Saturday, March 7, 2009

Holocaust Equivalency [Israel = Nazis] as a Form of Holocaust Denial

I shall have much more to say about this in the near future but for the moment let me note that I am increasingly concerned about the soft-core forms of Holocaust denial one sees particularly in Europe.

Calling Israelis Nazis, comparing Israel's actions to genocide, and other such comments, show an ignorance of both contemporary and WWII history.

Whatever you may think about Israel's policies vis a vis the Palestinians, to compare it to the Holocaust is to distort what is going on today as well as what went on during WWII.

This picture, taken in Malmoe, the third largest city in Sweden, says it all. It reads
1941 Zyklon B 1945 Nuclear bomb
1965 Naplam 1983 Mustard gas [Iran/Iraq war?]
2009 White Phosphorous
[Thanks to Stéphane Bruchfeld for bringing this to my attention. He adds that the demonstration was by youth who clearly did not make the banner. Adults did.]

17 comments:

dan said...

It is not only in Europe, Deborah. Anti-Israel demonstrations that happen in Tokyo and Taipei and Kuala Lumpur and all over Asia.....the protesters also carry banners and posters that show Peres or Olmert or Sharon and other Jewish leaders with either Hitler moustaches marked in or the word NAZI written over their faces. It's a global phenomenon now, spread by ignorant haters. I saw a demo in Taipei a month ago but some people angry about the Gaza troubles and they marched in the streets of Taipei with posters and banners equating Israel with Nazi Germany, Hitler staches and swastikas and all. It's not just in Europe, sad to say.

dan said...

SEE? it's a global thing:

Here is a recent news story from the Taipei Times, in English



Muslims in Taipei protest Israel

Jan 17, 2009


Muslims in Taiwan staged a demonstration outside the Taipei Grand Mosque yesterday, accusing Israel of being a state terrorist, and demanding it stop attacking civilians in the Gaza Strip.

“Over a thousand people were killed in a little more than half a month since Israel launched its recent attack on the Gaza Strip, but the UN failed to exercise any effective intervention,” Ishag Ma (馬孝棋), Taiwanese Muslim Association deputy secretary-general, told hundreds of Taiwanese Muslims who came out of the mosque to join the protest after attending the Friday prayer.



“Shame, shame, Israel!” protesters chanted while holding signs with slogans in Chinese, English, and Arabic condemning Israel and pleading for it to stop the attacks.

They also showed pictures of injured Palestinian children.


“This is not just about Muslims or Palestinians, everyone — no matter whether you’re a Muslim, Christian or Buddhist, you’re Taiwanese or American — should stand out agsinst it,” Rehmat Khan, originally from Pakistan, said. “Israel is a terrorist state that kills people like slaughtering animals.”

While he agreed that rocket fire on Israeli civilians should be halted as well, Pakistani Rizwan Ahmed Khan said that Israel’s retaliation was not justified.

“Sixteen people were killed [by Hamas rockets] in five years, but you murdered over a thousand people including 300 children and a lot of old people in just how many days? How is that fair?” Rizwan Ahmed Khan said.

After chanting slogans, demonstrators marched while holding a 5m banner with the star of David — a symbol of Israel — on it.

“If Israelis believe themselves to be God’s chosen people, they should act like it — murdering innocent people certainly isn’t what God’s chosen people should do,” Ma said.

RichardHutton said...

Hi.
The Tapei Times actually published two articles on the protest, neither of which were uncritical, and one of which features a statement by the Israel embassy's representative Raphael Gamzou :

http://www.taipeitimes.com/News/taiwan/archives/2009/01/10/2003433398

http://www.taipeitimes.com/News/taiwan/archives/2009/01/17/2003433932

The quotes from the article which ‘Dan’ doesn’t include in his post are:

“That’s why we gather peacefully here to urge the UN to do something,” Ma said”.

“Yesterday marked the 21st day since Israel launched a massive attack in the Gaza Strip, which is controlled by the Palestinian National Authority, in retaliation for rocket attacks by Hamas”.

“Hamas rockets have killed around 20 Israeli civilians, while the Israeli offensive has caused more than 1,000 deaths including over 300 children, Gaza medics say”.

http://www.taipeitimes.com/News/taiwan/archives/2009/01/17/2003433932

I don’t understand why 'Dan' chose to leave these aside, but I don't think I need to comment any further on his/her post.

And the Tapei times also includes an article on Amnesty International’s condemnation of those countries supplying arms to both Israel and Hamas:

http://www.taipeitimes.com/News/world/archives/2009/02/24/2003436854

Needless to say, whatever else one may accuse the Tapei Times of, heavy handed tendentious reporting is not apparent.

I don’t agree with the premise that ‘Israelis = Nazis’ is anti-Semitic. It is crass and inaccurate to suggest that the bombardment of Gaza and the deaths of Gazan civilians are equitable with the Holocaust; but it’s equally sweeping to dismiss drawing parallels as oblique anti-Semitic propaganda.

