What rough beast?

Our dear old friend, Bristol’s high-profile Muslim spokesman and ‘community leader’ Farooq Siddique, has popped up in the comments to explain why the victims of the Warsaw Ghetto have nothing to do with The Holocaust. It’s semantics:

The term holocaust originally derived from the Greek word holókauston, meaning a “completely (holos) burnt (kaustos)” sacrificial offering to a god. It is in this context that said i was NOT referring to the Holocaust i.e the gas chambers

This an odd subject for semantic hair-splitting, particularly from a chaplain of a Russell Group University and from someone who apparently doesn’t know the difference between a proper noun and a common noun.

The other obvious observation here is that this is 21st Century Britain and we don’t speak ancient Greek but contemporary international English. So while Mr Siddique’s etymological ramblings might be of some vague academic interest do they bear any relation to reality?

No. Neither in popular usage nor in more serious academic and historical circles would you ordinarily find Mr Siddique’s peculiar and particular definition of The Holocaust. It does not – and never has done – solely refer to people who died in gas chambers as Mr Siddique claims.

While the gas chambers are a haunting and memorable symbol of the crime. They are not its entirety.

No, The Holocaust is a shorthand term for a long process of systematic, bureaucratic, state-sponsored persecution on the basis of race by the Nazi Party that culminated in the horror of ‘the final solution of the Jewish question’ and the gas chambers of Auschwitz.

On a brutally practical level is Mr Siddique saying that the hundreds of thousands of Nazi victims shot dead and buried in open graves in Eastern Europe are not victims of The Holocaust because they didn’t die in gas chambers? How about those that were worked to death in labour camps? Or starved to death in concentration camps? What of those randomly shot in the back of the head? Beaten to death? Used for medical experimentation? Tortured to death? Do they not count any more?

Then what of these 100,000 that perished in the Warsaw ghetto at the hands of the Nazis? Does anyone – apart from Mr Siddique – say that these people were not victims of The Holocaust? Why would anyone claim this?

I’ll leave it to you to try and figure out why a self-appointed Muslim ‘community leader’ with Islamist leanings and a penchant for 9/11 conspiracy theories might want to start to revise the history and meaning of The Holocaust but perhaps it’s salutary to see what some of Siddique’s close compatriots are thinking.

This is an op/ed piece from the Gulf News in early January. It’s an English language newspaper of record in the Gulf region, not a fringe publication:

Today, the whole world stands as a witness to the fact that the Nazi holocaust was a mere lie, which was devised by the Zionists to blackmail humanity. The same Zionist entity swindled the world out of billions of dollars over the years to compensate the wrong and unjust which they claim to have been inflicted on their people.

This, meanwhile, is from an open letter to US President Barack Obama “penned by a galaxy of Muslim scholars thinkers, political activists and academics”, of whom the best known in the UK is probably Yusuf al-Qaradawi who was welcomed to London as “a progressive” by then Mayor Ken Livingstone.

Here’s some excerpts of those progressive views:

Do not expect normal relations with the Arabs and Muslims and those who espouse truth and justice in favor of the peoples of the world unless the injustice inflicted upon the Palestinian nation and primarily supported by the United States is lifted

We deeply realize that every sane person believes deep inside that no other nation in history has suffered injustice like the one inflicted upon the Palestinian people.

This unlimited support of Israel results in the violation of all international laws and moral values

We would like to remind you of the point of view reached at by many of the distinguished academic scholars in America and Europe that assures that the events of the 11th of September 2001 were nothing but fabricated drama by some influential forces in America in coordination with Israeli Mossad

There is clearly a movement out there trying to turn the national and political conflict in Palestine into a racial and religious one. Regardless of which side you support, this turn should be confronted and resisted for reasons that lie for all to see in the cesspool of European 20th Century history.

This entry was posted in Bristol, Bristol Evening Post, Conspiracy theories, Middle East, Politics, Race, The British Left, The Trots and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

138 Responses to What rough beast?

  1. Chris Hutt says:

    Thanks for researching that BB. I did a bit of Internet research myself into the Holocaust which suggested that the term is properly used to refer to the Nazi state’s systematic persecution of Jews and other minorities which started in the 1930s rather than just the extermination camps.

    On the other hand there’s nothing new, or even 20th century, about ethnic cleansing and the elimination of rival tribal or racial groups. We ourselves are mostly the descendants of those who displaced the Celtic peoples who inhabited this island in Roman times.

    Many Israelis and many Palestinians would like to eliminate the other by some means or other, so nothing much changes except the means employed. Many of us instinctively side with the underdog, but if the Palestinians got the upper hand do we think they would be any less brutal and ruthless in trying to drive the Israelis into the sea?

  2. Dona Qixota says:

    I agree Chris. Although beware the swirling hippy/romantic mythology surrounding the “Celtic” concoction.

    Let us not forget these “other minorities” either: gypsies, gay people, communists, and basically anybody who didn’t fit in to the dream nightmare vision.

    Interesting title btw …

  3. Tony D says:

    Beware Chris of straying into areas where DNA analysis and re-assessment of the archaeological record are apt to demonstrate modern misconceptions about what actually happened just over 1500 years ago.

    The key difference between what happened 1,500 years or so ago in Britain and what happened 60-70 years ago in Germany is essentially this; one is open to debate – the other is not.

    There is clear, documentary, physical and biographical evidence of the wholesale slaughter of the Jews, the Romany, the mentally and physically disabled, and so on by the Nazis.

    What certain groups would like to do is to try to cast doubt upon the facts of the Holocaust and make it’s occurence as difficult to establish as the level of displacement and slaughter of the Romano-Britons by the Angles and Saxons.

    We don’t know for certain what happened between the Roman-British and the Anglo-Saxons. We do know for certain what happened between the Nazis and the Jews. Mass murder, but this utilitarian phrase does not serve well enough to even attempt to describe the horrors visited upon the victims of Nazi cruelty, and especially the Jews.

    To deny the Holocaust is evil.
    To use the Holocaust as a justification for inflicting suffering on others is also evil, and a betrayal of those who suffered.

  4. Chris Hutt says:

    We also know pretty well what happened to the indigenous peoples of the Americas at the hands of the European invaders. In many cases it was genocide in all but name. Millions were also exterminated by Stalin, and who invented the Concentration Camp? So let’s not think that the Holocaust was unique except perhaps in terms of the methodical manner in which technology was applied to the task.

  5. Dona Qixota says:

    That’s Industrialism for you. New Improved Slaughter and Slavery with added Efficiency!

    No people has the monopoly on suffering, nor on brutality.

    “In England, one major ‘export centre’ was Bristol, little more than a village until the late 10th century. William of Malmesbury says that Bristol was a long-standing market: slaves were brought from all over England for eventual sale to Ireland.”


    All can be prostitutes, pimps or punters … it just depends on time and circumstance.

  6. Og of Bashan's Ghost says:

    “So let’s not think that the Holocaust was unique except perhaps in terms of the methodical manner in which technology was applied to the task.”

    Indeed Chris. The use of technology such as gas chambers and railway networks is the thing that really distinguishes the attempt to exterminate European Jewery in the 30’s and 40’s. Myself, I can’t help but see it as ironic that people nowadays associate the attempt to exterminate an entire people with the events of WWII. If we look at the book of Deuteronomy, chapters 2 and 3, the Hebrews kill every man, woman and child of the kingdoms of Heshbon and Bashan (though they do of course keep the livestock for themselves). This is how they come to run Canaan (later Israel) in the first place. For anyone who can be bothered to look at an Old Testament and Apocrypha, there’s plenty more where that came from.

  7. Butterbean says:

    you anal nit picker BB. You know very well what Farooq was trying to convey but you’d far rather just put the boot in. Get some therapy and stop frothing like a mad rotveiller.

  8. thebristolblogger says:

    What do you think he’s trying to convey?

    I’ve taken his year long Holocaust/Palestine obsession in the pages of the Cancer to be a very calculated and deliberate attempt to offend. That’s what it conveys to me.

    His extra-curricular activities alongside Yvonne Ridley and 9/11 Troofers seems to confirm this too.

  9. badnewswade says:

    I don’t think it’s an attempt to offend. I think that’s what he actually thinks.

    My old man was into Islam as a convert for a while, (Islam as a political ideology that is, nothing spiritual) and he was frickin’ obsessed with the subject- it’s that whole thing of jealousy and wanting to acquire the Jews’ victim status. He used to rant on about “What are we- the new Jews?!” And of course he was a raving anti-semite, to the point where you could get a bit of a rise out of him by calling someone “a shmuck”.

    In modern English, Mr. Siddique, “Holocaust” means one of two things – the Nazi Holocaust of Jews and other minority groups (mainly Jews) and “nuclear holocaust”, i.e. a nuclear war which would just about kill everyone. What was the point of your pedantic raving on the other thread?

  10. Des Bowring says:

    I think Chris has it just about right – a historical perspective is always useful and instructive.

    At least Mr Siddique has caused a bit of a debate so good luck to him.

  11. redzone says:

    siddiques explanation describing his use of the ‘holocaust’ word & it’s comparisons is embarrassing & flawed.
    it seems a classic attempt at covering up what he really thinks & what he wants to portray for the ‘moderate’ muslim community viewpoint.
    he is actually doing more damage than good to the muslim community.
    b/b is correct, his links to ridley & the 9/11 idiots is hardly gonna enhance his reputation as a free thinking moderate muslim representative 😕

  12. badnewswade says:

    He’s gone nothing on the classic UK Indymedia byline though:


    iT;s are am jUST LIKE TEH hOLOCAusT ZOMG!!11!1

    And then when someone complains:

    WHY ARE YOUR A ZIONIST you zIOnAZI>!>!?!?!?>!

  13. Ella says:

    On Indymedia people were complainging about a protest in Easton where there were no women and then they bragged about letting women and children at the front of the march.

    The comments were exclusively aimed at how extremely sexist and unacceptable this is. Then Ed Hill rides in on his bike and goes YOU ZIONISTS DON’T KNOW THAT IN JERUSALEM THEY DUN LET WOMIN ON BUSES U ZIONISTS ARE TRYING TO ZIONIST DISTRACT ZIONIST AWAY FROM THE ZIONIST ISSUE ZIONIST I’VE ZIONISTED YOU! Basically no one was talking about Israel.

    It’s kind of like no we just don’t like ANY form of sexism but congratulations on proving your movement is being infested with demented fucks.

  14. Ella says:

    By the way I meant (at the top) *front of a their next march not that particular one.

  15. Jozer says:

    “There is clearly a movement out there trying to turn the national and political conflict in Palestine into a racial and religious one.”

    Yes. It’s called Hamas. Read their constitution. They are totally religion focused and will not be happy until Israel is destroyed. It’s not about Palestinian women & kids, who they will happily sacrifice in their war on Judaism, Christianity & secular modernity. It’s about them never accepting a non-Muslim state in that region.

  16. Des Bowring says:

    I do like Ella’s comments – I don’t understand a word of ’em but they’re still great.

  17. Shannon says:

    They’re now fighting each other about who does more, indyvols or indyusers. Mush head left.

  18. Jozer says:

    First, Hamas is the democratically elected government of the Palestinian people, not the corrupt regime led by Mahmoud Abbas.

    -I know, that’s why I hold the majority of Palestinian adults who voted for Hamas responsible for it’s rocket attacks on Israel, and the consequences.

    Second, Hamas spokesmen have repeatedly declared their readiness for a long-term ceasefire. Khalid Mish’al recently did so on these pages (Comment, 6 January).

    -Read their coinstitution. They are dedicated to the destruction of Israel.

    Third, Hamas has a solid record of observing ceasefires, while Israel has a consistent record of sabotaging them.

    -Hamas has a solid record of killing Israelis, both civillians and PoWs.

    Fourth, even during the ceasefire Israel did not lift its economic blockade of the 1.5 million inhabitants of Gaza, a form of collective punishment forbidden by international law.

    That’s Israel AND EGYPT, mate. Israel AND EGYPT. Look at a map. Israel CANNOT blockade Gaza on it’s own. Rocket attacks on civillians and the murder of PoWs are also ‘forbidden by international law’, but lets not critisise Hamas here, eh?

    Fifth, the offensive unleashed in Gaza was illegal, immoral and unnecessary. If all Israel wanted was to stop rocket attacks from Gaza, all it had to do was to observe the ceasefire brokered by Egypt in June 2008.

    -That’s the same Egypt that is blockading Gaza, right?

