing that doesn’t make it OK for me to call someone that, does it? So knock it the fuck off.

    The origin of the two “pejoratives” is that the French refer to the english as limeys, when they’re not complaining about perfidious Albion while the English refer to the French as frogs.

    And you will note that no one here has “directed [criticisms] at the legitimacy of the State of Israel”. If you think they have, please provide quotes. No, what people here have been doing is criticising the Israeli Government’s political stance towards Gaza, the West Bank, and Israeli Arabsl; most notably their policies of segregation and economic deprivation.

    Of course, the political stance vis a vis the West Bank and Gaza has nothing to do with the firing of Qassem across the Gaza fence and the homicide bombings of pizza parlors and buses; not a bit of perish the thought. An attack on a bus occurred about 2 or 3 weeks ago. Apparently, Thumper’s position is that Israel has no right of self defense, which is equivalent to the position that the State of Israel has no legitimacy.

  59. colnago80 says

    Re Thumper @ #65

    The point that Thumper misses is that not all the Palestinians who left what is now Israel were forced out. Some of them left in response to orders from the invading Arab armies and some of them left to get out of the line of fire.

    The point you are missing, colnago, is that those Palastinian Arabs who have been expelled are not responsible for the crimes of those Arabs who expelled those Jews. So your point is frankly irrelevant.

    Unfortunately, the Palestinians were complicit in the invasion of the Arab armies in 1948 and thus have nothing to complain about.

    By the way, it appears that, at least the Israeli Palestinian leaders are not at all anxious to join a West Bank Palestinian State and prefer to remain as part of Israel.

    http://goo.gl/UvH8ez

  60. nrdo says

    The question of the Jews who were expelled from Muslim countries is actually interesting in how it relates to the notion of collective responsibility. As Liam would probably agree, in out humanist value system, individuality is prized and the notion that an individual Muslim be held responsible for a crime committed in their name is unjust. Ergo, a Palestinian who lost a home in Israel would seem to be due the return of property or financial compensation.

    However, there seems to be a “meta-injustice” if Israel is forced to absorb and support millions of Palestinian refugees while the Muslim countries refuse to do the same their political regimes have changed since the 1940s.

    Similarly, to what extent is an individual Muslim morally required to speak out against the Islamist groups around them? Should they do so to the extent that they risk their lives?

  61. Thumper: Token Breeder says

    Unfortunately, the Palestinians were complicit in the invasion of the Arab armies in 1948 and thus have nothing to complain about.

    Still not getting it. What, every Palastinian living today in Gaza or the West Bank has personally been involved in some way with the invading Arab armies in 1948, were they? Stop thinking in terms of cohesive ethnically defined groups and shared responsibility, and start considering individuals. There are plenty of perfectly innocent individuals living in utter misery in the occupied zones through no fault of their own. Do you support that?

    The origin of the two “pejoratives” is that the French refer to the english as limeys, when they’re not complaining about perfidious Albion while the English refer to the French as frogs.

    Again, you are still not getting it. I do not give a flying fuck about the historical and etymological origins of the fucking words. I, as a Britisher, have politely asked you to stop using them, so will you kindly fucking do so?

    And you will note that no one here has “directed [criticisms] at the legitimacy of the State of Israel”. If you think they have, please provide quotes. No, what people here have been doing is criticising the Israeli Government’s political stance towards Gaza, the West Bank, and Israeli Arabsl; most notably their policies of segregation and economic deprivation.

    Of course, the political stance vis a vis the West Bank and Gaza has nothing to do with the firing of Qassem across the Gaza fence and the homicide bombings of pizza parlors and buses; not a bit of perish the thought. An attack on a bus occurred about 2 or 3 weeks ago. Apparently, Thumper’s position is that Israel has no right of self defense, which is equivalent to the position that the State of Israel has no legitimacy.

    Fuck me, where did the goalposts go!? Oh look, colnago put them over there. Show me a quote where anyone in this thread has questioned or criticised “the legitimacy of the state of Israel” (your words, as stated in comment #53). As I said in #56, I have not seen anyone do so. You are implying that they have, so it is up to you to demonstrate that they did. Russel’s teapot and all that. And while you’re at it you can provide a quote in which I say Israel have no right to defend themselves from terrorist attacks. If you’re feeling particularly generous, perhaps you could demonstrate how the implication of a quasi-apartheid state (quasi, see; I was nice) helps defend against such terrorist attacks.

  62. colnago80 says

    ReThumper @ #70

    I would point out to Thumper that much of the responsibility for the inter-ethnic problems in the world is the responsibility of the English. The English set Muslims against Hindus in the Indian subcontinent, the Jews against the Muslims in the Middle East, the Catholics against the Protestants in Ireland, and the English speakers against the French speakers in Canada. This is known as the divide and conquer strategy and it was quite successful for a long time. So as far as I am concerned, the inhabitants of the British Isles can go bock bagels.