There is undoubtedly a small minority of obnoxious personalities who do employ such rhetoric for racial or nationalistic purposes (David Duke, for instance), but by and large it centres on Israel’s policies, not the supposed behaviour of Jews as a homogeneous group. The Holocaust was the extermination of Jews, not violence towards Israel or its citizens (whether Jewish or Arabic). The point being made is clear: the Nazis victimisation and murder of Jews is alluded to frequently by hawkish Israeli politicians to justify belligerent foreign policies in the name of ‘security’ – but you can’t lay claim to moral high grounds when you’re engaged in violence and bloodshed yourself.

This is what Hugo Chavez was saying when he alluded to the attack on Gaza/Hamas being ‘a holocaust’. The deaths and violence in Gaza could not be classed as an act of genocide – he was wrong about that – and less still one of systematic extermination – but Chavez was clearly making a rhetorical point, and distinguishing equally clearly between Israel’s government as opposed to Jewish people on the whole.

There is a more subtle paradox, however: holding the Holocaust up as an example of atrocity hardly constitutes denying it took place. The most that could be said is that it (probably unwittingly) diminishes the uniqueness of the Final Solution as a policy within world history; or that it exaggerates Gazan loss of life (which hardly needs any exaggeration to be deplored, frankly). What seems the most sensible inference is that the majority of protestors who there’s no valid reason to believe are motivated by bigotry are trying to make a point about hypocrisy. That doesn’t mean they’re not open to criticism; but it needs to be from the point of historicism and accuracy – not people pushing for political objectives one way or another.

There are a few articles by Seth Freedman on this, and – quite frankly – the truth would have to be elastic indeed for someone to accuse a Jewish man who lives in Jerusalem of being motivated by anti-Zionism or anti-Semitism (reading his articles would dispel any such notions anyway):

http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2009/jan/29/world-jewish-congress-seth-freedman

http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2009/jan/16/israelandthepalestinians-judaism

and there’s a quote he added in a blog post underneath his article regarding Chavez:

"We were told time and again of the upsurge in anti-Semitism apparently sweeping the globe at present which, whilst perhaps true, was certainly not clear from the 'evidence' presented to us. In the videos projected onto the main screen, both Hugo Chavez and Recep Tayyip Erdogan explicitly distinguished between Israelis and Jews in their appeals for a cessation to the attack on Gaza, yet the Venezuelan and Turkish speakers demanded that we trust them on this one, rather than judge for ourselves from the footage provided. As one delegate told me afterwards, "it's not what Chavez said [in the video], but what he didn't say" – which summed up the spuriously-based paranoia infecting the vast majority of my fellow attendees. Their suspicion was not helped by Netanyahu's hyper-inflammatory speech, in which he simply repeated the word anti-Semitism over and over, occasionally tossing in a few verbs and adjectives to attempt to construct coherent sentences from his polemical rant. Nir Barkat didn't let the side down either, imploring the audience to assist him in his task to "keep Jerusalem Jewish", implying that a loss of Jewish majority in the holy city would be a catastrophe for world Jewry. He didn't explain why, of course; not that he needed to, since in the feverish minds of all who see the conflict as simply 'us versus them' (whoever 'they' may be), the only way to assure our survival is to exert total control over every inch of the Promised Land.
[...]
After a full day of the same scene repeating itself – speakers defending the war, delegates defending the speakers, and hatches being battened down the length and breadth of the hall – it was apparent how easy it is to manipulate organisations such as the WJC into blind support of Israel under any circumstance.
The prism through which these people are being encouraged to view the world is twofold in its form, and in its duplicity: one, that anti-Semitism awaits us round every corner (as Barak put it, "we can't end it, it's too deeply-rooted"), and two, that Israel is a bastion of morality and propriety, and that any criticism of its actions is to be roundly ignored because of the supposed bias of the critic.
Two concepts which are, essentially, the basis for Israel's leaders' decision-making day in, day out; and which they in turn want to see adopted by a body purportedly representing every Jew on earth. And so the cycle continues – and the inevitable backlash feeds right into the 'everyone's out to destroy us' mentality, which is the essential fuel for the fire upon which Israel's existence has burned brightly for sixty long years"

http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2009/jan/29/world-jewish-congress-seth-freedman

There’s a more stringent article by Tony Greenstein specifically focusing on the way hawkish US and UK politicians manipulate charges of anti-Semitism to put their own policies beyond criticism:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2007/apr/12/anattackonfreespeech

I'm not going to write any more on this - I just keep going over the same ground, and it's evidently pointless trying to enlighten people. But I'm happy to provide further references if people ask for them. Thanks.

Epaminondas said...

There are two factors at work here ..one in the vein of Matthias Kunzel, and the other, Andrew Bostom.

The Muslim world HAS adopted SOME of the facets of antisemitism of Europe, but only as a TACTIC which fits rather perfectly with Quranic antisemitism which is WELL DOCUMENTED from the start thru today.