  19. Farooq Siddique says:

    Once again, BB i appreciate your enthusiam for my column, but in your response you have actually made my point. I was NOT,repeat NOT referring to the Holocaust in my column of that week. The word “Holocaust” does not appear in my column. I was referring, as I said in my column, specifically to the similarity in the conditions within the Ghettoes, not identical, i grant you, hence my deliberate ommission of the word “holocaust” in the article, but there is definately a legitimate comparison between what the Jews (and others) suffered then, to what the Palestinians are suffering in Gaza now. Yeesh! Perhaps, if you care to read it, and you can by clicking on the link below, you will clearlly see that the article is actually self explanatory. http://www.thisisbristol.co.uk/musliminbristol/Palestine-s-right-fight/article-591486-detail/article.html

  20. bluebaldee says:

    Honestly, I’m sick to death of listening to these bloody idiots and their tedious crackpot beliefs in whatever sky-pixie they bow their witless heads to.

    It’s the 21st century for crying out loud!

    God doesn’t exist! Never did. No more than Ganesh does or Ra did or spirits that live in rivers or rocks or any other manifestation of human fear.

    Stop bloody well fighting each other in the name of a figment of your imaginations. Stop oppressing, torturing and murdering each other because some of you wear skull caps, turbans or whatever.

    I’ve had a gutsful of this drivel and I just find it incredible that you’re all so bloody weakminded to still believe in all this fairies at the bottom of the garden crap.

  21. Chris Hutt says:

    Bluebaldy, do you know everything that exists? Are there not “unknown unknowns”? Has it ever occurred to you that what we know might be but a tiny fragment of all there is to know?

    We need some concept to embrace the “unknown unknowns”, the vastness that is beyond our comprehension, hence God, or Allah, or whatever. Such concepts have helped provide a moral focus for millions of people.

    Societies that adhere to moral values based around such concepts tend to be more cohesive and successful than societies that try to exist in a moral vacuum, as we seem to be doing.

    Ultimately we are all better people if we moderate our animalistic urges within a strong moral framework which in turn has to be based on the acceptance that there is something more important in life than self-gratification. Some people call that something God.

    Here endeth the lesson.

  22. badnewswade says:

    Hmmm… Bush’s America: successful? The Soviet Union: successful? The Middle East… succesful?

    IMHO a tolerant, non-moralistic society is far more successful than an intolerant one run by religious or political fanatics.

    This might interest people… it’s a discussion of how things might pan out if it hits the fan big-time economically, with analyses of past social crises and violence.


    I see this as applying to our society now and in the near future, think about the people who firebombed that Starbucks for instance (they had a strong moral framework didn’t they?)

    The people who killed thousands, then thousands and thousands in The War Against Terror all had strong moral frameworks, they believed in God, prayed regularly, they blessed their missiles and bombs, even as they blew themselves apart on public transport and razed whole cities to the ground they were praying and moralizing.

  23. the jolly blogger says:

    If you have to believe in a God believe in the Flying Spaghetti Monster it’s certainly less intolerent than most of the other religions around the world…


    The FSM’s 8 I rather you didn’ts are listed here.


  24. Butterbean says:

    Well said Chris Hutt, a voice of reason among a savagery of raving nutters. I don’t know why you bother though, this blogsite’s becoming a mecca for the unhinged and vicious. A temple of sycophants around His/Her Belligerence, the high priest/ess of bullshit, the latest camp in the ‘Denial’ series.

    Don’t you long for more civilised company?

  25. Des Bowring says:

    I’m a dyed in the wool atheist but I have no doubt humans would be just as beastly to each other if they didn’t believe in any god than if they did.

    Life would be very boring if everyone were nice to each other. I’m a great fan of the human race but we are a bit crap.

  26. Chris Hutt says:

    Although the Christian religion has been largely abandoned by the British, the moral values that in part derive from it have continued to provide some sort of social framework.

    But having abandoned the underlying religious framework the moral values become subject to doubts. Ambivalence replaces moral certainty which is arguably at the root of many social problems. The intelligentsia have always been aware of moral ambivalence but the ‘masses’ need something clearer to relate to.

    The relative success of many immigrant groups in the UK may owe much to their adherence to religious beliefs which provide them with the moral framework we increasingly lack. Think where that might lead.

  27. the jolly blogger says:

    “Well said Chris Hutt, a voice of reason among a savagery of raving nutters. I don’t know why you bother though, this blogsite’s becoming a mecca for the unhinged and vicious.”

    Including yourself Butterbean and your particularly unpleasant brand of anti-semitism.

    “Don’t you long for more civilised company?”

    Yes I expect Chris does (I know I do) so why don’t you sod off and argue with the other idiots on Indymedia.

  28. Rosso Verde says:

    Could you provide examples of Butterbean’s anti – semitism jolly Blogger?

  29. Ella says:

    I think some of you philistines need to introduce yourselfs to some philosophy and a couple of hundred years of incredible human flourishment against the grain of religion.

  30. Ella says:

    Yourselfs? Yourselves, rather. Sorry Des. 😀

  31. TonyD says:


    umm….awkward choice of phrase given the context

    The Philistines gave their name via the Greeks and Romans to the territory now called Palestine.

  32. Rosso Verde says:

    Well spotted Tony!

  33. Ella says:

    Tru fact. I obviously wasn’t calling them ancient settlers in Palestine, though. 😉

  34. thebristolblogger says:


    Gabriella Shalev, Israel’s ambassador to the UN, said yesterday that, “the Holocaust did not begin with gas chambers. It began with words”.

    You’d be wise to think about that for a while. History is not a pick ‘n’ mix selection that you can dip in to and grab convenient facts you need for rhetorical purposes. Neither is it an EU treaty. There are no opt out clauses.

    The events of the Warsaw ghetto are a part of the wider events of what we call the Holocaust. You cannot separate the two.

    The Warsaw ghetto makes no sense without the context of the Holocaust. Whether you mention the Holocaust or not is irrelevant. The Warsaw ghetto was a part of it. Do you wish to deny that?

    The fact you’re prepared to strip historical events from their wider context is disturbing. Taking historical events out of their context and recasting them for your own purposes smells of revisionism.

    Butterbean: rather than dodging around calling people mad, can you explain what you think Farooq meant? Are you a revisionist too?

    Rosso: I think Jolly Blogger might be calling Butterbean anti-semitic because he’s backing Mr Siddique’s rather odd take on recent history?

  35. rosso verde says:

    Mr Siddique is in no way denying the holocaust is he? – He is simply making a comparison between the events today Gaza and Warsaw in 1943 , which is a dangerous path to tread perhaps, but not in itself a sign of anti-semitism.
    Certainly the Warsaw Ghetto uprising and its supression must be understood as part of the process of the holocaust as BB says.
    For a first hand account of the Ghetto Uprising I’d recommend the book”The Ghetto Fights” by Marek Edelman.
    However lazy the comparisons may be anti-semitic motives may not be at the heart of it, there are similarities between the specific events in Gaza and the specific events in Warsaw, but Blogger is right that the overall framework for the events is profoundly different. I would avoid using the comparison myself, not because I am not very critical of the State of Israel and the war on Gaza, but because it can be seen as anti-semitic by Jewish people in general, whatever they think of the Israel/Palestine issue.

  36. bluebaldee says:

    Chris Hutt expresses the particularly strange assertion that our moral framework disintegrates in the absence of religion or that a belief in God somehow automatically engenders a superior morality.

    That’s clearly wrong. I don’t have a religious bone in my body and nor did my parents, I was simply taught to be nice to other people and to use my own common sense and conscience to work out what is right and what is wrong.

    There are many people who are very religious, but they still seem capable of committing the most heinous, immoral acts. There are many others who profess to adhere to a religious moral framework condoning such acts.

    It’s really not difficult. You don’t have to worship a fiction or read an ancient book to live a moral life. In fact, if we did base our moral frameworks exclusively on the Bible or the Koran, homosexuals, apostates, people who fall in love outside of marriage and all manner of others would be having a rum old time of it. They still do in some countries.

    Many, myself included, don’t need a concept such as ‘God’ to embrace the ‘unknown unknowns’. They’re simply ‘unknowns’, like the presence of of a black hole at the centre of our galaxy was up to a couple of years ago, or that the universe doesn’t revolve around the Earth.

    As we roll back the unknowns we become less reliant on the comfort blanket that is religion, and that’s a good thing because it’s nothing more than ritualised superstition.

    Religion has two parents; Fear and Control. They’re borne out of one and used for the other.

  37. Chris Hutt says:

    But the moral values that we mostly share today have evolved over the 1500+ years that Britain has been nominally Christian. During much of this period religion has played a much more important part in peoples lives than we can imagine today. So we cannot divorce our moral values from that heritage, however much we might want to.

    I don’t mean to suggest that there cannot be morals without religion. Rather the opposite, religion has been necessary to provide a rational for the moral feelings that we have evolved. Otherwise we are constantly torn between moral feelings and greedy or lustful ones. The moral feelings need bolstering if society is to benefit fully from them.

    If our moral feelings are unsupported by something like a religion they become just another animalistic impulse which can be ignored or suppressed in the pursuit of the gratification of other desires. If we all start to think it OK to lie, cheat, steal and deceive when it is expedient to do so then society breaks down.

  38. badnewswade says:

    The Muslims do seem to have a bit of a thing about the Holocaust and Jews. I’m sure this guy is fringe, but is there any other TV channel on Earth that shows piles of dead bodies with a commentator saying he hopes this happens again?


    Some of it is down to victim envy – my pet peeve has to be the term “Islamophobia” which betrays a similar sensibility, a self-pitying piece of language coined for the benefit of Western liberals attempting to conflate any and fears, criticism, or indeed prejudice against Islam or Muslims with homophobia.

    It’s interesting that the ideology of political Islam seeks to make the main persecutors of Jews and gays into victims. This is a common psychological phenomenon, although usually seen with hard core psychopaths.

    Quo Vadis, Farooq? I’m happy to accept Islam and Muslims, but not to the point where people setting fire to coffee shops and boycotting Holocaust Memorial Day. Tolerance has to run both ways.

  39. bluebaldee says:

    To address your first point, of course we can’t divorce our morality from that heritage, but our morality has changed and evolved for the better as religious influence has weakened. We simply don’t know what kind of moral framework would have evolved if we hadn’t experienced a religious heritage – we could very well have arrived at a more tolerant and empathic moral framework without religion.

    Moral feelings don’t have to be supported by religion, Chris. That assertion indicates that you don’t believe that humans are capable of rational thought, or of suppressing ‘animalistic impulses’ outside of a religious framework. How on earth do you account for the millions who don’t believe in a god, yet still manage to live moral lives?

    There are many non-religious people who find it quite easy to resist the urge to lie, cheat, steal, deceive, murder etc. Equally, there are many religious people who cannot resist those urges.

    Learning to live communally, as mutually supportive societies has had a greater influence on morality than any religion.

  40. I’m not going to defend hate speech on any side. Why is it that if i crticise Israel, i’m anti-semitic? I DID attend both the ceremenonies to mark the HMD here in Bristol. I am also a co-founder of Radio Salaam Shalom, a media platform for Muslims and Jews to talk together, again based right here in Bristol. I’m not anti-semitic by any stretch of the imagination! I’m known within both communities, Muslim and Jewish, as one who does not divide but seeks to bridge the divide. I’m truly amazed though, and in recent weeks utterly astonished, at how easily the accusation is thrown around against anyone who speaks up for the Palestinians. What Israel is doing in Gaza and in the West Bank, and what it has been doing to the Palestinians since 1947 is wrong. Simply pointing that out does not make me anti-semitic. Yes, the comparison I make in my column is dangerous, but I have done more than enough in my life, in my current commitments and achievements to make it crystal clear, that extremism of any kind, by any side is unacceptable. Indeed any reasoning that considers any other people less than us is far more dangerous than my comparison.
    The Jews, more than any other people on earth know where that road to hate begins. For the Zionists, hiding under the banner of that faith and under the suffering of that people, are committing unspeakable crimes against the people of the lands they occupy. I make no apoligies for speaking out against it.

  41. Des Bowring says:

    I’m a Darwinist – for me the only ‘morality’ is governed by the selfish gene. But the fact that there are ambulances and hospitals prove that perhaps humans are basically altruistic.

  42. Des Bowring says:

    I never buy Israeli coriander if that’s any help.

  43. Chris Hutt says:

    As far as I know every society that has ever evolved has done so complete with a system of religious beliefs. Therefore religion seems to be an integral part of any society, including modern atheistic ones which are still living off their religious heritages.

    Consider also the extent to which religion survived in societies where it was suppressed such as the Soviet Union, although one might consider the Communist ideology to be a substitute religion. I don’t know of an example of a society that does not have a religion or at least a recent religious heritage.