    And here’s a nice video for Thumper.

    http://goo.gl/bWH5s2

  63. Thumper: Token Breeder says

    And for your edification, colnago, I have never heard of a French person using the derogatory term “Limey”; it’s primarily US, Australian and New Zealand slang, though is apparently also common in South Africa. The French tend to call us rosbifs, as in roast beef, after the national stereotype that we have a sunday roast every day of the week.

  64. Thumper: Token Breeder says

    I make no excuses for my anscestor’s deplorable behaviour during the imperial years, but to lay that whole slew of pre-existing ethnic and religious tensions at our feet is ridiculously disingenuous at best and egregiously ignorant at worst. Now are you actually going to provide the evidence for your stated opinions or shall we just come to the conclusion you were lying about the first two and have no logical basis for supporting the third, and just move on?

  65. colnago80 says

    Re Thumper @ #

    Hey Thumper, watch the nice video. I really enjoy watching the Hood blow up.

  66. says

    You have only yourself to blame…

    You’re blaming the AUTHOR of this post for YOUR stupid bigoted one-track threadjack? FUCK YOU, colnago, you’re nothing but a useless obsessed troll. You don’t get to blame others for your lack of self-control, and you don’t get to say what others are allowed to talk about on a blog you don’t own.

  67. EnlightenmentLiberal says

    Back to the original point of the thread.

    @Liam Deacon

    Many early religions described man’s relationship with nature. There were Gods of sun, thunder and earth.

    Complete bullshit. The correct phrasing is: “Many early religions were man’s abysmal failures to explain and understand nature. There were gods of sun, thunder and earth.”

    Christianity was battered and berated into submission by a reformation, enlightenment and a well-established tradition of biblical criticism.

    With the IMHO intended nuance – bullshit. The Reformation did help bring Christianity into the Enlightenment, but not because of any ideals of the founders of the Reformation itself. Martin Luther was a despicable little man. Read some of his work where he says that doctors are fools for trying to find material causes to diseases when it’s obviously demons. The Reformation weakened Christianity’s overall political power, which allowed the Enlightenment to space to grow without being crushed with extreme prejudice. That’s the extent to which the Reformation aided bringing Christianity out of the moral and intellectual abyss it was in. It is bullshit to say that the Reformation’s value are any closer to Enlightenment values than “traditional” Christianity. It is dishonest to put the Reformation into the same category as the Enlightenment.

    I must stress, none of what is said above is written to suggest that the majority of Muslims today are not already moderate and do not accept post-enlightenment thought.

    This is one area where I have always been wondering. On what basis do people on either side of this argument justify their position? Are there opinion polls anywhere of Muslims in any of the Muslim majority countries? Especially countries other than Turkey which has a strong tradition of secular government? I want to see a poll about the bare minimum of Enlightenment thought, such as: Should the government be secular? Should there be a legal penalty for apostasy or blasphemy? I would be very curious of the actual numbers of any such polls, and especially with a “control” comparison such as to western countries. I have sometimes looked for such polls, but found nothing. Maybe I suck at the google?

    I think I largely agree with your overall point. It’s important to emphasize that my complete disdain and contempt of Islam has nothing to do with the ethnicity or orthogonal elements of their culture, history, nationality, etc. My contempt is strictly for their religious views, and as soon as they drop those abhorrent religious views, we could be best buds. I hold Christianity and orthodox Judaism in similar contempt and hatred.

  68. =8)-DX says

    @EnlightenmentLiberal #76

    Are there opinion polls anywhere of Muslims in any of the Muslim majority countries?

    Yes, check the The World’s Muslims: Religion, Politics and Society.

    The survey involved a total of more than 38,000 face-to-face interviews in 80-plus languages. It covered Muslims in 39 countries, which are divided into six regions in this report – Southern and Eastern Europe (Russia and the Balkans), Central Asia, Southeast Asia, South Asia, the Middle East and North Africa, and sub-Saharan Africa.

    The results are pretty depressing, especially concerning women’s rights.

  69. colnago80 says

    Re Raging Bee @ #75

    You’re blaming the AUTHOR of this post for YOUR stupid bigoted one-track threadjack? FUCK YOU, colnago, you’re nothing but a useless obsessed troll. You don’t get to blame others for your lack of self-control, and you don’t get to say what others are allowed to talk about on a blog you don’t own.

