Azmin Ali, leader of the People’s Justice Party, has uncovered proof that Malaysia Airlines hired an “ex-Israeli agent” as a consultant for its IT department. (Or, more specifically, he’s a French national, born in Haifa, who served as a lieutenant in the military intelligence unit of the IDF between 1983 and 1988, where he practiced the dark art of “solving analytical problems.” This top-secret information was extracted from his CV.)
Here at Judeosphere, we have long suspected that reports of Israel’s surging tech sector were merely a ruse to plant Mossad agents posing as IT consultants throughout the major airlines of the Muslim world.
Some in Malaysia agree with that theory. Abdar Rahman Koya, a local freelance journalist who formerly wrote for the London-based International Crescent, sees this story as yet further confirmation of Henry Ford’s magnum opus, The International Jew.
Apparently, it’s currently a bestseller in Malaysia.
I see that the usual suspects (George Galloway, Kate Hudson, Ramsey Clark, etc.) have signed an international petition opposing war against Iran.
I was particularly intrigued by this excerpt:
Iran has submitted to the most intrusive and humiliating inspections, above and beyond what is required by Nuclear Weapons Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT). None of the inspections have found any evidence that Iran is developing a nuclear weapons program.
Okay, putting aside for a moment the question as to why Iran kept its strictly “peaceful” nuclear program a secret for 18 years…since when are inspections of nuclear facilities humiliating? I mean, if UN inspectors subjected Ahmadinejad to a body cavity search for enriched uranium, then I concede that would be kind of humiliating. But, when it come to inspecting an autocratic regime’s nuclear facilities, I don’t think there’s such a thing as being too intrusive.
Well, when you’ve got a general election in a European country, what better way to get out the vote than to stage an anti-zionist rally, complete with the requisite burning of the Israeli flag.
The rally was sponsored by the Party of the Italian Communists (PdCI), and one party member commented that that the desire to burn Israeli flags was “highly understandable and shareable” given that “Israel is a fist in humanity’s stomach.” (Hey PdCI, next time you want to burn an Israeli flag, I’ve got a one-fingered fist for ya right here.)
A counter-demonstration was held yesterday, including members of the Italian Jewish community. Said one community leader: “We feel betrayed by the PdCI. In the past, we fought side by side for the liberation from Nazi-Fascism and agreed on the same Republican values. How can you claim to be an anti-Fascist if you do not condemn Hamas and Hizbullah’s negationism today?”
Progressive activists and academics are gathering next month at a conference titled: Facing a Challenge Within: A Progressive Scholars’ and Activists’ Conference on Anti-Semitism and the Left. (Among the invited participants is David Hirsh at Engage.)
The conference is a follow-up to an initial gathering held in Oakland, California in 2004. A lengthy report on that meeting can be found here [pdf]. In that report, conference organizer Judy Andreas expressed her own thoughts on the matter. Some excerpts:
[After 9/11] anti-Jewish bigotry, like anti-Muslim and anti-Arab prejudice, had also intensified. Sadly, I found my activist community’s response not one of concern, but a hard-hearted, “What do you expect when Israel’s causing people to hate Jews?” I plunged into hopelessness that became intolerable. I had to transform my reaction, or risk losing my home in the activist community that had always nurtured me.
As the Left has become concerned about and steadfast in its defense of Arabs and Muslims against U.S. imperial aggression, it has also defined the Jewish state as an imperial aggressor. Because of this analysis, those who are also concerned about anti-Jewish prejudice are being increasingly alienated from progressive organizing. Concern for one people does not need to exclude concern for the other.
Many Jews and non-Jews who communicated with me about the conference expressed relief to find a progressive environment that welcomed them…Many told me they had started avoiding anti-war rallies because they could not march with so many people who were condemning Israel instead of marching to stop the U.S. attack against Iraq.
Gradually, as I learned more about Jewish history, I began to question the wisdom of blaming Israel for the problems in the Middle East. It took many years for me to realize how easy it was for me to blame the only Jewish country in the world….I knew little about the many military and terrorist attacks against Israel, and even less about the personal trauma of every Israeli citizen. Having concern for the stateless position of Palestinians in the Territories had translated into seeing Jews as the enemy. Then, I started to become more compassionate for those Jewish social change activists living and working in such a hostile environment.
Of course, not everyone in the “progressive” community was happy about this conference. An Indymedia commentator declared: “As true progressives and anti-racist activists, we must COMPLETELY SMASH Zionism and the hebraic slime who fuel it and keep it alive!” And the hilariously misnamed “Togethernet” suggested renaming the conference How to Maintain Jewish Dominance of the California Left.
Will such conferences really make a difference? Beats me. But, given the longstanding reluctance of the Left to even acknowledge the possibility of anti-semitism within their ranks, I’d say it’s a positive step forward. And if they can genuinely provide political space for Jewish activists who have been shut out of the progressive movement by the likes of “International ANSWER,” then more power to them.
Do you remember those old episodes of Star Trek, when Captain Kirk would defeat an evil android by confusing it with an unsolvable logic problem? The android would sputter, then smoke would come out of its ears, and then it would start talking gibberish…
Well, that’s kind of what’s happening with the wannabe revolutionaries over at World Can’t Wait with regards to the UAE port deal.
Here’s their logic conundrum:
(1) Bush is an evil racist who hates all Muslims.
(2) All of Bush’s policies must be opposed.
(3) The opponents of the port deal are bashing a Muslim country.
