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The Iranian President is a dangerous man

by Jerome a Paris Fri Dec 9th, 2005 at 04:06:04 AM EST

Dawn

"Some European countries insist on saying that Hitler killed millions of innocent Jews in furnaces and they insist on it to the extent that if anyone proves something contrary to that they condemn that person and throw them in jail," IRNA quoted Mr Ahmadinejad as saying.

"Although we don't accept this claim, if we suppose it is true, our question for the Europeans is: is the killing of innocent Jewish people by Hitler the reason for their support to the occupiers of Jerusalem?" he said.

"If the Europeans are honest they should give some of their provinces in Europe -- like in Germany, Austria or other countries -- to the Zionists and the Zionists can establish their state in Europe. You offer part of Europe and we will support it."

"Why do they insist on imposing themselves on other powers and creating a tumour so there is always tension and conflict?"

Whatever one thinks of the current situation in Israel and Palestine, these words are absolutely unacceptable and irresponsible. As this is not the first outburst of the kind (remember his words that Israel should be "wided off the map") recently, this is really worrying. Does the man really want a war? Maybe it's good for him politically, but it is his fellow Iranians (together, possibly, with the Israeli population) that will pay the price of such folly.

What's wrong with our world? Why are so many countries now led by crazies or criminals?


Display:
was truly shocking.

But I thought part of this gambit had great value, the part where he says, "You want Israel to exist, why not create it in Europe?"

I think he's saying, "Why did you Europeans figure you had the right to carve up Arab lands, and give them away to whoever you choose? Why didn't you carve up your own land?"

Now -- it's not very practical considering that -- unless I'm off in understanding things --the Jewish state really wants to possess certain holy sites for their religion, and those sites are on formerly Arab territory (Palestine, to be specific).

I think the problem arises that the state of Israel, as presented, again, if I get the issues correctly, does NOT want to share these holy sites with persons of other religions who also revere the same sites.

There's not a compassion or generalization, "If we want access to these holy sites, and others do too, why, we're the same, so let's not deprive anyone else in the same way we'd not want to be deprived."

I spent 2-3 years reading Israeli papers in English, and really in a ton of pain about the situation there. Yeah, atrocities. Stealing land, uprooting entire producing orchards of trees, buying land and holding it for one race/religion, away from another race/religion.  Helicopters gunning down people in cities. Stuff like that. Little details of daily governance.

Now, I don't care what the names of the religions involved are. Could be any of hte world's ethnic groups, or major religions oppressing another group in the name of (fill in blank) [g-d] [God] [Allah] [the purity of my race] [more water for me] [more gold for my people] [kicking the crap outta you so we feel better] [you guys look wierd] [you guys eat differently] .

I'm just saying it tears my heart out, and it offends my sense of fairness, and hopes for justice for all mankind, to read raw news stories about the treatment by the power-up group in Israel, of the power-down group.

I will say this, it looks like insanity to me, from my distance in the USA. Would you want to live there as one of the power-down group? In your ghetto? Watching your great-grandfather's orchards ripped up? Watching your house torn down? Kids can't go to school? Have you read the reports of the Refusniks who detail what happened in the Territories when they served there?

Would you want Israel's behaviors towards their power-down group in a neighbor country? What about that treatment is not insane?

I'm not saying this Iranian isn't a nut-case, but I will say this.

First: EVERY time anyone in the USA says anything vaguely disapproving of Israel, or hinting that their treatment of their power-down group might be nutty, wrong, or worse, we  presume we're going to be jumped on by one and all. So I presume I'll be jumped on. Fine. Go for it. It's already said above.

Second: In each of his paragraphs above, I find information to ponder, not to dismiss out of hand.

First graf:
Personally, I believe the numbers quoted for the killing of Jews and others by Hitler are accurate, so I  only learn from his first graf. Huh -- he really believes that? Wow.

Second graf:
Well, at least he's willing to consider that he's wrong. A point for him. Now he asks, roughly, "Is Europe's guilt over Hitler's treatment of Jews that which causes them to turn a blind eye to what Israel does in the name of their state to relatively helpless millions now?"

What's invalid about that question? If it were Hutus and Tsutsis (spelling probably wrong), would we answer in the same way -- as if it's Israel and their power-down millions? Would we? Would you?

If not -- why not?

Do you have a pretty 3D picture of what life for the average Palestinian living in the Terrotories is like? And how that's changed in the last decade? And in the last 30-50 years? What privileges they have and don't have? Compared to the privileges a mile or 500 feet away?

If you do, do you think that is a sane situation?

Third graf:
If Europeans wanted Jews to have a separate state, why not give them land in Europe? Africa? Asia? United States? (Which turned away at least one entire boatload of Jews in the midst of WWII, because of prejudice, not wanting them to land on USA soil.)

I think he has a darned good question --WHY didn't any of these other continents open up territory for a Jewish state? Prejudice? Selfishness? Any chance they regarded the Arabs as sub-human, so why not just carve up their territory to suit the Westerners' ideas du jour?

Why Arab lands?

Fourth graf:
Why DO the Anglo races run about imposing their wills on other countries? Sure seems to be quite a bit of it going around today.

