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Name: Antony Loewenstein
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Monday, January 02, 2006

News bytes

- Read the transcript of the recent debate between Noam Chomsky and Alan Dershowitz. Marvel at the Harvard Law Professor's inability to acknowledge the reality of the Israeli occupation.

- Larry "Seinfeld and Curb Your Enthusiasm" David on why he can't see gay western "Brokeback Mountain".

- Patrick Cockburn on the year that Iraq fell apart. Unlike many hacks, Cockburn spends much of his year in Iraq and still travels around relatively freely.

- In a rare piece of dissent, the Jerusalem Post publishes an account of settler fanaticism in the occupied territories. Ze'ev Sternhell further expands on these points in Haaretz and concludes that the rule of law is not enforced in the territories. US academic Stephen Zunes explains the double standards when discussing the conflict in the US.

- Despite only receiving around 0.5% of the recent Iraqi vote, fraudster Ahmed Chalabi is once again heading the country's oil reserves.

- London mayor Ken Livingstone claims that there is no international conspiracy to attack London, but rather groups of disaffected individuals.

- Daniel Pipes thinks the West should educate the Muslim world and suggest it emulate our values. Somehow I suspect Pipes may be disappointed with the reception to such ideas.

- A friendly message to those worried about a "war on Christmas."

- Britain's chief Rabbi claims there is a "tsunami of anti-Semitism" moving across the world. Using such terminology around the time of the first anniversary of the Asian tsunami shows the hysterical nature of the claim. Secondly, his inability to acknowledge the effect of Israeli brutality on attitudes is telling. While anti-Semitic attacks are slightly on the increase (especially in parts on Europe) the reasons for this are far more complex than the Rabbi dares to tell.

71 Comments:

Blogger anthony said...

ALAN DERSHOWITZ: I, too, have written about the Geneva Accords in chapter six of my book, and I generally support many elements of the Geneva Accords. I do not support the right of return, that is, the idea that 700,000 or now 4 million Palestinians can demographically destroy Israel.

NOAM CHOMSKY: Which is rejected in the Geneva Accords.

ALAN DERSHOWITZ: It is not rejected in the Geneva Accords. It is not accepted or rejected. It is left for future negotiations.

NOAM CHOMSKY: It is left open, because the Palestinians already --

ALAN DERSHOWITZ: Now, see how you change your view. First it's accepted, then it's left open. What is your next position?

NOAM CHOMSKY: Fine. Let's be precise. [...]


Heh... It's nice that Chomsky decides when to be precise... or not.

---

Funny how you get upset at Britain's Rabbi saying there is a 'tsunami of anti-Semitism', but do not object to Israel being compared to Nazi Germany.

Monday, January 02, 2006 3:56:00 pm  
Blogger Antony Loewenstein said...

I have never suggested Israel should be compared to Nazi Germany. I reject that comparison.

Monday, January 02, 2006 4:10:00 pm  
Blogger anthony said...

I've read the comparison many times, here, and have never seen you explicitly condemn it.

But, I apologise anyhow.

Monday, January 02, 2006 4:16:00 pm  
Blogger Wombat said...

Anthony,

What is this nonsense you are barking about now? Was your New Year's rosolution to make your posts even more lame in 2006 than those of 2005?

That debate between Dershowitz and Chomsky spanned well over one hour, yet you use one qualifier to argue that Chomsky was not being precise up until that statement.

Next time you use a statement like "let's be honest", should that mena that you have not been dishonest up to that point?

Seeing as you're a yeart older this year, you should use it wisely and grow up.

Monday, January 02, 2006 4:18:00 pm  
Blogger anthony said...

Andre, I’m not barking away, at all. Try refraining from your useless, unnecessarily emotive posts, and personal attacks.

Do you want another example of Chomsky’s hypocrisy?

here’s a prominent story, I’m pretty sure I first spotted it on this blog…

See
this as well for a letter on Chomsky, including the links within the document.

Aside from that, you have very eccentric tastebuds if you can stomach his work. At best its outlandish and too-often reeks of double standards.

Monday, January 02, 2006 5:00:00 pm  
Blogger boredinHK said...

Re the Daniel Pipes article:
here is a link to an article by Abdurrahman Wahid -ex President of Indonesia, considering similar matters.
I've a couple of friends living in Indonesia and they have commented on the reach of the saudi backed propaganda.

Monday, January 02, 2006 7:02:00 pm  
Blogger Edward Mariyani-Squire said...

Larry David:

"I'm for gay marriage, gay divorce, gay this and gay that. I just don't want to watch two straight men, alone on the prairie, fall in love and kiss and hug and hold hands and whatnot. That's all.

Is that so terrible? Does that mean I'm homophobic?"


Yes it does. (How couldn't it be homophobic? How could Larry not know whether it is or isn't? 'Oh being gay is fine ... as long as you keep your disgusting existence out of my sight.')

"And if I am, well, then that's too bad."

Now that's privilege talking. You can only get away with proudly and openly upholding a primative, base, bigoted view in a national newspaper if the minority you are backhanding is already judged by the majority in the same way.

Monday, January 02, 2006 7:04:00 pm  
Blogger boredinHK said...

Sorry ,I forgot to add the link before . http://www.opinionjournal.com/extra/?id=110007743

Monday, January 02, 2006 9:56:00 pm  
Blogger boredinHK said...

Edward ,
this is a humourous article ?
I'm not sure you can say that because he doesn't want to watch the actions of men together he is homophobic. Personal choice will dictate personal tastes .
He doesn't say he would stop or denounce such actions - just that HE isn't comfortable watching them.
He could also be offended or uncomfortable if he views violence.
Maybe he doesn't like anyone being affectionate .
As for him being priviledged - undoubtably.

Monday, January 02, 2006 10:03:00 pm  
Blogger Antony Loewenstein said...

Hard to tell whether Larry David is being solely tongue-in-cheek - as much of his work - or simply expressing discomfort about two men together.
Either way, if it's homophobic, he should be ashamed, and if humour, well...

Monday, January 02, 2006 10:35:00 pm  
Blogger boredinHK said...

Could I get some opinions on the waves of antisematism ?
Is there any analysis of who is involved in these attacks ?
I'm wondering if the increase reflects a change in the population of people who may be predisposed to such actions - those motivated by religious animosity or has it been determined that what could be termed local players are involved ?
There are articles about in the media which detail the rising populations of followers of islam in europe for example. Is the concern therefore about immigration , birth rate disparities between immigrant and older populatuions or are locals getting into the act because of issues regarding law and order , general yobbishness?

Monday, January 02, 2006 10:54:00 pm  
Blogger Antony Loewenstein said...

It's a long and complex issue.
Many supposed anti-Semites are merely criics of Israel. Some are indeed haters of Jews. The reasons are difficult - I examine much of this issue in my forthcoming book.
Historian and academic Norman Finkelstein has written extensively about this. I don't agree with everything he says - he claims that the charge of anti-Semitism is solely a way to avoid criticism of Israel - but he's a fine and brave man.
Get this book (http://normanfinkelstein.com/content.php?pg=11)
It's essential.

Monday, January 02, 2006 11:27:00 pm  
Blogger Melanie said...

When Hugo Chavez feels so free to accuse the Jews of taking 'ownership of the riches of the world' during his Christmas speech, and similar talk by his friends in the Arab world, I would think is evidence in the rise of anti-semitism.
I'm also amazed that Antony can excuse anti-semitic attacks because of 'the effect of Israeli brutality' - now that is very telling.
Antohny says : 'While anti-Semitic attacks are slightly on the increase (especially in parts on Europe) the reasons for this are far more complex than the Rabbi dares to tell.' Yes he failed to detail how the Arab world has been breeding this hatred for decades through the media, the shcools and the mosques - and not just anti-Israel hatred but vile jew-hatred.

Tuesday, January 03, 2006 12:02:00 am  
Blogger Wombat said...

Anthony,

I seem to recal that this thread was started by you manking a useless, unnecessarily emotive post, and personal attack. Try setting an example in futurte of how you would liek posts to be worded.

"Do you want another example of Chomsky’s hypocrisy?"

I don't see anything hipocritical in those links you provided, but given the volume of Chomsky's work in the public arena, I'm sure anyone could dig up examples of him being fallible. Compared to the shrieking jhistrics of Dersh bag, I'll take Chomsky's empirical thoughts any day.

Tuesday, January 03, 2006 4:05:00 am  
Blogger Wombat said...

Melanie said...
"I'm also amazed that Antony can excuse anti-semitic attacks because of 'the effect of Israeli brutality' - now that is very telling."

Is that any more telling than the brtality of Israel words the Paelisrtinians being exucused becasue of the Holocaust?

Tuesday, January 03, 2006 4:07:00 am  
Blogger Wombat said...

Melanie said...

"Yes he failed to detail how the Arab world has been breeding this hatred for decades through the media, the shcools and the mosques - and not just anti-Israel hatred but vile jew-hatred."

Tell me Melainie, is tolerance of Islam being the Jewish shcools and the synagogues? Not just anti-Islam, but vile Arab-hatred?