    Of course not all individuals in a society feel the same need for involvement with religion and some, like you and I, might like to think that they live their lives without it, but we live within a society whose values have been shaped by it.

    Do you think moral feelings are rational? I think not. I think they have evolved to enable us to live in close-knit social groups where conflicts within the group must be minimised. So children exhibit a keen sense of equality (‘snot fair!) without much parental prompting.

  44. badnewswade says:

    I’m truly amazed though, and in recent weeks utterly astonished, at how easily the accusation is thrown around against anyone who speaks up for the Palestinians.

    I’m not. But then I’ve been seeing lots of stuff like this:




    Starbucks firebombed? A Test delivery driver needed seven stitches? There’s a lot of this about and a lot of people, especially on the anti-war(?) left(??)-wing, need to cool their jets because people are being hurt and they’re cheering this crap on.

  45. badnewswade says:

    * Damn cheap keyboard, I meant a Tesco delivery driver grrr!

  46. Butterbean says:

    the jolly blogger, by calling me ‘anti-semitic’ aptly demonstrates the craziness of many on this site.

    An articulate comment from Farooq, who clearly has the patience of a saint, spells out the intelligent and compassionate place he’s coming from.

    PS I’m currently sleeping with (and have been for many years) an absolutely gorgeous person who was born a jew.

  47. the jolly blogger says:

    Mr Siddique your sloppy use of language and the questionable types you associate yourself with has led to this critism. You of all people should know about the fine line where religion and politics meet and how blurry it is. You have to be careful in your critism of Israel (and by all means be critical) because it can end up looking like your spouting guff about zionist conspiracies. This is why the Nazis believed extemination of the Jews would solve the world’s problems. The arab gulf states seem to take critism of their regrimes as a critism of Islam because one seems to prop up the other. Comparing Israel to Nazi Germany is particularly offensive to most Jews especially as there was a predominantly muslim Waffen SS unit called SS Handschar. The Unit’s recruits were encouraged to join up by Mohammad Amin al-Husayni, a Palastinian nationalist and Grand Mufti of Jerusalem who was in part responcible of the Arab Uprising of 1936-39.

    You like to go on about 1948 war but what caused all this was the 1936-39 Arab revolt which was in protest to jewish migration to Palastine. This led to the formation of extremist Jewish militias originally for self defence but eventually these groups fought for a Jewish homeland in 1948. Seems like the Palastinians shot themselves in the foot doesn’t it.

  48. Rosso Verde says:

    Jolly Blogger, whilst there was a Bosnian Muslim SS unit, there were also Bosnian Muslims who sheltered Jews during the German occupation, like in all occupied areas and within all communities there were resisters, colaborators and people who just kept their heads down.



    As to the Arab revolt, that was partly motivated by objection to Jewish settlers, but also a move to oust the British from the region. The British Empire had a lot to answer for, promising the territory to both the Zionist movement and to the Arabs.

  49. Steve says:

    Society evolves DESPITE religious beliefs rather than because of it. The only influence religion has had on this country has been in the subjegation of the uneducated and unquestioning.

    It’s about time the BEP stopped acting as a soapbox for religious fanatics.

  50. Rosso Verde says:

    I would rather there be more space for people from the humanist/athiest tradition in the press and the media in general.
    Silencing people from religious groups would be counter productive though.

  51. Dona Qixota says:

    Well said Jolly Blogger. It seems that after World War Two many Nazis felt very much at home in the Muslim Middle East, and experienced quite a welcome there, many attaining good positions:

    www . tellthechildrenthetruth.com/ where.html

    Butterbean, you seem to be of the knee-jerk left who would send anyone whose ideas you don’t like the sound of to a re-education camp or gulag. Do you really believe that anyone you disagree with has to be “mad”, “crazy” or insane?

    PS. whoever you choose to sleep with has no bearing on this whatsoever. As Beecher Stowe, Martineau and many others through history can testify, sexual liason in no way demonstrates a view of the partner’s equality.

  52. Dona Qixota says:

    Why does this discussion of “religion” seem to revolve around the three monotheistic ideologies of “The Book” which are all about social control, imo. This is why their followers are always running around trying to tell others what to do and how to live.

    Don’t judge all religion by the bad example of Judaism, Christianity and Islam. These dogmas have perverted people’s natural feelings.

    Don’t lose sight of all the other forms of religious expression, such as Taoism, Animism, Buddhism, Hinduism and the myriad of traditional organic religions of peoples around the world, before the monotheists arrived to try and wipe them out.

  53. Des Bowring says:

    ‘Taoism, Animism, Buddhism, Hinduism and the myriad of traditional organic religions’

    These are no better than the other religions though – they are still just superstitions. Why do you think they are more acceptable?

  54. Dona Qixota says:

    It’s not about our subjective view of whether these religions are “true” or not – after all, who are we to tell other people what to believe or not to believe. The main issue here is about freedom versus coercion. Monotheism is all about claiming to have The One and Only Truth and then forcing other people to sign up to It.

    Other, non-monotheistic religions and spiritualities (which are the majority of religions, contrary to the Bookists’ propaganda) are, by and large, quite happy to live and let live, and generally do not seek to proselytise.

    Des, are you one of these Militant Atheists (who seem like the very mirror image of religious Fundamentalists) and who can’t bear the thought of anybody believing anything that you don’t believe?

  55. Rosso Verde says:

    Many Nazis did pretty well at home, here in the UK, in South America, the Republic of Ireland, France, the USA etc… far more of them than in Muslim lands.

    People here have been accused of anti-semitism, without evidence. Bandying around insults at people trying to discuss the situation in Gaza, however incoherent and wrong one may think their arguments are, is to trivialise anti semitism itself.

  56. Rosso Verde says:

    To me all religion is equally silly, but when religion is state supported or armed it is more dangerous. I certainly don’t want to deprive more spiritually minded people of what is very comforting and useful to them
    State enforced Atheism like Enver Hoxha’s Albania is equally nasty.

  57. Des Bowring says:

    ‘Des, are you one of these Militant Atheists’

    Not particualrly, just someone for whom any belief in a spiritual entity seems utterly anachronistic in the modern world. I certainly don’t subscribe to the post-modern crap which says that one person’s ‘truth’ is no more or less valid than another’s ‘truth’.

  58. Dona Qixota says:

    RV – you need to look at the difference in how these Nazis were treated when they settled. AFAIK most Nazis in Euro-America had to lie pretty low and/or cover their tracks, whereas those in Islamic countries often did rather well for themselves, eg Karl Luder, “Chief of Hitler Youth movement. Held responsible for anti-semitic crimes in Poland.” even became War Minister in Egypt, according to the tellthechildren website. I doubt that many of them played down their involvement with the Nazi regime. Is this incorrect?

    Btw, the way you have written your comment is very vague and over-generalised, but it does seem to imply that I have accused others of anti-semitism. I don’t recall that I have. I very rarely do, for the reason that you give, so I hope you’re not pointing at me with that.

  59. Rosso Verde says:

    No Donna it isn’t you who has accused people of anti semitism. Sorry if my being vauge might give that impression!!

    Fair point on Egypt, Nasser was an obvious and open anti semite, in their rush to oppose Israel a lot of Arab Nationalists enlisted Nazi’s and ex Nazis.
    The USA famously gave new identities to many Nazis in order to work on the Bomb and in Anti Communist work. As they had just fought a war against Germany they were hardly going to be open about it.
    De Valera in Eire was an open Nazi sympathiser and a number of Nazis became prominent members of Fianna Fail, good History Channel documentary on this

    One thing that was just as bad was how German and other companies like Siemens, Krupps, IBM etc who were directly involved in the mechanics of the Holocaust remained completely unpunished

  60. Dona Qixota says:

    “German and other companies like Siemens, Krupps, IBM etc who were directly involved in the mechanics of the Holocaust remained completely unpunished”

    Agreed here, RV. Entnazifizierung was about as half-hearted as Deba’athification looks to be.

    Eire is an interesting case. Apparently the German embassy flew the Hakenkreuz over Dublin for the whole war period. Churchill threatened to invade because the Irish claimed neutrality but allowed German military vessels to dock and access facilities.

    Furthermore the IRA supported the Nazi regime throughout the war.

    Not the usual history that we’re fed is it?

  61. Dona Qixota says:

    Steve wrote: “It’s about time the BEP stopped acting as a soapbox for religious fanatics.”

    Second that!

  62. the jolly blogger says:

    Not to mention the fact that the Irish PM sent condolences to the Germany leadership upon hearing Hitler was dead. The Irish Republic and especially the IRA supplied german U-boats with provisions through out the war.

  63. badnewswade says:

    Yes, I hear that the original Devil’s Chemist, Bayer AG (spun off from IG Farben), are still up to their old tricks…


    It is depressing to me that Nazis were apparently welcome in the Middle East after WW2, and that the Nazi mentality is still so common, like Mein Kampf being sold on street corners, the cult of suicide, and so forth, but maybe with more moderate and especially even handed US policies peace will re-emerge as it did in the 1990s.

    Warfare and interreligious strife is an industry like any other, it is artificial and there are people who push it and wind it up for their own ends, to get power.

    It it to our own collective shame that the government sells weapons into the Arab-Israeli conflict and on a grassroots level, that some activists encourage anti-semitic attacks like the Starbucks firebombing. I myself pursue a quieter activism of ranting away on the internet and writing my poxy short stories, because sadly there doesn’t seem to be a genuine peace movement in this country anymore. Every little helps.

  64. Felix Farley says:

    DQ, RV, JB, you’re all talking mostly bollocks about Ireland in WW2. The true picture (and believe me, I can do a PhD in this, not just because I’ve read everything there is to read about it, but also because of family connections) is much more complicated.

    Eamonn de Valera was not a Nazi sympathiser. He was a devout Catholic and he considered Nazis vulgar and atheistic. In 1939, however, he rightly felt that he had no choice but to keep Ireland out of the War as the only way of holding his country together. Hitler had a lot of sympathisers in Ireland for the excellent reason that he was fighting the old enemy – England. The idea that Ireland harboured many people who sympathised with, or even understood, national socialism, is a nonsense. There was a small agrarian Catholic fascist movement in the 1930s called the Blueshirts, but they looked more to Mussolini and Franco than Hitler. By 1939 the movement had mostly faded away.
    The IRA looked to Hitler as someone who would help them get a united Ireland. De Valera interned every member he could lay hands on.

    While De Valera could not join the war on the Allied side, nor could he – or did he want to – appear to favour the German side either, not with 140,000 or so Irish nationals serving in the British forces or working in UK factories. Also, the Irish army was mostly run by upper-crust ascendancy officers who would never have contemplated fighting the British unless their country was invaded.

    Finally, the idea that Ireland was pro-Nazi once America, with its huge and politically well-organised Irish population is, well just silly. German sailors and aircrew who ended up in Ireland were interned for the duration. Allied sailors and aircrew were quietly shipped to Ulster. By 1941 the Irish intelligence arm was sharing information and even weather reports with the Allies.

    The yarn about German ships and U-boats using Irish ports is just a lie. It never happened. For one thing, Ireland had few reserve stocks of fuel, and certainly very little of the heavy oils needed for ships and submarines.
    Yes, De Valera screwed up by visiting the German minister in Dublin to pay his condolences. It was him acting out his “strict” neutrality, and because Churchill had just made a speech criticising him. But this was before the true scale and horror of the death camps and the deliberate policy of exterminating Jews had been fully exposed. In Ireland in April 1945 it was perfectly possible to believe that what allied air forces had done to German cities was just as bad as the treatment of European Jews. It was only later that the true extent of the Holocaust became clear.

    Yeah, a lot of old Nazis and Croatian (i.e. Catholic) fascists ended up in Ireland. That’s shameful, but it doesn’t make De Valera a Nazi. Personally I think he was one of the worst things to ever happen to Ireland, turning it inward and insular, but he wasn’t evil.

  65. Butterbean says:

    Dona Qixota

    ‘knee-jerk left who would send anyone whose ideas you don’t like the sound of to a re-education camp or gulag.’

    Blimey! Yet again demonstrates my point.

    If someone speaks up in response of unsavoury attacks and collusions on this website, they’re labelled as someone who’d ‘send people to gulags’ .

    Please point out to me from Farooqs original article and the comments he’s made, the bit that qualifies the attacks on him.

    and do you really think its ‘sane’ to accuse me of anti semitism

  66. thebristolblogger says:

    I’m not going to defend hate speech on any side. Why is it that if i crticise Israel, i’m anti-semitic?

