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BS: UN and anti-Semitism

GUEST,C-Watch 24 Jun 04 - 07:08 AM
greg stephens 24 Jun 04 - 07:15 AM
Pied Piper 24 Jun 04 - 08:25 AM
Nerd 24 Jun 04 - 12:17 PM
McGrath of Harlow 24 Jun 04 - 12:29 PM
Nerd 24 Jun 04 - 12:53 PM
Pied Piper 24 Jun 04 - 02:26 PM
artbrooks 24 Jun 04 - 05:25 PM
Nerd 24 Jun 04 - 06:59 PM
artbrooks 24 Jun 04 - 07:44 PM
Nerd 24 Jun 04 - 08:19 PM
Peter K (Fionn) 25 Jun 04 - 06:37 PM
GUEST,Frankham 26 Jun 04 - 05:57 PM
greg stephens 26 Jun 04 - 06:54 PM
Wolfgang 27 Jun 04 - 08:57 AM
Peter K (Fionn) 27 Jun 04 - 04:30 PM
GUEST 28 Jun 04 - 11:08 AM
Nerd 28 Jun 04 - 12:09 PM
GUEST 28 Jun 04 - 12:34 PM
GUEST,Frankham 28 Jun 04 - 04:11 PM
Nerd 29 Jun 04 - 01:11 AM
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Subject: BS: UN and anti-Semitism
From: GUEST,C-Watch
Date: 24 Jun 04 - 07:08 AM

Here is a link to the text of the speech made by Anne Bayefsy at the opening session on Monday of the UN Conference on anti-Semitism.


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Subject: RE: BS: UN and anti-Semitism
From: greg stephens
Date: 24 Jun 04 - 07:15 AM

An interesting but fairly predictable article. It makes the claim that the Iranian state crucifies people. Is that actually true? I dont remember hearing about that elsewhere.


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Subject: RE: BS: UN and anti-Semitism
From: Pied Piper
Date: 24 Jun 04 - 08:25 AM

How nice to have such an objective unbiased and above all accurate assessment of the position of the Zionist state.

PP


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Subject: RE: BS: UN and anti-Semitism
From: Nerd
Date: 24 Jun 04 - 12:17 PM

Hey, let's not focus on details like whether Iran actually crucifies people, or whether they only tie them up and beat them. Can anyone deny that it's an oppressive regime?

More importantly, can anyone deny that the UN has been essentially anti-semitic in practice almost since its founding?

I have a great affection for the UN. I attended their school from Kindergarten through High School and became friends with people from all over the world. The children of diplomats are by no means anti-Semitic. Among my brother's closest friends was a Jordanian (Palestinian) boy whose father turned out to be a close advisor to Arafat. (My parents almost died when a picture of Arafat ran in the paper, and my brother said "Hey, who's that man with Samer's Father?")

But even back then we knew the deck was stacked against the Jews.

There is ONE Jewish state, and something like 20-30 muslim states, most of which habitually demonize jews, and most of the rest of the world are Christian and Secular states who don't care much either way. The US, and sometimes European states like France and Britain, are the only ones who prevent it from becoming intolerable for Israel.

So yes, the article was predictable, but mainly because the UN is really flawed in just the way the author claims.


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Subject: RE: BS: UN and anti-Semitism
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 24 Jun 04 - 12:29 PM

Details like accusations of crucifying people are quite important, especially when they are false. If someone were to make a claim like that about Israel it wouldn't be a detail, it'd be a "blood libel".


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Subject: RE: BS: UN and anti-Semitism
From: Nerd
Date: 24 Jun 04 - 12:53 PM

No it wouldn't, McGrath.

The "blood libel" is a very specific accusation leveled against Jews. It is that Jews murder young Christian Children and eat their blood.

If you accused Israel of crucifying people it would be something other than a blood libel--perhaps the "Chrsit-Killer Libel" would be a good name.

It would also, however, be unlikely on its face because of Israel's relatively transparent Judiciary.

If you accuse Iran of doing it? Not so unlikely.

Why? Because of abundant evidence of a whole lot of other forms of torture.

This is a report on Iran compiled by the state department, published in 2000 (which means under Clinton, not Bush):

The Government's human rights record remained poor; although efforts within society to make the Government accountable for its human rights policies continued, serious problems remain. The Government restricts citizens' right to change their government. Systematic abuses include extrajudicial killings and summary executions; disappearances; widespread use of torture and other degrading treatment, reportedly including rape; harsh prison conditions; arbitrary arrest and detention; and prolonged and incommunicado detention. Judicial proceedings were instituted against some government officials for misconduct. However, perpetrators often committed such abuses with impunity...