I see you are doing some fine side-stepping fo your own.

Tuesday, January 03, 2006 4:10:00 am  
Blogger violet said...

while anti semitic attacks are slightly on the increase (especially in parts of Europe)

In Norway, Sweden and Denmark there is an epidemic of rape by immigrant Muslim men against western women. They hunt their victims down on the basis of their ethnicity and they gang rape them. In Norway 2 out of 3 rapists are Muslim men and 80% of the women are Norwegian. It is similar in Sweden and Denmark and in France.

How about you do some reading before you make incorrect generalisations. A lone journalist Fjordman is recording the epidemic in Europe and people like you in the West are silent.

I would call what is happening to women in these countries a tsunami...its a tragedy that men like you can't even acknowledge this crime. It is sanctioned by Islamic religious leaders who warn Western women to wear a headscarf or dress modestly. An Egyptian sheik said in 2004 that women who are "dressed immodestly at the time they are raped should be punished."

In Islam, rape is always considered the woman's fault, And it is the woman (or often girl) who is punished. Last week in Nigeria (Sharia law) a court ordered that a 15-year-old girl who was raped by her step-father be given 100 lashes. This is not unusual in the Muslim world.

You are not a Jew-hater Antony, but an opportunist. It would be encouraging to see you apply your critical mind to the crimes committed by those you so ferociously defend. You criticise Pipes for recognising something you refuse to see. My guess is your refusal has a lot to do with the fact that being anti Zionist brings you a notoriety you could never achieve otherwise. Your writing is bad and your analytical thinking is second class. You'd never make it as a serious academic, so you betray your heritage and your people for your own personal success.

Tuesday, January 03, 2006 5:54:00 am  
Blogger Ibrahamav said...

Violet,

I disagree, Antony is a fine writer and a good analytical thinker. But he hates Jews and he is ashamed that he was born among them. He hates them for their religious belief. He hates them for the reality of a seeming choseness that he can not erase. He is very sick. But he is brilliant.

There are many Jew haters who actually have doctorates.

Tuesday, January 03, 2006 6:33:00 am  
Blogger Wombat said...

Violet,

The fact that Daniel Pipes is not bemused by moronic ignoramus like Karen Hughes, is evidence that he is nothing more than a propagandist.

Pipes uses the example of how in spite fo the fact that Goldstein was condemned by the Israeli government, the Arabic presses continuing portrayal of the massacre as a responsibility of the Israeli people and government. How often are the rapes you refer to condemned by Arabic leaders? You probably don’t care, because you would prefer to use such crimes as an example of how inferior Arab Muslims are.

Your accusation that AL is an opportunist flied in the face of reason. If AL’s advocacy was so vacuous, then why does it receive so much attention? Simply put, there is a message there that certain parties want to censor.

Tuesday, January 03, 2006 7:23:00 am  
Blogger violet said...

I've just discovered Antony, and I'm not impressed with his writing -- from a technical perspective, an intellectual or a professional one.

His logic is clouded with emotion. I did not call him an opportunist lightly, but l based this upon my examination of several posts. There is a rabid ego in there. He is consumed by himself, rather than the issues he attests to care about. I believe the issues are the vehicle for the ego.

Hence, I called him an opportunist. This is also evidenced by the pompous self promotion. "I wrote this" or "my column in New Matilda" (YUK what a sickening mag) and "my new book" will do this or that ...and on and on.

I also noted that Antony cites people in his writing without their knowledge. "A doctor called me and he said this...or that." This is unprofessional -- both from a journo perspective and an academic one. And it is used by him to validate his own position and his own views. See, he says, this person phoned me and was mean to me ...therefore I'm a good guy. There's nothing intellectual about this. It's pure silliness.

And yes, lots of people have doctrates. They're not difficult to attain. One only has to agree with the dominant culture of the university and write a half decent thesis. In the arts it is essential to be a Jew hater to get a doctorate.

So, no I don't find Antony particularly bright -- but interesting, yes. Jews like Antony think that if they join the anti semitic chorus around them -- they escape the discrimination themselves. His publisher, Loise Adler has similar deficits.

I suspect it is a sort of sickness. It certainly occurred in the holocaust when selected Jews were chosen to persecute their own kin. These Jews somehow believed they were immune to the same treatment.

Anti semitism is cruel and ruthless and I believe people like Antony can't take it anymore so they join the ranks of the persecutors and then begin to enjoy the notoriety that comes from persecuting one's own people.

He is convinced now that he is righteous and that they are all wrong. And over time he has to fight harder and harder to justify his agenda.

It's an infradig that is pathological -- but sociologically interesting to watch.

Tuesday, January 03, 2006 7:33:00 am  
Blogger Wombat said...

Violet,

Your pompous and condenscending diaribe is truyly pathetic. Your assumptuno that anyone gives a damn abtou what you think or believe is ammusing to say the least.

Before you make the mistake of assuming anyone wil take you seriously, you shoudl direct the intetded audience to examples of your writings or your own blog as evidence you have a clue what you are talking about.

Aas far as I;mconcerned, you condemned yourself the minute you started defending Michelle Malkin, who must rate as the very worst kind of self promoters and bttom feeders who rely on sensationalism to earm a living.

Tuesday, January 03, 2006 7:44:00 am  
Blogger violet said...

How often are the rapes you refer to condemned by Arabic leaders?

In Pakistan village councils punish women for real or imagined transgressions by ordering that they be gang raped.

Mukhtar Mai was ordered to be gang raped by four men for a small crime her 12 year-old brother supposedly committed.

According to the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan there were 804 cases of rape in 2000, and 434 of these were gang rapes. Tragically, the victims of these atrocities are expected to commit suicide – for once a woman or girl is raped – she can never redeem herself or her family.

I can give you dozens of links to this, or why not Google it yourself. It occurrs all over the Islamic world.

In Iran almost every week there are public stonings of women for accusatios of adultery..

Women were considered by Mohammed to be worth half as much as a man and they were considered property of their fathers, brothers and husbands. This has not changed.

Mohammed condoned the rape of slave girls and he raped his own slaves. Read the Koran and see this for yourself -- or do you also need me to cite the Hadith where Mohammed tells his soldiers they do not need to practice coitus interruptus when raping women?

Mohammed's favourite wife Aisha was 9 years-old. And yes, he raped her shen she was 9. Islamic scholars have examined Aisha's own writings and agreed this happened.

I haven't mentioned honor killings here -- are you defending those as well?

Islam needs a reformation. Islamic women need to be liberated from this tyranny. And according to you damn Daniel Pipes for suggesting there is work to be done! Shame on you for supporting the abuse of women in the Middle East.

Tuesday, January 03, 2006 7:52:00 am  
Blogger Edward Mariyani-Squire said...

Violet provides us with nothing more than fallacious ad hominems, vague statements about her personal tastes, and curious non sequiturs about "betrayal" (which, ironically, only make sense if she herself assumes A.L. is telling unpalatable truths).

It's a pity she fails to provide a single coherent argument. To paraphrase, her analytical thinking is third class.

Tuesday, January 03, 2006 7:58:00 am  
Blogger Edward Mariyani-Squire said...

And is it just me, or does Violent sound like Neoleftiechick's twin? All the same themes.

Muslim men = rape: epidemic of rape by immigrant Muslim men against western women. They hunt their victims down on the basis of their ethnicity and they gang rape them.
...
A.L. implicitly condones rape: men like you can't even acknowledge this crime.
...
Arab Muslim men [the worst of the lot] are given a licence to rape: An Egyptian sheik said in 2004 that women who are "dressed immodestly at the time they are raped should be punished.
...
Islam = misoginistic and evil: In Islam, rape is always considered the woman's fault, And it is the woman (or often girl) who is punished."

(For the record, sharia does not sanction the punishment of a woman who is raped, only the rapist. This is a pagan tradition that, by Islamic innovation, was prohibited. In the monotheistic tradition, punishment for rape was only sanctioned in ancient Judaism [Deut 22:28-29] - now, thankfully, rendered redundant.)

Tuesday, January 03, 2006 8:19:00 am  
Blogger Wombat said...

"Read the Koran and see this for yourself -- or do you also need me to cite the Hadith where Mohammed tells his soldiers they do not need to practice coitus interruptus when raping women?"

No need to read it. One of my friends is a devout muslim and scholar or the Koran and tells me that you are completely and utterly wrong.

Muslims were among the first religion that condoned mixed marriages. It has a doctrine of being among the most tolerant.

That is not to deny that there is a great deal of ignorant and uneducated muslims who take their doctrines from equally uneducated spiritual leaders.
The same could be said of Evangelical Christians in the US who are commited to a greater Israel so as to hasten the ratpure and the conversion of Jews to Christianity. Thos that do not will perish.

Sounds like anti-Semitism wrapped in the bible don't you agree?

Tuesday, January 03, 2006 8:26:00 am  
Blogger violet said...