I mean, Iran is in the meatgrinder with the US rattling sabers, microphones, and who knows what all else -- to the end of invading Iran, to the end of bending it to the USA's will, and likely stealing its resources.

Not to mention, Israel is threatening to drop a nuclear bomb on Iran, and the USA likewise... Nuclear bombs are a gift that keeps on taking for thousands of years. And the USA is camped out on one of Iran's borders.

Is there even the remotest reason for this guy to have said what he did?

by AllisonInSeattle on Fri Dec 9th, 2005 at 04:46:21 AM EST
You raise a lot of valid points but anyone that says:


Some European countries insist on saying that Hitler killed millions of innocent Jews in furnaces

(...)

Although we don't accept this claim,...

is profoundly irresponsible. Thr holocaust is not a "claim", it is a fact. Denying it is indeed a crime in several European countries and it is particularly obscene a thing to say for the Head of State of any country.

Now it is obvious that the Holocaust does not justify all Israeli policies, and that the ulterior motices of Europeans in bringing about the creation of Israle can be discussed, but you will never bring any sympathy to your arguments by denying the Holocaust.

By making such claims, the Iranian President totalyl decredibilises any reasonable argument against the current Israeli policies and actions, and against US policy in the region. So it's not just iresponsible and obscene, it is counterproductive and dangerous to all.

In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes

by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Fri Dec 9th, 2005 at 04:57:41 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Yes, if it were not for his holocaust denial
to the extent that if anyone proves something contrary to that they condemn that person and throw them in jail
Ahmadinejad's tirade would be an acceptable (if partial) reading of the history of the creation of the State of Israel.

Stuff like this might be enough for, for instance, Germany pulling out of the negotiations around Iran's nuclear program. Iran does need some European mediation there, otherwise it will be just the US and the IAEA, and we know how that turned out last time around.

I really wonder whether Sharon's recent shakeup of Israeli politics is not an attempt to get peace with Syria, Lebanon and Jordan as soon as possible, in anticipation of a meltdown in Iraq, Iran and Saudi Arabia.

Finally, I played down Ahmadinejad's previous comments, but now it's obvious I was wrong.

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Fri Dec 9th, 2005 at 05:18:12 AM EST
[ Parent ]
and in a little snarky language the Iranian President is a holocaust denier, who reminds us Germans that there is something what the Americans would call the "Pottery Barns" rule: if you broke it, you own it.

Seems the Iranian President is a horrifying nutcase in denying the holocaust and complaining about those, who take people who are holocaust deniers to the shacks. Fully agree with you that his words are dynamite for the hate they generate and I consider him recklessly evil.

Reminding us to the Pottery Barn's rule though, I take as a challenge that I don't mind to face.  Just imagine the German younger generation would embrace the idea to invite the children of the holocaust survivor population back to Germany and arrange for them to have their property back in form of land and houses.

I would do that in a heartbeat (if I were sure the young populist and racist-prone neo-nazis wouldn't take over again and make a mess out of us). I dream of a Berlin with all the influx of Jewish academia, artists, humorists, merchants ... aach, that would be sooo beautiful. We could become a true cultural melting pot.

The regions my parents grew up with and went to school with up to 70 percent Jewish kids in the twenties would become a hotbed of cultural revival again. May be the free Poland of today would love to have the grandchildren of their own Jewish holocaust survivors now living in the US come back and visit and may be stay. Imagine that !!

If I think it through, I could have a dream ... like Martin Luther King ... may be would all could share the Holy City and leave the truly holy parts of Israel to the Jewish population, but definitely I would love to have them back in Germany, in Eastern European countries and France. Well, I guess I am dreaming, but ...

I met for the first time in my life Jewish people only here in the US and if it were not for them and their influence in academia, law and the media here, I would feel completely lost in the US. I just love their brains, humor and spirit. They are the most European Americans, no doubt about it, and that makes me feel closer to them than to other Americans. Strange may be, but it's true.

So, tell this fanatic Iranian President, that I would love to give Schleswig-Holstein (where I grew up) to my Jewish brothers and sisters, though I would recommend they better hitch-hike over to Berlin. It's just more fun over there.  :-)

by mimi on Fri Dec 9th, 2005 at 07:10:33 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Yes -- it's Holocaust denial, in my eyes, I agree with you. But, I don't really know this guy. I don't know anything about him. I don't fully understand the cultural context from which he thinks and speaks.

I have a certain kind of analytical training about what other people are thinking. It requires me to ask questions about what he really believes, vs jump to conclusions. The short mnemonic for this is "Is it 'no', or 'know'?"  That is, is it a question of him saying "no" to the truth, or is it a question that he simply doesn't know (hasn't been exposed to) the truth?

So I ask:
OK, this is what he *says, but what does he believe?
Is this rhetoric on his part, or does he REALLY believe this.
*If he believes the Holocaust numbers aren't factual -- seemingly true from his statements -- then:
  A) Is he open to changing his mind if he learns other facts?
  B) If he IS open to changing if he learns other facts, then how do (I) (we the human race) get those facts to him? In what form? Letters? Videos?

