Wednesday, March 30, 2005

Israel is among the holocaust deniers

Via DZ, article by Yossi Sarid in Ha'aretz on Israel's refusal to recognise the Armenian genocide.

A Dutch Soccer Riddle: Jewish Regalia Without Jews

Via Jogo, a fascinating article about Ajax's Jewish identifications.

More: The Wandering Jew: "We're Hunting the Jews!", Robert Hays in Holland.

Stop Funding Hate

Following up previous tsunami posts, this website highlights the danger of relief funds getting to the wrong places.

That Bleeding Heart Wolfowitz

Via Jogo, excellent article by Christopher Hitchens on Wolfowitz's nomination to the World Bank. (But I still think the nomination is a foolish provacative gesture which flies in the face of recent positive Bush regime efforts to paint the US in a more multilaterial light.)

Communist Legacy

Via Jogo, an interesting tiff reported on David Horowitz's blog here.


I understand Horowitz's position about the re-printing - neither forum is profit-making - but this is an example of something I hate about FrontPage. The articles written for FrontPage are written for FrontPage; that's straightforward. But it also publishes a considerable amount of material from other sources. Effectively, it acts as a blog, but saving you the trouble of clicking on the link. But it doesn't portray itself as a blog - it looks like the articles were written for FrontPage, or, at the very least, that permission was given. Why can't it just give a link? In fact, it doesn't give a link at all, so the reader can't verify the source without searching it out. And FrontPage routinely changes the titles of articles, which might be OK if the author gave permission, but that makes it even harder to track down the original, as well as adding an editorial slant which skews one's reading of the article. So: I'd be angry if I were Albert Vetere Lannon or if I were Historia Actual On-Line.

(Original article by Lannon at Historia Actual On-Line here.)

Previous: Just Opinions on FrontPage, AntiHorowitz vs AntiChomsky, Marx vs Stalin, The Cold War continues.


Readers in London might be interested in this:

Sunday 10th April 7pm -- 11pm: Jonathan Freedland, Henry Goodman, Oi Va Voi LIVE, Sophie Solomon, Susan Hiller, William Sutcliffe and more...

SPIEL @ the ICA and the new Jewish Community Centre for London, Institute of Contemporary Art, London, SW1 . CALL TO BOOK TICKETS on 020 7930 3647

The launch of the Jewish Community Centre for London's new series of lounge shows with performance and banter. At SPIEL, four guests Henry Goodman, Susan Hiller, Sophie Solomon and William Sutcliffe, with host Jonathan Freedland, will chew the fat over contemporary cultural events with Jewish content, surrounded by sneak live previews of new albums, plays, performance and books by visiting bands, actors and contemporary dancers. Oi Va Voi will play tunes from their forthcoming album and Henry Goodman will perform his award-winning adaptation of 'Monsieur Ibrahim and the Flowers of the Koran'.

Discussion includes Todd Solondz's forthcoming film Palindromes, The Apprentice with Alan Sugar on BBC2, Susan Hiller's forthcoming show 'The J Street Project' at Timothy Taylor Gallery and the Prince Charles Cinema and musician and electronic wizard Socalled's new Socalled Seder | A hip hop haggadah project featuring Wu Tang Clan's Killa Priest, accompanied by visuals and short film screenings.

Produced by YaD Arts &

Previous: Ken's anti-semitism, BobFromBrockley: Mazal Tov Cocktail, Beyonce Knowles is Jewish, The Supreme Chutzpah, Leftist Jew in London, The Mighty Sparrow, Ephraim Kishon, Frum Teens,Rebel Jewish kids, Kosher Eucharist: Diaspora Kinda Life

Gujarat genocide

In a victory for progressive forces, Narendra Modi cancelled his trip to London scheduled for the past weekend. Here is the text of the call to demonstrate against his presence:
Protest against Modi: Justice for victims of the Gujarat genocide

Saturday 26 March Royal Albert Hall 5PM
Narendra Modi, the chief minister of Gujarat, and the major architect of genocide of the Muslims in Gujarat, is the guest of honour at Gujarat celebration on Saturday 26 March at Royal Albert Hall.

The Dawood Family Justice Campaign and Awaaz-South Asia Watch urge all progressive organisations and individuals to join our demonstration to protest against the presence of Modi in the UK.

