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Name: Antony Loewenstein
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Thursday, December 22, 2005

A high price to pay

My final New Matilda column for the year is about the Israel/Palestine conflict and what may lie ahead:

"The greater ramification of Israeli intransigence is a growing belief among Palestinians in a one-State solution. While a two-State answer is still widely accepted in both the Israeli and Palestinian communities - even though the details of such an arrangement remain largely undecided - the increasing unlikelihood of a viable Palestinian State could lead many Palestinians to lose hope and pick-up on the growing sentiment within the Palestinian intelligentsia."

My New Matilda archive can be found here.

48 Comments:

Blogger Ibrahamav said...

And the Israeli people are still adamant about no return. Seems like you think the standstill will remain for another 38 years.

Thursday, December 22, 2005 11:15:00 am  
Blogger neoleftychick said...

AL

What are you goping on about now? The palestinians have ALWAYS and ONLY ever wanted on thng and that is one state. But I wonder if they include Jordan, Syria, and Lebanon in this one state.

The rancid sly, untrustworthy misogynist raping homophobic Mulsim Arabs simply cannot be trusted. And they are far too backward to be given a state for christ's sake. Just have a look at every Arab Muslim society on the planet!

Diabolical.

Thursday, December 22, 2005 11:31:00 am  
Blogger Stev said...

I wonder Neo, and I'm not trying to bait you here, I'm asking honestly - do you believe there are any Muslim Arabs (or any Muslims at all for that matter) who are genuinely good people? Or are all of them misogynist, raping, homophobic etc and therefore deserve to die?

Thursday, December 22, 2005 1:18:00 pm  
Blogger orang said...

They should make one country - Israelistan. Anyone who wants to piss off back home to Leeds or Russia or New York will get assistance from the US about - 1/2 Billion each should cover it.

Thursday, December 22, 2005 2:36:00 pm  
Blogger Edward Mariyani-Squire said...

AL,

RE the Matilda article: as usual, a good and succinct summary of the situation.

The Israel-Palestine Tragedy is so appalling, not just for the inhumanity and injustice, but also for the fact it seems endless. I don't know how you can continue to look it in the face without getting thoroughly depressed. (I'm glad you do do this work however, because it saves others, such as myself, from having to wade through the psychologically devastating detail of it all.)

Thursday, December 22, 2005 11:41:00 pm  
Blogger jimajanga said...

E M-S claims that Loewnstein's article is "a good and succinct summary of the situation." But Loewenstein's knowledge of Israeli politics is so superficial that he erroneously describes Tzipi Livni as a man.

"Yet more evidence of Israel speaking the language of ‘peace’ but acting entirely differently came from a senior ally of Sharon, Justice Minister Tzipi Livni. HE told a legal conference in early December that, despite years of Israeli denials, Sharon himself imagines the 425-mile separation barrier as the future border between Israel and a potential Palestinian State.

‘One does not have to be a genius to see that the fence will have implications for the future border,’ HE said."


This is error is a reflection of two things:

1) Loewenstein's fundamental ignorance of the Israeli political scene and its primary protagonists

2) Loewenstein's Hebraic illiteracy - – if he were conversant in the language of the country upon which he so sanctimoniously pontificates, he would be aware that ’Tzipi’ is an abbreviated form of ’Tzippora, an unambiguously feminine name.

So if Loewenstein can’t even get the gender of an Israeli cabinet minister right, then what does it say about the quality of his analysis of the Israeli political scene?

Nothing good.

Friday, December 23, 2005 7:10:00 am  
Blogger Wombat said...

AL referred to Tzipi Livni as a man? Wow, that's a smoking gun if I ever saw one. perhaps it's also evidence that AL isn;t really AL's name and that men really didn't land on the moon.

Gotta love those extrapolations.

Friday, December 23, 2005 8:25:00 am  
Blogger jimajanga said...

Addamo:

C'mon guy, stop injecting extraneous issues into the debate. Loewenstein's error is a reflection of how fundamentally ignorant of Israeli politics he is.


You wouldn't give much credence to the political analysis of someone who wrote that Beazley's first name was an abbreviation of 'Kimberly,' and that the leader of the opposition wore a skirt.

The simple fact that Loewenstein doesn't have a clue, and your attempt to cloud that fact with all sorts of irrelevant references doesn't cut it.

