General Antisemitism

Ghetto Jews: Most unintelligible & offensive Israel related Guardian letter ever?

Guardian Weekly Letters, 20 April 2012 included this:

So, what seems to be an attempt by Israel to protect its citizens from thousands of terrorist infiltrations from the Palestinian territories, Gaza, Sinai and Lebanon is really only a sign that Jews are stuck in an atavistic ghetto mentality. 

On some psychological level, Jews evidently internalized the mores of European ghetto life, antisemitic legal requirements dictating where they could live, and are, subconsciously, attempting to recreate the glory days of 15th century Venice and 20th century Lodz and Warsaw.  Hamas and Hezbollah just provide a convenient pretext!

If this letter was chosen by Guardian editors as especially meritorious, out of all which were submitted, I can only imagine what they rejected.

37 replies »

  1. Neils Engelsted sounds like a first-rate antisemite.

    As for the Guardian, it’s now well-established as Britain’s Stormfront-lite, a hang-out for Jew-baiters. If the Americans could spare a drone, I’d happily pilot it towards Guardian Towers

    • No, this is no way of social rehabilitation, I am sure the reporters at the Guardian had a bad youth, were ethnically discriminated and were social disabled.

  2. I think the first letter relating to Israel in that batch is worse, davka because it is intelligible. The writer, Michael Grut, asserts that:

    Israel will not be safe until it ditches Zionism

    i.e. Israel and Israeli Jews should give up on Jewish nationalism and reject the idea of a Jewish homeland in Israel. Sure Israel will be safe then! Because there will be no Israel left!

    He also states “Israel will be safer if it joins the Middle East, like South Africa joined Africa.”. It hasn’t occurred to the ignoramus writing the letter that Israel would love to join the Middle East if only its hostile and antagonistic neighbours would allow it.

    What is it about Israel that causes people who are entirely ignorant of the country, its politics, people and its neighbourhood to spout off about it as if they know everything?

    • “What is it about Israel that causes people who are entirely ignorant of the country, its politics, people and its neighbourhood to spout off about it as if they know everything?”

      Unclear, but it’s remarkable. People who will happily admit that the troubles of other places are a thicket of complexity that they don’t know enough about to judge are quite clear in their minds that Israel’s an easy solution–get the Israelis to stop being paranoid and mean!!

  3. It’s difficult to see how a statement can be both “unintelligible & offensive”. As quoted it’s meaning is unclear, certainly.

    Let me add my own interpretation. Israel has broadly two choices:

    1) Negotiate in good faith with your neighbours and occupied populations.

    2) Withdraw into a highly defended ‘ghetto’ and periodically launch massive attacks against neighbouring territories to deter opposition.

    It is apparent that Israel has chosen the latter option. You can’t negotiate meaningfully with Palestinians whilst stealing ever more of their land. Nor can you expect peace with your neighbours while you brand them all as ‘terrorists’ and refuse to negotiate, Jenny Tonge was right when she said that “Israel is not going to be there forever in its present form”. The Roman and British empires collapsed. The UK is ever-changing as its constituent parts gain independence. Israel too will change despite its all powerful army and nuclear weapons. Better to reach an accommodation with enemies now perhaps. The alternative may be a lot worse.

    • sencar, do you agree that good faith negotiations cannot be from one side alone? Have the Arab nations ever shown good faith in their attitude to Israel? (Please give dates and proof from their subsequent behaviour that they meant what they said). Can their word be trusted?

      Most importantly, can you give us some disinterested links where they have talked about negotiations in public and not dissolved into Zionist/Jew-hatred mouth frothing within hours in their media?

      Take your time.

      • “Have the Arab nations ever shown good faith in their attitude to Israel?”

        That’s easy, SilverTrees:

        1) The Egypt–Israel Peace Treaty was signed in 1979 and has held ever since, even through the events of the Arab Spring. A crucial part of the treaty was complete Israeli withdrawal from the Sinai.

        2) The Israel–Jordan Treaty of Peace was signed in 1994 and has held ever since. Territory was not a major issue although there were minor adjustments.

        3) There were sustained and serious negotiations between Israel and Syria in the early 1990s, broken off during the 96-99 Netanyahu administration, and resumed afterwards. The final breakdown in 2000 was over Israeli refusal to return part of the Golan.

        4) The Arab states offered a comprehensive peace plan in 1982 that included normal relations with Israel to be guaranteed by the Security Council. It also called for Israeli withdrawal to 1967 borders. Israel refused even to negotiate on the basis of the plan.

        Do you begin to see a pattern, SilverTrees? When Israel is prepared to trade land for peace (or land isn’t a significant issue) agreements can be reached with Arab states and maintained in good faith. When Israel insists on holding on to territories captured in wartime (contrary to international law) agreements are not reached.