Exactly three years ago, in February and March 2002, Gujarat witnessed horrific incidents of unparalleled violence that can only be described as genocide of innocent Muslim people. Over 2000 people, including British Asians, were slaughtered with more than 100,000 people displaced in under-resourced refugee camps. Houses were systematically looted, businesses burnt down, hundreds women gang raped and many children murdered. All the evidence suggests that the Gujarat state government, led by the current Chief Minister Narendra Modi, and the police orchestrated the violence and were responsible for the carnage. Yet, despite domestic and international public pressure, not a single prominent individual has been held to account or brought to justice.

The US refuses entry to Modi

On 18th March 2005 the US government revoked the visa earlier granted to Narendra Modi, the chief minister of Gujarat, for his role "in severe violation of religious freedom". Modi was invited by the Asian American Hotel Owner's Association (AAHOA) as chief guest for their annual convention in Florida on March 24-26. This revocation of both diplomatic and business visas has come about as a result of untiring effort of the US-based Coalition against Genocide (CAG) which comprises of 38 organisations and 10 supporting groups alongside individual members from Canada and the US.

More about the Gujarat genocide:

The Dawood Family Justice Campaign

AWAAZ - South Asia Watch

It is good that America has led the way in marginalising Modi within the 'international community'. However, it is also important to keep the pressure on in relation to India's neighbour Pakistan, which should not be seen as a beacon of democracy and tolerance.

On the US-Pak[istan] relations, [Pakistani Foreign Minister Khurshid M. Kasuri] said Washington looked to hold close ties with Islamabad on permanent basis beyond the purpose of war on terror. "These are not my words but that of US Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice."

Asked whether there was a guarantee that the US would not backtrack from its promise, he said, "No one can guarantee that. America is not a bank which should be asked for a guarantee. It has its own interests. If its interest are not matched with any country no one can compel it". "If our interests are not matched with USA in any matter, we will refuse to support to it," he said and cited Pakistan's refusal to send its forces to Iraq as an example.

Claiming the US decision to sell F-16s to Pakistan as a success of Islamabad's foreign policy, he said both countries were working to further deepen and underpin their longstanding cordial ties.

Kasuri also said that Pakistan will not rollback its nuclear programme.
Previous: Sri Lanka Child Slavery, Freedom's flames in Pakistan, Condoleeza and the town hall test, Pakistan rogue state, The real axis of evil

Tsunami and Child Slavery

As eastern Asia deals with yet another natural disaster, we need to remember the human evils that compound these cataclysms. See this from the American Anti-Slavery Group: What's At Stake - Help Prevent Child Slavery in Wake of Tsunami

Previous: Thuggish Islamists in Aceh, Allah and the tsunami, How we made the tsunami worse

Tuesday, March 22, 2005


Websites linking to this one:
Rabbinical Authority Consortium of HACKers (highly recommended!)

CafePress Watch - Banned and Censored - Selective Politically-Correct Enforcement of Censorship

Metal Jew

Wasup Answer

NEW: Rabbi Y. Klavan

Ken's anti-semitism

DZ made an official complaint about Ken Livingstone's anti-semitism:

This is a copy of a ltter I posted to Brian Coleman. If possible you can add this as a citizen's complaint against Ken Kivingstone in the Finegold case

4 March 2005

Dear Brian Coleman,

I would like to add my voice again to ask for the resignation of Mr Livingstone, holder of the office of mayor of London on grounds of racist bias, slander and deliberate one-sidedness against Jews and Israelis.

I have just read in Haaretz about Mr Livingstone's interpretation of politics in Israel and the politics of Israel.

The views that Mr Livingstone airs are in tune with what is usually uttered by fringe politicians like the those of the Socialist Workers Party (SWP) and also those who have the down-fall of Israel at best interest. Mr. Ken Livingstone appears to share these views. In fact his interpretation of history is so tainted it is racist.*

I do believe that any major who holds such personal strong believes whilst in office is unfit to continue to hold such office as a fair and unbiased person. To throw such comments into the current debate when people point out at his disturbing comments against the Jewish Evening Standard Journalist can only be called a deliberate move to further annoy the Jewish population. It is hard to understand why it is necessary for him to discuss the Near East when other issues are far more pressing in London. To single out Israel for allegations of Human Rights violations amidst all possible scenarios in the world one could quote shows further that Mr Livingstone appears somehow obsessed with the Jewish State. **

London has several thousand of Israeli citizens, and even more so who are Jewish. Mr Livingstone is not representing us fairly.

His call of Ariel Sharon, a president elect, as a war criminal is an outrageous statement in a climate of peace negotiations and Gaza withdrawal. Likewise claims can be made against many Palestinian and Arab leaders.

