Dear Haters, The Canary isn’t antisemitic, you just don’t like our politics

Nancy Mendoza and the wall in the West Bank
Nancy Mendoza

I’m a co-founder of The Canary and I’m a Jew, firmly opposed to antisemitism. I am not, however, a political Zionist.

There, I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, and I’ll keep saying it, because it’s important. Since day one, The Canary‘s team has been committed to fighting racism and fascism wherever it occurs, including in Israel.

You might think I’m writing this because The Canary is being dragged into the row over antisemitism in the Labour Party, or because of a campaign to get our advertisers to ditch us. If you do, you are partly correct. But I also want to write about my personal experience of all of this, as a Jewish person.

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Canary editor Emily Apple, who is also Jewish, has previously described her experiences, here and here.

The Canary is not an antisemitic publication

The casual accusations of antisemitism here at The Canary are not new. We have taken a position of solidarity with the Palestinian people, and therefore are critical of the Israeli government and of the Zionist project. For some people that, in and of itself, constitutes antisemitism. I don’t agree.

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We have also been slammed for employing journalist and activist Steve Topple, who has in the past held antisemitic views. Steve wholly and publicly changed his position in 2015, prior to working for us, and reaffirmed this in 2016. He said:

[I] didn’t involve myself in politics until 2013, so I had a lot to learn – and I learnt some things which I now appreciate are vile… I got sucked into an extremely unpleasant part of the internet which I renounced as soon as I understood what was so wrong with it… I unreservedly apologise for my historically disgraceful views.

In 2016, we released a video in support of Steve when accusations of antisemitism resurfaced, based on a misunderstood tweet he published in January 2015.

What does antisemitism look like?

The International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) definition of antisemitism has been controversial, with the person who drafted it actually condemning the way it’s been used. Jewish Voice for Labour has laid out what it considers to be antisemitic misconduct (and what is not to be considered antisemitic), which is closer to reflecting my views and experiences.

But, to be clear, I’m not talking about the IHRA definition of antisemitism, or anyone else’s. I’m talking about the lived experience of Jewish people – I’m talking about my own lived experience.

Picture this: I’m 12-years-old, taking the school bus on a Monday morning, already traumatised by life experiences, already bullied for years, and some kid, unprovoked, yells from the back of the bus: “Hey, you! You should have been gassed with the rest of them!” That’s what antisemitism looks like.

I arrive at school with a note for my form tutor (who taught Religious Education) because I was absent the Friday before (due to the stress of being a gay, Jewish, gender non-conforming kid, with an unusual surname from rural Somerset). My mum’s handwriting is virtually illegible, so I have to help my teacher read it. She says: “Oh, isn’t it funny, I was at university with a Jewess and she had bad handwriting too!” That is linking negative characteristics with being Jewish. That’s what antisemitism looks like.

My form tutor goes on to tell me how lucky I am to be Jewish because Jewish people are so good at business. She thinks she’s being nice, but she’s perpetuating a stereotype that quickly turns into “Jewish people have way too much control over…”. That’s what antisemitism looks like.

Later I attend a Craft, Design and Technology (CDT) lesson. I’m rubbish at CDT, but I try hard and I quite enjoy chatting to the teacher during practical sessions. It comes up in conversation that I’m Jewish and he says “Okay, well that explains a lot!”. He knows I’m a weird kid and now he thinks I’m weird because I’m Jewish. That’s what antisemitism looks like.

Stop hijacking my experiences

Honestly, I’m getting sick of non-Jewish people hijacking and misrepresenting my experience for their own gain. These days, that seems to be mainly for political gain against Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour Party.

What nobody seems to get is that this political nonsense is, in and of itself, antisemitic. In this narrative, I’m reduced to a faceless minority, and as Jewish people we’re to be kept small and incapable. It’s paternalism gone bonkers, and it was never designed to genuinely help us live free from discrimination and hate.

In case you’re in any doubt, what the critics of Corbyn are doing with antisemitism is absolutely not what being an ally looks like. Being an ally means lifting people up, perhaps giving up a little privilege, and certainly not diminishing or patronising us.

Just to be really clear: The row over antisemitism in the Labour Party is actually fuelling antisemitism, whilst simultaneously weakening the term as it’s applied to genuine antisemitism. And it seems it was never really meant to be of service to Jewish people, anyway, so nobody gives a damn what impact it has on us. That is a very frightening development, for me.

How can a Jew oppose Israel and not be antisemitic?

What I really want to talk about is the elephant in the room: how can I, as a Jewish person, oppose the existence of a state of Israel? The short answer is that it’s a position I’ve come to over many years of learning and soul searching and by spending time with other Jewish people from across the political spectrum.

The fact is that Israel has become an apartheid state and the divisions are on ethnic, not religious, lines. And Zionism is a colonial project that began at the end of the 19th century, long before Hitler came to power in Germany, and before so many Jewish people were killed in the Holocaust. Zionist settlements have been popping up in Israel for nearly 150 years. Zionism didn’t suddenly appear in 1945, but some people would have us believe that.

