Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Boycotting Israel and other stuff

Here is an article very clear explaining why a boycott of Israel is justified, despite Israel not being the only country doing bad things. I think the strongest argument though is that it could work. Israel wants to be part of the Western world and it's citizens have influence over their government. Most of the other countries worth boycotting are already officially boycotted or under sanctions and the people who would be hit by the boycott are not in any position to change things. This is why South Africa was the subject of a popular boycott but Cambodia was not.

Jonathon Cook writes another interesting article this time following up on the Israeli invasion of Lebanon, including evidence that Hizbollah were not launching rockets from town centres.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Letter to the editor: Sikhs and Garda Uniforms


as usual, it takes an outsider to teach us what we really love. The
Gardai changed its uniform on 1st July 2005, nobody cared. Some time
while nobody was looking, Gardai on bikes started wearing t-shirts,
cycling-shorts and cycle-helmets, again nobody protested. It has taken
a Sikh, giving up his free time to help make this country a better
place to wake us up to exactly how much we love the Garda uniform. We
love it so much that we would rather reject this man's energy and hard
work than change a single thing about this uniform. What a proud
moment to be Irish.

The minister for integration and several correspondents on your
letters page believe that since immigrants have chosen to move here
they should accept our culture and that we should not accommodate
theirs. While there is a certain logic to this argument, it misses a
very important point. Some time in the future, a Sikh man, born and
raised in Ireland, an Irish citizen all his life, will join the Gardai
or Reserves. What excuse will we make then?

Update: they published the second paragraph.

Chomsky and morality

Here's a good interview with Chomsky where he points out pretty clearly the double standards of morality applied by the west. A pretty blatant and almost funny example is from the Nuremburg trials

So, for example, the bombing of urban concentrations was not considered a crime. The bombings of Tokyo, Dresden, and so on—those aren’t crimes. Why? Because we did them. So, therefore, it’s not a crime. In fact, Nazi war criminals who were charged were able to escape prosecution when they could show that the Americans and the British did the same thing they did. Admiral Doenitz, a submarine commander who was involved in all kinds of war crimes, called in the defense a high official in the British admiralty and, I think, Admiral Nimitz from the United States, who testified that, ‘Yeah, that’s the kind of thing we did.’ And, therefore, they weren’t sentenced for these crimes. Doenitz was absolved.

Interesting too, the comments on the punishment of researchers and journalists. The point being that it is unimaginable that we would ever apply those standards to ourselves.

I must try find someone actually trying to argue against Chomsky. I come across people dissing him and I've heard of people arguing against his misquotes but never anyone arguing anything specific.

Sunday, August 05, 2007

25,000 Jews living happily in Iran

Another very interesting piece by Jonathan Cook asks: if Iran is the next Nazi Germany then why are 25,000 Jews living happily in Iran? In fact not only living happily but refusing the ever growing incentives from Israel to move, like $60,000 for every family, cheap loans etc. And not just politely declining, they are responding with

If you think Judaism and Zionism are one, it is like thinking Islam and the Taliban are the same, and they are not.
The identity of Iranian Jews is not tradeable for any amount of money. Iranian Jews are among the most ancient Iranians. Iran’s Jews love their Iranian identity and their culture, so threats and this immature political enticement will not achieve their aim of wiping out the identity of Iranian Jews.
Why is Israel so keen to take them in? Cook says it's because their existence contradicts Israel and the US's claims that Iran is intent on genocide. Seems plausible. What are the counter arguments to that?

Lots of other titbits in there too, including claims about previous black ops by Israeli-backed Zionists to force Jews out of other countries. No references though - not every writes like George Monbiot!