Letter to Iain Banks on the eve of Yom HaShoah


The following was written by Bataween, and originally published on April 7 at ‘Point of No Return‘ - a blog about Middle East’s forgotten Jewish refugees.

On the eve of Yom HaShoah, Israel’s Holocaust memorial day, Point of No Return was inspired by the words of a little-known Iraqi-Jewish writer to address the announcement by celebrated Scottish writer Iain Banks that he’s supporting a cultural boycott of Israel.
banks
Dear Iain,
 
I was sorry to learn that you have terminal cancer and will probably not be long for this world. It is  a matter of deep regret that the world is about to lose a talented writer and a noble human being.

However, I was surprised that the Middle East ranks so high on your list of priorities that directly after you had announced news of your cancer,  The Guardian chose to print a piece about your personal boycott of Israel. In it you wrote: 

“The particular tragedy of Israel’s treatment of the Palestinian people is that nobody seems to have learned anything. Israel itself was brought into being partly as a belated and guilty attempt by the world community to help compensate for its complicity in, or at least its inability to prevent, the catastrophic crime of the Holocaust. Of all people, the Jewish people ought to know how it feels to be persecuted en masse, to be punished collectively and to be treated as less than human. For the Israeli state and the collective of often unlikely bedfellows who support it so unquestioningly throughout the world to pursue and support the inhumane treatment of the Palestinian people – forced so brutally off their land in 1948 and still under attack today – to be so blind to the idea that injustice is injustice, regardless not just on whom it is visited, but by whom as well, is one of the defining iniquities of our age, and powerfully implies a shamingly low upper limit on the extent of our species’ moral intelligence.

The solution to the dispossession and persecution of one people can never be to dispossess and persecute another. When we do this, or participate in this, or even just allow this to happen without criticism or resistance, we only help ensure further injustice, oppression, intolerance, cruelty and violence in the future.”

We’ve heard it all before from your fellow boycotters of Israel: scores of trendy opinion-formers, academics and artistes. They actually believe that neat paradox: a persecuted people is now persecuting another. Don’t the Jews of all people know any better?

What really pains me is that you will be going to your death without knowing how wrong you have been. Israel is full of people -  Jewish people – persecuted simply for being Jews and expelled from land and property they have lived on since time immemorial by Arabs.This is a truth that even Jews from Europe haven’t graspedThe Arabs did this barely three years after the monumental tragedy of the Holocaust, in which the Palestinian leader, the Mufti of Jerusalem, among other Arabs, was complicit. The Mufti plotted the extermination of the Jews of the region well before Israel was established. Arabs and radical Muslims have been seeking to destroy the Jewish state ever since. 

To illustrate my point, on the eve of Yom HaShoah, when Israel marks the anniversary of the Holocaust, let me quote Aharon, an Iraqi Jew you won’t have heard of, who wrote a chapter in a book* you won’t have heard of either:

“Two thousand years of persecution, execution and forced conversion culminated in Hitler’s Final Solution, a solution which wiped out nearly half the world’s Jewish population. And this was followed by, and compounded by  the ethnic cleansing by the Arab Countries of all their Jewish populations. Both events took place on the watch of the civilised world which responded by a deafening silence. Jews therefore feel themselves to be permanent refugees even after the rise of the State of Israel which is now anyway precariously balanced within the vast  Muslim Middle East.”

At the end it was the Arab world, not Hitler that executed their final solution, and no power can move the clock back. That is why  today it is worrying Israelis and Jews alike that what happened in Germany under the Nazis in the early 1930s is being re-enacted in a startlingly similar way again in Europe today. Every aspect of life in Israel, its people, its institutions, its places of learning, even its acclaimed courts of justice are being demonized. Recently this demonizing has been organized and reinforced by concerted bans and boycotts here in Europe in protest, they say, against the occupation of Palestinian lands to which the majority of the citizens of Israel are opposed. All this sends shivers in the hearts of Jews everywhere reminding them of the anti-Semitic demonizing propaganda of the 1930s, which was the precursor of, and prepared the ground for the Holocaust. As Condoleezza Rice, the American Secretary of State, stated recently: Anti-Semitism is not just a historical fact but a current event.

“The Arab World has played and continues to play its active part too in the Jewish tragedy. During World War II they made Jewish life in their midst a living hell. By the early 1950’s when the safe haven of Israel opened, some 900,000 Jews were ethnically cleansed to Israel from Arab countries leaving all Arab countries what the Nazis called “Judenrein”, lands clean of  Jews. Therefore what the Nazis failed to do, the Arab countries accomplished and perpetuated. And the world accepts that as normal.