Friday, December 23, 2005 8:42:00 am  
Blogger Wombat said...

jimajanga,

You gave one example of AL making a mistake as to someone's gender. Props to you for correcting him. But what does it have to do with his ability to establish a reasoned opinion about Israeli foreign policy, or events that take place. Since when does someone have to be conversant in Hebrew to enter the debate?

As far as I can see, AL provides links to columns and reports of the day and gives an accompanying summation. If a terrorist blows himself up in Jewish neighbourhood, or the IDF stop a pregnant Paelistinian womana t a check point, it is what it is. I don't recall AL pretending to be the man on the ground.

Friday, December 23, 2005 9:08:00 am  
Blogger jimajanga said...

Addamo

Simple. Such a basic error reflects such a superficial knowledge-base on AL's part that it eviscerates his credibility as an informed commentator on the issue at hand. How can you consider the views of someone who doesn't even have an understanding of the basics to be "reasoned opinion?"

It would seem to me that a prerequisite of reasoned opinion would be a foundation of factual accuracy, something that AL quite demonstrably lacks on the most basic issues.

If a conservative commentator made a similar factual error, I suspect that you would be all over him like a bad suit. Thus allow me to postulate that your curious tolerance for AL's factually challenged state is largely due to your personal affinity for his politics.

Friday, December 23, 2005 9:31:00 am  
Blogger Stev said...

Jimanga,

Let me just see if I'm understanding you: to be sufficiently qualified to discuss the Israeli/Palestinian, one must understand the intricacies of the Hebrew language. Is this what you're saying?

That's like saying to be qualified as a WW2 historian, one must be able to speak German.

I appreciate that any error leads to at least a partial erosion of credibility, but to extend it as far as to completely negate all consideration of Ant's views is quite specious indeed.

Friday, December 23, 2005 9:38:00 am  
Blogger Stev said...

Jimajanga even...

Friday, December 23, 2005 9:39:00 am  
Blogger Antony Loewenstein said...

Yes, mistake made. Apologies all. No excuse, except that it was rushed.
Mistakes do happen. Shock, horror!

Friday, December 23, 2005 9:52:00 am  
Blogger Wombat said...

jimajanga,

What "issue at hand" requies any familiarity whatoever with Hewbrew to understand? How do political developments have anything to do with this issue, or should those of us less familair with Hebrew step aside every time any disucssion a Israel and Palestine is raised?

And what was that about chastising conservative commentator making a similar factual errors? NBJHUY&^ Sorry -- I just went face first into the keyboard there with caps-italic on. Bit of a blackout but I'm back. Where was -- oh yeah, you sure you want to go there?

Friday, December 23, 2005 11:15:00 am  
Blogger Bernard said...

AL may have made some minor errors, and may know less about minutiae of Israeli politics than some others, but what he is writing is valuable because he is telling the truth.

I disagree with one point, however: "There are small signs that the Arab world is starting to accept the Jewish State." They would be rather big signs by now. 'Small signs' would have started with Sadat in 1971, and by the late 70s even the PLO was prepared to recognise Israel on the 67 borders.

Israel could have made peace anytime on those borders, but instead has been determined to pursue a 'facts on the ground' land grab policy. I think AL is right is suggesting that if Israel doesnt make peace on the two state model soon, then they will face the demand for a binational state, which would of course ironically spell the end of the 'Jewish state.'

Friday, December 23, 2005 2:43:00 pm  
Blogger Wombat said...

BTW. I came across this article reviewing a book by Stephanie Gutman. It argues that contrary to the commonly held belief that the media is biased towards Israel, evidence suggests other wise.

The book is called The Other War. Has anyone read it and have any comments about it?

http://www.lewrockwell.com/reed/reed85.html

Friday, December 23, 2005 2:49:00 pm  
Blogger Antony Loewenstein said...

Nope, havn't read it, heard it's very interesting, though.
Researching for my book on the subject - aside from spending time in the region - requires ridiculous amounts of reading. Can't read everything, though trying to nonetheless.

Friday, December 23, 2005 3:24:00 pm  
Blogger orang said...

Addamo_01 said...

"BTW. I came across this article reviewing a book by Stephanie Gutman. It argues that contrary to the commonly held belief that the media is biased towards Israel, evidence suggests other wise."

Frankly, this is bullshit. As an example:

"Well and good – except that for perhaps fifteen years I had never heard anything good about Israel from the media. The Israelis were always deliberately shooting little Palestinian children, bulldozing houses from sheer vindictiveness, reducing Palestinians to poverty, murdering Palestinian leaders, torturing all within reach, and intimidating the press. The Palestinians were noble freedom fighters, just like Davy Crockett, or hapless victims."