    Hey, Deacon has the right to say anything he wants. Nowhere did I advocate denying him that right. However, I also demand the right to dispute his contention. I realize that my views on Israel are unpopular in these parts. Well, tough bananas. Deacon charged that Israel was an apartheid state. Well, so is the USA then, looking at the Afro-American and Latino Ghettos in the big cities (look across the Potomac as a for instance). You hypocrite! First remove the beam out of your own eye, and then you can see clearly to remove the speck out of your brother’s eye.

  70. dingojack says

    SLC – apparently you think that the Israeli use of White Phosphorus in areas densely populated with civilians (including women and children) is A-OK. By denying The right of the Palestinians to defend themselves you are attempting to de-legitimise their existence.
    It works both ways. Neither side can claim any moral high ground here, and until both sides can get justice equally no peace will ever be achieved.
    Your knee-jerk attempts to defend the Israelis war crimes (and by you I mean, by extension, the US and the West generally) are only making you complicit in those crimes as an ‘accessory [before, during &] after the fact’.
    Dingo
    ——–
    PS: SLC you still haven’t given a source for your earlier population estimate.
    PPS: 4.5M, say, representing 90% of the total population (the ‘displacement’ rate was around 90% in most places) means the total population would have been 5M. When those that were forced out (at bayonet point, over one night (largely because the Israelis paranoia had conjured-up an insurgency*) that would leave 0.5M. Not an unreasonable guess.

    * And there’s nothing that wins ‘hearts and minds’ like forced evacuations. Why they didn’t round them up and put them ghettoes and be done with it I can’t imagine. @@

  71. =8)-DX says

    colnago80

    [Mathew 7:5] You hypocrite! First remove the beam out of your own eye, and then you can see clearly to remove the speck out of your brother’s eye.

    Ah, the Bible-quotes! Nothing like a good Bible-quote to win an argument. It is rather surprising to me how people like colnago consider it impossible to hold the position that perhaps the US was founded with the help of ethnic cleansing, (similar to Israel), that perhaps many parts of the US are in semi-apartheid states (similar to Israel).

    it’s not that difficult to reject collective responsibility and pin the blame on the actual perpetrators. In fact it’s not that difficult to reject *all* racism and violence and genocide. Sadly colnago seems to have strong problems here.

  72. Thumper: Token Breeder says

    @colnago #74

    I can’t watch the video, I’m on the work computer and it thinks you’re sending me porn, for some reason. Are you ever going to answer the questions posed at the end of my #70? Or are you going to continue to avoid them?

    Also, your point in #78 is utterly fucking ridiculous. Do these “ghettos” have walls around them and armed gunmen watching them? Are the people who live there forced to stay there? It’s undeniable that the correllation between race and economic class in the USA exists and is troubling, but to compare it to the situation in Israel is disingenuous at best.

  73. colnago80 says

    Re Thumper @ #82

    I’m on the work computer and it thinks you’re sending me porn, for some reason.

    The link is most definitely not porn, not even close. It’s a little stirring musical interlude with some video. I especially enjoyed the section beginning about the 1 minute 40 second mark!

    Also, your point in #78 is utterly fucking ridiculous. Do these “ghettos” have walls around them and armed gunmen watching them?

    What the fuck are you talking about. In the first place, Arab towns in Israel are not surrounded by walls and there are no armed gunmen watching them. There is a fence separating the Gaza Strip from Israel to prevent the infiltration of terrorists from there who like to blow up pizza parlors and buses. By the way, there is also a fence on the Egyptian side and the Egyptian Government has closed down a terminal which is used for import and export of goods from Gaza and has destroyed most of the tunnels that were used to smuggle in arms. The good folks in Gaza have not helped their cause by lending support to Al Qaeda affiliated terrorists in the Sinai in their efforts to ambush Egyptian Army patrols and assassinate Egyptian soldiers and police officers.

    There is a fence which is still under construction between the West Bank and Israel. Admittedly, the situation on the West Bank is bad with the IDF surrounding the towns there and preventing free movement between them. However, this is a defensive measure to prevent terrorist attacks in Israel. I guess that ole Thumper doesn’t think that the IDF should be in the business of preventing terrorist attacks.

    I would note that the Palestinians have had several opportunities to set up a state, particularly in 2000 at Taba. There is a very simple reason why they never missed an opportunity to miss an opportunity. The Palestinians demand that the inhabitants of refugee camps be resettled in what is now Israel. Although Thumper undoubtedly thinks this is an eminently reasonable demand, the Government of Israel thinks otherwise. There is not the slightest possibility that any Israeli government would agree to any such thing. Until the Palestinian leadership drops this demand, there will be no settlement and Secretary of State Kerry is spinning his wheels.

  74. devilsadvocate says

    Islam is and will always be a lethal enemy to Western Culture. Any attempts to capitulate to this savage religion is not just dumb, it’s suicidal for atheists, gays, feminists and nearly anyone else who identifies as someone protected by civil rights in the United States. The Islamic world refuses to advance under any circumstances.

