Archive for the ‘Jews’ Category
Egypt is, as they say, in turmoil.
The BBC’s latest report,
Protests by the president’s supporters have prevented Egypt’s Supreme Constitutional Court from meeting in Cairo for a key ruling on a draft constitution, state media say.
Hundreds of protesters are trying to block any attempt to dissolve the panel that passed the draft.
President Mohammed Morsi has tried to bypass the court by assuming new powers and speeding through the draft.
His opponents say the document undermines basic freedoms.
On Saturday, Mr Morsi called a referendum on the draft constitution for 15 December.
Why exactly do they say this?
To begin with organising a referendum in two weeks time means that it will be a classic plebiscite. People will be asked for their loyalty, not for any reasoned position on the constitution.
Next, the constitution has strongly anti-democratic elements.
It is worth citing this in detail (from Al-Jazeera
“The draft constitution no longer includes article 68, which ensured equality of the sexes provided “this does not conflict with the rulings of sharia.”
That provision was fiercly opposed by women’s rights groups, which argued it would give men unequal advantages on personal status issues.
But the draft also includes article 219, which declares the principles of sharia to be the “fundamental rules of jurisprudence”.
It also removed language prohibiting discrimination on the basis of gender, and it includes article 10, which stipulates that the state ”shall provide free maternal and child care services, and maintain a balance between a woman’s obligations toward the family and public work”.
“The state’s role should be confined to ensuring equality and non-discrimination, without interfering with a woman’s choices about her life, family and profession,” Human Rights Watch said in a statement.
Freedom of religion and speech
The draft, as expected, maintains article 2 from the 1971 constitution, which declares Islam the state religion and “the principles of Islamic sharia” to be the “principal source of legislation”. (Note by TC:reference to the Sharia exists in the present constiution).
Liberals are willing to accept this formulation, because there are no fixed “principles” of Islamic law. Some Islamists, particularly members of salafi parties, had pushed for a stricter application of Islamic law.
Article 11 provides that the state “shall protect ethics and morality and public order,” broad language which rights groups say could allow the government to impose a religiously-inspired version of “morality”.
Article 43 provides for freedom of religion, but only for the “heavenly religions”: Islam, Christianity, and Judaism. This limitation could preserve discrimination against minority groups, like the Baha’i, who have long been treated as second-class citizens in Egypt. (They were unable even to obtain identity cards until 2009).
The constitution provides for the freedom of expression, but it also includes article 31, which bars “personal insults”; it is unclear how the two articles will be reconciled. Article 44 prohibits insulting prophets – blasphemy, in other words.”
The Revolutionary Socialists, a small group with close links with the British SWP, issued this statement (extracts) on November the 22nd on Moris’s coup.
TODAY, ALL the masks fell from Mohamed Morsi and his Muslim Brotherhood organization, who trade in revolution, and for whom the revolution is nothing but a means to reach the seat of power. They and the remnants of the old regime are two sides of the same coin, which represents tyranny and enmity toward the people.
WE SAY to Morsi: you and your organization are the real threat to the revolution, as you embrace Mubarak’s businessmen, run panting after loans from the IMF, trade in religion, threaten national unity and sell out the revolution.
But what was the position of their co-thinkers, the SWP, on Morsi’s election?
“A vote for Mursi is a vote against the legacy of Mubarak and for continuing change.
Revolutionary activists will not enjoy voting for Mursi.
If they do not do so, however, they are likely to experience the real nightmare scenario—a president cloned from the dictator they overthrew last year
“Egyptians will be better off with Mursi as president and an unstable Brotherhood in
parliament than with Shafiq in office. Shafiq is backed by generals who wish to bring the revolution to an abrupt end.
Now it is time to put Mursi to the test—and to continue struggles over jobs, wages, union rights and for radical political change.” Socialist Worker 2nd June.