His course of argumentation that New Anti-Semitism is over rated is silly. Mr Livingstone likes to devalidate facts by pointing the fingers at other facts. The fact that Asians and Muslims are suffering racism can not be used to devalidate the worrying growth of anti Jewish feelings in Europe. Many Jews are in fact considering emmigration ***

Likewise the fact that the Daily Mail has had their racist moments does not make Mr Livingstone's offences any better.

Mr Livingstone must resign, an apology is now no longer satisfactory. It is time for more constructive leaders to follow office. If Mr Livinsgtone had made comments like this to the Black community or the Asian or Muslim community it would not be tolerated. Neither should it be when it regards Jews.

I am undersigning any initiatives and calls in this matter to discipline or ask Mr Livingstone's resignation.


* Jews were always living in Israel and there were permanent settlememnts in Israel even during the diaspora years, including Zfad, Jerusalem, Tiberias and Jeriho. On the record the Palestinian identity is a fairly new one. This is not to deny their right of a cultural identity, I am just stating the fact, as likewise people on the argument line of Mr Livingstone declare Israeli identity and Zionism as racist. Palestinians are a mix of Syrian, Turkish, Druse, Greek, Egyptian, and Armenian people, whose families all migrated to the area in the last centuries. They do not have a biblical, religious and ethnical reference to the area that likens the Jewish one, but their presence in the last centuries, and teh fact that they now chose to identify collectively as Palestinains and are identified as such grants them cultural rights nevertheless. The destruction of the Jewish second temple, the errection of the Al Aqusar Mosq on the very place that is holy to religious Jews can likewise be seen as symbols of illegal, imperialist expansionist actions way back in history, whose victims were local Jews. Ut could equally be concern to Socialist intiuned leaders who hate expansionisn and imperialism. The later was causing one of most well known diasporas in world history. Nobody in their right mind in the current world would have called acceptable the errection of a shrine of one group on the very place of warship of another group .. Yet that is precisely what happened on the Jeruslem temple mount. Jews maintained the importance of Zion throughout in their prayers throught. Jews have very strong cultural, religious and anthropological rights to the land of Israel. Yet from the foundation of Zionism and the rebuilding of a Jewish State they had to share the land and even its holy locations with the fact that other people made now claims to it. Israel is a Jewish state that always had to accept the presence of people who were not and respect their believes, which means that there is access and self control of all holy sites.

Many of the borders or identities of Arab states were set up by the colonial powers. Jordan and Egypt both are partially responsible for denying land to the Palestinians. Since its independence Israel had to warrant its survival as a state amongst a largely hostile Arab environment. In the 1960s Israel got to govern the West Bank by default as Jordan refused its return. A settlement policy followed which is held to be wrong by many Israelis today. Israelis were willing to make serious concessions to allow the errection of a Jewish state in te negotiations between Rabin and Arafat and later bwteen Barak and Arafat. They let to nothing.

** He could equally discuss Cuba, the US, Saudi Arabia, Zimbabwe, China, Korea, Sudan, Mali, Turkey, Iran, Pakistan, or any other number of countries.

***One wonders if he appreciates the situation of Jews in Britain. Since the uprise of Islamic militancy I am for example publically hiding my true identity unless it is safe to do so, especially since Ilive in an area dominated by Muslims. I hide my star of david and do not talk Hebrew in public. This extends to my identifications with the Jewish state. An Israeli flag we have I had to put up in a place away from any windows so it can not be seen. Jews, Israel and America are seen as the prime enemy of militant Islam. I am therefore careful about revealing my identity in multi-cultural London. Such problems I did not have when I still lived in Germany, and definately not in Israel. It is more in line with what one would have done in Nazi Germany or in Reconquista Spain. Further many Jews are very concerned with any raise in anti Asian or anti Muslim hatred as it also can mean vulnerability for Jews, especially if it comes from right wing groups.

DZ received a reply:
Copy (abbreviated):
Notification of a new allegation received by the Standards Board for England (SBE).

SBE Allegation Reference Number SBE 10440.05
Name of person making allegation: Mr Daniel Z----
Name of person allegation is against: Mr Ken Livingstone

Name of relevant authority: Greater London Authority

Introduction: (Explanation of the Local Government Act 2000 and 2003 Section 112).