  75. Thumper: Token Breeder says

    @colnago

    I didn’t think it was, but Forefront threat management does.

    And you ask me what the fuck I’m talking about, and then go on to list exactly what I was talking about. So you knew full well what I was talking about. So you were being disingenuous. Again.

    I guess that ole Thumper doesn’t think that the IDF should be in the business of preventing terrorist attacks.

    That’s the second time you’ve accused me of that, and you still haven’t provided any quote as evidence that I hold that opinion. Disagreeing with their methods is not the same thing as disagreeing with their motivation.

    The Palestinians demand that the inhabitants of refugee camps be resettled in what is now Israel. Although Thumper undoubtedly thinks this is an eminently reasonable demand, the Government of Israel thinks otherwise.

    Indeed, I do think it is entirely reasonable that displaced citizens be allowed to return home. And I see no logical reason for the Israeli government to refuse that demand. Do you?

    @devilsadvocate

    The Islamic world refuses to advance under any circumstances.

    Citation needed. Also the definition of “Islamic world” that you are working to.

  76. colnago80 says

    Re Thumper @ #86

    The Palestinians demand that the inhabitants of refugee camps be resettled in what is now Israel. Although Thumper undoubtedly thinks this is an eminently reasonable demand, the Government of Israel thinks otherwise.

    Indeed, I do think it is entirely reasonable that displaced citizens be allowed to return home. And I see no logical reason for the Israeli government to refuse that demand. Do you?

    That will happen about the time that Slovakia allows the Sudetenland Germans to return and reclaim their property. Or the residents of current day New York City allow the descendants of Native Americans to return and reclaim that town.

  77. Thumper: Token Breeder says

    @colnago

    OK. And the rest of my post? In particular, your accusations re. Israel’s right to defend against terrorists? Evidence, please, for the third time.

    … why have you sent me a video of the Bismarck being launched?

  78. colnago80 says

    Re Thumper @ #89

    Because it shows a film clip of the Hood blowing up and sinking, starting about the 1 minute 40 second mark. I really enjoyed that. The Hood sinking film clip, by the way, also was used in the 1960 movie, Sink the Bismarck, starring Sir Kenneth More. Which I thought was very unfair to Admiral Lutjens, portraying him as a fanatical Nazi which he was not.

  79. =8)-DX says

    Sheesh… this dude is really something. Colnago’s (is he really that slc from the past? I seem to remember slc being more rational) logic seems to be that watching ww2-porn where a famous military vessel from the country of his opponent in discussion sinks, will somehow make his opponent squirm, while he himself grins and relishes the death of thousands of people.

    I’m now pretty certain colnago is completely unable to imagine a person who rejects nationalism and tribalism and violence. And somehow something something Thumper should shiver with disgust because he’s from the UK or what? (I’ve watched a documentary about the Hood and it was fascinating, irrespective of my nationality).

    I think it’s all out troll from here on.

  80. Thumper: Token Breeder says

    @colnago

    I still fail to see the relevance.

    Now, are you, or are you not, going to answer my questios/requests from post #70?

  81. Thumper: Token Breeder says

    @=8)-DX

    I’m now pretty certain colnago is completely unable to imagine a person who rejects nationalism and tribalism and violence. And somehow something something Thumper should shiver with disgust because he’s from the UK…

    I think you may be on to something there. Is the fact the people who were killed were British supposed to mean I should lend their deaths more weight, or something?

  82. colnago80 says

    Re Thumper @ #93

    The fact that, in comment #86, you opined that the resettlement of Palestinians living in refugee camps in Israel was a reasonable demand is ipso facto a denial of the legitimacy of the State of Israel. If you disagree, we will just have to agree to disagree on this matter, hopefully not too disagreeably.

    As for the matter of the sinking of the Hood, I enjoyed it because, as an American, I have gotten damn fuckken tired of this country pulling Britain’s chestnuts out of the fire as we did in WW 1 and WW 2.

  83. Thumper: Token Breeder says

    The fact that, in comment #86, you opined that the resettlement of Palestinians living in refugee camps in Israel was a reasonable demand is ipso facto a denial of the legitimacy of the State of Israel.

    Please explain how me thinking that displaced people should be allowed to return home is equivalent to me “den[ying] the legitimacy of the state of Israel”. Because that seems like a non sequitur to me.

    And OK, because you believe that the US saved Britain in both world wars (I won’t even go in to how tired an argument that is), you take joy in watching thousands of men and women die, because they happen to be British? You “enjoyed” footage of people being killed. You’re an arsehole.

    And you still haven’t answered any of my questions from #70.

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