Those from the same political tradition (though presently estranged) have concentrated on these ‘struggles’ – largely to the exclusion of those for democratic rights
As the Arab Revolution has evolved Counterfire leaders, John Rees and Joseph Daher, have confined themselves to windy generalisations,
The behaviour of the new ‘post-revolution’ authoritarian regimes in Tunisia and Egypt, assisted by Western imperialism, is reminiscent of the approach of Tancredi, nephew of the aristocratic Prince of Salina, in Giuseppe di Lampedusa’s novel ‘The Leopard’. When asked by the Prince why he is intending to fight with Garibaldi’s revolution against his own class, Trancredi answers ‘If we want everything to remain the same, everything must change’.
Western imperialism and the new regimes must give the illusion of change for things to remain the same. The movements in Egypt and elsewhere created a revolutionary process with the power to overthrow the system, not merely to gain reforms. They must struggle for a permanent revolution to achieve far-reaching social and economic change.
We have yet to hear from Counterfire on the latest developments.
But SWP, like the wind, changed.
“the show of strength by the revolutionary movement in the streets suggests that the Muslim Brotherhood remains under immense pressure from below.
Unlike Ayatollah Khomeini, who came to the head of and then crushed the revolution in Iran, Mursi’s attempts to claim revolutionary legitimacy have so far backfired.
The Egyptian economy is in crisis. Mursi wants to attack peoples’ living standards, not raise them. The mass of ordinary Egyptians want the revolution to fulfil their aspirations for a better life.
Around 1,000 strikes greeted the Brotherhood’s government in its first two months in office—many organised by people who had supported Mursi.
This is the greatest source of tension between the Brotherhood and its mass base of poor and working class voters and supporters. Linking the fight for social justice with the struggle for democracy can guard against the return of the old regime.” Socialist Worker. 1st December
We offered an extended critique of the SWP and Counterfire position in Arab Spring, Islamist Winter (December 2011). The argument for work with a modernising democratic left, and independent trade unionists, including constitutional liberals, is one accepted by many on the European left. We do not consider issues like women’s rights, freedom from religious rule, and other social liberties to be ‘secondary’. They involve key rights which the Islamists’ aim of creating the ‘rule of god’ threaten.
There is little doubt that a long period of collaboration with the Muslim Brotherhood’s British antennae, notably what was known as the Muslim Association of Britain (MAB)_, has inclined them to a certain degree of sympathy for the Islamist reactionaries. Such rights became less and less important for the SWP, the StWC and Counterfire as they imagined they had become players through their alliance with the Islamists.
Leaving aside the contemptible Respect ‘coalition’ some of these positions remain.
Some of the British left continue to indulge fantasies about the ‘progressive’ of ‘anti-imperialist’ Islamism. They are after all (hardly a surprise for a body with deep hatred for ‘Jews’) against Israel.
We have expressed a very different judgement of the Moslem Brotherhood that, “The modernised, Constitutional Islamism they represent is not fundamentally democratic, it is bounded by the limits of the Divine Message. (Here).
In an excellent article Peter Mason in the latest Weekly Worker notes,
According to Jane Kinnimont of Chatham House, a “world-leading source” for “independent thinking on foreign affairs”, western governments have been “pleasantly surprised” by the Muslim Brotherhood: “… the first impressions of many westerners is that the articulate, suited and often US-educated businessmen they meet are easier to talk to than many expected. This honeymoon has been largely sweetened by the discovery that the leaders of Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood seem largely centre-right on the economy” (The Daily Telegraph November 23).
On last week’s presidential decree, Kinnimont says: “The timing will convince his critics that he has had a US green light to take on more power in return for brokering the ceasefire.” For its part, the International Monetary Fund has implied that Mursi’s “constitutional coup” will “have no bearing” on the approval of a pending $4.8 billion IMF loan to Egypt.
the Weekly Worker had from the start upheld the independent interests of Egyptian workers. We declared our opposition to “any form of political rule that denies us the light and air we need to turn the situation to our advantage. The … second-round Hobson’s choice … lines up two prospective presidents who can both be expected to impose draconian rule, if allowed to get their way. Heads I win, tails you lose” (Weekly Worker June 7).”
A Just Man.
