Friday 8 June 2012

The EU at war with Israel: The prospect of an Irish-led EU-wide boycott

Eamon Gilmore speaking with a pro-Palestinian demonstrator.

Eamon Gilmore, Ireland’s foreign minister, said recently he shall seek a boycott of Jewish West Bank settlements throughout the European Union:
Tánaiste Eamon Gilmore has said Ireland may push for the EU to ban goods from Israeli settlements if Israel does not quickly change its settlements policy in Palestinian territories.
Furthermore, Gilmore also seeks the banning of some Jewish settlers from entering the EU due to “violence”:
Mr Gilmore has also said the Government may seek to have certain extremist settlers banned from the EU if they do not stop their violence in settlement areas. […]
“I think at that stage if there isn’t a change in Israeli policy in relation to settlements in particular, I think we may have to look at some additional measures,” the Tánaiste said.
These “additional measures” are largely left unsaid but if he wishes to censure settler communities then it is possible they will be treated in a similar fashion to terrorist organisations. He may suggest proscribing settler advocacy groups, individuals convicted of violence against Palestinians, and even those associated with activism. Somewhat similar ideas were proposed by EU diplomats in an official report last year, concerning “settlers” in East Jerusalem.

The statement is of note as Gilmore said he spoke for the Government, and their policy will be pursued further when Ireland gets the rotating EU presidency next January. Additionally, Gilmore holds more than the foreign ministry. By possessing the role of Tánaiste (deputy prime minister) in the current government, he stands as the second most senior politician in Ireland. He is also the leader of the Labour Party, partners in the two-party coalition government.

The EU’s frequent criticism of the Jewish State attempts to appease the Arab-Islamic world. It is also an opportunity to appear holier than thou, and to date Europe’s hostility toward Israel has resulted in a substantive amount of prejudicial hot air over human rights, which has contributed in a gradual albeit very significant way to Israel’s delegitimisation.

However, the present boycott proposal should be deemed a more intensive immediate threat, judging by overall trends in EU policy toward Israel, and European trends at a more national level, such as with the UK and Denmark, to isolate produce associated with Jewish settlements. Goods produced in the settlements have no entitlement to any EU import exemptions, unlike the rest of Israel.

The timing of Gilmore’s proposal

Gilmore announced his boycott proposal on May 14th, immediately after a meeting with his European ministerial counterparts, where he may have discussed the idea. The meeting led to the issuing of a particularly antagonistic statement on Jewish settlements in the West Bank, where the EU effectively accused Israel of ethnic cleansing, especially in relation to the small Palestinian minority in Area C, which represents a few percent of its West Bank populace.

The EU threatened Israel’s authority by refusing to accept Israeli planning law in relation to Area C of the contested West Bank, asserting the legitimacy of illegal Palestinian development. Area C is under Israel’s control via the Oslo treaty, until a peace deal is signed. This was done whilst reiterating the common EU claim that all Jewish settlement is illegal in Area C. The EU also substantially increased Palestinian developmental funding in the latter part of 2011.

Coinciding with Gilmore’s proposal, the ministers issued their communiqué on the eve of Naqba Day, a day commonly seen as a protest against Israel’s very creation in 1948. The date seems unduly coincidential, especially when considering it was the eve of the first anniversary of Naqba Day 2011, notable for causing the worst violence of the conflict the year previously. Thus, its issuing was in part likely to be a detrimental gesture of appeasement.

Context surrounding the proposal

Gilmore’s proposal appears to be an expansion of a prior report issued in 2011. Consular officials heading the EU diplomatic missions in Jerusalem and Ramallah issued a report calling for East Jerusalem to be treated as the capital of a Palestinian state. They made a significant number of unprecedented proposals, such as boycotting Israeli produce originating in East Jerusalem, and discussed EU nations banning “violent settlers in East Jerusalem.”

The report recommends that EU officials and politicians refuse to visit government offices located beyond the 1949 Armistice Lines, and decline any Israeli security in East Jerusalem. The document proposes that visiting EU officials should not avail of any Israeli businesses that operate in East Jerusalem, nor archaeological sites operated by “pro-settler organizations.” The diplomats suggest raising public awareness about settlement products, and for citizens to be informed “of the financial risks involved in purchasing property in occupied East Jerusalem.” It advocates an EU presence at house evacuations and demolitions, court hearings, and to “ensure EU intervention when Palestinians are arrested or intimidated by Israeli authorities for peaceful cultural, social or political activities in East Jerusalem.”

Some commentators felt the severity of the report, including its focus on practical overtly intrusive actions harmful to the State, represented the first concrete steps toward the EU instituting sanctions against Israel in its entirety.

The Palestinian Authority also campaigns forcefully for the boycott of the settlements even though a boycott runs counter to the Oslo Accords where trade barriers are to be avoided.

Are settlements really preventing peace?

During a recent session in the Irish parliament Gilmore stated:
We all want to see meaningful talks resuming between Israel and Palestine, with a view to putting in place the two-state solution. It is not realistic to have that, however, in circumstances where settlement activity is taking place. As President Abbas said, one cannot talk about a state for Palestine if one continues to build on it.
It would seem that Gilmore has accepted Abbas’ excuses for not coming to the peace table, by exaggerating rather absurdly the scale of the settlements, which merely represent around 2% of the West Bank. The EU criticised Israel for not extending Netanyahu’s settlement freeze even though the Palestinians refused to talk til the very end of the freeze! Northern-Ireland peacemaker George Mitchell said of that very process:
…the Israeli leaders agreed to halt new housing in the West Bank for 10 months. It was much less than what we asked for but more than anyone else had done. The Palestinians rejected it as worse than useless. They were strongly opposed to it. Then nine months on, there were negotiations for a couple of weeks that were discontinued by the Palestinians on the grounds that Israel wouldn’t continue the settlement freeze. What had been less than worthless a few months earlier became indispensable to continue negotiations.
Thus, the Palestinians are simply play-acting, using the settlement issue as little more than a ruse to avoid talking peace. Gilmore, and his ilk in Europe, should be reminded of the fact that Israel continued the Oslo talks during the mid-1990’s, when some of the most debased terrorist attacks, with co-operation from the PLO, took place on its soil.

Are Jewish settlements illegal?

Ronald S. Lauder, the head of the World Jewish Congress, reacted strongly to Gilmore’s proposal stating “the West Bank territories are legally disputed and not illegally occupied.”

The words “contested” or “disputed” are more appropriate than “occupied” because there was no prior legitimate sovereignty that the occupier ousted, and indeed Jordan gave up its claim over the West Bank in 1988. Additionally, the 1949 Armistice lines were explicitly designated as being temporary boundaries.

The legal status of the settlements is actually far more complex than Gilmore et al allow. Article Six of the British Mandate established the legal precedent for permitting close Jewish settlement Eastward to the Jordan River but the mandated administration never properly discharged its mission. Moreover, the UN is not entitled to declare settlements illegal. Article 80 of the Charter prevents prior international bodies being overruled.

Furthermore, Israel and the PLO both signed binding agreements. With Oslo II the settlement and border issues were to be decided in a final status agreement. Thus, the continued presence of settlements in Area C is not illegitimate.

Moreover, land swaps between Israel and the Palestinians have repeatedly been accepted by the PA. It is understood that some settlements near the Green line will be incorporated into Israel, in return for largely Arab areas in Israel.

Eamon Gilmore’s hypocrisy

For a time it seemed that Ireland might have been willing to foster a closer relationship with Israel. Eamon Gilmore visited Israel and the Palestinian territories in January. This came after Reuven Rivlin, the parliamentary speaker of Israel’s Knesset, visited Ireland in an official capacity, the first such visit by invite from the Irish State in almost thirty years.

However, cordial relations would only go so far. It was a portent of things to come when Gilmore met Netanyahu. While in front of news cameras, Netanyahu asked Gilmore at considerable length to criticise Palestinian incitement. Gilmore, who has been intensely vocal about Jewish settlements for a long time, pointedly failed to even briefly mention the issue of incitement, nor the then recent glorification of the killers of the Fogel family on PA television.

Gilmore often asserts that he is not anti-Israeli, that he merely speaks up for Palestinian rights. However, he cannot have it both ways. Anyone who advocates a boycott against Israeli settlers is anti-Israeli, even if they draw a sharp distinction with an overall boycott and seek a two-state solution, if they do not seek censure of the Palestinian side as well. Their stance places absolute blame on Israel for not seeking or obtaining peace, with seemingly no censure for continual Palestinian intransigence. The view is in stark contrast to the facts. Israel has repeatedly offered the PA the vast majority of the territory featuring settlements, virtually 100% of Palestinian territorial demands during the 2007/8 Olmert-Abbas talks, in exchange for peace.

And what of settler violence? Actually, when considering the scale of such an ugly conflict, a surprisingly modest number of Palestinians have been killed by settlers since 2000, numbering seventeen, according to anti-Israeli NGO B’Tselem, an organisation prone to exaggeration, and indeed a number of those Palestinians killed were actually engaged in violent acts against settlers.

Gilmore asserted that his stance represents that of the broader Irish government. For Irish politicians to try to isolate settlers over notions of humanitarianism, when the Irish State is bending over backwards to facilitate stronger bi-lateral ties with the Chinese in an effort to gain better access to its markets, when there are graver human rights concerns over the most basic freedoms in China, as well as the ongoing suppression of protest in occupied Tibet, surely represent a real contender in the moral hypocrisy stakes!

It should be said that Gilmore hasn’t expressed views that could be considered anti-Semitic, and he spoke against the bullying of a band intending to visit Israel, albeit after others in the government and opposition took a lead.

The EU’s manifest hatred of the Jewish State

A boycott would obviously cause a dramatic escalation in tensions between the EU and Israel but sanity may not necessarily prevail. Such a move would be popular in Europe, during the present climate where anti-Semitism has repeatedly been shown to be on the rise, even in the more sensitised German populace, and is strongly associated with populist intensely negative anti-Israeli sentiment.

The EU/EEC has been hostile to Israel for decades. Their stance has been defined by self-interest, rather than any concerns over humanitarianism. Initially, fears over oil security, particularly after the OPEC crisis, were intensified by a keener hostility from the French and Irish, both of which desired to court the Arab world economically. Since 9/11, oil security melded with a great concern over Islamism, due to an ever-increasing Muslim presence in Europe.

The EU issue frequent reports, which are derived from sources known to be highly prejudicial, that perpetuate many untruths about the conflict. It displays a shockingly lax attitude toward terrorism and the incitement of violence.

It has often been stated that ceaselessly condemning one side will not achieve peace when both need to compromise meaningfully. This is an obvious point that experienced politicians would understand, and while not all within the EU adopt such a hostile position, the most Israel can ever hope for in terms of balance is vague and infrequent words about terrorism.

In 2010 twenty six European leaders, including high-level former EU leaders, such as Javier Solana, issued a letter calling for boycotts and sanctions targeting Israel over settlement construction. They called for the EU to stop the importation of settlement products, and demanded that Israel fund the bulk of aid to Palestinians. They demanded that the EU reiterate its position that it will not recognise any changes to the June 1967 Israeli boundaries, that a Palestinian state must be “territory equivalent to 100% of the territory occupied in 1967”, its capital East Jerusalem. They wanted the EU to give Israel an ultimatum that if their demands were not met in six months, the EU would seek an end to the US peace process in favour of a UN solution!

This oddly pugnacious attitude toward Israel stands in stark contrast to its soft approach to that of other conflicts, the only exception being the present civil war in Syria, albeit a conflict on a very different scale, where at least 10,000 civilians have been killed, 65,000+ are missing, and 200,000+ imprisoned, a toll caused by civilian protest against the Assad regime, rather than defensive necessity! Not surprisingly, the EU speaks in harmony with the UN and the Arab League on this issue, as they do regarding Israel.

Is the EU’s stance merely a result of ignorance about the malignancy of the intent of the Arab-Islamic world toward Israel? Well perhaps not! The EU’s High Representative, Catherine Ashton, effectively compared the murder of Jewish children by an Islamic terrorist in Toulouse, with the death of children due to a defensive conflict against Hamas in Gaza, thus echoing the views of the terrorist himself, and of similar killers in the past. Thus, there seems to be a tacit understanding of terrorism against Israel.

Indeed, the EU has for a long time displayed a bizarrely disinterested attitude with regard to its funding. Of the enormous sums it sends to the PA, it has been noted for some time that a very substantial portion goes to terrorists and the families of "martyrs".

Neither is it unprecedented to express sympathy over the death of Hamas operatives. One EU member threatened to prosecute a number of political and military leaders over the killing of leading terrorist Salah Shehadeh, suggesting some see Hamas as a legitimate organisation.

At a political level, the EU’s shift to an ever-hardening stance was illustrated when they expressed the intent to fund Hamas in a unity government, and the terrorist group is also reputed to be holding talks with five EU countries at present. Thus, it can be said that the very last of the EU’s scruples are being eroded away, and sooner or later the political entity shall act on in a far more concrete fashion against Israel.

Although Hamas is an EU proscribed organisation, it is notable that many individuals closely associated with the group freely advocate for Hamas in Europe, a situation contrasting with the US. Interestingly, the EU was reluctant to proscribe Hamas, and seemingly little has been done to stop the extensive funding network that exists in Europe.

Potential consequences, and a petition for change

A developing boycott would be extremely dangerous to Israel not only because it would substantially worsen the perception of its already compromised legitimacy. It would cross a psychological barrier in the West if such a major entity as the EU was to boycott settlements, and single out settlers for legal censure. It can easily be envisaged that individual states would go further in this boycott since the mechanism would have been legitimised by the EU itself.

Reputedly, concerns have been expressed in Israel that the debate over exports from settlements will in turn have a bearing on all their exports to Europe. Indeed there is likely to be some rippling effect after the first stone is cast.

With Israel unable to even talk peace with an intransigent Palestinian Authority, which is well aware that Israel’s demonisation is sapping its maneuverability, the door will then open for a boycott of settlers and non-settlers alike.

A boycott may in time spread to Western nations outside the EU, becoming a normative feature of foreign policy.

One of the few active pro-Israel campaigners in Ireland started a petition, hosted by Avaaz. It proved popular but Avaaz deleted it without warning. They claimed it broke their “community standards” without citing any specific rules. Avaaz has intensively supported the Palestinian cause since its founding.

