Posts Tagged ‘Anti-Israeli’
Apparently, the racist Gilad Atzmon is about to have some of his disgusting ramblings published.
Atzmon’s work is very popular on the Far Right, so I had assumed that only active Jew haters would take the time and trouble to publish his filth, but that’s not the case.
Zero Books publish a strange mixture of Paganism, New Ageism and Christianity, with political material as a topping.
This is what they say about themselves, replete with elementary spelling mistakes.
It is not terribly clear who’s behind it, but if you’re interested in healing properties of stones and other such nonsense then Crystal Prescriptions will surely be of interest!
But back to the rational world.
Concerning this issue, there is a kerfuffle on various blogs as to why a publisher of Leftwing authors (and I use the term loosely) should be publishing a racist like Gilad Atzmon.
Many of these posts raise interesting questions, but as far as I can see they fail to analyse with any precision why this situation came about.
What would compel otherwise highly intelligent people (book publishers, etc) to print propaganda for a racist?
Could it be that they conceivably agree with his views? That they share some of his prejudices? And if so, why?
And whilst those questions are answered, it would be nice if these issues could be addressed:
Why, latterly, has anti-Jewish racism become so acceptable in Western societies?
What brought this terrible state of affairs about?
There needs to be clear analysis as to why the publishing of the racist Gilad Atzmon came about, not just the details of events, but a broader commentary is needed on why his views are deemed fit for publishing by the intelligentsia and what does that tell us about anti-Jewish sentiment in society?
The CST takes the Respect Chair, Carole Swords to task for her racist “slip”.
Seismic Shock reminded us that she previously promoted a pro-Crusader article from Stuart Littlewood.
Why she would have wanted to associate with an obsessive racist like Littlewood I can’t say, but she could have at least looked him up on Google and taken the hint.
Littlewood writes for Veterans Today, a nasty conspiratorial and antisemitic on-line rag run by the crank and friend of the Far Right, Gordon Duff.
Who can forget Duff’s kind words about Ernst Zundel:
“The best known scholoar of holocaust theories is Dr. Thomas Dalton, author of
Debating the Holocaust; A New Look at Both Sides. Dalton discusses the history of
the “denialist” movement and efforts made to criminalize, not only politically
motivated efforts to change majority perceptions of the holocaust but also stifle
legitimate research into, not only the holocaust but a more accurate history of Europe
in the mid 20th Century. Most recently, Ernst Zundel, a German born researcher
who has questioned issues related to the holocaust was extradited from Canada and
imprisoned for years in Germany for “crimes” that, in America would be considered
not just “freedom of speech” but relatively modest historical enquiry. Zundel
questioned the number “six million” and, in doing so, was arrested and convicted of
an obscure law that creates a special class of truth when Jewish perception is
Zundel, and significant numbers of historians of varying credibility believe the
number of Jewish dead is being vastly over stated along with the methods of killing.
It is their contention that since there is no scientific evidence that gassing or
cremation facilities existed designed for masskilling, a major area of their research,
that numbers of dead should be reassessed. They insist that since camps such as
Auschwitz and Dachau are no longer considered “death camps” and that many other
camps listed disappeared “without any trace” according to their research, that the
number dead should be lowered by up to 80%. “
Is it merely coincidental that “anti-Zionists”, like Carole Swords, end up espousing racist ideas?
I suspect it is more a case of lie down with dogs, wake up with fleas!
It is slow blogging from me for a while, but I would recommend that readers take a long hard look in at Engage.
Recently they have been superb, positively on steroids with a fine bevy of posts.
I would suggest that members of the University and College Union read and think about James Mendelsohn’s resignation letter to Sally Hunt, which I produce in full:
Thank you for your message.
I was happy to sign the petition of no confidence in the government’s HE policies and, like you, I have very serious concerns about the White Paper.
Regrettably, though, I am no longer able to join in UCU’s fight against the government’s measures. This is because I am no longer a member of UCU. Following the passing of Motion 70 at the most recent annual Congress, I felt that I had no choice but to resign. Not only does Motion 70 reject the most widely-used definition of anti-Semitism in the world, it fails to provide any alternative definition. The motives of those who proposed the motion are clear: they rightly understood that, according to the EUMC Working Definition, their obsessive campaign to single out Israeli academics for boycott year on year might indeed be anti-Semitic. Whether intentionally or otherwise, this has made UCU an even more uncomfortable place for Jewish members than it was previously. I can no longer contribute money to such an organisation in good conscience.
