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Old 08-04-2014, 07:17 PM   #76
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Argument about the foundation of state of Israel 'unfounded'

Monday, August 04, 2014



Victoria White’s inflammatory column ‘We are washing our hands of the ethnic cleansing of Palestinians (July 31), uses the revisionist interpretation of Ilan Pappe to depict the founding of Israel in 1948 as an imposed Nakba (catastrophe) on the indigenous Palestinian Arabs of the era.
She dismisses the work of empirical historians who treat the foundation of the state in an objective manner, by subtly accusing them of supporting the “founding lies” of Israel.
No further reference is made to exactly what lies these are, so one must presume she is referring to the tragedy of the Holocaust. Yet if this is so, what is wrong with that? Our State was founded in large part on the memory of a Famine which was depicted by Irish politicians and academics as a deliberate withering of the population by the British. This continues to the present day, with works like Tim Pat Coogan’s The Famine Plot.
However, since the 1960s, Irish revisionists like Cormac Brady, Christine Kineally, and Gerard MacAtasney have challenged this once-accepted orthodoxy to impart a far more nuanced interpretation of the prevailing political and social forces. Yet none of these eminent professional historians dismissed the possibility that the nascent Irish State’s use of the Famine was a founding lie, instead, and unlike Pappe, they accept it as a valid foundational tool of nascent state building. Why therefore, does White not afford Israel the same leeway?
As a historian, I find her over-reliance on one specific work, Pappe’s The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine, simplistic, there is no attempt to cross-reference his sources thus, her argument is inherently a weak one. Marginalising Israel does not help the work of the expert conflict resolutionists who are diligently working behind the scenes. Their job is difficult enough without having to deflect the highly emotive rhetoric of individuals like White, success will come only if a reasoned and objective approach is initiated, one which is mature enough to admit the wrongs committed by both sides.
Dr Kevin McCarthy
Seán Hales Terrace
Kinsale
Co Cork

© Irish Examiner Ltd. All rights reserved

Argument about the foundation of state of Israel 'unfounded' | Irish Examiner
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Old 08-05-2014, 10:56 AM   #77
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This is an interesting read, but I have trouble with the idea that one has to be aware and critical of all global human rights abuses in order justifiably to criticize Israel.

Also the idea/implication that the history of the region needs to be front and center to current perspectives is not something I can support. The USA's many entanglements with the creation of Israel is no reason for unequivocal support in the present day.
I agree, and think this article is an apt comment on how the context of other conflicts and human rights abuses should be taken into account when criticising Israel's conflict with Gaza: Massacre in Yarmouk | Jonathan Messing
Every person has to ask themselves why their outrage is so great when it comes to Israel, yet the CAR conflict, South Sudan, IS in both Syria and Iraq or Syria as a whole have kinda faded or never been so prominent.
Is it that when the Jews do it it is so much worse? Then it is anti-semitism.
Maybe it is because people see Israel as much closer to Western values, a modern democracy that claims to be guided by morals. But that would end up in cultural relativism.

I don't think, though, that Schwartz meant to give any justification to why some Americans are so unconditional in their support for Israel. It was an explanation why things are that way, but he did not say that it was right to be this way. I feel he much more identified with what he said was the younger generation of Americans, who have a more balanced view.
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Old 08-06-2014, 10:51 AM   #78
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I agree, and think this article is an apt comment on how the context of other conflicts and human rights abuses should be taken into account when criticising Israel's conflict with Gaza: Massacre in Yarmouk | Jonathan Messing
Every person has to ask themselves why their outrage is so great when it comes to Israel, yet the CAR conflict, South Sudan, IS in both Syria and Iraq or Syria as a whole have kinda faded or never been so prominent.
Is it that when the Jews do it it is so much worse? Then it is anti-semitism.
Maybe it is because people see Israel as much closer to Western values, a modern democracy that claims to be guided by morals. But that would end up in cultural relativism.

I don't think, though, that Schwartz meant to give any justification to why some Americans are so unconditional in their support for Israel. It was an explanation why things are that way, but he did not say that it was right to be this way. I feel he much more identified with what he said was the younger generation of Americans, who have a more balanced view.
I think Israel gets more attention than other human rights abusers because of the scale and duration of their behaviour. Also, the profile of the nation (in Canada at least) is much higher than pretty much every other country aside from the USA and England...which is interesting, because it's completely insignificant internationally aside from their occupation of the Palestinian territories, the siege of Gaza, and their "mowing the lawn" every couple of years. So the profile gets them attention, and it's not like they're getting attention for abandoning fossil fuels or anything.

I think that the main reason, though, is that people just don't like seeing a wealthy nation with an advanced military occupying and slaughtering civilians. The outrage against Israel is much lower that what the USA faced regarding Iraq, but it's for the same reason: people don't have a stomach for illegal wars and colonial actions any more. But really, Israel is getting off pretty light in the court of public opinion. Compare the treatment they receive to what Russia gets because people think they might do what Israel is currently doing: Sanctions, belligerent threats from world leaders, comparisons to the Nazis, and so on. Israel is being supported by the same governments who criticize Russia for occupying a piece of land (albeit through an election no less fraudulent that what we seen in America every four years) and killing civilians (290 according to McLean's Magazine, 15% of the civilians Israel has killed over the last three weeks or so). So really, talking about Israel eating shit for what they're doing is a bit odd since they're not. They still receive money and munitions from the West, and the media portrays them as a victim.
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Old 08-06-2014, 02:04 PM   #79
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Reading Eno's new letter and I was struck by the following:

If you criticize Israel without criticizing all other atrocities you're an anti-Semite. It is the only conflict that requires you to condemn all others before you get to it. It's fucked.
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Old 08-06-2014, 02:27 PM   #80
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If you criticize Israel without criticizing all other atrocities you're an anti-Semite. It is the only conflict that requires you to condemn all others before you get to it. It's fucked.

really? i find it the opposite -- does Brian Eno write letters about Putin and Chechnya?
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Old 08-06-2014, 03:04 PM   #81
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...and the media portrays them as a victim.
I've been watching BBC News quite a bit lately; they have been taking what seems to be a pro-Palestinian stance on the whole thing (not overtly, but rather with a lot of attention to the toll the raids have taken on Gaza's population), which stands in stark contrast to US coverage.
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Old 08-06-2014, 07:35 PM   #82
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This is an interesting read, but I have trouble with the idea that one has to be aware and critical of all global human rights abuses in order justifiably to criticize Israel.
Yep, and I had a serious problem with the parts of Schwartz's letter that implied as much (though most of the rest of the exchange between him and Eno was a good read). I think this article - written over two years ago - captures my perspective nicely: Impossible vanity of caring for everything at once
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Old 08-06-2014, 07:39 PM   #83
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really? i find it the opposite -- does Brian Eno write letters about Putin and Chechnya?
Well it's an interesting point isn't it. Haven't seen Roger Waters do any stage shows criticising the above, or ISIS, either.

To me, the obsessive interest from some Europeans in any conflict involving Israel, and almost always taking a fervently anti-Israeli position, is not explainable rationally. Psycho-analytically, maybe.

Reportedly 1,000 killed in Iraq today by ISIS, I go on internet forums to comment on Israel-Gaza threads (I don't mean this forum) to point this out (& I was against Iraq war from day 1, for the record) and I'm accused of being in the payroll of Mossad by the pro-Hamas, sorry I mean, pro-Gaza chorus. Fucking hell.
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Old 08-06-2014, 08:30 PM   #84
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I do think there's an intellectual fascination with this crisis -- it is so complex, and has been a dominant ongoing storyline for most of my life (in mid-30s). That may be part of the attention.


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Old 08-06-2014, 08:51 PM   #85
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I do think there's an intellectual fascination with this crisis -- it is so complex, and has been a dominant ongoing storyline for most of my life (in mid-30s). That may be part of the attention.


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Is part of it that Israel is viewed as part of the "Western world" (they're in the Eurovision song contest, somewhat implausibly) and "expected" to uphold higher standards than Islamic world? This is a country that has imprisoned a former president on sex abuse charges - there are not too many countries where such a high level figure can be brought to account for such offences, whatever other criticisms can be made about Israel. Christ, in the UK they only now getting around to (maybe) charging politicians with abuse crimes from decades ago.
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Old 08-06-2014, 10:12 PM   #86
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Well it's an interesting point isn't it. Haven't seen Roger Waters do any stage shows criticising the above, or ISIS, either.

To me, the obsessive interest from some Europeans in any conflict involving Israel, and almost always taking a fervently anti-Israeli position, is not explainable rationally. Psycho-analytically, maybe.

Reportedly 1,000 killed in Iraq today by ISIS, I go on internet forums to comment on Israel-Gaza threads (I don't mean this forum) to point this out (& I was against Iraq war from day 1, for the record) and I'm accused of being in the payroll of Mossad by the pro-Hamas, sorry I mean, pro-Gaza chorus. Fucking hell.

Concerning Roger Waters and those who support the boycott
of performing in Israel.


I'm glad that some like Gene Simmons have spoken out against it and
the artists who continue to perform there.



from: *Advertisement

"Kiss' Israeli-born lead singer Gene Simmons shouted out on Tuesday at the string of musicians who have refused to perform in Israel, saying they were fools.

The legendary bassist spoke to The Associated Press in Jerusalem on Tuesday, after he arrived in Israel for what he described as an emotional homecoming.

"I'm Israeli. I'm a stranger in America. I'm an outsider," he said, speaking in a hotel lobby across a valley from the walls of Jerusalem's historic Old City. "I was born here and I'm proud of it."

He said artists who avoid Israel - such as Elvis Costello, the Pixies and Roger Waters, who joined the movement after appearing in Israel in 2006 - would be better served directing their anger at Arab dictators."
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Old 08-06-2014, 11:18 PM   #87
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Other than the cultural superiority of Israel, what other thoughts do you have on this particular topic?


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Old 08-06-2014, 11:24 PM   #88
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Other than the cultural superiority of Israel, what other thoughts do you have on this particular topic?


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If you are asking me the question, I would reply that in order to
help understand the present situation, one needs to read and study the
history of the region.
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Old 08-06-2014, 11:29 PM   #89
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If you are asking me the question, I would reply that in order to

help understand the present situation, one needs to read and study the

history of the region.


Ok. And?


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Old 08-06-2014, 11:54 PM   #90
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Ok. And?


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Do you have any view on the point made by Gene Simmons when he said that "artists who avoid Israel - such as Elvis Costello, the Pixies and Roger Waters, who joined the movement after appearing in Israel in 2006 - would be better served directing their anger at Arab dictators."
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