The judiciary suffers from government and religious influence, and does not ensure that citizens receive due process or fair trials. The Government uses the judiciary to stifle dissent and obstruct progress on human rights. The Government infringes on citizens' privacy rights, and restricts freedom of speech, press, assembly, and association. The Government closed nearly all reform-oriented publications during the year and brought charges against prominent political figures and members of the clergy for expressing ideas viewed as contrary to the ruling orthodoxy. However, the Ministry of Culture and Islamic Guidance continued to issue licenses for the establishment of newspapers and magazines, some of which challenged government policies. The Government restricts freedom of religion. Religious minorities, particularly Baha'is, continued to suffer repression by conservative elements of the judiciary and security establishment. In July 10 Iranian Jews were tried and convicted on charges of illegal contacts with Israel, and sentenced to between 2 and 13 years in prison. Three others were acquitted. The trial procedures were unfair, and violated numerous internationally recognized standards of due process.


So okay, they practice numerous forms of execution and torture. I do think it's a detail whether one of them happens to be crucifixion.

That was my point above, not that a serious accusation is in itself a detail.

http://www.state.gov/g/drl/rls/hrrpt/2000/nea/786.htm


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Subject: RE: BS: UN and anti-Semitism
From: Pied Piper
Date: 24 Jun 04 - 02:26 PM

And Israel had nothing to do with Sabra and Chatila.


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Subject: RE: BS: UN and anti-Semitism
From: artbrooks
Date: 24 Jun 04 - 05:25 PM

IMO, Israel has the right to exist, within secure borders, as a predominately Jewish nation. Others disagree, and they have the right to their opinion. Please let's not let this devolve into yet another discussion of this.

However, I also believe that it is a gross error to equate anti-Semitism (especially in the murderous form practiced by the Nazi government during the late 1930s and 1940s) with opposition to Israel and to the present Israeli government. The opposition by the Moslem states to Israel in the UN and the positions taken by some UN bodies and described in Professor Byefsky's article have much more to do with the ongoing war between Israel and the Palestinians than they do with Israel's majority religion or ethnic origin (however you choose to define Jewish). After all, there haven't been any moves (that I've heard of) to move the UN out of New York because of the Jewish presence, even though the Jewish population of New York City is larger than that of Jerusalem and that of the metropolitan area is larger than that of Tel Aviv and Jerusalem combined.


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Subject: RE: BS: UN and anti-Semitism
From: Nerd
Date: 24 Jun 04 - 06:59 PM

Artbrooks: Huh? New York is still not majority Jewish.

And anyway, asking for the UN to leave NY because of Jews is precisely the kind of thing these people wouldn't do. If you wish to pursue an anti-Semitic agenda, the stupidest thing you could do would be to fight over something irrelevant like the location of the UN building. Instead you'd try to...I don't know, destroy Israel?

Like you said, this should not devolve into a discussion of Israel/Palestine.

Pied Piper, Sabra and Chatila had nothing to do with torture, and as you no doubt know, the perpetrators of the massacres there were Lebanese Christians whose Militia had been put together by the elected president of Lebanon. Isreali forces has sealed in the camps and were waiting outside.

Of course, all the blame goes to Israel. Nobody says "those Lebanese Christians are oppressors of the Palestinians."   Funny, that's precisely the point being made by Ms. Bayefsky.


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Subject: RE: BS: UN and anti-Semitism
From: artbrooks
Date: 24 Jun 04 - 07:44 PM

I didn't say that New York had a Jewish majority, I said that there were more Jews in New York than in Tel Aviv or Jerusalem.


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Subject: RE: BS: UN and anti-Semitism
From: Nerd
Date: 24 Jun 04 - 08:19 PM

Artbrooks:

Right. And I suggested that the absolute number of Jews was irrelevant because New York has such a big population that those Jews are still a small minority. The UN is located in New York precisely because it's a huge metropolitan center, and therefore provides diplomats and staff members a lot of advantages. Small places with no Jews are less likely to have these advantages. For this reason, many anti-Semites put up with New York's small Jewish minority.

I also pointed out that even if the absolute number of Jews were somehow relevant, that would not make Arab nations waste their energy trying to move the UN when they could use it to destroy Israel.   

