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Name: Antony Loewenstein
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Thursday, February 09, 2006

They're only Muslims, after all

Israel proves its expertise in cultural sensitivity:

"A dispute over the fate of an ancient Muslim cemetery in Jerusalem threatened Wednesday to ignite tensions in Holy City as workers removed skeletons from the site despite Muslim pleas for the work to end.

"Israeli developers and archaeologists are removing the tombs to make room for the Los Angeles-based Simon Wiesenthal Center to build a multi-million-dollar Museum of Tolerance, dedicated in part to promoting understanding among different religions. Muslims are incensed.

"Mufti Ikrema Sabri, the senior Islamic cleric in Jerusalem, on Wednesday demanded that the dig stop at the site which until 1948 served as the main Muslim cemetery in Jerusalem.

"'There should be a complete cessation of work on the cemetery because it is sacred for the Muslims,' Sabri told The Associated Press. The Waqf, the Muslim council in Jerusalem that Sabri oversees, was not consulted on the dig, he said. The cemetery was in use for 15 decades and friends of the Muslim Prophet Muhammad are buried there, Sabri said."

Imagine the justified outcry if a Muslim country desecrated Jewish graves?

29 Comments:

Blogger Aaron Lane said...

"Imagine the justified outcry if a Muslim country desecrated Jewish graves?"

This is not a question, but rather a directive, so why the question mark?

Thursday, February 09, 2006 4:37:00 pm  
Blogger smiths said...

its literally unbelievable

workers removed skeletons from the site despite Muslim pleas for the work to end.

"Israeli developers and archaeologists are removing the tombs to make room for the Los Angeles-based Simon Wiesenthal Center to build a multi-million-dollar Museum of Tolerance, dedicated in part to promoting understanding among different religions

the site which until 1948 served as the main Muslim cemetery in Jerusalem



i cant help but feel they know exactly what they are doing and are constantly attempting to bring about 'the clash'

Thursday, February 09, 2006 5:17:00 pm  
Blogger psydoc said...

We don't have to imagine Ant, where was your outrage at the desecration of Rachel's tomb? Did Jews go out and start burning Arab embassies?

What happened when Jordan occupied Jerusalem? Jewish graves were routinely desecrated. Tombstones were used to make the floor of urinals. Where was the outcry there?

Why does Ant only see Jewish wrongdoing? It is astonishing.

Thursday, February 09, 2006 5:23:00 pm  
Blogger Glenn Condell said...

When anyone points out Israel's oppressive behaviour, arrogance, ethnic cleansing or whatever, all you Likudnik anonymice can muster 'what about xx or yy'

It would be nice to see some of you, just once, preface your comparisons with an acknowledgement that what is being done by Israel is wrong. Is that too hard?

Thursday, February 09, 2006 5:35:00 pm  
Blogger Antony Loewenstein said...

Yes.

Thursday, February 09, 2006 5:39:00 pm  
Blogger psydoc said...

One of the biggest problems in these kinds of claims is that the facts as usual are in dispute.

What is not disputed is that Jews did not go on a rampage when Jewish tombs were desecrated by Arabs.

Thursday, February 09, 2006 6:03:00 pm  
Blogger JohD said...

The assertion that Jews never go on a rampage is not verifiable, and on the face of it disinformation. jews can be as rabid and uncompromising as any other group.

The Waqf is also mistaken, or else the comment has been mistranslated. The cemetary has been in use for 15 centuries, not 15 decades.

Thursday, February 09, 2006 7:13:00 pm  
Blogger David Heidelberg said...

Following 1967, the Israeli's also turned several Mosques into bars.

Thursday, February 09, 2006 8:22:00 pm  
Blogger Aaron Lane said...

Hey Glenn, Psychodoc was merely pointing out that Antony's hypothetical situation was not so hypothetical.

Thursday, February 09, 2006 10:42:00 pm  
Blogger Melanie said...

What the Arabs have done to Jewish graves over the years is despicable. But getting back to this case, it happens in almost every major Israeli property development. In such a small country with a few thousand years of civilization and most of the development in areas where there has been ongoing human presence, there is hardly a major development that takes place without this type of discovery. And often the development still goes on while disputes are being settled. Usually it us Jewish graves so the world doesn't pay attention to those grievences.
Now getting back to Muslims desecrating Jewish graves. What the Jordanians did to the ancient Jewish graves in Jerusalem when they occupied the Westbank for almost 20 years - using the tombstones for roads and other constructions - was...typical.

Thursday, February 09, 2006 11:51:00 pm  
Blogger Wombat said...

Aaron,

Yes you might be right abotu Psydocs statement, but Glenn is right.

