Monday, March 30, 2009

Anti-Semitism on decline since Israel wiped off map

Big H/T to Jews sans Frontieres

Here's my favourite article from a very convincing mock up of the Financial Times dated April 1, 2020:

Anti-Semitism on decline since Israel wiped off map

Anti-Semitic behaviour has dropped off sharply since the new state of Kanaan came into being on 14 May 2018, according to a United Nations study.

The world’s newest independent country, Kanaan incorporates all of the territory formerly known as Israel, as well as the territories that Israel illegally occupied.

Although many feared a Middle Eastern Holocaust after the disuniting of the American states, and despite threats of terrorism by the Provisional Stern Gang and the Ariel Sharon Memorial League, the transition of the highly militarised Jewish state into a modern secular democracy has been remarkably smooth.

Pockets of prejudice persist, the study found, but their influence on popular opinion is now marginal.

Formal recognition of the right of return of all Palestinians forced into exile, and of Jerusalem’s status as an international city, have together had “a significant positive impact” on the incidence of anti-Jewish feeling around the world, the UN researchers say.

Kanaan’s new government stoked controversy last year when it admitted to possession of an arsenal of nuclear weapons.

Successive Israeli administrations had refused to confirm or deny the weapons’ existence, in the interests of maintaining regional stability.

In a wide-ranging series of proclamations, Kanaan also condemned suicide bombings, and issued a formal acknowledgement of the “many crimes and injustices” which took place during Israel’s birth.

It also caused indignation in parts of North America by stating that occurrences recounted in scripture “are not considered an appropriate foundation for national policy in the present day”.

And here's the home page for the Financial Times 2020 website.


At 8:30 PM, Blogger Emmanuel said...

Oh, great, so in 2020 neither one of my two countries of citizenship will exist. Just wonderful.

That last paragraph seems outdated already. Bush and the religious right are out of office. Obama and the Democrats don't work according to scripture (unlike Hamas).

At 9:19 PM, Blogger Gert said...


Calm down: it's a spoof.

Hamas doesn't work according to scripture either, this is the atheist in you speaking, I feel. Many atheists hate religion and make a special exception for Islam.

Hamas are in essence no different to any other resistance group, they just happen to be more religious than others. It's not their driving force though. Believing it is will always lead to misreading them. Sit down with them, negotiate and conclude they won't want to talk about the Qu'ran. Palestinians remain among the more secular of Arab peoples.

Staring oneself blind on Hamas' religiosity is... blinding. Religiosity, in conjunction with nationalism is also on the rise in Israel but it isn't the root cause of bad Israeli policy-making.

Hamas may be sort of a 'Little Hezbollah' but it's less religiously inspired than Hezbollah.

When the Americans will finally talk to the Iranian Mullahs, they won't talk about the Qu'ran either. Most likely topics will be Afghanistan, possible dropping Hamas and Hesbollah on a quid pro quo basis and later Israel/Palestine.

At 10:34 PM, Blogger Emmanuel said...

I know it's a spoof and I didn't take it too seriously. The first paragraph was supposed to be humoristic, and the second one just an observation.

Downplaying the central role of religion in Hamas's ideology is naive and dangerous. Sure, they won't be discussing the Quran in talks with Israel or the United States, just like Iran won't, but the Quran will be in the back of their minds all the time.

"Palestinians remain among the more secular of Arab peoples."

I don't know if that's true, especially in recent years.

At 10:45 PM, Blogger Emmanuel said...

By the way, here's something Amira Hass writes in today's Ha'aretz:

"Allegiance to the Oslo framework clashes with Hamas' political opposition to agreements, but only ostensibly. The ideological commitment of this religious-national movement is not to sovereignty within the 1967 borders, but rather to liberating the entire country. Therefore, it is not bothered by the political, institutional and social split that exists between the Gaza Strip and the West Bank, a split which contradicts the two-state solution and which Israel initiated and has perfected since 1991. In contrast, Hamas' timetable for full liberation is almost Koranic in its proportions - that is, something that will not occur even in the next generation. But in contrast to the proven failure of the promises made in Oslo, no one can prove there will be a future failure. At the moment, it is important for Hamas to prove that as an Islamic-nationalist movement, it can rule and attain international legitimacy while promising the liberation that has assumed mythological proportions."

At 3:44 AM, Blogger Frank Partisan said...

During the First Intifada, not started by Fatah or Hamas, the Palestinians organized themselves into soviet like councils, that were democratic. Hamas destroyed independent organizing by Palestinians.

They are reactionary.

At 2:03 PM, Blogger Gert said...


There are other, more benign accounts of Hamas by Western observers and people who've dealt with them.

Hamas will not go away because you don't like them.

At 3:12 PM, Blogger Emmanuel said...

Sorry if this ends up being posted twice. I posted a comment then corrected something and deleted the first comment - and both disappeared.

Amira Hass is no neo-con. She knows the Palestinians very well. If even she says Hamas's plan is to free all of Israel in the long run, I believe her.

That's the problem with Hamas: Can't defeat them, and can't trust them to make peace.

At 3:13 PM, Blogger Gert said...

Perhaps that's the reason why Israel sponsored them in the first place (wink, wink, nudge, nudge)?

Hass is a great source and her point has been noted. However, not everyone is of her persuasion, opinion remains divided.

