Monday, June 01, 2009

Weekstarting

We started here before the weekend, commenting on Kim Jong-il's British fellow travellers, a theme picked here, in Left Outside, a blog I reached via Jim, with whom I guess I've been playing an odd sort of virtual ping pong.

We've also been spending time on nationalism, anti-nationalism and Zionist exceptionalism, and this post at Katheder Blog does a good job on that question.

And here is a Socialist Party of Great Britain chap reporting on a desultory Euro election hustings in New Cross. (Extract: "We got the time wrong and arrived half-an-hour early and were surprised to find that a bottle of beer (as opposed to lager) cost £4 in the bar of the students union. It would seem that Goldsmiths College doesn't have a very effective student union.")

Talking of elections, and also via Jim, here is an interview with Peter Tatchell at Third Estate. I've also been meaning to link to their Carnival of Socialism, mainly for the stuff about the BNP and the Euro elections, in a post in which I was also going to link to this little video on why to vote Green, but I may not get around to writing that in time for the election.

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Some late morning addenda:

How dare you Ken Loach: Gary Sinyor, of Leon The Pig Farmer fame, adds his voice to the criticisms of Loach around his pressurising of the Edinburgh International Film Festival to give back Israeli funding and thus effectively excluding young Tel Aviv film-maker Tali Shalom Ezer from British cultural life (an issue already blogged here and here). Extract:
"It's shame because clearly Israelis obviously like Ken. The Wind That Shakes the Barley (dir Ken Loach) was distributed in Israel in 2006. Ae Fond Kiss (dir Ken Loach) in 2004. Perhaps he insists his films only get shown in Gaza. Even then, though, he is supporting the Israeli economy and, therefore, the government. Is he happy to take the money or does the thought that it may have paid for a tank, or a bullet, keep him awake? When a two-state solution comes, will Ken rejoice, or will he stamp his feet in frustration along with the President of Iran, because Israel is allowed to exist?
There is a much more serious point here than one film-maker's hypocrisy. To argue that Israeli money, or Israeli government money, is tainted, and shouldn't be accepted as legitimate currency by a third party, is to equate Israel with a solely terrorist entity, rather than a country. It's a little thing, I know, to get worked up about, £300. But the principle is beyond huge. Type in the words "Israel", "rescue" and "earthquake" into Google. Peru, China, Turkey. Should they all should have said no to the Israeli government's offer of help? Is there nothing redeemable, no help worth accepting, from the entire country? Support for film-makers, schools, hospitals, Israel does all this as well as buying weapons. It's what countries do. If Jordan and Egypt can work with the Israeli government, why can't the Edinburgh Film Festival?"
Meanwhile, pro-Palestinian activist John Wight issues a call at Socialist Unity to "defend" Loach. Hmm. Loach is under attack how? Through nasty op-eds in the Scotsman and sad head shaking from former colleagues. Yes, he really needs defending. Unlike Tali Shalom Eze, as she is protected by the world Jewish, I mean Zionist, conspiracy.

By the way, if you are a Socialist Unity reader, and read this about Mahmood Mamdani and the "myth" of humanitarian intervention in Darfur, be sure and follow the links provided by Terry Townsend: here, here, here, and also read RW Johnson's response on Mamdani's apologia for Mugabe.

(Just finished writing all this, and I realise Mod's got there before me, and Engage have already followed him. Sorry.)

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Finally, two more recommendations: Flesh is Grass channels Jesus, Mohammed and Jean Amery. Coatesy on the Euro elections and the populist danger.

2 comments:

ModernityBlog said...

Pro-Palestinian activist??

give me a break!

you mean John "International Jewry" Wight?

There are few "live ones" on the British Left, that I can see, but Wight is one for sure.

bob said...

More fellow travellers of the North Korean regime here: Hellz Yeah! « communism