Edward

Your disingenousness is appalling. If the draconian prescriptions of the written Torah were rendered moot in practical fact by the rabbinic decrees of the oral Torah, then what's the point of bringing them up at all, except to make a silly tu quo quo argument that has chillingly anti-Semitic overtones? But you are ultimately the source of your own downfall, because as you grudgingly concede, the Tora has been modified - and the entire point is that Islam has never undergone a similar metamorphosis.

Yes, there have been individual progressive voices throughout Islamic history; and yes, a millenium ago the Islamic world was far more progressive than European society. But as Bernard Lewis so cogently observes, the Arab/Ottoman Turkish world subsequently stagnated for centuries, and failed to undergo anything even remotely equivalent to a process of reformation.

According to Islamic jurisprudence, if a woman is raped the only way she can prove it is if she can provide 4 male witnesses to the act. In places like your beloved Gaza Strip an act of incest cannot even be made unless it is made by a male relative. That's right -- so if a young girl is being raped by her father, her mother cannot make a legal complaint. And yes, this happens.

You also accuse me of making:

non sequiturs about "betrayal" (which, ironically, only make sense if she herself assumes A.L. is telling unpalatable truths).

Thus you seem to be advancing the curious contention that betrayal can only involve things that are accurate and true. So if someone besmirches the name of his family, ethnic group or nation through the propagation of falsehoods, that person cannot be regarded as a tergiversator? Rubbish.

AL was recently found to be in commission of a factual error that was so basic and elementary that it casts serious doubt about his comprehension of the things about which he writes. As another commentator on this blog pointed out, how seriously would you take a commentator on Australian politics who thought the Kim Beazley was a woman whose full first name was Kimberly?

So much for AL's truth telling.

But the issue here is much more basic, and transcends AL's difficulty with the facts. AL openly declares his anti-Zionist credentials, and he has proudly cast his lot with that small coterie of radical Leftist Jews who have dedicated themselves to the destruction of something that the overwhelming majority of Australian Jewry holds near and dear. In their book Jews and Australian Politics, academics Philip Mendes and Geoffrey Braham Levy wrote:

"on almost every available measure – visitation, resident relatives, emotional attachment and philanthropy – Israel figures centrally in Australian Jewish identity."

Thus it is irrefutable that Australian Jewry is overwhelmingly, unambiguously and passionately devoted to the Zionist enterprise that AL wishes to eradicate. Thus AL desires to betray the cause of the community from which he has sprung. Of course, he has every right to do so, this being a democracy. But the Jewish community is equally entitled to denounce that betrayal of one of its own of one of its most deeply felt beliefs as treasonous. Free speech cuts both ways, you know.

Tuesday, January 03, 2006 9:11:00 am  
Blogger Stev said...

And is it just me, or does Violent sound like Neoleftiechick's twin? All the same themes.

The very same thought had crossed my mind.

Violet - perhaps Islam does require a reformation. But who are we to demand something of a religion we are no part of? How would the Jewish community react if me, a WASP, told them they needed to reform their religion?

I agree that there are some major problems both in Islam teaching and in Muslim culture, but when society sees fit to dictate religious belief, we're heading into very dangerous territoty. I agree that the rights of women in all countries need to be protected, but if society is to regulate religion - where does it end?

Tuesday, January 03, 2006 9:24:00 am  
Blogger Wombat said...

AL's mistaken referral to the gender of an Israeli politician is being held by his critics as some smoking gun evidence of his failing credentials.
He conceeded he had made a typing mistake. How incredibly sad if this is all you have to incriminate him. You must therefor be utterly disgusted that, Bush (who in 99/2000 didn't even know the name of the Canadian Prime Minister) was ever condsidered as a presidential candidate.

Yet Violet, you rushed to the defence of Michelle Malkin, a fraudster and purveyor of hate, in every sense of the word.

For people like you, justice is definied by a blade that cuts in the direction that best suits you.

You are also being dissengenuous about confusing the support Australian Jewry has for Israel and devotion to Zionism.

I would be surprised if support for both causes was perceived by many Jews and one and the same. Many of us support Israel's right to prosperity, but are opposed to the more extreme doctrines of Zionism.

Tuesday, January 03, 2006 9:33:00 am  
Blogger Ibrahamav said...

Muslims were among the first religion that condoned mixed marriages. It has a doctrine of being among the most tolerant.

1600 years after Judaism? If you think Islam, in practice, is tolerant, I'd hate to live where you do.

And which extreme doctrine of Zionism do you oppose?

Tuesday, January 03, 2006 9:55:00 am  
Blogger Wombat said...

Yes I agree that many practitioners of Islam have a corrupted perceptrino of it's original teachings, but to single out passages from teh Koran as evidence of Islam being a violent religion is myopic and racist. The same could easily be said about the Bible.

As for my personal oppositition to doctrines of Zionism, it is those doctrines that relate to the expansion of Israel at the expense of other people's or countries. Perhaps doctrines is not the appropriate term in this context.

Tuesday, January 03, 2006 10:34:00 am  
Blogger violet said...

addamo

A typo is an error of the keyboard. Not knowing the sex of a person you are discussing is ignorance. And Antony did this twice. Any journo or commentator of substance does his research before he jumps in. Antony has shown by his own hand, that he cannot be trusted to communicate facts accurately.

And since we're discussing grammar, your own is in desperate need of attention. Take a look below and try to learn to spell.

rosolution
should that mena
Seeing as you're a yeart older

Tuesday, January 03, 2006 10:38:00 am  
Blogger violet said...

stev

I demand that Muslim men treat women equally.

I demand that Pakistani village courts cease ordering that women be gang raped as punishment

I demand that Islamic men stop Honour Killing their daughters, sisters and relatives

I demand that Sudanese Muslims in Darfur cease gang raping black Muslim and Christian women and cutting their breasts off when they have finished

I demand that the age of consent in Iran be changed from 9-years-old for girls so that dirty old men stop raping them and then blaming the little girls.

Your passivity is condoning these crimes.

When a religion, such as Islam does not separate state from religion -- you must object. When you have Islamic scholars justifying rape on the grounds of religion -- you must object. And when Muslims openly state that they will not assimilate -- again you must object.

Stop being a wimp and stop excusing the men who do this.

Tuesday, January 03, 2006 11:02:00 am  
Blogger Wombat said...

Viloet,

Please list the two occasions this Al made this error. I can think of one and he stated the mistake came from a typing error.

Thanks for pointing out my typos. I’m sully aware of them and I acknowledge that my typing skills leave a lot to be desired. Evidently you place such high value on one's ability to use a spell checker.

I can’t say I blame you. When one is so starved for substantial rational, one takes what one can get right?

As for your demands, they are indeed honorable, and yes, such crimes are to be utterly condemned.

“Your passivity is condoning these crimes.”

Arguing that passivity amount sot pardoning these crimes is a slanderous charge. Have you for instance, been active in opposing the worldwide sex trade in children, that serves the deviants of western countries? Have you been active is putting pressure on governments that allow such trade to take place in their own countries? If not, does that mean you condone the sexual exploitation of children?

“Stop being a wimp and stop excusing the men who do this.”

No one is excusing this activity. What I personally object to is implying that such practices are collectively representative of the billion Muslims in the world

Tuesday, January 03, 2006 11:14:00 am  
Blogger violet said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

Tuesday, January 03, 2006 11:47:00 am  
Blogger violet said...

addamo

Demonstrating that sexual abuse of children and women occurs at the hands of non Muslim men is the typical response from people like you who do nothing to confront the abuse I am referring to. You say you condemn it -- why do you still excuse it?

The difference is that our legal system does not sanction it. Our courts do not order that women be gang raped as punishment for small transgressions.

We do not stone our women to death when they are rumoured to have committed adultery. And our courts do not set men free who Honour Kill their daughters for flirting, marrying, smiling at boys or even doing nothing.

And since I noted you are all warriors of the right to be homosexual. Why don't I hear any condemnation of the public hangings in Iran? Mmm guess you're all mute when it comes to the poor misunderstood Muslims.

The hypocrisy of the Left on human rights issues is astounding. It's supposed to be what you all stand for isn't it?

Tuesday, January 03, 2006 11:51:00 am  
Blogger leftvegdrunk said...

Violet, you seem quite insistent that hypocritical behaviour with regards to human rights is the domain of the "left", however you choose (or don't bother) to define it. Have you heard of Uzbekistan?

Tuesday, January 03, 2006 12:05:00 pm  
Blogger Wombat said...

"The hypocrisy of the Left on human rights issues is astounding. It's supposed to be what you all stand for isn't it?"

No Violet. It's called priorities. No one condones the ill treatement of women, but it's hard to focus on such issues when we're busy being furious about the sanctioned and indiscsdriminate killing that peope of your ilk seem to think means liberation.

I take it you supported the war (i.e. government sanctioned genocide) in Iraq? Otherwise you woudl have accepted long ago that Howard is nothing but Blair and Bush's poodle.