This short video clearly explains the difference between antisemitism and anti-Zionism:

Roll on to 2018 and the Israeli government has succeeded in passing a bill that makes Israel an official Jewish state. Under this law, the right to self-determination as an Israeli is only for Jewish people; Hebrew is the official language (and Arabic is downgraded from being an official language); and it actively encourages further settlement of Palestine by Jewish people from around the world.

At The Canary, we’ve had the nerve to point at Gaza, for example, and say: look, there are 1.8 million people living in an open prison, their only crime being that they are brown. We’ve written about the racial apartheid and fascist practices that had Ethiopian Jewish women put on birth control without their consent or knowledge; and we question the imbalance of power between Israeli settlers and Palestinian people, and the control, in Israel, of land ownership, employment, education, and more, by mainly white North American and European Jews.

An empty sandpit and a birthright

My mother was born into a liberal Jewish family just after the second world war ended. Israel was being established as reparation for the millions of Jewish people killed or traumatised by the actions of a fascist political movement called Nazism. She was taught that Israel was previously an empty sandpit that nobody was using. Through cutting edge technological developments, the Jewish people who settled Israel were to turn the sandpit into something resembling southern California.

We are told that it’s our birthright, as Jewish people, to occupy this new paradise.

Just let that sink in for a minute: occupying Palestine is considered a birthright by many Jewish people.

Jewish teenagers go on ‘birthright tours’ to Israel from the US and the UK.

If you can prove your Jewish heritage, it’s pretty easy to become an Israeli citizen, wherever you were born.

But in the same breath as creating Israel as a haven for Jewish people who have been oppressed throughout the world, an estimated 750,000 Palestinian people were made refugees between 1947 and 1949 and lost everything. Their homes were bulldozed to make way for the settlers. And now those Palestinian people have no right to return or to self-determination. Those who remain in the area now live in a vast, walled, open-air prison. Their rights to move around, to work, to own property, even to have access to enough food, are controlled by a government intent on making Israel white.

As a human being, I find it almost impossible to live with atrocity after atrocity and be told that they are committed in my name. As a Jew, I’m fundamentally offended and shaken.

My family is not very observant, but I find myself turning back to our Haggadah – the book used during a ceremonial meal called a Seder, to mark Passover – at times like this. It acknowledges that Jewish people believe in a birthright to live in Jerusalem, but also says (p57, Second Edition):

Always remember that you were slaves in the land of Egypt…You shall not subvert the rights of the stranger or the orphan.

This is a teaching that seems to be entirely absent from the current narrative over the Jewish state of Israel. And that, more than anything, as a Jewish person, makes me weep.

Featured image via The Canary / Wikimedia – Justin McIntosh

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  • Show Comments
    1. “The row over antisemitism in the Labour Party is actually fuelling antisemitism” – this is a crucial point. the majority of jews are patronised into facelessness, leaving the more visible likes of Netanyahu, Joan Ryan and the nutters on that Question Time with George Galloway to represent an entire race of people as a phony, whining, bolshy bunch. I used to admire a lot of things about jewish culture, but Israel and the totally manufactured “anti-semitism row” have changed that. Even academics on twitter – so admittedly the bored, lonely twitter-type academic – seem to have difficulty telling the difference between zionists and jews. something i need to relearn on a visceral level

        1. yes I know George Galloway isn’t Jewish. I was referring to the Jewish audience members who screamed at him in an episode of question time. And I suspected Joan Ryan wasn’t Jewish – listed her as the rep for Jewish Voice for Labour.

          The largely or entirely concocted “antisemitism row” has clearly harmed Jews more than it has hindered Jeremy Corbyn. And Corbyn, like all politicians, is temporary; I suspect Jews will suffer the consequences of renewed anti-semitism long after he’s out of the news.

          @ThomasGrubb Jewish theology, mysticism, art, music, ancient/early history, community engagement and activism, literature…

          1. I still admire these things. When I said ‘used to’, I meant I used to admire them quite strongly. The bollocks in the press hasn’t turned me off any of this, but it has victimised Jews and turned a lot of nutters against them. Until recently there were some unchecked prejudices festering in me too – it’s all too easy when the media representation is so disturbingly one-sided.

            1. It’s brave of you to admit to having had “unchecked prejudices” until recently. Would you care to elaborate on this?

            2. @ThomasGrubb Well if i believe the media portrayal of a monolithic Jewish community up in arms about Corbyn being an anti-semite because he’s an anti-zionist when it’s obvious to me and everyone else that he isn’t an antisemite, then I’m funneled into thinking of this supposedly monolithic Jewish community as manipulative and amoral. But obviously everything about the “anti-semitism row” was concocted, not just Corbyn’s alleged anti-semitism, but also the ones doing the alleging, who in reality were a minority of zionist jews and non-jews using anti-semitism to smear a Labour leader hostile to Israeli hostilities and more. Basically I should have known better. My prejudices are not serious – they only have to be noticed – but I could tell they were creeping in as a direct result of the media’s machinations, which fortunately I now understand have harmed the Jewish community – just as their harmful portrayals of Islam harmed Muslims in the West. Different motives, same effect.