The numbers of Muslims in the world compared to Jews, their distribution compared to Jews, the need for fossil fuels, the ancient bigotries and enmities (worldwide...'Enola Gay is Yiddish for "Kill the Emperor"'), and the Quranic need to extinguish Israel which is regarded to be a waqf have all contributed to a worldwide frenzy in which equating Israel and JEWS (an important distinction) to Nazis is but sound bite canard -just one part of a 'burn the witches' party executed by a mob, and seen without comment by cynical bigots such as Pat Buchanan, and Chas Freeman, and those whose inner compulsions give rise to the need to find an Israel Lobby to blame for what Jefferson would otherwise do in a second.

Destroying Israel as a movement, hidden behind the canards used like those in Malmo, only proves that humans are not weak, they are terribly weak, and that ignorance for all we have learned done and executed, is STILL more powerful than reason and knowledge.

The people in Malmo (as an icon in this movement of ignorance) who took part in this witch burning, like their counterparts around the world are not going to be convinced by REASON and FACT.

That is the state of human nature.
So it has ever been and so it shall ever be.

Israel itself, and those who understand the past around the world are simply going to have to outlast the hysteria IN OUR TIME, do whatever we ARE COMPELLED TO DO to see Israel survives, and hand the baton on for the next round of ignorant riots ..perhaps to some other ultra-minuscule minority ..but I doubt it.

RichardHutton said...

Hi Epaminindos.

I'm not sure if you were responding to my post, or to Deborah Lipstadt's, but I'm polite if little else.

"Israel itself, and those who understand the past around the world are simply going to have to outlast the hysteria IN OUR TIME, do whatever we ARE COMPELLED TO DO to see Israel survives, and hand the baton on for the next round of ignorant riots ..perhaps to some other ultra-minuscule minority ..but I doubt it.

Yes, and that would be called nationalism: that is, whatever serves the interest of one state or another is justified thereby, irrespective of the basic difference between wrong and right; and quite indifferent as to what actually benefits a country. You're talking about an intrinsically amoral outlook, and I'm not willing to waste time trying to reason with such an insular point of view. I've attempted this before and it's a futile endeavour.

'Qu'ranic anti-Semitism' is a chimera, as the blog host Deborah Lipstadt who vetted you're comment will herself know, as I put a post elsewhere disproving it which she read. It can be found here:

http://lipstadt.blogspot.com/2009/02/european-antisemitism-ominous-signs-and.html

the relevant comment is at the end of the blog roll. CTRL + F 'People of the book' and you'll be on the money. Strawmen, it would seem, are created in pairs.

Epaminondas said...

Richard, so sorry, but while I wasn't responding to you in general, I suggest before indicating yourself as a source you read the works of BOTH Dr's. Kuntzel and Bostom.

They can be found FOR STARTERS, HERE and HERE, and they stand on the shoulders of a mighty, millenia long crew of others in many cases.

I believe your conclusion MIGHTILY factually in error (as my personal experience with persian gulf arabs over 6 years, though anecdotal indicates), and the many Sura (which MUST be authored by God if you are a believer) and Hadiths (the verified behavior of the MODEL human, if you are to be considered a believer) indicate

Epaminondas said...

FYI, Mr. Hutton, and this is the case not the exception, from MEMRITV:
Following are excerpts from a speech delivered by Egyptian cleric Muhammad Hussein Ya’qoub, which aired on Al-Rahma TV on January 17, 2009.

Muhammad Hussein Ya’qoub: If the Jews left Palestine to us, would we start loving them? Of course not. We will never love them. Absolutely not. The Jews are infidels – not because I say so, and not because they are killing Muslims, but because Allah said: “The Jews say that Uzair is the son of Allah, and the Christians say that Christ is the son of Allah. These are the words from their mouths. They imitate the sayings of the disbelievers before. May Allah fight them. How deluded they are.” It is Allah who said that they are infidels.

That's Qur'an 9:30.

Your belief regarding the Jews should be, first, that they are infidels, and second, that they are enemies. They are enemies not because they occupied Palestine. They would have been enemies even if they did not occupy a thing. Allah said: “You shall find the strongest men in enmity to the disbelievers [sic] to be the Jews and the polytheists.”

Qur'an 5:82.

Third, you must believe that the Jews will never stop fighting and killing us. They [fight] not for the sake of land and security, as they claim, but for the sake of their religion: “And they will not cease fighting you until they turn you back you’re your religion, if they can.”

Qur'an 2:217.

This is it. We must believe that our fighting with the Jews is eternal, and it will not end until the final battle – and this is the fourth point. You must believe that we will fight, defeat, and annihilate them, until not a single Jew remains on the face of the Earth.

It is not me who says so. The Prophet said: “Judgment Day will not come until you fight the Jews and kill them. The Jews will hide behind stones and trees, and the stones and tree will call: Oh Muslim, oh servant of Allah, there is a Jew behind me, come and kill him – except for the Gharqad tree, which is the tree of the Jews.” I have heard that they are planting many of these trees now. [...]

That Hadith can be found at Sahih Muslim 6985.