Also, would you care to pull up some figures about the number of women that die from domestic violence in say, the US, versus those that meet a similar fete in say Pakistan? I have no idea how these compare. Just curious.

our legal system does not sanction murder, but we seem tobe stuck with leaders who think nothign of condeming tens of thousadns to die from unecessary military aggression.

Hypocrisy thy name is Violet.

Tuesday, January 03, 2006 12:08:00 pm  
Blogger violet said...

dirtbikeoption

Denial of the abuse of women in the Middle East is the catchcry of both the Left and the Feminists. Why? Because the Left has aligned itself with the insurgents in Iraq, the anti-war movement and the anti-Zionistists. Hence, they have backed themselves into a corner. They cannot come out and speak against Muslim atrocities against women because they have an allegiance with the perpetrators.

So, what have we? We have a Left that cannot stand up to human rights abuses. Like addamo articulated in his last post.

It's called priorities. No one condones the ill treatement of women, but it's hard to focus on such issues when we're busy being furious about the sanctioned and indiscsdriminate killing that peope of your ilk seem to think means liberation.

And yes, I do call it liberation. Absolutely. I call military action against a regime that has committed attempted genocide of Kurds, torture, rape and murder of its own people absolutely necessary. I suppose the rest of you wanted to have a dialogue with Saddam Hussein and ask him nicely to stop murdering his own people?

Tuesday, January 03, 2006 12:25:00 pm  
Blogger Wombat said...

“Hence, they have backed themselves into a corner. They cannot come out and speak against Muslim atrocities against women because they have an allegiance with the perpetrators.”

You are nothing if not creative with your twisted and brain dead reasoning. This whole alignment fallacy is the invention of the right to marginalize opponents of the war. If you’re not with us, you’re with the terrorists.

The argument is getting very long in the tooth. The “liberation” of Iraq was supposed to improve women’s rights in Iraq, and as it turns out, reality is quite the opposite. It seems it is you therefore, that is backed into a corner. If you support the war, you must support Islamic law and the oppression of women.

Ooooooooooooooops.

“So, what have we? We have a Left that cannot stand up to human rights abuses.”

And what do you call Abu Graib, Guantanamo and Bargram Air Base, and black site abuses Violet? Tough love? Human rights re-branded. What do you call the wholesale acceptance of collective punishments as unleashed on Fallujah and Tal Affar, where water and electricity was cut off to entire townships and hospitals closed down? All actions listed by the Nuremberg principals as war crimes?

“And yes, I do call it liberation. Absolutely. “

Yes you and your warped fellow travelers would call the assault on Fallujah no doubt a liberating experience. Tens of thousands of innocents killed not by Saddam, but by an illegal invasion. Yes you are indeed grotesquely naïve.

“I call military action against a regime that has committed attempted genocide of Kurds, torture, rape and murder of its own people absolutely necessary.”

All which took place under the approving gaze of the US at the time. You are the mother of all hypocrites Violet. You admonish us for not being vociferous critics of women’s abuses, yet you have nothing to say about the fact that the US has enabled Saddam to do what he did, and excused his actions.

Is it any mystery to you why it is that Saddam is only being tried for the crimes he committed before the US rushed to his aid, underwriting international loans that permitted him to purchase weaponry?

“I suppose the rest of you wanted to have a dialogue with Saddam Hussein and ask him nicely to stop murdering his own people?”

When you sound as wretched as you, it’s no surprise a straw man is your best friend.

Ever bothered to wonder what Iraq would have been like had the US not undertaken a CIA coup that put him into power?

I know, that’s all too high brow for lemmings like yourself.

Tuesday, January 03, 2006 1:10:00 pm  
Blogger leftvegdrunk said...

Violet, I am sure you have already explained this a million times, but can you please provide the supporting evidence for this claim:

"Denial of the abuse of women in the Middle East is the catchcry of both the Left and the Feminists."

Perhaps define the two groups you have named, too. I would consider myself both a progressive and a feminist. I hardly deny violence against women or repression of women, wherever it occurs. And nor do those human rights groups I support and admire. Your evidence here will be of interest to me.

Any comment on Uzbekistan, or does that go against the logic of your anti-left argument? I think your only concern for human rights is when you can use the issue to clumsily abuse your online opponents. Prove me wrong.

Tuesday, January 03, 2006 1:21:00 pm  
Blogger Wombat said...

"Because the Left has aligned itself with the insurgents in Iraq, the anti-war movement and the anti-Zionistists."

Isn't is incredible how Violet has mystically come to the conclusion that opposition to oppresion of human rights inherently includes the caveat of condoning the opression of women in the Arab Muslin world.

I'd like Violet to explain how dropping bombs on these women improves their quality of life.

Truly Orwellian.

Tuesday, January 03, 2006 1:27:00 pm  
Blogger violet said...

dirtybike

Any comment on Uzbekistan, or does that go against the logic of your anti-left argument? I think your only concern for human rights is when you can use the issue to clumsily abuse your online opponents. Prove me wrong.

It's not difficult at all to prove you wrong. You really ought to try and sharpen your sloppy intellect before you call me names. It just makes you look very silly.

The US was kicked out of a strategically valuable air base in Uzbekistan after protesting the Uzbek government's repression of its population.

If anything, this shows American morality.

Tuesday, January 03, 2006 2:32:00 pm  
Blogger leftvegdrunk said...

Excellent meta-search skills, neoleftychick. Did you also find anything on Craig Murray? Or on events since your July article?

Being cheeky does not hide ignorance. Your argument is guff.

Tuesday, January 03, 2006 2:37:00 pm  
Blogger leftvegdrunk said...

Oh, and Violet, can you answer my first question re your blanket statement about women's rights and the left? Just a link to where you have explained it elsewhere will suffice. I am genuinely intrigued.

PS "dirtybike" is hilarious.

Tuesday, January 03, 2006 2:39:00 pm  
Blogger violet said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

Tuesday, January 03, 2006 3:16:00 pm  
Blogger violet said...

Ok, dirtybike

Perhaps you can enlighten me as to what this means -- Or on events since your July article?

You appear to be hanging onto the hope that I am someone I'm not. Post the lnik to this article and to help you out I'll read it and pretend I'm the person you think I am. I just love pretending I have multiple personalities.

And your inability to Google for yourself? I'll help you out again. Start with Phyllis Chesler She is a second wave feminist who spent time in Afganistan. She is also a wicked Zionist. You say you are a progressive and a feminist? Then no doubt you'll be fascinated by this perspective.

Tuesday, January 03, 2006 3:40:00 pm  
Blogger orang said...

violet, you should join neoleftychick in therapy to rid yourself of insane blind muslim (male) hatred.

Ant, - quoting Daniel Pipes? - The male version of neolefty.

Tuesday, January 03, 2006 5:20:00 pm  
Blogger violet said...

Ah orang the racist card again.

Guess we can only vomit bile at the USA and Israel hey?

Do yourself a favour and look up a dictionary. Check out what racism is -- then get back to me.

I am objecting to aspects of a culture not a race. Do you understand the difference? Islam is not a race -- can you grasp that concept? I'm sure it's in the Oxford Primary Dictionary.

Tuesday, January 03, 2006 5:50:00 pm  
Blogger orang said...

Did I say "Racist"?

Tuesday, January 03, 2006 11:04:00 pm  
Blogger orang said...

Tell me O Enlightened one, what do you call obsessive irrational hatred of a male of a certain culture/religion?

Tuesday, January 03, 2006 11:11:00 pm  
Blogger anthony said...

Feminism...

Whoa-BAM! I'm full of funnies tonight...

Tuesday, January 03, 2006 11:49:00 pm  
Blogger Mannie said...

"And since I noted you are all warriors of the right to be homosexual. Why don't I hear any condemnation of the public hangings in Iran? Mmm guess you're all mute when it comes to the poor misunderstood Muslims."
Unless you are aware of what gay and lesbian activists are involved in, I would think it is a bit rash to make the statement about the public hangings of homosexuals in Iran. Iran continues to hang or stone to death homosexuals, as well as others, in this fascist dictatorship, but let us not lose sight of the fact that it was the so-called christian Reverend Fred Phelps in the USA who said when Matthew Shepard was so cruelly murdered - not by Muslims - that fags with AIDS deserved to die!
To condemn some Muslims for their crimes does not make a case of condemning all Muslims for the crimes of others. In the same way, not all christians and Jews are guilty of the crimes of others of similar religions.
Oh, and by the way, there are many gay and lesbian Muslims who condemn the murders of homosexuals in Iran, as they condemn rapes and other crimes against humanity.
A little analysis goes a long way!

Wednesday, January 04, 2006 12:31:00 am  
Blogger Edward Mariyani-Squire said...

violet said...
"If the draconian prescriptions of the written Torah were rendered moot in practical fact by the rabbinic decrees of the oral Torah then what's the point of bringing them up at all except to make a silly tu quo quo argument that has chillingly anti-Semitic overtones?"

Orientalists doubt the usual fundamentalist dating and genesis of the oral Torah, arguing that it was progressively developed after, and in response to, the various bits of the written Torah as they were being written. The argument goes that the written Torah, with its sometimes less-than-progressive values, was in fact practised for hundreds of years. I included it simply because I thought it would make a nice contrast to your own appallingly inaccurate statements about sharia law. I didn't realise you weren't really interested in legal developments in monotheism. Sorry.