Please do not send me the same generic response you have sent to others who have resigned on these grounds. Sadly, your repeated claim that UCU abhors anti-Semitism is not borne out by the evidence; rather, the evidence points overwhelmingly in the other direction. For example, a union which truly abhorred anti-Semitism would have no truck with Bongani Masuku, whose statements were correctly defined as anti-Semitic hate speech by the South African Human Rights Commission. UCU, by contrast, invited Masuku to promote the boycott campaign. Does that sound to you like the mark of a union which abhors anti-Semitism?
Speaking on a more personal level, I sent you three emails on related issues in 2008, which are attached. I think you would agree that a trade union which abhorred anti-Semitism would take such emails from an ordinary member seriously. Regrettably, I never received a reply to any of them.
I no longer wish to contribute my money to an organisation which has a problem with institutionalised anti-Semitism. I am sure I will not be the last Jewish member who feels forced to resign, even at a time when trade union protection and solidarity are more important than ever. Once again -please do not send me your generic reply. All I would ask you is: do you realise that the boycott campaign is now weakening the union’s numbers and credibility, at a time when a strong union is needed more than ever? And do you ever lie awake at night wondering why, in the 21st century, Jewish members have left UCU in droves?
Senior Lecturer in Law, University of Huddersfield ” [My emphasis.]
Some sage once remarked that it was both time consuming and intellectually tiring when you have to explain the nature of antisemitic myths, time after time.
The CST’s latest post American Nazi “Prophecy” and Dr Daud Abdullah: Deja Vu? reminded me of the “Franklin prophecy” which I ran across years and years back.
Like many other twisted pieces of antisemitism it sticks in the mind.
Why, I can’t say, as I tend to forget even elementary facts nowadays and I have a short-term memory that a Goldfish would be proud of, or supposedly so.
But what is surprising is that it still in usage nowadays, read more at the CST.
I thought I should see what others are doing:
Flesh is Grass has an important post on how the EDL managed to march, unescorted, from Redbridge to Dagenham.
Yaacov Lozowick has given up blogging. Pity, I didn’t agree with him, much, but he has a thoughtful way and articulates many intelligent ideas.
Johnny Guitar thinks about the Troubles, the Good Friday Agreement and the need for a South Africa-style truth commission, just not at the moment.
Weggis on the case against biofuels. Completely agree, it seems so questionable to use food stuff or related material as fuel for the internal combustion engine.
Harry Barnes on Sorting Out The Labour Party, which I think is very optimistic. In the short term they could ditch Ed Miliband, try to be a bit radical, really, seriously distance themselves from the skeleton of New Labour. Chance would be a fine thing.
In related news, I am not surprised that Ed Miliband is less popular than Iain Duncan Smith or William Hague, when they were in a similar position. Frankly, Miliband’s inarticulate, has the charisma of a saucer and he’s politically useless.
Jams looks at an evil cat, great photos.
Mark Gardner at the CST has a reflective post on the situation at UCU and its wider implications, From UCU to MEMO and “Israel’s British hirelings”.
Ten minutes hate on the ‘miracle villages’.
Chris Dillow considers Miliband’s power blindness.
Sorrel Moseley-Williams ponders Journalists’ Day in Argentina.
Not a blog, but worthwhile all the same. Searchlight on the BNP’s use of Facebook and Twitter.
Rosie looks at Fact and Fiction.
James Bloodworth has a couple of cracking posts, Will the Defence Secretary’s links with Sri Lanka compromise British calls for an enquiry? and Isn’t it time for an apology, Mr Chomsky?
Rebecca provides an update on the Gaza flotilla. Personally, I think the Israeli Government should allow them into Gaza with minimum fuss or hassle. I think Gazans should get as much as they can, after all living under Hamas must be terrible.
Jack of Kent looks at the arrest of blogger Jacqui Thompson and the many unanswered questions.
Greens Engage on Cynthia and Jello.
At Greater Surbiton, a guest post by David Pettigrew, Justice in Bosnia after Mladic.
Engage has an abundance of posts which should be read, just a small selection: Open antisemitism doesn’t harm your reputation, Sally Hunt pretends not to understand the term “institutional racism” and Richard Kuper on the Working Definition of Anti-Semitism (by Eve Garrard)
In response to the symbolic boycott of Israeli products by West Dunbartonshire Council some people are organising a boycott of Scotch whisky.
