Sunday, August 03, 2008

On Principle, With Sean Matgamna & The Alliance for Workers' Liberty

Key bits:

We reject and oppose . . .the ahistorical demonisation of Israel and Zionism — and in some cases “the Jews” — that goes with it, and on which it is grounded.

Our views are not, to understate it, popular on the left. We ourselves tend to be demonized for it. Much of the hysteria . . . is a direct manifestation of the prevalent mass hysteria on the left about Israel and the Palestinians. We are “Zionists”. “pro-imperialists”, “racists” even.

I have the honour — and that is how I regard it — of being singled out for special abuse and demonisation (It’s reached the stage that sometimes these days I’m afraid to go into a room alone, lest I perpetrate some “Zionist” atrocity against myself!).

17 Comments:

Blogger ahmed said...

This atrocious and vile blog entry reminded me of a point Gabor Mate made speaking on the issue of double standards when it comes to people Israel/Palestine. He simply argued that you'll almost never find mainstream media or liberals defend say the perpetrators of mass killing in Darfur, or China's occupation of Tibet, or other montrous human rights abuses. Yet, when it comes to Israel it's easy to find people who will apologise for the worst kind of abuses and cruelty. It used to be that the Israeli narrative of barren alnds and purity of arms went virtually unquestioned and Palestinians were routinely denied permission to narrate their own stories and histories

1:43 AM  
Blogger ahmed said...

This situation has long since changed, and that's why I'm guessing people like Glavin become nervous. What the fuck gives him the nerve to portray Palestinians who are routiney bing killed on a 5 to 1 basis as the aggressors? Does he not read humand rights watch or amnesty and Bt'selem? Is he now painfully aware that a reasonable look at the diplomatic record would reveal that there has been and continues to be a systematic attempt to cut Palestinians off from their land, to destroy their culture, to humiliate them and make sure that a VIABLE two state solution is impossible? What gives him the right to defend a system which grants more rights (to land, access to law and force of arms) to jew born in anywhere in the world over an indegenous palestinian? There's a very obvious racism here.

1:48 AM  
Blogger ahmed said...

And speaking again of the "Z word". Here's some more video's of the people Glavin ignorantly disregards

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=951EYoZAyCQ

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NvdmovwezOU

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dhkbbuVoFoY&feature=related

1:53 AM  
Blogger ahmed said...

The fact is that Palestine remains at it's bass a fundementally just cause for human rights, dignity and enlightenment that the left should be proud to support. Let me answer this charge of left anti semitism with a an article again from Gabor Mate (a hero of mine actually for his work on addiction). I'm sure Glavin will rush to denonce Mate in putrid terms, but the piece is worth reading

http://www.itszone.co.uk/zone0/viewtopic.php?t=1584

2:03 AM  
Blogger ahmed said...

As for Glavin's see no evil, ignorant approach to Israel/Palesine, here's Israeli journalist Gideon Levy's view of things

Israel's legal system has already laid the groundwork for the legitimization of an apartheid regime. This is the real danger to the rule of law: The quasi automatic enlistment of the justice system by the defense establishment endangers the rule of law more than all this Olmertism. The IDF's ignoring of High Court rulings, much like the ban on the use of the "neighbor procedure" (soldiers using Palestinian civilians as human shields when arresting militants); the fact that the Shin Bet security service continues to torture suspects in contravention of a High Court ruling; and the failure to implement the court-ordered change to the route of the separation fence should have sent alarm bells ringing among the guardians of justice.

When settlers continue to rampage against Palestinians - not nearly a day goes by without a pogrom and there is no place where armed militias don't roam around, yet nobody investigates these acts nor is anyone tried in court - this threatens the state's character much more than all of Olmert's cash-stuffed envelopes. The situation in the southern Hebron Hills, for example, which for a while now has become abandoned territory, endangers the rule of law far more than all of Olmert's investigations.

In light of all of this, the self-styled knights of justice remain silent, cover their eyes, neither seeing nor hearing. Most importantly, they do not confront these ills. True, it is difficult to do so. It is likely to arouse fierce resistance. So, as a result, they plunge their swords into convenient places, which are safe and which everyone agrees on. They are no Emile Zolas. Rather, just miniature Rafi Ginats.

2:07 AM  
Blogger Transmontanus said...

An "atrocious and vile blog entry"? It consists solely of a simple gesture of solidarity with Sean Matgamna and the Alliance for Workers Liberty; both Sean and the AWL have been consistent critics of Israel in its policies and its numerous follies, and consistent supporters of Palestinian liberation, and consistent defenders of Palestinian rights - rights Ahmed claims I "ignorantly disregard".

And then Ahmed implies (or more than implies) that I am guilty of "obvious racism," in a vivid illustration of precisely the hysteria Matgamna refers to.

What has long been obvious to me is that the Palestinians have more to fear from "friends" like Ahmed than from their Israeli "enemies." Just this past weekend, 11 Palestinians were killed and 90 were injured in barbaric fighting between Palestinian ideologues and Palestinian religious fanatics. They torture one another, shut down each other's newspapers, terrorize and bully ordinary Palestinians, persist in ruining every opportunity that arises for peace between the peoples, and we're all supposed to ignore this or blame Israel for it.

You can't debate with these people.

I'm not going to bother trying.

All Israel's fault,

10:00 AM  
Blogger ahmed said...