That part of your post simply made no sense. I got the rest of it just fine, and to some extent agree with you.


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Subject: RE: BS: UN and anti-Semitism
From: Peter K (Fionn)
Date: 25 Jun 04 - 06:37 PM

Greg, (with apologies for upcoming thread drift): what's with crucifixion, especially?

I haven't heard of that in Iran, but people have been stoned within the past few years. Not in the environs of Tehran, but in territory where the writ of central government was weaker and extremist interpretations of Sharia law were applied.

Two or three years ago I posted links on Mudcat that went to illicit video footage of stonings, but I'm not sure if the links are still active. Fortunately for my constitution the image quality was poor, but the scenes were unmistakable, and there was detailed supporting narrative.

Men convicted to this fate were buried up to their waists in sand, women up to their necks. The stoners - apparently the general public - were required to use ammo delivered by lorry, the stones having to be large enough to cause significant injury, but not so large that any two would kill. Anyone who escaped was entitled to go free, but there was a case within the past five years of a woman escaping (with the loss of one eye) who was run to ground and killed - possibly in mercy.

I say all this in the past tense, because I've neither seen nor heard of anything like this for two or three years.

Not so long since, thugs nailed a man to a fence at Dunmurry on the outskirts of Belfast, using six-inch nails through his hands. Some police officers thought it was a mimicking of crucifixion, but the man was not injured any other way, not suspended by the nails, and he did not die. From memory, his offence was persistent joy-riding.

I'm fairly sure the Spanish inquisition sometimes nailed heretics, crucifixion-style, to doors - the attraction to the tormenters being that jolting the doors was a simple way to up the ante. (I'm only "fairly sure" because right now I can't remember my source! I do remember I thought it was reliable, but I'll have to track it down.)

Crucifixion seems to stir deeper emotions than many other torments (eg the rack) entirely because of its iconographic place in Christianity. But many thousands of of others have similarly perished on crosses.

There have of course been many fates equally or more horrific. Many of the hundreds of thousands of people sacrificed to the god Huehueteotl by Tenochca Aztecs were thrown on fires, then dragged out by hooks while still alive to have their hearts torn out and burnt.

Hence my slight irritation that crucifixion has taken a seemingly disproportionate hold in our imaginations (mine included).


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Subject: RE: BS: UN and anti-Semitism
From: GUEST,Frankham
Date: 26 Jun 04 - 05:57 PM

Nerd, I don't think there's any doubt that atrocities exist on both sides of the Mid-East conflict. Sharon is leading Israel over a cliff, however. The UN is the only hope we have to broker a deal.
Israel has painted itself into a corner with the policies of LIkud and Sharon. The wall hasn't succeeded in solving any of the problems of peaceful co-existence.
    It's too easy to throw around the term "anti-Semitism" today.
I am opposed to the current Zionist position but am in no way an anti-Semite. The solution entails IMHO Israel removing itself from a victim status and seeking help from the international community.
                            Frank


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Subject: RE: BS: UN and anti-Semitism
From: greg stephens
Date: 26 Jun 04 - 06:54 PM

Fionn(Peter): I queried the crucifixion accusation against the Iranian government precisely because of the whole emotionnal historical weight of the thing. There is enough shit going on in the world without winding it up further. If that's what they are doing in Iran, let's hear about it. If they aren't. let's not let people get away with accusing them of it without reason.


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Subject: RE: BS: UN and anti-Semitism
From: Wolfgang
Date: 27 Jun 04 - 08:57 AM

Such official statements are all the more worrying in the light of the approval by the Islamic Consultative Assembly (Irans Parliament) in early May 1996 of an amendment to the Penal Code, bringing espionage into the remit of the moharebeh (enmity against God) clause, and specifying a mandatory death sentence [There is no precise definition of the moharebeh clause which has been applied very widely since the first version of the Law of Hodoud and Qesas was adopted in 1982. Article 190 of the current Penal Code stipulates four possible penalties for those convicted under this clause: crucifixion (for three consecutive days and nights in a manner which should not cause death); the death penalty; banishment; or amputation. Article 191 states that the judge has discretion over choosing which one of these penalties to apply

copied and pasted from an Amnesty International document about Iran.

Wolfgang


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Subject: RE: BS: UN and anti-Semitism
From: Peter K (Fionn)
Date: 27 Jun 04 - 04:30 PM

Sorry, Greg, my mistake.