"But you are ultimately the source of your own downfall, because as you grudgingly concede, the Tora has been modified"

Not "grudgingly" at all. I've very, very pleased about it. (The only thing that disappoints me is that profoundly ignorant fundamentalist Christians don't know such facts.)

and the entire point is that Islam has never undergone a similar metamorphosis.

I think you need to do a bit of reading. (Just to whet your appetite: one of the core concepts of Islamic jurisprudence is "ijtahid". Have a look, for example, at the four major fiqh/jurisprudential schools of the Sunnis - Hanbali, Shafi'i, Hanafi, and Maliki.)

the Arab/Ottoman Turkish world subsequently stagnated for centuries, and failed to undergo anything even remotely equivalent to a process of reformation.

I'd agree with that - although this had much to do with the nature of an aging empire, suffering the same fate as aging empires before it, being hastened by its occurrence at a unique time in human history. It's difficult to sheet this home to theology.

According to Islamic jurisprudence, if a woman is raped the only way she can prove it is if she can provide 4 male witnesses to the act.

Err - I think you've been reading websites that don't really know what they're talking about (in law anyway).

It is true that in some places in the world, esp. in rural areas where courts are usually haphazardly organised by farmers rather than properly trained legal scholars, rape is dealt with under the category of "zina", basically meaning "sex outside normal bounds of marriage/relationship laws". A simple injunction, as you describe - the requirement of four witnesses - then follows from [4:15] of the Qur'an.

This however, is not regarded as satisfactory by Islamic lawyers because it is not complemented by the "sunnah" (records of Muhammad's advice), "ijma" (scholarly communal consensus) and "qiyas" (analogical reasoning). When this is taken into account, legal opinions by eminent jurists from at least one jurisprudential school must be taken into account (a bit like Common Law precedents). So, for example we find the following precedent from Ibn 'Abd al-Barr in his riveting page-turner, Al-Istidhkâr li Madhhab `Ulamâ' al-Amsâr fîmâ Tadammanahu al-Muwatta' min Ma`ânî al-Ra'î wal-Athâr ("The Memorization of the Doctrine of the Scholars of the World Concerning the Juridical Opinions and the Narrations Found in Mâlik's Muwatta"):

"The scholars are unanimously agreed that the rapist is to be subjected to the hadd punishment if there is clear evidence against him that he deserves the hadd punishment, or if he admits to that. Otherwise, he is to be punished (that is, if there is no proof that the hadd punishment for zina may be carried out against him because he does not confess and there are not four witnesses, then the judge may punish him and stipulate a punishment that will deter him and others like him). There is no punishment for the woman if it is true that he forced her and overpowered her."

Islamic jurists in the first couple of hundred years of Islamic law engaged in analogical reasoning to elaborate on and refine the criminal concept of rape. To "zina" was added "ightisab" (violation of property, a woman's body being her own property), "haraba" (violent robbery, the robbery of a woman's chastity), and "jirah" (bodily harm). With the addition of these refinements, the requirement that four witnesses be presented as proof of rape was abandoned completely in favour of less strict standard of circumstantial evidence (pretty much the same sort of evidence that is used in relatively recent reforms to Western rape cases - bear in mind these innovations we now have occurred almost a thousand years before in Islamic law). There were other aspects however, that are not present in modern Western law: the victim was obligated to defend herself against her attacker, but if she killed him she was not charged with any crime; the victim was also entitled to compulsory monetary compensation from the rapist for pain and suffering caused.

Anything less than a consideration of these issues is a straightforward misapplication of the law. (Here are some brief and easy-to-read comments by Islamic scholars on the topic: Uzma Mazhar, Sheikh Muhammad Saleh Al-Munajjid, Sheikh Ahmad Kutty, and Dr. Ahmad Yusuf Sulaiman.)

"In places like your beloved Gaza Strip an act of incest cannot even be made unless it is made by a male relative. That's right -- so if a young girl is being raped by her father, her mother cannot make a legal complaint. And yes, this happens."

I have no idea whether this is true or not, but you now know that it is a severe crime under Islamic law.

"Thus you seem to be advancing the curious contention that betrayal can only involve things that are accurate and true."

I'm not claiming a logical or analytical relation between betrayal and truth. I am basing it on the fact that the majority of people who attack A.L. usually use cloak-&-dagger metaphors: a 'defector' who has gone over to 'the enemy', a 'traitor' to 'the cause', etc. The cold war language gives the sense that, as a 'defector' and a 'traitor', A.L. is taking the 'secrets' of 'his side' with him for 'the other side' to use to their advantage. (Indeed, in a sense, even though the imagery is over-the-top, if you read his article on the Hanan Ashrawi Affair one does get the distinct feeling that A.L. is giving us a peak at embarrassing truths that we would not ordinarily read about in the good ol' Herald.) Your reference to A.L.'s 'betrayal' fits neatly into this rhetoric. That's why I made the inference I did.

AL was recently found to be in commission of a factual error that was so basic and elementary..."

Wasn't that a typo? Hardly reputation-impugning material. It makes you look silly when you keep harping on about it.

"AL...has proudly cast his lot with that small coterie of radical Leftist Jews who have dedicated themselves to the destruction of something that the overwhelming majority of Australian Jewry holds near and dear."

What's that? Zionist ideology? Race-based politico-theology? Surely not the state of Israel. Criticism of the occupation does not equate to the destruction of a nation-state. I think you've been watching too many French films [affect French accent]: "Oh, I spilled my espresso! These delicate droplets of caffeine can only but symbolise my world collapsing in on itself. I now... must die."

In their book Jews and Australian Politics, academics Philip Mendes and Geoffrey Braham Levy wrote:
"on almost every available measure – visitation, resident relatives, emotional attachment and philanthropy – Israel figures centrally in Australian Jewish identity."


I certainly hope they qualified that with "after the 1960s" because, for example, most influential Melbourne Jewish-Australians were openly anti-Zionists because they rejected the racial reductionism that laced the rhetoric of many Israeli Zionists.

"Thus AL desires to betray the cause of the community from which he has sprung."

That's not 'betrayal'. That's just plain old 'opposition'.

"But the Jewish community is equally entitled to denounce that betrayal of [read more accurately: 'opposition to'] one of its own of one of its most deeply felt beliefs as treasonous. Free speech cuts both ways, you know.

Was that meant to be a revelation? The only people who don't know that free speech about the occupation of Palestine "cuts both ways" are people who have never thought/spoken about the issue.

I think you'll find that the only concern on the left of politics is the question over whether there is genuine free speech about the occupation of Palestine. (For the left, 'free speech' is meaningless twaddle if it is not coupled with a fair degree of equality of power between opposing speakers.) How many mainstream newspaper op-ed pieces in Australia have there been that have shown the occupation from the Israeli governments perspective vs. the Palestinian perspective? How many letters to the editor have been rabidly pro-Israeli vs. rabidly (or even just mildly) pro-Palestinian? Why was there a concerted attempt at character assassination of Hanan Ashrawi over the Sydney Peace Prize? Who was Katherine Greiner talking about when she said that "they" would "destroy" the Peace Prize if Ashrawi wasn't dumped? Why do Bondi Torah students have "special seminars" on what to think about the Gaza pull-out, etc. (which basically amount to carefully controlled opinion-forming sessions). Why did Michael Danby attempt to prevent the publication of A.L.'s latest book? When that failed, why did he encourage people to avoid reading its contents? No, the fear is not OF free speech; rather, it is FOR free speech.

Wednesday, January 04, 2006 3:10:00 am  
Blogger Wombat said...

Edward,

A masterful reponse. You have proven that Violet is an ignoramus well and truly out of her depth.

The obsession of establishing demarkation lines amongst the right is such a blatant attempt at framing the debate so that they can control it, yet they oiften don't even realise they are doing it.

The background into Islamic law was certainly enlightening.

Wednesday, January 04, 2006 6:06:00 am  
Blogger violet said...

Ed:

Yes, ijitihad is a core concept of traditional Islamic jurisprudence. But as Irshad Manji rather convincingly argues in her book The Trouble With Islam, that self-same process of societal stagnation that has afflicted the Islamic Middle East over the past half-millennium has caused ijitihad to be more honoured in the breach than the observance. I'm not trying to sheet home Arab stagnation to Islamic theology, but rather am arguing that the failure of Islam to evolve in a progressive direction is both a symptom and a causal factor.

You once again try to minimise the phenomenon of gender oppression in the Islamic Middle East, relegating it to:

rural areas where courts are usually haphazardly organised by farmers rather than properly trained legal scholars.

But the problems of unpunished rape and honour killings (a pheonomenon that is related to the same pernicious social syndrome) are far more ubiquitous than you maintain.The frequent resort by Pakistani village councils to officially sanctioned rape as a means of resolving disputes is well documented and undeniable. But In Jordan and amongst the Palestinians for example, honour killings are not solely the lot of rural bedouin women, but are tragically common in middle class urban areas as well.