“These 900,000 Jewish refugees are forgotten because Israel did not leave them in camps to rot and did not ask the UN to set up agencies to serve to perpetuate their misery and status as refugees. With help from Jews worldwide these Jewish refugees with their bare hands gave themselves dignity, security and a future in stark contrast to the way rich, very rich, Arabs treated the then 700,000 Palestinian refugees and disgracefully continue to treat their descendants today.

“I was a victim and a witness of this ethnic cleansing. My personal story tells it all. I wanted so much to be part of my country Iraq and to participate actively in its revival after World War II.  When I finished my pre-university studies in Iraq and secured a place with various universities in England and France  to continue my studies the Iraqi authorities refused point-blank to allow me to travel. Why? Because I was a Jew. And as a result of accumulations of other violent events around the Jewish community  I could see that there was no way to be both Jewish and Iraqi. So I took the only way I could that was still open for me out of the country. Together with about twenty desperate Jews, we managed to cross the borders of  Iraq into Iran in the north, literally  on foot. We got there from Baghdad in a truck.

“The truck driver had managed to bribe the border guards to close their eyes as we were nearing the border,  pretending to be carrying cattle from one town to another. At the last-minute, after the truck was approaching the border, some border police started shooting, probably only to justify their surprise to see that the cattle  had turned into human beings, but more likely  because the bribe was not big enough to go round. The driver left us in the middle of nowhere pointing to us the direction to the Iranian borders.  I was young, barely 19 years old at that time. Fleeing Iraq, in my case via Iran, whose people I will always be indebted to for their hospitality and safe passage at my desperate time of need, I arrived at the absorption centre in Israel in 1949 by air from Tehran. I found there a mixture of people all dejected all helpless. My fellow refugees from Arab countries were desperately trying to rebuild their lives out of nothing in a land of nothing.”

But it was the sight of the remnants of the Holocaust camps that broke my heart and my spirit. I saw frightened shadows of human beings dazed, confused and broken trying to regain their existence as humans. But worst of all instead of hatred, rage and bitterness I found many trying to remove the concentration camp numbers on their arms feeling guilty of being alive and ashamed of not having put up a fight before allowing themselves to be led as sheep to the Gas chambers. It is the combined images of the ethnically cleansed Arab Jews who lost their countries, and the Holocaust remnants of European Jews who lost their dignity, that are engraved in my being and in the mind of every Jew who says “never again”.  That is why Israelis feel the need to keep their citizen army and even their nuclear shield not because they are on a Samson-like suicidal mission. It is because they are determined to live with pride and dignity denied to them in those dark days of the 30s and 40s. And this time, if they must die, they want to die fighting.”

And so, Iain, by blindly aligning yourself with the Palestinian cause, you are siding, not with innocent victims, but with some among them who would commit a second Shoah if they could

If they haven’t fulfilled that intention, it is only because the Jews of Israel have been strong enough to thwart it. It is they, not the Israelis, who nurse in their children with hate

Sorry if self-defence is so very unpopular in your postmodern world, Iain. As someone once remarked: “it is better to be unpopular than dead.”

*From Chapter 14: The Prophet of the Libyan Desert by Max Melli, Vladimir Pavlinic and Aharon Nathan (Amazon and bookshops)

81 comments on “Letter to Iain Banks on the eve of Yom HaShoah

  1. Marc Goldberg on Harry’s Place:
    He [Iain Banks] talks about the Holocaust as if it were school, as if now, having suffered we should have learned something but that when the exam came after our ‘education’ we failed, having not learned our lesson. He speaks to us as if he is our teacher and we the student who failed to learn.
    Well on this day, the day of the year when we remember those who were killed for no reason that makes any sense I say we have learned all of the lessons that we will ever need to learn. I say YES the Holocaust was an education for our people. During the Holocaust we learned very well. We learned that a fool wins an argument with the smartest man alive so long as he is a fool with a rifle. We learned that it doesn’t matter what promises are made to us or how safe we think we are, we will always be the expendable ones, we will always be the ones you will throw under the bus, we learned that if we wish to survive as a people then we will need to get down in the dirt and behave like all of the other peoples of this world, that we cannot depend on the Iain Bankses of this world to stand up for us because when it comes down to it, for all their talk they won’t.
    We learned that life is assured when you have your own country, your own army, your own embassies around the world, your own voice amongst the nations, your own dirt upon which to build your homes and rest your head.

    Yeah we learned, just not the lessons the Iain Bankses of the world think we were supposed to learn. We learned the lessons of survival, the lessons of redemption, we learned to stand strong in the face of annihilation, to be steadfast before tyranny and to give our enemies no quarter. On this day, at this moment I realise the most important lesson of all is that it really doesn’t matter what anyone thinks of us for we are a living people, in a free land, we have our Israel and we will defend it now and forever with every breath of free air we take.

    • Marc’s piece was wonderful (as was the column of Chas Newkey-Burden from a few months ago to which he alluded).