(4) Opposing Bush would mean siding with the Muslim-bashers, which would mean World Can’t Wait would have to support Bush, but they can’t do that because Bush is an evil racist who must be opposed, which means that….fizzz…pop….ERROR….ERROR
Therefore, in order to “clarify” their position on this matter, World Can’t Wait has issued the following talking points:
1) The Bush regime does not care about the rights of Arab people, but instead is waging a murderous and utterly illegitimate war on Iraq….
2) The Bush regime does not care about your safety, but is only using the so-called “war on terrorism” to justify an unending war around the world and moves towards fascism in the “homeland.”
3) Getting sucked into the deadly logic of anti-Arab racism and asking this regime to enact whatever fascist measures it wants to “protect us” will leave you accepting horrors beyond your imagination. Don’t forget that in Nazi Germany, anti-Semitism led to ghettos led to death camps. To go along with “opposition” to Bush that is in fact arguing for more police state measures and treats all Arab people as dangerous will only aid in Bush’s fascist remaking of society.
This logic is poisonous – spit it out, and join in a movement to drive out the Bush regime that makes common cause with the people of the world…
So, I’ve read this statement five times, and I still don’t understand what their position on the port deal is (other than Bush must be overthrown, and that somehow this deal is going to end up with everyone in death camps).
Apparently, a similar existential crisis is taking place over at Indymedia.
Well, this is something you don’t see everyday: The Guardian has been accused of biased, pro-American reporting.
You can read the whole e-mail exchange here. (At Uruknet, of course.) Gabriele Zamparini, a documentary filmmaker and self-declared peace activist, was not too happy about a news report filed by correspondent Michael Howard in Irbil. Apparently, his report actually blamed Sunni insurgents for the recent attack on the Shi’ite shrine (instead of, ya know, the invading imperialist crusaders).
Gabriele sent Howard an irate e-mail, noting that his account didn’t quite jibe with an editorial column appearing in the Guardian, written by Sami Ramadani (who, as a senior lecturer at London Metropolitan University, presumably has far keener insight into facts on the ground in Iraq than Mr. Howard).
Michael Howard politely responded, noting that:
With due respect to Mr Ramadani and yourself, his is an opinion based on a certain agenda which I suspect you share. I am a reporter with more than three and a half years experience on the ground in Iraq. I tried to produce as balanced a picture as I could amid the fast moving and complex events. Sorry if you feel otherwise. But I will stick by my version of events.
Not good enough for Gabriele, who chided him for reporting “conspiracy theories.” Howard responded:
Gabriele, I sometimes think Iraq is like a hall of mirrors; instead of seeing Iraq for what it is, one sees one’s own distorted reflection…… The fact that the Guardian carries Mr Ramadan’s opinions is to be celebrated. I just happen to strongly disagree with them. But the context for what is happening in Iraq stetches far beyond the international legality or otherwise of current events.
For example, Iraq is and always has been a deeply divided country. Kurds for example never wanted to be part of the country but were forced to by Winston Churchill. That decision by a declining empire has been at the heart of much that has gone wrong with Iraq. The Shia also have rarely accepted minority Sunni rule. Saddam securitized and terrorized both communities. Now he is gone, the centralized violence of the state has diffused. Some Shia are taking revenge; some Sunnis–rather like white South Africans– are in a state of denial that they have lost power they dominated for 80 years. In my opinion, the incompetence and sometimes unwarranted violence of the U.S. occupation has merely exacerbated these tensions, rather than caused them. Should I also include these contexts every time I write a story?
Actually, perhaps he should. The Guardian’s readers need to be reminded of some basic facts, now and then.
The JTA (registration required) reports on the efforts of Jewish activists to overturn the U.S. Green Party resolution calling for divestment from Israel. (See the anti-divestment petition here.) Gary Acheatel, who is leading the campaign against divestment, says he has an additional goal: Empowering Jews on the Left, who he believes are not as versed in combating anti-Israel activism as their peers on the Right.
“This is a perfect avenue for Jewish advocacy on the Left to gain the taste of victory,” Acheatel told JTA.
By now, you’re probably familiar with the story of Michael Leunig, an Australian cartoonist who, in 2002, drew a cartoon comparing the Israeli military with the Nazis at Auschwitz (yeah, I know…how original). The cartoon was rejected by the editor of the Age newspaper–but it got an unexpected second chance at publication when a merry prankster submitted it to the Iranian newspaper Hamshahri, which is hosting the Holocaust cartoon contest.
The cartoon was posted on the newspaper’s website, until Leunig got it taken down. The World Socialist Web Site (WSWS) meanwhile claims that he is now the victim of a smear campaign by zionists in league with Rupert Murdoch (and, presumably, the Rotary Club and all the other usual suspects).
But here are two passages from the WSWS article that really stood out for me:
The government-controlled Hamshahri claims that it is running the competition in order to test the boundaries of free speech—the justification given by European papers for publishing the caricatures of Mohamed. Instead of politically exposing the real character of the anti-Muslim cartoon campaign, the newspaper has chosen to whip up anti-Semitic hostility inside Iran.
And this one:
Michael Gawenda, editor of the newspaper in 2002 and a Zionist, refused to publish the cartoon, claiming that it was “beyond the limits” required for a discussion on the Middle East. In fact, Leunig’s cartoon is a powerful and entirely legitimate contribution to a discussion on Israeli policy and one that reflected the concerns of many ordinary people around the world at the time, including tens of thousands of Israeli citizens.
Naturally, it never occurs to WSWS to wonder why a cartoon that is supposedly “a powerful and entirely legitimate contribution to a discussion on Israeli policy” was eagerly reprinted by a publication that they acknowledge is whipping up “anti-Semitic hostility.”