    It’s not because you criticise Israel; many people do that, and rather more elegantly than you do. It’s because you choose to use crude antisemitic tropes – Hitlerite comparisons, Holocaust references, conspiracy theories – and it’s because of the anti-semitic company you choose to keep.

    I DID attend both the ceremenonies to mark the HMD here in Bristol. I am also a co-founder of Radio Salaam Shalom, a media platform for Muslims and Jews to talk together, again based right here in Bristol. I’m not anti-semitic by any stretch of the imagination! I’m known within both communities, Muslim and Jewish, as one who does not divide but seeks to bridge the divide.

    That’s why local Rabbi, Francis Berry has described your remarks as “offensive” is it? You’re building bridges by being cynically and gratuitously offensive towards another race in the city are you? Well done.

    You might also stop to consider the bridges you might be burning as you trample all over our recent history. You see Farooq, the Third Reich isn’t ancient history. It’s within living memory and the war against it happened here in Bristol too.

    If you bothered to climb out of your bubble for five minutes and engage with city and all its people you might see that. Walk around the city and the mass bombing sites are there for you to see in Castle Park and Broadmead. The Nazis literally burnt the heart out of our city.

    Look closely at the inner city suburbs. Why are there 1950s houses stuck in a 19th century terraces? Where did those old houses go Farooq? What happened to the people in them?

    Around 1,400 Bristolians – all civilians – were killed in six months in 1940-41. But we don’t rant inanely about genocides and holocausts. Because it wasn’t one. That was happening somewhere else.

    Then there’s the thousands of Bristolians who died in combat. That wasn’t a holocaust or a genocide either.

    When you talk glibly of Nazism, the Third Reich and try to fool us about genocides and Holocausts in the middle east you’re talking to a city that knows all about it, has lived through it and paid a high price thank you very much. Show some proper respect for that. Who exactly do you think you’re trying to fool?

    A lot of people in this city really don’t appreciate you twisting and abusing their history and experience because you want to play race war in the Middle East from the comfort of your armchair thousands of miles away

    I’m truly amazed though, and in recent weeks utterly astonished, at how easily the accusation is thrown around against anyone who speaks up for the Palestinians.

    It is not easily thrown around. It is aimed at those, such as yourself, that use this conflict as an opportunity to rearrange and reinterpret history in order to crudely blither on about the Third Reich – a subject about which you know nothing of any value – for cheap political purposes.

    A lot of people ain’t falling for this line in nasty propaganda either pal. Decent, good people aren’t joining your cause, they’re deserting it in droves. That’s the real tragedy for the Palestinian people. Those that claim to support them the most are marginalising their cause by deliberately turning it into a racial and religious cesspool. You are not helping the Palestinian cause. You are making it disreputable and unsupportable.

    What Israel is doing in Gaza and in the West Bank, and what it has been doing to the Palestinians since 1947 is wrong.

    A broadly reasonable statement although it’s a conflict of considerable complexity and nuance. (But I’m not going to start running through 100 years of Middle Eastern politics and history now)

    Simply pointing that out does not make me anti-semitic.

    You’re not simply pointing that out. You’re manipulating an extremely emotive and bitter part of recent European history to compare Israel to the Third Reich. That is not simple, it’s perverse.

    Yes, the comparison I make in my column is dangerous,

    It is also historically inept, hugely ignorant and self-defeating. Why do it? What are you hoping to achieve? Do you think people are so stupid they will come rushing to support a movement promoting false history and dubious facts?

    but I have done more than enough in my life, in my current commitments and achievements to make it crystal clear, that extremism of any kind, by any side is unacceptable.

    Your comparison of Israel to the Third Reich is extreme. End of.

    Indeed any reasoning that considers any other people less than us is far more dangerous than my comparison.

    That’s an assertion, not a fact. I find falsifying history for propaganda purposes, deliberately recasting a national conflict over land in racial and religious terms, sitting on platforms alongside Islamists and spouting anti-semitic conspiracy theories pretty dangerous myself. The fact it might be less dangerous than some other form of extremism is of little comfort to me.

    The Jews, more than any other people on earth know where that road to hate begins. For the Zionists, hiding under the banner of that faith and under the suffering of that people,

    The government of Israel – not your loaded but vague term “the Zionists” – has not at any time justified or attempted to justify the recent Gazan conflict under either the banner of faith or the suffering of their people. This is simply a lie. It is you and your kind that constantly and obssessively refer to the Holocaust. (Indeed it’s ubiquity from Palestinian propagandists make it seem like a carefully planned PR technique)

    Israel has consistently cast this conflict in security terms not in the racial and historical terms you claim. This is another of your dubious interpretations. You’re always reaching for those race and religion explanations aren’t you?

    I make no apoligies for speaking out against it.

    You’re not speaking out against it. You’re stoking it.

  67. Dona Qixota says:

    Felix Farley – as Rosso Verde said: “Many Nazis did pretty well at home, here in the UK, in South America, the Republic of Ireland, France, the USA etc”. Now I won’t say I know as much as you about Irish history, but there is some detail on the Nazis taken in to Eire here:

    www . independent.ie/opinion/analysis/how-devs-ireland-became-safe-haven-for-fugitive-nazis-120588. html

    De Valera’s “belief that the Nazi movement was a nationalist force just like Ireland’s republican movement” would explain his sympathies, as well as those of other Republicans.

    There is also this:

    www . victims.org.uk/nazi. html

    Or are you going to say that none of that is correct?

    Butterbean – your ranting about “the craziness of many on this site” doesn’t demonstrate anything to me other than that you try to brand people who disagree with you as “crazy”. This is what the Left often tend to do. In the Soviet Union the Left were in charge and put people who disagreed with them into mental hospitals and gulags. Would you really be any different if you had the power?

  68. Trebuchet no point says:

    OMG! (other deities are available)

  69. redzone says:

    this is an interesting paragraph from siddiques column;

    ” On Saturday, I joined about 500 Bristolians on a march through the city centre to protest about the impending Israeli onslaught. We were welcomed with cheers and the tooting of car horns. I felt a sense of unity and accomplishment. Later that evening though, ignoring the world outcry, Israel invaded Gaza.”

    a noble cause in itself but in the bigger picture, it kind of sums up how these people are alienating themselves.

    about 500 bristolians?
    it’s not really a great show of unity & support considering the size of the population of Bristol 😯
    after you take out the lefty group members, the out of town activists & the local muslim community support.
    how many of the remaining marchers are everyday folk, actually just marching for peace with no political or religious agenda?
    not many i would guess:?

    just like the stop the war coalition & the other various causes, they’ve been hijacked by the lefty extremists groups for their own political aims.
    fortunately people aren’t being fooled by it & as b/blogger rightly says, it is making them disreputable & unsupportable!!

  70. Pingback: Pages tagged "rough"

  71. Rosso Verde says:

    I wasn’t trying to label all of Irish Nationalism as pro Nazi, De Valera was as Felix said taking the my enemy’s enemy is my friend with regard to Germany and Britain.
    We allied with Stalin in the same war.
    An interesting case in the IRA is Frank Ryan, who fought against fascism in the Spanish Civil War, then worked with the Nazis in WW2

    Back to the original argument:
    I don’t think either Butterbean or Farooq Siddique are anti-semites, but as Blogger says their arguments may be “inelegant”

    Discussions about and comparisons to the Holocaust and specific events like the Warsaw Ghetto are fraught with difficulties, there are some too ready to make lazy comparisons and others who will jump down the throat of anyone who even mentions the subject.
    Some of the most interesting and controversial writers on this subject are Jewish or of Jewish extraction. Many of those critical of Israel have even been called “Self Hating Jews” by some pro Israeli commentators.
    Writers taking a more or less critical position on Israel worth reading include Israelis Illan Pappe and Avi Schlaim and British writer Alan Hart and American Jewish Academics Norman Finklestein and Lenni Brenner.
    On the moderate pro Israeli side there’s also Benny Morris. All worth looking into, none of them free of controversy (impossible when dealing with this subject)

  72. Butterbean says:

    Dona Qixota

    can’t you see how crazy you’re being by your accusations. I think you’re the one more likely to be sending people to gulags etc – its afterall whats going on in your head, not mine.

    Considering the tone and slagging off thats goes on in this website, given your frame of reference aren’t you concerned that some of your luvvies would like to execute people never mind send them to gulags.

  73. Des Bowring says:

    I’m in two minds about the whole thing, me.

  74. Felix Farley says:

    DQ … A thread about Muslims, Jews and the Middle East is not really an appropriate forum for a lengthy discussion about what happened in Ireland in WW2, but … I am not denying that some war criminals found shelter in Ireland after 1945, and I am not denying that it’s shameful and disgusting.

    What I am saying is that Eamon de Valera was not a Nazi sympathiser and to suggest he was is absurd. The Irish fascist party was one of the biggest political threats he faced in the 1930s. In common with many other Irish Catholics, though, he was a casual anti-semite. But then again, so were a lot of people in Britain at the time. That’s not to condone it, simply to state the facts.

    Believe me, I really don’t want to stick up for de Valera and Irish neutrality. One of my own family’s proudest boasts is its relation to the one solitary Irish politician at the time who suggested the country should enter the war on the Allied side. His name was James Dillon and his political career was put on hold for many years because of it.

    But I do want to stick up for the truth, and that is that the majority of Irish people were not Nazis and didn’t approve of mass extermination of anyone, whether Jews in death camps or German civilians in bombed cities. And Ireland certainly did not help or harbour U-Boats; that is simply a lie. It wasn’t government policy, and it was not physically possible.

    If you want to be entertained on this issue, I suggest you read up on the history of German spies in Eire during the war and see what happened to them; it’s amusing. Or for a really good general history, try ‘In Time of War’ by Robert Fisk (yes, him!)

    The two links you cite are an object lesson in how not to get history from the internet. The first is written by a journalist with a limited grasp of the facts and an agenda to provoke, while the second is an Ulster Unionist one which reads just like Stormfront.

    Apologies to everyone else. You may now return to the main topic of this thread.

  75. Rosso Verde says:

    Fair play Felix,

    Valera for his many faults did stand up against O’Duffy and his thugs.
    On Unionism the picture is complicated as well, lots of Nazi links there of course, yet the late David Ervine of the Loyalist linked PUP had a picture of James Connolly on his wall.
    The example set recently in Ireland does perhaps hold out some hope.

  76. thebristolblogger says:

    Sorry Butterbean but I’ve been waiting two days for you tell me what Farooq was “trying to convey” with his Warsaw Ghetto analogy. Could you stop changing the subject and tell us please?

    We’re waiting and we’re all ears …

  77. Butterbean says:

    Its patently obvious.

    Whats also obvious is that this blogsite is largely about slagging off and petty point scoring.

    I’m sure you could and would argue that Mary Poppins was a paedophile if the idea took your fancy.

  78. BristleKRS says:

    “Obvious” to you, Butterbean, perhaps because you’ve had your fingers burned.

    Personally I find all this You-Zionist!-You-anti-semite! fingerpointing rather tedious. I’m more interested in the dogshit & doorstep stuff.

  79. thebristolblogger says:

    I fear that the answer to the question can’t be found in Butterbean’s peak oil book so he’s a bit lost.

    KRS, we will be returning to some juicy local stuff shortly. I have documents in my hands that are pure dynamite …

    Bristol social services take cover!

  80. Dona Qixota says:

    Actually Felix, with the title of this post being “what rough beast,” a discussion of politics in early 20th century Eire seems very relevant.

    You are quick to calumniate FAIR in most UNfair terms. They may be controversial – what isn’t controversial in N. Ireland? – but to compare them with Stormfront is ludicrous. Most noticeably you do not attempt to deny the majority of what is written on that web-page.

    Curiously your comment about having a “relation to the one solitary Irish politician at the time who suggested the country should enter the war on the Allied side … and his political career was put on hold for many years because of it” seems only to confirm anti-Allied feeling in Eire!

    The story surrounding the statue of Sean Russell, mentioned on the FAIR website seems quite a touchstone. Perhaps you prefer the Times and Guardian:

    “The Irish Republic has been forced to confront the legacy of its neutrality during the Second World War after anti-fascists attacked a memorial to a pro-Nazi IRA leader.

    A statue to Sean Russell, who died on board a German U-boat in 1940, was left headless after an attack by youths in Fairview Park in Dublin.

    As the group that looks after the statue admitted that it is almost certainly beyond repair, the Simon Wiesenthal Centre in Paris called for it to be left unrestored as an enduring symbol of Ireland’s “shame”.