It all seems to me a bit petty, given that West Dunbartonshire Council doesn’t actually import any Israeli products. Certainly, they use technology which is derived from Israeli know-how, that includes but isn’t limited to Intel chips, Microsoft XP software and Kinect.
However, the Council and the posturing Councillors are hardly going to inconvenience themselves by really boycotting Israeli technology, lest it proves too troubling, like giving up using Google (their key search algorithm was developed by an Israeli).
As for the retaliatory boycott, well I am not sure it makes the required point, but Drink Business Review explains:
“FJMC Executive Director Rabbi Simon’s boycott urge followed after Israeli-Anglo blogger and pro-settlement activist, Jameel Rashid publicized on his website a letter to several distilleries located within West Dunbartonshire.
In his letter he stated, the global counter boycott of Scottish whiskey products, distilled in the West Durbanshire council region, is beginning, and requested officers to cease the purchase of any goods that made or grown in Israel.
The West Dunbartonshire Council, while it has not responded publically to calls endorsing a boycott of locally manufactured spirits, has defended the decision which sparked the protest.
The council’s boycott only relates to goods ‘made or grown’ in Israel. The vast majority of mainstream books by Israeli authors are published in the UK, and are therefore not affected by this boycott. “
The intense interest in this issue has revealed an exceedingly unsavoury side to the instigator of the boycott, Councillor Jim Bollan.
Bollan seems perfectly comfortable contextualising the decapitation of a three-month old baby, as the JC reports:
“”Violence breeds violence. Have you any idea what may have motivated this man [Awad] to commit this crime? Could it have been because he may have seen Palestinian children slaughtered by the IDF?”
Udi and Ruth Fogel and three of their children were murdered in the West Bank settlement in March. The youngest victim, three month old Hadas, was decapitated.
Responding to another pro-Israel activist, Mr Bollan declared: “Hamas was elected and are freedom fighters alongside the Palestinians fighting an illegal occupation of Palestine by Israel.”
Mickey Green of Scottish Friends of Israel said: “I’m not surprised he has sunk to this level. This is a man with pre-conceived ideas and a mental block to reason. He is functioning at a nasty, visceral level.“
Judy reports that the fake Gay Girl in Damascus had form, as, er a “anti-Zionist” or something like that.
Marko at Greater Surbiton points out the Guardian’s complicity in this issue, The Guardian’s disgraceful treatment of Jelena Lecic.
Over at Though Cowards Flinch, Carl has a superb post on Chavez, anti-Zionism, and antisemitism. It is noticeable how the thread is almost monopolised by a particular “anti-Zionist”, who is keen to quibble and nitpick on these issues, but he can’t see any anti-racism. Well, not when it is aimed at Jews, that is.
Finally, Tim Marshall has a provocative post, The ‘Arab Spring’ And The Conspiracy Of Silence:
“Across the Middle East from the Arab leaders you can hear the sound…… of silence. A similar sound emanates from many Muslim ‘activists’.
Take the most glaring example – Bahrain. The allegation, backed by human rights groups, is that the Sunni ruled state opened fire with live rounds on peaceful protesters from the majority Shia population, killed large numbers of people, then followed up with a wave of arrests which resulted in widespread torture.
The response from Arab leaders? In the Gulf, the 6 nation Gulf Cooperation Council quickly sent troops to assist in the repression whilst most Western nations, aware of the US military fleet based in Bahrain did little to upset the old order. Elsewhere, the Jordanians, Egyptians, Syrians, Algerians et al – just kept quiet.
During the Egyptian upheaval the House Of Saud was quietly horrified at how quickly the Americans let the Generals get their way and remove Mubarak. In private they let Washington know their displeasure, but to have complained openly would have been to do what you don’t do in the Arab political world in public (and to a lesser extent in our own systems) which is to tell the truth. “
Update 1: This is a thoughtful perspective on Tom MacMaster, the fake blogger, Understanding #amina.
I was going to forward a good letter on West Dunbartonshire Council’s boycott of all Israeli products to the Council and Councillor Jonathan McColl, but alas they are blocking communications on Twitter.
They seem naive and thoughtless, to imagine that their actions would not receive a response, but worse than that they haven’t really adjusted their positions. Instead they have become truculent and defensive, which is a pity for the Scottish National Party, as it makes them look small-minded and parochial.