And as far as the Sunnah goes, Muhammad married the 6-year old Aisha and consumated his nuptuals when she reached the grand old age of nine. Hardly a "way of the Prophet" that I would want anyone to emulate. But in Pakistan until quite recently, the Islamic lawyers of whom you seem to think so highly have convinced the court to set the formal age of consent at 12-years-old when a father tried to claim his daughter had been raped by a man more than twice her age.

And the same holds true in Iran, although as a Shia country different jurisprudential principles apply there. Moreover, a Shariya court in Nigeria last week sentenced a 15-year old girl to 100 lashes. Her crime -- being raped by her stepfather. The step father was executed, yes, but in its infinite quiya wisdom and by declaration of ijima consensus, the girl was severely punished as well for the temerity of being overpowered and raped by a bigger, older man, whom she trusted and considered her father.

In Gaza and the West Bank a rapist will be freed if he offers to marry his victim. The victim is not consulted, but is then forced into a marriage with her rapist. Article 308 of the Jordanian Penal Code lowers the sentence against the perpetrator if a "legal and correct marriage contract is forged" between him and the victim.

Edward, you appear to be consumed with both Islamic pseudo-ideology and ideoogy. While you may think you are knowledgeable by citing a series of different readings, you fail to incorporate into your world view any recognition of what is actually happening out there in the real world. If Islam is being distorted, then who ought to fix it? All of those moderate Muslims who sit on their arses saying nothing? Or perhaps people like you who keep making excuses for rapists and murderers ought to do something? How about it Ed?

As far as the AL tergiversation issue goes, sorry Ed, but you clearly accused me of making :

non sequiturs about "betrayal" (which, ironically, only make sense if she herself assumes A.L. is telling unpalatable truths).

If you want to backtrack now from the proposition that betrayal can only involve things that are accurate and true, that's fine. Just come out and say so. I don't blame you, it was a pretty stupid argument to try and make.

AL's gender confusion about Tzipi Livni was NOT merely a typo, and he didn't even make that assertion in his own defence. AL applied the male pronoun he to Livni not once, but twice. And he excused his error, not by claiming to have made a typographical error, but because he was in a hurry. But even someone in a hurry who is minimally conversant in A) Israeli politics and B) basic Hebrew would know that A) the gender of a major player in the Israeli parliamentary scene and B) that the name Tzipi is an abbreviated version of Tzippora an unequivocally female name. So unless you are going to go the Johnny Cash route and start talking about a girl named Sue, AL's error is so fundamental and basic that it demonstrates a breathtaking ignorance of the subject matter upon which he so sententiously opines.

And now you demonstrate a breathtaking ignorance of the Australian Jewish community with your assertion that most influential Melbourne Jewish-Australians were openly anti-Zionists because they rejected the racial reductionism that laced the rhetoric of many Israeli Zionists. Pure tripe.

Hang around the mainstream Jewish community for a while. Or, if you can't stomach the prospect of that, read Mendes' and Braham Levy's book. Both of these guys are pretty far left in their own right (pun intended) and they aren't happy about the overwhelming support evinced by Australian Jewry for Israel and the Zionist enterprise. But they at least have the honesty to report'em as they see'em, and the data show unequivocally that Australian Jews are overwhelmingly supportive of Zionism.

Like many leftists, you seem to find Israel's ethno-religious identity to be offensive. But like most of your fellow travellers, you don't seem to have much to say about the fact that the Palestinian constitution defines the Palestinian state in both ethnic (Arab) and religious (Islamic) terms. And such Arab/Islamic ethno-religious particularism is found in additional constitutions throughout the Middle East. So what is an abomination for the Jewish state of Israel, seems to be just fine and dandy for the Arab/Islamic state of Palestine, Egypt, Syria, Algeria, etc....

And this curiously selective sense of outrage calls into question the genuine source of your antipathy towards Israel. Could it be that something other than objective human rights concerns are the true motivator for your desire to see the Jewish state erased from the map while you apparently have no problem at all with ethno-religious particularism in its Arab/Islamic manifestations?

Wednesday, January 04, 2006 10:17:00 am  
Blogger Wombat said...

Violet,

First let me say that I underestimated you knowledge of Islamic law and I appologise for that. I am most impressed with your awareness, though not entrily convinced of your arguments.

violet said...
“AL's error is so fundamental and basic that it demonstrates a breathtaking ignorance of the subject matter upon which he so sententiously opines.”

Breathtaking ignorance? Is this not a tad melodramatic? You have no shame Violet. You have so few facts to go AL on that you are milking this one issue for all it’s worth.

violet said...
“But they at least have the honesty to report'em as they see'em, and the data show unequivocally that Australian Jews are overwhelmingly supportive of Zionism.”

As it happens, I have persoanlyl spent a lot of time in the company of Jewish people, many of whom I am proud to call my friends. While there is no denying the obligatory requirement to declare undying loyalty to Israel in the company of others, in more personal discussions, many have been quite open about their distaste for Zionism.

Of course, you failed to address Edwards point about Bondi Torah students having "special seminars" on what to think about the Gaza pull-out. If that’s not mind programming form an early age, I don’t know what is.

Your did indeed make simplistic references to betrayal, and seem to be of the mind that having an opinion that strays from the status quo or questioning Zionism is a blight on the character of AL. You evidently are not a fan of independent thought.

violet said...
"Like many leftists, you seem to find Israel's ethno-religious identity to be offensive. But like most of your fellow travellers, you don't seem to have much to say about the fact that the Palestinian constitution defines the Palestinian state in both ethnic (Arab) and religious (Islamic) terms."

Yet another straw man argument. Your modus operandi is so blatantly obvious Violet. Have you read anyone here express their distaste at Israel’s ethno-religious identity? I doubt it becasue I certaionyl have not expressed any such ideas and I have yet to read a post of such a nature. That’s why there is nothing say about Arab/Islamic ethno-religious particularities found in additional constitutions throughout the Middle East. What is unique about Israel, is that it occupies “disputed territories” and guards these territories with a ferocity that inflicts grave human rights violations on the other party. It also continues to do so in the face of international law and countless UN resolutions.

violet said...
“Could it be that something other than objective human rights concerns are the true motivator for your desire to see the Jewish state erased from the map while you apparently have no problem at all with ethno-religious particularism in its Arab/Islamic manifestations?”

You are very Violet. In your distorted reality, criticism of Israel is inextricably linked to a secret desire to see Israel destroyed and that is where fundamentalists like yourself come completely unstuck. You know very well that much of Israel’s conduct in terms of it’s dealings with Israel is indefensible, so you opt for the easier route of consistently framing the issue as some hate filled desire to see harm to Israel, all be it sugar coated as compassion.

Tell me, does criticism of China’s human right’s record with respect to Tibbet mean that such critics secretly harbor a desire to see the destruction of mainland China?

You also appear to suggest that inactivity on our part to put our bodies on the line for our opinions is somehow evidence of insincerity. Where is it written that the desire to share ideas requires the spilling of blood? As a supporter of the Iraq war, does this mean you should be signing up for the military and be partaking in hostilities in Iraq?

If all else fails, you can always go fishing for the fail-safe anti-Semitic slur.

Wednesday, January 04, 2006 12:06:00 pm  
Blogger Ibrahamav said...

(d)oes criticism of China’s human right’s record with respect to Tibbet mean that such critics secretly harbor a desire to see the destruction of mainland China?

I have not seen any criticism of China’s human right’s record, with respect to Tibbet, linked to any discussions or desires to see the destruction of mainland China.

But seeing the stupidity in your reasoning over "guards these territories with a ferocity that inflicts grave human rights violations on the other party." it is no wonder your outlook is so ignorant.

Wednesday, January 04, 2006 4:05:00 pm  
Blogger Edward Mariyani-Squire said...

Ibrahamav said...

"I have not seen any criticism of China’s human right’s record, with respect to Tibbet, linked to any discussions or desires to see the destruction of mainland China."

And here's the amazing thing Ibby: you won't find in any of Addamo_01's or my posts criticism of Israel's human rights record being linked to a desire to see the destruction of Israel. (That's because not only is there no de jure relation between the former and the latter - which was Addamo_01's point - but because, in our cases, there is no de facto link either.)

Probably best to stay away from this thread Ibby. The adults are playing here.

Thursday, January 05, 2006 12:31:00 am  
Blogger Ibrahamav said...

Sounds like you're full of addamo. Most antisemites are.

Thursday, January 05, 2006 3:28:00 am  
Blogger Wombat said...

As always, Telflon Ibby slips out of yet another debate the only way he knows how - with slander.

You should have taken Eddie's advice Ibby. This is an adults only thread. Go back to playing in the swamp you came from.

Thursday, January 05, 2006 3:50:00 am  
Blogger Ibrahamav said...

Shit! Did I just step in addamo?

Thursday, January 05, 2006 4:00:00 am  
Blogger Wombat said...

