Little sense on Middle East

This is a response to ‘Uncommon sense on Israel/Palestine from an interesting source’ on the blog, LarvatusProdeo.

I post it here because my reply seems to have been rejected on that site [It turns out they have now accepted my comment]. The Workers Liberty pamphlet the post refers to states:”A boycott movement against Israel would, once it took off, inevitably become a movement against “Zionists” in Britain. In practice that would mean: against Jews.”

Australian unionists meet with the Palestinian leadership of the BDS campaign (Boycott Israel) in Ramallah. BDS thinks it time for Australia to pull its weight in the anti apartheid struggle.

Australian unionists meet with the Palestinian leadership of the BDS campaign (Boycott Israel) in Ramallah. BDS thinks it time for Australia to pull its weight in the anti apartheid struggle. Australian unionists meet with the Palestinian leadership of the BDS campaign (Boycott Israel) in Ramallah. BDS thinks it time for Australia to pull its weight in the anti apartheid struggle. Photo: Phil Monsour, Union Aid Abroad (APHEDA) Tour, March 2010

This incorrectly equates Zionism with ‘being Jewish’. Yes, Zionism is the pursuit of the Promised Land for Jews solely, to the exclusion of others, but this can cause only conflict for Jewish people.
Nazism had the goal to create a homeland for the ‘Aryan race’ excluding Jewish people.
Europeans supported the colonisation of Israel by Jewish exiles from Europe because of their guilt over the holocaust. Apartheid in South Africa sought dominance over black people thus seeking a similar objective.

Israel like South Africa and Australia are settler societies based on the colonialist model.
Australia implemented its own apartheid under the White Australia legislation and the Queensland Acts.

Israel pursues the settler model to this day and rejects Palestinian rights to the lands of their forefathers.

Most of the arguments and comments on ‘Uncommon sense on Israel/Palestine from an interesting source’ still centre around the assumption that a two state solution is possible. Yet US vicepresident Joe Biden’s attempt to broker a two state solution this week (12 Mar 2010) was met with Israeli PM, Netanyahu, announcing even more settlements in east Jerusalem.

A settler state in the 21st century, still!

The Workers Liberty document incorrectly equates Zionism with Judaism and therefore misunderstands the cause of the conflict. The conflict is political and economic not religious. As if proof is required, many devout Jews are anti-Zionist.

In the discussion of an economic boycott, neither Lavartus Prodeo nor its commentators even mention the significant economic effect that a Palestinian boycott would have on Israel’s economy.

I do not know if the boycott movement that is growing strong in France, Germany and Britain will stop the settlements being built, but if you think the Left’s support of a boycott against Israel is anti-Semitic, you are mistaken.

A secular multicultural state that ends the occupation of Palestinian lands seems to be the only hope of peace for Palestinian and Jew alike.

Ian Curr
March 2010


Zionism Laid Bare
by Kathleen Christison
The Lemon Tree
A two-state-solution?

4 responses to “Little sense on Middle East

  1. Paul & Liam,

    Please parse the poem properly.

    ‘Jailed my sun’

    — not his ‘son’ but his ‘sun’ – obviously this is use of a metphor.

    Like Australian prisons chock-a-block with aboriginal innmates Israeli prison’s contain Palestinian sons but this is not what Nasri Hajjaj is saying. It is his ‘sun’ that has been jailed. Where sun is clearly a metaphor. Do you know what the poet means?

    ‘Then ground their bones at McDonnell-Douglas’

    — many children were killed in Gaza by the IDF last year but no bones were ground at McDonnell-Douglas, clearly another metaphor.

    ‘And offered them back to me
    As a present in a flour-sack’

    — obviously no flour is being offered least of all flour from children’s bones.

    Clearly no one is drinking their blood. Yet another metaphor.

    Ian Curr


  2. Accusations of ‘blood libel‘

    To: Liam and Paul from Lavartus Prodeo’s Uncommon sense on Israel/Palestine from an interesting source,

    Re: Accusations of ‘blood libel’ and ‘discrimination’ against Palestinian poem.

    How humane and civilized!
    Stole my land
    Burned my trees
    Jailed my sun
    Killed my children
    Drank their blood
    Then ground their bones at McDonnell-Douglas
    And offered them back to me
    As a present
    In a flour-sack
    To torture me all my life
    This is America

    —Nasri Hajjaj

    Can you explain how the poem ‘How humane and civilized!’ by Palestinian poet Nasri Hajjaj is a blood libel?

    It is not as if the poem accuses the butcher of Beirut, Ariel Sharon, of eating babies.

    It is true the US is behind much of the carnage of Palestinians. After all it is the US that supplies Israel’s guns and money. Many of the soldiers in the Israeli ‘Defence’ Force (IDF) come from the US.

    These are facts not superstitious myth. Being true, the words in the poem cannot be a ‘blood libel’ as Liam claims.

    Liam, you may have to explain the term you use, when you accuse Nasri Hajjaj of ‘blood libel’.

    I, for one, had never heard the term.

    Also, Paul, you might like to explain how Hajjaj’s poem can be in breach of Australia’s anti-discrimination laws. Surely it is important that Australia does discriminate against the apartheid state of Israel.

    Especially given the bloodletting that Israeli military committed in Gaza little more than a year ago and in Lebanon as recently as 2006.

    Ian Curr
    March 2010


  3. Larvartus Prodeo commentators are Zombies. They cannot think outside of the box and the box is defined by middle class chit-chat.

    Of course, they proclaim in unison, there must be a 2 state solution for they have seen or heard of no other option in the mainstream or alternative media.

    The idea of a multicultural single state is just not on the radar of even the “left” as Larvatus Prodeo people like to think of themselves as (left of what?).

    Despite the Australian government’s own claim to be a single unified multicultural state, the idea seems absurd for Palestine.

    Why is this so?

    Because of the shallowness of the “solidarity” that has been the focus of international Palestine solidarity organisations – including Australians for Palestine and APHEDA who have settled on a warm fuzzy notion of solidarity, not unlike the Christian church’s notions of patronising pity for the less-fortunate. Questions central to Middle East politics such as the Hamas/Fatah split over the issue of a 2 state solution, have not been touched in the solidarity campaigns. Campaigns such as APHEDA and BDS have been exclusively linked to Fatah and the 2 state, global free market, world bank debt program and not offered any discussion of other aspirations of the Palestinian people, especially those alligned or sympathetic to Hamas.

    The chattering classes can only regurgitate what they have heard.

    Check out these photos


  4. You are absolutely correct Ian – re Jews being the only Zionists (or conflating the two). Zionism is a philosophy and there are plenty of Christians who are devoted to it.

    You are also dead right about: “Europeans supported the colonisation of Israel by Jewish exiles from Europe because of their guilt over the holocaust.” And include the whole West in that too U.S., UK etc etc (AND KEVIN RUDD).

    Love the photo of the APHEDA people. Thanks


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