This may be from the leftie articles he reads in Common Dreams, or something on SBS/ABC but is not what we see in the "Media" which is more like, "Three Palestinian militants shot in gun battle with IDF". Does this tell you the IDF is in occupied territory? In assassination squads?

Why doesn't he give us a couple of examples of all the good things Israel has done for the Palestinians to counter the "never heard anything good about Israel from the media" - There's a start. Fukin Wanker.

Friday, December 23, 2005 3:55:00 pm  
Blogger Wombat said...

I can't even imagine what an undertaking that will be. Especialyl given how water tight you have to formulate your arguments, given how much they will be scruitinised.

Friday, December 23, 2005 3:56:00 pm  
Blogger Clumsy Birds said...

Why doesn't he give us a couple of examples of all the good things Israel has done for the Palestinians to counter the "never heard anything good about Israel from the media" - There's a start. Fukin Wanker.

Nice Orange, your making the same mistake Antony recently made, confusing men with women.

Of course, I could have misread your silly post.

Friday, December 23, 2005 4:44:00 pm  
Blogger orang said...

Stewie said...

" Nice Orange, your making the same mistake Antony recently made, confusing men with women.

Of course, I could have misread your silly post. "


Well, you could be right Stewie, the article is written by Fred Reed - so this could be Frederika I suppose. Maybe I should do more research on this. If it turns out to be a woman, could she still be a Wanker? I suppose so, but in that case it sort of loses it's impact don't you think?

Or it might still be by a bloke called Fred.

Friday, December 23, 2005 5:04:00 pm  
Blogger orang said...

Ugh...Stewie, pls give us a warning clue to your link.....RWDB!!!! The bells the bells..

Friday, December 23, 2005 5:18:00 pm  
Blogger Clumsy Birds said...

Well, I apologise. You're not confusing the sexes- your post looked like it was referring to Guttmann's book, not the article referred to by Addamo.

There's nothing wrong with Blair- feel free to go and argue with his mates in the comment section- I'm sure we'll all appreciate that.

More evidence of my poor comprehension- wtf is 'RWDB'? I'm guessing RW is right-wing...

Oh, and Andre- *Gutmann, not Gutman. I'll forgive you, though.

Friday, December 23, 2005 6:03:00 pm  
Blogger orang said...

Right Wing Death Beast.

You're using a classic Blair site arguement style to leftie post...."Waaaaaaa you spelt Gutmann wrong...wahhhh you SUCK!!!

I've been banned by whats her name ......but thanks for the invite.

Friday, December 23, 2005 6:15:00 pm  
Blogger Clumsy Birds said...

Not at all Orange. I just think spelling someone's name correctly is the polite thing to do if you're going to discuss them.

If Addamo, sorry Addamo_01, took offence at me correcting her/his spelling- then I apologise.

Friday, December 23, 2005 7:42:00 pm  
Blogger orang said...

(Hmmmmm. thinks....this arsehole thinks he's being real clever...."Orange...heheh.. Wait 'till I tell my wanker buddies at Timbo's site when we get together with our circle jerks how hilariously clever I am.."
I think I should just ignore the cunt. - Good idea, Be civil. Remember it'c close to Christmas, goodwill to all men and all that. Quite right, just ignore the cunt.)

Friday, December 23, 2005 8:36:00 pm  
Blogger Edward Mariyani-Squire said...

jimajanga said...
But Loewenstein's knowledge of Israeli politics is so superficial that he erroneously describes Tzipi Livni as a man.

That's the best you can do? Pffft. Talk about a lack of substance!

Friday, December 23, 2005 11:31:00 pm  
Blogger Edward Mariyani-Squire said...

Stev said...
Jimanga,

Let me just see if I'm understanding you: to be sufficiently qualified to discuss the Israeli/Palestinian, one must understand the intricacies of the Hebrew language. Is this what you're saying?


Well of course. To understand the TRUE nature of Israeli politics you must have an in depth knowledge of what G=d has commanded in the Torah .... and absolutely nothing else, because nothing else matters. (Note: there is no reference to occupation in the Torah. Lots of references to genocide however.)

Friday, December 23, 2005 11:35:00 pm  
Blogger jimajanga said...

Ah, Ed:

Once again Judaic/Hebraic illiteracy rears its empty head, this time tainted by a none too subtle tinge of Judeophobia. Ah, those evil Jewish practitioners of genocide.