    • Henryk Broder whose writings and wits I like very much, already wrote some times ago, about Auschwitz as reform school for Jews, in the eyes of such intellectually challenged like Banks

      http://www.tagesspiegel.de/meinung/kommentare/religion-zur-hoelle-mit-den-konvertiten/1038280.html

      Nach dem Holocaust änderte sich an der widersprüchlichen, von Verachtung und Bewunderung geprägten Haltung gegenüber den Juden nicht viel. Wer überlebt hatte, war zwar ein lästiger Mahner, galt aber auch als durch die Verfolgung veredelt. Durch das Leid waren die Juden die besseren Menschen geworden, die Absolventen von Auschwitz, Majdanek und Treblinka bekamen ein moralisches Reifezeugnis verliehen, das sie zu ständigem Gutsein verpflichtete. Wehe, wenn sich ein Überlebender als Gauner oder Betrüger erwies – war das eine Enttäuschung. Die Idee von Auschwitz als einer Besserungsanstalt nahm sogar politische Dimensionen an. Wie können die Juden, die doch so viel gelitten hatten, nun ihrerseits die Palästinenser dermaßen leiden lassen? Wer also zeigen wollte, dass er sehr wohl aus der Geschichte gelernt hatte und außerdem das Potenzial zu einem guten Menschen in sich trug, der fühlte sich zu Juden hingezogen.

      Es gibt keine Statistik darüber, wie viele Deutsche christlichen Glaubens nach 1945 zum Judentum übergetreten sind, aber die Zahl dürfte erheblich sein. Über die Motive muss man nicht lange rätseln. Der Übertritt zum Judentum bedeutet nicht nur den Eintritt in eine andere Religion, er ist zugleich der Wechsel auf die richtige Seite der Geschichte, aus der Volksgemeinschaft der Täter in die Leidensgemeinschaft der Opfer. Kann man sich klarer von der eigenen Geschichte distanzieren?

      http://www.hagalil.com/archiv/2006/07/selbsthass.htm

      Das würde bedeuten, dass Auschwitz sozusagen eine Besserungsanstalt war. Auschwitz bedeutet in dem Fall gar nichts. Es ist keine moralische Begründung für eine Art von Verhalten. Manche sind nach Auschwitz fromm geworden, meine Mutter ist nach Auschwitz unfromm geworden. Auschwitz hat weder einen Erkenntnisgewinn gefördert, noch zu moralischem Verhalten verpflichtet. Es ist doch eine Standardaussage der Antisemiten zu sagen: Wie können die Juden, die so viel gelitten haben, anderen Leid zufügen? Aber Auschwitz taugt nicht als Argument, weder für das eine, noch für das andere.

    • And what lessons are the Palestinians learning? The Oslo Accords stated in 1993 that:

      http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/Peace/interim.html

      “RECOGNIZING that the aim of the Israeli-Palestinian negotiations within the current Middle East peace process is, among other things, to establish a Palestinian Interim Self-Government Authority, i.e. the elected Council (hereinafter “the Council” or “the Palestinian Council”), and the elected Ra’ees of the Executive Authority, for the Palestinian people in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, for a transitional period not exceeding five years from the date of signing the Agreement on the Gaza Strip and the Jericho Area (hereinafter “the Gaza-Jericho Agreement”) on May 4, 1994, leading to a permanent settlement based on Security Council Resolutions 242 and 338;”

      Now who was it who said “No dates are sacred”?

      Could someone please refresh my memory?

      (Jewish history, at least in that highly contentious form we know as The Bible, records very serious penalties dealt to the first King of Israel’s children because their father didn’t take an treaty with another group of people very seriously, and persecuted them.)

      So, what are the Palestinians learning?

      • “So, what are the Palestinians learning?” schlomil

        They are learning to hate Jews, from cradle to grave. Just as their great leader and Nazi war-criminal Amin al Husseini preached.

        Now, if you are so concerned with them, why don’t you move to Gaza? Go join a Salafist mafia, they probably will be glad to have you as their bitch.

        • And who’s teaching them? Come on, when the only Jews you see are shoving guns in your face and keeping you from going about your private business or beating your family and fellow-villagers up, and destroying your property and dropping bombs on you, what do you expect?

          For what it’s worth, i did do some research on Amin al Husseini, the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem. The British never considered him worth wasting their time on after the Second World War. Hitler never considered him worth wasting his time on, during the Second World War – he was left kicking his heels in Berlin.

          Why I should consider him worth wasting time and hate on, is beyond me. He was a spent force once the British smashed the first uprising in Mandatory Palestine.

          And yes, I am concerned about the Palestinians. I take “Never Again!” very seriously. I would rather they didn’t have a reason to drag Jews before the ICC to answer charges of crimes against humanity.