The organiser of the deleted petition has started up another. Although starting at a disadvantage, support by pro-Israel advocates, through social media etc., will greatly aid the regaining momentum.


The EU’s extraordinary behaviour toward Israel could be characterised as if they see the Jewish State as a wayward colony, over which they have some sort of entitlement, It manifests as an arrogance that often crosses into bullying.

What does it say about self-appointed peace-makers, when they are unwilling to even briefly speak in public about Palestinian incitement, an immense problem that has pervaded Palestinian culture for decades? The answer has to be none too flattering, and the irony is increased a notch with Gilmore proposing legal censure against Jewish settlers.

Eamon Gilmore is right to be concerned about the continued viability of a two-state solution over the conflict but it needs to be pointed out that the grievance felt by many Palestinian Arabs is not driven by the settlement issue. It has been shown repeatedly, such as in polls, that a majority do not seek a long-term peaceful co-existence with Israeli’s.

This conflict is not about the settlements. It is about Israel’s existence in Dar al-Islam. The flat denial that Islamism is the true force behind the violence against Israel, when we see the effects of it blighting Africa and Asia on a daily basis in the news, is an affront to the truth. Why is the West willing to hand it over, akin to Czechoslovakia in 1938?

It is an effort to isolate Israel from the Greater Western sphere, an effort by Europeans to shield themselves from the Islamism that threatens them due to an ever-growing Muslim populace. The only peace that could ever be achieved by their approach is a Carthaginian peace, where Israel is forced into the role of sacrificial lamb but one that will not satisfy since it has little to do with the recent Middle-East upheavals, nor the conflict between Sunni and Shi’ite.

The popular Israeli blog Anne's Opinions features a synopsis of the above article, and offers further analysis, such as the way in which the EU’s funding is used.

This article was also published at Crethi Plethi.


cmg said...

its hard to understand why "pro-palestinians" focus so much on minor problems between israel and palestinians while there is real genocide being committed in the likes of sudan and the DRC. the labour party are hypocrites bending over backwards for better relations with china ignoring their cultural genocide in tibet,there one child policy and there brutal suppression of protesters and reformists the same goes to the arab league who endorses terrorism against the jewish state and props up arab regimes like sudan and bahrain. these are the countries who should be boycotted not israel who has to defend itself. unfortunately many irish see the palestinian cause as similar to their own

Rob Harris said...

Hi cmg, welcome to the blog.

I agree that its difficult to get why pro-Palestinians obsess over Israel at the expense of far more severe conflicts in the region, especially when the actions of those regimes is usually indefensible from a moral standpoint (e.g. Assad’s forces killing large numbers of protestors), whilst Israel is defending itself from genocidists like Hamas and Hizbullah that target a civil populace it is obliged to protect.

I agree re. China, the most basic fundamental freedoms there, such as freedom of religion, the right to vote and represent oneself, are non-existant. For Ireland to court them means one thing, if they object to Israel over supposed human rights issues: filty lucre.

Its Labour and the main government coalition partner called “Fine Gael”. Fine (pronounced “finna”) Gael are usually the least antagonistic party toward Israel (being staunchly in the political centre) but having said that, they are far from pro-Israeli. It sort of leads me to suspect they are letting Gilmore and the Labour part have this “reward”. Worryingly Labour aren’t the worst in Ireland. I suspect the harder left parties like Sein Fein/IRA and the coalition of Trotskyites and Marxists called the “United Left Alliance” would expel the Israeli ambassador the very day they got elected, the way they go on!

cmg said...

the reason why they obsess is probably because they have the freedom to do so the mavi marmara incident was an exception as the "activists" attacked the idf but they all know despite israel's "apartheid regime",the israelis won't harm them because they're a proper democracy,if you went to syria you would most likely get your head blown off or come back in a body bag

i definitely agree with you when it comes to ireland's political parties at least there's one td,alan shatter,who has any common sense.labour probably isn't that radical........yet but labour youth are.sinn fein can never be trusted,they were willing to let ireland lose its national sovereignty for an irish quisling style for the ULA if they ever got into power there would two north koreas

it seems these days europe only cares if its the west doing the killings,of course without examining the facts. when 9/11 happened the USA invaded afghanistan in retaliation for them harbouring the taliban,when 30 people lost their lives after the passover massacre in israel,the israelis commenced operation defensive shield. compare this to europe,spain withdrew from iraq after the madrid metro bombings and france recently announced they were withdrawing from afghanistan due to a few casualties.this is the big difference between europe and the USA and israel,europeans turn the other cheek while the israelis and americans fight back

cmg said...

sorry hi and thanks

i meant the taliban were harbouring al qaeda. another thing what's happening in syria isn't as clear as the media betray it to be so i wouldn't automatically take the oppositions side they are probablyly lethal islamists that hate israel more than assad.

Rob Harris said...

Hi cmg,

Absolutely many rag on Israel because it is relatively safe to do so, e.g. people were saying why aren’t the flotillas going to Syria last year! I would like to see them to pull the same stunts against China!

I addressed the very issue of what motivates pro-Palestinians in some depth in an old article - see the first few paragraphs if of interest. I have to come to the conclusion that it is driven by base anti-Semitism for many but this is not the sole motivation. It is also driven by a leftist hatred for all things Western/American etc., and the left being the political landscape that almost completely occupies the sphere of human rights issues etc., would thus tend to have a bias against Israel, where the clash of two major cultures and faiths is particularly intense, with the Arab-Islamic world so invested in the conflict.

Sorry, I didn’t know how familiar you were with Irish politics. Shatter being the sole Jewish TD so he has had it bad from the “totally-non-anti-Semitic” IPSC etc. There are a few other moderates but they don’t speak up since the political climate is overwhelmingly supportive of the Palestinians. The ULA are the vilest disingenuous bunch, it almost turns my stomach when I see Boyd-Barrett’s cherubic face!

I agree, Europe has no bottle anymore. Spain’s capitualtion after the Madrid Bombings was an example of the defeatism toward Islamism – of course its their business what they do but years ago such a horrific event would likely have steeled Spanish society, like many other nations in the West, but it instead led to the election of the party that would pull them out of Iraq giving terrorists a huge victory.

Rob Harris said...

BTW I agree with you over Syria. The sentence in the article wasn’t intended to portray the opposition to Assad as saints but rather to point out how the conflict was for a fair amount of time over the prevention of basic human rights issues like protesting, a phenomenon that is 100% accepted in Israel.

Indeed Christians are being targetted, e.g. 50,000 were expelled from Homs. Mother Agnes Mariam was on RTE’s Joe Duffy Show last Friday talking about foreign Islamists telling the Christian community where she lives to leave within six days. She spoke of a friend, a Muslim man, who said he now wanted Assad to stay because the dissent against Assad was not supposed to end up like it has.

cmg said...

Hi again rob

You're completely right,Spain's surrender after the Madrid bombings was a major victory for islamists. I don't agree with the Iraq war but if i were the Spanish prime minister i would of doubled the number of troops directly after them attacks.The only reason the Middle east is so important is because of oil without that the Saudis and Qataris would be still on their camels.Despite leftist rants about the evils of capitalism,they're the ones who suck up most to these Arab dictators.Probably most left wing anti Israel activists don't have a clue about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict,they just keep repeating the same chants again and again until they convince themselves and others.Could you imagine the horror of these "activists" if someone sent a flotilla to Sderot?I thought our country was supposed to be neutral anyway,why the hell should we break that,especially for the Palestinians?Im suprised why Scandinavian countries aren't taking the main role in this,Norwegian leftists alongside islamists had a riot in Oslo because of the Gaza war.

This country definitely needs a moderate right wing party,our political landscape has been dominated by left wing and centrist parties for years.Of course they'd probably get called racists and fascists by the real left wing fascists themselves but it would certainly be worth it,unfortunately the left has fooled people into believing the right and the far right are the same,completely ignoring the far left which has infact done much more damage to the world and killed a hell of a lot more people.

On Syria didn't actually know islamists were deliberately targeting Christians,I just presumed the suicide attacks and some of the massacres were being committed by the Free Syrian army.I suppose Syria is the only Muslim country where Christians have any rights,I also think an intervention would be terrible for the region,you only have to look behind the headlines to discover Syria is the Iranian and Saudi playground for spreading their own brands of Islam,both are just as evil but Im guessing the West will side the Gulf states.

cmg said...

Thanks for the link,great article,well written and had plenty of relevant facts but it doesn't matter how many articles you write for the likes of them because only those who are already supportive of Israel read it.

Rob Harris said...

I didn’t agree with the Iraq war either. So many seem to assume that if one speaks up for the West etc., that your views on foreign policy echoes Bush! I suspect it has something to do with radicals hating America more than anything else, co-opting the movement - their hatred of Israel was also notable. Indeed that “individual” (I use the word loosely) Richard Boyd-Barrett co-opted the anti-war movement for his own needs at the SWP, and the IAWM would announce they were not an “anti war movement” subsequently but an anti-imperialist one” – translation: they support anti-Western extremists.

Interesting idea that Ireland shouldn’t give these ships the right to leave port (as the Greeks did) when it is known that they will break the legitimate military blockade of a state which they recognise.

I would disagree a wee bit when you say Ireland has been dominated by the left but you’re right about the centre. Interesting idea that the left has fooled people into thinking the right and far right are the same. We saw that with many trying to smear the Tea Party as racist, and indeed people like Geert Wilders are always described as “far right” by the media. Its odd how an anti-immigration policy suddenly became a “far right” policy, akin to that of fascists like Hitler.

Yeah Islamists are targeting Christians. It is linked with the Free Syrian Army but notably a significant number of these Jihadi individuals are foreigners. Of course you wouldn’t have heard because the media did a stand-up job of ignoring Christian persecution as it did with the Egyptian Arab Spring, funny considering how terribly Islamophobic the media truly is! :D

One of the ignored conflicts in the Middle East is the tacit war on Christians. This has led to the mass exodus of Christians, even in Syria where Assad treated the Christians relatively well. Syria used to be almost 50% Christian a hundred years ago. Now it is down to under 10% AFAIK.

Thanks for the positive feedback on the other article. I realise most that read it aren’t already supportive of Israel but I feel it is important to simply speak out, otherwise pro-Palestinians simply have it their way, witness how for example they try their damnedest to snuff out any dissenting voices.

cmg said...

Well certainly in my lifetime the political landscape has been dominated by left-centrist parties beginning with the fianna fail-labour coalition.The left has never had an outright majority but they have always been in a somewhat influential position,such as fianna fail-labour,fine gael-labour or fianna fail and the greens etc....I also believe that under the leadership of Micheal Martin,that fianna fail is moving from a centrist to left wing platform.

I used to be a strong supporter of Labour,there stance on Israel and immigration never appealed to me but there stance towards student fees always did,of course after the last general election they really showed their true colours as regards this,with Quinn selling out.

As regards my "interesting idea",it's more than an idea,its the truth.I have one of Labour youth's left tribune leaflets,in it,it discusses Fascism and the far right in Modern Europe,A catalogue of failure and a basis for hope,A tribute to Norway,the current decline of Fascism in Europe and an interview with Mags O'Brien(in case your not aware,one of these flotilla "activists") basically more than half of it is dedicated to condemning the right,Sarkozy who by no means is far right,is also mentioned and its wording,easily implies that Breivik represents the modern day right.The left should be the last one to talk about terrorism,the IRA,FARC and other terrorist organisations are all left wing.It wouldn't be fair to say they represent the left.The big difference between Europe in 1945 and Europe in 1991 is that
there wasn't mass trials after the colapse of the USSR,everything was just brushed aside as if nothing at all happened,forgetting about the millions of lives lost and destroyed by Soviet Tyranny.

I have heard about the Tea party but to be honest,know very little about it,so I'm not going to comment on them.Its hard to say what Wilders is,probably right wing liberal is the most appropriate term,I especially don't see how he is a racist,its true what he said about the superiority of certain cultures to others western civilisation is definitely superior to Islamic sharia culture.He was careful to mention that,that didn't mean certain races were superior to each other and he has openly said immigrants are welcome provided they adopt Dutch liberal values.Many in the Netherlands are well aware of this and gave him the position of the 3rd largest party in the Dutch Parliament.

Unfortunately he is an example of how the left has attempted to silence free speech,getting back to topic I don't see what Ireland has to gain from this,as far as I know,Ireland actually benefits from a trade surplus with Israel,you also have to take into account that rich Jewish business men wouldn't look towards Ireland for investment because of this.Its not out of concern over human rights as we both previously stated there courting of China.

I don't know whether you have ever confronted one of these Pro Palestinians,I have and believe me their response is pretty pathetic,he babbled on about "right wing propaganda" and then something completely irrelevant regarding social classes as soon as I began to question the real source of the conflict,basically anything to hide from the truth and avoid a proper dicussion.This is a similar tactic used throughout the BDS movement,silence the opposition!Gilmore now feels its his duty to do this,just aswell Labour will lose more than half of its support in the next general election,unfortunately this may lead to a power vacuum in the left,leading to sinn fein becoming the new face of the Irish left.

On Syria the Christian populations numbers probably decreased due to a much higher Muslim birthrate,with some persecution of course.I am aware of how Christians and other minority religions are persecuted throughout the Middle East,Israel being the exception with the regions only growing Christian population.

Rob Harris said...

We’ll have to agree to differ on the strength of leftism in Irish politics but it is definitely increasing with horrors like Boyd-Barrett. I would describe Fianna Fail as centre-right albeit with a certain appeal to the left due to its working class support because ultimately they are populists that buy votes. I don’t dislike Labour hugely, and quite like Gilmore in a way, other than some of his tired leftist stances.

There wasn’t any intention of minimising your point when I called it an “interesting idea”, and I agree completely with the point that the left is responsible for the majority of terrorism in the world, outside of the Islamist domain of course. The left does demonise the right as you say, and indeed it was quite disgusting how so many blamed the right, those defending Israel etc. for Breivik’s actions. People like Richard Silverstein sounded positively onanistic when they were lambasting Pamela Gellar and Robert Spencer, both of whom are critical of Islam but often insist that religious freedom applies regardless.

