ModernityBlog

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Archive for March 25th, 2011

Twitter, The Middle East And Racism in Italy.

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I find Twitter very useful for keeping up with events.

Of course, there is the danger of too much information and keeping track of things is sometimes hard. Still, certain issues deserve scrutiny, so here’s a selection of a few things I came across on Twitter recently.

Racism in Italy, or in any part of Europe is not new but the HRW’s documenting of it makes depressing reading, as if no lessons have been learnt:

“Instances of horrific racist violence in Italy have been widely reported on in the past several years. Some of the more notorious incidents include the October 2008 brutal beating of a Chinese man by a group of youngsters as he waited for a bus in Tor Bella Monaca, a district of Rome that has seen numerous attacks on immigrants. In this case, the attackers shouted racist insults, such as “shitty Chinaman.”[75] Seven teenagers were arrested hours after the incident.[76]

In February 2009, two adults and a 16-year-old attacked an Indian man in Nettuno, near Rome, beating him and then dousing him with gasoline and setting him on fire.[77] All three were convicted without the aggravating circumstance of racial motivation.[78] In May 2009, a Senegalese actor named Mohamed Ba was knifed in the stomach as he waited for the tram in MIlan.[79] Ba’s aggressor has never been identified or apprehended, according to Ba and a close personal friend.[80]

The focus on of immigration issues for political ends in an increasingly diverse society has created an environment for open expression of racist and xenophobic sentiment. “A particular kind of language has been dusted off … making it so that openly racist expressions in everyday conversation don’t provoke any kind of concern,” according to Deputy Jean-Léonard Touadi.[81] Francesca Sorge, a lawyer in a firm that represents victims of discrimination and racist violence, agreed, saying that “phrases like, ‘You foreigners go away,’ are taken as part of the common lexicon of normal urban rudeness.”[82]”

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Derek Wall, Joel Kovel And The Green Party.

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I have been following the subject of racism in the Green Party for some time, yet even I am surprised about this, Greens Engage has a piece on Derek Wall, a very senior Green figure:

“Since then he has busied himself “negating the various threads of [his] Jewish identity” (p7). You’ll come across similar books by ex-Muslims writing against existing Muslims, denying their diversity, saying “Trust me, I know these people – they’re all authoritarian chauvinists”. It is obviously wrong to make an association between what goes on in your family and what a group of people joined by religion or ethnicity do throughout the world. Joel Kovel is quite openly an antisemitic kook, and anybody who doesn’t realise that has their own prejudices to deal with.

Unfortunately Derek Wall feels so secure within the current anti-Zionist-anti-Jewish climate that to a recent commenter who raised concerns about antisemitism, the green activist, writer and economist responded simply and confidently:

“fuck off Zionist twat.“

That is unrecognisable as politics. It is simply hateful.”

[My emphasis.]

Exactly, hateful.

Surprising, as Wall is an educated man, a tutor at a private college and normally exceedingly well spoken.

Still, I suppose “some of his best friends are….”, no doubt he will say that soon enough.

Update 1: This is Mudar Zahran’s piece, well worth a read:

“Anti-Semitism and the image of the “evil Jew” find their roots deep in Europe’s intellectualism, from Shakespeare to Nietzsche, not to mention the fraudulent Franco-Russian Protocols of the Elders of Zion. The pretexts for Hitler’s Nazi ideology existed vigorously before he came to power. Hitler probably manifested more of a crude exposure of a public trend, exacerbated by a terrible economy, except that the suffering Hitler brought to the world was not limited to Jews. It took the destruction of entire nations and the deaths of millions for people to realize that racism and extremism can be as dangerous to the oppressors and the haters as it is the oppressed and the hated.

As a result, European societies of today collectively renounce racism and anti-Semitism, but even though the haters encountered rejection and exclusion, they were nonetheless able to find an alternative pathway by prospering on the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. As it has raged — and continues to rage — for sixty years, the global media have found a lively source of news material that is endlessly interesting as a conflict between “two religions,” “two ethnicities,” and the line between the West, represented by Israel, and the East, represented by the Palestinians and Arabs in general. “

Update 2: Seemingly Dr. Wall’s political judgement has failed him for a number of years, he’s been an advocate of Cynthia McKinney for ages.

Readers will remember Ms. McKinney’s drift rightwards and association with some well known anti-Jewish racists, David Pidcock and Lady Renouf.

Adam Holland has documented Ms. McKinney’s decline:

Cynthia McKinney Interviewed on Far-Right Racist Radio Program

Cynthia McKinney increasing her ties to the racist far-right: Michael Collins Piper and Israel Shamir.

Cynthia McKinney and the Society of Supporters of the Green Book.

Update 3: Here is Ms. McKinney publishing Israel Shamir’s filth, courtesy of the American Green Party, I am in Turkey with Isreal Shamir. Anyone care to speculate what the shared connection between these people is?