          • Who`s teaching them? Hamas, UNRWA, Quran, PLO terrrorists, crackpots like you?
            An indicted Nazi war criminal was worthy enough to let him escape, in fear of Arab riots when hanging him.
            You did no research, crackpot.

      • There are thousands of websites where you can follow what your people learn (see above Palestinian Authority TV, Jan 20, 2010 )
        , here you are wrong, idiot.

      • “…to establish a Palestinian Interim Self-Government Authority…”
        You must not have been following the news since 1993.
        Else, what else could you mistake the PA for?

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Palestinian_National_Authority

        Definition:

        The Palestinian Authority… is the interim self-government body established to govern the West Bank and Gaza Strip as a consequence of the 1994 Oslo Accords.

        QED.
        Israel fulfilled the agreement to the letter.
        Meanwhile, who was that has been sponsoring terrorism, in direct contravention of Oslo? Or allowing Hamas to run in the council elections despite its proscription according to its own(Hamas’) charter?
        So what are the Israelis gleaning from all of this, d’you reckon?
        Some “peace-partner” those Pals. are, huh?

  2. It is not the Jews who genocide was committed against, but the Europeans who committed the genocide who should know better than anyone to support those who would commit another against the Jews if they could.

  3. Iain Banks will be remembered in Israel, and by Jews around the world as a man who projected spiteful hatred with his dying breath. His literary legacy will be overshadowed by his obscene perversion of the Jewish experience for a long time to come.

  4. If what he says is true, accordingly, he should hold the Palestinians to the same standards to which he holds Israel.

    “The particular tragedy of many Palestinians’ treatment of the Jewish homeland is that nobody seems to have learned anything. Of all people, the Palestinians ought to know how it feels to be persecuted en masse, to be punished collectively and to be treated as less than human. For the Palestinian state(s) and the collective of often unlikely bedfellows who support them so unquestioningly throughout the world to pursue and support the inhumane treatment of Jews – exterminated during the Holocaust, ethnically cleansed from Arab countries, and still under attack today – to be so blind to the idea that injustice is injustice, regardless not just on whom it is visited, but by whom as well, is one of the defining iniquities of our age, and powerfully implies a shamingly low upper limit on the extent of our species’ moral intelligence.”

    Not bloody likely.

  5. I don’t know whether Iain Banks will be aware of, or read, this moving piece by Aharon Nathan quoted by Bataween? Obviously it might be something positive if he does read it, but I would be astonished if it publicly changed his so popular and fashionable stance, (He wouldn’t have a glowing obituary in the Guardian and leftie media if he did.)

    The London Sunday newspaper The People — now a second rate ‘red top’ tabloid but once a power in the land — ran an article many years ago about the widow of Arnold Spencer Leese. Leese, a vet who hated the Jewish slaughter method and he was a nazi before there were nazis. In 1912 he designed a prototype gas chamber to murder Jews and he wrote racist pamphlets until he died.

    Anyway, about 1960 his equally anti-Semitic widow was in hospital dying (I seem to recall of cancer). A People sleuth discovered that one of the nurses caring for her was Jewish and wrote a plea in his paper to this vile woman to have a change of heart because a young Jewish nurse was helping to nurse her. This fell on deaf ears. Mrs Leese’s response when she found out was to simply demand this nurse’s removal. (Which promptly happened, I believe) She really was cursing the Jews with her dying breath.

    This is why I hold out little faith that Iain Banks will be induced a sudden change of heart.

    • I strongly doubt that Iain Banks falls into the same category of anti-semite as Arnold Spencer Leese, but what Banks does is reprehensible in that he is engaging in anti-semitic discourse. He is someone who has swallowed the anti-Israel line wholesale and with no concerns that the origins of his belief stem from anti-semitic leanings that his own prejudices are unable to distinguish truthful accounts of history and experience from distorted facts and lies. The lazy mind gives way to very skewed ideas.

      For example his ignorant comment that “Israel itself was brought into being partly as a belated and guilty attempt by the world community to help compensate for its complicity in, or at least its inability to prevent, the catastrophic crime of the Holocaust…” is also held by quite a number of people, who paradoxically hold this view as being the only justification for there to have been the need to now support Israel’s existence, which if the Shoah had not happened would not have justified it at all! Banks goes further of course. He says we should not feel guilty about the Jews, but about the Palestinians, but never questions the veracity of the Arab narrative which trumps anything the Jews say. The anti-semitic element in Banks (and others) make-up is that they only doubt the Jewish narrative and declare it unreliable. Banks, and other so-called liberals are comforted by the fact that sharing the same concerns gives him the licence to write in this offensive way.