    Shimon Samuels, director for international affairs at the centre, the world’s largest Jewish human rights organisation, told The Times: “It’s a blot on the history of Ireland, but blots have to see the public light.”

    www . timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/article411647.ece

    “They said that as Europe prepares to commemorate the 60th anniversary of the liberation of the Nazi death camps, they could no longer tolerate a statue in honour of Sean Russell.

    Russell was commanding officer of the IRA during the Second World War and conducted a campaign of assassination and sabotage in both Britain and Ireland, aimed at damaging the war effort against Hitler.

    Although an open ally of the Nazis, Russell is still honoured by the modern IRA and Sinn Fein. In September 2003, Sinn Fein MEP Mary Lou McDonald spoke at a rally to commemorate Russell in the north Dublin park. The same rally was also addressed by veteran IRA man Brian Keenan.

    In a statement released this weekend, the group claiming to be behind the attack on the statue said: …

    ‘Sean Russell was one of many nationalist fanatics who looked to Hitler for political and military support in the IRA’s quest to reunify Ireland at the point of the bayonets of the Gestapo.

    ‘At the Wansee conference, the infamous Nazi gathering that planned the “Final Solution”, the Jewish community in Ireland was marked down for annihilation. Having freed Ireland from British rule, the Nazis expected their collaborators to help them round up Dublin’s Jews and ship them off to Auschwitz. That was the price Sean Russell was prepared to pay to end partition.’

    www . guardian.co.uk/world/2005/jan/02/Ireland

    The statue is, astonishingly, going to be re-made in bronze, and put up again.

    As for trying to cast doubt on writing just because it is found on the internet – well this is the usual way that authorities try to dismiss everything they don’t like on blogs “it’s only someone on a blog”, “how can we listen to anything written by someone pseudonymous?” blah, blah, blah. The fact, is that critical faculties are always necessary, whether the testimony is with your own eyes, in the flesh (especially if they are a politician!) in a book, or on an internet page.

    As for the idea that my enemy’s enemy is my friend – it has got to be one of the more foolish and dangerous notions to afflict humanity … which brings us back to the British Left cosying up with Islamists again …

  81. Felix Farley says:

    Jayzus Dona, give it up, will ya? You’re way out of your depth here, floundering around all over the internet looking for evidence to back up your point that … Well, what is your point anyway? That most or all of the Irish people were Nazi sympathisers?

    Let me help you here with your amateurish evidence-gathering; if you want an eight-cylinder, gold-plated unrepentant Irish Nazi sympathiser, look up the writer Francis Stuart … But so what? It’s like saying that Evelyn Waugh’s sympathy for Franco makes the English fascists, or the existence of the Blackshirts means most Brits were national socialists?

    And what do the actions of Sean Russell signify? The IRA in 1940 was a shambles and Russell saw an opportunity of getting German assistance. Just as a handful of extreme Scots and Welsh nationalists saw an opportunity. Meanwhile, the Irish government was busily rounding up and interning every IRA member it could lay its hands on. This is the government of Eamon de Valera, who you’d also have us believe was pro-Nazi. As for the business with the statue, well, the IRA was never a homogenous organisation; it’s produced several loonies and psychopaths, but it also produced Sean MacBride.

    Hindsight is easy, but the reality in Ireland in 1939 was that people saw and knew little of the persecution of Jews in Germany. The political reality they did know about, and had seen for themselves, was Black & Tan atrocities and 300 years of English dominance underpinned by violence and an imposed protestant aristocracy which grabbed all the best land. Despite this, there was also considerable support for the Allies because of family connections and because tens of thousands of Irish men and women were in the British forces. Under the circumstances, de Valera, bad an’ all as he was, felt he had no choice but to remain neutral, and this policy enjoyed the overwhelming support of the populace.

    It seems to me though that many British people like to be wise after the event, and my guess is that a couple of generations of British schoolchildren have grown up thinking that Britain went to war with Germany in 1939 because the Nazis were evil and were murdering Jews. That’s not what actually happened; Chamberlain went to war for the balance of power after Germany invaded Poland. AFAIK Chamberlain never mentioned Jews once, and Churchill didn’t often refer to them either until the death camps were revealed.

    No Allied nation declared war on Germany for the sake of Jews or human rights – something that every Israeli knows from birth.

    I leave it to you to thrash around the internet to get in the last word. Anyone else wanting to get up to speed could do worse than the Wikipedia entry at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Emergency_(Ireland)

  82. Dona Qixota says:

    FF wrote: “what is your point anyway? That most or all of the Irish people were Nazi sympathisers? ”

    No Felix.

    You don’t need to be quite so rude or chippy, surely?

    This all started off from RV pointing out that there is a carefully hidden legacy from the 1920s and 30s in Europe, as well as the Middle East.

    I see no problem with acknowledging this as it relates to Britain. That’s why I made this comment here, in November last year:

    “from “Patriotism Perverted: Captain Ramsay, the Right Club and British Anti-Semitism 1939-1940” by Richard Griffiths.

    “The whole of chapter one is an examination of “anti-Semitism in Britain in the thirties”, and the sad fact is that it was so widespread amongst British people then, as to be almost the norm, particularly in the form of what Griffiths calls “social anti-Semitism”.

    On page 12 Griffiths writes;

    “In certain respects … there is an enormous gulf between then and now, which manifests itself most clearly in the preconceptions which governed social interactions, preconceptions which were often betrayed by the discourse used in everyday speech. Nowhere is this gulf more evident than in the behaviour, and discourse, relating to the Jews.

    The Holocaust was to be the catalyst, in almost every nation in Europe, for a revolution in discourse and behaviour …”

    And, perhaps even more shocking for the modern mind, he begins chapter 3 with the following;

    “Pro-Nazism had been a common feature in wide areas of British public opinion in the years 1936-9 …”

    I think it is fair to say that a great deal of propaganda effort has gone into creating a myth of a nice, wholesome pre-War Britain. This is a comforting white / black fantasy world of jolly decent Britishers versus wicked blackshirts and nazis. But this myth is a lie.”

    thebristolblogger . wordpress.com/2008/11/20/city-of-green-syphilis/#comment-14992

    It seems to me that big problems are coming from failing to acknowledge or try to understand history, why things happened the way they did then, the influence that has had over the last 100 years, and what is happening now.

    In this respect Jonah Goldberg’s book “Liberal Fascism” is very interesting.

  83. OMG says:

    FFS Felix, when someone starts coming out with that kind of faux “Oirish” spelling, I usually suspect that they are what my mates from Dublin describe as as “fuggin American plastic paddy”!

  84. CP says:

    FF….I’m afraid you are discovering that much of this blog is less about rational debate than about some weird sort of personal assertiveness, in which cause facts, historical accuracy, internal logic and often common sense are thrown out the window. The value of the blog, insofar as it has any, is that it occasionally uncovers local sharp practice . Sometimes, though, it seems a high price to pay.

  85. Butterbean says:

    Ho ho BB,

    I’m in stitches.

    I could spell it out for you to attack and off round and round it goes. Predictably boring as already commented.

    On this site, someone who says ‘Hi’ is clearly an American fundamentalist who believes in Creation theory.

    To question gov policy someone must be ‘a self hating Brit’

    Let just hope you are wrong about some of your interpretations. Or if not then lets hope you have a positive effect by your naming and shaming public figures. Not very pleasant however if you damage someone who doesn’t deserve it.

    You might just have sufficient modesty to consider that Farooq may have been struggling to contain his outrage at the extaordinary collective punishment consistently handed out to the Palestinians and maybe thought the particular comparison he was making might get through to people more powerfully, the real horror of the situation.

    Its often the case that comparisons do actually help people to relate what they are doing to what has happened to them. Not necessary effective in all cases, may be a bit overpowering to some. And of course comparisons have both similarities and differences. Inevitably.

    No two situations are ever identical.

    My interpretation.

    I had thought that Farooq had more than adequately responded to your attack.

  86. Butterbean says:

    Since you mention oil, (and presumably the book I previously referred to ‘The last oil shock’ by David Strahan,) I’d be interested to hear whether you still believe that the invasion of Iraq was nothing to do with USA and UK securing oil supplies, once you have read the book and considered the mountain of evidence it provides.

  87. The Jolly Blogger says:


    I would like to point out that even if you do have a phD it doesn’t make interpretation of history correct. Why else do you think hundreds of books have been written over the years on various historical battles and wars each taking a slightly different angle on events? History is what you make of it and what you do to educate mankind so the bad bits (i.e. the Holocaust) doesn’t happen again.

  88. thebristolblogger says:

    this blog is less about rational debate than about some weird sort of personal assertiveness, in which cause facts, historical accuracy, internal logic and often common sense are thrown out the window

    The point that’s being argued is whether there’s any equivalence between Gaza and the Warsaw Ghetto and by implication whether the current Israeli regime are Nazis.

    A lot of people would think that facts, historical accuracy, internal logic and often common sense would make this a nonsense.

    Here’s the facts:

    The Warsaw Ghetto: 400,00 died in total in about 2 years. 100,000 from disease, starvation and random execution. 300,000 were sent to concentration camps.

    The Holocaust: 11m killed in total. Between 1933 and 1945 the Jewish population of Europe was reduced by two-thirds from 9m to 3m.

    Arab/Israeli conflict: total number killed in the entire conflict in 60 years – around 60,000

    Palestinians: Population tripled since 1967

    Gaza: Palestinian casualties since June 2007 when Hamas seized control: 3,000 maximum (including Palestinian on Palestinian ).

    To make a genocide comparison – which is what Farooq is doing – you need a genoicide. Where is it?

    The casualty figures are consistent with an ongoing border conflict. So why not compare it to one rather than the single most genocidal regime in modern history?

  89. Butterbean says:

    An ongoing border conflict is an inadequate description.

    The point you seem so determined to ignore is the massive inbalance of power, the long standing illegal occupation, collective punishment towards to the Palestinians where even humanitarian aid centres are targeted. The Israeli forces have consistently blockaded to prevent medical aid getting to Palestine, prevented farmers getting their food to markets, bulldozied Palestinian dwellings along with their inhabitants, shooting children at point blank range well within internationally agreed Palestinian territory during so called ceasefire, then theres the recent carnage. In short, systematically undermining every aspect of Palestinian existence

    While in a number of respects not reaching the horrors of the Nazis, the considerably cruelty towards civilians including elderly and children measured in thousands rather than millions should not be understated.

    Amnesty International is very clear that while there are war crimes on both sides, Israel has vastly more to answer to.

    Since Nazi behaviour includes horrific systematic cruelty and brutality way beyond strategic military targets then not surprisingly some might see some similarities, if not in entirety.

  90. Chris Hutt says:

    “horrific systematic cruelty and brutality way beyond strategic military targets” – like indiscriminate rocket attacks on Israeli settlements? It’s just a difference of scale, isn’t it?

    “the massive inbalance (sic) of power” – so the Israelis should scale down their forces to match those of the Palestinians, to give them a sporting chance of driving the Israelis into the sea?

  91. Ella says:

    Butterbean, this isn’t a personal attack but your criticisms of the blogger are really askew. For one, you seem determined to ignore the entire point the blogger is arguing: that it isn’t comparable to the Warsaw ghetto and comparisons to it are, from my interpretation at least, motivated by politics rather than righteousness.
    “An ongoing border conflict is an inadequate description. ” Well actually it’s just a valid description free from emotive language. The blogger doesn’t need to persuade anyone on here that what is happening to the Palestineans is bad but there are other issues in the world that would make a far more logical comparison. Anyone who sees similarities between the Nazis and Israel “in entirety” needs to educate themselves badly as they would hold an utterly ridiculous and deeply offensive position. I can trace many family members who perished in the concentration camps and they didn’t suffer and die so the SWP or venomous fools on Indymedia can promote their pet campaign. Why do people even feel the need to compare what’s happening in Gaza to other conflicts? As far as I’m concerned the situation in itself warrants outrage. It increasingly seems to me those who attempt to defend comparisons to the Nazis perhaps believe that less than I do? Israel would not be compared to the Nazis if they weren’t a Jewish state, no one needs to be told that. If you think the situation in Gaza is horrific, which it is, then talk about how the situation in Gaza is horrific. The movement wouldn’t be so hindered if people didn’t try and add unnecessary and foolish controversy.

  92. Lizard Watcher says:

    Well said Ella, I don’t really think that there’s much I can add to that… apart from, has anyone noticed how the events in Sri Lanka, which have killed as many people as those in Gaza, and have over the years caused untold misery, gets so little attention? I haven’t noticed any big demonstrations in cities across the country, no peace vigils in the city centre, no speeches in the Counts Louse, no indymedia panic, etc etc.