As for you Jews – the curse of Allah upon you. The curse of Allah upon you, whose ancestors were apes and pigs.

That's Qur'an 2:62-65; 5:59-60; and 7:166.

You Jews have sown hatred in our hearts, and we have bequeathed it to our children and grandchildren. You will not survive as long as a single one of us remains.

[...]

Oh Jews, may the curse of Allah be upon you. Oh Jews... Oh Allah, bring Your wrath, punishment, and torment down upon them. Allah, we pray that you transform them again, and make the Muslims rejoice again in seeing them as apes and pigs. You pigs of the earth! You pigs of the earth! You kill the Muslims with that cold pig [blood] of yours.

And now the learned analysts will turn to one another and repeat once again that the Israeli/Palestinian conflict has nothing to do with theology, nothing to do with Islam.

The sources for this point of view are so bafflingly numerous one is compelled to wonder why certain sections of the founding documents are not hate speech in and of themselves ..especially since believers MUST accept that these words are those of a perfect (and apparently racist) being.

dan said...

to Richard Hutton in Hull, above, love your quote on webpage re the sky is always beautiful in Hull, I like your attitude toward life yes.

That said, re

"I don’t understand why 'Dan' chose to leave these aside, but I don't think I need to comment any further on his/her post."

I left those other quotes out because they took up too much space and I did not want to write a long post, which people might just ignore if too long, and I wanted to highlight the parts i was focusing on. But yes, your points are well taken and thanks for commenting on my post.

The two quotes I wanted to focus on were: “Israel is a terrorist state that kills people like slaughtering animals.” from a Pakistan man living in Taiwan, not a Taiwanese person... DO YOU AGREE RICHAD WITH THAT QUOTE?

and:
“If Israelis believe themselves to be God’s chosen people, they should act like it — murdering innocent people certainly isn’t what God’s chosen people should do,” Ma WHO IS TAIWANESE said.

SO NOW ALL ISRAELIS ARE GODS CHOSEN PEOPLE? WHERE HAVE WE HEAD THAT BEFORE RICHARD?

smile

danny, where the skies are also beautiful, yes.

RichardHutton said...

Hi E. In answer to your rhetorical questions:

Qur'an 9:30 Says the following:

“Fight against those to whom the scriptures were given as believe in neither God, nor the last day” (i.e. what the author of the book ‘Repentance’ calls isolators – those who “do not embrace the true faith” this may of course mean Islam; but given that Islam is inextricably bound up with the values of Judaism it’s more sensible to suggest that the author is referring to faithfulness in itself as opposed to impiety). It then adds “the Jews say Ezra is the son of God, while the Christians say the Messiah is the son of God…how perverse they are!” and yet the patriarchs of Judaism (Moses, Abraham) and Jesus all hold a sacred and essential part within Islam, as anyone would know if they’d taken the trouble to read a three hundred page book, instead of cribbing from
Robert Spencer’s blog (or the Freerepublic website who themselves took it from Spencer, seemingly without bothering to check up on any of this):

http://www.jihadwatch.org/archives/025130.php

Needless to say Ya’qoub is distorting the teaching beyond reasonable measure, which is what all fundamentalists do one way or another.

Qur'an 5:82 Actually says this:
“you will find that the most implacable of men in their enmity to the faithful are the Jews and the pagans, and that the nearest in affection to them are those who say: ‘we are Christians’. That is because there are priests and monks among them; and because they are free from pride”.

And it’s a reference – I think, at least – to the war being fought between Jews and Arabs in Mohammed’s era, which was extremely violent on both sides. It’s also contradicted by the ref. to ‘The People of the book’ elsewhere.
Spencer’s misrepresentations are clear to anyone who takes a bit of time to do their homework; and who is not so arrogant as to lecture people on a book they haven’t read (you’re not alone – Richard Dawkins does the same thing to the Koran, the Bible and Mein Kampf respectively in ‘the God Delusion’. It puts you in mixed company, mind).

Qur'an 2:217

(From 2:16 onwards) “fighting is obligatory for you, much as you dislike it. But you may hate a thing although it is good for you, and love a thing although it is bad for you…they ask about the sacred month. Say: ‘To fight in this month is a grave offence; but to debar others from the path of God, to deny him, and to expel his worshippers from the Holy Mosque is far more grave in his sight. Idolatry is more grievous than bloodshed. They will not cease to fight against you until they force you to renounce your faith – if they are able. But whoever of you recants and dies an unbeliever…such men shall be the tenants of the fire, wherein they shall abide for ever”

And who are the ‘they’ in question? ‘Unbelievers’, not Jews (see the ref to ‘Israelites’ shortly before hand and note the clear distinction. This falls between 2:205 and 2:213)

And I had to type all of this out, incidentally – so the spelling mistakes are mine, as are the blisters. But don’t take my word for it:

http://books.google.co.uk/books?id=e0fAZCrVRJkC&pg=PA32&lpg=PA32&dq=koran+2:216+fighting+is+obligatory+for+you+much+as+you+dislike+it&source=bl&ots=Q2ltwmqgOj&sig=8Q5QI5sljMo1aJHa7clP2nqfYVU&hl=en&ei=hVC2ScbECOLBjAfEpOCvCQ&sa=X&oi=book_result&resnum=2&ct=result

Needless to say, Spencer is telling fibs. Why? I’m not entirely sure; but it gives one reason to be sceptical to say the least. He’s not the only one: a much longer version of the same document can be found here:

http://docstalk.blogspot.com/2009/03/egyptian-cleric-jews-are-enemies-not.html

One comment in particular stands out in this one: “As for you Jews – the curse of Allah upon you. The curse of Allah upon you, whose ancestors were apes and pigs.