This letter from Pete Tobias to Councillor Jonathan McColl of the SNP is well worth a read:
” June 1st 2011
Dear Councillor McColl,
I have just watched your video blog on YouTube and would like to apologise for the abuse that you and your fellow council members have received from members of the public who are responding inappropriately to your council’s decision to impose a (somewhat selective) ban on goods produced in Israel. I shall refrain from commenting on your interesting views how items such as mobile phones purchased in stores Glasgow owe nothing to Israeli technology, or how you seek to avoid any accident that might require you to receive medical treatment pioneered in the country you and your council seem to have singled out as the sole perpetrators of human rights abuses and atrocities.
Please allow me to be slightly more constructive and make some suggestions as to how you might restore the image of your council as a legitimate and sensible authority rather than appearing to be anti-semitic by focusing exclusively on the State of Israel for your ‘symbolic’ gesture.
Why not propose a motion at your next Council meeting condemning the violent and oppressive treatment of the Syrian people by their own government? And in case you think what is currently happening is an isolated incident, check this out: http://bit.ly/mBGcr9 . Worth a symbolic protest of some sort, don’t you think?
Or how about the Democratic Republic of Congo? www.savethecongo.org.uk. Darfur? Burma? Tibet? Sadly, the list of places in which human rights abuses are perpetrated by one group of people against another is a long and painful one.
As a rabbi, I have consistently found myself being vilified by my own community for comments that I have made criticising Israel’s actions. We are, after all, a people who are taught to think of ourselves as ‘poor we us’, as you so rightly observe, and how dare one of the Jewish people’s own leaders dare to add his voice to those who demand no less than Israel’s destruction? But when I do so, I try to balance my arguments (eg http://bit.ly/kLFUky , http://bit.ly/bYbSAI) – and I also recognise that there are other regimes in the world worthy of criticism.
That last point, I am afraid, is where your claim that West Dunbartonshire Council’s venture into international relations represents a genuine concern with human rights smacks of the anti-semitism that you seek to deny. Your council’s actions are unbalanced, are directed towards one individual country’s failings, but do not even try to take into account the numerous other human rights’ abuses that exist in our troubled world.
Councillor McColl, if you are genuinely concerned about human rights, and you genuinely want to demonstrate that West Dunbartonshire Council is similarly dedicated to such issues, might I suggest that you seek out one or two other causes to champion in your Council Chambers, some different human rights’ violations over which to make a ‘symbolic’ gesture? Otherwise, I am afraid, your protests that you are not behaving in an anti-semitic manner founder on the knee-jerk reaction your Council has made to one situation while ignoring numerous others.
I look forward very much to hearing that West Dunbartonshire Council has passed a resolution condemning the actions of the Syrian government, the Libyan government, the Egyptian government, the Burmese government, or any other cause of your choice. If you are unable or unwilling to do this, then I am afraid you are guilty as charged, and your position in singling out Israel is indefensible.
Rabbi Pete Tobias”[My emphasis.]
I use to read Liberal Conspiracy years back, however, its capricious moderation policy put me off. Still I recently saw that Ben White had been given a platform, again.
I was surprised, as White has had a wide range of disreputable political views, but more so when White invoked the name of the CST in his arguments.
In the discussions a member of the CST, Dave Rich, tries to correct White’s misrepresentations:
“Ben White’s research is as poor as his reasoning. The Working Definition is linked to from the CST website and quoted in our guide to combating antisemitism on campus. We use it as it was intended: as a rough guide to antisemitism, a starting for investigation. It is not the sole, definitive definition and was never intended to be: hence all the caveats about context etc.
I find the horror at the eumc’s consultation with Jewish groups laughable. Is the suggestion that it is wrong for a governmental body to consult with a particular minority when investigating prejudice against them? And if they found contradictory views, I guess they went with those views which carried more weight in that community.
The issue with UCU is not so much their rejection of eumc as their rejection of macpherson. In recent years large numbers of Jewish academics have complained about antisemitic bullying and harassment in the union and have been ignored, ridiculed and persecuted as a result. Many have resigned. You may disagree with their view of what is antisemitism, but this is their perception. The motion on eumce is just an attempt to formalise this, because the Union feels that any worries about antisemitism hamper their ability to campaign against Israel.
In reality, eumc does no such thing. NUS use the working definition, but just last month passed a very pro-Palestinian policy. However for people like Ben White, “criticism of Israel” is a euphemism to hide an anything-goes attitude to attacking Israel and its supporters. But then what do you expect from a man who says he can understand why people are antisemitic? ” [My emphasis.]