If rapprochement between the US and Iran succeeds, Hamas and Hesbollah may be the first victims. But that still doesn't change anything> A strengthened Israel will be even less inclined to make any "concessions".

At 3:17 PM, Blogger Emmanuel said...

I think a weakened Israel wouldn't want to make concessions. The more confident we are of our position in the world, the less scared we'll be of giving up territory.

At 4:50 PM, Blogger Gert said...

Emm, Emm, Emm:

What you say goes against every rational explanation of historical processes: never were the vanquished ever given something for free and never was freedom obtained without a fight. Not ever, not once.

The only thing that could make Israel retreat right now is intense pressure from the outside, to believe otherwise is to believe in ahistorical fairy tales.

At 5:53 PM, Blogger Gert said...

Also, there are plenty of Zionists who believe that 'maximised Israeli security' effectively means removing all Palestinians from Palestine 'because you can't make peace with them'. 'Removing the cancer' and all these niceties...

So 'maximum security' then becomes another self-serving rationale for Greater Israel.

And people like Benny Morris, who were once more centrist, now believe Arab Israelis are a 'fifth column'. Livni echoed that sentiment not that long ago, slightly weakened.

At 11:51 PM, Blogger Emmanuel said...

Who said anything about there not being a fight? It's been going on for quite a while!

There are two polar situations that are not conductive to Israeli concessions. One is a situation where Israel feels existentially threatened, and so it wouldn't do anything that might make it even more fragile, no matter how much pressure there is on it.

The second situation is one where Israel feels like it's an indestructable superpower. It would have no reason to give up anything if it can fight off any resistence without interttupting its citizens' lives.

There's a situation in the middle, where Israel feels more secure, but still somewhat vulnerable. That's when it would be more willing to take risks in order to avoid more violence and to avoid conflict with the international community.

At 3:36 PM, Blogger Gert said...


As always, you completely define Israel's willingness to negotiate a fair deal in function of its security status.

That's naive. In what way do the ever increasing numbers of settlements and settlers increase Israel's security? It does not (quite the opposite). Then why does she do it?

It expands to start from the strongest negotiating position possible. It will hang on to as many settlements as possible, unless FORCED to give them up: the power differential simply dictates that. Many "population centers" (your people have a way with political euphemisms that would make Bushco blush!) were already negotiated with Bush (Sharon) as non-negotiable.

To believe otherwise is to believe in fairy-tales, the 'goodness of hearts' and other fallacies.

And that's the main reason why the two state solution could (without external power factors) be rather the "maximise screwing the Palestinians solution" or the "minimise 'concessions' solution". Considering the absence of any real Palestinian negotiating power, from a Zionist negotiator's perspective such negotiations cannot be anything other than a 'maxi-mini solution' problem. Game theory has some interesting things to say about that: 'Share of Shaft?' Israel's position dictates playing 'Shaft!' on each occasion...

In a certain sense Israel is the victim of its own success. Until RoW will have had enough of course.

At 3:43 PM, Blogger Gert said...

Considering the current balance of power Israel may yet walk away with everything and the Palestinians with nothing. Even American Jewry is starting to see it, read Mondoweiss for good coverage of 'the war within US Jewry'.

At 4:59 PM, Blogger Emmanuel said...

I don't think you quite undestand what I'm saying. I'm not saying it's all about security and not about pressure from the outside. The closer Israel is to that middle situation where it has both a lot to gain and a lot to lose militarily, economically and otherwise, it will be more likely to listen to that outside pressure.

Don't forget that while Israel may try to get the best deal for itself, the Palestinians are unlikely to accept something that is dramatically far from their demands. They have the power to disrupt Israelis' lives through rockets and suicide attacks. That's why Israel will, in the end, have to reach a fair settlement. Not out of altruism.

At 6:03 PM, Blogger Gert said...


"They have the power to disrupt Israelis' lives through rockets and suicide attacks."

The Palestinians, without greater negotiating and/or firepower are stuck in a great dilemma. Their armed resistance has achieved them nothing except for thoroughly bad press (there are other reasons besides Teggog! Teggog! but it's the most important factor) and blockades.

If anything, terrorism has made their situation worse. And yet, for all the PLO's acceding to Israeli demands (recognition and renunciation of violence), they too have achieved nothing. That's the dilemma. That is why I believe Hamas still uses violence and will be hard to convince of the renunciation of terror, unless something concrete is given to them in return.

The Israeli street may be horrified at terror attacks but I do not believe the Israeli leadership is influenced by them: it didn't push the Gaza terror war to its logical extreme and in real terms achieved almost nothing. That kind of achievement was not its purpose (its purposes were multiple).

It's possible that US/Iranian rapprochement (assuming, of course) will cause Iran to drop Hamas and Hesbollah, on a quid pro quo basis. We'll then be able to gauge, in the absence of any significant Palestinian violence, whether the Israeli leadership will start creating the conditions for a Palestinian state. I doubt it very, very much, unless the Iranian quid pro quo includes pressure from the Quartet.

Israel could guarantee its security by dismantling the settlements whilst maintaining the military occupation: no loss of territory and no loss of security. Then, when 'things are in place', Israel could withdraw to more or less pre-1967 borders and the real process could begin. Again, I can't see that day dawning any time soon... Not without redressing the power balance.


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