According to the latest Harper's magazine the current ratio of palestinains killed by palestinains versus Palestinians killed by Israel is 1 to 165. Buyt notice how Galvin, in a deliberate racist manner, says they "kill each other" and act in a barbarous way, all the same time saying virtually nothing about the daily levels of brutality and eath inflicted on an occupied people by an occupation army. If Glavin wants to insist, in spite of the vast diplomatic record, in spite of the fact that Israel is completing an illegal wall and contines colonising the West Bank with settlements (themselves a form of violence), than he's is free to delude himself in such a way. Somehow we're also supposed to believe that folks like Gideon Levy and Gabor Mate are not the courageous ciritics they are but they're simply pathological in their hatred for Israel. In 2006, there were 686 Palestinian civilians killed by IDF, 181 were children (Bt'selem numbers, which are confirmed by Human rights Watch) and 24 Israelis killed by attacks coming from Palestine. Yet, Glavin ways us to believe that it's Palestinains who are terrorist. It's obvious that for him Palestinians lives are incredibly cheap and do not come close to the value he places on the lives of Israelis. Simply awful stuff, again

11:50 AM  
Blogger ahmed said...

To the extent that he continues in this manner I have to admit that I find it very hard to take him seriously on anything else. I say that as someone hwo has read his work and has a deep respect for his sense of compassison on many issues. One of the most beautiful and eloquant article abotu folks like Glavin actually came from the pen of Hitchens via a obituary to Israel Shahak (who Galvin will no doubt begin now to denouce)

http://www.marxists.de/middleast/press/shahak.htm

11:55 AM  
Blogger Transmontanus said...

I'm a "deliberate racist"? I would "no doubt denounce" Israel Shahak? To me, "Palestinians lives are incredibly cheap and do not come close to the value [I place] on the lives of Israelis," and I attribute a "pathological hatred" to Levy and Mate?

An inexcusable, filthy insult, a ridiculous assertion, a disgusting lie, and a hallucination.

Again, more than ample evidence of the truth of Matgamna's point about hysteria, and a perfect illustration of my observation that you can't debate with people like this.

12:19 PM  
Blogger ahmed said...

Let the tale of the tape show that in the course of this debate (I use the term loosely, since Glavin is not only ignorant on the topic, but he is also morally bankrupt) I relied on Bt'selem, doctor Gabor Mate, respected Israeli journalist Gideon Levy and Chritopher Hitchens (who has always been excellent on Palestine, please see the book he co edited with the late Edward Said, "Blaming the Victim") while the Glavinator relied on some writer who has spent decades bouncing between various obscure Trotskyist sects. Reading your comments on this thread one would have no idea about the proportion of vioelnce and brutality in the conflict or that that there is military occupation which systematically chokes and entire people and that there are people responsible for maintaning and supporting it. Of course this doesn't make Palestinians angels or mean that groups like Hamas are gorious revolutionary outfits, but please have sone basic decency and sense of proportion. And since you raised the topic, Terry, what do you think about the views of those like Gabor, levy or shahak. Aren't those the of people that former IS member is talking about. What are your own views on their writings, which I've posted?

1:56 PM  
Blogger Transmontanus said...

So. Let's get this straight.

This "Ahmed" character calls me ignorant, "obviously" racist, the author of an "atrocious and vile" post, then I'm a "deliberate racist", and now I'm "morally bankrupt." And like some petulant, spoiled child, he now expects that I debate with him, after I've already made clear that I consider it impossible to debate with people like this.

This is what really bugs me about having one of these little weblodge things with comments boxes. Smart people routinely come by to say things in agreement or disagreement or whathaveyou, but now and then some semi-literate pops in and clutters the place up with graffiti and I'm supposed to waste my time by stooping to debate with them?

Nope. Won't.

Ahmed's banned.

2:12 PM  
Blogger ahmed said...

Banning those who either disagree with you or show you up is an interesting position to take for someone who writes a column called dissent

2:24 PM  
Blogger Transmontanus said...

I'm going to leave that one up because it illustrates my point (and Matgamna's) so perfectly. As any literate person will notice, "Ahmed" was not banned for disagreeing with me or for any reason other than the reasons I stated: He calls me ignorant, "obviously" racist, acccuses me of writing an "atrocious and vile" post, and then I'm a "deliberate racist", and then I'm "morally bankrupt," and I'd already made clear that it is impossible to "debate" with people like this (this isn't Hyde Park anyway). And then he insists on further embarrassing himself by attempting to dress up his graffitti as "dissent."

Hilarious.

2:40 PM  
Blogger The Contentious Centrist said...

Ahmed: when you disagree with a post, you don't kick off your "disagreement" by characterizing that post as "atrocious and vile" and call its author "racist" and "morally benkrupt". That's not disagreement. That's spiiting in someone's face and then expecting him to pretend it was just raining...

Don't flatter yourself that you "disagreed" with TG or "showed him up". Your carpet commenting was nothing less than projectile vomiting. People are not stupid. They can see for themselves who is really compassionate and authentically mindful of human rights (for all!) and who is just experiencing a series of tantrums.

In banning you, Terry is actually being very kind to you. He prevents you from continuing to embarrass yourself and diminish your cause by this unrestrained invective. Palestinians truly do not need your kind of advocacy.

2:47 PM  
Blogger Wet Coaster said...

Terry:

Thanks for putting Ahmed out of his misery. If cheer leading the Palestinians is what he is after he should wonder n over to Rabble or Babble and hang out with other intellectually dishonest "progressives" who only see the ME conflict as black and white. Here we find discourse and REAL analysis of stories. Ahmed...... good bye and good riddance!

5:28 PM  
Blogger Kurt Langmann said...

Both the hardline Sides in this issue thrive on hardline polemic.

11:28 PM  
Blogger ahmed said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

4:18 PM  

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