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« US Seeking SA Help Over Iran | Main | ShlomZion: The Risks of the Brave »

November 18, 2005


abu ghaib

dear Mike

Thanks for your response. I'm not here to split hairs. You have your views, I have mine. Let those who read decide and make up their minds - we're both right with the possibility of being wrong. But just a correction and point of clarification: Neither I, nor Voice of the Cape ever made the "pound of flesh" comment. It was made by the Chairman of the hearing.

Please, please, don't accuse me (or VOC)of denying Jewish victimhood through the prism of Shakespeare's Shylock. Do not judge us by the uneducated utterances of a few. The point is that the Palestinians also suffered the Nakba. They weren't gassed,of course, but they were dispossesed, displaced and forced off their land. They also have a right to victimhood, and it's highly unfair to deny them that. Remember too, that holocaust denial and the anti-Semitism that sweeps the Muslim world is partly a result of the despotic governments that rule there. When you're in a corner, who better to blame than a conspiracy? The other question is that the US and Britain (supporters of Israel) have ironically openly patronised these (anti-Semitic) despots, dictators and fascists for their own oily ends. The other part of the anti-Semitic equation is a consequence of Zionist (and I'm very careful to separate Zionism from Judaism)injustices in Israel.
I believe that Zionism's hugely secular fathers negatively politicised Judaism, and it's critical to note that the Middle East - once the least anti-Semitic of places - turned "anti-Jewish" only after the advent of Zionism.
At the end of it all, I believe that Jews and Arabs are still victims. But, that's another debate.
Thanks for listening!
Abu Ghaib


You have raised some additional interesting points that I would like to address. I do acknowledge Palestinian suffering/victimhood. Cut off from their homes, dispersed all over the world, many second class citizens of their adoptive states at best, virtual prisoners in appalling refugee camps at worst. And those Palestinians who have lived under PA autonomy have brutalised for the last decade by Arafat and his corrupt henchmen. I am sure we do not disagree on the extent of plight of the Palestinian people. Where I do however believe there is a divergence of views is in the responsibility for this plight.

While I expect that you blame Israel and Zionism, I believe much of it rests with the Palestinian leadership and the leaders of the other Arab states. If in 1947 the Palestinian leadership had taken the painful decision to accept partition (as the Zionist leadership did), there would have been no Nakbar. If in 1967 the Arab world had accepted Israel’s offer to withdraw from the territories (they in fact responded at the famous Khartum summit with the 3 no’s—no to negotiation, no to normalization and no to recognition), there would have been no ‘occupation’. If in 2001 Arafat had accepted Barak’s Camp David proposal, there would have been no Intifada. Yes you are corrects Jews and Arabs are both victims of this conflict, victims of each other but also themselves.

My perception and perhaps the perception of most Jewish of the Muslim World’s attitude towards us is unfortunately shaped by the waves of awful hate speech that flow from what you term the ignorant few. We so rarely hear the voices of moderation.

I agree totally with your critique of Western foreign policy in the Middle East. Britain and France, and later America’s support, for some of the most ruthless Arab dictators is morally unacceptable. I whole heartily support spreading democracy and freedom in the Middle East. In addition to the morality of such a policy, I believe practically it will go a long way in reducing the anti-Western/anti-Jewish hatred for the reasons you outlined. Unfortunately in politics as in life self interest is often placed above morality. I do believe that the Bush administration is making progress in altering traditional Realist Western foreign policy. But it’s no easy task.

Lastly you raise the interesting point about Zionism causing Muslim anti-Semitism. This is an important contention and deserves a more detailed response. So I have decided to make it the subject of one of my next posts. And I look forward to your input. In short I believe that it is analogous to blaming the girl with the revealing dress for the fact that she was raped.

While we may never agree, understanding the positions of the other is an important step to reducing the emotion that surrounds this conflict. I hope that we can continue this dialogue in that spirit.


An interesting dialogue! I may weigh in a bit later. Meanwhile, here's a fun little snippet.

Britain's Islamic Human Rights Commission has an annual Islamophobia award. there are 5 sections:
Africa-Middle East
Asia & Australia

They provide choices in each section. In the Africa section, SAJBD is one for this very issue. Thabo Mbeki is there too as is al-Zarqawi.

IHRC Linky.


Thabo Mbeki up there for an award? Crazy.

Shame, they dont realise that they are just making people laugh at them.

I would be thoroughly ashamed if the SAJBD had an annual anti-Jewish award.

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