Allegations recently considered:
The Standards Board of England recently received an allegation and officers conducted an assessment to decide whether to refer it for investigation. The following is a general summary of the allegation:

The complainant has forwarded an email he sent to the Chair of the Greater London Assembly which the SBE has treated as a complaint. The complainant refers to an article in The Haaretz newspaper concerning Mr Livingstone's interpretatiopn of politics in Israel and the politics of Israel. In addition to matters which have already been referred for investigation (SBE 10001.05), it is alleged that he is biased against the state of Israel, has unfairly singled it out for human rights violations, and accused the Israeli government of presenting a wholly distorted picture of racism and religious discrimination across Europe. It is also alleged that he has called Ariel Sharon a war criminal. The complainant believes that Mr Livingstone has a racist view of history and that he is unfit to hold public office.

It is considered that as a democratically elected politician, Mr Livingstone is entitled to hold views on topical issues, to express his opinions and have them tested through political debate. His alleged statements about Israel and Ariel Sharon do not disclose a breach of the Code of Conduct and should not be referred for investigation.


N.B. The SBE permits a request for review by the chief executive within 14 days of receipt of this letter (22/3/5)

Previous: Livingstone and the Left, Respect, New Labour, new anti-semitism?, Harry the Nazi update, Diaspora Kinda Life

55% against the war

This week rather smaller numbers turned out to oppose the war than they did back in February 2003. Ian McEwan's new novel, Saturday, is set on that day in February. I have enjoyed listening to him talking about that demonstration, because he is one of the few public figures to talk about his ambivalence about the war and opposition to war. He used a nice phrase in one interview, saying he was "55% against the war", which probably captures my attitude too. The anti-hero of the new book is probably 55% in favour of the war. If you click this link this week you can hear it being read on the BBC.

Previous: Hard to be a leftist Jew these days, The best Eid ever, Confounding the perverse hopes & expectations of the Bush-hating Left, Whose side are you on?

Tuesday, March 15, 2005

Academics and scholars

Via aut-op-sy :
Dear Editor,

One of my ethnobotanical friends once said to me that there were two kinds of people to be found teaching in British universities. He described these as the scholars and the academics.

The scholars (Lewis Mumford is an example) think of knowledge as intrinsically a social product. It is thus something to be shared and disseminated as widely as possible. So scholars write in a style that is readable and accessible. As knowledge belongs to no one it is fallacious to treat knowledge as a commodity, or the property of any group or individual. Scholars, my friend said, were essentially egalitarian: they believed in reciprocity and mutual aid, helped others in their work, encouraged them to express and publish their thoughts, and freely shared their own knowledge. Scholars moved freely across disciplines, happily combined teaching and research, and devoted their scholarship to critically exploring social issues and a world outside of texts. They did not promote themselves as gurus, resisted being made into academic icons or experts, and sought no disciples. Nor did they act as patrons.

They were approachable, non-sectarian, valuing the diversity of viewpoints and alternative perspectives, even though expressing their own commitments.

Academics, on the other hand, were quite different. Heidegger and Wittgenstein are prototypes. They treat knowledge as a individual product, either as a commodity, or as something to be kept secret or confined to an exclusive, intellectual elite. Academics thus tend to flaunt with great pretension their own originality and self-importance. To do this they either cultivate intellectual amnesia, or practice a kind of competitive 'slash and burn ' scholarship, or write in an 'elevated' or obscurantist, jargon-ridden style, promoting the false idea that obscurity is the essence of profundity. Academics hate teaching undergraduates, still less people outside the university setting, and devote themselves to academic research, usually of an esoteric nature, meeting only with postgraduate research students who they cultivate as devotees. Emphasising hierarchy, academics actively promote themselves as 'gurus' or as academic icons' or 'experts', and surround themselves if they can with admiring disciples who promote their own work. They thus actively promote patron-client relationships. Academics also tend to be sectarian, rubbish alternative perspectives, as well as being narrow and exclusive in their scholarship. My friend warned me that it is difficult teaching in universities as they are full, as Brian Martin's book explores, with aspiring academics. It would also seem that many contemporary anarchists model themselves on the 'academic' style.

Brian Morris

BobFromBrockley: Fisking Chomsky, Stalinist librarians, Wacked Professor, The Rage of the Intellectuals

Regime change from below

The American Street contrasts the upsurge in people power in places like Bolivia, Ukraine and Pakistan, with the relative passivity of the electorate in freedom's home.

(Reached via The Progressive Blog Alliance, as recommended by In Search of Utopia in An Open Letter to The "Whales of the Leftsphere".)