That's Qur'an 2:62-65; 5:59-60; and 7:166”.

But what – pray tell – does the Koran say for instance at 2: 62-5…?

“Believers, Jews, Christians and Sabeans – whoever believes in God and the last day and does what is right – shall be rewarded by their lord”. Further comment is superfluous. You can look the other quotes up for yourself if you wish to. (5:59 is a bit dodgy, but if you read it from 5:55 it’s obviously talking about unbelievers and enemies of the faithful, not Jews per se. And 7:166 is about ‘wrongdoers’.

Your overall argument of course rests on the implication that Muhammad Hussein Ya’qoub is a representative of Islam – needless to say, he’s not. He’s a fundamentalist (if his reported words are accurate, and I couldn’t find a reliable source on them; but plenty of Islamic fundamentalists have said similar things before, and this is as good a forum as any), and there’s a basic distinction between fundamentalism and the religiousness of your average believer. His (probable) words can be compared easily enough to those of Jewish fundamentalists in Israel; such as the most extreme settlers among the Gush and the Kookists (a tiny minority). In Karen Armstrong’s book ‘The Battle for God’ there is a brief discussion of Rabbi Israel Hess’s admonition ‘Genocide: a commandment of the Torah’; and of the Gush settler Haim Tzuria who urged that hatred of Arabs was “natural and healthy” (p. 346 in Armstrong).

And Lipstadt has herself blogged on Haredi fundamentalism here:
http://lipstadt.blogspot.com/2007/02/women-to-back-of-bus-haredi-assault-on.html

Needless to say, most Jews don’t believe this kind of rubbish. Most fundamentalists don’t even believe this kind of stuff. And its ready counterpart is there in the Talmud, for instance (Polano's translation):
"One should rather be thrown into a fiery furnace than be the means of bringing another to public shame. The Rabbis particularly insist that we are not to confine the excercise of charity to our own people, for the law of Moses inculcates kindness and hospitality towards the stranger within our gates"
(from the book 'Benevolence' p. 245 in Polano's paperback edition).
One Muslim does not equal all Muslims; less still does one bigoted miscreant represent millions of people. The same is applicable to members of all faiths.

As noted elsewhere. The Koran says a lot of things as do all religious texts, a good deal of which are mutually contradictory, some of which are extremely obnoxious, some of which is wonderful, and most of which is middling: the obvious corollary being that one has to choose. The choices one makes are reflective of peoples’ hearts, not their minds.

The point I tried to make in an admittedly heavy-handed manner is that Deborah Lipstadt reads, vets and then publishes comments on her blog. But would it be fair to suggest that she agrees with and condones every opinion on it? Does it mean that Lipstadt would align herself with the likes of Robert Spencer or any of the other neo-conservative Jesters and winkle-pickers on David Horowitz’s FrontPage payroll? No – obviously not, given the disparity of mutually contradictory views herein. If she publishes my criticisms of her articles then there’s no way any sensible person could accuse her of being tendentious. The point being that motives and meanings are complicated, and need to be discerned with sense and sensibility – not yielding to whatever proves convenient to one’s pre-dispositions, political, nationalistic, religious, or otherwise. And there's never any excuse for not doing your homework.

RichardHutton said...

As an addendum to the post I made earlier: the Israel embassy's representative Raphael Gamzou stated in one of the Tapei Times articles that Amnesty International never condemned Hamas' attacks on Israel/murder of Israelis - perhaps needless to say, they did. Not only once but at least three times (if you google 'Amnesty International and Hamas' there are more, but they're all pretty much the same). Note the dates as well - they cover at least two years:

PALESTINIAN AUTHORITY: HAMAS MUST STOP TARGETING OF CIVILIANS
http://www.amnesty.org/en/library/info/MDE21/006/2006

Index Number: MDE 21/006/2006
Date Published: 31 January 2006


PALESTINIAN AUTHORITY: FATAH AND HAMAS VIOLATIONS LEAVE GAZA'S CIVILIANS TRAPPED IN THEIR HOMES - GROWING CONCERNS ABOUT VIOLENCE SPREADING TO THE WEST BANK
Index Number: MDE 21/010/2007
Date Published: 15 June 2007

http://www.amnesty.org/en/library/info/MDE21/010/2007

DOCUMENT - PALESTINIAN AUTHORITY: HAMAS' DEADLY CAMPAIGN IN THE SHADOW OF THE WAR IN GAZA: MEDIA ADVISORY
AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL
Media Briefing