Later on, the thread becomes a bit of a car crash, but the discussion of EUMC has a relevance as Jhate shows in its latest post:
“In the Fars article, Toben presented Holocaust denial as a technique for depriving Israel of its “main tool of propaganda.” This is consistent with the approach taken by many Holocaust deniers in the Arab and Muslim world, who argue vociferously that they are not in favor of Nazis or against Jews; they are merely anti-Zionists. This point was made ad nauseum during the infamous 2006 Tehran Holocaust denial conference convened by President Ahmadinejad’s government, at which Toben was a delegate. [Toben wrote about his experiences at that conference here. He has visited Iran numerous times since then, including as recently as Feb. 2011.] “
That’s, how antisemites, Jew haters and Jew baiters will adjust their propaganda depending on their audience and try to seem more mainstream than they really are, which is where the EUMC Working Definition of Antisemitism comes in, as a helpful guide.
A copy can be found on the EUMC’s successor body, the Fundamental Rights Agency.
The FRA covers a lot of ground and whilst a few of their reports are a little dated they are worth a read.
Their earlier report on Muslims in the European Union: Discrimination and Islamophobia should be read by anyone genuinely interested in antiracism.
More of their reports are here.
“I haven’t time or space right now to pick up on every issue so I’ll just mention two statements that I found troubling and which I’ll post separately. I trust the councillor –should he read the posts – will see them as constructive criticism from one who has done the job herself.
In my opinion the following statement is very unfortunate:
“West Dunbartonshire Council remains committed to our boycott of Israeli goods and our resolve has only been strengthened by the torrent of vile abuse threats of violence against our families that has come from people who claim to be peace loving people.”
So, what has actually been said here?
There is no mention of Israel having exacerbated the situation that existed in 2009. Yet the council’s resolve has been strengthened. Why? According to Cllr McColl this is because the councillors have experienced a very negative reaction from some members of the public.
What a very bizarre way to approach policy!
Has the Councillor considered how this might be interpreted by residents in Dunbarton? Because what this position seems to be saying is that a) if the council votes on a contentious issue and that vote causes public protest, outrage and threats and b) this public reaction then results in councillors becoming hurt or otherwise emotionally distressed then c) those councillors will not only stick with their original decision but will strengthen their resolve to do so! This isn’t professional and it isn’t very democratic either.
A councillor is most unlikely to complete his/her term without some form of public disapproval. I certainly didn’t! But if a decision creates such outrage – and I daresay distress – then shouldn’t the councillors first course of action be to listen to the people, undertake a proper and professional review of the issue and do all that is necessary to maintain the good name of their council rather than viewing it only through a prism of self-defence and acting on that alone?
Reading the motion and listening to the video has not convinced me that there has been an honest and in-depth appraisal of the situation with further research undertaken. One would have thought that before strengthening resolve some consideration might have been given to Judge Goldstone’s retraction – which weakens the original case.
Given that this issue has been discussed on several blogs in the UK and has reached American sites, I would have thought that the best way forward would be to convene a meeting between the council and an organisation able to represent the Israeli perspectives. At least that way some academic information might surface and the council could be seen to be doing its best to understand both the issues and the outrage.
Furthermore, if councillors are receiving abuse/threats then such a move would go a long way to stopping that. Which is an awful lot better than going on the attack, sending out warnings and mentioning the police straight away. These types of actions are not the best way to shape the public’s view of a council and although the police take threats seriously, personally, I think it might be better to instigate other measures first in order to support police resources.” [My emphasis.]
West Dunbartonshire Council and the man, that made a critical amendment of the motion to boycott all Israeli goods, has now released a video on the matter.
Why the deputy leader of West Dunbartonshire Council, Councillor Jonathan McColl, decided to make this video is a mystery to me.
I would have thought that Cllr McColl and West Dunbartonshire Council might have learnt the expression, when in a hole stop digging, but alas, no.
I suppose, being charitable, that Cllr McColl wants to get his point across, but from my brief viewing it doesn’t do them any favours.
The tone and content of the video suggest that West Dunbartonshire Council and Cllr McColl didn’t understand or appreciate the sensitivity of the term “boycott” when applied to Israelis or Jews. Moreover, there is an attempt within the video to play the victim, to gain pity and say that people have said terrible things to them.