Never has Psydoc aknowledged wrogndoignt Palestinians, but rather, he/she goes on the immediate defensive every time.

Friday, February 10, 2006 12:02:00 am  
Blogger Viva Peace said...

Antony

I'm a bit confused here. YOu ask "the justified outcry if a Muslim country desecrated Jewish graves?"

WHO do you think would complain? From what I understand Muslims hate Jews and Jews know it,

Also from my understanding Muslims have been trying to commit genocide on the Jewish people for hubdreds of years.

Am I wrong?

Friday, February 10, 2006 1:39:00 am  
Blogger Melanie said...

Let's compare this:
http://www.advocate.com/news_detail_ektid25303.asp
to how it would be treated in the Muslim world.

Friday, February 10, 2006 2:37:00 am  
Blogger Ibrahamav said...

So the Arab desecration of the sites under their control was actually an attempt to humiliate the Jews?

Friday, February 10, 2006 4:30:00 am  
Blogger JohD said...

The graves were not 'discovered'. The cemetary has been in continuous use for fifteen centuries. If you want to know how that is done, Muslims recycle graves by digging them up, moving any remains into a slit dug into the wall of the grave, and burying another in the grave. This can be done multiple times.

Jews are attempting to build a Holocaust memorial on the site of a functioning cemetary, not some long forgotten burial site.

Friday, February 10, 2006 4:50:00 am  
Blogger RHRoss said...

If this cemetery is not in Arab East Jerusalem then one can't criticise the Israelis too much. There is so little land and they have to build somewhere and one can understand the logic that it's better, and easier, to build on a Moslem cemetery than a Jewish one. They have no respect for Christian cemeteries either.

If it is in Arab East Jerusalem, then one can, because this is occupied land and they have no legal right to build or destroy here. Not that that stops them.

Israel has some excellent archeologists of high integrity but it also has a policy of 'destroying' where it can, any evidence of non-Jewish habitation. Which is most of it actually. Some of it they can't because most historical sites are Roman and there is very little "jewish' archeological evidence. No doubt because the Jewish 'imprint, despite Biblical stories, was really very small.

But there does seem to be an active policy of 'removing' evidence where possible.

This is something the Christian churches have been upset about for years so the policy is not aimed at Moslems alone.

Friday, February 10, 2006 6:57:00 am  
Blogger psydoc said...

David Heidelberg: try naming them without relying on propaganda sources

Friday, February 10, 2006 7:54:00 am  
Blogger orang said...

Viva Peace ,
"I understand Muslims hate Jews and Jews know it,.." (in contrast to the eternal love jews show towards muslims?)

"Also from my understanding Muslims have been trying to commit genocide on the Jewish people for hubdreds of years.

Am I wrong? "

You are definitely wrong. Read a bit and not anti-muslim propaganda.

Friday, February 10, 2006 10:02:00 am  
Blogger Glenn Condell said...

'the facts as usual are in dispute.'

Only by partisans like yourself. And 'as usual' is right. Facts are facts, unless Israel decides they aren't.

Fact - the IDF has in recent days shot a 9 year old girl. Is this in dispute? Can you weasel your way out of condemnation of that crime? I have 9 year old daughter and let me tell you, if anyone shot her dead I would take revenge on the people who did it. If those people were the faceless soldiers of a regime which wouldn't dream of bringing the criminals to justice, and who are to well protected to reach, then I would assault the civilian population that supported the murder (and it's coverup) of my child. Would you do the same?

The soldier that shot that girl should be explaining on national television why he did it. These atrocities are state-sanctioned if no-one pays for them.

That is the sort of state the world can do without, and it is certainly the kind of nation my nation should be condemning rather than supporting.

Defend if you can the murder of a 9 year old girl. Let's hear it Aaron, psycdoc, melanie, ibraham. And this time, leave out the finger pointing to others.. simply address this one event. After that you can chunter on til we all drop off, as usual, but before that I want to know what you think ought to happen to the soldier involved.

Friday, February 10, 2006 10:39:00 am  
Blogger psydoc said...

It is apalling that a child get killed in any circumstance. But we do not yet know the circumstances. Just as people like Glenn came to condemn the killing of Mohamed Al Dura, it took some time to actually establish that the killers were not in fact the IDF.

Similarly, when Palestinian gunmen use civilians as shields and move among civilians without identifying themselves as combattants, of course civilians will be killed. This is why it is a war crime to not identify yourself as a commbatant.

Facts are often in dispute and yes it is often the Israelis who are doing the disputing because they are subject to wild and emotive claims that are frequently untrue. Jenin is a glaring example of this.