I would argue that FARC etc, do represent the far-left to some extent. It can’t be a coincidence so many on the left support terrorists. One of their heroes is Che Guevara, a man that admitted he wished for a nuclear confrontation between the US and USSR, the death of millions worthwhile. I agree there should have been a confrontation with the collapse of communism etc. Unbelievably some leftists still take issue with the idea Uncle Joe was one of the worst murderers of all time, just as when comparing the way the USSR treated theAfghani’s (killing over a million people) with that of the US today.

Some pro-Palestinians have pretty poor responses as you say because they were simply spoon-fed nonsense, others though are skilled at the use of propaganda. They can seem to win debates, especially to onlookers who have been acclimatized to those values for so long. It’s those people that truly matter.

A higher Muslim birthrate would be one explanation for Syria but such an extreme change in under a hundred years is down to persecution, although Assad junior is more supportive of Christians today. Christian persecution was a major trend throughout the Middle East in the 20th Century. The 30,000 Christians living in Jerusalem circa 1948 was cut to a third of that by 1967 under the Jordanian regime. Few seem to realise that Lebanon used to be a Christian nation, now the Christian populace is around 30%, in the aftermath of the civil war – provoked by the PLO which Syria eventually sided with against Christians. The battle known as the 100 days war comes to mind, as does the horror of Damour.

cmg said...

I'm not arguing that left wing parties have ever called the shots in any Government but......they always have been a junior partner in any coalition,it was because of this that our last Government fell.On Fianna Fail,they definitely try to appeal to the largest number of voters possible but I do think they have a large amount of characteristics of the left,especially under its new leadership which will have to reform the party to ever be trusted again by the Irish Public,unless of course the current Government really slips up.Even looking at recent polls,Sinn Fein seems to be capitalising on Labour's demise.The last election gave Adam's his best place yet in the Dail,it also allowed for the ULA to gain 5 seats,not much but its biggest success to date.Labour aren't the worst but yet again there is a large amount of radicals in it,Ivana Bacik for example who contains a prominent role in the party,endorses a full boycott of Israel and breaking off relations with the Jewish State,I'd be wary of Michael D.Higgins aswell.If there was a general election tomorrow there's no doubt that many more radical leftists such as the ULA and Sinn Fein would do better,possibly leaving the Dail fragmented with leading parties attempting anything to garner up enough support to have a coalition.

The thing about Labour is that they say one thing and do another,for example student fees and child benefit.Labour said they wouldn't touch either of them if they got into power and told Fine Gael that it had to be a pre-condition for any future coalition government(in fact they were the only two pre-conditions Labour insisted on)but when push came to shove they abandoned the two policies,so its very hard to trust them.I really don't like Fine Gael but then again at least I know where they stand on issues.I agree with your previous comment which states this is Gilmore's "reward" but I also can't help feeling that Labour and the Irish Government is doing this to distract the public from more important domestic issues.

Sorry if that came off a bit agressive,I did't intend it to be so.Definitely,Breivik has set the European Right back God knows how many years for his cowardly massacre of Labour Youth in Norway.This has provided the European Left a much needed breathing space as they can now use it as an example of another form of terrorism outside Islamism.Norway's progress party suffered a backdrop because of this and Wilder's is expected to lose several seats in the Dutch Parliament.Le Pen who'd I still would be wary of but I do think has gave the Front National a major modern facelift,has been criticised as a racist despite the fact she herself never said one racist thing,Leftists of course would dispute that,claiming that her comments regarding Muslims in France blocking pedestrians while praying,looked liked an "invading Army".This is of course forgetting all political violence related to the Left,such as the assasination of Pim Fortuyn who was widely expected to become leader of the Netherlands and ETA and the IRA's attacks on politicians which varied from more sinister tactics like car bombs,bombing hotels and of course their mortar attack on 10Downing Street all of which could of caused an untold amount of civilian casualties. Guess which other terrorist group likes to fire mortars and missiles but this time at innocent civilians?

cmg said...

......As regards the USSR definitely former Leaders and prominent figures need to be tried and possible executed for crimes against humanity,unfortuantely its successor Russia isn't much better.This had led me to wonder why there is so much hostility towards Russia in Europe since it opposes virtually everything American.I think Europe is still bitter over the 20th Century,since it is stained in their failures and America's successes,this combined with the need for America's protection has led many to feel humiliated.With China taking a leading role in the 21st Century it leads me to think many European Leaders will feel emboldened to take a more critical stance towards America's Foreign Policy or "American Imperialism" as they call it.

Many Pro Palestinians do have little to no facts regarding the situation between Israel and the Palestinians.True there are others who do,their views have to respected of course but in my opinion any debate between a Pro Israeli and a Pro Palestinian would result in an Israeli victory due to the other sides supression of the facts,Israel wouldn't come out smelling like roses but it would give an alternative perspective regarding the conflict,it would also show the Palestinians are no angels.Anyone who does take part in one of these flotillas does deserve to arrested for stupidity alone.The sea is much more of a threat to them than the Israeli Navy.It also leads me to question how much our Government gives them in funding.

Assad's secular regime has provided many benefits to minority groups in Syria.This is under huge threat of course from the Gulf States who are openly aiding the Islamist opposition.Qatar is definitely a major threat to the region their influence is only growing stronger throughout the region.The Lebanese Cicil War was unfortunately characyerised by brutal massacres like Damour,I would say that 30% figure will become smalller if the turmoil in Syria spills over,luckily though Lebanon's Parliament is divided half and half among Christians and Muslims.

P.S Sorry for the long post.

Rob Harris said...

Its true that the left almost always has some input in coalitions due to the system of proportional representation, although it seems to me the Greens had relatively little influence over Fianna Fail in the last government until they left. Fianna Fail may turn more leftist as it is clearly part of a zeitgeist here, certainly Martin can sound that way to some extent, but I wouldn’t describe them as leftist to-date. I remember the laughter when Bertie called himself a socialist. I agree over the huge rise of the left. Sein Fein’s rise to power is extremely worrying. At the end of the day Sein Fein still seem to be about the opportunistic grasping political power however they can, and come across as ingenious at political maneuvering, having jumped to 25% in opinion polls in a short time. Boyd-Barrett, Joe Higgins, and the rest of the ULA/SWP alliance jumped immensely too. The only comfort was Fine Gael getting where they deserved to be for a long time. You’ll disagree but I feel they are the best around at the mo’.

I agree Labour has its ugly side too. Ivana Bacik is quite appalling as is Michael D. Higgins who demanded Hamas be taken off the EU’s proscription list! It’s the moderates like Howlin that I like. You’re right about Labour backtracking but I sense they did so over necessity more than anything else. They are being hit in the polls as a result but at least it shows Gilmore isn’t too much an idealogue.

Indeed, one of the reasons I think Breivik is likely insane (or at least has a disconnect with reality) is because the killing of young people on a rather grand scale would deliver an immense propaganda victory to the left, thus proving what they say as right all along. Even the use of the word “far-right” is something of a propagandistic score for the left because national socialism was clearly engineered to be a fusion of both right and left to replace both in a systematic fashion.

Perhaps the NATO mindset may still be in effect in Europe but Russia still seems keen on maintaining influence in Eastern Europe, which may be a significant motivation toward European hostility.

I take your point about pro-Palestinans often being poorly informed but would rate the abilities to debate more highly. It’s a question of sophism. The reason being that pro-Palestinians have constructed their own paradigm of the conflict through fabrication and distortion, layered over decades. It covers the entire spectrum of the conflict, be it about major history or lesser issues, for example things like which has no basis in fact but becomes a perceived truth through repetition on a global scale and received by a sympathetic media. Activists on the left especially used the same strategy for numerous conflicts. Its about winning over hearts and minds. Reason is of little relevance. Once a person has their sympathy the debate is fin.

If you’re interested in Qatar’s power read the latter part of the article ‘Promoting Palestinian Terrorism: A look back at the media coverage of the Palestine Papers’ as it looks on the rise of Qatar’s influence.

You might like these two fresh articles on the distorted view of Syria coming out of the media and pointing out the bulk of those killed in the Houla massacre were member of the Alawi and Shia.

cmg said...

Yeah its quite frightening to think that Sinn Fein could become the new face of the Left,especially considering how radical they are.No doubt they'd damage relations with the EU,the UK,America and would probably completely cut off realations with Israel,leaving Ireland in an isolated position within the International Community.Even though I do believe the ULA is quite divided as it is made up of several Far-Left parties.Sinn Fein's reaction to austerity in Ireland is in deep contrast to the North,where they have made cutbacks.To be honest its really hard to decide who to support as none of the current political parties appeal to me.

Labour certainly does have its bad side,however I believe Labour Youth is a breeding ground for radicalism,this may not matter much now but it will for future generations of Labour supporters.

Writing a 1,500 page manifesto alone should prove his craziness.Its unfortunate he had to outline his ideas on this as he voiced his support for many Right Wing politicians which in effect led to a decline in support as many viewed them for indoctinating Breivik.

Doubt its the NATO mindset,most likely the EU(SSR) wants to engulf Eastern Europe into its Federation which comes into conflict with Russia's ambitions.Chechynia probably didn't help either.

False fabrication like the image during the March clashes which appeared to show someone bleeding to death from an Israeli attack and turned out to be a car accident several years back.Images like this due provoke human emotion regardless of the facts surrounding them.I wasn't always that supportive of Israel,however the video 15seconds in Sderot changed my mind.

Thanks again for the links,its kind of hard to believe most of the victims were Shia Muslims.Qatar's influence is growing,unfotunately it isn't as upfront towards the West concerning its views as is Iran not to mention they even bought Harrods.I'm quite sure a Mosque being built in Cork is also being financed by the Qataris,no doubt to spread the Wahabi brand of Islam.Its also no secret Qatar bribeb FIFA in order to host the World Cup in 2022.

Rob Harris said...

Indeed Sein Fein becoming the second biggest party in Ireland would be extremely damaging. They would likely expel the Ambassador the day they are elected. Then there would be the financial upheaval if they go throught with their promise of a default. What you say about Labour Youth’s radicalism is definitely a concern.

I think you’re referring to the image of a child killed in a car crash than by the IDF as was claimed. There have been numerous such images floating around. They are used to incite violence, and people believe them no matter what, e.g. Haaretz and the Guardian still claim the Al Dura case is true! A UN staffer was behind it.

You’re right to be skeptical about any claims but there are inconsistencies with accounts. This article quotes a few problematic individuals like Patrick Searle who is pro-Assad but cites enough sources to at least query what went on in Houla further.

cmg said...

Sinn Fein being elected would probably make us the laughing stock of Europe too,they seem to hate everything and everyone,they're Eurosceptic,Anti-British,Anti-American,Anti-Israel and there's no doubt they have links with other terror groups such as ETA.I'm Eurosceptic aswell but if any Government was going to follow through on that policy they should have at least the brains to realise we would need Britain,otherwise other EU member countries would bully us.It was actually through his website that I discovered this one(didn't even know there was a pro Israel blog in this country until then).Yeah I'm well aware of their radicalism but can't really say I agree Mark's views his views,especially regarding neutrality.

That was done by a UN official aswell.Images like that do try and stir up emotion that's why they use them.Its kind of ironic Israel's Left hates their own country but to be honest I do think Israel should halt settlement production(not that I'm anti Israel).

The media is biased towards Assad because their friends in the Gulf want him out and a new Islamist dictator in.Qatar has openly called for Western Intervention,no doubt they'll turn it on them showing images of NATO war planes bombing civilians.I knew them suicide bombings in Damascus and Aleppo weren't due to the current regime,Alawites aren't even that religious.Same as what happened in Libya,Gadaffi considered himself more of an African than an Arab,Ben Ali was too secular and Mubarak kept a cold peace with the "Zionist Regime".Qatar just wants to spread its version of Islam under the deception of democracy.Its hard to know whether Assad's downfall would be good or not for Israel,on one hand he is Iran's main ally and supplier of Hezbollah and Hamas but on the other he has shown his willingness to negotiate before over The Golan Heights.Maybe if he survives Israel would be better off trying to get him out of Iran's grip.

Rob Harris said...

Mark’s views are staunchly to the right. Mine would be more centrist, there are elements of left-ish ideas that I like but if I had to choose one side or the other at this stage it would be the right due to its intellectual honesty, which I have to say I found refreshing after being disillusioned by the left.

Re. pro-Israel blogs, there is also SystemWorks, and Gubu World which is a little milder. There is also a new one - I started this blog reluctantly because no one in the pro-Israel camp wanted a basic website to simply get their perspective across, which was pretty mad in 2010/11!

I’m of two minds about settlements. A two-state solution is the only game in town, and I believe Israel should give up most of the West Bank but I firmly believe Israel uses settlements to try to pressure the Palestinans to the peace table, e.g. the increased housing when Palestine was voted into UNESCO. Israeli leaders know full well they will have to drop the vast majority of the settlements for a peace deal (other than a few near the Green Line) as they have often shown a willingness to do in the past. In the meantime the Palestinians continue to incite/demonise and conduct a delegitimising propaganda war, while the sole pressure to make concessions falls on Israel’s shoulders. The demand to create a Palestinian state also rests on it being Judenrein as the PA leaders state, which is an element behind the settlement issue so I can’t really condemn them unless they really turn out to be an onstacle to peace.

Yeah one problem with Mubarak and Ben Ali was about them maintaining a certain moderateness in terms of the Palestinian cause. Perhaps Assad’s downfall would be good for Israel in the short term as it is so close to Iran but in the long term Israel could face Muslim Brotherhood extremist regimes at all its borders (even Jordan). It may lead to co-ordinated high intensity terror assaults and full-on war.

BTW I found a link to the Mother Agnes Miriam interview show I mentioned before. During the same Joe Duffy show a union official revealed Mick Wallace used heavies to prevent him getting access to workers on Wallace’s building site. Yet Wallace is talking about how he kept the VAT back for his workers! lol

cmg said...

I'm the same,there are elements of both that are good and bad I'm more to the Left on Social Issues,Healthcare and Education,while more to the Right regarding issues like Immigration,the Economy and Foreign Policy.In the past the Left was better but I think it has became to tolerant of the intolerant,take England for example due to mass immigration there are race riots.NATO has virtually expired and its time for it to be disbanded.Its weakness was really shown in 1974 when Turkey invaded Cyprus.I think Thatcher's views regarding Economics is a good example to follow(even though a little harsh).