  6. Where did the idea that the world created Israel because of guilt over the holocaust come from? The project was well underway by then, and it’s not like someone fought the invaders or built the country for us. I’ve often heard it said that it was done with the UN partition plan, even though it was just empty words that neither us nor our enemies followed(though we were willing to if they were), and that no one tried to enforce.

    Is it hard for them to comprehend us achieving something grand, or actually being free?

    I’m suspecting the same attitude in people who say how we “get away” with our behavior. Even if our behavior was very bad, it’s not like there’s some world police that tries to keep everyone else in line… It’s like, somewhere in their mind, we are still their subjects.

    • They argue that the un would not have voted for the partition if the Holocaust didn’t occur.

        • It is derived from the same view point that Anti Semitism is against all Semitic people.
          Another one of those rewriting of history to suit one’s agenda.

          • That’s not true as such. The partition plan did sort of pave the way (further) open for the (re-)creation of Israel.

            The “Anti Semitism is against all Semitic people” argument, on the other hand, is simply utter and compelte bollocks.

            • No it didn’t Pretz. Don’t you read what we have already discussed – minutes of cabinet meeting 1917, Balfour, San Remo, Anglo French Boundary Agreement, Mandate etc. It’s all bugger all to you Pretz?
              The November 1947 Resolution was a plan, which if it had been acceped by BOTH sides would have created a binding legal arrangement. That it was unacceptable to the Arabs and that they went to war did not create a binding agreement that would have altered the original terms settled in 1920. the declaration of independence of a state was on land that it was in control of with other land held on trust.

              • Don’t you read what we have already discussed – minutes of cabinet meeting 1917, Balfour, San Remo, Anglo French Boundary Agreement, Mandate etc.
                I was already well aware of them, of course.

                It’s all bugger all to you Pretz?
                Of course not. So that’s a totally false speculation/accusation on your part.
                And my comment “The partition plan did sort of pave the way (further) open for the (re-)creation of Israel” included two qualifiers, after all.

                Why be such an aggressive little toad?

                • I am not being aggressive.

                  It just wasn’t as you have expressed it or even close and you have ignored from the important birth documents how Israel came to be there and not in Uganda.

                  . The plan in 1947 was intended to give effect to what might have been a solution to a very complex problem: the need to divide the land between Arab and Jew. The world had already committed itself in a vote at the League in 1922 to there being a Jewish state in the future once enough Jews had emigrated and settled the land. By 1947 conditions on the ground had changed making it unlikely that Arabs would want to live under a Jewish majority state. That was why the UN made its proposal. That it was supported by a majority implied that the majority were in favour of there being a Jewish state. That is as far as it goes.

                  It was already civil war in 1947 and the Brits were losing their hold on Palestine. After 1947, Arabs and some Jews started to leave . The refugee crisis was in its infancy at that point, but significant numbers started to leave soon after and then before the war. The Arabs were voting with their feet.

                  Why were the Jews accepting less than what they had been legally entitled to in 1947?
                  It was because there was a severe Jewish refugee crisis in Europe. Hundreds of thousands of displaced Jews in Europe needed to be housed. it was a desperate solution to a very desperate problem The condition of accepting the terms of 1947 partition however were CONDITIONAL on the Arabs accepting it.

                  When the Brits left, the State was declared and war was declared on the same day.

                • @ Joshua

                  you have ignored from the important birth documents how Israel came to be there and not in Uganda.

                  I did no such thing. All I said was that the partition plan was a step on the way towards Israeli independence.

  7. We learnt to give no ground to our enemies so we came and took their lands and threw them out – they deserved it

    According to David ben Gurion
    our greatest gain will be the Galilee. It is because without any special military effort which might imperil other fronts, only by using the troops already assigned for the task, we could accomplish our aim of cleansing the Galilee.
    From a protocol of the Government of Israel, translated from Hebrew by Israel Shahak, in “Truth or Myth about Israel? Read between Quotation Marks” by Charley Reese in The Orlando Sentinel (13 June 1999); later published as “What Israeli Historians Say About 1948 Ethnic Cleansing” in Washington Report on Middle East Affairs (September 1999)

    • Here’s another quote for you. It was by Winston Churchill, and I swear it’s verbatim…

      “Never, in the field of human blogging, has one man (Ben Gurion) been misquoted so many times by so few (abc and his alternate personalities)”.

      (from “A True Historical Record of Everything Ever, Honest. (subtitle – I really honestly didn’t make any of this up at all)” by I. Neville Aye and published by London Honesty Forum (strap-line: We have given ourselves this name cos then everyone will believe everything we say tee hee). 2013.

      • Well, you know what Abraham Lincoln said:
        The problem with quotes from the Internet is that it’s hard to verify their authenticity.

        A smart guy, that Lincoln. A man ahead of his time.