AI Index: MDE 21/001/2009
10 February 2009
http://www.amnesty.org/en/library/asset/MDE21/001/2009/en/9f210586-f762-11dd-8fd7-f57af21896e1/mde210012009en.html

Gamzou was either being untruthful, or more likely, is ill-informed and yet conceited enough to pontificate (see below re. wishy-washy)

Peter Tatchell also made a similar point in the ever trusty Guardian:

'Hamas no, human rights yes - Why are the left and the anti-war movement ignoring Hamas's repression of the Palestinian people?'

http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2009/feb/18/hamas-palestine-israel-human-rights

Tatchell's actual argument about Hamas is valid; but re. 'the Left' is a bit dubious: "During the January protests in the UK against Israel's barbaric bombardment of Gaza, there were frequent pro-Hamas chants and placards. "We are all Hamas now!" some marchers yelled. At one rally in Hyde Park, speakers on the main stage urged "Victory to Hamas!" and received tumultuous cheers of approval (with only a few boos).

I am tired of hearing leftwingers defend Hamas on the grounds that it was democratically elected"

These are fair points in themselves - democracy is by no means a sanctifying agent, still less does it justify intrinsically undemocratic activities (chiefly terrorising and killing people); but who precisely is Tatchell talking about here? There are no names, nor any clear identification (I asked, incidentally in a post on the blog and Tatchell didn't answer. Manners these days...). If he was talking about Gordon Brown and Barack Obama there would be cause for concern; but at best he's talking about ignorant or wishy-washy nit-wits he's overheard at a bus-stop or in an office somewhere; not figures of credible left-leaning authority. And it's equally possible that they were a minority of genuine anti-Semites taking advantage of the protest Seth Freedman has made this point elsewhere; there's a full list of his articles for the Guardian at:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/profile/sethfreedman

hockey hound said...

Holocaust deniers are dealt with differently across Europe, although the EU has taken initial steps to standardise laws, with Germany taking the lead

focus
By Theresa Schelling - Jena
Translation: Andrew Christie.
27/01/09


At first glance, Horst Mahler’s whole way of life just seems contradictory: in the sixties he co-founded the RAF (Red Army Faction), whose left-wing terrorism rocked west Germany; in 2000 he became a member of the right-wing extremist party NPD (German National Party), before leaving again in 2003; since 2007 Mahler has distributed various CDs and DVDs containing content denying the Holocaust – a crime in Germany; and now, after all that, the 72-year-old has handed himself in to the authorities. Does this man really know what he is doing?

Holocaust deniers are simply spreading right-wing propaganda
‘I’m standing here because I want to,’ says Mahler curtly at the start of his trial in Munich on 12 January 2009. In order to charge him, the court first has to prove that the Holocaust happened at all. With his short, grey hair and rimless glasses, Mahler, who has six previous convictions, does not look like a right-wing extremist, but the opinions he propagates in the courtroom are shocking. He uses the trial as a stage, airing malicious views of Jewish people throughout, until the judge silences him.


The Holocaust memorial was unveiled in 2005 in Berlin | (Image: ©Florence Renault)Mahler, a former law student, has had no income for four years after having had a temporary employment ban imposed upon him. He has already spent nine years in prison for incitement of the people, and twenty-six years for his involvement in the Red Army Faction. The right-wing scene holds him up as a martyr fighting for the truth. Yet no event in human history has been researched more intensively than the Holocaust: those like Mahler who deny it are simply spreading right-wing propaganda, dressed up as a fight for freedom of speech.

Europe: how to deal with Holocaust deniers?
Horst Mahler is no exception. German-born Australian citizen Dr. Frederik Toben, 65, was imprisoned for a month in London in 2008 at the German government's request. There are also well-known examples of Holocaust deniers in many European countries: British rightwing historian David Irving, 71, went on trial in 2002, as did French former literature professor Robert Faurisson, 70 most recently in 2006, as well as publisher Pedro Varela in Spain. In terms of how the law deals with these people, Europe is far from united. In Austria, France, Poland, Germany, Belgium and Switzerland, questioning or denying the Holocaust can lead to long prison sentences, whereas many other European countries do not impose comparable penalties.


David Irving: ‘Why is there no documentary evidence sixty years on?’



So-called remembrance laws, such as the ban on Holocaust denial, are not without controversy in democratic countries. Indeed, as far as constitutional law is concerned, they are contrary to the freedom of speech and the freedom of science. However, German constitutional law views Holocaust denial as an untrue claim that from the outset is not protected by the freedom of speech. In England, on the other hand, a stricter criminal and constitutional law has so far prevented the introduction of remembrance laws. Freedom of speech is therefore unrestricted. Two years ago in Italy, 150 left- and right-wing historians signed a document expressing their disapproval of a law change which would make Holocaust denial a criminal offence.