  93. Rosso Verde says:

    There was a demo on Sri Lanka in London, so its untrue that everyone is ignoring the situation, of course the Israel Palestine conflict has had much higher media coverage and attention than most other terrible recent events, but in geo-political terms, Arab/Muslim nations relationship with the ‘West’ is widely seen as one of the issues of today, by both left and right.

    Here’s the details on the weekends Sri Lanka demo:

    Which ever side you support or not support please join us in solidarity with 250,000 civilians who have fled to the forests and are being caught up in the indiscriminate attacks of the Srilankan army
    more than 1000 civilians have been killed by the Srilankan army shelling in the last week..
    independent reporters have been banned by the government from entering northern Srilanka.
    250,000 civilians in northern Srilanka are trying to escape from the heavy fighting.they have no access to food, clean water or medicine.
    if you want to get more info on what is happening check out http://www.tamilsforum.com/
    it is a family and child friendly peaceful demo- so people of all ages are welcome.
    http://protest.net/imcuk/calendrome.cgi?span=event&ID=1272837&state_values=and please circulate as widely as possible.

  94. Butterbean says:


    I said ‘not in entirety’ and meant that, I was pointing out there were only some similarities.

    Thanks for your family history. But doesn’t that feel hard knowing that the very people who survived such viciousness became such vicious bullies themselves.

    That seems to be an underlying reason for comparison with Nazi’s. A sense that the Jews, having suffered such horrors at the hands of the Nazi’s, should have been more sensitive when they came into power. A tall order perhaps after so much suffering, but then the bullied can go either way – simply repeating the bullying towards others or having enough awareness and determination not to.

    I think the Warsaw comparison is an attempt to demonstrate that those occupied by a mightier force won’t pull any punches in an attempt to fight back, even if they invariably get hammered.

    While it might be just as relevant in comparing the Chinese with the Nazi given the decades of brutality in Tibet, it doesn’t seem to happen, perhaps because events there are in different geographical framework.

    Comparing Israel with China wouldn’t convey anything to most people. Yet again there are similarities eg Israeli occupation of Palestinian territory, China’s occupation of Tibet etc etc

    I see it as an attempt to convey the horror of the situation in Palestine in terms that people can readily relate to and therefore speak up about and try to change.

    Chris, I’ve clearly stated that there are recognised war crimes on both sides. And one of the points about Israels greater power (curtesy of the West) is the way they have used it to consistently bully and crush Palestine while the West looks the other way and fails to uphold internationally agreed boundaries.

    I think the most pertinent thing that several people have referred to is the actual effect of such comparison.

    If by making whatever comparison the net result is escalation rather than understanding then its inappropriate, simply because it didn’t work.

    And I agree theres much carnage in the world to speak up about and much more on its way, but thats another thread.

  95. BB, do you not tire of repeatedly twisting my words, to suit your narrative?

    I am not going to do a poit-bu-point rebuttal of your response, i just do not have the time, but I will encourage you to read Sir Gerald Kaufman’s speech to the Houses of Parliament on Jan 15th – after my column was printed. You will be flabbergasted to know that he makes the same comparisons to the Warsaw ghettoe as i do, but goes much, much further than I did. He comes at the subject not from the woeful ignorance that you do, but from the tragic experiences of his own life.

    read it and weep!

    3.5 pm – Sir Gerald Kaufman (Manchester, Gorton) (Lab): “I was brought
    up as an orthodox Jew and a Zionist. On a shelf in our kitchen, there
    was a tin box for the Jewish National Fund, into which we put coins to
    help the pioneers building a Jewish presence in Palestine.

    I first went to Israel in 1961 and I have been there since more times
    than I can count. I had family in Israel and have friends in Israel. One
    of them fought in the wars of 1956, 1967 and 1973 and was wounded in two
    of them. The tie clip that I am wearing is made from a campaign
    decoration awarded to him, which he presented to me.

    I have known most of the Prime Ministers of Israel, starting with the
    founding Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion. Golda Meir was my friend, as
    was Yigal Allon, Deputy Prime Minister, who, as a general, won the Negev
    for Israel in the 1948 war of independence.

    My parents came to Britain as refugees from Poland. Most of their
    families were subsequently murdered by the Nazis in the holocaust. My
    grandmother was ill in bed when the Nazis came to her home town of
    Staszow. A German soldier shot her dead in her bed.

    My grandmother did not die to provide cover for Israeli soldiers
    murdering Palestinian grandmothers in Gaza. The current Israeli
    Government ruthlessly and cynically exploit the continuing guilt among
    gentiles over the slaughter of Jews in the holocaust as justification
    for their murder of Palestinians. The implication is that Jewish lives
    are precious, but the lives of Palestinians do not count.

    On Sky News a few days ago, the spokeswoman for the Israeli army, Major
    Leibovich, was asked about the Israeli killing of, at that time, 800
    Palestinians-the total is now 1, 000. She replied instantly that

    “500 of them were militants.”

    That was the reply of a Nazi. I suppose that the Jews fighting for their
    lives in the Warsaw ghetto could have been dismissed as militants.

    The Israeli Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni asserts that her Government
    will have no dealings with Hamas, because they are terrorists. Tzipi
    Livni’s father was Eitan Livni, chief operations officer of the
    terrorist Irgun Zvai Leumi, who organised the blowing-up of the King
    David hotel in Jerusalem, in which 91 victims were killed, including
    four Jews.

    Israel was born out of Jewish terrorism. Jewish terrorists hanged two
    British sergeants and booby-trapped their corpses. Irgun, together with
    the terrorist Stern gang, massacred 254 Palestinians in 1948 in the
    village of Deir Yassin. Today, the current Israeli Government indicate
    that they would be willing, in circumstances acceptable to them, to
    negotiate with the Palestinian President Abbas of Fatah. It is too late
    for that. They could have negotiated with Fatah’s previous leader,
    Yasser Arafat, who was a friend of mine. Instead, they besieged him in a
    bunker in Ramallah, where I visited him. Because of the failings of
    Fatah since Arafat’s death, Hamas won the Palestinian election in 2006.
    Hamas is a deeply nasty organisation, but it was democratically elected,
    and it is the only game in town. The boycotting of Hamas, including by
    our Government, has been a culpable error, from which dreadful
    consequences have followed.

    The great Israeli Foreign Minister Abba Eban, with whom I campaigned for
    peace on many platforms, said:

    “You make peace by talking to your enemies.”

    However many Palestinians the Israelis murder in Gaza, they cannot solve
    this existential problem by military means. Whenever and however the
    fighting ends, there will still be 1.5 million Palestinians in Gaza and
    2.5 million more on the west bank. They are treated like dirt by the
    Israelis, with hundreds of road blocks and with the ghastly denizens of
    the illegal Jewish settlements harassing them as well. The time will
    come, not so long from now, when they will outnumber the Jewish
    population in Israel.

    It is time for our Government to make clear to the Israeli Government
    that their conduct and policies are unacceptable, and to impose a total
    arms ban on Israel. It is time for peace, but real peace, not the solution by conquest which is the Israelis’ real goal but which it is impossible for them to achieve. They are not simply war criminals; they
    are fools.”

    You can also listen to Sir Gerald Kaufman’s speech on Video:


  96. thebristolblogger says:

    I’d make the same response to Kaufmann that I make to you. I think this speech has already been discussed on here. I’ll try and find the link.

    It’s here.

  97. Ella says:

    Wow, Butterbean. Well done on failing completely to give an intelligent response. That wasn’t just my family history, it was the history of millions and millions of people (not just Jews) who died as a result of the Holocaust. I guess my family history just helps me understand the matter slightly better than you.

    This bit is fantastic:
    “(Thanks for your family history.) But doesn’t that feel hard knowing that the very people who survived such viciousness became such vicious bullies themselves. ”
    Actually no my family moved to Australia and pretty much never talked about it after. SORRY. Idiot.

    “A sense that the Jews”
    Yeah man those fuckin’ JEWS. Those JEWS EVERYWHERE that did all that crazy motherfucking shit. All those JEWS marched straight out of the camps and straight into the Holy Land and were like JEWS IN DA HOUSE. Unless you’re talking about the founders of Israel? Funny because when I talk about JEWS I don’t actually mean Israelis or the founders of Israel. Maybe you should try thinking or at least talking like that, then people won’t accuse you of being racist or anti-semitic. I don’t think you’re either but the way you talk about this issue makes you sound terrible.

    “I see it as an attempt to convey the horror of the situation in Palestine in terms that people can readily relate to and therefore speak up about and try to change.”
    Doesn’t seem to have worked though, does it? In fact, evidently, it just offends people and makes those making the comparison look either historically ignorant or plain unpleasant in using such a tasteless comparison. Why compromise your own intelligence or moral principles (which you, when you claim to be so ‘civilised’ obviously pride yourself upon) to get people to ‘relate’ to you. Maybe some of you people need to stop thinking everyone else around is so dumb you need to speak to them in comparisons such as the Holocaust. Assuming ‘the masses’ have brains though would greatly damage your egos I suppose.

  98. redzone says:

    “You can also listen to Sir Gerald Kaufman’s speech on Video:”

    ummmm? no thanks, think i’ll pass on that one, until i get a bad case of insomnia 😀

  99. Butterbean says:


    Its a pity you would rather rant than discuss.

    I’ll ignore all your unpleasant hysterics as you’ve obviously just lost your temper.

    I know of course that Jews do and have always lived throughout the world. I live happily with one for example and I live in Bristol.

    We’re discussing Israel/Palestine at the moment and therefore referring to Israeli Jews. Sorry I didn’t make that sufficiently clear for you.

    I also have a friend who’s Jewish parents moved to Tasmania as I’ve already pointed out in a previous thread, and whose father committed suicide having been so traumatised by the Nazi horrors.

    I’m not sure how much the trauma to individual humanbeings varies when they’ve lost their entire family along with millions of others or merely thousands of others.

    I don’t blame you for being angry, we are talking about the worst possible human behaviour, just get a bit more angry about the disgraceful way Israeli military forces have and are behaving towards Palestinian civilians.

  100. the jolly blogger says:


    Here is a tip use the term Israeli not Jew or Zionist careful use of language won’t result in people labelling you anti-semetic. Also think about your responses so in future you don’t get the angry (but justifiable) responses back.

  101. Rosso Verde says:

    Jolly Blogger, using the term “Zionist” is different from the term “Jew” as Jewish people can be Zionist or not.
    A British Jew (or non-Jew for that matter) can be Zionist/Anti Zionist or Non Zionist, that is simply a matter of political opinion.
    An Israeli refers to someone from Israel, whether Jewish or Arab.
    As for insults and racism, its always what you say but the way you say it.

  102. Rosso Verde says:

    that should be NOT always what you say….

  103. Lizard Watcher says:

    Ooops, sorry Rosso, I missed the solitary Sri Lanka demonstration… maybe they should’ve set a coffee shop on fire to help their publicity.

    Lets remember that Sri Lanka (then Ceylon) was part of the British Emprire, and, that the ancestors of many of those Tamils were brought into Ceylon by the British, to work the tea plantations. The events in Sri Lanka have a great deal to do with policies of successive British governments.

    It is worth thinking that one of the reasons why the Sri Lanka conflict gets less publicity, is that Europeans don’t have the same historical problems with Buddhists as with Jews? Think of phrases that were the norm until very recently. “I’ve been jewed” for example… I haven’t heard of anyone being buddhisted.

  104. Butterbean says:

    Careful now lizard, you’re risking being labelled ‘a self hating Brit’ by suggesting your own government’s implicated in anything nasty thats happening in the world.

  105. Ella says:

    Butterbean, I do get extremely angry about the behaviour of the Israeli government. The Israeli government didn’t make snide, dismissive comments to me on this blog. I obviously did lose my temper when you decide to be rude about da fam. If you don’t want people to get angry watch how you talk about other people and don’t use clumsy and stupid words such as ‘Jews’ when talking about the Israeli government.You’re the one who made discussion impossible. Common Sense lesson #1.

  106. thebristolblogger says:

    Has anyone been labelled a ‘self hating Jew’ on here? Or is Butterbean making things up?

  107. badnewswade says:

    It is worth thinking that one of the reasons why the Sri Lanka conflict gets less publicity, is that Europeans don’t have the same historical problems with Buddhists as with Jews? Think of phrases that were the norm until very recently. “I’ve been jewed” for example… I haven’t heard of anyone being buddhisted.