The Independent reports,
The oldest brother of the Toulouse scooter killer, Mohamed Merah, denounces the role of his own father, mother, sister and brother in spawning a “monster” in his new book.
Abdelghani Merah, 36, says the youngest of his four siblings was raised in an “atmosphere of racism and hatred” but also of violence and neglect. He has written the book – “Mon Frère, ce terroriste” (My brother the terrorist) – to try to counter the hero-worship of Mohamed, 23, among some young French Muslims. “I am the killer’s brother but I am on the side of his victims,” he says.
Mohamed Merah murdered seven people, including three Jewish children, in a series of scooter-borne attacks in the Toulouse area in March.
Le Monde portrays a worrying picture of that family.
Abdelghani secretly recorded the anti-Semitic rants of his sister Souad,
Abdelghani Merah, frère aîné du tueur au scooter, a déclaré lundi 12 novembre sur BFMTV avoir placé un micro pour “piéger” sa sœur Souad, sur des images tournées en caméra cachée et diffusées par M6, afin de prouver l’antisémitisme entretenu dans sa famille. Les propos de Souad Merah ont conduit le parquet de Paris a ouvrir une enquête préliminaire pour “apologie du terrorisme”.
Abdelghani Merah the elder brother of the ‘scooter killer’ on Monday stated to the BFMTV channel that he had placed a hidden microphone to “trap” his sister Souad. The images broadcast and filmed by hidden camera, by the M6 channel were there to prove the family’s anti-Semitism. Souad Merah’s remarks have led Paris magistrates to open a preliminary enquiry into “apology for terrorism”.
““Ma mère a toujours dit que les arabes sont nés pour détester les juifs, et cela, c’est une phrase que j’ai entendue tout le long de ma tendre enfance. Mohamed a baigné dans tout cela et les salafistes ont récupéré la bombe déjà prête à exploser”.
My mother always said that Arabs are born to hate Jews, and that is a phrase I heard throughout the length of my early childhood. Mohamed was immersed in that, and the Salafists took advantage of a bomb already primed to explode.”
What did Souad say?
«Je suis fière de mon frère, il a combattu jusqu’au bout (…), je pense du bien de Ben Laden.» «Les Juifs, tous ceux qui sont en train de massacrer les musulmans, je les déteste.»
I’m proud of my brother. He fought right to the end (…). I like Ben Laden.” “The Jews, all those massacring Muslims, I loathe them.
Le recteur de la Grande mosquée de Paris Dalil Boubakeur a condamné mardi les «délires verbaux» de Souad Merah et s’est dit «atterré par la violence, la gravité et la dangerosité de ces propos incitant à la haine et nous regrettons la médiatisation de ces propos qui ne traduisent en rien le vrai islam, religion de paix». Le président du Conseil français du culte musulman (CFCM), Mohammed Moussaoui, a quant à lui condamné «fermement» les propos «ignobles et choquants» de Souad Merah et a appelé au «respect de la mémoire des victimes des tueries».
On Tuesday the rector of the Paris Grande Mosque Dalil Boubakeur denounced the “verbal delirium” of Souad Merah and said that he was “dismayed by the violence, the seriousness and the dangerous nature of these hate-inciting remarks”. “We regret the media publicity given to these comments which have nothing in common with real Islam – a religion of peace”. Mohammed Moussaoui President of the Conseil français du culte musulman (CFCM) equally condemned the “ignoble and shocking” remarks of Souad Merah and called for “respect for the victims of the killings.”
We note solely this: Abdelghani Merah proves that Arabs are not ‘born’ to hate Jews.
He is a just man.
Soon to be in Red and Brown?
“The Pol Pot the Cambodians remember was not a tyrant, but a great patriot and nationalist, a lover of native culture and native way of life.”
Israel Shamir. CounterPunch. September the 18th 2012
When Alexander Cockburn died in July there were many tributes. Serge Halimi of Le Monde Diplomatique (August) wrote of his ability to confront the most difficult topics, bravely risking contradicting the views of his own readers. Robin Blackburn in New Left Review (No. 76. July-August) attributed this streak, extending to a “defence of the civil rights of Scientologists and sex offenders”, to “honourable liberalism and contrarianism.” He was not a “crowd pleaser or a seeker after easy popularity ”and owed something to Adorno’s “hatred of cliché and cant.”
