Archive for April 2016

JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: ISRAEL’S LABOUR PARTY LEADER JOINS THE WITCH HUNT IN BRITAIN – SIMPLY UNBELIEVABLE FROM SOMEONE LIVING IN A COUNTRY WHERE FIVE MILLION ARE HELD AGAINST THEIR WILL, DENIED ANY RIGHTS AND ABUSED WITH ENDLESS CHECK-POINTS, DEMOLITIONS, WALLS, LAND SEIZURES, BLOCKADE, IMPRISONMENT, ASSASSINATIONS, AND TORTURE

John Chuckman

COMMENT POSTED TO AN ARTICLE IN THE INDEPENDENT

 

“Israeli Labor leader slams Livingstone’s ‘horrific, unthinkable’ views”

Well, here is an example of either ignorance or genuine hate, hate posing as the moral high-ground.

Livingston expressed nothing “unthinkable,” he expressed a historical fact, undoubtedly unpleasant for some.

Livingston would have better avoided mentioning it, but it remains a fact, not an expression of hate.

If you want a genuine example of “unthinkable” behavior, and on a massive scale, there is Israel’s holding about five million people completely against their will, giving them absolutely no rights or status, abusing them endlessly with walls, demolitions, imprisonment, checkpoints, limits on their fishing, blockading them, bombing them, seizing homes and farms, assassinating them, and,  yes, documented torture.

Good God, we are all expected to ignore these horrors just because a politician mentioned an inconvenient truth?

The letter by Isaac Herzog is utterly self-serving and represents the cheapest political opportunism.

Again:

http://northshorenumismaticsociety.org/little-known-medal-marks-nazi-zionist-co-operation-in-1933/

 

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JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: MORE ON THE BRITISH WITCH HUNT STARTED BY DAVID CAMERON – KEN LIVINGSTON’S EXPLANATION – MS. NAZ SHAH’S WORDS – AND HOW TO ABUSE THE “APOLOGY” OF SOMEONE UNDER VICIOUS ATTACK

John Chuckman

COMMENTS POSTED TO AN ARTICLE IN THE IDEPENDENT

 

Absolutely right, Mr. Livingstone, this is a deliberately created fury to hurt Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour Party.

David Cameron has shown himself an unpleasant mediocrity in nearly everything he has undertaken.

But he has truly surpassed himself with this new McCarthyite campaign against Corbyn’s Labour.

It should make all people sick over the complete lack of respect for democratic values.

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 Response to another reader’s comment quoting Naz Shah’s apology in Parliament:

No one should be quoted in the fashion you have quoted Naz Shah as proof of her anti-Semitism. It is inherently unfair.

All thinking people know she would have been speaking under intense pressure, both from outside and inside of her party.

Quoting her in this fashion is a bit like quoting some of America’s Guantanamo torture victims on their guilt for crimes they never did and for which they received no legal trial.

We can all judge statements of genuine hate, including hate of a people just for what they are – which describes all forms of genuine prejudice including anti-Semitism.

And we are all perfectly capable of judging an outburst of anger and disapproval and frustration at the shameful behaviors of a state like Israel.

They are not the same thing, no matter how many times you or anyone else repeat that they are.

And Naz Shah’s original words were exactly of this nature, reflecting frustration and anger over the behaviors of a state, not hatred of a people.

Criticizing Israel is exactly the parallel of criticizing the old Soviet Union. Doing either of these cannot be regarded as an expression of hatred, either of Jewish people or of Russians.

For God’s sake, the greatest terrible state in modern history was Germany 1933-45 and run by Germans. Was criticizing the Reich hatred of all Germans?

Of course not, and it is not a whit different in the case of Israel, a state which in fact has violated every international law and convention concerning human rights that we have.

I actually believe many of Israel’s defenders understand this, but they are taking unfair advantage at this moment to kick up a lot of dust, effectively defending what cannot be defended, Israel’s behavior, and crippling a party leader, Jeremy Corbyn, Israel does not like.

Posted April 30, 2016 by JOHN CHUCKMAN in Uncategorized

JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: SILLY ARTICLE BY REBECCA SHAPIRO ABOUT CANADA’S “RESERVING JUDGMENT” ON JUSTIN TRUDEAU – HOW COULD YOU GET IT MORE WRONG?

John Chuckman

COMMENT POSTED TO AN ARTICLE BY REBECCA SHAPIRO IN THE GUARDIAN

 

“In Canada, we’re still reserving judgment.”