    That’s a interestingly scummy little insinuation, isn’t it boys and girls? See how he implies that anti-semitism is in fact all the faul of TEH J0000000Z!!11! Thrill to the innuendo and slime that pours out of the “anti-zionist” crowd! Wonder why anyone would ever dare question their motives!

  108. Lizard Watcher says:

    You’re farting foul wind as usual Butterbean. Like someone said earlier, we need a lot more honesty about the fuckups that have been done in the past. It’d be great if the left could be more honest about their history too. Your crappy comment about being a self hating Brit… well, I always thought that it makes sense to look at all the things you’ve done, good and bad, rather than being selective – that’s how you learn – a concept that the left in general seem not to understand. This could go some way to explaining why they always seem to repeat the same mistakes, and never seem to get anywhere. My enemy’s enemy is my friend; in bed with islamists – another dead end.

    Badnews, go back and read what I wrote again… please don’t force me to put the words “irony alert” at the top of all my future comments. The point I was making, is that it looks to me as though a big reason people are so busy jumping on the Gaza bandwagon is because of the long-standing anti-Semitism in Britain, which has run through all sections of society. Any reason, whether real or imagined is good enough when it comes to dishing it out to those joos.

  109. Butterbean says:

    This blogsite gets ever more comical as more people label each other ‘anti semitic’ on the most nonsensical basis.

    What is increasingly obvious is that theres a lot of baggage here. What would it take to make you guys less hyper reactive, less hyper sensitive and less paranoid.

    Taking it out on each other and on decent people like Farooq is not the answer. And Farooq deserves an unreserved apology for such hate mail and anyone reasonable would see that. And yes I agree with Farooq that BB has consistently twisted his words.

    Lizard you make me laugh, lecturing others about irony while being incapable of ‘getting it’ themselves.

    I wholehearted welcome any criticism of any government whose policies cause harm in the world, especially our own as we are supposed to be in a democracy.

    I was making reference to a comment which suggested that any Israeli Jew who spoke up against their brutal government was labelled ‘a self hating Jew’. A lesson in how to dismiss.

    Thus we have the rediculous situation of decent honest respectable Israeli Jews being dismissed by the fanatical.

    By the way Ella, do correct me if I’ve forgotten but to my knowledge I have never mentioned the ‘H’ word nor did Farooq in his article. You’re in such a state of reactivity, why don’t you re-read when you’ve calmed down. It was certainly not my intention to be rude to your family and indeed I wasn’t as the context we’re discussing in Israel/Palestine and your family don’t live there. I certainly haven’t intended or feel that I’ve made snide or dismissive comments to you. But I do feel you have been very rude towards me.

    What makes the discussion impossible is the amount of baggage still carried from atrocious situations in the past thats passing down the generations. Understandably maybe, but really not helpful in the present.

    Farooq is so right that BB is very selective and painstakingly ignores anything contrary to his/her attempted sensationalism or ideas about anything, much to his/her discredit. I’ll just have to take Rosso Verde’s word for it that this is exceptional. (Result of aforementioned baggage perhaps?)

    In other words this is less of a discussion and more of a witch hunt.

    I too have never heard the expression ‘jewed’. And as for long standing anti semitism in Britain, Lizard, I don’t doubt it though do bear in mind we’ve had at least one Jewish prime minister here. The prejudices lurking in the region where I’m from were actually homophobia and the only racism towards Pakistanis. Seems curious now, I’m not sure why all the other possiblities were left out. Even as a child I didn’t buy into this, my parents would have soon corrected me if I had.

    Perhaps someone could define Zionism as I’m not convinced given the way its bandied round, that everyone is clear about its meaning.

  110. the jolly blogger says:

    “And as for long standing anti semitism in Britain, Lizard, I don’t doubt it though do bear in mind we’ve had at least one Jewish prime minister here.”

    What about Shakespeare’s Shylock from the merchant of Venice and Charles Dickens’ Fagin from Oliver Twist. Characters who hardly portray the jews in a positive light. Casual anti-semitism has been in this country for centuries. Denial of this fact by yourself in the face of various questionable posts by various individuals on this blog and indymedia plus the fact that the number of racially aggrievated crimes against Jews in this country has gone up in the past few years makes me wonder what fantasy world you are inhabiting?

    A quote from wikipedia (I know that it isn’t always a reliable source) about the term Zionism which is why I don’t like to use it…

    “According to historians Walter Laqueur, Howard Sachar, Jack Fischel and others, apologists for antisemitism sometimes also use the label “Zionist” as a euphemism for Jews in general”

    Judging from some of the posts here and elsewhere I’d certainly believe that people are using the terms Zionist and Zionism interchangeably with Jew and Judaism.

  111. Rosso Verde says:

    There have been plenty of debates between academics as to the nature of Anti-Semitism and Anti Zionism, back to Wikipedia:

    There are many Jewish people who consider themselves Anti Zionist, for political reasons here are a few blogs:

    Then there are the Satmar Orthodox jews who oppose Israel for religious reasons, a tiny and extreme sect Neturei Karta, are very media savvy but extremely reactionary in their politics, however their website is interesting:

  112. Jaanaki says:

    People here just do not seem to be bothering about Tamils in Sri Lanka the way they are about Gazans. Sometimes it might look like people don’t care what a Sinhala government does, but do when it is an Israeli government.

    The situation is really so very similar, with civilians being held hostage by ultraviolent extremists like Hamas who constantly claim to speak for the civilians whose lives they are threatening. In Sri Lanka the LTTE Tamil Tigers have followed a long programme of assassinating all the moderate politicians who were willing to have dialogue with the other side. There is a list at the South Asia terrorist portal, under the title, prominent leaders assassinated by LTTE. They do this so that the extremists can then have a monopoly in politics and nobody is left to contradict whatever they say. Then they can control the population how they want.

  113. Butterbean says:

    jolly blogger, how about actually reading what I’ve written.

    How can you possibly accuse me of denying anti semitism exists when I stated that I didn’t doubt long standing anti semitism existed in Britain.

    Yes I know the literary references. Not exactly flattering. And I’m not playing it down by referring to Jews who have become esteemed public figures.

    Its just that there’s probably long standing anything you can think of in Britain from homophobia to being fat, and I’m really not up on the finer details of longstandingness for every possible prejudice that exists.

    I know that general violence has increased in Britain, I also know many people who’ve been seriously hurt for no obvious reason in Bristol. They simply seemed to be in the wrong place at the wrong time, in some cases didn’t even have any possessions taken. I know that hospital security has stepped up to try and protect medical staff from violent behaviour. I don’t personally know the statistics on anti semitic crime and whether this is increasing at the same rate or greater. In terms of racial crimes I’ve certainly seen some hideous photos of beaten up Asians, Somalians etc. I totally agree that its entirely unacceptable. One person being hurt is one too many.

    Do you know the detailed statistics for racial crime against Somalians, for example? I bet you don’t. Yet I’m not about to accuse you of living in fantasy land. That would be ridiculous.

  114. Rosso Verde says:

    Some people descibed as “Anti Zionist” are Anti Semites, no doubt. There are also a number of Jewish people who consider themselves “Anti Zionist” for religious or political reasons.
    There are also self described Zionists who are anti semites in my book:

    Nick Griffin BNP leader and holocaust denier has been very supportive of Israel recently:


    It’s all rather complicated!

  115. Dona Qixota says:

    You’re quite shameless aren’t you, Butterbean. You stormed onto this thread with intemperate abuse from your first comment:

    “You anal nit picker … Get some therapy and stop frothing like a mad rotveiller”

    The you worked yourself up about “a savagery of raving nutters. I don’t know why you bother though, this blogsite’s becoming a mecca for the unhinged and vicious. A temple of sycophants around His/Her Belligerence, the high priest/ess of bullshit, the latest camp in the ‘Denial’ series. Don’t you long for more civilised company?”

    “craziness of many on this site.”

    “the Jews, having suffered such horrors at the hands of the Nazi’s, should have been more sensitive when they came into power.”

    “can’t you see how crazy you’re being by your accusations. I think you’re the one more likely to be sending people to gulags etc – its afterall whats going on in your head, not mine. Considering the tone and slagging off thats goes on in this website, given your frame of reference aren’t you concerned that some of your luvvies would like to execute people never mind send them to gulags.”

    And that’s just the bits that I could be bothered to retrieve.

    Unlike Rosso Verde, you don’t give the impression that you’re here to dialogue, it seems clear that you just want to abuse and upset anybody who dares to stand up and disagree with you or Mr Siddique, a man you would have us believe is saintly, which I doubt.

    You’ve ranted and raved about “this blogsite” totally missing the point that there is no party or group. Every single person here is an individual with their own mind that they can make up for themselves. Butterbean, I’ve got news for you – you are just another one of the individuals commenting here, no different.

    Of course everyone has “baggage”. I’m sure you’ve got plenty, or do you think that you alone are some kind of perfect, objective observer?

    Your behaviour is really not helping to persuade anyone here of the rightness of your case. Quite the opposite, I’m afraid.

  116. thebristolblogger says:

    What would it take to make you guys less hyper reactive, less hyper sensitive and less paranoid?

    People like yourself and Farooq not supporting so-called “moderates” and “progressives” like Yousuf Al-Qaradhawi would be a start. He’s just been outed praising Hitler and the Holocaust and hoping to start another one:

    Throughout history, Allah has imposed upon the [Jews] people who would punish them for their corruption. The last punishment was carried out by Hitler. By means of all the things he did to them – even though they exaggerated this issue – he managed to put them in their place. This was divine punishment for them. Allah willing, the next time will be at the hand of the believers.

    Qaradhawi is described as an “eminent international Muslim Scholar” by the Muslim Association of Britain – they’re the people organising all those Stop the War protests you and all your friends go on Butterbean. Nice company you’re keeping.

    There’s no hyper sensitivity or paranoia here Butterbean. There’s legitimate concerns that you’re not addressing. You’re now marching alongside Holocaust deniers.

    I was making reference to a comment which suggested that any Israeli Jew who spoke up against their brutal government was labelled ‘a self hating Jew’

    Nobody on this thread has labelled anyone a “self hating jew”. You’ve raised the term.

    Thus we have the rediculous situation of decent honest respectable Israeli Jews being dismissed by the fanatical.

    A ridiculous situation you’ve invented.

    to my knowledge I have never mentioned the ‘H’ word nor did Farooq in his article.

    Farooq directly compared the situation in Palestine to the Holocaust last year. That’s what first alerted me to him.

    What makes the discussion impossible is the amount of baggage still carried from atrocious situations in the past thats passing down the generations.

    And who brought up baggage like the Warsaw ghetto and the Holocaust in the first place and why?

    Perhaps someone could define Zionism as I’m not convinced given the way its bandied round, that everyone is clear about its meaning.

    Isn’t it the polite way for liberals to slag off Jews? It’s a totally meaningless term to me. It belongs in the middle of the last century. Although I don’t do really do ideologies, I’m a pragmatist.

  117. The Jolly Blogger says:


    Just because there has been one Jewish Prime Minister doesn’t make Britain any less anti-semetic than somewhere that hasn’t had a Jewish Premier.

    As for the rest of it I think BB has said all that needs to be said to you far more elliquantly than I can.

  118. Butterbean says:

    Dona Qixota,

    I totally agree with you that I have baggage. I’d be very worried by anyone who thought they didn’t, because then there’d be a chance they’re judgement is being affected by something outside their consciousness.


    ‘supporting so-called “moderates” and “progressives” like Yousuf Al-Qaradhawi’

    Since when. I don’t even know who this person is.

    I’m possibly even more appalled by the Holocaust than you are. As far as I’m concerned there can be no justification whatsoever for the Holocaust.

    BB you raised the term ‘self hating Jew’ on this thread. I was responding to you raising the term, which I’d been parodying having heard it first on this blogsite. See if you can do a comprehensive search and find it.

    I’ve tried your link to the ‘first’ Farooq article that ‘alerted’ you but it doesn’t get me there so would you please retrieve it in its entirety so I can get as clear a picture as possible of what he actually said.

    I am getting a clearer sense of whats behind the reactivity that I so rudely pointed out in my earlier posts. Its fear. I have more comments on that but first read the article below, written by a Jew who makes some interesting points


    ‘When Israel is equated, on the one hand, with Nazi Germany and, on the other hand, with the Jewish people, inevitably it suggests – whether or not this is intended – the equation of Jews with Nazis. Since the genocide of the Jews was at the heart of the Nazi project, this is a particularly vicious equation to make. I dare say it is mostly unintended by the groups that use or tolerate this image’

    the pertinent bit for this thread is the issue of intentionality.