It is quite possible that members of the public vented their understandable anger at Cllr McColl or West Dunbartonshire Council, presumably the lesson to learn is, don’t go posturing about issues that you barely understand and sensitivities that you couldn’t.
The sight of politicians whining about how people have said nasty things to them, in this instance, is unedifying. They might do well to remember that Israelis and Jews have faced far, far worse things than a bit of name-calling.
I think that they could have spent their time more profitably by reading, thinking and understanding that Europeans posturing about the Middle East is both condescending and decidedly unnecessary, it achieves little and potentially aggravates many.
I would suggest that the councillors of West Dunbartonshire Council make an effort to read up on antisemitism, in depth, and the history of Poland and Germany in the 1920s/1930s in particular. If the libraries in West Dunbartonshire Council don’t have books on the topics I am happy to provide a reading list for said councillors.
Firstly, thanks to Engage for pointing me towards Ben Gidley’s piece at Dissent, The Politics of Defining Racism: The Case of Anti-Semitism in the University and College Union. Clearly, Dr. Gidley is very knowledgeable on this topic and a pleasure to read, here’s a snippet:
“Racism is mercurial. It mutates over time. Pseudoscientific racial theories are now spouted only by marginal cranks. Notions that different races are different species have come and gone; eugenics has come and gone; words like “Aryan” and “Semitic” are starting to sound quaint. The period since the 1980s has seen the rise of cultural racism, or racism that focuses on cultural differences rather than biological ones.”
In class related matters, the Guardian asked its staff, who’d been educated at Oxbridge and had it helped them in their career. Hmm, not a hard question to answer. Next, they’ll be saying old Etonians dominate the British establishment.
The New York Times on Ratko Mladić, chocolates and genocide. I expect that Ed Herman and Diana Johnstone will be up in arms shortly. Balkan Witness has a good page on Herman and other’s denial. NPR is worth a read.
Time has an informative piece on the psychology of dictators, and I suspect that its findings apply more broadly than many would care to admit.
Dave Rich at the CST takes the trouble to read it carefully, and he doesn’t like what he finds:
“Hasan clearly understands the pitfalls of writing on this subject, and he has genuinely tried to avoid producing an antisemitic article. The problem is that his article is basically just another conspiracy theory. It offers a simplistic argument that completely ignores the hopes, fears, needs and goals of Israelis and Palestinians themselves, or of any other actors in the region, and imagines that the whole problem could be solved by a wave of America’s magic wand (or a shake of its big stick).”
Whilst we are at it we shouldn’t forget this one from 2010, The New Statesman Praises Iran’s President For Not Denying the Holocaust.
The West Dunbartonshire Council is boycotting all things Israeli, or so they say:
“The Council’s boycott does not in any way seek to censor or silence authors and commentators from Israel.
The Council’s boycott only relates to goods ‘made or grown’ in Israel. “
I can’t imagine that aside from medical technology, computer chips, Microsoft’s operating systems and various other bits of modern equipment that West Dunbartonshire Council actually import much from Israel, directly or indirectly.
The Council, readers will remember, is about 20 miles from Glasgow, a small municipality with a population of approximately 90,000 [2009 figures] and relatively poor, with low attainment levels in education.
From their statement, it is clear that West Dunbartonshire Council’s determination to boycott Israeli goods is merely posturing. It is not, as if, they get many tins of Israeli chickpeas or Israeli chicken soup sent to them. Over time they have probably imported, none. Therefore their boycott won’t mean a damn to the local residents or the Council, really, but it is a fine political distraction from the many serious problems in the locality. A bit of political posing.
If they were truly serious then they would stop using all of that sophisticated Israeli medical equipment, computer technology and finally Google, which uses a search algorithm developed by an Israeli.
The Council could stop using all of that computer technology from Intel and Microsoft, all developed with Israeli know-how, but they won’t, because it would be a hindrance to them. West Dunbartonshire Council’s supposed boycott is just a pose, a piece of political theatre as they won’t inconvenience themselves, really, for the sake of their alleged principles.
So they don’t import anything from Israel, haven’t banned anything in two years and basically it means nothing to them, but here is the Council’s statement, make your own mind up:
“West Dunbartonshire Council utterly refutes recent media claims that it has ‘launched a boycott on Israeli books’.
The Council’s boycott does not in any way seek to censor or silence authors and commentators from Israel.
The Council’s boycott only relates to goods ‘made or grown’ in Israel. The vast majority of mainstream books by Israeli authors are published in the UK and are therefore not affected by this boycott. Only books that were printed in Israel and transported to the UK for distribution would be potentially boycotted.