Wolfgang, thanks for the Amnesty reference. Agonising choices there, and no mistake, but banishment would surely be the worst. Imagine being exiled to some country where you could live happily ever after....


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Subject: RE: BS: UN and anti-Semitism
From: GUEST
Date: 28 Jun 04 - 11:08 AM

What else would one expect from a theocracy that poorly educates its people?


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Subject: RE: BS: UN and anti-Semitism
From: Nerd
Date: 28 Jun 04 - 12:09 PM

Frank--

yes, I agree with you that Sharon must go. And I agree that it is easy to throw around the term anti-Semitism when many people are only anti-Zionist.

But I also firmly believe that leadership in many Islamic nations is anti-Semitic, not just anti-Zionist, and that this has translated into a problem at the UN.


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Subject: RE: BS: UN and anti-Semitism
From: GUEST
Date: 28 Jun 04 - 12:34 PM

The leadership of many Islamic nations IS anti-Jewish and anti-Israeli. They are also anti-women.


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Subject: RE: BS: UN and anti-Semitism
From: GUEST,Frankham
Date: 28 Jun 04 - 04:11 PM

Nerd, I agree. The problem is in some of the members of the UN not respecting the rights of Jewish people. It's not an easy solution. I think it may have to ultimately be a situation whereby Israel will allow Palestinian representation it its parliament. The Palestinians have a history in the area that can't be denied. I think Noam Chomsky is on the right track. A separation of Palestine from Israel will result in a kind of "Bantustan" which serves neither Jew or Palestinian.

The thing that I worry about is Israel today is that the rights of the Refusniks (which are conscientious objectors) are denied. This doesn't bode well for a country priding itself on democracy.

The UN might be able to broker a deal whereby Palestine would not have to be separated. This would require a separation of church and state very much like we honor in our own country (except thatit is being undermined by Bush.) There are also Jewish Palestinians as well. The problem is not that the solution can't be found. It's the entrenched attitude of both Israel and Palestine that is the problem.

Islam and Judaism have been historically harmonious before. In the Ottoman empire, Jewish people were not persecuted. When the Christian community moved in, then they were.

The way out of the theocratic box would be to accept other than Orthodoxy as representative of Judaism in Israel and this is a great sticking point. It's not unlike what Christians in the US have to contend with by a small obnoxious vocal minority of conservative evangelicals who claim they own the religion. Plurality is the answer. Getting people to accept this is the major drawback.

Orthodoxy in religion has been the stumbling block to world peace for some time. It has political ramifications since Constantine and before. We need to de-politicize religion and temper the evangelical fervor internationally.

The UN has this potential and it's the only body that can accomplish tolerance and plurality at this time in our history. One way to encourage this is for every country to support it and be a member nation. This support would apply to both Israel and the US.

The Mid-east violence is a disease that unfortunately has been exacerbated by the meaningless war in Iraq. If Americans are targeted by Al Quaeda, it's because they don't understand why. It's simple in a way. The extremist so-called terrorists are fearful of being absorbed by a Christian cartel. The Muslim community is being stifled in that they can't support the violence of pseudo-Christianity in the US through the Bush failed policies. It comes down to fear again. But the fear resides in the White House and this is why the lines are drawn in the sand. It's a national paranoia that activates a similar response in extremist Islam. Judaism, Christianity and Islam as well as every other major religion in the world start with the premise of peace at the base. Then the politics enter and the agendas flash like swords and the very principles of each respective faith is compromised.

The UN is our hope, now, and we must encourage it to stay true to the values of it's inception. International law must prevail.

Frank


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Subject: RE: BS: UN and anti-Semitism
From: Nerd
Date: 29 Jun 04 - 01:11 AM

Frank,

we basically agree. I'm not arguing for an end to the UN or anything.

Personally, I'd prefer a world with total freedom of religion and no state religions anywhere. Until that comes to pass, I recognize the need for Israel to exist and to have Judaism as its state religion. As you point out, this does not rule out people of other religions having equal civil rights as in the Ottoman Empire, or for that matter England and France. Indeed, by law they do in Israel today. But law and practice are not the same, and many Palestinians are not Israeli citizens so the law does not apply to them in any case.

The situation for Palestinians will certainly remain intolerable if the rest of the Arab world continues to make Israel feel constantly attacked. If the other Islamic nations were simply to say: "you know what? Let Israel be, we are all children of Abraham" then life for Palestinians would get better, not worse. And then, as you say, the UN would be the perfect body through which to negotiate.


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