    Coming back to fear. Like any emotion it clouds judgement. And I think Jolly Blogger demonstrates the need for reassurance that both the cause of fear eg anti semitism does exist, but he/she also struggles to see the absence of anti semitism.

    To quote again from the same article ‘it is perfectly legitimate to make careful, measured comparisons. Many Jews themselves do so. In fact, it is precisely the fact of the Nazi Holocaust that has sensitised many of us to the horrors of ethnic nationalism, in Israel and elsewhere’

    Please also read this very detailed article from Noam Chomsky, it might help to understand, I think, the strength of feeling that leads to the troublesome comparisons that are being made.


    (Thanks by the way for getting me so interested in this whole subject area. I do feel I’ve learnt a lot thought I shudder to think how much of my time’s been diverted)

    Fear. Thats the important issue here. Fear.

    If we could only start off by owning our fears it would save so much time and energy.

    A more meaningful response to the articles by Farooq might be along the lines of:

    ‘When you make such comparisons, I get really scared because I’m worried that Jews in general and my friends and loved ones in particular will be hurt by those who are inclined to violence. I’m worried by anti semitism and fear its escalation. Lets stand together and condemn all violence in a demonstration of our mutual concern for each other.’

    How about it. Let organise a huge celebration of all our cultural richness. I love Jewish music. And Arabian music. and lots of music. Wheres the biggest venue in town. Lets put Bristol on the map for its determination to enjoy diversity and overcome prejudice.

  119. The Jolly Blogger says:

    Thought you got the last word here Butterbean? Well not this time!

  120. Somebeheadingtodo says:

    “Yousuf Al-Qaradhawi …. I don’t even know who this person is.”

    If you don’t know who he is and what he and people like him say and stand for, then I suggest you need to educate yourself. And quick. Before it is too late.

    Then you might start to understand why people all over the world are justly afraid and becoming more so every day.

    Don’t just accept the smooth words of the apologists who are justifying the unjustifiable: the daily slaughter, the rapes, the beatings and the mutilations. Wake up and see the reality that is being imposed in ever more areas and that will be imposed on the entire world and all of us – if we are so complacent.

  121. rosso verde says:

    you wouldn’t let it lie!

  122. The Jolly Blogger says:

    More bad comparassions by your good self Farooq. I doubt you’re an anti-semite but some of the guff you come out with and the people you associate with are. You are an apologist for a regrime who kills it’s own people either directly (political opponents, etc) or indirectly by baiting Israel with rockets near election time. Though Israel’s behaviour is appalling, Hamas’ is far worse.

  123. Butterbean says:

    Jolly Blogger,

    whatever took you so long to fail to respond to my comment.

    I do wish you would read the article by Naom Chomsky, an eminent Jewish intellectual. Are you afraid to look at the mountains of evidence of the atrocities inflicted by Israeli Jews in their relentless expansionism. Hamas are complete amateurs when it comes to terrorism compared to the Israeli military.


    please wake up and see the bloodthirsty expansionism of the Israeli Jews. How do you fancy being bulldozed out of your own home, having everyone you know blown to pieces, denied access to medical aid, held effectively captive in your own country with nowhere to escape when the white phosphorous is released that burns through your flesh and into your bones.

    Be afraid of all horror whatever oppressive regime it comes from. And Israel is a seriously oppressive regime.

    The world becomes an increasingly terrifying place if we don’t condemn all violence. To selectively condemn some and look the other way for others, perpetuates injustice. Escalates fear, violence etc

  124. Dona Qixota says:

    It could be that JB didn’t respond to your Feb 5th comment because it was SO lame.

    Butterbean, you really do have Somexplainingtodo. You even prove how tiny your grasp of these urgent global issues is when you admit that you’ve never even heard of Qaradawi. There must be vast gaps in your understanding, to look at what you’ve been coming out with over this thread and others.

    For myself I will freely state that I condemn Israeli violence. Fwiw, baggage, I have met a respectable Israeli family here in Britain who were some of the most obnoxious and racist people, and sufficiently arrogant as to abuse England and the English to me (an English person) while I was a guest in their house.

    However, I also think that we must see much stronger condemnation of Hamas from all Palestine supporters in the UK, and a strong rejection of all within the pro-Palestine movement who try to excuse Hamas oppression.

    There are Amnesty reports which show what Hamas are like:

    www . amnesty.org/en/news-and-updates/report/hamas-waged-deadly-campaign-war-devastated-gaza-20090212

    And as many others have pointed out here, it is so very noticeable that the milk of your “empathy” only seems to flow as far as the Palestinians.

    Unlike the actions of Israel, which are quite limited in scope, the Islamists are carrying out violent actions on a daily basis – worldwide!

    Where is your sympathy for the people of Swat and your condemnation of the Tehreek-e-Nafaz-e-Shariat-e-Mohammadi (Movement for the Enforcement of Islamic Law)?

    Amnesty reports that: “Over the past two years, radical cleric Maulana Fazlullah and his followers have increasingly established control over the Swat Valley, imposing a de-facto administration. The group has consolidated its control by setting up a parallel justice system with over 70 “courts” to administer “speedy and easy justice”. This means meting out punishments that amount to cruel, degrading, or inhumane treatment. The Pakistani Taleban recently threatened to kill all lawyers and judges if they failed to stop working with the state judicial system.

    In Swat, the Pakistani Taleban have committed serious human rights abuses, including the unlawful killing of scores of government workers as well as those whom they view as violating their edicts. The Taleban have publicly whipped men for shaving their beards, destroyed shops for selling music and forcibly prohibited women from leaving their houses unless escorted by a male relative …

    Over the past 18 months, the Taleban have destroyed more than 170 schools in Swat, including more than 100 girls’ schools …”

    It is obvious that you have great difficulty in answering direct questions and that you sidestep any issue that involves global Islamist violence and oppression … but do try, if you can.

  125. Rosso Verde says:

    Hamas are the symptom, the occupation is the disease.

    Thouroughly nasty bunch as Donna says!

  126. The Jolly Blogger says:

    Israel is no longer trying to expand and has excepted Palastine’s right to exist it’s a shame that Hamas has failed to do likewise. The Israeli government has forciably evicted illegal jewish settlers from areas where they’ve pulled out. This isn’t about the past it’s about moving forward into a peaceful tomorrow. Sadly Hamas and now Israel (the right winger got in) don’t want peace and I guarantee that the Palestinians will continue to suffer.

  127. Rosso Verde says:

    Jolly Blogger

    `fraid you are probably right for the short term at least.

  128. Butterbean says:


    of course you don’t have any gaps in your knowledge and you’re far too superior to actually bother to read what other people actually write.

    You and many others on this thread consistently fail to directly answer or respond to comments. So much selectivity going on.

    I’ve consistently condemned all violence so do learn to read. That said you seem to think non-violence is lame. So I’ll oblige you by calling you a vicious as well as a stupid bitch. There does that feel nice and unlame. Just stick with all your well loved baggage and remember to go off at regular intervals with screams and accusations of anti semitism to relieve the distress.

    As for the Jolly Blogger, doesn’t seem capable of reading either. Especially continues to fail to read evidence researched by eminent Jewish intellectuals. What are you frightened of finding out about your unlovely pals in Israel.

  129. The Jolly Blogger says:

    Thanks Rosso it’s nice to see at least someone agrees with me at least in part. I’ve always fancied visiting Jerusalem and nosing around its narrow, ancient streets but not until the risk of me being blown up by a crazed fanatic or shot by a member of the IDF with an itchy trigger finger has significantly reduced. There needs to be a secure peace and a willingness to build on that peace on both sides before this middle eastern bloodbath can be resolved.

  130. Rosso Verde says:


    I generally agree with what you argue, but don’t stoop to insults mate, it doesn’t help win arguments!

    The writers on this subject I like include Illan Pappe, Joel Kovel, Alan Harte, Norman Finklestein, Avi Schliam and Lenni Brenner.

    For a more pro Israel perspective try Benny Morris.

  131. Rosso Verde says:


    Have been to Jerusalem and the West Bank pre intifada (with the more lefty people in my family there who live there and have close Arab friends)

    I’d love to go back again but my self imposed no fly rule and the situation means I will have to wait!

  132. The Jolly Blogger says:

    Your Jewish intellectuals struck me as very biased and didn’t look at the other side of the coin. They also failed to take into account that it’s not your standard war out there it’s a guerrila war where your enermy looks like a civilian. It’s these problems which various different armies have had to face including Britain. The IDF have taken a hard nosed angle on the problem but the British have done the same in the past with varying degrees of success. How would you deal with these kind of problems if you were an IDF military planner fighting something as innocuous as the PLO and then Hamas? Fear and awe tactics has worked for the Americans and is quite good at ending a conflict fast and with your limited troop numbers and small high tech arsenal that’s what you need. I don’t like that fact anymore than you do but when you’ve got a terrorist aggressor firing rockets at you and pressure from Cabinet MPs who want to get back in after the elections you don’t have much of a choice.

  133. Butterbean says:


    my ability to stoop to insults pales into insignificance compared to the highly wrought or should I say overwrought skills of madam Qixota.

    I do find it a bit trying when the likes of madam repeatedly witter on determined to distort anything and everything. Glad you have patience but makes me want to tell the patronising cow to go play in the traffic.

  134. Butterbean says:

    oops hit the wrong button before I had a chance to edit.

    thanks though Rosso cos it makes me realise how uninterested I am in ‘winning arguements’, while at the same time, realise it means everything to some people. For me its more a question of making sense of things and pointing out the Emperors lack of clothes. If the rabble and the Emperor want to carry on uninterupted then once I’m over my surprise at this I lose interest in the situation.

    Other thing I’ve realised is the passive agression at large and its interesting to be on the receiving end of this as I hadn’t been clear about what this meant before.

    Jolly Blogger, I’m almost getting fond of you though incredibly perplexed that you clearly haven’t read Chomsky or you wouldn’t continue to be so misled by the situation in Israel. In a nutshell, Israel has historically sabotaged all attempts at diplomatic and peaceful solutions since the last thing Israel has wanted was to be diverted from its illegal and ever expanding land grab. Israel has been the agressor and terrorist state for decades you numbscull.

  135. The Jolly Blogger says:


    I have to say you’re the numbskull (see I can spell it correctly). I had read Chomsky’s article, it was full of emotive language, bad comparisons (especially the American War of Independance, too much time spent watching the Patriot me thinks) and some things which I actually agreed with but those points were obliterated by some of the utter bollocks that he came out with. An example of this is “Israel’s senior diplomatic correspondent Akiva Eldar reports that shortly before Israel launched its full-scale invasion on Saturday Dec. 27, “Hamas politburo chief Khaled Meshal announced on the Iz al-Din al-Qassam Web site that he was prepared not only for a `cessation of aggression’ – he proposed going back to the arrangement at the Rafah crossing as of 2005, before Hamas won the elections and later took over the region.” I’m sure he did whilst the Hamas leadership continued to aggressively claim that rocket attacks would not cease and that they would eventually drive Israel into the sea. Hardly a good position for starting peace talks now is it? It was a very one sided arguement by Chomsky which still failed to address my fucking point that to have peace you need to look forward and not dwell on the past which Chomsky fails to do. Look at Northern Ireland for instance, only when they started looking forward and stopped looking backwards thereby avoiding the recriminations of the past on both sides.

  136. Butterbean says:

    Jolly Blogger,

    I’m really pleased for you that your spelling has so much improved over the course of this discussion.

    Unfortunately your comprehension hasn’t.

    Given the massive savage injustices heaped on Palestine including the illegal occupation, any lasting peace needs to address and heal the past.

    It entirely irresponsible to ignore decades of abuse and expect everyone to just ‘move forward’. Its an impossible expectation.

    It also rewards atrocious behaviour. It gives permission for any oppressive regime to grab land then when they’ve got what the want to get away with it cos misguided souls like you want everyone to ‘look forward’.

    It would be clear to you if you had actually applied yourself to fully digesting all the evidence Chomsky draws attention to, that Israel has consistently set out to undermine any peaceful solution as its sole intention has been land grab.

    Think about it Jolly Blogger. If someone dragged you out of bed in the middle of the night and moved their mates in claiming it was their house, despite the fact you were the legit owner, would you honestly think it OK if everyone just wanted to look the other way and suggested you ‘look forward’ not back, and whats wrong with sleeping under a hedge? Wouldn’t you just be a smidgeon pissed off. Your incandescence with the blatant theft would be almost insignificant compared to your sense of betrayal at the screaming injustice that people are telling you is the way forward.

    Wake up. What sort of world do you want to live in.

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