            3. @tatzallegro

              if i believe the media portrayal of a monolithic Jewish community up in arms about Corbyn being an anti-semite because he’s an anti-zionist when it’s obvious to me and everyone else that he isn’t an antisemite, then I’m funneled into thinking of this supposedly monolithic Jewish community as manipulative and amoral … My prejudices are not serious – they only have to be noticed – but I could tell they were creeping in as a direct result of the media’s machinations, which fortunately I now understand have harmed the Jewish community:”

              Very well said indeed. I haven’t read many posts this honest. And you’re absolutely right that the people most responsible for the anti-Semitic trope that the Jewish community is a monolith are Zionists, Jewish or otherwise. I remember when Harold Pinter, whom I knew, wrote a furious letter to the Israeli PM at the time telling him to stop masquerading as the voice of the global Jewish community, as Israel did not represent it, or him. Pinter opposed Zionism, a stance which earned him that other anti-Semitic trope, ‘self-hating Jew’, one of the most disgusting terms of racial abuse in the canon.

              I’m grateful to you for being honest enough to use yourself as an example of how the deliberate attempt to create the lie of a monolithic Jewish community, and then to use that lie in order to lend maximum credence to the disgusting libel that Corbyn is an anti-Semite is not just wicked, but almost designed to create a backlash against the community as a whole. If you wanted to stigmatise your own community, this is the way to go about it.

              Thomas Grubb should have learnt something from your post, which deserved a response, but some people are so entrenched in the narrative of their own hatred that they are not really engaged in any debate – they’re just out there to hate.

      1. Some of this resonates with my experience. As a small boy I was brought up in a pro-Israel household. When I returned from early school using the phrase “you have jewed me” (meaning ripped-off), my Mother explained how that was racist and not acceptable, telling me about the holocaust and how it was our responsibility to make sure it never happened again. Israel was portrayed as a hero in its conflicts with its arab neighbours, punching above its weight.

        Since then I hadn’t given Israel or Jewish people much thought, as they were just another section of the diversity of British citizens. The Jewish community seemed to integrate well and not cause friction. I saw very little anti-semitism in my life, and on the rare occasions I did – would comment on it not being appropriate.

        Then Corbyn was elected Labour leader. Pretty soon accusations of anti-semitism surfaced and as he was known to be a life-long anti-racist activist, I started researching the whole issue. What I found was that Israel was doing some rather unexpected things, considering the experiences of Jewish people at the hands of Hitler. It seemed to no longer be the hero and in fact was now the bully.

        Suddenly the accusations against Corbyn made more sense. Israel was not happy that he might become UK PM and no longer be part of the shield protecting Israel from UN resolutions and international criticism. Then I watched The Lobby and saw things that made me angry. Israel seemed to be actively interfering in British politics, in a covert way, via LFI and other organisations.

        Since then I have seen some frankly ridiculous accusations of anti-semitism, like suggesting adding #palastinelives to an announcement that someone is leaving a committee concerning Palestine, is anti-semetic. In my opinion this is creating a Boy-cries-wolf effect where real anti-semitism will now be ignored by people assuming it is more exaggeration for political effect.

        If the LFI and associated Israel supporting groups had not gone for Corbyn I would not have bothered researching Israel/Palestine, so they have certainly shot themselves in the foot there.

        1. “If the LFI and associated Israel supporting groups had not gone for Corbyn I would not have bothered researching Israel/Palestine, so they have certainly shot themselves in the foot there.”

          Yes, they certainly amplified the inconvenient truth they’re trying so desperately to silence. There must be loads of people who looked into Israel/Palestine as a result of this.

        2. yes they have rather shot themselves in the foot with their ridiculous use of the serious problem of AS as a weapon to beat the Left off LP and Corbyn in particular. It has now become a form of McCarthyism

      2. Unfortunely AS is becoming a form of McCarthyism. AS is being used a weapon and as a result it is creating more people who start holding AS views .
        The whole episode about AS in LP and it seems is a way of getting at Corbyn . Yes it exists at about 008% according to research among members . It should not. But when you look at wider society particularly on the right wing it is much more prevalent than in the LP.
        So the question is why is it constantly being brought up by the media ? To a lot of people it is pretty obvious. It is about the fear that Corbyn as PM will restrict arms sales to Israel until they conform to humane standards rather than commit from increasing evidence according to Amnesty acts of aggression that constitute war crimes. Hence the campaign against Corbyn and the so called left of the LP.

    2. “Since day one, The Canary‘s team has been committed to fighting racism and fascism wherever it occurs, including in Israel.”

      I must have missed your articles on Palestinian racism and fascism.