In 2007 the EU took its first steps towards standardisation. A provisional order in April 2007 set out standard minimum penalties to combat racism and xenophobia. It criminalises: ‘public approval, denial or gross minimisation of genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes, when such crime is directed towards persons in view of their race, skin colour, religion, provenance, or national or ethnic origin.’

In this regard, there would be penalties for those who publicly claim that a genocide already recognised by an international court as fact never happened and was invented by the ethnic group in question for financial gain. Such a claim would amount not just to denial, but also incitement to hatred against the ethnic group concerned. Whether an historical crime is classed as genocide, a crime against humanity or a war crime must be determined by the relevant court in each individual case. This decision was long since made in respect of the Holocaust, at the Nuremberg Trials in 1945.

Holocaust denial was decriminalised in Spain and Slovakia

Two years ago, despite all efforts on a European level, Holocaust denial was once again decriminalised in Spain (and Slovakia in 2005). The Spanish constitutional court favoured the freedom of speech – though in contrast, justification either of the Holocaust or genocide of any description remains punishable by up to two years in prison. However, the relaxation of the law in Spain can be attributed to the action against Holocaust denier Pedro Varela. In Germany, Horst Mahler is unlikely to enjoy similar success.

hockey hound said...

Demonstrations in Asia? "Muslims in Taipei protest Israel" I'm certain I read on this blog not too long ago that someone "left it all behind" (America, that is) and happily reported that there is no anti-Jewish hatred in Asia. Apparently, according to Taipei Times, there is.

Tamar Orvell said...

Deborah, thank you for bearing witness and providing this forum where we can share data. My dear Stefan (an Austrian) just emailed me from Cracow (where he's learning this semester for his master's studies):

"... just citations from 2 converstions i heard (had to hear) today:

1) rumanian colleague: "i do not know what to think about the whole history, second world war and holocaust. part of if is propaganda"

me (already knowing what will be her answer): "propaganda by who?"

(you can guess who she had in mind...)

2) russian colleague: "i have a course at the university on "anti-semitism after auschwitz". actually, i would prefer another course. a broader one, you know. that does not only refer to one social group."

hockey hound said...

"'Qu'ranic anti-Semitism' is a chimera"

Yes, like Christian anti-Semitism, Muslim anti-Semitism, a manifestation of the Quran, is "a grotesque product of the imagination" and very dangerous.

But perhaps you're suggesting that there's no anti-Jewish hatred in the Quran? Have you read the Quran? If this is what you're opining, then you are incapable, in my opinion, of honest debate on the subject. I will not contend with someone so obtuse.

hockey hound said...

Perhaps you may want to post this under another heading, Prof. Lipstadt. I am in a hurry right now, but I really wanted you to see this amazing news. HH


Ottawa may halt grants to anti-Semitic groups
Harper government launches review

Joseph Brean, National Post

Glenn Lowson for National Post
TORONTO -- As part of a "zero tolerance approach towards anti-Semitism," the federal government is reviewing all its public service grants to remove state support from groups that advocate hatred or express support for terrorism.

"We are just at the beginning of the process of trying to formalize and operationalize that principle. In my department, we will be engaged in a cross-government process," Jason Kenney, the Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism, told an audience on Wednesday at the University of Toronto, co-hosted by the campus Hillel and Conservative Party clubs.

He said Ottawa is looking to Britain as an example, citing the "really robust" community outreach programs that were developed in the Home Office after the London Underground bombings of 2005.

"Unfortunately, the federal government is a huge, complicated machine," he said.

You know, it's over $200-billion budget, hundreds of thousands of people, and sometimes not everyone gets the message," Mr. Kenney said. "I think there is a tendency to be a little bit naive in Canada. We're so self-congratulatory about the success of our model of pluralism and diversity that surely no one could really mean ill in Canada. ... We don't necessarily all subscribe to Canadian values, and we should be willing to recognize those that don't."

He gave the example of discovering last year that the Canadian Islamic Congress had been providing sensitivity training sessions to the Canadian Air Transportation Security Authority.

"No comment," he said. "They're no longer doing that."

Referring particularly to the CIC and the Canadian Arab Federation, he described the targets of the funding review as groups with "no real constituency. They have an e-mail account. They have a fax machine. And they have a blowhard who's willing to get on television and say the most audacious things that attract media attention. We, as a government, should not give them additional credibility."

The review announcement is the latest twist in a bitter war of words between Mr. Kenney and Khaled Mouammar, the president of the Canadian Arab Federation. A detailed chronology posted on the CAF Web site shows the mutual animosity dates at least to Mr. Kenney's appointment to his Cabinet post in January, 2007. It burst into public last month when Mr. Mouammar called Mr. Kenney a "professional whore" for his denunciation of Hamas and Hezbollah flags at a Toronto protest against Israel's assault on Gaza. Mr. Kenney this month stripped the CAF of a $447,000 grant to provide language training to new immigrants, marking the first funding casualty of the government's new hate audit.

That led Liberal MP Jim Karygiannis to file a complaint of "undue influence" with Ethics Commissioner Mary Dawson, but Mr. Kenney denied that the two events were linked.