The thing is,the more settlements that are built,the harder it is to remove settlers if a peace is reached.The settler population has a much higher birth rate than the average Israeli and in a few years if settlements continue it will be impossible to remove them all.Israel still hasn't compensated many of the evacuated settlers from Gush Katif yet and that was only 9,000 imagine a population of over 400,000 and rising!I do realise the more Israel gives into Palestinian demands the more terror they get in return as we've seen with the 2005 disengagement plan and the 2000 withdrawal from Lebanon.But I do think for the sake of not isolating themselves further in the International Community they need to halt settlement production.Interestingly you mentioned UNESCO because Germany stretched its political influence for a no vote and Israel's continued settlement only embarrased Germany and strained relations as Germany saw it as a slap in the face.I don't believe they're illegal but I do think they should stop just to show the World they are genuinely interested in peace.

The Muslim Brotherhood is a threat everywhere,the regime in Khartoum is an example as is Hamas who are an offshoot.Jordan is a relatively moderate Arab Regime which is Pro Western.Even so the Muslim Brotherhood there wields a strong degree of influence and has the potential to overthrow King Abdullah especially if its next door neighbour Syria is led by them.No doubt Obama Bin Laden will throw the king under the bus like he did with Mubarak.I also heard the Syrian National called Israel "Assad's greatest ally" so I'd be very sceptical.

It baffles me still how Wallace gets away with what he does.Its kind of ironic,Irish people complain about the banks but they elect someone who is responsibile for their very downfall.Thats taking away from the fact he show's a total disregard for politics with his pink shirt and his mop of a head!

Rob Harris said...

I take your point about the difficulty in removing settlements but I think its important to note that Israel removed settlements in Gaza unilaterally, a very bad idea, which at least in part explains why they were so hard to do. Many felt it was senseless. There is overwhelming support for a two-state solution in Israel so I believe the nation would have the strength to uproot many settlers but will maintain some of the larger ones near the Green line so I doubt it would be all the 400,000. Many might leave voluntarily as well, if they are sold the peace deal as better for all Israel since these people are intensely patriotic. BTW I thought they finalised compensation of the Gaza settlers last year but I might be wrong on that?

I didn’t know that about Germany re. UNESCO. I think your point on stoppoing settlements to improve Israel’s standing is a worthy one but at the same time I get the sense Israel caving on the settlement issue wouldn’t necessarily improve its standing with the international community to any great extent. The PA demand on settlements before talking only came in recent years, and when Israel stopped for 10 months it made no difference. No blame was apportioned to the PA for the failure to talk peace.

Besides the legality of settlement, there is also a moral issue regarding the inherent rights of settlers, which I think isn’t mentioned much at all. Take Hebron. The site is extremely precious to religious Jews the world over. Since the 17th Century, communities have moved there only to be killed en masse or expelled. The last community survived there until the 1930’s with the Arab Revolt. Again they were massacred and expelled. I personally couldn’t say to them “Look you’re Jewish, you can live anywhere but here, and the rest of the Judenrein Arab world.” Honestly, I could only say you shouldn’t be here if their presence was truly stopping peace and perpetuating conflict but that doesn’t seem to be the case.

I remember the comedy last year when many leftists/liberals claimed Egypt would see a rosy future by denying the Muslim Brotherhood were either all that powerful or were more moderate than their old guises. O’Bama was very much part of that,7340,L-4243003,00.html and did indeed throw Mubarak under a bus. I suspect the Arab world isn’t quite ready for one fundamental aspect of democracy, namely liberty. Without that it’s a dictatorship of the masses. The Muslim Brotherhood is a serious threat in Jordan, which in part explains why they have cosied up to Hamas more recently. Yeah I heard the comical remarks about Assad being Israel’s allie too on a forum. Basically its part of the blame Israel for absolutely everything phenomenon in the Middle East.

I would probably share some of your political orientation on on health care, foreign policy etc. Wallace is a manifestation of what is wrong with the parochial attitude of the Irish electorate. It was bad how people in Wexford were giving out over criticism of him. It was more of the “ahh poor Bertie” attitude.

cmg said...

True there is an overwhelming amount of support for a Two Sate Solution in Israel,however there is an overwhelming amount of support for a One State Solution in Palestine.Not only that but virtually every Palestinian wants the Right of Return which would devour Israel by demography alone.I think Liebermann's plans regarding the creation of a Palestinian State is the best one,mutual landswaps with Israel giving large parts of Arab Israeli areas to the new state while allowing Israel to annex its Settlements.Many Settlers are Religious Zionists and I don't believe they'll leave their homes in a hurry,even with a peace deal as many see The West Bank as their homeland.A lot were even opposed to the building of the security barrier for this reason.Maybe you're right concerning compensation,you're probably more politically aware than me but even still the evacuation was in 2005 and they're only receiving compensation now.Probably not all of them but many,will be definitely more than Gush Katif anyway and house prices are already skyrocketing in Israel as it is,most won't be able to afford houses.

Germany did stretch its political muscles to get most EU Member States to vote no to the Palestine194 initiative or at least abstain.Netanyahu's decision to build more Settlements only angered Germany and Merkel said "How dare you1" to Netanyahu.I do see Germany's view,they argued the 194 initiative wouldn't advance peace but Israel then turns around and builds Settlements to spite Abbas for trying to get Palestine admitted into the UN in the first place.Yes I realise the Palestinians aren't motivated to make peace but Israel should at least try to show they're trying to do something.I think a permanent Settlement freeze is necessary but expanding existing Settlements is ok since Israel is abiding by the Oslo Accords,though they should really try to minimise Settlement Expansion if they can at all.

Hebron is religious to Jews however the current military presence in the area does cause suffering to Palestinians,Israel wanted to keep Kiryat Arba a Settlement just outside Hebron in 2000 provided Jewish Holy Sites would be protected in the city,I would agree with that but the Jewish Settlers in the City should go.

Egypt's problems are now being blamed on the military which is kind of ironic considering they're the only ones who are keeping the country in touch with the Civilised World.Egyptians don't seem to understand that their problems are due to themselves not Israel,breaking the Camp David Accords will only wreak havok on the Egyptian Economy since all of its oil/gas comes from there,most of its tourism,The Suez Canal and American Aid will be cut off.Well Tunisia seems to be relatively far but the rest of them probably no,Tunisia was the exception because there is a strong secular presence there.

I think if Geert Wilders was Irish I'd vote for him.Right Wing Liberalism does seem to be a good ideology.I think Ireland should slowly withdraw from the EU,I only feel they are trying to make Europe a Federation.The Celtic Tiger was basically strong growth based on one reason,the housing market our Economy needs to be diversified as we are now becoming to dependent on trade.There is definitely a lack of political awareness among many Irish People,sometimes I feel people just vote for whoever is first on the ballot paper.I remember when Wallace got voted in down here everyone was like"Wallace ya legend" just goes to show you.

Rob Harris said...

Indeed most in “Palestine” want to see a one-state solution, AKA the destruction of Israel militarily or by stages. It is similar with many pro-Palestinians, illustrating a will to destroy the Jewish State rather than help Palestinians. Liebermann's plans are not dissimilar to Olmert’s plans where some Arab areas were to be exchanged. You’re right re. many settlers being religious Zionists that won’t leave their homes in a hurry, even with a peace deal but I feel a good number will with a good deal since they would know whats at stake at least as well as those in Israel proper. Indeed space in Israel being an issue for the settlers but I think Israel is developing the Negev to a large part for that very reason. I think the compensation to Gazan settlers was phased but will need to check that out.

I can understand Merkel being taken aback by it, and maybe Israel should have held off but unlike Germany they’re in the thick of what is an existential conflict. I assume they measure up their own interests carefully, even if they don’t always get it right. You might note how for example Israeli diplomacy in the West is rarely confrontational. One thing I disagree on is Israel’s willingness to do something about peace. The PA was always the reluctant partner, and sadly never displayed one iota of sincerity. If they did then freezing settlements would be a worthy gesture but as Mitchell said, “it was worse than useless”. It hasn’t been reported in the MSM but Netanyahu’s representatives have been talking with senior PA representatives in Jordan so it’s a farce that Abbas just won’t come to the table.

I wouldn't say settlers should stay in Hebron but I would find it hard to say they should leave for the aforementioned reasons (a similar thing happened when Jordan destroyed Jewish communities), when there isn’t any reason to suspect that their leaving will in any way advance peace. If a settlement freeze is instituted, Abbas et al will invent another red herring to stop talking, perhaps a third intifada.

There seems cause to consider the Arab world to be in a sort of pre-Enlightenment phase, where there was little interest in liberty in Europe. Many were giving out that Bush shouldn’t be foisting democracy on Iraq but it seems fine when its not him. Indeed the blame Israel phenomenon is a common feature in Egypt and the rest of the Arab world.

I’m a bit worried about Tunisia too although it seems less at a knife edge as you say. You should check the welcome a senior Hamas member got in Tunisia in January. It was akin to De Valera’s return! lol

I have similar reservations about the EU and would like Ireland to eventually step back a bit as it is compromising sovereignty, and I find the contempt the Eurocrats display difficult to accept but I think at the moment a default which would probably go hand in hand would be a major disaster for Ireland.

cmg said...

Israel's victory in 1967 has proven to be one of its biggest nightmares.I do understand the Palestinian position regarding the continued Israeli Military presence and a Palestinian State needs to be established.I realise Fatah seems very uncompromising with its positions and there's no doubt that probably is one of the largest obstacles to peace however continued settlement has to stop,not for just the Palestinian's sake but for Israel's too.I consider myself Pro Israel and that's why I think further settlement building will only dig Israel into a deeper mess,no country apart from Israel considers settlements legal,if Israel continues to do what they're doing they will only further isolate themselves.This combined with the huge problem of uprooting settlers.

My views towards Israel may lean slightly more to the Left in contrast with you.Netanyahu's decision to construct more settlements didn't help anyone but the Palestinians.In future many countries who would normally vote for Israel at the UN may hesitate due to them seeing continued construction as an obstacle to peace.Israel has done a lot in order to try and reach a peace agreement with very little in return.Arafat was a bloodthirsty terrorist but unfortunately the Palestinians had no one better to offer.I'm not arguing that Israel haven't done enough for peace but that ongoing settlement expansion is seen as the number 1 reason why a peace hasn't been reached yet.

You're probably right,Israel pulling out of Hebron wouldn't advance peace but it would be seen as a good gesture and even if(that's a very very big if) a peace is reached between the two sides,Israel can't possibly see their presence in Hebron as infinite,To be honest I still don't quite understand Fatah's ideology are they Islamist or Left Wing or a mixture of both?I know Abbas hates Israel but surely enough he must realise a third intifada would be dreadful for Palestinians and might subsequently allow Fatah's grip on power fall to Hamas throughout the Palestinian Territories.

I think the Arab and Muslim World have slipped into perpetual darkness.At one stage maybe they were slightly more progressive than Europeans(very long time ago) but I think they're pretty doomed,for some reason they have consistently got worse maybe it was the brief European Occupation spurred on by Israel's humiliating defeat of Arab countries and the momentum Iran's Islamic Revolution had on the region.Whatever it is I don't know.Tunisia's Islamists even seem more moderate but luckily their Islamist parties only received around 40% of the vote which means a coalition with Seculars was needed.

In my opinion Ireland should gradually loosen the EU's influence and only when our economy improves(hopefully please God) should we take a harder stance,this being said without Conservative support in the UK we would probably be left stranded as the EU would force us into a corner.One of the main reasons it was established in the first place was too end extremist Nationalism which left Europe in ruins but that has now passed.The EU nowadays is dominated by Germany,the French being naive still believe they actually have a say.Germany's ambitions seem more economic than anything else as a collapse of the Euro would send their economy back to the stone age.It seems our economy is now run from Frankfurt and soon the European Parliament will be more influential in Ireland than the Dail.

Rob Harris said...

I think we’ll have to agree to differ re. settlements but just to reply with few points briefly. I wouldn’t say Israel's victory in 1967 was a major nightmare as the pre-1967 borders were extremely hard to defend. Nasser was ready to commit a mass genocide. I think we fundamentally differ on the Palestinian view of the IDF presence, and I would regard Fatah’s view as more than uncompromising because the only ones preventing a new state are the Palestinians themselves. Even Abbas acknowledged that Olmert was giving him 100% of his land demands in 2008.

Israel’s pulling out of Gaza was a failure, ending the settlements would be too not only because it is sacrificing the legitimate demands of Jewish people to settle there but it won’t bring peace, and one of the few impetuses to bring the extremely reluctant Palestinians to the peace table will be lost. If the Palestinians were in any way remotely sincere, such a gesture would mean something. Arafat walked out re. shared sovereignty of the Haram/Temple Mount and Abbas simply didn’t return Olmert’s calls.

I appreciate you are pro-Israel and it comes in different shapes and colours. My own view derives from one thing: the realisation the Palestinians aren’t even remotely serious about peace. That is why I can’t expect people to sacrifice their rights for so little. There is some debate over whether Netanyahu is in fact constructing new settlements as the three recently recognised were held up due to legal processes since the early 90’s. Again Netanyahu could have held back doing so but other than that Israel hasn’t recognised a new settlement since Oslo II. Maybe its no coincidence Israel is doing this since Abbas’ intent to unilaterally declare a Palestinian state suggests their consider the ideals of Oslo II to be dead.

I think Fatah is ultimately Islamist but adopted some left-wing ideals which were very popular in the 60’s and 70’s. They were pretty shallow though, e.g. over their treatment of Christians throughout. I think Abbas is keen to hang onto power but doesn’t even have a democratic mandate anymore. He is an nasty character though. It’s never acknowledged that he wrote his thesis on denying the Holocaust. lol

I understand where you’re coming from re. the settlements, and I felt sort of the same before. My mind changed as I learnt more about the very bleak implications of the conflict. Palestinian words of peace are illusory. Even during the early optimism of the Oslo process Arafat sold a peace deal as a two-stage solution, and never removed the offending clauses from the PLO Charter. It is in reality a pan-Arab movement driven by an absolute intolerance for a Jewish state in Dar al Islam. The Jew is supposed to be a dhimmi that Muslim children customarily throw stones at. Islamic supremacy is at the very core of this conflict, and I doubt it’ll change until the Islamic world changes. I really hope I’m wrong however.

BTW on a slightly lighter topic, there’s a classic Wallace story is in today’s Irish Times!

cmg said...