For Blackburn “Being Alexander’s friend was a wonderful thing.” But many people wonder about the friends that Cockburn’s magazine, CounterPunch, has made over the last few years. These include Israel Shamir, the convert to Russian orthodoxy who has attacked in its pages the “black legend” of Khmer Rouge genocide. The Guardian has accused him of Holocaust denial and antisemitism. In case anybody has doubts about the latter Shamir has railed incontinently against the influence of the “Jewish lobby” and “Jewish Marxists” when his attack on Pussy Riot, from the magazine, was published by the Morning Star then hastily withdrawn,with apologies, from its web site.
Shamir is not isolated in the journal Cockburn founded. CounterPunch has welcomed Gilad Atzmon, another ‘critic’ of Jewish “identity” politics branded by left-wing anti-Zionists, as anti-Jewish and a fellow-traveller of Holocaust denial. The opponent of all Western military interventions, and one time critic of post-modernist waffle, the Belgian physicist Jean Bricmont, who has associated with the ‘red-brown’ fascists of Alain Sorel, also figures.
Writers linked to a fringe of the European far-right networks, that is, the wing that calls itself nationalist, ‘anti-Zionist’ and ‘anti-imperialist’ have an established place in the “contrarian” CounterPunch. There is a crossover of authors published by the American ‘muckrakers’ and the web-pages of the holocaust denying Entre la Plume et l’enclume (Shamir) Soral’s Egalité et Réconciliation, which promotes an alliance of bet wen the ‘world of labour ‘ and the ‘values’ of the far-right, (Bricmont) to the Réseau Voltaire, best known for its director, the 9/11 ‘Truther’ Thierry Meyssan, which publishes CounterPunch regular Franklin P.Lamb.
These sites are open to those who oppose the “Americanisation” of the world, who support the “peoples” national aspirations, against “globalisation”, and the reign of la « pensée unique », neo-liberal economic orthodoxy. Alain Soral even finds in Islamism, a source of resistance, “ses valeurs sont aussi des valeurs de résistance au mondialisme » (its values also resist globalisation- here) A background theme is the wish to create a modern version of the Cercle Proudhon, a pre-Great War circle where the French far-right Monarchists of Action Française met a small layer of revolutionary syndicalists on the common ground of loathing for bourgeois democracy and cosmopolitan liberalism – perhaps what we now call liberal globalisation.
The journal now edited by Jeffery Saint Clair is undoubtedly capable of venting very different views. But it is hard not to feel that CounterPunch is up to its neck in red-brown muck they produce. A common thread is a defence of ‘free speech’ and opposition to Western military interventions, most recently threatened in Syria. Bricmont offers a defence of this position,
“..the left in the West has been almost completely persuaded by the arguments in favour of humanitarian intervention and, in fact, often criticizes Western governments for not intervening as rapidly or as often as they should. So, on the rare occasions when I protest publicly, I can do so only with those who agree to protest, who are not all on the far right, far from it (unless, of course, one defines opposition to humanitarian wars as being on the far right), but who are not on the left in the usual sense, since the bulk of the left support the policy of intervention.”
In other words, some of his allies are on the far-right. Bricmont does not regret this. He is primarily against “militarism and the imperialism of our own countries. The left does not want to have anything to do with his fight in this respect, so, “The world is far too complicated to keep a “pure” attitude, where one only meets and talks with people from “our side”. What is his Bricmont’s side? In defending Atzmon he has called for a complete opening of the vanes of public expression, so that all may express the good ideas they have about Jews and Israel, in total freedom. (Lettre à Dominque Vidal. 22nd April 2012) What could be greater fun or more libertarian? Bricomont cites Soral, by chance perhaps, as a victim on the present-day censorship. He would be a possible beneficiary. More joy indeed.
Colmáin: A Mind at the End of its Tether.