I mean, folks, I grew up in the midwest of the USA, and people would vacation there from the East coast, and be TOTALLY astonished that the whole thing wasn't still overrun with cowboys and Indians.  That is: a LOT of groups have seemingly ridiculous assumptions about places and peoples not that far from where they live.

Another example: I'm surrounded by people who have ridiculous stereotyped attitudes towards Muslims, Arabs , etc. (OK, a list too long to go into, sigh.)

I mean, I'm looking at this like I'm watching someone watch a weight fall from a tower, and then deny gravity has been proven. From *my point of view, it is very wierd to dispute the numbers killed in the Holocaust. From his POV (point of view), it seems to be normal.

As far as I've gotten at this point is to toss that into the gears of my brain, or the compost heap in the back of my brain, as it were. I'm astonished about it.
--

Clarify/add.
I personally believe that there are hate-filled Nazis, skin-heads, in both the USA (ref the Southern Poverty Law Center's lists of hate groups, hate crimes in the USA http://www.splcenter.org ). And that those groups have horrible purpose when they deny the Holocaust. I think it's good that our western Euro/USAian societies try to limit those groups' influence.

by AllisonInSeattle on Sat Dec 10th, 2005 at 05:00:10 AM EST
[ Parent ]
danged program picked up two asterisks, and bolded everything in between.

Preview (should be) my friend.

by AllisonInSeattle on Sat Dec 10th, 2005 at 05:01:36 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I personally believe that there are hate-filled Nazis, skin-heads, in both the USA (ref the Southern Poverty Law Center's lists of hate groups, hate crimes in the USA http://www.splcenter.org ). And that those groups have horrible purpose when they deny the Holocaust. I think it's good that our western Euro/USAian societies try to limit those groups' influence.
you are equating what the head of state of Iran says to a few minority groups in the US?  That is ridiculous!  And by the way, I am also from the midwest and have never found any easterners expecting to found cowboys and indians--are you 90 years old or something.  go somewhere else and troll.
by wchurchill on Sun Dec 11th, 2005 at 01:54:08 AM EST
[ Parent ]
...were it not for the point that Jerome just highlighted. I do not oppose a different take and you put good questions.

But again, that first paragraph is incredibly and thoroughly irresponsible. It is suggestive, misleading, to the point that it denies the Holocaust and that denial of the Holocaust should not be frowned upon. That's what the paragraph conveys and it is utterly and completely dangerous. We need to call foul on this, no matter what else is said. And since it is the foundation of his argument, his entire argument becomes moot.

I am open to debate the historical steps that lead to the formation of Israel, even when I believe it is futile, but not when it starts like this.

by Nomad on Fri Dec 9th, 2005 at 05:06:39 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I figured I'd come back to 30 zeros, no posting privileges.

As far as I've read into this thread (roughly half), it's the most reasonable discussion (least shrieking) I've ever seen on this subject when raised in an online forum.

I'm impressed, and glad. If we can't even talk about situations, what do we have to learn? How can we progress?

by AllisonInSeattle on Sat Dec 10th, 2005 at 05:07:28 AM EST
[ Parent ]
He's a dangerous crank, undoubtedly.

I just wonder: What if he had acknowledged the historical reality of the holocaust, and condemned it for what it was, before going on to his remarks about Europe?

This would be a troublesome frame for a lot of reasons. Under this reading, Israel becomes the final indignity of the colonial powers collectively, who dumped their moral obligations on Palestine instead of cleaning up their own mess.

To the extent that Europe exerts any kind of a stabilizing influence on the region, this frame would have a destabilizing tendency by undermining Europe's moral authority.

I'm not sure whether Ahmadinejad would be more or less dangerous if he acknowledged the holocaust.

The fact is that what we're experiencing right now is a top-down disaster. -Paul Krugman

by dvx (dvx.clt št gmail dotcom) on Fri Dec 9th, 2005 at 05:53:58 AM EST
It would be a dangerous frame, but it would be (like I said upthread) a defensible position.

If you look at the troubles of the middle east through the prism of British decolonization, Israel really is the last time that Britain got away with what they wanted. The next time they tried (Suez) they and the French took a beating and the US took over.

Robert Fisk just recently published a book highlighting how the current occupation of Iraq parallels the disastrous British occupation after the Ottoman empire collapsed.

Geopolitical abuses of 60 years ago are difficult to undo. If Ahmadinejad is advocating another abuse to compensate the Palestinians he'd just be sowing the seeds of 60 more years of conflict.

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Fri Dec 9th, 2005 at 06:03:30 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I think we agree that it's dangerous because of its historical grounding (I didn't see your upthread remark until after I posted).

I'm not entirely sure I understand your statement:

"Israel really is the last time that Britain got away with what they wanted."

I don't know the history of the region in great detail, but as I recall, Jewish organizations waged a fairly bloody campaign against the Mandatory government in the years following WW2 (prime minister Menahim Begin was involved in a hotel bombing that claimed over 90 lives).

The fact is that what we're experiencing right now is a top-down disaster. -Paul Krugman

by dvx (dvx.clt št gmail dotcom) on Fri Dec 9th, 2005 at 06:47:17 AM EST
[ Parent ]
According to Wikipedia the UK was not part of the committee that drafted that plan, and abstained in the vote at the UN Assembly. However, Britain had been pushing for the return of the European Jews to Palestine since the min-1800's, and encouraged Jewish migration after the British Mandate of Palestine was established.