I have no idea where Rebecca Shapiro got a basis for saying that, but her statement is simply inaccurate.

Every indicator worth talking about shows Canadians are happy with Trudeau, although all seasoned political observers know there will be ups and downs.

And may I say that any writer who uses expressions like “we’re still reserving judgment…” should send up warning flags in a reader’s mind.

You cannot speak for the “we” that is Canada or another whole country.

That should be obvious, but this kind of writing suffers from a desire to bolster the author’s authority beyond what can possibly be merited.

Only polls even approach being able to make such ‘we” statements, and I can assure readers that Trudeau has every reason to be happy with his polls.

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Response to another comment:

Yes, The National Post was literally a grovelling servant of Stephen Harper, the most hated national politician in our history.

Some of the articles carried in that paper over the last ten years are an embarrassment to read.

The paper was founded by convicted felon Conrad Black, who, the last time I peeked, still wrote the odd turgid column.

The paper is completely in bed with America’s neocons and extreme Republicans, and I believe only subsidies keep it afloat.

Posted April 30, 2016 by JOHN CHUCKMAN in Uncategorized

JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: BEN FRANKLIN IN LONDON BOOK REVIEW – THE WAY “AMERICANS” ACTUALLY THOUGHT OF THEMSELVES DURING THE REVOLUTION – THE REVOLUTION WAS A MINORITY AFFAIR – FRANCE’S ESSENTIAL ROLE

John Chuckman

COMMENT POSTED TO A BOOK REVIEW IN THE GUARDIAN

 

“We know that 18th-century colonists referred to themselves as English or British; that identification with one’s own particular colony easily trumped any sense of a shared identity as Americans.”

Sorry, but for people who done some serious reading of American history, that’s not news.

As a matter of fact, it was estimated that during the “revolution” about one-third were Loyalists, one-third indifferent to it all, and only one-third active supporters. It was a minority event.

One French nobleman who came over for some adventure in the later days of the “revolution” said that he saw more excitement over events in the cafes of Paris than he saw in America.

I put “revolution” in quotes because it really is a misuse of the word to apply it to the American War. It has been accurately described by a European writer as a local set of aristocrats seeking to replace a foreign set of aristocrats.

The only time, the events vaguely resembled a revolution was when Massachusetts volunteers responded to Britain’s sending over troops to be quartered. It was brief. The Continental Congress then appointed Virginia aristocrat George Washington to take command. He rode in and took over, referring to the local volunteers in his letters as scum and rabble. He instituted lashing and hanging to instill the discipline he liked as an admirer of British Armed Forces.

The “revolution” was only won because of huge French assistance. Washington was pretty well incompetent as a General, never winning a single significant battle, and it was French Generals who insisted on the last, decisive battle at Yorktown. Washington wanted to attack New York instead. The only other important battle was earlier at Saratoga, and again French help was decisive with weapons and money and assistance.

Without France – and here Franklin’s diplomacy was crucial – America would have likely given up.

JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: FEROCIOUS OUTBREAK OF NEO-MCCARTHYISM IN BRITAIN – TWO LABOUR MPs SUSPENDED FOR TRUMPED-UP CHARGES OF ANTI-SEMITISM – WHAT IS ACTUALLY HAPPENING

John Chuckman

COMMENT POSTED TO A STORY IN THE INDEPENDENT AND THE GUARDIAN

 

Britain is experiencing a ferocious outbreak of a neo-McCarthyism.

The imagined enemy in this round is not communists lurking around in the halls of the State Department and other agencies and institutions.

It is imagined anti-Semites lurking in the Labour Party, and the McCarthyite pressure groups have now brought the suspension of two members.

Well, I guess if one form of attack fails, you come up with another.

We had endless anti-Corbyn stories and comments and interviews in the wake of Corbyn’s winning the leadership of the Labour Party in fair democratic fashion.

It was relentless, but it failed and has somewhat tapered off, and we can all thank God we see no more interviews with Tony Blair, a sick, sordid man criticizing an honorable one.

But the neo-McCarthyism represents a second wave with the same intent of criticizing and discrediting perfectly honorable people.

Why would people do this? Because Israel’s government does not like Corbyn, just as it does not like Trump in America or, for that matter, President Assad of Syria. The government of Israel resents independent-minded people gaining power and wants to maintain the situation it has enjoyed under the blood-drenched neocon crowd. Hillary is their man.

Criticizing Israel is not anti-Semitism, not any more than criticizing the old Soviet Union for its violations of human rights was anti-Russian.