To illustrate CounterPunch’s direction we need look no further than an extraordinary piece by Gearóid ó Colmáin (September the 15th 2012). This puts a different shade on all of this. The author is concerned about the “death of free speech in France.” At this year’s Fête d’Humanité Caroline Fourest, he notes, was denied her “constitutional right to freedom of speech” (in what Constitution one wonders). The “pro-Israeli reactionary who masquerades as a “left-wing” feminist” “war mongering” “Reactionary and Islamophobic” woman faced the righteous anger of the ““Indigènes de la République” and was prevented from speaking. As a result “Fourest has been presented as a martyr of human rights, feminism and free speech “ by the “war-mongering harpies of France’s mainstream media” (Fourest is gay, and no doubt as a media figure is one of these ‘harpies’ to Colmáin).
Compare and contrast with the treatment (in this version of events) given to Bricmont!
For this author he is a genuine “anti-war” activist. The Physicist was excluded from the Fête, before the event, by the agitation of shadowy anarchists from Antifa.
“Antifa launched a campaign on Indymedia against Bricmont’s attendance at the festival, where they threatened to assault him if he spoke about humanitarian intervention. In the insane world of Antifa activism, Bricmont’s opposition to NATO-fomented terrorism in Libya and Syria makes him a “fascist”.
Antifa is just one of the international anarchist groups currently being used by the intelligence agencies of imperialist states to sow confusion and chaos among the ranks of disaffected youth, inciting them to mindless, violent acts that serve the agenda of an ever- encroaching police state. This organization, in particular, targets intellectuals who denounce Zionism as well as alternative media outlets, which expose the mechanisms and institutions that promote US imperialism throughout the world. It does all this under the guise of “anti-fascism”.”
Not satisfied with this Colmáin take a sideswipe at the rest of the left,
“The supporters of Melanchon – a demagogue who likes to prop up his left-wing credentials by pretending to support president Hugo Chavez of Venezuela and other centre-left governments in Latin America- do not seem to realize that the ALBA countries all supported Libya’s colonel Gaddafi last year and now openly declare their support for President Bachar al-Assad in his struggle against NATO, and Gulf-state funded terrorism.”
Somebody who repeatedly calls Jean-Luc Mélenchon “Melanchon” (unlikely to be a sub’s error) may not perhaps be an expert on French politics. Nor does Colmáin mention that the ‘antifas’ correctly pointed out that the Indigènes worked closely with the “l’antisémite Souhail Chichah » who had led a crowd that shouted down Fourest in Brussels a few months back. The ‘anarchists’ also state that the people at the Fête were “des racistes et des islamistes et leurs idiots utiles de complices gauchistes. » (Victoire : le pétochard Jean Bricmont chassé de la Fête de l’Humanité 17 September 2012) It is all very well condemning them. No doubt it gives Colmáin some additional pleasure to indulge his theory that the ‘anars’ are tools of the “intelligence agencies” – no doubt may more of us are too, and meet regularly at the Denver International Airport bunker.
What’s At Stake.
But there is a major difference between the treatment of Fourest and Bricmont. To put things simply : The organisers of the event disinvited Bricmont ; the opponents of Fourest physically prevented her from speaking.
Now many of us are all in favour of letting Bricmont and his friend Atzomon speak and write freely, whatever their opinions. Some may, the Tendance included, consider Fourest to be an admirable liberal-minded secularist who defends women’s rights. We, unlike the Amerian believers in freedom of speech, have discussed her views – in detail, here But above all, what CounterPunch fails to recognise is that what might seem a spat about opinions in, say, their country the USA, in Europe rapidly becomes a direct political struggle.
The Fête d’Humanité is a political event. It is not surprising that different sides in a poltiical struggle treated it as such. The swift response of the Editor of the Morning Star to criticism of Uisrael Shamir, and their publication of his article, illustrates that this rule applies in Britain.