In the in the two and a half years the boycott has been in place there has never been a case when the library service has been unable to purchase a book it wished to as a result of this boycott.
Contrary also to recent media reports the boycott is not retrospective and absolutely no books have been or will be removed from our library shelves as a consequence of the motion.
Councillors of West Dunbartonshire Council voted to introduce the boycott in 2009 in response to the disproportionate use of force used against Palestinians and resulting loss of life.
The full motion is:
‘This Council deplores the loss of life in Palestine which now numbers well over 1,000. This Council also recognises the disproportionate force used by the IDF in Palestine and agrees to boycott all Israeli goods as a consequence. Officers should immediately cease the purchase of any goods we currently source, which were made or grown in Israel. Officers should also ensure we procure no new goods or produce from Israel until this boycott is formally lifted by WDC.’ ” [My emphasis.]
Update 1: Hunting around I found an original minute of the meeting dealing with it, in the Google cache. I am reproducing it, as matter of public record, it is fairly long:
Read the rest of this entry »
Non-Jewish “anti-Zionists” will frequently tell you that they have nothing against Jews. Indeed, some of their best friends are…
Or that they hold no prejudices against Jews.
Some of them even seem sincere when they say that, but the problem is when you follow the goings-on of these “non-Jewish anti-Zionists” you often come across the whiff of racism.
It’s not the strong poignant smell that you get from the Far Right. It is not that choking stench that you find on the Extreme Right, but it’s there all the same. For the most part, it is not vulgar or in your face, but you can detect it if you’re sensitive to the ebbs and flows of racism.
I suspect that part of the reason that it is not such an astringent smell, is that it comes from supposedly highly educated people. It is, more often than not, a product of the metropolitan elites, not vulgar thugs in the street, so is seen in a different light. Nevertheless, you can detect the racism, if you try. It leaves a bitter taste on the back of the throat.
Firstly, this “anti-Zionist” suggests the Occupied Palestine blog, which I previously demonstrated had a love of neo-Nazi material.
Next, the “anti-Zionist” rates Alison Weir’s not too subtle racism, I dealt with it here.
It is an exceedingly discomforting sensation to think that you will be discussing politics with reasoned anti-racists, then to be confronted with repulsive anti-Jewish racism from one of the participants.
I think the worst part is, that this particular “anti-Zionist” is an adult, a political activist with over a decade’s experience and an Oxbridge graduate.
What Are They Thinking?
It does make you wonder what goes through the minds of “anti-Zionists” that they can read this racist material and it does not ring alarm bells with them.
None of this pricks their conscience, nothing seems to get through, their supposed opposition to racism is shown to be non-existent, their understanding of racism merely a set of words. All is a sham.
Thanks to Rebecca for keeping me up to date on events in the US surrounding the racist, Gilad Atzmon, as she comments:
“I just got another email update from the US Boat to Gaza folks – advertising Gilad Atzmon’s benefit concert tonight in Oakland. As far as I’m concerned, this means it’s no mistake that he’s doing this benefit – he’s working with them, and they don’t care about his reputation as an antisemite. See my blog today: http://mystical-politics.blogspot.com/2011/05/us-boat-to-gaza-and-gilad-atzmon.html “
Searching around I can see that they are advertising the event via their Twitter feed.
It is also on their events page.
Update 1: Adam Holland has more, and as far as I can see Atzmon might be working with the well-known Holocaust denier, Michael Santomauro:
“Gilad Atzmon is using a notorious Holocaust denial website to advertise a speech and performance he is giving tonight at a Methodist church in Oakland, CA. (Read here.) The website, which is maintained by Michael Santomauro, publishes articles propounding what Santomauro euphemistically refers to as “historical revisionism” concerning Naziism and the Holocaust, as well as anti-Semitic and anti-Zionist articles, and promotional material for books with the same themes. A notice on the website indicates that Atzmon himself sent the promotional notice to the Santomauro website for publication there.
Santomauro has worked as an advance man for David Irving’s New York appearances, sometimes under the pseudonym “Michael Singer”, under which name he has booked venues for Irving to promote his books. (Read here.) Emails between Irving and Santomauro planning a speaking engagement were copied from Irving’s website by hackers and leaked to Wikileaks. (I wrote about that here. The hacked emails are online here. A prior post mentioning Santomauro’s link to Irving is available here.) “