But Judaism has evolved and moderated over the centuries. And your bloodstained biblical references do little more than dredge up ancient themes of anti-Semitism. What's next, accusations of blood libel or host desecration? Margo Kingston-esque assertions that the Jews run the media?

In point of fact, the references to which you refer appear in the written Torah, true enough. But reliance solely on the written Torah, as you do, presents a distorted picture because it ignores the other half of the Halachic equation - the oral Torah, AKA the Mishna/Gemarah, AKA the Talmud.

The Talmud functions as a modifying factor that, for example, moderates the draconian Levitical code by establishing evidentiary requirements that are almost impossible to meet. Thus while the Levitical decree that rebellious sons should be put to death stands on its face, the Talmudic sages made it a dead letter item of law in practical fact by establishing impossible-to-meet standards of evidence required for conviction.

And Steve:

Yes, I am establishing that conversance in the vernacular is required for an in depth acquaintance with a given culture. This is reflected in the language requirements for post-graduate education. At any tertiary institution of any quality, fluency in a given tongue is an obvious and irreduceable prerequisite for the granting of a doctorate in area studies or the study of history. One would be hard pressed, for example to find any specialists in Russian history or politics at Ivy League institutions who don't speak Russian. To be a serious historian of the Second World War, one would have to speak the languages of the combatant nations because serious academic research relies on material garnered from official archives, letters home, and the like. And if you don't speak German, for example, then you won't be able to make much sense of Nazi archival material.

This is all self-evident

Saturday, December 24, 2005 10:05:00 am  
Blogger Wombat said...

"jimajanga said...

"In point of fact, the references to which you refer appear in the written Torah, true enough. But reliance solely on the written Torah, as you do, presents a distorted picture because it ignores the other half of the Halachic equation - the oral Torah, AKA the Mishna/Gemarah, AKA the Talmud."

Of course the same could be said of the Koran, yet how often do our pundits in teh media point to these texts as a smoking gun that we are up against an irraional and murderous race of beings?

Pitty there is no equivalent term to anti-semitism in reference to Muslims.

Excellent post by the way.

Saturday, December 24, 2005 10:16:00 am  
Blogger Ibrahamav said...

Islamaphobia will do. There is no equivilant Talmud in the Islamic culture. Fully half of the hadaths are considered fake.

While the Torah is full of "Do this now to these particular people" edicts, they don't have a language that calls it to be taken further except for Amalek.

The koran is all future tense in regard to killiong Jews and others.

Saturday, December 24, 2005 11:36:00 am  
Blogger Edward Mariyani-Squire said...

jimajanga said...
But Judaism has evolved and moderated over the centuries.

Oh, there is no doubt about it - the exile did wonders for helping to create a more tolerant vision of Rabbinical Judaism. (Although some weird version of Karaitic Judaism seems to be on the rise again in Israel.) But of course, all this is inherently subject to the wonders of "interpretation" - code for "coming to the conclusions you want based on the vagaries of the Torah, the "oral" Torah and the ever hilarious Midrash". Alas, this means the more insanely right-wing the Rabbis become, the more insanely right-wing the interpretations of G\d's will and the messainic destiny of the elect. As usual, religion is pressed into the service of politics. There is nothing new under the sun(Ecclesiates/Kohelet, 1:9, I believe).

Saturday, December 24, 2005 8:06:00 pm  
Blogger Ibrahamav said...

Antisemites considering the Midrashes to be hilarious.

No, there is nothing new under the sun

Sunday, December 25, 2005 6:37:00 am  
Blogger Edward Mariyani-Squire said...

Hey Ibrahamav, what do you think of the neo-Karaite movement in Israel?

Sunday, December 25, 2005 2:28:00 pm  
Blogger Ibrahamav said...

Why don't we discuss your antisemitism?

Sunday, December 25, 2005 11:35:00 pm  
Blogger Edward Mariyani-Squire said...

Do you even know about the neo-Karaite movement? Do you approve of the fact that they don't recognise the authority of Rabbinical councils?

Monday, December 26, 2005 3:59:00 am  
Blogger Ibrahamav said...

Funny. I thought we were discussing your antisemitism.

Monday, December 26, 2005 6:31:00 am  
Blogger Edward Mariyani-Squire said...

Ibrahamav said...
Funny. I thought we were discussing your antisemitism.

1. No antisemtism here, and

2. You seem to be congentially unable to "discuss" anything.

Monday, December 26, 2005 5:50:00 pm  
Blogger uphillsprinter said...

ib claims:
"The koran is all future tense in regard to killiong Jews and others."

