Friday, April 15, 2011

Friday miscellany

Another round-up post I'm afraid.

The Middle East

Libya and the complexities of liberal intervention: Bill Weinberg on questionable reports of Polisario fighters in Gaddafi's camp.Mick Hume on the PR war over Libya. James Turley on the rebels. SR Gardner on how the left got it wrong.

Talking of tyrantsThe Hitch on Mugabe.

Looking back on the revolution in Egypt: Joshua Muravchik. Meanwhile, the counterrevolution continues: Global Voices on the jailing of Maikel Nabil.

And on the wider revolutions in the Middle East, an interesting symposium at JRB, featuring Shlomo Avineri, Michael Walzer and others.

 Iz/Pal: Following the slaying of Juliano Mer-Khamis comes the killing of an Italian ISM activist, Vittorio Arrigoni, by Islamists in Gaza. Reading: Nathalie Rothschild on the Goldstone semi-U-turn. Good to see False Dichotomies back from intermission, with two interesting Iz/Pal posts: one on Arab Israeli national service, and one on Omar Barghouti, the high priest of the BDS movement. From TULIP, Eric Lee on what Palestinian trade unionists told UNISON's delegation. And a huge amount of material to chew on in this great news round-up from Green Engage.

Islam and intolerance

On Monday, France introduced its ridiculous and authoritarian burka banJim wrote: "France introduces its new bill to emancipate women by arresting two women. Rest assured they are now fully liberated in the cells." In Spiked, Brendan O'Neill is smart and sensible on the burka ban, with a smarter response from David Osler. Also see Carl.

Moving from uncovering flesh to burning booksMs Flesh on the Qu'ran-burners.

Closer to home

The likes of us: I intend to get around to watching Michael Collins on council housing on the old iPlayer. See comment thread (including me) at Paul's place. Here's a review by Steve Hilditch (via Jim).

Sectariana: The SPGB on Chris Bambery's departure from the SWP.

UK politricks: The BNP are not looking like they will do too well in the forthcoming elections - Hope Not Hate have good coverage (via Jim). I have still not completely decided how to vote in the AV referendum. Gordon says Yes To AV is middle class fantasy politics.

British Islam: Check out the very good and rapidly improving newish blog of the Muslim Institute.

The immigration debate: I haven't yet digested David Cameron's latest immigration speech. The left in general are accusing him of "playing the immigration card", which is true in one sense, but my first impression of the speech is that it is considerably more sophisticated and sensible than previous attempts to do so, and actually cuts through some of the myths perpetuated by the anti-migration lobby. It may even be a step towards a de-toxified debate. For some responses from the pro-migration lobby, see Don Flynn and Owen Jones, and slightly more nuanced positions from Dan Hodges and Zrinka Bralo. For an intervention from a different angle, see Sarah Spencer on integration. I also liked this pithy comment from Evan Harris: "Oi Cameron! if "Real communities..bound by common experiences..knitted together by all the rituals of the neighbourhood, from the school run to the chat down the pub" [then] why let schools segregate by relig/race?"

6 comments:

Noga said...

We take whatever crumbs you are willing to throw our way, Bob, so stop apologizing.

skidmarx said...

The most obvious paragraph from the UNIson report that Eric Lee won't like is this:
y. In particular
he criticised Trade Union Friends of Israel (TUFI) for the way in which they sought to portray the
relationship to justify the concept of ‘normalisation’
5
between the Palestinian and Israeli trade
union movement and accused TUFI of acting dishonestly in its dealings with the PGFTU. The
PGFTU was very clear that their relationship with the Histadrut was based primarily on the
representation of Palestinians working inside Israel and that they could not have normal relations
with the Histadrut whilst they were living under occupation.

Strange that the other places I've seen this mentioned are both sympathetic to Lee and only focus where he focuses.

skidmarx said...

Weinberg and Turley seem to have a point. I'm not sure Mick Hume, or any of that ilk ever did, and when SR Gardner says: "n this blog I have taken on some of the reasons given for anti-invention", he does seem to mind inventing some of what the Left says in support of his thesis that because he can only see two ways of seeing the conflict everyone must fit into his categories. I realise that a similar theme has been going on here, I think instead what the traditionally anti-war left has largely done is keep to their anti-imperialist principles, but think hard about how to apply them and not be too condemnatory of those reaching other conclusions (Louis Proyect and Richard Seymour again being examples of this).

skidmarx said...

I was told by an MK veteran once a reason why Mugabe's hatred of homosexuality might be linked with his dislike of the British. On a quick glance I don't think much of Hitchen's article: centrally giving " only the undisguised use of force and the wholesale use of corruption have kept his party in office" as the sole answer to "How has Robert Mugabe been able to rule Zimbabwe for so long?" fails to analyse those groups that have kept him in power.

skidmarx said...

False Dichotomies seems to be the high priest of blatant dishonesty rather than Barghouti. Just because it takes much distortion to make him appear to say what FD thinks he might be saying.

skidmarx said...

And the SPGB are better on Mickey Mouse.

Rancid rather than vile, but I'm surprised you have noticed (unless I've failed to notice you noticing)