        • Lincoln? Pah – he was just plaigiarising Shakespeare, who quoth: “A lie on the internet by any other name smells just as much like bullcrap.”

    • The same line of Natzie, as always.
      That`s the problem of Israel Shahak and others critics, that they and their unconfirmed allegations, used for internal debate is open to the misuse by antisemites like Natzie.

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Israel_Shahak

      Now this nasty piece of Antisemite doen`t even get simple facts right, `cause he wants more denunciation and therefore he forges, like all of them.
      The Natzie writes
      “From a protocol of the Government of Israel, translated from Hebrew by Israel Shahak”

      The anti-Israeli website he uses

      http://www.wrmea.org/wrmea-archives/179-washington-report-archives-1994-1999/september-1999/9607-behind-the-myths-what-israeli-historians-say-about-1948-ethnic-cleansing.html

      writes
      ” What follows are direct quotations published in Israel and translated by Israel Shahak, a professor of chemistry at Hebrew University and a Holocaust survivor”

      WRMEA, founded by oily dollar contacts and his source, is part of the Arab lobby in the USA and fights you know what.

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Washington_Report_on_Middle_East_Affairs

      Natzie belongs to this coalition and this explains his continuing presence here, the time he wastes and which he can afford to waste, supported with oily money.

    • Whom exactly do you imagine you are fooling with this crap? Israel Shahak is a known liar, Charley Reese never met a living Jew he could stand, he prefers them dead, and the so-called “Washington Report on Middle East Affairs” is funded and directed by the Saudis.

      You just love to wallow in the pigsties of liars and anti-Semites, don’t you?

  8. What really pains me is that you will be going to your death without knowing how wrong you have been.

    Brilliant.

    Born stupid, lived stupid and died stupid.

  9. Interesting method of proving – Winston Churchill was misquoted once so it follows Ben Gurion will always be misquoted unless I quote him – says God himself oh sorry I attributing to God what can only be attributed to Labenal

    • Can you provide the original source in Hebrew?
      Here you will have a lot of people to qualify and refute your forgeries, as we have already done it a lot of times, Natzie from the US-Arab lobby.

    • Whoah! Watch out everyone. The point flies over “abc”s head so often there is a danger we will be drowned out by the “whooshing” sound.

      By the way, I am flattered – truly – that you ascribe me with supernatural powers, but genuinely, it’s just a normal human ability to smell bullshit and to despise it.

      • The point flies over “abc”s head so often there is a danger we will be drowned out by the “whooshing” sound

        You have to forgive him. As he’s proven many a time, he’s a bear of very little brain.

  10. Hebrew is a very new language I have not learnt it yet now if you want me to provide in Yiddish I can

  11. OMG!!! I’ve just read the Open Letter and the comments, and guess what! I find the author of the article misinformed. The Irish were abused systematically in their homeland Ireland by the English and when they went to America and Australia, what did they do? Aid in the systematic dispossession and abuse of the original inhabitants. So much for “They actually believe that neat paradox: a persecuted people is now persecuting another.” It’s in all the history books.

    Then “Israel is full of people – Jewish people – persecuted simply for being Jews and expelled from land and property they have lived on since time immemorial by Arabs.”

    Go on, tell me about the Mizrahim stuffed into transit camps on the borders of what was to become Israel, warm bodies protecting the Ashkenazim on the coast from those Arabs. Go on, tell me about the Sephardim achieving high status in Arab countries for well over a millenium – until the poison of European nationalism killed that sensible live-and-let-live arrangement. Tell me about the Lavon Affair, which poisoned the lives of the Egyptian Arabs and eventually destroyed it – and please explain to me why you choose to support the Israeli traitors to the Egyptian Jewish community.

    And this:
    “But it was the sight of the remnants of the Holocaust camps that broke my heart and my spirit.”

    I read a very interesting article in Time Magazine during the nineties about how Israel had treated some of those survivors. “interesting”? It was appalling.

    And this:
    “And so, Iain, by blindly aligning yourself with the Palestinian cause, you are siding, not with innocent victims, but with some among them who would commit a second Shoah if they could.”

    I can’t imagine someone as clued up as Iain M. Banks ever doing something blindly. Didn’t you read the article?

    As it stands, your words remind me of something I had hoped was long gone in the West – the tribalism that says, Mine = Good, Anyone Else = Bad. I’ve debated with Zionists who lambast Palestinians for their tribalism and clannishness, then turn around without even blinking – let alone noticing – and let rip with their own clannish tribalism.

    And by in effect declaring there are no innocents among the Palestinians, you’ve made Iain M Banks’ point only too clearly.