You must be the first persn I have ever come across that skipped puberty. Nothing else woudl explain your infantile obsession with other people's arses and genitalia.

Thursday, January 05, 2006 6:13:00 am  
Blogger Ibrahamav said...

Do you smell a whiff of addamo in the air?

Thursday, January 05, 2006 7:15:00 am  
Blogger Wombat said...

I appologies to Violet and Edward for allowing an otherwise interseting thread to degenerate into the gutter.

Thursday, January 05, 2006 7:34:00 am  
Blogger Edward Mariyani-Squire said...

Dear Violet,

Some responses.

"I'm not trying to sheet home Arab stagnation to Islamic theology, but rather am arguing that the failure of Islam to evolve in a progressive direction is both a symptom and a causal factor."

I think you're conflating two things: Islam as a religion and Middle Eastern and African socio-political entities. I too think there has been societal stagnation - and even regression - in some of these entities. I don't think this has much to do with Islam the religion per se however. I think you'll find stagnation is better attributed to the political structures born out of the colonial and post-colonial messes Europe left behind that press religion into political service. This is not to absolve various political groups in Middle Eastern and African countries - they should be held responsible for their responses to the environments they faced and to the pressures they face today from both the US and Europe.

"But the problems of unpunished rape and honour killings (a phenomenon that is related to the same pernicious social syndrome) are far more ubiquitous than you maintain."

I'm not "maintaining" that. I'm not saying they are uncommon. The implication is in fact the opposite, if anything. Note I said it was predominantly due to relatively uneducated rural populations; well, the majority of populations in these underdeveloped and unevenly developed countries are rural.

"The frequent resort by Pakistani village councils to officially sanctioned rape as a means of resolving disputes is well documented and undeniable."

I can only emphasise that for crimes to go unpunished is a violation of Islamic law (no matter what the jurisprudential school). If a crime does go unpunished and this occurs under the auspices of a supposedly Islamic court, then it is an "Islamic court" only in name – it might as well be called an "anti-Islamic court".

"But In Jordan and amongst the Palestinians for example, honour killings are not solely the lot of rural bedouin women, but are tragically common in middle class urban areas as well."

Honour killings are pre-Islamic 'pagan' cultural artefacts that are explicitly prohibited under Islamic law (along with others, such as burying female children alive). They exist despite the Islamic influence, not because of it.

"And as far as the Sunnah goes, Muhammad married the 6-year old Aisha and consummated his nuptials when she reached the grand old age of nine. Hardly a "way of the Prophet" that I would want anyone to emulate."

Let's leave aside the issue of the factual accuracy of the ages - Muslim scholars themselves debate this (some say that the ages six and nine do not accord with other recorded facts of Aisha's life which suggest the ages of fifteen and eighteen). (Note there is no debate among any historians that marriage at this age this was an entirely acceptable, normal and commonplace at the time.)

The substance of your inference - that from the Sunnah, nine is the age of consummation - is obviously very naive and ignorant (mendacious, perhaps?). The principle drawn from this aspect of the Sunnah is that a female is eligible to freely consent to sex after puberty (that is, when she 'becomes a woman'), not when she is nine (or whatever) years old. Now, one can certainly debate whether Aisha could bear children at nine (although one can't deny that it is possible). The point however, is merely this: it is not the age that is the important feature here; it is that legal scholars, almost universally, have interpreted this, along with other ahadith, as supporting the consummation principle just mentioned above. (I said "almost" because there is a fringe group of fundamentalists who would support your interpretation. They are called "Dhahiris", after a guy named Dawud ibn ‘Ali al-Dhahiri of Isfahan (d.892 AD), who hold to a literalist textual interpretation of the Qur'an and the Hadith and so reject analogical reasoning (so they hold to the following sorts of idiotic deductions: Muhammad rode a camel therefore all Muslims should ride camels; Muhammad forbade urinating in water supplies, but said nothing about defecating in them, therefore defecating in them is acceptable). The only sheiks who don't condemn this sect are their own leaders. They are roundly condemned as uneducated and lazy morons who couldn't be bothered putting in the long hard yards required to learn the methodology of interpretation, the established doctrines of the major schools, the works of the founders of the schools and so on. They are equivalent to the theological primitivism of modern-day evangelical Protestant fundamentalism - all you have to do is read the Qur'an literally; no interpretation, no scholarship, no learning or knowledge is necessary. Your interpretation of this bit of the Sunnah fits with this roundly rejected world-view.)

Now, as to this...

"But in Pakistan until quite recently, the Islamic lawyers of whom you seem to think so highly have convinced the court to set the formal age of consent at 12-years-old"

...the age of consent in the Islamic legal context varies on an individual basis depending on the onset of puberty. The general 'guide-age' obviously also varies depending on knowledge and cultural context of the time and place.

It is worth noting that in the cultural context of the time of Muhammad, the notion that the age of consent should depend on physical development and that it should be voluntary, was quite an innovation. The standard at that time and place was the Judaic one (for both Jews and Christians), which stipulated the legal age of consummation was three and betrothal was established by the man having sex with the child (see Mishnah on Niddah 44b of the Talmud). (Orthodoxy modified this over time, although 'betrothal by sex' remained. Today, the last is also advised against by Rabbis, depending on the 'law of the land'.) It is also worth noting that even by 'modern' Western standards, the Islamic view is hardly shocking. In the mid-1800s in the US, the legal age of consummation was 7 years old, and in the late-1800s was lifted to 10. In Europe it was also 10, and in Great Britain it was 12. Interestingly, in the ACT and Victoria, the minimum age is still 10 (provided the partner is between 10 and 12). In China today, it is 14 (with no age restrictions on the partner). And this is all just with respect to the law. There are also cultural forces affecting what is regarded as acceptable. For example, a friend of mine who is a Marinite Catholic, was married off (without her consent) at the age of 13, even though the legal age of consent in Lebanon is 18. When her family took her to the doctor because she wasn't getting pregnant, the Muslim doctor berated them severely for marrying her off before she was 'a woman'. (My friend said although she 'hated Muslims at the time', she regarded this man as her 'saviour'.)

"Moreover, a Shariya court in Nigeria last week sentenced a 15-year old girl to 100 lashes. Her crime -- being raped by her stepfather."

This is a good example of what I was referring to in the previous post about misapplications of the law that don't take into account the legal developments in the concept of rape, instead applying the concept of adultery.

"Article 308 of the Jordanian Penal Code lowers the sentence against the perpetrator if a "legal and correct marriage contract is forged" between him and the victim."

You should note here that the woman must freely consent to this. She is under no obligation to do so legally speaking (I cannot say what the familial pressures, if any, would be however).

If you are wondering why the penalty is lowered in such cases, this is because of the influence of early Christianity on Islam. Variability in penalties follow from an ethico-theological general principle derived from the Qur'an - a punishment can be mitigated if the perpetrator of the crime shows genuine remorse and repentance, seeks to make amends and seeks to avoid committing the offence again. Here are the relevant Qur'anic passages showing the general principle (regarding the references: the first number is the chapter, second is the line):

Theft:

///Now as for the man who steals and the woman who steals, cut off the hand of either of them in requital for what they have wrought, as a deterrent ordained by God: for God is almighty and wise. But as for him who repents after having thus done wrong and makes amends, behold, God will accept his repentance: verily, God is much-forgiving, a dispenser of grace (5:38-39).///

False, malicious or unsupported accusations of adultery:

///And as for those who accuse chaste women [of adultery], and then are unable to produce four witnesses [in support of their accusation], flog them with eighty stripes; and after refuse to accept from them any testimony - since it is they, they that are truly depraved! - excepting [from this interdict] only those who afterwards repent and make amends: for, behold, God is much-forgiving, a dispenser of grace (24:4-5).///

Sexual indecency generally:

///And as for those of your women who become guilty of immoral conduct, call upon four among you who have witnessed their guilt; and if these bear witness thereto, confine the guilty women to their houses until death takes them away or God opens for them a way [through repentance]. And punish [thus] both the guilty parties; but if they both repent and mend their ways, leave them alone: for, behold, God is an acceptor of repentance, a dispenser of grace (4:15-16).///

Killing in general (that is, not restricted to premeditated murder):

///O you who have attained faith! Just retribution is ordained for you in cases of killing: the free for the free, and the slave for the slave, and the woman for the woman. And if something [of his guilt] is remitted to a guilty person by his brother,* this [remission] shall be adhered to with fairness, and restitution to his fellow-man shall be made in a goodly manner. This is an alleviation from your Sustainer, and an act of His grace (2:178).///
*Muhammad Asad (the translator here), takes "brother" here to be "familial-in-faith" rather than "blood-familial", as the latter would be pointlessly restrictive.

"Edward, you appear to be consumed with both Islamic pseudo-ideology and ideology."

I just find Islamic jurisprudence interesting and widely misunderstood. You amply demonstrate that a little superficial knowledge can be worse than no knowledge at all. That's why I choose to avoid a superficial understanding.

"you fail to incorporate into your world view any recognition of what is actually happening out there in the real world."