I kind of would though,they have given up most of the land including The Sinai a resource rich area with huge potential and for what a piece of paper guaranteeing peace.I'm sure many Israelis would opt for a 3 State Solution if they could but since then they can't and now there are millions of Palestinians under their control who would love no better but to destroy the Jewish State by demography.Palestinians are aggressive and have committed many acts of terror in the past but even still they are people who do have legitimate grievances a fact which is undeniable.I would agree though that their misery is mainly due to their own incompetent,corrupt and aggressive leaders.Other Arab States too have been huge contributers to their suffering by refusing to settle them.

I think I may have conveyed my views wrongly.I'm not against settlements,I think Israel has a strong legal argument regarding them and I'm well aware Palestinians do not want peace.I was merely suggesting Israel halt settlement production to shut the International Community up.Now I realise many countries will complain about something else but it might guarantee them good relations with some of its traditional supporters such as Germany which I previously mentioned.I would also like to add I certainly do not endorse a boycott of Jewish Settlements and have added my name to that petition.

Didn't even know Abbas wrote that until I looked it up after you mentioned it.He didn't question the death of Jews but certainly deflated the figures.I thought he wasn't as radical as Arafat,is there any chance he might of moderated his views since then?People do change their opinions.I once thought Israel's actions were similar to how the Nazis treated those under occupation,if you believe.I guess if your spoonfed crap and only get one side of the story you'll believe anything.

Well I do believe Islam is the most backwards and aggressive religion there is.But take Azerbaijan Israeli relations,they seem quite warm same can be said in regards to the likes of Kazakhstan and many Muslim countries in central Asia.Maybe a change in leadership is needed,take Sadat and Hussein as examples,they did genuinely express an interest in peace so hopefully the Palestinians follow suit.

Is it that the stupid letter sent into them?If it is I've read it.

Rob Harris said...

IMHO the Egyptian peace deal was a major breakthrough since Egypt was the main power and biggest military force behind the Arab League, leading the 1967 and 1973 wars. It was the first Arab League country to recognise Israel as well, leading to its expulsion. It was a major breakthrough for security, even if the deal cost a lot to Israel as its oil from the Sinai would make it extraordinarily wealthy today.

I completely accept many Palestinians are just ordinary people wanting to get on with their lives. An example is the increased rate of Israeli citizenship taken up by Palestinians in East Jerusalem, suggesting many think their lives would be better under Israel. Similarly there was a Pechter poll conducted in 2010 that showed many were of two minds about East Jerusalem.

Indeed many Palestinians have legitimate grievences over the security situation and work. Others do not – i.e. issues over Jews living in the region or Israel’s very existence is not legitimate. The former grievences are borne out of conflict, a conflict that it really seems Israel doesn’t wish to perpetuate.

In my opinion, it still needs to be realised that many Palestinians are radicalised to a very fundamental extent. An independent poll last year showed that 73% of Palestinians surveyed in the West Bank agreed with the most genocidal expressions in the Hamas charter toward Jews. You rarely get more than 20% agreeing with a permanent peace with Israel. There is a certain mindset which few in the West appreciate because it was abandoned long ago. It places more value on victory than human life. It is of course tied up with religion. That is why they elected Hamas in 2006 on a mandate for conflict.

I agree with your view that stopping settlements may help Israel’s diplomacy but I’m of two minds about what it may achieve ultimately. It seems that everytime Israel concedes something, they are pushed into a smaller box, and the demonisation continues no matter what. Many writers have noted how Israel’s demonisation instensified immensely, especially after the Oslo process.

A pretty common aspect of Holocaust denial is not to deny Jews suffered but to claim it was between 50,000 and below a million. That’s what Irving does too. Its done to relative how Jews were treated in order to suggest they are playing the victim card to gain power etc. I don’t think he has moderated his views because his work is now taught in schools in the West Bank. His writing is popular throughout the Arab world apparently. If you’re not aware of it, you might look at the connection between Hitler and the Mufti (Afafat’s uncle and mentor).

Seems you had quite a transformation in your views! Kudos its not an easy thing to do. I struggled with politics for an age but my mother was sympathetic to Jewish people so I had less to do in that regard.

Absolutely, it is wrong to cast all of the Islamic world in the same light as I might have done inadvertently. Azerbaijan is an excellent example of a surprisingly tolerant country, and more power to them especially since they are on the borders with Iran. I think though that those countries you mention had a very strong secular tradition due to the USSR. The other issue is countries that were quite tolerent turning considerably. The Islamic world in the far-east was far more tolerent but the situation was been changing dramatically, such as in Indonesia. My own view is that Islamism is not a misinterpretation of the faith but a purification of certain elements of the faith that gives it a pleasing coherence to Muslims.

It was a piece I just saw in passing on how Wallace was seen with his unsocked feet up on the bench, during a visit of Americans. Not sure if he was showing contempt for the Americans, the Dail or both.

cmg said...

I suppose from that angle it seems beneficial but Egypt has never shown any warmth towards Israel,Mubarak only ever visiting once now it seems his predecessor might tear up the camp david accords.

Arabs in East Jerusalem realise their economic opportunity is greater in Israel than in Palestine.Israel has another problem trying to control Druze in the Golan as the vast majority consider themselves Syrians.Though it would be hard to argue a case for Syria so the media let it slip past.

I think Palestinians need to realise their pawns in the greater Arab game of waging a religious war against Israel.Arab Countries have already showed they don't care about them and if you count the amount of Palestinians killed by other Arabs it is nothing compared to Israel.

I really don't understand though why people hate Israel so much.I did at one stage support Sinn Fein(I tend to switch political allegiances fast) but I never really hated Israel,it was the casualty count that always made me think that they acted like Nazis.People were called Jews in my school basically to symbolise ugliness and being stingy so my perception of Jews was never good.I read several books regarding the conflict then which moderated my views,then I stumbled across the book a case for Israel,great book,swung me into the Pro Israel Camp.I say any contempt for Israel was brought on by lack of knowledge instead of Anti Semitism.I was never one of those loons screaming outside the Israeli Embassy though and I wonder how they ever find the time,it seems is if their lives revolve around the conflict.

Its important to note Iran wasn't always an enemy of Israel it was once its biggest supplier of oil.Looking at the Muslim World it kind of leads me to ask are Secular dictators better?But I'm sure Azeris and Kazakhstanis could handle democracy given the chance.Azerbaijan is great by Islamic standards in terms of tolerance but is still poor in human rights as is Central Asia.In my opinion Indonesia was and still is a terrible country,just look at their occupation of East Timor.I say Turkey would be a better example since their mass expulsions of Greeks and killing of Kurds was done on ethnic lines more so than religious.It seems Erdogan is keen on bringing in a more Islamist approach as soon as he got into power he invited a Hamas delegation over but I think he's only further isolated Turkey the EU won't let them in,Greece hates them,Cyprus hates them,Armenia hates them,Israel now does as does Assad and Iran.Turkey's radicalisation is still quite frightening though and unless Erdogan goes Turkey may become the Turkic version of Arab Countries like Saudi Arabia.

I looked up the online version of it couldn't seem to find it I'll try again,don't buy the newspaper itself anymore,I personally prefer The Independent.He should really be our finance minister seems like he's handling his finances well and now he gives our country's biggest investors a very welcoming visit!People like him are really what Ireland needs right now :)

Rob Harris said...

I agree Egypt has never shown any warmth towards Israel, and any successor may well tear up the peace deal, although it looks as if the more secular military is intervening to limit the power of the president now that the Muslim Brotherhood has run candidates despite their promises not to.

Having said that there were three major wars led by Egypt between 1948 and 1973. The peace deal dates to 1978/9 so it looks as if it worked for a long period, even if it never delivered on what it promised. That’s sort of why I can’t really conclude that the peace deal was a bad thing overall.

Indeed the Palestinians need to realise they are pawns in a pan-Arab religious war. Having said that I think some do. Arafat made some unguarded assertions about that in the early years of the PLO. Similarly, a Hamas leader said the same thing earlier this year when appealing for more help from the Egyptians. The Arab nations declared that the Palestinians would be a thorn in Israel’s side. The Arab Countries also suppressed the Army of the Holy War, replacing it with the ALA back in 1948.

I sense the hatred toward Israel is a mixture of old anti-Western/US hatred from the left, mingled with an undercurrent of anti-Semitism to varying degrees. This isn’t the case for everyone of course so I try to avoid ever using such an accusation unless the person I might be talking to really displays those qualities. One does see those tropes though in pro-Palestinian propaganda, for example with the prevalent use of blood libel etc., while continually avoiding the genocidal hostility of Hamas etc. or whitewashing it. Some even blame increasing Western anti-Semitism on Israel too. IMHO it can’t be a coincidence that increasing anti-Semitism in Europe is paralleling the huge rise of Palestinianism.

Yeah the book, The Case for Israel by Alan Dershowitz also had a profound impact on this Muslim man,7340,L-4220976,00.html too – quite a remarkable change!

Those loons around the Embassy are an assortment of crusties and wealthy leftys like Boyd-Barrett. The AIB moved their headquarters from that block due to fears of a terrorist attack on the Embassy! lol

Oh yeah the Shah was a good friend to Israel for a long time but I sort of see his regime as having been non-Islamic or even anti-Islamic, which in part led to the uprising against him. Damn bloody Carter!

I think in much of the Muslim World secular dictators can be better because they don’t foist extreme religious prejudice on their people. Having said that, they can be extremely brutal, e.g. Saddam so its hardly a happy alternative to a model of democratic extremism. Its really a question of which kind of non-freedom is less objectionable, a self-serving superficially democracy which ensures the Islamic populace maintains the strictures of Islamic fundamentalism or a secularism which has a dictatorial element that suppresses political dissent. It’s a choice between two evils – I lean a bit toward the latter.

The Indonesian army did some a terrible country, the genocide in East Timor was truly a horror but their practice of Islam seemed somewhat more tolerant than the Middle East until more recent times. I don’t know if religion was an issue of the occupation there but Islam does seem a factor to some extent.

I think it was the Irish Times anyhow – I was just browsing when I saw the story. I prefer The Indo too. The Irish Times’ so called “advocacy journalism” is an excuse for bias and highly selective reporting.

cmg said...

Maybe it was good for Israel,it would probably be better though if Sadat wasn't assassinated as he sacrificed Egypt's position in the Arab World for peace.He may of led the offensive against Israel in 1973 but he did show a genuine interest in peace,something very few Arab Leaders have ever done and IMHO him being awarded the Nobel Peace Prize was well deserved.Yeah Egypt's Military does seem to be preventing the MB from seizing absolute power but because of this it's coming under international scrutiny and may be forced to back down.With the MB in Egypt,Syria and possibly Jordan we may see the revival of a United Arab Republic again under an Islamist led rule,opposing Israel on virtually every front.Another thing I'd like to add,you have frequently talked about Palestinian incitement,well Egyptian Media is every bit as bad if not worse and there have been numerous attacks on Israeli Tourists in Egypt aswell as rocket attacks from Egypt.

I think Pan-Arabism is relatively dead.Though it may come back in an Islamist instead of an Arab Socialist form as I've already stated.

I still don't really understand Leftist hatred for the West though,I've heard the term "Colonial guilt" before but surely this doesn't imply Ireland.Hatred towards Jews may be because of their initial role in the Socialist Movement.Leftists didn't care about their Race just their Religion,something which many Jews gave up for acceptance.Israel has proved the exception with Jewish Culture flourishing despite its foundation on Socialist lines.Its probably a poor explanation but I really can't think of another.Born in the early 90s I wouldn't be able to tell the mood towards Israel beforehand so was it hated before then?Was it always this bad?They certainly have minimised Israel's suffering alright I was told Grads and Qassams were mere "firecrackers" and that suicide bombings were acts of frustration.The casualty count from the Gaza War though is frequently used for the Nazi analogy,probably the most racist thing you can say towards Jews IMHO.

Lol couldn't blame them for moving.I'm suprised we haven't got an Irish form of "Carlos The Jackal" yet.Maybe Adams can fill that role since he's retired from blowing up Protestants.Wealthy Leftists?I thought most of their support was from the Lower,Working and Lower Middle Classes?Read that story,really quite remarkable alright but I say there are very few exceptions like him.

The fall of the Shah was probably the worst thing that happened to the Middle East.I wouldn't say it was his Anti Islamist stance that led to his downfall rather it was his Anti Communist one.Its a fact that the USSR hated the Pro Western Regime in Persia so it funded Communists to destabilise it,in the subsequent chaos Khomeini hijacked the Revolution and killed all Communists anyway.I say the Middle East would look a lot different if the Shah was still in power,Iran would be an island of stability and Israel would be a lot less isolated not to mention Hezbollah and Hamas who'd be non existent.I think Obama's policies closely echo Carter's(Carter in my opinion was the worst US President ever) and Obama may well abandon Israel if he's elected again.

Yeah Saddam was extremely brutal and IMHO his hanging was the only the good thing to ever come out of the Iraq War.I would say the same,Seculars are better and Islamists like Omar Al Bashir are much worse.That being said Seculars have proven to be just as Anti Israel and Anti Western as Islamists in some cases.

There were certain Islamist Elements alright such as forced mass circumcisions of Christians,most of the time with objects such as broken glass.I really think its terrible how the World completely what you've rightly described as genocide in East Timor.

cmg said...

.................The Indepent is more moderated and unbiased that's why I prefer it.I once read a headline it was like Hamas retaliates against Israeli Strikes.It was referring to recent clashes but under the headline it had after Palestinian "gunmen" kill Israeli civilian.It wasn't the Times though I don't think it was something else but still clearly biased and selective.

Rob Harris said...

I agree it would have been a thousand times better if Sadat wasn't assassinated. He was killed by a group associated with the Muslim Brotherhood. Egypt gained a good deal more from the peace than Israel although thrown out of the League. He was a brave individual as he no doubt knew he was in for trouble. He certainly deserved the No-Bel prize, and a good deal more than Arafat! ROFL

Egypt’s military may well be forced to back down as you say. They may be doing this in part for selfish reasons but they have turned into a moderating force. There is something seriously wrong with a society when the military are the moderates! lol Indeed Morsi was talking about a united Arab state.