Writing in the Weekly Worker (A Radical for All Seasons. No. 924) on Alexander Cockburn’s death Jim Creegan observed, “In an American left comprised not of parties and mass organisations with genuine heft, but mainly of journalists and professors with nothing but their own opinions, poised at various points along an axis between reformism and a radicalism of uncertain contours, Alexander Cockburn was perhaps the outstanding figure.”
Creegan went on to observe that Cockburn had some sympathy for “for the middle class lunatics of the radical right – the militia movement, advocates of the right of juries to overturn federal laws, and the Tea Party. To be sure, he rejected the retrograde social and political views of these groups, as well as the outlandish conspiracy theories that flourished in their midst (and in much of the left besides). But he seemed to believe (wrongly, in my opinion) that their anti-statism and individualism bespoke a rebellious impulse that could possibly be turned to the advantage of the left, given the correct approach.”
The same approach seems to lie behind the present turn. Marine le Pen was not a “real” fascist to Cockburn anyway (Counterpunch 3rd of May).There’s no real problem with such people, they are not some kind of Carl Schmidt ontological enemy. There are just serious disagreements. We can go further. Shamir says in his most recent CounterPunch piece (October the 2nd), that “I am rather fond of the loonies and almost-loonies: they are seeking answers, and it is not their fault that they can’t find them.” CounterPunch likes Shamir the truth-seeker too. They have extended this generosity to the European ‘anti-imperialist’ far-right. That is, a fringe that has, since the 1990s, worked towards a ‘red-brown’ alliance. Unfortunately hey may be loonies, but they have a reactionary political agenda which reaches much further than a quest for free-speech and opposition to Western interventions. Maybe some day CounterPunch will take that seriously. Like the good comrades of Antifa. For now they remain in their American, oh so American, political bubble.
The guide below shows some of the connections between Francophone figures mentioned here (Meyssan, Soral, Gnette, founder of La Plume l’enclume etc). From here: http://jssnews.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/11/tableau_de_la_galaxie_Dieudo-1024×866.gif
Meets Every Night Chez Denham and Coatesy.
Israel Shamir is in a bit of a tizzy. (see Here)
Apparently the Morning Star ” can’t stand up to a few Jewish Marxists.”
At the start things were going swimmingly.
Here is the letter confirming that the Morning Star would publish his master-stroke against the Zionist-Marxist-Jews.
Dear Mr Shamir
I’m the arts editor of the Morning Star newspaper (see
www.morningstaronline.co.uk) and we’d like to reprint an edited version of
your Pussy Riot article.
Would you please grant permission? Unfortunately, we run on a shoestring so
we’re unable to pay a fee but I hope you will agree as it will bring your
challenging piece to a wider readership.
I’d be grateful for a swift response as we have a possible slot free in next
With very best wishes
Morning Star newspaper
I gave my permission immediately, and they published it – and took it down in a few hours under pressure of the Jewish Lobby.”
AKA: the well-known Rabbinical families of Coates and Denham.
He then proceeds,
The British Jewish ‘tribal or kosher’ Marxists provide their support, for, in words of Gilad Atzmon, “Jewish Marxism is very different from Marxism or socialism in general. While Marxism is a universal paradigm, Jewish Marxism is basically a crude utilisation of ‘Marxist-like’ terminology for the Jewish tribal cause.” Indeed they were on the watch; they applied pressure to the Morning Star, and the British Communists surrendered immediately.
Poor Shamir whinges,
“They did not care that the attacks proceeded from Harry’s Place, the dirtiest Zionist leftist blog in Britain, viciously anti-Muslim, positioned against Iran and Syria, violently anti-Russian, and surely anti-Shamir.”
After some further whining about the need for “anti-imperialist unity” between browns and reds Shamir cites this letter, from an English reader, a certain Elisha Traven, complaining about the Morning Star decision.
I shall not cite most of the drivel but this is interesting,
George Galloway of the Respect Party is MP for Bradford West which is in south Yorkshire. He is well-known for his strong support of the Palestinian people. I’m sure you know of him. I salute you, Israel Shamir, for your love of Russia and defence of their elected president. You are a true and loyal servant of social democracy and the rule of law.
Hat-Tip to Barthomew.