I agree there are very many serious and inhumane misapplications of the law. I also agree that substantial political reform - democracy, transparent and accountable institutions, human rights legislation - needs to occur in many Muslim-dominated countries (and in some 'Western' countries as well - Australia, for example, could do with human rights legislation). I was addressing Islamic law per se because I thought you would find it interesting to know what it actually says, rather than what corrupted misapplications of it say (those, after all, are very well known).

"If Islam is being distorted, then who ought to fix it? All of those moderate Muslims who sit on their arses saying nothing?"

The moderate Muslims, as you put it, are not "sitting on their arses". They're struggling away to change inhumane practices, as one would expect. Legal, social and political reform is, alas, slow, boring, unsexy work. It doesn't make for screaming tabloid headlines, fit neatly into a 5 second sound-bite for radio, or provide 'vision' for TV; as for the internet, its websites are located in about 16,235th place in a google-search list. For these reasons, and your general desire to ensure the world fits your ten-gallon hat view of the universe, is why you don't know anything about the struggle. (It's a bit like saying that Reform Jews and those Jews opposed to the inhumane occupation of Palestine are just "sitting on their arses". They too are struggling to end inhumane practices.)

"If you want to backtrack now from the proposition that betrayal can only involve things that are accurate and true, that's fine."

I'm sorry if I misinterpreted your meaning of "betrayal". What do you mean by betrayal then? Why isn't A.L. just opposed to the Zionist position?

"AL's gender confusion about Tzipi Livni was NOT merely a typo" ,

Let's assume for the sake of argument it is not a typo. Your assertion is that a confusion about "he or she" constitutes this:

"a breathtaking ignorance of the subject matter upon which he so sententiously opines"

But that is obviously invalid, as any first year student of elementary logic will tell you. Let me give you a nice little example to demonstrate my point.

(1) Fredrick von Hayek was a woman.
(2) Von Hayek believed that central planning was both inefficient and limited people's freedom.

Does the error of (1), which is "so fundamental and basic", negate the truth of (2)? Obviously not. The error in (1) says absolutely nothing about the truth or otherwise of (2). Only a total moron would think otherwise. Only a mendacious individual would pretend to think this in the hope that no-one would notice what an irrational leap of faith it involves. Choose your M: moron or mendacious?

"And now you demonstrate a breathtaking ignorance of the Australian Jewish community with your assertion that most influential Melbourne Jewish-Australians were openly anti-Zionists because they rejected the racial reductionism that laced the rhetoric of many Israeli Zionists. Pure tripe."

O Violet, all I was doing was repeating what Dan Goldberg, the editor of The Australian Jewish News, said on Radio National's religious programme, "The Ark"! I think you should take up this issue of "breathtaking ignorance of the Australian Jewish community" with this pillar of the Australian Jewish community, not me.

"read Mendes' and Braham Levy's book....the data show unequivocally that Australian Jews are overwhelmingly supportive of Zionism. "

Since you have a copy, would you be able to provide a few choice quotes about what stalwarts of the Melbourne Jewish community thought about Zionism in the 1950s? That would be nice ... and it would surely support your contention that Dan Goldberg is an ignoramus.

"Like many leftists, you seem to find Israel's ethno-religious identity to be offensive. But like most of your fellow travellers, you don't seem to have much to say about the fact that the Palestinian constitution defines the Palestinian state in both ethnic (Arab) and religious (Islamic) terms."

I prefer states that are not based on racial or religious distinctions - that is, do not accord rights to people based on race or religion (or sexual orientation, gender, or personal beliefs of whatever kind). These rights, including the right to equally and meaningfully participate in free and fair elections, are foundation-stones of a humane society. States that can achieve these things, meet my minimum standards. Simple.

As for the Palestinian "state", there is no point commenting on it because it doesn't exist yet. We'll have to wait and see ... assuming Israel ever gives up its ambitions over the Occupied Territories. (It's a bit like trying to comment on the "state" of Indonesia in 1945. Initially it looked like it would become an Islamic state ... then later it looked like it wouldn't .... then later it looked like it would .... and finally it didn't. Lesson? Wait and see.)

"And this curiously selective sense of outrage calls into question the genuine source of your antipathy towards Israel."

Leaving aside its function - to slander people when one doesn't have any evidence with which to do the job - the 'Selective Criticism Criterion' is the deadest horse this side of Phar Lap.

The 'Selective Criticism Criterion' (SCC) goes like this: an individual should not draw attention to or criticise an immoral act unless one criticises all similar (or indeed different) immoral acts in all other places in the world. If that were the criterion one would have to satisfy, then, because of the sheer number of acts and the limits on resources of a single individual, that would effectively shut down criticism of all immoral acts everywhere. Is that a situation you would find acceptable? I can't imagine so. For example, if you were to criticise a Hamas suicide bombing on the grounds that it was immorally unacceptable, then, by the SCC, Hamas could reply: "But you haven't also criticised all those others questionable acts in the Middle East, Africa, North and South America, Europe (in the past especially), and North and South-East Asia." This would seem to be, judging from the intent of your post, sufficient to de-legitimise anything you had to say about a Hamas suicide bombing.

I don't think there is a moral theorist of any standing who argues that one should not criticise an immoral act as being immoral if one has not first criticised other acts. Why do you hold to the contrary?

"Could it be that something other than objective human rights concerns are the true motivator for your desire to see the Jewish state erased from the map"

Nope. And here's why: I don't "desire to see the Jewish state erased from the map". Simple. All I desire is that the Israeli government to change it's evil foreign policy of occupation to a good foreign policy of non-occupation. Simple. This has absolutely nothing to do with the obliteration of the State of Israel.

It all hangs on making a fundamental distinction between a State and its Policies. Believe it or not, these are two entirely different things. For example, the new federal industrial relations legislation is a policy, not the state. If I oppose that policy, it doesn't follow that I am secretly calling for the obliteration of the Commonwealth of Australia. Nor does it follow that if the new industrial relations legislation is in fact replaced that the Commonwealth of Australia will in fact be obliterated. Now apply the same reasoning to Israel's policy of occupation. See what I mean? See how I'm not calling for the destruction of the State of Israel? Simple.

What is worrying is that you need to be told this - that is, that you don't seem to be able to make the distinction between a State and its particular changeable policies. This is a worry because it means you are unable to reason on a moral basisabout whatever policies might exist. For example, if Israel's policy is to commit genocide in the Occupied territories, your own conceptual framework compels you to support this (or at least not question it) because to do so would be to call for the obliteration of the entire state. It's a quite disturbing mode of thought, really.

Friday, January 06, 2006 2:41:00 am  
Blogger Ibrahamav said...

"Honour killings are pre-Islamic 'pagan' cultural artefacts that are explicitly prohibited under Islamic law (along with others, such as burying female children alive). They exist despite the Islamic influence, not because of it."

After 1400 years, it appears that Islamic law winks at it, rather than actively prohibits it. There seems to be no punishment enacted for it, and without punishment, Islamic influence is actually encouraging it.

Friday, January 06, 2006 5:20:00 am  
Blogger Edward Mariyani-Squire said...

Ibrahamav said...
"After 1400 years, it appears that Islamic law winks at it, rather than actively prohibits it."

O Ibby, given your lack of knowledge of just about everything and your generalised hatred of just about everyone, do you think anyone takes anything you say seriously?

Asking you about Islam is like asking the Pope for procedural advice on how to perform an abortion. You hate it completely and at the same time know absolutely nothing about it.

Nonetheless please don't stop writing messages. They bring a little ray of hilarity into each and every thread.

Friday, January 06, 2006 6:57:00 am  
Blogger Ibrahamav said...

Eddie spreading more addamo?

Friday, January 06, 2006 7:58:00 am  
Blogger neoleftychick said...

AL

Thank you for that transcript; I've been trying to hunt one down since the debate took place.

I was absolutely gobsmacked that Chomsky is STILL rehashing his sophomoric misrepresenations and straight-out lies.

WHY does anybody take him seriously? He cannot write, he is devious, unethical, and a bore!

Friday, January 06, 2006 12:44:00 pm  
Blogger neoleftychick said...

Addamo

Given that the "Palestinian" muslims were PART of the Holocaust and wanted to continue it on the Palestinian Jews, I do not think Jews require excuses.

Friday, January 06, 2006 12:48:00 pm  
Blogger neoleftychick said...

Violet

I have just read many of your posts today, and allow me to tell you that you are a far better writer, thinker, and human being than AL will ever be.

You are correct. He IS an oppoortunist. He seeks fame and wealth on the back of misery and the slow-burning anti-semitism that has gripped Europe over the past decade (actually it has probably never gone away).

He, by ommission, applauds and encourages the vile Muslim male rape tsunami that has even reached Australia.

A couple of weeks ago, I recounted on this blog my OWN experiences with this phenomenon; I was scoffed at, dismissed, and instead criticised for being a "racist."

These people ARE dangerous. But at least we know they are out there now.

Friday, January 06, 2006 12:58:00 pm  

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