          1. unfortunately there’s no delete option for comments here. I decided it was a malicious thing to say after posting and would have deleted it. I just assumed you were jimmy sands and also in the employ of gchq, yes. It’s heartening at least to see you’re aware that jtrig exists. No offence intended – except before and during clicking on ‘Post Comment’. I kind of just wanted to see the response.

            1. Er, OK. I’m not sure why you would think I’m in the employ of GCHQ. Do you think Jimmy Sands is employed by GCHQ?

            2. @ThomasGrubb I just find it strange that anyone can be so passionately pedantic – not just here but on other articles too, very similar to Jimmy Sands. Rather than discussing the message you attack the messenger. Maybe you just really hate Palestine, I don’t know – but derailing the debate like that stinks of sponsored sabotage.

    3. thank you Nancy and the Canary team for all you do, and shame on those smearing Jeremy Corbyn and his supporters including Novara Media which has been acting shamefully jumping the shark on this blatant smear campaign to be controlled opposition. Sad though that Corbyn and much of the leadership hasn’t straight up called bullshit on this, and thrown people many of them Jewish anti-Zionists under the bus giving nothing but ammo to their opponents.

      1. Then maybe you should try *actually* engaging in the debate? As it is, you rarely engage with the articles you comment on. You do not make relevant statements or form arguments of your own, that could be argued against or discussed constructively. Instead you go to every article concerning Israel and put up information about your pet hate, Hamas, whether or not it is actually relevant to the article.

        Most of the time your posts could be replaced by a standard “But what about Hamas?”.

        If you feel that your views on Hamas are relevant to the article being discussed, please clearly state *how* that is the case, so we can discuss your points.

        1. “You do not make relevant statements or form arguments of your own, that could be argued against or discussed constructively.”

          That’s very much what I do, although people often choose to hurl wild accusations and personal abuse at me rather than engage in rational discussion.

          “Instead you go to every article concerning Israel and put up information about your pet hate, Hamas, whether or not it is actually relevant to the article.”

          Simply not true, of course. There are many Canary articles about Israel which I haven’t commented on at all. And why do you say Hamas is my “pet hate”?Where are these places where I have supposedly “put up information” about Hamas?

          “Most of the time your posts could be replaced by a standard ‘But what about Hamas?‘“

          Which posts? Where?

          “If you feel that your views on Hamas are relevant to the article being discussed, please clearly state *how* that is the case, so we can discuss your points.”

          Which article? This one? I haven’t said anything here about my views on Hamas! Are you referring to something I’ve said under another article?

          1. An incredibly disingenuous reply.

            I concede that I was wrong to say *every* article on Israel. However, you will note that I said “rarely” engage, and “Most of the time” about your Hamas defence. For you to act as if you never do what I am suggesting, is astounding. Here are a couple of recent examples:

            https://www.thecanary.co/trending/2019/03/26/as-gaza-burns-the-uk-cant-ignore-its-role-in-this-crisis/

            https://www.thecanary.co/uk/news/2019/03/22/jeremy-hunt-refused-to-condemn-israels-intentional-use-of-unlawful-lethal-force-against-palestine/

            In both cases you have totally failed to engage with the article and do not form an argument (because that would leave you open to counter-argument). Instead you just post up a link about Hamas’s bad conduct. In one of them I even challenge you to explain why you have, because it looks like you think that is a justification of Israel’s conduct. You claim it is not justification. Then why did you post it? You do not explain how it is relevant, because then we could discuss the validity of that relevance, and I suspect you want to avoid that.

            Even on this thread you wrote:
            ——
            ThomasGrubb
            5th April 2019 at 5:19 pm

            >>Since day one, The Canary‘s team has been committed to fighting racism and fascism wherever it occurs, including in Israel.<<

            I must have missed your articles on Palestinian racism and fascism.
            —–

            By which you are obviously referring to Hamas….

            I rest my case.

            1. DWPVictim, sorry I missed your reply. I was focussed on tatzallegro’s comments.

              Thank you for admitting that you were wrong when you wrote: “Instead you go to every article concerning Israel and put up information about your pet hate, Hamas, whether or not it is actually relevant to the article.”

              The truth, of course, is that there are many Canary articles on Israel/Palestine which I haven’t commented on at all, and that, when I do comment, I don’t always put up information about Hamas.

              The reason that I do occasionally post links to information about Hamas, etc. is absolutely not to justify Israel’s conduct (it’s interesting that you should think that this is my motive) but to add much-needed context. The Canary presents the hugely complicated Palestine/Israel situation in a cartoonishly simplistic way and ignores, for example, the brutality of the Palestinian authorities towards the Palestinian population, the appalling treatment of Palestinians by the authorities of countries other than Israel or Palestine, and, of course, the violence and racism of some Palestinians towards Jews.