So glenn, settled down, be reassured that israel is governed by laws and if a crime has been committed it will be fully prosecuted.

Compare this to the deliberate targetting of children by Hamas, Islamic Jihad, Al Aqsa PFLP and the list goes on and on.

Friday, February 10, 2006 11:35:00 am  
Blogger Wombat said...

"So glenn, settled down, be reassured that israel is governed by laws and if a crime has been committed it will be fully prosecuted."

That's certainly a matter of contention. The IDF soldier who emtpied 17 rounds into a 17 year old Palesitnian girl, who wsa indetified as being sacred to death before she was shot, go off with little more than a reprimand for conduct unbecomming.

So while it may be a war crime to not identify yourself as a commbatant, ti seems that wearing a military uniform usually guarantess imminity from sentences nonrmally given to civilians.

Friday, February 10, 2006 11:48:00 am  
Blogger Wombat said...

Sorry, correction, make that a 13 year old Palestinian girl.

Friday, February 10, 2006 12:30:00 pm  
Blogger Antony Loewenstein said...

For all the spurious claims that Israel is a democracy, wrong-does are punished etc, the facts simply don't bear this out.
This HRW report of last year (http://hrw.org/english/docs/2005/06/22/isrlpa11148.htm) explains how the military has little or no accountability. Ever.

Friday, February 10, 2006 12:56:00 pm  
Blogger Stev said...

psydoc said...
David Heidelberg: try naming them without relying on propaganda sources

orang said...
You are definitely wrong. Read a bit and not anti-muslim propaganda.

There's an important point that needs to be raised here. I'm sure we can all agree that every single source has at least some degree of bias. Of that we can be sure.

I hope we can also agree that propaganda, by its very nature, is completely indiscernable from ordinary journalism. At least successful propaganda is such.

If we can agree on those points, then we only really have two options regarding any and all sources. We can either discard all sources on both sides of the fence because they are biased/propaganda, or we can consider all sources (with a keen mind and a grain of salt of course) and try to find the truth somewhere between the two polar extremes.

So let's be careful about dismissing any sources that disagree with our opinions as 'propaganda', and at the same time be careful about accepting any sources that agree with our opinions as completely trustworthy.

Friday, February 10, 2006 2:22:00 pm  
Blogger orang said...

Stev, that boy/girl Viva Peace said,

"I understand Muslims hate Jews and Jews know it,.."
"Also from my understanding Muslims have been trying to commit genocide on the Jewish people for hubdreds of years."

It seems pretty obvious to me that he/she has been influenced by propaganda which has left him with an extremely distorted view of muslims.

I don't believe one has to read "propaganda" to have a balanced view. In fact, if you read absolutely nothing , you could have a more moderate opinion on the issue. (This was the big hope with big W. A man who is completely ignorant should not have any axe to grind, but alas with the "Sharon is a man of peace" vomit, that was that.)

Friday, February 10, 2006 6:57:00 pm  
Blogger James Waterton said...

Orang - how do you know your view isn't distorted?

Saturday, February 11, 2006 2:20:00 pm  
Blogger Edward Mariyani-Squire said...

[1] "I understand Muslims hate Jews and Jews know it,.."
[2] "Also from my understanding Muslims have been trying to commit genocide on the Jewish people for hubdreds of years."

James Waterton said...
Orang - how do you know your view isn't distorted?

Re [1]: the is such an absurd, gross generalisation that it doesn't even begin to bear serious consideration.

Re [2]: First, histories written by academics who have had to survive the editorial and peer review process pretty clearly indicate that this is not true. Second, even a Bear of Little Brain can figure out that a relatively small Jewish population would have been completely desimated if the Arab (because that's what is really being referred to) had in fact wanted to "commit genocide...for hundreds of years". The Jewish communities in Arab nations were not eliminated; ipso facto there was no such desire.

[1] and [2] are distorted.

Monday, February 13, 2006 9:00:00 am  
Blogger orang said...

james,
I've been around the block a few times. I've lived in a few differing countries including the US, Europe, Arab, muslim...... while for me getting into the swing of things vis a vis the "war of civilisations" and the morons who riot over a few cartoons, would be a whole lot easier than "doing the right thing" (no , not as defined by slimeball John Howard) but as in "Do unto others as you ...da da da (holy shit, is that christian? well, probably been around for longer).

Monday, February 13, 2006 9:40:00 pm  
Blogger James Waterton said...

Says you.

There is a fair degree of truth in both one and two, even though they're not the literal truth.

Your vehement denials of both are proof of your own distorted view.

Also, your simplistic deductions - blissfully lacking in historical perspective - count for very little.

Monday, February 13, 2006 10:17:00 pm  

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