I don’t really know if pan-Arabism is dead or not with the rise of Islamism but maybe it always had an Islamist element that was tied up with race, which became more visible in time? Something for an expert on those parts I expect but we can say that Palestinianism set the template for modern terrorism - you probably have heard about the prolific hijackings and attacks on foreign soil in the 70’s and 80’s.

Why the left hates the West – a complex question. There could well be truth in the idea Israel betrayed its leftist origins to some leftists but I think it is also a lot uglier. One aspect of it is just Western hate.

Feminism, socialism, elements of liberalism are movements that have corrupted academia - IMHO the very core of society. That’s not to say I oppose everything about these movements, e.g. I’m not ideologically opposed to all leftism at all. I’m a pragmatist, and some broadly leftist values have clearly contributed to society. However, the real “socialist” left represents an awful lot of nasties too. Overall these movements came with full-on ideologies that are destructive, that possessed an inherent hostility of Western society and romanticised everything alien to it - mass movements swayed by sentiment rather than reason. You might like this - specifically paragraphs two to five, which refer to the problems with modern Western society.

IMHO some hated Jews as socialists but ultimately its because they are deemed “other” no matter how much they try to fit in. Its a mutating hatred based on the idea that they are better, rather than worse as in other types of racism. Suspicion and envy make it potent, and it is hard to refute, e.g. a black person does well at uni, they defeat a cliché. A Jew does the same and he/she merely reinforces the stereotype.

Boyd-Barrett comes from one of the wealthier Irish families. His Da was mentioned in the Ansbacher...

You’re right about the Shah. Indeed Carter was a very poor president, and his idiocy over Israel and the Middle East since then has been bad to say the least. His attitude to Sudan was astonishing proving how selective these “humanitarians” are. lol

Omar Al Bashir is a very nasty character indeed, arguably a lot worse than Saddam who was perhaps the most brutal of the secular set. Indeed the seculars are often as anti-Israel as Islamists but seem a bit more amenable to compromise. Most of the leaders described as secular are/were still religious, and the regimes have a strong Islamic element so in a way a lot of these labels are relative. Having said that there is a distinctive intensification with Islamists, and its worrying what is happening in Egypt.

That was a pretty shocking thing about what some Islamists did in East Timor. Didn’t know about it.

Rob Harris said...
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Rob Harris said...

ETA to last post - Support for Israel was strong in the West. I wasn’t around at the time (born in the late 70’s) but from what I understand it might have been changing in the 80’s, and it worsened after that until the millennium when it got dramatically worse. It began to change especially at the turn of the 70’s when radical leftists sided with the Palestinians. The USSR also supported the Arabs at the UN as a way to sock it to the US. Then things like the 1973 OPEC crisis pressured weaker nations in the West to pick a side over oil security. It was slightly different in Ireland though where there was greater hostility toward Israel, perhaps because it was thought that Britain supported it – a laughable idea when one considers how much Britain did to derail the process of forming a Jewish homeland.

The rockets out of Gaza are often called flares too. The Grad rocket is a proper military grade weapon - the basic soviet design copied by Iran and enhanced. Qassam are simple rockets made in Gaza but their danger depends on what explosive (such as TNT) is loaded into them. It’s a pretty dark mindset where pro-Palestinians minimise the humanity of Israeli's to such an extent. In their reality there is one victim.

cmg said...

Maybe it won't be so bad,I heard on the news that the Military has passed a law in which The President has to consult with The Military before war can be declared.This might just keep The Camp David Accords alive but relations will suffer badly anyway.Yeah Arafat getting the Nobel Peace Prize was a complete joke and a very premature decision.At least Kristiansen did the right thing.I heard there were even plans to ban bikinis and to blow up The Sphinx by the more radical Salafists in Egypt.LOL!Won't be planning to go to Egypt any time soon.

I think there is a big misconception regarding the Eu's Founding.No doubt De Gaulle played a large part in it and effectively controlled it for several years.His stance towards America was extremely hostile and he was definitely an ungrateful S.O.B but maybe the idea of a United Europe was more to counter America's growing influence more than ending Extreme Nationalism.The reason he didn't let The UK in was because it was a strong ally of The US so maybe this argument explains hostility towards The US.

Oil security was probably the main factor in regards to Israel.The fact that Israel decisively won the 6 Day War may also be involved,Israel having shrugged off the threat of another Holocaust may have given dormant Anti-Semites the chance to finally speak up again as the imminent threat of Israel's Destruction disappeared.This hate has manifested itself into the so called "Pro-Palestinian" groups which we see today,who's main goal is to demonise Israel,not to help The Palestinians.I do think Israel has given up on Europe and now sees America and Canada as its frontline something which may or may not be a stupid move as there are some individuals such as ourselves who still support them,unfortunately we're a small minority though.I think many Irish see The Palestinians as similar to themselves and The Israelis as the evil,oppresive British(haven't got anything against Britain,just stating past mistakes of them).

I certainly wouldn't want to live a life in which you have 15seconds to run for cover.Its terrible that so many civilians died in Operation Cast Lead but it was necessary to prevent ongoing rocket attacks that paralysed the lives of hundreds of thousands of Israelis.The accusation of "disproportionate force" is complete bull,any country would of done the same under those circumstances."Pro-Palestinians" have done a lot to minimise Israeli suffering,I've even heard people say "All Israelis are legitimate targets because they all serve in The Military".Not only have they minimised their suffering they have also turned all the facts upside down e.g"Israelis are terrorists just with Merkavas and f-16s" and "Zionism=Nazism".Its seems the general mood towards Israel will only get worse,true most Irish don't really care but its only a select few such as the politicians who matter and being educated in an Anti-Israel environment will only lead to future generations of hate.I'd like to add that I did read your article and I also took the liberty to read a few others.You've accurately described Europe's problem with Jews for nearly 2 Milleniums now.True the UN has focused on this one particular conflict and has ignored much more urgent and serious conflicts going on in the globe.Unfortunately I don't think things will change much,as you've said The Gulf States have pumped money into universities to spread their propaganda.Maybe the European Right will gain some ground but I don't see them ever completely dominating a Government as immigrant numbers now play a decisive role in Elections an example would be France,where around 94% of Muslims voted Hollande,at one of his rallies there were more Algerian,Tunisian and Moroccan Flags than French ones.

cmg said...

Well in the 60s and 70s Pan-Arabism was being led by Arab Leaders who were Socialists,the fact that many were corrupt and unwilling to share power may have led to its downfall.Maybe under an Islamic Leadership it may be revived.

Feminism and other groups such as those advocating Gay Rights have become a little extreme to say the least.Feminists now seem to demand more rights for women than for men,they've also got themselves involved in issues that don't concern them such as Code Pink.I do support Gay Rights but I do think they are basically shoving their lifestyle down other people's throats,again some gays have got themselves involved in issues that don't concern them,some are extremely against Israel.

Boyd-Barrett and his gang of Trotskyite worshippers should all be deported to North Korea.Seems like the only fair solution.

Interesting article regarding Guinea Worms Disease,kind of left me without words and I don't really no what to say....Well if Sudan's Army didn't dump ammunition and Weapons into the water it probably wouldn't be as polluted anyway.

On occasions they have proven themselves open to negotiation even Assad sat down with the Israelis.I'd be much more worried about Turkey though,Islamism was always a strong factor in Egypt but is only recently rising in Turkey.Erdogan is spreading it and has arrested several people with high positions in the Turkish Military for opposing him.

Yeah it happened but was more well documented in the Mollucan Islands.In fact it is a long standing trait of Islamists,in what was the former Yugoslavia,Bosniak troops frequently did it to Serbian Men resulting in several amputations due to the seriousness of the infection.Indonesia's Genocide in East Timor definitely showed how little the World cares for Human Rights,I once read a book on it called East Timor;Genocide in Paradise,Ironically enough I found it more critical of US Foreign Policy than The Indonesian Army.

Rob Harris said...

Yeah the Egyptian generals gave themselves veto rights over a new constitution, and set up a defence council to run defence and foreign policy. The focus on those areas illustrates clearly that this was done to curb the Muslim Brotherhood’s aggression against Israel even though Morsi said he would respect the peace treaty. These people can’t be taken at their word after they promised not to run a president.

Its possible that the EU was in part to counter the US as many of the countries had recently lost their colonial prestige. The EU started out quite tentatively as trade agreements between France and Germany so maybe there wasn’t that intention early on. Interesting how De Gaul stopped the UK joining – I had forgotten about that. “On 3 May 1960 Denmark, Ireland, Norway and the United Kingdom applied to join the three Communities. However, President Charles de Gaulle saw British membership as a Trojan horse for US influence and vetoed membership, and the applications of all four countries were suspended.”

You are completely correct to say most pro-Palestinianism is orientated toward demonisation rather than aiding the Palestinians themselves, e.g. the blatant hypocrisy of leftists/feminists etc. who voice support for oppressive groups like Hamas. The purpose is to destroy Israel rather than find a solution.

Indeed, sadly us lot are in a minority in Ireland and the rest of the EU. Although there are dissenting voices, it seems IMHO the EU is largely a lost cause being substantively allied to the Arab world.

The Irish (republicans especially) do parallel themselves with the Palestinians but in fact I think we parallel more with the Jews if one looks at it objectively. I’ll leave you to mull over that one…

It looks as if at least half of the 1,150 to 1,400 killed in Cast Lead were Hamas after they admitted in September 2010 that 700 operatives died after there was a lot of criticism that they hadn’t sacrificed enough in the conflict. Pro-Palestinians keep screeching about 300 children killed but its worth noting that these people describe teenagers of 14+ as children too which is extremely misleading especially as Hamas etc are well known to use youths for combat.

Re. the 15 seconds for cover, I think I read that for Sderot its as little as 7! The intent of Hamas etc. was to make these regions uninhabitable and certainly at least a quarter of the people in some of these areas have left for other parts of Israel. There is no measure of proportionate force I know of that has any numerical value. The only definition of proportion I know of is that of ending such an unacceptable situation by using the necessary force to destroy Hamas and their armaments, little more or less than that. The fact Hamas embedded themselves in the populace resulted in that damage to infrastructure.

Yeah its seems the general mood towards Israel will only get worse, and its already so bad. Its depressing that so few who support Israel here are willing to make any effort to even set up a website!

Thanks for the positive feedback on the articles. There are better writers out there no doubt but I try to cover stuff that’s a bit different. You’re right about the demographic shift with increasing Muslim immigration. It’s a problem few wish to confront, those that do are immediately branded “far-right”

I wrote an amusing albeit lengthy piece on Boyd-Barrett last year when he was running for the Dail.

You’re right to be concerned about Turkey. I remember Gadaffi said it was their trojan horse! lol

cmg said...

The Egyptian Military has a lot to lose if The Camp David Accords are broken(over 1,000,000,000 in aid no doubt) so they are naturally afraid of The MB who are liars.

I always found France an ignorant,ungrateful and hypocritical nation on both a diplomatic and individual level.They seem to easily forget how Americans spilled their blood for their liberation and not only that they also have skeletons in the closet,such as their crimes in Algeria.It was also quick to break its alliance with Israel for a better relationship with the Arab World after 1967.It leads me to wonder how many rockets Green Peace fired at them before they sank The Rainbow Warrior?

re.demonisation.I'd have to disagree with you on that,you say they have no solution.I'm sure they do but it probably closely resembles Hitler's.

I was in Belfast not so long ago and in some Catholic Neighbourhoods they have murals of The PLO,so yeah they tend to identify themselves more with The Pals.

Some European Countries are ok e.g The Czech Republic and The Netherlands but yeah it does seem like downward trend from there.I say Ashton's remarks regarding the shootings in Toulouse are only a sample of what is to come.

I heard something of around 69% of casualties in Gaza belonged to Hamas.(depends on whether you consider the police as a legitimate target).I remember a general in the British Military praising Israel for it.Yeah civil defense in Israel is excellent.Probably explains only 28 deaths.

re.general mood.If I wasn't mistaken I would take that comment as a criticism of myself.2 things,first of all my computer skills are terrible,it is a fact that that was my biggest fear going into uni,I may take computer lessons because I'm still relatively in the Stone Age.2nd thing,where do you think all these Israel Haters come from?True a lot are probably from the dole office trying to fill in their spare time but many are from uni so I'd still be wary.

Actually your articles are quite good,believe me I've read much worse.They address the main issues involving The I\P Conflict in a moderate but still clearly Pro-Israel tone.

re.Lengthy piece on Boyd-Barrett.You did mention Boyd-Barrett in most of your articles but still couldn't find that article you wrote about him?

Yeah its even worse now,Greece and Cyprus can't even stand up to them.Turkey,Islamist or Secular was always an agressive country who bullied weaker neighbours.

cmg said...

Sorry I realise I may have dragged this discussion on for much longer than I anticipated.Think I should make this my last comment as I probably am becoming a pain inda hole.Anyway thanks for that info. I'll certainly look into it more but more around September when I return to Uni.Actually I googled it had to scroll down a good bit before I could discover it, website had relatively little info though.

Rob Harris said...

Yeah many dedicated pro-Palestinians seem to advocate a one-state solution at this stage, e.g. the people cited in Dervla Murphy’s article. It reminds me of an article,7340,L-4227866,00.html by Alan Dershowitz: “The debate was essentially over, as everyone in the middle now recognized that this was not a conflict between pro-Israel and pro-Palestine groups, but rather, a conflict between those who would accept a two-state solution and those who would reject any Jewish state anywhere in the Middle East.”

Indeed the catholic neighbourhoods are notorious for the pro-Palestinian murals – some good ones here that have really extreme messages.

Sorry, I wasn’t criticising you at all! When I was referring to those that support Israel it was with reference to the small pro-Israel group here that would have that ability. I was trying to get something going along those lines but in the end it didn’t happen, and I sorta burnt my bridges with that lot. It was disappointing as I thought they wanted to do something, especially since the largely hostile mainstream media rarely allowed them to even voice their opinion.

Absolutely a lot of students are pro-Palestinian, and you’re right to be wary. It seems many of the leftist groups do well recruiting on campuses. Boyd-Barrett was always around for years with the SWP. It probably has something to do with youth and rebellion. It is interesting how the keffiyeh has long been a fashion accessory for students.

I mention Boyd-Barrett when the Irish left is a factor because being quite the self-publicist he’s always at the head of that pack. lol This is the one.