    Lastly, you’ve written this on the eve of Yom haShoah. Do yourself the favour of finding out how the Shoah actually got started. It took a while before the Death Camps got started, and the first victims weren’t Jews. It took a whole lot of character defamation in the media before the German people were prepared to accept what their government proposed to do to their Jewish friends – and that was setting up resettlement areas in the East. I see disturbing similarities between the way the Jews were defamed then, and the way Arabs are defamed now.

    And for what it’s worth, how the Iranians are defamed now, in the light of this comment: “Fleeing Iraq, in my case via Iran, whose people I will always be indebted to for their hospitality and safe passage at my desperate time of need, I arrived at the absorption centre in Israel in 1949 by air from Tehran.”

    • “Go on, tell me about the Mizrahim stuffed into transit camps on the borders of what was to become Israel, warm bodies protecting the Ashkenazim on the coast from those Arabs. Go on, tell me about the Sephardim achieving high status in Arab countries for well over a millenium – until the poison of European nationalism killed that sensible live-and-let-live arrangement. ”

      Interesting stuff you sniff. Crackpot?

      • You mean to tell me you”re ignorant of the ma’abarot?

        http://www.myjewishlearning.com/israel/Contemporary_Life/Society_and_Religious_Issues/mizrahim-israel.shtml

        “Following Independence, as Arab violence forced them to leave their native countries, Mizrahim began to arrive in Israel in huge numbers. The Ashkenazic establishment saw these newcomers as backward “orientals” whose traditions and culture were similar to that of Israel’s enemies, the Arabs, and so Mizrahim were victims of systematic discrimination. Upon arrival in Israel, Mizrahim were sent to transit camps, where living conditions were very difficult. When they moved out of the camps, they were settled in Israel’s least developed neighborhoods. ”

        And of what the Osmanli Sultan Bayazid II did for the Sephardim expelled from Spain?

        http://www.naqshbandi.org/ottomans/protectors/protectors.htm

        “On the midnight of August 2nd 1492, when Columbus embarked on what would become his most famous expedition to the New World, his fleet departed from the relatively unknown seaport of Palos because the shipping lanes of Cadiz and Seville were clogged with Sephardic Jews expelled from Spain by the Edict of Queen Isabella and King Ferdinand of Spain.
        The Jews forced either to convert to Christianity or to “leave” the country under the menace “they dare not return… not so much as to take a step on them not trespass upon them in any manner whatsoever” left their land, their property, their belongings all that was theirs and familiar to them rather than abandon their beliefs, their traditions, their heritage. In the faraway Ottoman Empire, one ruler extended an immediate welcome to the persecuted Jews of Spain, the Sepharadim. He was the Sultan Bayazid II.”

        So what am I sniffing? Please tell me, I’d really like to know.

        • I shall tell you what you are sniffing? Your reality is in Otherworld?
          Well, maybe you just spring from Ludlam.

        • Muslim relations with Jews in Spain were not always peaceful, however. The eleventh century saw Muslim pogroms against Jews in Spain; those occurred in Córdoba in 1011 and in Granada in 1066.[59] In the 1066 Granada massacre, a Muslim mob crucified the Jewish vizier Joseph ibn Naghrela and massacred about 4,000 Jews.[69] The Muslim grievance involved was that some Jews had become wealthy, and others had advanced to positions of power.

  12. do not worry fascists have always called other humans bullshit – nothing new there – how else Europeans will justify colonization?

    • What colonization, Nattie? You missed the decolonization and the subsequent desaster of the postcolonial elites.
      Lost in times.

  13. I am not talking about the first colonizers who came from Egypt thousands of years ago. I am talking about the Europeans who started to arrive in other parts of the world from 18th Century on -

  14. I really wasn’t clear enough with my first comment. Iain M. Banks is, as it happens, absolutely right with his statement:

    “The solution to the dispossession and persecution of one people can never be to dispossess and persecute another.”

    As all should know, someone abused as a child, in the Western European courts including those of the British-inspired Common Law courts, does not thereby gain the right to abuse anyone else as a result of those years of suffering abuse himself. And that’s based firmly on a line from one of our more outspoken characters of yesteryear, popularly known as Ezekiel:
    “1 And the word of HaShem came unto me, saying:
    2 ‘What mean ye, that ye use this proverb in the land of Israel, saying: The fathers have eaten sour grapes, and the children’s teeth are set on edge?
    3 As I live, saith the L-rd GOD, ye shall not have occasion any more to use this proverb in Israel.
    4 Behold, all souls are Mine; as the soul of the father, so also the soul of the son is Mine; the soul that sinneth, it shall die.”

    In other words, you have to take responsibility for your own actions.

    I notice that Rob H understands the principle; he just seems incapable of applying it to Jews or Israel.

    • “In other words, you have to take responsibility for your own actions.” schlumil

      Indeed, that’s what´s self-defense is all about. That´s what Israel is all about.