"If that misunderstanding exists, I absolutely regret it," he said in an interview. "I didn't create the misunderstanding. It was an initial media report in the Sun newspaper chain that tied the two things together when they were never tied together in my mind. And so, yeah, I regret that, because to some extent I think it has diverted attention away from the real issue, which has nothing to do with name calling whatsoever. Thank God we don't live in a country where people with political authority can be vindictive in that way. I think that would be really ridiculous."

He quipped yesterday that the insult was a redundancy - whores are professional by definition - and that alone should disqualify Mr. Mouammar from running any language program.

A call to the CAF yesterday was not returned.

Mr. Kenney focused his speech on the question of anti-Semitism on university campuses, and the "reckless language" of "delegitimization" of Israel. He called it "both a cause and a consequence of the new anti-Semitism," which hides behind a pose of multiculturalism.

He cited two famous cases: the 2004 statement by former Canadian Islamic Congress leader and University of Waterloo engineering professor Mohamed Elmasry that "anybody [in Israel] above 18 is a part of the Israeli popular army" and thus a valid target, and the 2007 attendance of St. Francis Xavier politics professor Shiraz Dossa at an Iranian Holocaust denial conference.

He said these cases demonstrate "the disturbing comfort of a small minority in Canadian academia with this odious new anti-Semitism," which is "packaged up as anti-Zionism."

Also on Wednesday, the Canadian Federation of Students - Ontario publicized leaked recordings that, it says, show Conservative representatives "advising Conservative students to set up ‘front organizations' to receive student clubs funding under false pretenses in order to funnel money to the Conservative Party."

The CFS-Ontario, a union of student governments, accused the party of "a plan to undermine democratic decision-making on Canadian campuses" by preventing the University of Waterloo from joining the CFS-Ontario.

Although Mr. Kenney was heckled on the way to his car, and stopped in the hallway by an Iraq war resister who was carrying a baby while pleading her immigration case, his audience was largely supportive.

An exception came when Mr. Kenney slapped down a question from a student about the recent spate of prepared statements in the House of Commons by Conservative backbenchers criticizing Liberal strategist Warren Kinsella, in part for his campaign against right-wing blogger Kathy Shaidle, whom he accuses of racism.

"I don't know what you're talking about. Sorry. I take it you're from the Liberal club, you've got Warren Kinsella's talking points. Good for you. Send me a memo, I'll look into it," he said.

"He guessed right," said the questioner, Gabe De Roche, recruiting manager for the campus Liberal club.

© 2009 The National Post Company. All rights reserved. Unauthorized distribution, transmission or republication strictly prohibited.

hockey hound said...

"The choices one makes are reflective of peoples’ hearts, not their minds."

The above statement is accurately descriptive of the Muslim "believer", although Mr. Hutton, as is common practice of Islam's apologists, propagates that the violence and barbarism Muslims (whatever country they're from) have become known for should be expected also from Christians and Jews. This is a blatent imposture.

Regardless of what the Quran says one way or the other, most Muslims of the Middle East and Asia hate Jews because of the denigrative statements about them written in the Quran. Such religiously inspired enmity is not the Islam the apologists promise us, yet this is veridical Islam.

This insalubrious version of Islam is not the fault of the West, nor the fault of Robert Spencer. This is the fault of Islam and the Quran and the Muslims who choose to believe its passages as they are written. Consequently, apologia like that of Richard Hutton is become meaningless to practical people like myself. I have no "faith" in his promises. I do not "believe" him.

"Zeal without reflection is dangerous."

"We have a problem with Islamic fundamentalists because we have a problem with the fundamentals of Islam." -Sam Harris

Epaminondas said...

Richard Hutton, Hello, and I'm sorry I haven't responded but for some reason the email comment notification of only SOME of the comments posted after my last appeared last night.

What Muhammad Hussein Ya’qoub has done is to represent ACCURATELY what the (vast ?) majority of muslims believe the quran insists on (and I'll line Bostom up against Karen Armstrong any day). Just apply the template of this theory to the daily news ... or the Pew polls.

I believe you will find that those willing to stand against this as muslims EXCEPTIONAL.

Just ask Mrs. Cohen in BirminghamThis is the unfortunate case and those who disagree argue the exception.

Worse still I find it impossible to argue that the bible or jews or some rabbi or evangelist says X, and this compares to the Quran's 9:29, or so called 'out of context' quotes.

Every Muslim to BE a Muslim must believe that the author is God.

Very few Jews and Christians I know of either believe the bible is the direct product of a perfect being and therefore perfect itself, or believe that one must BELIEVE THAT to be considered a true coreligionist - and those who have such ridiculous thoughts are the exception. This distinction holds a great meaning, especially as the conscience for certain actions is concerned

Are there Muslims who conscience is revolted by all we see and who think the admonition of apes and pigs and all the rest of the excesses are absurd and embarrassing if not disgusting?

Sure. Plenty.

And we don't see many of them for a reason.

It's a good one.

It's why we're commenting here.