Sure hit the guys up that I mentioned. I wasn’t a member myself for long but if you join it’ll just be a lot of articles that people share – not much other than that but you might get to know a few of the heads on there anyhow. I don’t think Irish Friends have a website if that’s what you meant but may have started one up for all I know.

The longer posts were a bit time consuming but its good to discuss this stuff. A dialogue often helps clarify issues I find even when very familiar with a given topic so your comments are welcome as is feedback on any of the articles. BTW you know vastly more than I did in my twenties. I wasn’t even vaguely bothered with politics at that stage.

cmg said...

Yeah I'm afraid that a One State Solution is becoming more and more welcomed by people.I don't know whether this is a good thing but Europe is becoming much less important in The Globe today,in a few years Europe will have a population of elderly cripples and most EU Countries will have their workforces severely reduced.India and China are the future and as far I'm aware Israel has relatively good bilateral relations with them,so maybe there's no point in Israel trying to defend itself in Europe anymore.

Yeah some are pretty extreme.You've said this before when you said The Israelis have more in common with The Irish than with The Palestinians and I would have to agree.I think Ireland could benefit from a stronger relationship with Israel and it certainly could be a role model in regards to The Irish Language and The Hi-Tech Industry.

Sorry I may have misinterpreted your comments.True few Pro-Israelis openly show it and certainly aren't as "dedicated" to Israel as Pro-Palestinians are to the Palis.

re.youth and rebellion. Disagree with on that,myself and many people I now know knew absolutely no one going into uni,as a result many join political parties and other groups to try and get to know people and their political views are pretty much shaped from there on.

Interesting article I still can only memorise a small portion of it though.Yeah I remember being at a protest in 2010 against student fees,anyway I remember several students entering the Dept. of Finance and refusing to go(members of the socialist party no doubt).They do try to stir up shiite.

Thanks again will definitely look into it.

re.long posts.Sorry about that.I'm still learning more about The Middle East in general.Yeah I did learn some things on the comment section.To me politics has almost infiltrated everything,even when I was at school I remember our religion teacher showing us Michael Moore's Videos.I don't know whether you watch Family Guy or even The Simpsons but they certainly talk about politics a lot more than when I was a child(that's just my opinion of course)

Rob Harris said...

Long comment alert but just to address a few points.

As far as I know Israel’s relations with China aren’t great. China, Russia and other communist countries tended to co-operate at the UN in demonising Israel as a way to hit America, and the capitalist West to a lesser extent. You may have heard of the Non-Aligned Movement which is the biggest voting block in the UN. Basically it seemed to start out in a somewhat idealistic sort of way to improve the standing of developing nations and encourage non-aggression between the superpowers. However, with strong links between the Islamic OIC block and the USSR – the OIC being a major influence in the NAM, it led to the NAM increasingly aligning itself with the USSR, and so this voting block ensured that anti-Israel UN resolutions always passed. India was behind the NAM to a major extent and was/is largely hostile to Israel. Things may be changing but it’s remarkable how the old associations between countries remains even after the end of the Cold War.

I see the EU as a bit of a fungus that grew in off the sovereignty of European nations. It was in its own interests to expand and so it did excessively in my view. IMHO it shouldn’t have gone beyond the Maastricht Treaty of 1992.

Re. the commonality of Israeli Jews and Irish Catholics, one could only tie in the Palestinians to the Irish by looking at an absurdly short period of history, say 1948 or post-1920. To briefly explain, the Jews were pushed out of Old Judea by successive invasions of pagan, Christian and then Islamic empires. The Jewish populace was subjected to genocide and forced expulsion (or a more voluntary mass outflux) as a means to control it, just as with the Catholic Irish during the Cromwellian era. It became peripheral by the first Millennium, somewhat kin to the mass drop in populace in Ireland throughout the 19th Century from 6.5 million in 1841 to 2.9 million in 1926 (figures for the 26 counties) - if Britain had stayed in Ireland over a longer time frame the indigenous Irish population would too have become peripheral. Control of resources was very firmly in Islamic hands again akin to the Protestant land-lord class in Ireland – it was a firm religious hierarchy. The idea of the “Irish Diaspora” is based on the Jewish Diaspora etc.

Yeah my comment about pro-Israeli’s here doing little was to do with the pro-Israel group(s) rather than individuals like yourself. It would be silly to expect individuals to make a major difference as we all have limited time and energy. I do myself as I rarely get as much time to write articles as I would like. The groups are small and have few resources but they could at least set up a website to get their perspective out there. It’s not much in this day and age.

Yeah I think Boyd-Barrett was partly behind the violent Dept. of Finance protest in 2010 as he was involved with the one at the Fine Gael conference a couple of months ago. His lot also tried to barge into the Dail on day in 2010. Whenever it happens they always play the victim and scream “police brutality”. It shows they have a real fucking contempt not only for the truth but for the country itself. Recently he delivered a lecture at the Dalkey Book Festival doing his Marxist spin on Joyce! ROFL.

Michael Moore can be entertaining to watch but that documentary a few years ago uncovering him demonstrates that he is a lying hypocrite that plays very fast and loose with the truth. Re. The Simpsons, the entertainment media gets too involved with politics. It tends to reflect left wing values which can skew political development, especially for the young. Its natural for writers to reflect their views in their work to an extent but it feels like propaganda at times.

cmg said...

Lol,ok.No need to reply to this if you don't wish to but I just want to make a few points.

I'm well aware of NAM but to say they are non-alligned is a load of bullshit,as they split hugely when The USSR invaded Afghanistan.On China,I'm not sure but I do see a potential partner in India.They don't have a great past relationship but relations are certainly improving.Israel recently overtook Russia as its main supplier of arms and they do co-operate on several fields such as security and counter-terrorism.Indians would be more likely to sympathise with Israel as they were both partitioned,experience terrorism and India is the only country which never persecuted Jews.I don't know Indian Politics very well but I'm aware of the BJP Party,a Hindu Nationalist Party that has shown very strong support for Israel.Yeah India hasn't defended Israel on a diplomatic level before,however that could change easily.I think you may be right in regards to getting back at The US,Israel may be experiencing the tail end of a diplomatic storm.Don't think its a Cold War Mentality though since Russia has been cautious of China in the past and still is,China is friendly with Pakistan as it has border disputes with India(Resulted in a war in 62),India has disputes with Pakistan and "Pakistan is America's Ally" and so is Israel,maybe that explains why.

Unfortunately The EU has dug us into a deeper hole now.Its the kind of "Yeah you can vote as long as you vote yes" mentality that really pisses me off,we should of never of had a second vote on Lisbon.

Cromwell didn't necessarily expel the Irish he just pushed us into the shittiest part of the country.As far as I'm aware he sacked Wexford too.The Jews went from Judea to Rome and beyond.Zionism is more of a diaspora nationalism as many Jews were willing to move back,The Irish in America provided funds but weren't so willing to move.If you gave Irish Americans another 2,000 years they would most likely forget any link to Ireland,The Jews on the other hand suffered consistent abuse wherever they went and only dreamed of having a Jewish State to escape from persecution.Europe effectively created Zionism.Most of those figures are due to emigration though.Jewish Figures fell for one reason alone,genocide and I'd be sceptical of whether or not to classify The Great Famine as genocide.I think though that The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland wanted a form of Civic Nationalism because they didn't really regard us a colony and things began to improve for Catholics from The mid 19th century onwards.

Yeah but there are a few websites in Ireland as you stated before right?

Re.Boyd-barrett.Your showing your love for him again I see.I know he is a radical but how much of a threat is he?I think Sinn Fein and certain elements of Labour are a much bigger concern than The ULA,they're only populists who scream out criticism but offer no solutions.I think the majority of people who have any common sense wouldn't vote for him anyway.

Yeah his documentaries can be quite amusing however his "Bowling for Columbine" one is a little controversial for me.He mentions that exposure to violence is the problem and a lack of gun control.He merely shrugs off ethnic minorities as the cause despite the fact that 96% of shootings in NYC alone are committed by Blacks and Hispanics.I also think a tragedy like that shouldn't be used to bash US Foreign Policy,what he did is similar to Ashton's remarks regarding the Toulouse Shootings.

There was a documentary exposing him?

Re.Simpsons.I personally think politics and humour rarely mix and should be kept separate,Family Guy is much worse it clearly shows contempt for The Tea Party and Republicans in general.I'm not aware of what the Tea Party stands for but I think they all support greedy corporations now.

Rob Harris said...

I think Russia still sells more arms to India than Israel although there was a diplomatic slight last year. India has ties with Israel but still condemns it in the International sphere. For example it voted for the highly damaging Goldstone Report so it would be hard to describe them as true friends. Hope things will change however since there is a lot of enhanced co-operation. Indeed there were conflicts within the communist block, and between members of the large blocks. Looking at allegiances before and after the end of the Cold War, surprisingly little changed since then.

I may not have put the point about expulsions and migration clearly as I was talking about it broadly. I see the British presence in a darker light and think they regarded Ireland as a colony. Cromwell didn’t expel the Irish but in his aftermath there was a systematic policy of putting down the populace savagely. Then the severe economic policies and systematic disempowerment of the populace inevitably led to immense migration. The Romans put the Jewish populace through similar-ish treatment after their last revolt, leading to the death of an estimated million and the scattering of a vast number. I wouldn’t call the Famine a “holocaust” even remotely but I see it as being between outright genocide and callous neglect, if one considers their prior policies adopted to control and weaken the native populace. You’re right that the parallels aren’t exact since the Irish were treated better elsewhere although they did experience a fair bit of discrimination at times but the other similarities are substantial especially if one collapses the timelines somewhat. There was a sense of Zionism in Jewish faith but it is more of a modern secular concept.

The System Works and Gubu World are personal blogs. Irish4Israel is run by one guy as far as I know although he tries to get people to work co-operatively. I tried hard to get them to do something significant but to no avail.

There were a few documentaries exposing Moore – this one is interesting in part since it was made by people that admired him & tried to do an interview with him but he refused.

I don’t know if Boyd Barrett is a threat but gets an immense amount of media time and is regarded as the face of the left. The Tea Party stands for small government, low taxes and cutting deficits but don’t know enough to be sure what to make of them. Some in the media tried to portray them as racist but it was manufactured to smear them.

cmg said...

Sorry I was mistaken,Israel is their 2nd largest arms supplier after Russia.However Israeli Equipment has to be of a much higher standard and quality.Again as I said it really depends on who is in government.India is currently supporting Assad in Syria,something which may or may not damage relations with The Arab World.I can see why India would be cautious of supporting Israel in The UN,it needs oil and that's not taking into consideration that so many Indian Citizens work in the Gulf States.Hopefully things do change,I think India has tried to appease Arab Nations in order to their support on The Kashmir Conflict,something which they've failed to do.

Yeah I see your point,however Irish Catholics were always the majority in Ireland discriminated against by a minority.For the Jews this was always the opposite.Jews were allowed keep their culture to some extent after being forced to stay in Ghettos however Britain did try to crush Irish Culture altogether and virtually suceeded crushing The Irish Language.I do think though that The Catholic Church is heavily to blame for many of Ireland's past problems,many seem to forget they were to blame for England invading us in the first place.The RCC also condemned Ireland during the boycott campaign,only getting onboard with Home Rule when they realised they could shape its direction and of course after our independence they basically kept Ireland as a staunchly conservative enclave in Europe.Zionism was made of mostly seculars who advocated socialist principles as for Irish Nationalists were mainly conservative Catholics who saw Catholicism as a way of expressing our unique identity since the Irish Language disappeared.I don't really like saying this but Jews did seem to be more motivated than The Irish,their language Hebrew was extinct and they managed to revive that,completely unlike Irish which is now our third language having been surpassed by Polish.In some aspects such as fighting the British and our language we've been more similar but if I had the choice of being a Jew or being Irish in the past,I'd be Irish no doubt.

Yeah I looked into them,however some are not easy to follow and don't mainly advocate for Israel,I'm not really informed as regards Post-Apartheid S.Africa,something which came up on the system works.Something significant how so?

No doubt Michael Moore spends more on food each week than America does on its military.

I do think that Conservatism takes on a whole new meaning in The US.To be honest I'd probably vote for The Democrats if I were American,The Republicans do seem to be religious,bigoted assholes.The Tea Party is closely linked with Republicans,Michelle Bachmann and Ron Paul were both heavily involved in the Tea Party Movement however Ron Paul was Conservative in everything except Foreign Policy which effectively lost him the candidacy for The Republicans.

Rob Harris said...

I would guess that you’re right that Israeli Equipment would probably be more advanced – I recall Israel was going to sell some advanced radar technology to China which the US stopped them doing, and Russian engineering hasn’t been endowed with glory after the disasters with their new plane design. Having said that Russia/USSR did design some impressive military hardware such as the S-300 which they were going to sell to both Iran and Syria. I can understand India being cautious about supporting Israel but the could have at least abstained from supporting the Goldstone vote. Israel was one of the few countries that didn’t condemn India for its nuclear test in the 1990’s.

Indeed in Ireland the Catholics were always the majority in Ireland discriminated against by a minority although the same could be said of Jews in what was then called “Syria-Palestina” by the Romans until the 5th or 6th century AD (a guess as not sure exactly when their population declined to such an extent that the Christians took over). Then when Muslims took over Jews were subjected to the Jizya head-tax which would have been more than enough to push people already struggling into further decline, as the Irish were declining until the British left. Thus my point was really based on very different timelines. Indeed the British succeeded in crushing much of Irish culture but there may be some parallels here too because the insistence of Jewish people to stick to their religion/culture (as Irish stuck to Catholicism) led to such intolerance of them. Indeed with the more liberal ideas of tolerance toward Jews in the 19th Century, there was still a strong expectation that they abandon their own cultural identity. Yeah the role of the Catholic Church was definitely problematic. Had no idea Irish is now behind Polish statistically!

I don’t know much about post-Apartheid South Africa myself. Systemworks did great work exposing David Norris last year. Its worth bearing in mind some parties also have agendas in supporting Israel.

The US is very very divided politically. I would probably support a very moderate Republican like McCain or Romney or a very moderate Democrat. There is an ugly side to the Republicans but the thing about Democrats becoming swayed by harder leftist forces is more problematic long term IMHO. I think no one took Ron Paul seriously as there’s nasty racial shit in his “newsletters” to be addressed.

cmg said...

