Monday, August 14, 2006

Breaking The Stranglehold, One Demo At A Time


I get letters. I laugh.

Thanks, Lesli Boldt and Harold Bothrop, for appreciating "StopWar’s peace is about opposing Israel."

But I see Derrick O'Keefe and Mable Elmore are stamping their feet, sparing themselves the difficulty of actually addressing a single thing I wrote or disputing a single observation I made. By the way, here's Derrick interviewing Mable a while back, an event that resulted in her becoming briefly famous for her complaints about Vancouver's plague of Zionist busdrivers. What a riot.

Do take their advice and visit the Stopwar website yourself. You will see Derrick's press release condemning the Christian cleric Pat Robertson's suggestion that Venezuela's Hugo Chavez should be killed, but you won't see any press release condemning Muslim cleric Hassan Nasrallah's suggestion that the world's Jews should be killed.

I see George Kosinski and Juergen Dankwort claim that Hezbollah's fellow travelers are just a few bad apples that show up at demos. Try again. I was specifically addressing the very leadership of Canada's so-called peace movement, the ones on the organizing committees, and the ones with the megaphones. Not the fringe stragglers.

Three days after my column appeared, the Canadian Peace Alliance proved my point yet again by pooling its efforts and sharing its Toronto protest podium with the Richmond, Ontario imam Zafar Bangash of the Institute of Contemporary Islamic Thought, which calls itself "an intellectual centre of the global Islamic movement." At that protest, Bangash drew loud cheers when he detailed `news' of how Hezbollah had eliminated numerous Israeli tanks and troops.

But nevermind what I say about Bangash ("a leading member of the Toronto Coalition to Stop The War") and his bedmates. Here's how the ICIT itself explains what it's about:

Developing, defining, articulating and promoting the intellectual basis of the global Islamic movement, particularly in the crucial areas of political thought and the social sciences. A major part of this work must be to break the stranglehold which western ideas and thinking have on the minds of Muslims. And of course: Providing intellectual and media support to the Islamic movements fighting the enemies of Islam all over the world, or struggling for Islamic revolutions and the establishment of Islamic states in other Muslim countries of the world.

What's going on here is precisely what these people were warning about when they said: "Islamism is not the new revolutionary movement against global forces of oppression, as a section of the left in this country erroneously perceives."

It is also what these people were warning about when they said: "After having overcome fascism, Nazism, and Stalinism, the world now faces a new totalitarian global threat: Islamism . . . a reactionary ideology which kills equality, freedom and secularism wherever it is present. Its success can only lead to a world of domination: man’s domination of woman, the Islamists’ domination of all the others."

Mark Cripps, of Hamilton's anti-racism committee, is getting just a bit tired of all this.

So am I.

16 Comments:

Blogger Bob Broughton said...

I saw the letter from Mable Elmore and Derrick O’Keefe in the Straight, and had the same reaction to it that Terry did. I was unaware of the "Zionist bus driver problem" until today, however.

8:49 AM  
Blogger waterdragon52 said...

Terry:

The Canadian Stoppers may see the Lebanese nation as hapless victims of Israeli aggression, but Lebanese writer Michel Behe strongly begs to differ:

http://www.menapress.com/article.php?sid=1479

12:42 PM  
Blogger Simon said...

Surely it would only be fair to note that Canadian Stoppers engaged in "providing intellectual and media support to the Islamic movements fighting the enemies of Islam all over the world, or struggling for Islamic revolutions and the establishment of Islamic states in other Muslim countries of the world" only mean that when referring to PEACEFUL fighting of enemies, BLOODLESS revolutions and the calm, orderly and entirely democratic establishment of theocracies? Who could suspect otherwise of individuals clearly possessed of and guided by such pacificist and progressive ideals?

1:20 PM  
Blogger Schneewittchen said...

Well, all I know is that 55% of people think that "the US and Israeli intention and goal by attacking Lebanon is pulling the trigger for another word war? " whatever that means, it must be true however because I read it on Iran's leader's own blog.

http://www.ahmadinejad.ir/

Bless him.
(you have to click on the US flag to get the English up)

And bless you Terry, your article in the Vancouver Straight was the most sense I have heard since I arrived here off the banana boat.

1:55 PM  
Blogger Schneewittchen said...

Sorry, the Georgia Straight.

1:55 PM  
Blogger Dirk Buchholz said...

I really don't get the point of your argument.
Exactly how does one go about showing ones "displeasure" with Israeli actions?
The fact there were a few signs or slogans carried,that you have a problem with,causes you to ridicule the whole idea of people,or groups being oppossed to war in the ME.
In the end a few peace marches changes nothing,where is your outrage at the war.No matter how you see this war Israel deserves much criticism,she is in the position to change the dynamics of the ME tommorrow should she decide to.
Its very simple withdraw to the 67 border,stop building settlements.
Remember the underlying roots of the crisis in the ME.

2:40 PM  
Blogger Schneewittchen said...

Thanks for the article link waterdragon, that makes very interesting reading indeed.

4:03 PM  
Blogger SnoopyTheGoon said...

"Remember the underlying roots of the crisis in the ME."

Yep, Dirk - for some people the underlying roots are artificially shortened to 1967. Is this to suit the shortsightedness of this people or their short attention span? I wonder...

BTW, hi Terry.

6:36 AM  
Blogger Stephen said...

I say, a pox on all their houses. Hizbollah, the IDF, the neocon cabal in the US, al Qaeda all have their ideological agendas to advance, and it is alway the innocent people who get caught in the middle who lose, regardelss what they look like.

Only death and destruction win.