I suppose it's hard to attribute what the British Empire wanted so I shouldn't have said that.

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Fri Dec 9th, 2005 at 06:57:01 AM EST
[ Parent ]
My grandfather was in the that particular Hotel bombing ( The King David Hotel ). He spent five months in hospital after that.

The British government used troops who had spent most of their war in the far east ( my grandfather spent a good deal of the second world war avoiding capture ). This was so they would not be too "soft" on the Jews emmigrating from Europe.

At the time the Arab League were using availability of oil to make threats to the British.

At the same time Jews, in Poland who were returning to their homes form the camps were the victims of pogroms by their old neighbours.

Money is a sign of Poverty - Culture Saying

by RogueTrooper on Fri Dec 9th, 2005 at 07:05:49 AM EST
[ Parent ]
it's dangerous because of its historical grounding
If you think about this, it is a pretty sad thing to agree about.

Santayana's dictum that those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it is often quoted. For my part, I think history is too often just a list of grievances, and that remembering history all too often just leads to re-enacting it with the roles of victim and executioner reversed, adding an item to the list and waiting for the next repetition.

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Fri Dec 9th, 2005 at 07:29:56 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I don't agree on your stance about Britain's role in creating Israel; the public opinion in the UK has always been quite pro-palestinian, and the establishment seconded this because they always saw Israel as the US operation it actually is.

This said, Ahmadinejad is being criminally stupid in his poker game. He feels emboldened by the quagmire that Bush created next door, and free of any balance now that the main regional enemy, Iraq, is gone for good. However, these are gratuitous kicks to the European governments, the only people standing between him and a full-scale confrontation with the US. He's making it difficult for Paris and Berlin to help him, and I don't really understand why... unless he really is another little Adolf.

Don't you ever miss those old, predictable Soviet leaders...?

by toyg (g.lacava@gmail.com) on Fri Dec 9th, 2005 at 07:44:25 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Who said "public opinion"? I am talking about the Empire.

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Fri Dec 9th, 2005 at 07:45:55 AM EST
[ Parent ]
From the Wikipedia Article on the British Mandate:
British interest in Zionism dates to the rise in importance of the British Empire's South Asian enterprises in the early 19th century
During World War I the British had made two promises regarding territory in the Middle East. Britain had promised the local Arabs, through Lawrence of Arabia, independence for a united Arab country covering most of the Arab Middle East, in exchange for their supporting the British and Britain had promised to create and foster a Jewish national home as laid out in the Balfour Declaration, 1917.
In June 1922 the League of Nations passed the Palestine Mandate. The Palestine Mandate was an explicit document regarding Britain's responsibilities and powers of administration in Palestine including "secur[ing] the establishment of the Jewish national home", and "safeguarding the civil and religious rights of all the inhabitants of Palestine".

The document defining Britain's obligations as Mandate power copied the text of the Balfour Declaration concerning the establishment of a Jewish homeland

Like I said before, the US effectively took over where the British Empire left off. If the British public opinion see Israel as "the US operation it actually is" it is because they don't look back beyond WWII. The US senate never ratified the League of Nations charter, nor did the US join it, so they had no part in the mess that was the British Mandate.

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Fri Dec 9th, 2005 at 07:57:12 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The problem is that the hardliners in Iran probably are all too willing to sacrifice their people's lives and well-being if it gives them the chance to harm the U.S. further. "Bring it on!" Tiny minds think alike, you know.

Besides, do you really think the European leaders will do anything more than informing bush about how it is a royally bad idea to invade Iran, regardless of holocaust-denying or not?

by Johannes on Fri Dec 9th, 2005 at 10:09:09 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Yes, they'll do more. They'll allow the US to use European airspace and military bases, commit ships for logistic support, and maybe even some troops, too.

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Fri Dec 9th, 2005 at 10:12:49 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I couldn't agree more.....

The guy has, in his short period as Iranian president, revealed a lesser understanding of other countries and people than few other world leaders of today. His defiance and lack of understanding, doesn't add much credibility to the Iranian claim of only wanting to use  nuclear technology for peaceful purposes.  


Bitsofnews.com Giving you the latest bits.

by Gjermund E Jansen (gjans1@hotmail.com) on Fri Dec 9th, 2005 at 09:21:52 AM EST
He's right up there with Bush and Kim.

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Fri Dec 9th, 2005 at 09:32:11 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Yes, you've right there.  A new breed of world leaders seems to have entered the stage, with a different approach to human rights and peaceful co-existence.  

There is a Chinese saying: May you live in interesting times....and we are indeed.

Bitsofnews.com Giving you the latest bits.

by Gjermund E Jansen (gjans1@hotmail.com) on Fri Dec 9th, 2005 at 09:50:37 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Actually, isn't that a chinese curse?
by Johannes on Fri Dec 9th, 2005 at 09:58:48 AM EST
[ Parent ]
To be honest I don't now the exact history of it, but what I know is that it is not a positive proverb.