              Your comment that I am “obviously referring to Hamas” when I said “I must have missed your articles on Palestinian racism and fascism” is interesting. Yes, Hamas is a big part of the problem of Palestinian racism and fascism but the problem is much wider than that. By the way, please notice that my comment was in response to Nancy Mendoza’s claim that “[s]ince day one, The Canary‘s team has been committed to fighting racism and fascism wherever it occurs, including in Israel.” I was pointing out the obvious falsehood of her claim. There are several kinds of racism and fascism which the Canary doesn’t seem at all committed to fighting.

          2. “people often choose to hurl wild accusations and personal abuse at me”

            For that I apologise… I think. But I still think your comment is suspicious. Of course there’s racism and to that extent elements of small-f fascism in Palestine. It’s to be expected. Suggesting it ought to be given equal prominence in reporting on Israel’s ethnic cleansing is like calling out slaves for racism against their owners.

            1. It’s a compliment of sorts that I think you’re being disingenuous. Because the Palestine/Israel issue is really not that morally complicated.

            2. tatzallegro, would you also say that it’s “to be expected” that there is anti-Arab racism in Israel because of ethnic cleansing of Jews carried out by Arabs? I don’t know about giving Palestinian racism “equal prominence” but it would be nice if the Canary at least acknowledged it.

              As for the Palestine/Israel issue being “not that morally complicated”, I beg to differ. It seems to me to be one of the most morally complicated situations on the planet, despite the cartoonishly simplistic way in which it is presented by Canary writers.

          3. @ThomasGrubb (reply delayed because of someone flagging my posts?)

            An incredibly disingenuous reply.

            I concede that I was wrong to say *every* article on Israel. However, you will note that I said “rarely” engage, and “Most of the time” about your Hamas comments. For you to act as if you never do what I am suggesting, is astounding. Here are a couple of recent examples:

            https://www.thecanary.co/trending/2019/03/26/as-gaza-burns-the-uk-cant-ignore-its-role-in-this-crisis/

            https://www.thecanary.co/uk/news/2019/03/22/jeremy-hunt-refused-to-condemn-israels-intentional-use-of-unlawful-lethal-force-against-palestine/

            In both cases you have totally failed to engage with the article and do not form an argument (because that would leave you open to counter-argument). Instead you just post up a link about Hamas’s bad conduct. In one of them I even challenge you to explain why you have, because it looks like you think that is a justification of Israel’s conduct. You claim it is not justification. Then why did you post it? You do not explain how it is relevant, because then we could discuss the validity of that relevance, and I suspect you want to avoid that.

            Even on this article’s comments you wrote:
            ——
            ThomasGrubb
            5th April 2019 at 5:19 pm

            >>Since day one, The Canary‘s team has been committed to fighting racism and fascism wherever it occurs, including in Israel.<<

            I must have missed your articles on Palestinian racism and fascism.
            —–

            By which you are obviously referring to Hamas….

            I rest my case.

    4. What a well needed, thought-provoking article.

      Thank you for your openness, integrity, journalism and skill.

      You and like-minded people are a much needed World resource.

    5. @ThomasGrubb

      “would you also say that it’s “to be expected” that there is anti-Arab racism in Israel because of ethnic cleansing of Jews carried out by Arabs?”

      Well no, not in the sense of it being even remotely excusable. We’re talking about Israel/Palestine specifically, not Jews/Arabs. If a Muslim kills a Buddhist in Hackney, we don’t excuse it by saying Buddhists kill Muslims in Sri Lanka.

      “As for the Palestine/Israel issue being “not that morally complicated”, I beg to differ. It seems to me to be one of the most morally complicated situations on the planet, despite the cartoonishly simplistic way in which it is presented by Canary writers.”

      Yeah, maybe it is morally complicated – nowadays, at least – but if either side has the moral high ground, it’s definitely not Israel.

      1. So, if I understand you correctly, you don’t think it’s “to be expected” or “even remotely excusable” for there to be anti-Arab racism in Israel as a result of ethnic cleansing of Jews carried out by Arabs, but you think it’s “to be expected” for there to be anti-Jewish racism and fascism in Palestine as a result of Israel’s ethnic cleansing of Palestinians. Why the difference?

        I don’t understand your Hackney/Sri Lanka analogy.

        Jews have been viciously persecuted and subjected to ethnic cleansing in Arab and Muslim countries and are the targets of the explicitly genocidal aims of the government of Gaza. Obviously, this doesn’t in any way excuse Israel’s treatment of Palestinians in occupied Palestine but surely these facts should at least be acknowledged, don’t you think?

        1. “racism and fascism in Palestine as a result of Israel’s ethnic cleansing of Palestinians” as you put it is self-evidently understandable. We’re talking about Palestinians and Israelis, not Arabs and Jews in general. Racism is completely moronic. Are Jews in Israel committing racist attacks on Palestinians because other Jews were kicked out of other countries? Is that what you’re referring to? I don’t think that’s justified at all. Do you?

          “the explicitly genocidal aims of the government of Gaza” will obviously never be realised because of Israel’s geopolitical clout. You can acknowledge them if you want, but I would question your motive for trying to portray Palestine as somehow evenly matched against Israel.