Now we all know you are full of shit...

also said
"Fully half of the hadaths are considered fake"

amazing... i wonder how you quantified it.

not even sure if these sentences make sense.

feel free ib to point out references in the koran to substantiate your claims...

Monday, December 26, 2005 7:04:00 pm  
Blogger uphillsprinter said...

that is offcourse if you can contruct an argument.

Monday, December 26, 2005 7:05:00 pm  
Blogger Edward Mariyani-Squire said...

Oh no, no, uphillsprinter. You judge Ibby too harshly. He is an expert on Islamic theology (although it is a pity such an eminant scholar couldn't even SPELL "ahadith" correctly. Pfft.)

Tuesday, December 27, 2005 12:49:00 am  
Blogger Ibrahamav said...

uppy, why bother, look at your writing and tell me you are anything but a moron trying to pick a fight/

Is there some reason an antisemite cares how haddath is spelt? I understand it is purely arabic and we merely use phonetics such as in the 20 or so ways that qaddaffi is spelt.

Casual search reveals this site. I don't vouch for it. For all i know, it is fake itself:
http://www.westernresistance.com/blog/archives/000849.html

Ameer wrote:
I don't find things in the Qu'ran objectable [sic] but many Hadiths are objectable [sic], so I don't really follow Hadiths. Firstly, there are so many fake ones. And even if they were true, if they go against Islam's teaches, they are still wrong. I think the best thing to do is just not take Hadiths seriously.

Tuesday, December 27, 2005 1:56:00 am  
Blogger Ibrahamav said...

And this:
http://mb-soft.com/believe/txw/hadith.htm

An extremely thorough researcher, Ignaz Goldziher, studied the Traditions from around 1870 to 1920, and those studies are still considered among the best research ever done. Goldziher, with absolutely impeccable research, including extremely solid documentation, showed that a vast number of hadith contained in the six collections were outright forgeries, which meant that the meticulous isnads supporting them were also forgeries and fictitious.

Since Goldziher's documentation is so compelling, Islamic historians began claiming that legal traditions and historical traditions were entirely distinct, in order to maintain their absolute trust in the validity of all hadith. Goldziher's results seem to imply that the majority of hadith are NOT valid, and so only a minor fraction of hadiths are.

Tuesday, December 27, 2005 1:58:00 am  
Blogger Edward Mariyani-Squire said...

Despite the fact that Goldziher went on to say

"I truly entered into the spirit of Islam to such an extent that ultimately I became inwardly convinced that I myself was a Muslim, and judiciously discovered that this was the only religion which, even in its doctrinal and official formulation, can satisfy philosophic minds. My ideal was to elevate Judaism to a similar rational level. Islam, so taught me my experience, is the only religion, in which superstitious and heathen ingredients are not frowned upon by the rationalism, but by the orthodox teachings."

The main interest in Goldziher's studies now is as examples of the well-meaning 19th century orientalism. The 19th century orientalist approach has been well and truly superceded now.

Tuesday, December 27, 2005 12:42:00 pm  
Blogger uphillsprinter said...

ib,
how are those koranic references doing? Still waiting...

Tuesday, December 27, 2005 4:53:00 pm  
Blogger Ibrahamav said...

Finished. You must have missed in in some stupor.

Wednesday, December 28, 2005 4:56:00 am  
Blogger uphillsprinter said...

where are the koranic references ibby?

Saturday, December 31, 2005 1:41:00 pm  
Blogger Edward Mariyani-Squire said...

Ibrahamav said...
"Casual search reveals this site. I don't vouch for it. For all i know, it is fake itself:
http://www.westernresistance.com/blog/archives/000849.html "


Ibby, Ibby, Ibby. "Research"? The site you supply is nothing more than a brief demented blogsite-rant by a uneducated twit. It doesn't even cite a single hadith, let alone show that any of them are "fake". The blogger just doesn't seem to know anything about Ahadith.

Let me help you. The first thing you could have done is to note that Muslim scholars themselves regard the Ahadith compilations of Darimi (titled "Sunan"), b.Hanbal (titled "Musnad") and Malik (titled "Muwatta") as "da'if" or weak and unreliable.

The next thing you could have done is refer to the work of contemporary sceptical orientalists such as Schacht and Bell. (Go look them up...in a library.)

See, now that would have been the basis of a half-decent response.

Monday, January 02, 2006 4:41:00 am  

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