Bitsofnews.com Giving you the latest bits.
by Gjermund E Jansen (gjans1@hotmail.com) on Fri Dec 9th, 2005 at 10:08:01 AM EST
[ Parent ]
As it happens "May you live in interesting times" is both a curse and blessing.

Money is a sign of Poverty - Culture Saying
by RogueTrooper on Fri Dec 9th, 2005 at 10:10:01 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I googled the proverb and it seems to be a disagreement over its Chinese origin:

http://www.noblenet.org/reference/inter.htm

http://www.washingtonmonthly.com/archives/individual/2005_09/007110.php

Bitsofnews.com Giving you the latest bits.

by Gjermund E Jansen (gjans1@hotmail.com) on Fri Dec 9th, 2005 at 10:21:47 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Is he purposefully doing the mad Kim impression? Though that sort of requires that you have a nuclear capability.
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Fri Dec 9th, 2005 at 10:01:51 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Oh, come on, Migeru.  Bush and Kim do not belong in the same sentence.  Don't make me pull out the Bush-Hitler comparison, again. ;)

Bush is a whacky neoconservative whose administration is run by ideologues.  Kim is a brutal dictator, who executes people for making contact with anyone outside of North Korea -- the highest crime one can commit in North Korea.  (No, I'm not kidding.)  People aren't swimming across rivers and bribing border guards to leave the US, but they're absolutely doing so to escape to China and, if possible, Seoul.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.

by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Fri Dec 9th, 2005 at 09:22:47 PM EST
[ Parent ]
"What's wrong with our world? Why are so many countries now led by crazies or criminals?"

Are there really MORE now then at any time before?  I doubt it.  

by David in Burbank on Fri Dec 9th, 2005 at 10:27:25 AM EST
i have my own opinion about ahmadinejad. the short version is that i think that, more than dangerous he is a puppet, the errand boy for people who work against the best interests of the iranians and who want war.

the shock of his words stems mostly from the fact that any, ANY, discussion of israels crimes has been made socially unacceptable in the west. off-topic here, i think that this whole topic should be brought back from the status of anathema ASAP, in the best interest of everybody.

ad holocaust - since school, age 12 or so, i've asked everybody at hand why rather draconian laws are at all necessary to uphold truth. i've never gotten a straight answer to that one simple question. what i got most of times was hateful sneers, unwarranted insults, blank stares. because of this personal experience i tend to think that there is far more to the holocaust than lots of dead people. i'll leave it at that.

ad israel - immigrant jews have been meting out violence and general havoc against palestinians since about 1880 (the relations between the local arabs and jews was cordial and marked by mutual respect). the creation of israel has nothing to do with WW2, but lots with WW1. palestine used to belong to the turkish empire back then. the jews, or rather, the zionist movement, asked the brits to give them palestine in return for screwing over the germans, who were winning the war. the brits signed over the place which decidedly did not belong to them in the same way as today irak does not belong to the americans but they are still signing the place over to corporations. and nobody ever asked the palestinians for their opinion (terrae nullius). may god heap disgrace and ruin on all descendants of lord balfour until the 40th generation.

ad palestinians - i think that they still have many fans in the west, but most of those fans are not to be found among the political classes. and the political classes of the west have never been more alienated from the people since perhaps the times of the borgia papacies.

ad ahmadinejad - as said above. i doubt the statement is idle provocation or bumbling idiocy. his proposition to take the jews of israel back is appealing at face value, but it is a milchmädchenrechnung, the equivalent of a spreadsheet in the world of politics.

zionism, the political movement which lead to the creation of israel, is a misguided answer to the marginalisation the (eastern) european jews suffered much before the advent of nazism, in the 19th century. they wanted out of europe because they knew what was in the tea leaves, and the other europeans were all too happy to get ridden of a people despised by many of them. this stance has IMHO not changed substantially in europe.

even apart from political considerations i doubt israeli jews would have much better chances here in europe if they decided to return en masse today. the well-educated, technologically adept class is a minority in israel, as it is everywhere else. AFAIK their educational system produces far more functional analphabetes than the average european, so here we'd just have one more group of immigrants competing with the local proletariat and other immigrant groups. second, their society is anything but tolerant. they are as racist and classist as can be found. white european askenazis at the top, eritrean falashas at the bottom; their religious and political leaders are mostly "israel über alles" extremists, intractable kooks ripe for the rubber cell by european standards (google "moshe levinger" to see an example). last but not least, how is any european country supposed to absorb the 20% or of the israeli (jewish) population which lives at or below poverty w/o provoking upheavals ? i doubt many of them would be accepted with open arms by the general populace.

i'm sorry, but ahmadinejad didn't do his homework. he's outed himself as a primitive populist, driven by and appealing to base instincts.

(corrections please ?)

by name (name@spammez_moi_sivouplait.org) on Fri Dec 9th, 2005 at 11:04:07 AM EST
(corrections please ?)

It's really disingenuous to put that at the bottom of a substanceless rant like that. Why should anyone spend valuable time combing through all that and attempting to calmly bring you some facts? That's a very serious question I'm asking you: why?

So I'm not going to spend any more of my time on you. I'll just tell you this: your whole piece stinks of knee-jerk antisemitism.