          1. No, I don’t think Jews committing racist attacks on Palestinians is justified. But what I was referring to was racism against Jews and ethnic cleansing of Jews by Arabs. This has occurred in many places, including Palestine.

            I’m not “trying to portray Palestine as somehow evenly matched against Israel”! Not for the first time, you appear to be incorrectly ascribing something to me.

            I wish I had your confidence that Hamas’s genocidal aims “will obviously never be realised”! I think things could easily change in the future.

            1. “ethnic cleansing of Jews by Arabs. This has occurred in many places, including Palestine.”

              – and ONLY where it’s happened in Palestine is it relevant. But even then, the loss of Jewish lives there is far outweighed by the loss of Palestinian lives.

              I assumed you wanted to make Palestine out to be an equal aggressor by acknowledging/highlighting their hatred for Israel. I don’t see any other reason to point it out. Cold facts and no bias in reporting would be great, but unfortunately the narrative in the Western media is heavily weighted in Israel’s favour. So I think The Canary can leave others to report on Hamas’s “genocidal aims” for now. Maybe if it ever becomes a serious threat we can talk about it then.

            2. “I’m not “trying to portray Palestine as somehow evenly matched against Israel”!”

              That is exactly what you do, and throughout this thread, by suggesting that there is some kind of moral equivalence between Israeli oppression and Palestinian resistance to it. The truth is that in this conflict, both sides are victims, but only one has the power to resolve it, which it consistently refuses to do, instead choosing to exacerbate the situation by taking advantage of it in order to help itself to other people’s land.

    6. @tatzallegro:

      So what kind of people is it “understandable” for Palestinians to be racist against? Palestinian Jews? Israeli Jews? Israelis generally? Jews generally? And what kind of people, if any, is it “understandable” for Israelis to be racist against?

      I find it puzzling that the only reason you can apparently see for me to point out Palestinian hatred for Israel is a desire to “make Palestine out to be an equal aggressor”. Surely one can, and should, acknowledge the actions and motivations of both, or all, sides in any conflict.

      I’m not sure the “narrative in the Western media” is as “heavily weighted in Israel’s favour” as you may think.

      I find your last sentence rather chilling. The genocidal threat against the Jews of Israel is already very serious, in my view. History shows that serious genocidal threats are all too often ignored until it’s too late. Rwanda and Bosnia spring to mind as recent examples.

      1. The genocidal threat against the Jews is already serious? Israel is committing genocide right now against the Palestinians! You seem to be arguing in favour of this as an acceptable pre-emptive measure. If the balance ever switched, which it won’t, because how could it, do you really think Palestine would win? Do you think NATO would do nothing to intervene, by which I mean finally wipe Palestine off the map?

        Whether the narrative in the Western media is “as” heavily weighted in agreement with the stance that Israel is simply defending itself, it is nevertheless heavily weighted in agreement with that stance. It doesn’t need to be explicit. Often it just needs to be silent.

        I’m not interested in whose racism is better. This is the trouble with equating anti-zionism with anti-semitism. Israel does not represent all Jews, no matter how successfully they manage to convince foreign governments and propagandists otherwise. Probably many Palestinians have been fooled too. Probably many Zionists have been fooled into thinking all Arabs hate Jews. Not being Jewish, Palestinian, an Israeli Zionist or an Arab, it’s not really for me to say.

        1. “Whether the narrative in the Western media is “as” heavily weighted in agreement with the stance that Israel is simply defending itself” as I think* – that should read.

          1. Well, you’ve misrepresented my arguments so many times that I guess I shouldn’t be surprised you now suggest that I support genocide!

            Regarding your thought experiment, no, I don’t believe NATO would “finally wipe Palestine off the map”. Abbas has proposed that NATO should provide security in a future Palestinian state and NATO seem very keen for Palestine and Israel to sign a peace deal.

            I agree that Israel does not represent all Jews, just as Palestine does not represent all Palestinians.

            1. My point in saying you seem to be supporting genocide as an acceptable pre-emptive measure was in response to you seeming to do so. You seem to be saying The Canary should report on the racism of Palestinians against their Israeli aggressors to prevent emboldening Hamas or providing a justification/global support for them to potentially, at some point in the future, do to Israel what Israel is actually, really, right now doing to Palestine. It’s a pretty absurd position if so. And if not, then what are you saying?

              “NATO seem very keen for Palestine and Israel to sign a peace deal” – do you think that might change if, you know, Palestine somehow finds the means to commit genocide in Israel – or if they do anything even remotely approximating what Israel have done and continue to do to them? I suspect it might. Meanwhile, the US is supporting Israel’s continued aggressive expansion and giving Netanyahu pretty much free reign to do what we wants.

              “I agree that Israel does not represent all Jews, just as Palestine does not represent all Palestinians.” I see what you did there. Nobody’s falling for this zionist trope anymore. Israel is absolutely not to Jews as Palestinians are to Palestine, however you think you can get away with rephrasing it.