It is tiresome to keep hearing all the attempts to shut up honest critics with a spurious charge. I think we all know genuine hate when we hear or read it, and those who keep ranting about anti-Semitism where none exists are far closer to the mark than the people at whom they rage.

I’ll remind readers of the honorable company that has been at one time or another attacked in this fashion. It includes Jimmy Carter, Desmond Tutu, and Nelson Mandela.

This kind of ugly noise, in part, reflects unspoken shame and guilt over the situation in Israel. There is a very great deal to criticize about Israel, its behavior in many things violates international law and custom and is simply appalling, and none of it is the doing of the critics pointing it out. Instead of pressuring Israel to mend its ways, Israel’s apologists abroad resort to a campaign against anyone who points the horrors out.

 

FOOTNOTE: Ken Livingstone’s unspeakable crime of saying that Hitler supported Zionism is simply historical fact, and here is just one indisputable piece of evidence:

http://northshorenumismaticsociety.org/little-known-medal-marks-nazi-zionist-co-operation-in-1933/

 

 

 

 

JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: DAVID CAMERON’S MCCARTYITE DEMAND THAT LABOUR MP NAZ SHAH BE SUSPENDED – NOTES ON MODERN ISRAEL’S BIRTH – SOME HARSH FACTS

John Chuckman

COMMENTS POSTED TO AN ARTICLE IN THE INDEPENDENT

 

I’m glad the Independent’s headline put “anti-Semitic” in quotes.

I think The Guardian would not have.

What I saw quoted from Labour MP, Naz Shah, from Facebook could only be called anti-Semitic by extremists of the Israel Lobby.

Critical, yes. Anti-Semitic, no.

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 A reader comment:  “There has never , ever , in history been a “Palestinian state ” . Israel wasnt “recognised” is was created by United Nations decree in a free vote.

“You clearly dont know what you are talking about.”

 

I know very well the history of Israel’s “creation,” and it is a pretty sordid story, full of deception, pressure, terror, and unfulfilled promises.

As just one example, Israel accepted the Right of Return, a UN principle, when it was given membership and has always ignored it, just as it has ignored more than twenty UN Resolutions condemning its acts for decades.

Israel is simply a lawless state by any definition.

And today’s re-created state got its start by wheedling a British official, Foreign Secretary Arthur Balfour in 1917, during the Great War to make a rather vague promise in a brief note to Britain’s Zionist Federation. This was later elevated into a “founding document” for Israel.

And later, in 1948, as the people who were to become Israelis were busy shooting up and terrifying the native Palestinians, Israel’s lobbyists abroad won crucial American recognition from President Truman by intense lobbying and the promise of substantial support in the form of media and cash for his election campaign. Truman was in serious political trouble in the 1948 election and grabbed the offer of help much as a drowning man grabs a life preserver thrown to him. Yet he believed sincerely that recognizing Israel was a bad idea, and he left us some sharp comments on the whole matter.

Imagine the pride you could feel in a state based on a vague promise from an imperial power which itself had no business being in Palestine and which had even less business making the suggestion of offering it to a third party as though it were a load of used furniture?

But Israel hides behind the skirts of the United States to carry on safely with its lawlessness. And it keeps that position behind the skirts with a powerful American Lobby which takes full advantage of America’s ill-considered campaign finance laws, allowing money to run elections. What Truman started continues to this day.

JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: WHAT THE HILLSBOROUGH AFFAIR TEACHES US – HOW EASY IT IS FOR AUTHORITIES TO SUPPRESS TRUTH – A LESSON FOR EVEN BIGGER EVENTS

John Chuckman

COMMENT POSTED TO AN ARTICLE BY OLIVIA BLAIR IN THE INDEPENDENT

 

I think the most fascinating and overlooked aspect of the Hillsborough disaster is the way it is was easy for those in authority to enforce for decades an “official view” of the event, a view which we now know was completely different from the truth.

You might not think at first it possible in so large an event involving many deaths for officials to succeed as they did in lying, but they did succeed and for decades.

It could serve to teach us all a lesson about what goes on at a higher level in our governments day-in and day-out.

The public is fed and it swallows the same kind of garbage explanations about even more serious events, such as the real nature of the war in Syria or the downing of airliner MH-17.

If officials decide on an explanation for something – and the press colludes in supporting it, which it always does – then that becomes history, and the truth does not exist.

We are literally immersed in such practices today by our national governments.