Yuck.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Fri Dec 9th, 2005 at 12:18:40 PM EST
[ Parent ]
... I'll just tell you this: your whole piece stinks of knee-jerk antisemitism.

i don't think that is the case. why would you tell me such a thing, and what exactly do you mean ?

i find it rather gross how people who wouldn't know a "semite" if one smacked them in the face need to hurl epithets at people who happen to entertain slightly different opinions on matters of some relevancy. the person posting from seattle pretty much sums up the problem.

but just for the record, let it be known that i proudly find myself in the same camp with another notable "anti-semite", who was even arrested last week because of his unpopular views. just like this person, i entertain the notion that the most rational and least racist of all possible solutions to the israel/palestine conflict is that of one state and one law for all inhabitants of the place. i suggest you check the "anti-semitic" lucubrations of this russian jew who lives in jaffa for yourself: http://israelshamir.net

the fact that i comment on ahmadinejad's provocation does not mean that i agree with them. i do not.

by name (name@spammez_moi_sivouplait.org) on Fri Dec 9th, 2005 at 03:54:22 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Condemned by your own words. Shamir, a Jewish convert to Christianity is rabidly antisemitic.

The "liberal democracy and human rights" doctrine carried by the US marines even across Tigris and Oxus is a crypto-religion, an extreme heretical form of Judaised Christianity. Alexander Panarin, a modern (deceased) Russian political philosopher, noticed the anti-Christian character of the American doctrine: "The new American vision of de-contextualised Goods and their de-socialised Consumers is a heathen myth"; in his view the US doctrine represents a lapse into heathendom.

In my view, this new religion can be called Neo-Judaism; its adepts imitate classic Jewish attitudes; Jews often act as priests of the new faith and they are considered sacred by its adepts.

[...]

Still, there is a strong feeling of continuity between Palaeo-Judaism and the newer version. The Jewish state is the enactment of the paranoid Jewish fear and loathing of the stranger, while the Cabal policies of Pentagon are another manifestation of this same fear and loathing on global scale. The ideas for Neo-Judaism were formed by Jewish nationalist Leo Strauss, and promoted by Jewish writers of the New York Times. There is a project of supplying Neo-Judaism with exoteric rites by constructing a new Jerusalem Temple on the site of al Aqsa Mosque.

Neo-Judaism is the unofficial faith of the American Empire, and the war in the Middle East is indeed the Neo-Judaic Jihad. It is intuited by millions: Tom Friedman of the NY Times wrote that the Iraqis call the American invaders "Jews". Neo-Judaism is the cult of globalism, neo-liberalism, destruction of family and nature, anti-spiritual and anti-Christian.

This is also an anti-social cult of commodification, alienation and uprooting; fighting cohesive society, solidarity, tradition - in short, fighting the values upheld by the three great churches. As the church has lost its position in the West, the adepts of Neo-Judaism consider Western Christendom almost dead and fight it by bloodless means through their ADL, ACLU and other anti-Christian bodies. The Village Voice calls Bush `the Christian', The New York Times writes of priests' child abuse, Schwarzenegger demolishes a church in The Last Days, - this is the Western front of the Neo-Judaic Jihad.

http://www.israelshamir.net/English/Theopolitics.htm

The psychological portrait should be recognizable for the Ukrainians. Yes, the Civilization X presently at war with the rest of the world, is this eminently familiar and contemptible figure, a medieval Ukrainian Jew, a usurer, tax collector and alcohol pusher magnified by a factor of million. Its size impeded our recognition, for it is not easy to recognize an elephant-size louse.  TOP

Centuries ago, this figure ruled your steppes. After expulsion from France and Spain, the immigrant Jews settled in the Ukraine, suborned the timid native Jews and in short time strategically placed themselves between Polish landlords and Ukrainian peasants. They had lent money to landlords and peasants, pushed alcohol, managed the feudal estates, and eventually became the ultimate source of power. The Jews fought the Church, for the Church objected to their liberal trade in alcohol and usury. Until nowadays, the Jewish word kabala (receipt) is used in the Ukrainian language for `debt enslavement'.

The Civilization X pushes heroin instead of vodka, loans out billions instead of two rubles, sucks out the wealth of nations instead of meager livelihood of a peasant, fears nuclear weapons rather than moujik's axe, but it is the same complex of ideas and methods. In short, Civilization X is a dangerous and aggressive mutation of Jewish spirit grafted on the Anglo-American basis. Huntington was right - up to a point. The Conflict of Civilizations is unavoidable, but it is not a conflict of Christendom and Islam, but the conflict of Christians and Muslims versus Neo-Jews

http://www.israelshamir.net/English/civilx.htm

by MarekNYC on Fri Dec 9th, 2005 at 04:43:30 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Centuries ago, this figure ruled your steppes. After expulsion from France and Spain, the immigrant Jews settled in the Ukraine, suborned the timid native Jews and in short time strategically placed themselves between Polish landlords and Ukrainian peasants.


A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Fri Dec 9th, 2005 at 04:57:55 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Possibly, if you tar everyone and everything around you that says things you disagree with, with one brush... well, I guess you see a lot of tar.