Russian Equipment is still quite bad though,most of it is still from the old Soviet Union.Its more quantity than quality,there was even cases of hundreds of tanks being found by civilians.Georgia(a country which always votes in favour of Israel at The UN)did quite a lot of damage to Russia in 2008,mainly due Israeli Equipment and training,Russia had to force Israel to stop selling it weapons.I suppose India could of abstained but the handy thing about India and China is that there will never be a boycott campaign in either of those two places,at least I hope not.India's Muslims no doubt frighten the shit out of some politicians fearing civil unrest.Diplomatically India may be useless but it is still a large market for Israeli Businesses and Weapons Manufacturers.

After The Bar Hokhba Revolt,a lot of Jews were scattered and killed.I'm pretty sure there was still a large Jewish Presence until The Crusades,then Christian Armies more or less butchered them.Yeah Muslim laws were very discriminatory,however Jews were better off under Muslim Rule back then.Not so sure on the land situation,I think Mizrahi Jews owned the equivalent of over 4 times the State of Israel before they fled of course.The unfortunate thing with Jews was that when they finally abandoned their religion,it turned racial.Catholics were forbidden from owning land at all until emanciapation.

Re.Polish.Yeah the last census recorded around 120,000 Polish Speakers and only 89,000 Irish Speakers who spoke Irish outside of school.One of the treasures of multiculturalism I guess.I think though there is a lack of interest in our own language,maybe they should consider teaching it in a different way.

I voted for Norris last time anyway,all other candidates were so dull and boring.Its ironic how a homosexual such as Norris and his partner Ezra support The Palestinians,who would no doubt would kill them if they got the chance.

I would probably vote for Romney too,however he may be too moderate for hardline conservatives.Glad Santorum didn't win,way to extreme for my liking.Gingrich seemed the best one,however his personal life would of most likely been his death sentence.The Democrats tend to do well with minorities who no doubt are becoming more decisive in elections,its unfortunate that The Republicans can't take Immigration head on now.California is probably the best example of the more extreme versions of the Left taking hold.There were even calls for boycotts against Israel in several universities there.Gay Pride Parades even have Queers against Israeli Apartheid demonstrations,LOL.I'm still amazed that,Scharznegger a Repulican ever became governor.

Rob Harris said...

Yeah a lot of Russian equipment was abandoned after the fall of the USSR. There were also supposed to be fears about the storage of WMD. Still though their military power was really feared in the West.

Jews were better off under Muslim rule for a period. Christians didn’t want them in Jerusalem after a Roman emperor forbade it but that was subsequently changed. In some parts of the Muslim world at intermittent periods things were sort of OK. The Pact of Omar meant they were allowed to practice their faith. They were allowed keep property, and indeed there were severe restrictions on Catholics re. land - they were treated harshly before emancipation, and were still discriminated against afterward.

You could say there was a parallel between the Penal Laws and the way Jews/Christians were treated. Public expression of the Jewish religion or conversion to it was prohibited. Its thought Jews were better treated under Islamic rule than in the Christian world. I don’t think it stands up to scrutiny because there were very many pogroms and genocides in the Islamic world long before Israel existed. Even the supposed Golden Age of tolerant Moorish Spain is commonly exaggerated by academics with agendas.

I guess you mean Mizrahi Jews owned four times the area of Israel before they were forced to flee over Israel’s creation. I don’t know much about that issue but Jews mainly lived in cities in the Arab world.

I always hated Irish at school. If they were able to teach it by evoking the romanticism of the past, I guess it may help some kids make more effort. Ezra Nawi insisted Israel was behind bringing Norris down. That was comical since after Norris in popularity it was Michael D who was just as anti-Israel.

Gingrich is a far better speaker than Romney. Schwarzenegger seems particularly liberal for a Repub.

cmg said...

Russia may be a threat to the likes of Ukraine,the Baltic States and countries like Georgia,however I believe their power is becoming more and more limited.They have few allies,Venezuela,Iran,Syria,Belarus and perhaps Serbia come to mind.Even with that Assad may be on his way out,Serbia is turning towards Europe and there is considerable discontent in places like Iran and Belarus against the current dictators.Actually even the fall of Assad would be a huge blow,Russia would lose all her influence in the Mediterranean and most of it in the Middle East.IMO the term "the sick man of Europe" best describes Russia,so I don't think they are a very big threat.

I'm not saying Jews were treated well,there were very discriminatory laws in place,however it was significantly better than Europe until the enlightenment period.A lot of them laws remain in place even today.Its hard to know exactly the status of Jews in certain countries like Iran for example,who has the largest Jewish Population outside of Israel in the Middle East.Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan have considerable Jewish Populations and to the best of my knowledge they are treated rather well,despite what I've seen in Borat.

I read somewhere that property loss accounted to between 300-400 billion dollars and maybe even higher for the large Jewish Exodus and that they owned the equivalent of over 4 times the area of Israel.Its hard to know really it's never really mentioned,the Israelis should of raised hell over it but they didn't,books can be quite misleading using the term "immigrated" to describe their Exodus.

I really liked Irish to be honest,everyone should try harder to learn it IMO.That's probably the problem,it is considered a nuisance for people.Nawi is just a communist thug,he hates his own background.I remember the letter being released,who released it though?I hate Michael D,I watched them presidential debates,I couldn't understand any of his points,it was like he avoided the questions everyway he could with long drawn out answers that made me lose interest in what he was saying.

He may be a better speaker and his comments about the Palestinians being a made up people were certainly amusing but as I stated before,his personal life made him too much of a risk.Republicans tend to shoot themselves in the foot so Romney certainly has to rebuild his reputation as he too seems quite liberal.

Rob Harris said...

I agree, I don’t think Russia is a threat these days but to someone who was around before the USSR collapsed they were menacing, and their army was very very good. Their army were the only ones who conclusively bettered the Nazi’s, for example if you look at the way the routed the Japanese in China.

In the Islamic world it was noted that there seemed to be a particular hatred of Jews, even above that of Christians, the other “People of the Book”. Islam has major differences with Judaism but they adopted a lot of the dietary law, stories and tradition, more so than that of Christianity. It seems this closeness was a particular source of hate, just as it was between Christians and Jews, as if Jews in particular were rejecting Christianity. Minor incidents could set off savage massacres such as thousands of Jews killed in Morocco in the 15th century just because a single Jewish man wasn’t respectful to a Muslim woman.

It is difficult to compare to major civilisations but my view is the Islamic world was as bad or almost as bad. A point no one mentions is why were there far more Jews living in Christian instead of Islamic lands if the Muslim world was a lot better? Here’s an interesting article on Moorish Spain, supposedly the golden standard by which Islamic religious tolerance is measured.

I’m not doubting your claim but it would be interesting to see a source that the Jews of the Middle East owned the equivalent of 4+ times the area of Israel because I read Jews were mostly skilled urbanites.

The Irish language is very much tied up with Irish nationalism. I can’t recall anyone liking it in school.

Norris released the letter in the Sunday Independent I believe. Before that it was only mentioned due to the resignations. There was mention of more scandal down the line that was never revealed properly.

I accept Gingrich had issues over his personal life. He just seems much more impressive than Romney.

cmg said...

Russia only influence areas that border them,Ukraine,Belarus,Georgia,Armenia and many Central Asian Countries but outside that they have little influence.The Nazi Army was better equiped and trained,Russia won by its sheer vastness and seemingly unlimited numbers of troops,The modern day Russia faces a huge demographic crisis so....

Yes I know but many Sephardic Jews from Spain and Portugal moved to the Islamic World following Spain's expulsion of Jews in 1492 so something must of attracted them there.Thessalonika was widely regarded as the "Mother of Israel" due to its large Jewish population,which was welcomed in by The Ottomans.

Ok found a source this may back up my claim.

Our teacher sometimes taught it by doing a quiz or something else in Irish.I was always interested in the language but then again maybe I'm just an isolated case.

The Christian Right would of been very sceptical of him,maybe they would of just come to terms with it but I do think some of his views may have sparked controversy,Internationally at least.Romney may only be a Republican in name only as his record seems to closely echo Obama's,Romneycare etc.

Rob Harris said...

To be honest I think you underestimate the power the USSR had. Russia had a poor army at the start of WWII but it hardened up very quickly after a series of devastating defeats, and the rapid mobilisation of an immense industrial infrastructure producing excellent weaponry like the T34 tank. They were the ones who finally turned the might of the Third Reich back at Stalingrad. By the end of the war they were the ones routing both the Germans and the Japanese on two fronts, and Churchill acknowledged the vast scale of their contribution even though he hated Stalin and what the USSR stood for.

Thanks for the source on the land. It would be interesting to know where that estimate came from.

You’re right that many Jews expelled from Spain were taken into Turkey and Islamic North Africa as well as the Americas and other parts of Europe. Having said that, the Spanish Inquisition was arguably the worst or at least the most notorious episode of anti-Semitism in the Medieval era. Almost any alternative would have been better. You’re right that the Ottoman Empire was a relatively tolerant place for Jewish people. That’s a good point but I suppose my overall stance is that it is tough to draw overall conclusions about the Islamic versus Christian world since in both there were very wide divergences in each at the same time, and intermittent periods of relative tolerance and oppression.

BTW I wrote about a documentary thats repeated twice next week on tg4.

cmg said...

IMO it was primarily due to certain factors such as climate and the invasion of Greece that bought them time.Otherwise Hitler's Armies may well of over run Moscow,a scenario like that might of destroyed Russia but yet again Russia is huge.Yeah I understand your point but very few countries can just move their industrial heartland from one area to another,Stalin knew Hitler couldn't strike beyond the Urals.So it is basically down to sheer vastness.The T34 was a brilliant tank however the Tiger was better,take Kursk for example,Russia suffered around 250,000 deaths and Germany 50,000 but it was still considered a Soviet victory.Attacking Russia was always biting off more than they can chew so I wouldn't put it down to the Russian Army but the landscape,climate and other factors such as the before mentioned invasion of Greece that bet Germany.

I think WOJAC(World organisation for Jews from Arab Countries) have estimated the property loss,however they do seem to have issued a lot of stuff regarding Jewish History in them places so finding the direct source may be a little time consuming.

I probably shouldn't compare the two as there is different circumstances in each case.It is still speculated that the Ottomans let Jews into Thessalonika to pacify ethnic Greeks and make them the minority.

Thanks for that,I will try to record it.

Rob Harris said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Rob Harris said...

I agree with your point about climate although I don’t think the size of Russia would have prevented Germany winning. No question Germany would have beaten Russia in the early days of the war but latterly the USSR hardened up to such an extent that they drove 1.5 million Japanese soldiers out of a vast amount of territory in under a month during 1945. It’s correct the USSR had heavy losses in the battle of Kursk but I see that as during a transitional period toward bettering the Nazi’s militarily. The transformation was extreme, if one considers how hard it was for the other allies to make any inroads on the Japanese. Some believe that battle led to the Japanese surrender as much as the A-bombs. It’s a contender for the most impressive victory of the entire war, and if a fresher faced Germany was to face the USSR’s army at that level of development there is no question in my mind that they would have come off the worse for it. With victories like that it was clear the USSR had become a real superpower.

I’m not too sure I would rate the T34 as a poorer design than the Tiger because the latter was a second generation design in response to the T34. Although arguably the best tank of the war, it was too costly and prone to defect. By contrast, although not perfectly designed for tank crews leading it to suffer high losses, the T34 was a very balanced design that also influenced subsequent tank development. The USSR chose not to go with a new design but upgrade the T34 which was a wise choice IMHO.

Thanks, if you again see a source on the land Mizrahi Jews left behind, I’ll give you a hat-tip if I use it.

Ofek’s documentary isn’t worth recording as it isn’t terribly good. I find so many newer documentaries very irritating being too slow and indulgent but if you already read the article it might be worth a view!

cmg said...

Germany a country of around 70 million couldn't possibly occupy the USSR,a nation of 170 million upwards and over 22 million square-miles.I think you give the Red Army too much credit.Germany could of still won in 1943,Hitler's interference cost the German Army dearly.It was down to climate,I doubt Stalin could of kept Moscow without the Russian Winter.The Russian Army could hardly considered hardened up by the latter stages of the war,they lost at the first Battle of Jassy,their drive westwards was down to a number of factors such as the opening up of the Italian Front and D-Day which diverted German Troops.

Japan's best asset was its navy,which the Soviet Union didn't have to face.Japanese troops generally lacked proper equipment and adequate training,however they made up for it in morale.I believe Russia's involvement in Manchuria 1945 was nothing more than a mere sideshow.Any country with a half decent Army could of defeated Japan in a ground engagement.The US achieved its aim with Japan,it strangled its resources by cutting of Indonesia,it destroyed their navy and flattened entire cities(even before the atomic bombs).Anyway Russia was going to win regardless,they bet them at Khalkyn Gol in 1938 and surrounded Manchuria on 3 sides.Japan's fate was sealed long before Russian involvement.

The T34 was better than the Panzer Mark IV however it was inferior to the Tiger.The Tiger was costly,consumed a lot of fuel but I disagree with it being prone to defect.In the end it came down to quantity over quality.Russia could produce the T34 in much larger numbers behind the safety of the Ural mountains while German factories were being bombed.Actually some Armies still use T34 tanks.

Here is a source which gives an estimate of financial loss,my previous figures seem very inflated there is also an interesting article if you've got the time.

Yeah I read the article,I find it difficult to stumble across any documentaries regarding the I/P conflict,especially ones that aren't biased.

Rob Harris said...

I suspect we won’t agree on these matters so I’ll reply to a couple of points briefly and leave it at that. Germany had certain plans for Russia akin to the British Empire. At one point Britain occupied 25% of the world so it wouldn’t be hard to envisage a more advanced Germany occupying Russia. Germany could have still won in 1943 but not when Russia was up to speed even if the USSR didn’t win every battle. The Germans being weakened by the Russian winter could be deemed a military weakness. Hitler did interfere in the German Army but that would be balanced out by Stalin’s interference which led to many of the catastrophic defeats of the Soviets. Russia’s involvement wasn’t a side-show e.g. the Allies pleaded with Stalin to get involved. It was a crucial element in getting Japan to finally surrender.

Thanks for the sources on the land issue. I’ll get around to reading the links soon.