That's what I'm getting sick of.

8:54 PM  
Blogger Dirk Buchholz said...

The Israeli army in all its glory.Just doing what it must to defend themselves from "evil"
a little off topic,but might help some to see,Israel is far from the victim.And why so many have little sympathy for Israel,its always the Arabs by far that pay the ultimate price.They do the same things they accuse the other of doing
The video the Israeli Army did not want to be seen;
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tW1-_JmXQt0&eurl=http%3A%2F%2Flgfwatch%2Eblogspot%2Ecom%2F

1:59 AM  
Blogger tglavin said...

Re - The video the Israeli army did not want to be seen: That was a good and tidy CBC news feature assembled by my old colleague Neil Macdonald - whose work as the CBC bureau chief in Israel often angered Israel and its friends, sometimes for good reason.

Neil and I worked together at the Vancouver Sun. We shared the occasional byline. I trust his judgment. I believe the story. But what story does this piece tell, if not that the IDF makes mistakes, is capable of admitting them, and the Israeli media is not so censored that an Israeli newspaper could not report this very incident by giving over its entire front page to it?

9:22 AM  
Blogger Dirk Buchholz said...

The video is but one example of IDF and Israeli racism and total disregard for the rights of Arabs.
The IDF makes mistakes,o that what it was a mistake?Racist talk and actions among Israeli's towards Arabs is as commom as dust in the ME.
But the MsN seems to only report such talk when it comes from a few wingnut Arabs.
Israeli and Hezbo use the same lang uage and logic.At least Hezbo can claim defence.After all they occupy no one.
But as stated by an earlier reader a pox on both their houses and the suffering they continue to sow..
The solution is very simple stop the wall,the settlements,withdraw to the 67 border as per UN resolutions.And take your land thieves with you.

1:34 PM  
Blogger Dirk Buchholz said...

The video is but one example of IDF and Israeli racism and total disregard for the rights of Arabs.
The IDF makes mistakes,o that what it was a mistake?Racist talk and actions among Israeli's towards Arabs is as commom as dust in the ME.
But the MsN seems to only report such talk when it comes from a few wingnut Arabs.
Israeli and Hezbo use the same lang uage and logic.At least Hezbo can claim defence.After all they occupy no one.
But as stated by an earlier reader a pox on both their houses and the suffering they continue to sow..
The solution is very simple stop the wall,the settlements,withdraw to the 67 border as per UN resolutions.And take your land thieves with you.

1:34 PM  
Blogger tglavin said...

Dirk:
Since you like videos and propaganda deconstruction, try this:

http://tinyurl.com/ooegv

6:07 PM  
Blogger Dirk Buchholz said...

I really don't know what to say about the video you linked to.
Agreed we can exchange videos one for one until the end of time,and
I am well aware of the fact that it is very easy to decieve people by using video etc.
But my opinions or views concerning the reality in the ME are not based on a few videos.
One must be very careful of jumping to conclusion,the CBC is a trusted source as is your friend,so I feel pretty safe in assuming the video is valid.
When it comes to Israel though I have to gag, as Israel all ways gets potrayed as the unwilling victim forced into reaction.
One fact stands out above all,that being, Israel is the occupier,they are stealing other people's land,not the other way around,pure and simple.
This is the bottomline,this reality will always colour my opinion or view on the ME,will alway cause me to question or distrust Israeli's intentions and their true committment to peace.
How these realities can not be taken into context,has always perplexed me,its a head scratcher
Do the Arabs do some awful things for sure,but so does Israel.I can not help but sympathies with the Arab street,they suffer proportionally more,they are the occupied etc etc.
And I will never understand the idea that it is up to the occupied to look out for the security of the occupier,or the settlers.This idea is absurd.As is the idea the occupied must meet the demands of the occupier,before they stop building settlements.Settlements are forms of violence and aggression.
What must Arabs think or do in the face of this,sit quite attempt to engage those that steal their land in peaceable dialouge.Where was the peaceable dialouge from the Israeli's as they stormed in taking over land,building walls hearding the local population around like cattle,subject to check point after check point,humilation after humilation.As they lost and lose more and more land never mind freedom of movement ,in deed freedom of any kind.
When do these thing get discussed as legitmate concerns(as fuel stoking the flames of hate),other than as the ravings of "anti-semites",as many attempt to paint those who speak out against Israeli crime's.
So from where I stand,I have to point out the otherside,the Israeli side is well covered,in fact we are saturated with pro-Israeli points of view.I have to see beyond the symptoms,to the cause of all the suffering in the ME.For sure the symptoms are tragic and impact real people(and I say this with empathy and a deep loathing of violence and all it breeds),but at some time we must sit down and begin a peace process.We have got to speak out against Israeli tactics on occupied land.
If we on the outside can not even disengage,from taking sides and pointing fingers of blame what hope of the two sides ever doing this.
When death is involved I feel sympathy and empathy with the victim regardless of what "side" they are on.
If I could I would force the two sides to talk,expose their rational and logic of war for the deadend it is.
But you are right when it comes to video etc one must be a carefull,"doubt everything" as the wise saying goes.

1:00 AM  
Blogger Dirk Buchholz said...

"In all, 385 Palestinian Arab villages were razed to the ground by the Israeli army, including garden walls and cemeteries. Jews moved in, new towns and parks (Canada Park, which I visited, is an example) were built and map names altered. As Israeli military hero Moshe Dayan once said, "There is not a single place in this country that did not have a former Arab population." (Ha'aretz. 4/4/69)."
http://www.zmag.org/sustainers/content/2006-07/30olson.cfm

3:26 PM  

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