The person was putting out complex thoughts. If you want to disagree, that's healthy. Simply calling him/her a racist without even picking out one point to refute with facts and reasons? How can that further our group's understanding?

by AllisonInSeattle on Sat Dec 10th, 2005 at 05:18:15 AM EST
[ Parent ]
tar everyone and everything around you that says things you disagree with, with one brush

I'm afraid that you're the one who's spreading it wide there. I spoke to one person, not "everyone and everything". I didn't say what I said because that person said "things (I) disagree with". And what do you mean by "one brush"? The word "antisemitism"? But if I think it's the case that this commenter's writing betrays antisemitic feelings, are you suggesting I must use nuance and political correctness and not plain words? You said above you were relieved to find everyone here didn't jump on you out of a sense of political correctness, and now you want to apply your idea of pc to other users?

You think that commenter was putting out complex thoughts. Fine. I don't. You get into a complex discussion with her/him if you like. If you don't mind, I won't.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sat Dec 10th, 2005 at 09:01:45 AM EST
[ Parent ]
... I give you a 3 to counterbalance your rating. Not because I agree with you on matters, I don't, but because you at least make an attempt to make clear where your opinions are based upon. That's a whole lot better than posters who just spill incoherent punditry.

But for the rest, I'd suggest you take a few texts from another perspective and consider those. I can't really start to make corrections, as you ask. For starters, look at the history of Ahmadinejad before his presidency and then ask yourself again how much of him is puppet and how much of him is internally driven.

by Nomad on Fri Dec 9th, 2005 at 10:24:55 PM EST
[ Parent ]
When a thread referring to someone questioning the right of Israel to exist you always get a bunch of seemingly reasonable people treating the question as if it weren't utterly  ridiculous.  They bring up Israel's systematic violation of human rights in the West Bank and Gaza, the mention the anti-Arab racism prevalent in Israeli society, the large number of religious and nationalist extremists - as if this were relevant in even the slightest degree. Think of Iran - human rights violations, check; racism and bigotry, check; extremism, check. And - so what?  Does that mean that Iran has no right to exist?. Same goes for any number of nations around the world.

The other argument is that Israel's existence was predicated on the ethnic cleansing of Arabs in 1948. True. That Zionism was a colonialist ideology that assumed that non-Europeans had fewer rights than Europeans (or none at all) - yup, the original Zionists shared the prejudices of their time and place. Shocking truth. I'd like to ask the commenter from Seattle who sees this as a persuasive argument what right she thinks she has to live in North America (unless of course she is Native American). Any Turks online? - In case you don't know a century ago northeastern Turkey was predominantly Armenian while the Aegean littoral was majority Greek - should those lands be 'returned' to the descendants of those who lived there?  Any Poles care to try this argument - I sure hope you don't live anywhere in Western or Northern Poland. Any Aussies, Spaniards, Argentines? The list goes on.

What sort of insanity does it take to believe that there is any moral sense in suggesting that Germans should be ethnically cleansed to atone for the crimes of their grandparents, in order to give land to their grandparents' victims who in turn are to be ethnically cleansed to atone for the (far lesser) crimes of their grandparents?

The one useful aspect of the Iranian president's modest proposal is that it highlights the absurdity of not acknowledging that there has to be some sort of statute of limitations in these sorts of situations.

by MarekNYC on Fri Dec 9th, 2005 at 02:24:46 PM EST
I wouldn't go as far as to say that there has to be a statute of limitations.

There is a point beyond which massive movement of populations is not only impractical but positively an abuse of people for crimes committed by their parents, grandparents or even further in the past.

On the other hand, the right to receive material compensation/reparations for crimes against humanity (and mass deportation/ethnic cleansing qualifies) should probably not expire.

The way the international community deals with refugees is completely wrong-headed in that they are assumed to be able to return home soon, penned in refugee camps and not allowed to integrate in their host country. The host country would be disturbed by the inflow of refugees so there should be international material aid to help the integration, as well as allowing refugees to emigrate to other countries.

It is possible that the refugees themselves choose to stay in refugee camps in the hopes that in this way they won't lose their claim to a "right of return". When you reach the 3rd generation of refugees you start having a serious problem in your hands, including a possible violation of human rights inflicted on the people born into refugee status.
For the Universal Declaration of Human Rights

Article 15.
(1) Everyone has the right to a nationality.
(2) No one shall be arbitrarily deprived of his nationality nor denied the right to change his nationality.
Having third-generation "stateless" Palestinians is a violation of their human rights.


A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Fri Dec 9th, 2005 at 04:05:34 PM EST
[ Parent ]
On the other hand, the right to receive material compensation/reparations for crimes against humanity (and mass deportation/ethnic cleansing qualifies) should probably not expire.

Time for me to sue the British government for damages over the 1845 famine then? Not to mention the Germanic peoples for pushing the Celts out of mainland Europe. You should see the interest charges on those damages mount up. It has to expire: you can't make the living pay for the sins of the long-dead.

by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Fri Dec 9th, 2005 at 04:15:03 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Can the living inherit what the dead stole? (And I am talking about civil and criminal law as it applies to individuals).