      • But you can no longer blame them on anyone else. Whereas that seems to be all I’m reading on this blog.

        I mean, get real – Israel is currently the most powerful state in the Levant. Iraq’s been knocked for six, Egypt’s entangled in its own internal troubles, Syria’s fighting a nasty civil war, the Lebanon’s never been a threat, Palestinians are not a military threat, and the Gulf states are too busy raking in the dough to do anything to anyone.

        And once you’ve recognized that set of facts, just read those statements about “existential threats” to Israel and you wonder what possible threat three small boys on bicycles in the Palestinians territories posed to the IDF tank crew who shot at them with their main armament in about 2003.

        “Self defense”? Blaming Palestinians for everything?

        • In this entirely surrealistic recounting of fake current political realities in the region, the complete omission of those unguided missiles launched from within Gaza headed in the direction of civilian areas within the State of Israel last fall and before then, says it all — sums up the stupid, blatant bias of an inept propagandist.

          • Let’s not forget the more advanced weaponry, tens of thousands of missiles along with Iranian Revolutionary guards to help out, pointed at Israel from the Hezbollah/Iranian stronghold of “non-threatening” Lebanon.

        • Blaming Palsestinian for killing Jews in suicde bombing? murdering children in their beds, murdering school children? Shame on us for trying to stop them from killing us.

  15. David Ben Gurion is misquoted. He never called for the creation of the state of Israel. He did not demand the right of self determination for the Jews in Palestine. he did not ask that Palestine be colonized by the Zionists. All those accusations are misquotes attributed to the most misquoted personality of our recent history.

  16. “You mean to tell me you”re ignorant of the ma’abarot?”
    Yes Jews from Arab countries were put in refugee camps. That’s because they were persecuted in said Arab countries, expelled and dispossessed from them and forced to flee for their lives, although they were the original inhabitants of said Arab countries. I doubt Iain Banks has ever heard of this ‘Jewish Nakba’ let alone expended any self-righteous indignation on it.
    And how come the ma’abarot don’t exist anymore? That’s because unlike the Palestinian refugees, the Jewish refugees were swiftly integrated as full citiziens of Israeli society. But you won’t catch Banks expending any ink on criticising Arab countires for their appalling treatment of the Palestinians

  17. cba is funny he first wanted us to believe he is called cba – now he or she wants us to think of herself as Queen of Shiba –

    Are you confused about history? About what is happening now? and now even your name is in doubt.

  18. So who killed how many children last week ? let us do the count and Wee will find out the difference.

    • You mean in Syria?Or you mean the 17 years old “children” who threw fire bombs at Israeli solders. I raelly don;t understand those soldiers why couldn’t they let those “children” kill them

  19. alexa you know what I mean why are you protecting the child killers – it is typical of the Zionist always want to discuss somebody else’s crime first – we were talking about the Palestinians under occupation why bring up the Syrian shall we talk about those killed in Nagasaki or in Europe in the last century – I want to talk about the Palestinian youths that were killed last week for protesting the death of another Palestinian Prisoner.

    • it is typical of the Zionist always want to discuss somebody else’s crime first

      It is typical of the human species throughout history, I think you’ll find.

    • “…it is typical of the Zionist always want to discuss somebody else’s crime first –..” baba

      It is typical of a nauseating coward sock-puppeteer Jew-hater to obsess around the clock about Israel, Zionism and Jews. Piss off, Natzie moron.

  20. That is alright than I suppose –
    Perhaps you can now give me the numbers of Israeli children the Palestinians killed last week

    • Listen, grotesque piece of drek, why don’t you move to Gaza instead of whining like a mongrel? Join a Salafist mafia, for instance; they surely have you as their bitch.

    • Funny, people are being murderd in great number all over the arab countries, People are being arrested because they change their religion from Islam to Christianity, women are being raped in big numbers in these countries, etc,etc and all you people worry about is Israel.
      And the zionist are the one who always want to discuss somebody else’s crime first?

  21. Alexa – ponder on this

    The retaliations were more damaging than the provoking attack and included killing of armed and unarmed men, destruction of houses and sometimes expulsion of inhabitants.[10]:76:125 The Zionist groups of Irgun and Lehi reverted to their 1937–1939 strategy of indiscriminate attacks by placing bombs and throwing grenades into crowded places such as bus stops, shopping centres and markets.

    • abc Why don’t you poner on this.
      On February 22, 1948, three British Army trucks led by an armoured car driven by Arab irregulars and British deserters exploded on Ben Yehuda Street killing 58 Jewish civilians and injuring 140

  22. And to think I had once assumed that the society of Azad from Banks’ novel “Player of Games” was meant as an allegory for the racism, misogyny, and xenophobia of the Arab world, and that his protagonist was a satire of those westerners who foolishly romanticize these societies.

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