Democracy's home, Don't they know the Cold War's over?, The democratic imperium, Democracy: precious and fragile

Karl Marx on Bureaucracy

"The bureaucracy is a circle from which one cannot escape. Its hierarchy is a hierarchy of knowledge. The top entrusts the understanding of detail to the lower levels, whilst the lower levels credit the top with understanding of the general, and so all are mutually deceived." - Karl Marx

Also from Nick Lewis: The Blog

Previous: Authoritarian Leninists against real human emancipation

Can Socialists Be Happy?

Orwell asks Can Socialists Be Happy? (from Nick Lewis: The Blog)

See also his George Orwell index

What would Karl Marx have said about basketball?, Head and Heart, Marx's bedside reading, The Bard versus the Mighty Sparrow

Friday, March 11, 2005

The Hitch says Bush's folks cheated

Christopher Hitchens, not a Kerry fan, notes some irregularities in the vote in Ohio.

(Via Mark Kleiman)

Saudi spokesperson condemns terror - except against Israel

Via Meryl Yourish:
Adel al-Jubeir is the national spokesperson of Saudi Arabia, the face that the kingdom likes to show in the West. In contrast with most Saudi Arabians, he is clean-shaven, and his English is polished and almost unaccented. If he has any traditional Arab clothes, he hides them in the closet in his house in Saudi Arabia. In Western countries, he is careful to appear only in expensive, quietly fashionable, and conservative suits, which, together with his receding hairline, lend him the appearance of a senior accountant. (More)
Previous posts: The threat of internal extremism, Livingstone and the cleric, BobFromBrockley: Allah and the tsunami

Respect has to be earned

Oliver Kamm writes:

This is a bittersweet story.

Last July the Respect Coalition (an electoral front for the Socialist Workers' Party) won a council seat in the London Borough of Tower Hamlets. Its successful candidate was a civil servant in his early 20s called Oliur Rahman, who had also secured a substantial vote in the elections for the London Assembly. Socialist Worker headlined their piece on the first of those results, 'Labour's not laughing'.

I fear that Labour probably is laughing, along with many others. My regular Respect-watching correspondent informs me that Mr Rahman, having immersed himself in the Socialist Worker/Respect campaign for "direct investment in council housing, and ... opposition to privatisation and stock transfer housing schemes", voted for the transfer of the council's housing stock at a Tower Hamlets council meeting this week. He was confused about procedure.

I have a certain amount of sympathy with Mr Rahman. I advised the one Independent member of the House of Commons in the last Parliament, and I understand it genuinely does take a degree of alertness, in the absence of a whip, to make sure you get in the voting lobby you want. But it is a manageable proposition nonetheless, especially on issues you're supposed to be vigorously campaigning about.

[...] It's odd, though, that when putting himself forward to be included in the 'Left Unity' list of candidates for his trade union's national executive, he lost heavily. Evidently Respect members believe Mr Rahman is ideally suited to be an MP but, for some reason, not to represent them.

What appears to have happened, in short, is that Mr Rahman's brief flurry of local publicity caused Respect supporters to eye a chance for further glory, only to discover belatedly that their man is not up to the job and they’re stuck with him. These things happen. I hope Mr Rahman has a happy and fulfilled career and personal life ahead of him, long after his party has been relegated to a footnote in the histories of the 2005 general election.

Previous posts on the new Stalinists: Authoritarian Leninists against real human emancipation, Livingstone and the Left, Resistance?, Democracy in the socialist movement, No disrepect: the Kilroy of the left, Debating Iraq, Whose side are you on?

Thursday, March 10, 2005

Sex and politics in America

Playgirl Editor-in-Chief Is A Republican!

What would Karl Marx have said about basketball?

The Philosophy of Basketball

Mazal Tov Cocktail

Mazal Tov Cocktail say:
We are currently seeking submissions on an array of topics, from feminist responses to Orthodoxy to humanism's place in Talmud to anti-establishmentary tendencies in the Hasidic movement to Jewish involvement in the anarchist movement to halakhic justifications for vegetarianism to Jewish anti-Zionism to communism in the Kibbutz movement to Jewish resistance to the Roman occupation of ancient Israel, and everything else in between.
Via Metal Jew.

Beyonce Knowles is Jewish

"Beyonce Knowles is Jewish. So is Leonardo DiCaprio." More here.

Via All is Vanity, who says:
"As a corrolary, I must admit that I now have a newfound respect for Russell Simmons. I used to really think that the guy was a chump and that he was using people more than helping them (e.g. his Def Jam credit card), but after reading this piece, I am really impressed.

Mr. Simmons has really went out of his way to combat anti-Semitism and I can appreciate that.

Way to go."
Reached via Metal Jew