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Fri Dec 9th, 2005 at 04:24:32 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The International Commission for Holocaust Era Insurance Claims does pay reparations to the living descendants of dead victims of dead war criminals. Granted, the deadline for filing claims passed in 2003, but that is because the Commission was established in 1998 with a view to resolving the claims in a finite amount of time. There was probably no argument that there should be a statute of limitations on the establishment of the Commission itself.

The commission also has "relaxed standards of proof" under which you only have to argue that it was likely that an insurance policy existed to receive a payment.

So, by analogy and without estatute of limitations Palestinian refugees or their descendants could claim material reparations from Israel with relaxed standards of proof, assuming that Israel and the refugees so agreed (including being forced by the international community to agree) and the refugees gave up their claim to the right of return.

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Fri Dec 9th, 2005 at 04:36:28 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I'm sure the British government owes me a fortune, at this point as someone who comes from a family that is Irish, Welsh, Scottish, and Scots-Irish.  Man, I bet that could add up to tens of trillions of dollars.

Then again, my Catholic and Protestant ancestors were killing each other, so, at some point, I might end up suing myself.  And my German ancestors killed my Celtic ancestors.  It just gets to be too much of a headache.

If someone wouldn't mind phoning the House of Commons for me, let them know I'll settle for a couple million pounds (NOT DOLLARS!!!!  This money's got to last!).

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.

by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Fri Dec 9th, 2005 at 09:37:45 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Considering Ireland ended up kicking Britain's butt after WWI and signing a treaty with it, there is a case that Ireland already had redress from the potato famine and however long a laundry list of grievances you care to bring up.

As far as Drew's ancestors, they were actually allowed to immigrate into a prosperous, democratic country and make a decent living for themselves and their descendants.

Plus, Ireland recognizes (and if not it did last time I heard) the right of grandchildren of emigrants to get Irish citizenship. So even the Irish who emigrated to the US between the two world wars (again, being allowed into a free country to make a living for themselves) escaping poverty in rural Ireland (viz. Frank Mc Court) have not lost their original citizenship.

Now tell me again how stateless third-generation refugee-camp dwellers of today are in any way comparable to the people of the British Isles...?

(Similar arguments apply to the Huguenots, the Pilgrims...)

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sat Dec 10th, 2005 at 11:40:02 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Oh, and two of my ancestors were Captain Kidd and William Wallace.  Those have got to be worth at least double the going rate, right?

In all seriousness, I agree with Colman.  You can't have an endless number of lawsuits floating around for every person whose great, great, great, great grandfather was executed by the government of some other ethnic group.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.

by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Fri Dec 9th, 2005 at 09:44:51 PM EST
[ Parent ]
when history becomes inconvenient. Take our case. The education authorities have spent a great deal of time to teach the defense of our country against Khubirai Khan (which we managed to do with the help of a typhoon). That happened some 650 years ago, but we are still proud of the successful defense even though it owes in large part to the Pacific high pressure and humidity.

Now, China plays a political game of its own, taking an issue with a militarist shrine in Tokyo, often resulting in violent demonstrations against the Japanese embassy. People here are outraged. "Of course we are sorry, but it happened 60 years ago!"  Then the argument goes, "If they want to discuss history, what about Tibet!" This is not a debate, this is an attempt to create incovenience and end the debate.

When my friends ask me, "When will China forget the war?" I tell them, "Of course they will remember the war so long as we honor our campaign against Mongolia in the 14th century. So you bet it will take at least 600 years."

Israel has a right to teach their kids about their struggle for survivial and the holocaust forever. That curriculum will include a long section on the ME wars. Similarly, a Palestine state has a right to teach their kids about their struggle for independence forever. That curriculum will include a long section about Intifada.

I will become a patissier, God willing.

by tuasfait on Sat Dec 10th, 2005 at 07:16:48 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I try to avoid hardline positions, but this man is a nutjob and should be ignored in all areas but WMD.  He's either simply playing to his hardline supporters or suicidal.  The last time a Muslim country tried to "wipe Israel from the map," the Israelis left it lying in a pool of its own blood in the middle of the desert.

Muslim countries have fought Israel in the past decades, and, each time, they seem to get crushed.  Egypt learned its lesson.  Hopefully, the Iranian people won't have to.

I think it's a political game.  Iran doesn't want any part of a war with Israel, and certainly not one that involves Europe and America.  I refuse to believe that he, as the leader of a country, is that stupid.  These radical leaders like to play dress-up as "future martyrs," but, in the end, they get sane fairly quickly when faced with actually going to war, as Saddam did when he agreed to let the inspectors back in.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.

by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Fri Dec 9th, 2005 at 06:42:50 PM EST
(and IIRC there is one, a ceremonial office) should declare that the Israelis will pull up stakes and leave the Middle East just as soon as the Iranians convert en masse to Zorastoranism and re-establish this faith as their state religion.

"[W]hispering Fame/Knowledge and proof doth to the Jealous give/Who, then to fail, would their own thought believe." - Ben Jonson, Sejanus
by JJB on Fri Dec 9th, 2005 at 09:33:42 PM EST
Heh!

(With no disrespect intended to any Z's on the site.)

by AllisonInSeattle on Sat Dec 10th, 2005 at 05:26:47 AM EST
[ Parent ]


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