    7. Let’s recap:

      “I must have missed your articles on Palestinian racism and fascism.”
      “Surely one can, and should, acknowledge the actions and motivations of both, or all, sides in any conflict.”
      “The genocidal threat against the Jews of Israel is already very serious”
      “I agree that Israel does not represent all Jews, just as Palestine does not represent all Palestinians.”

      These statements all suggest Israel and Palestine are equal and equivalent – morally, militarily, or politically. And the last statement does what all zionists do – equates Jews with Israel. It’s nonsense. All Palestinians were born in Palestine. Very few Jews were born in Israel. Globally, very few Jews have even been to Israel! And neither the majority of Jews worldwide, nor even Jewish scripture – unless misinterpreted to the extent Islamist nutjobs misinterpret the Koran – even support the zionist project. What is your motive here?

      1. Hi tatzallegro,

        These are the statements of mine which you quote:

        “I must have missed your articles on Palestinian racism and fascism.”
        “Surely one can, and should, acknowledge the actions and motivations of both, or all, sides in any conflict.”
        “The genocidal threat against the Jews of Israel is already very serious”
        “I agree that Israel does not represent all Jews, just as Palestine does not represent all Palestinians.”

        This is what you say about the statements, along with my responses:

        “These statements all suggest Israel and Palestine are equal and equivalent – morally, militarily, or politically.”

        No, they don’t. None of them do. Please read them again.

        “And the last statement does what all zionists do – equates Jews with Israel.”

        No, it explicity does not do that. And where on earth did you get the idea that all Zionists equate Jews with Israel?

        “All Palestinians were born in Palestine.”

        That’s obviously not true.

        “Very few Jews were born in Israel.”

        I did a little light googling and found that about 4.6 million Jews were born in Israel. That’s about 30% of the approximately 15 million Jews in the world. Why would you say that’s “very few”?

        “Globally, very few Jews have even been to Israel!”

        Again, what is “very few”? And what evidence do you have for your assertion?

        “And neither the majority of Jews worldwide, nor even Jewish scripture – unless misinterpreted to the extent Islamist nutjobs misinterpret the Koran – even support the zionist project.”

        The “zionist project” is a vague term and Zionism itself can be understood in different ways but I wonder where you are getting your statistics from. Are you, perhaps, just making them up? I can’t find any staistics that back up your assertion about “the majority of Jews worldwide” not supporting “the zionist project”.

        “What is your motive here?”

        Well, I’m trying to engage in a debate about the issues raised by Canary articles and commenters on those articles. I appreciate that you are one of the few people who engages in debate with me but I might ask you what your motive is for repeatedly distorting my arguments and directing unfounded accusations at me.

    8. Forthestate:

      “Thomas Grubb should have learnt something from your post, which deserved a response, but some people are so entrenched in the narrative of their own hatred that they are not really engaged in any debate – they’re just out there to hate.”

      What is it that you think I hate?

      1. A viable Palestinian State. I can’t find any other explanation for those who have watched for over fifty years what Ilan Pappe has described as the incremental genocide of the Palestinian people and yet still refuse to acknowledge who are the oppressors and who are the oppressed. As I wrote in my last post, which you may have missed, in this conflict, both sides are victims, but only one has the power to resolve it, which it consistently refuses to do, instead choosing to exacerbate the situation by taking advantage of it in order to help itself to other people’s land, thereby furthering the gradual disintegration of the Palestinian people, which is the definition of genocide, and ensuring that a Palestinian State will never be possible.

          1. Where? When? How would anyone have known? I’ve never seen a single post to that effect. Not one, prior to this bald statement. Every time you come on here, it’s to defend Israel against those whose support of the Palestinian right to self determination actually finds expression. Consistently supporting those who have done everything in their power to sabotage the prospect of a two state solution and attacking those who stand clearly on the side of it is a mighty odd way to express your support for a viable Palestinian State.

            1. “Where? When? How would anyone have known? I’ve never seen a single post to that effect. Not one, prior to this bald statement.”

              Unfortunately, older comments on this website disappear so I can’t show you where and when I have expressed my support for a peaceful two-state solution. But I’m interested in why you would think I *don’t* support the idea of a viable Palestinian state, that I *hate* this idea. What comments of mine have led you to this conclusion?

              “Every time you come on here, it’s to defend Israel against those whose support of the Palestinian right to self determination actually finds expression.”

              This is simply not true. I don’t come on here to “defend Israel”. I’m no particular fan of Israel. As I’ve said before, I come on here to debate the Canary’s cartoonishly simplistic presentation of the Israeli-Palestinian situation and to engage in debate with commenters. What I find interesting, and sometimes rather shocking, are the assumptions some commenters make about my supposed motives and alliances. Oh, and I do sometimes comment on other issues as well.

            2. “But I’m interested in why you would think I *don’t* support the idea of a viable Palestinian state, that I *hate* this idea. What comments of mine have led you to this conclusion?”

              You’ve explained it in the preceding sentence. You can’t provide a single example of your support for a peaceful two-state solution, but the overwhelming majority, if not all of your comments, attack the views of those who do. And you’re surprised by the impression you’ve created. You need to ask me how it’s come about. I think you need to stop being disingenuous, and start being a bit more honest. It’s pretty obvious how it’s come about.

    9. Picking on technicalities won’t cut it. Just assume by ‘very few’ I meant ‘a minority’ and it doesn’t hurt my argument a bit. You did the same light googling as I did.

      ” “These statements all suggest Israel and Palestine are equal and equivalent – morally, militarily, or politically.”

      No, they don’t. None of them do. Please read them again.”

      —> They suggest, or imply, that to me. And “Israel does not represent all Jews, just as Palestine does not represent all Palestinians” clearly implies Jews are to Israel as Palestinians are to Palestine. You could have said “Israel does not represent all Israelis, just as Palestine does not represent all Palestinians” or “Israel does not represent all Jews, just as Palestine does not represent all Arabs” but neither of these would have been relevant to the point you’re apparently trying to make. Despite me pointing out the error of conflating Jews with Israelis and Arabs with Palestinians in your earlier comments, you chose to phrase this as you did.

      As for distorting your arguments, it’s really not clear what your arguments are so maybe that’s why I’m forced to extrapolate.

      1. And assume that by “All Palestinians were born in Palestine” I meant “All Palestinians are Palestinian by birth.” You pick on technicalities like a lawyer without a point of your own. Please tell us clearly what you are saying here. Because you haven’t yet. You just say you’re debating the issues. To what end?

          1. “As for distorting your arguments, it’s really not clear what your arguments are so maybe that’s why I’m forced to extrapolate.”

            Well, I don’t think I could have been much clearer, but you seem determined to misunderstand the arguments I make.

            “You pick on technicalities like a lawyer without a point of your own. Please tell us clearly what you are saying here. Because you haven’t yet. You just say you’re debating the issues. To what end?”

            I’ve told you several times what I am arguing, and why.

            “Or not so much a lawyer but a bald wrestler who wins by pulling people’s hair simply because he has none of his own.”

            This makes about as much sense as these other comments of yours:

            “Or are you just being a pedant for your gimp handlers at JTRIG?”

            “I just assumed you were jimmy sands and also in the employ of gchq”

            “Maybe you just really hate Palestine, I don’t know – but derailing the debate like that stinks of sponsored sabotage.”

            “It’s a compliment of sorts that I think you’re being disingenuous.”

            “I assumed you wanted to make Palestine out to be an equal aggressor by acknowledging/highlighting their hatred for Israel. I don’t see any other reason to point it out.”

            “I see what you did there. Nobody’s falling for this zionist trope anymore.”

            1. “I’ve told you several times what I am arguing, and why.”

              If that’s what you think and I’m making no sense, then good luck to you sir. I give up.

    10. Forthestate,

      I “can’t provide a single example of [my] support for a peaceful two-state solution” because this website has deleted older comments.

      The “overwhelming majority” of my comments do not “attack the views of those who do [support a peaceful two-state solution]”. Leaving aside the fact that none of these people whose views I supposedly attack has, to my knowledge, explicitly expressed support for a peaceful two-state solution (something which you seem to feel it is incumbent on me to do), what I have done is debated assertions, invited reflection and attempted to counter falsifiable claims with evidence.

      “And you’re surprised by the impression you’ve created. You need to ask me how it’s come about. I think you need to stop being disingenuous, and start being a bit more honest. It’s pretty obvious how it’s come about.”

      Well, I’m certainly very interested in why the comments I make are so often distorted or misrepresented by some commenters and in how many false accusations are made against me.

      1. I guess you’ll have to keep wondering why so many people seem to have mistaken a supporter of a viable Palestinian State and someone who professes not to be a particular fan of Israel, and not here to defend it, for someone consistently and exclusively critical of the comments of those whose sympathy in this conflict clearly lies overwhelmingly with the Palestinians, but I’m through.
        .

    11. In an era where lies are spun, echoed, amplified, and embellished by social-media sock puppets, and then reported as news by PR flacks masquerading as journalists, I suppose it’s necessary to promptly and soundly refute defamatory smears, no matter how outlandish. This was a good refutation. And yet…

      I couldn’t help but think of an anecdote I’m pretty sure I read in Hunter S. Thompson’s Fear and Loathing on the Campaign Trail ’72. It was about a brainstorming session that took place during one of LBJ’s early state political races in Texas. LBJ supposedly proposed starting a rumor that his rival was given to enjoying carnal relations with his barnyard sows. “We can’t call the man a pigfucker!”, his campaign manager objected. “No,” LBJ replied, “but we can get the sonofabitch to deny it!”

      The story was was probably apocryphal — it’s hard to tell with Thompson — although the more you learn about what LBJ was really like, the more plausible it sounds. Regardless, it’s a sad day when the editors and staff of the Canary are forced to deny that they’re pigfuckers…

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