        • 4) … It also called for Israeli withdrawal to 1967 borders. Israel refused even to negotiate on the basis of the plan.

          Strange how you ommitted the call for the return of Palestinian refugees to Israel.

          • Any opening bid from the Arab/Palestinian side must include “the (right of) return of Palestinian refugees”. The moral and legal cases for this right are unassailable and it is backed up by numerous UN resolutions. The objections are practical, owing to the numbers involved and the fact that Jewish immigrants have occupied the land the refugees left. This is an issue that can be negotiated. A solution involving a token return and compensation for the rest has long been considered a likely end result. The notion of compensation was actually included in the 1982 plan.

            • And now we get to the point. Sencar says that “Jewish immigrants have occupied the land the refugees left” in the context of the “right of return of Palestinian refugees” which, without any doubt whatsoever, relates to a proposed right of return to a post-peace-agreement Israel.

              In other words, he sees Jews living IN ISRAEL as “occupiers” of Palestinian land.- i,e, his gripe is not about Gaza or the West Bank (as he so disingenuously implies). When he talks about “land for peace” he means ALL of the land. Given this context, anything else he says is meaningless, as he has no interest in finding a just peace for BOTH peoples, just for the sexist, homophobic, anti-democratic one.

              You have to hand it to him, though. If Israel did give up ALL of its land, that would definitely be the end of the I/P conflict.

              • I was stating a simple fact. Arabs left: Jewish immigrants arrived. What part of that statement do you have difficulty with, GoonerEll?

                • Are you really as ignorant as you sound sencar, as impervious to factual information, repeated here again and again? (Given your past showing here, I guess that is a rhetorical question).

                  There has been a CONTINUOUS Jewish presence in what is now Israel since Bible times! This gives all Jews the right to settle there and to claim Jerusalem as their capital, no matter what foolishness you may have swallowed whole.

                  And what do you make of this mouth-frothing rant from Fathi Hamad? (This is the very same same lunatic who loves his people so much that he boasted that women, children and the elderly made the best human shields during Cast Lead). He actually admits that there is no Palestinian people (at 1:49) and argues that every “Palestinian” can prove his Arab roots!

                  He says that every Palestinian can prove his Arab roots, so are they “Palestinians” when they rant about killing Jews in Israel or “Arabs” when they rant at Egypt for not giving them oil? They can’t be both, can they?

                  Apparently Palestinians can miraculously fit three halves into one whole, because later on at 2:10, he actually admits that half the Palestinians are descended from Egyptians and the other half from the Saudis! (Could the mythical extra half be “Palestinian” in his confused little mind?)

                  From his own mouth he has ruined the Palestinians’ right to be called a bona fide nation – Hamad, like Arafat in 1971 created Palestinians so as to shore up his case against the Jews.

                  Given this declaration by the Hamas Interior Minister, “Palestinians” have no right of return except to the Arab lands from which Hamad rants that every “Palestinian” is descended and they’re refused citizenship by those. Why should that be Israel’s problem, particularly if they have sworn to eradicate her and her people?

                  • Practically every line in your post is either false or illogical. Let’s just take the nonsense about who is Palestinian. Obviously there was a time when there was no Palestine, so all Palestinians are descended from some other group. The same could be said for the peoples of all nations (including Israelis) Your idea that one can’t be Arab and Palestinian is equally silly. I am English but happily call myself British or European, since all are true. The Egyptian Arab is both Arab and Egyptian just as the Palestinian Arab is both Arab and Palestinian.

                    • (a) There has always been a Jewish state in some form or other – there has never been a Palestinian state in any form or other – for one example of why, see the link below*
                      (b) This lunatic is merely repeating Arafat’s views that the “Palestinian people” are a notional construct to tug at the heartstrings of silly people like you and the featherheads at the Guardian and elsewhere. One of Arafat’s government, Zahir Mushein said as much in an interview with Trouw on March 31st 1977:

                      “The Palestinian people does not exist. The creation of a Palestinian state is only a means for continuing our struggle against the state of Israel for our Arab unity. In reality today there is no difference between Jordanians, Palestinians, Syrians and Lebanese. Only for political and tactical reasons do we speak today about the existence of a Palestinian people, since Arab national interests demand that we posit the existence of a distinct “Palestinian people” to oppose Zionism.

                      “For tactical reasons, Jordan, which is a sovereign state with defined borders, cannot raise claims to Haifa and Jaffa, while as a Palestinian, I can undoubtedly demand Haifa, Jaffa, Beer-Sheva and Jerusalem. However, the moment we reclaim our right to all of Palestine, we will not wait even a minute to unite Palestine and Jordan.”

                      Please explain the idiocy that continues to claim that there is a Palestinian people, rather than Arabs who came from the Saudi peninsular, in the face of such a statement.

                      *And here’s the link which makes an absolute nonsense of your claim that Palestinians, or whatever they call themselves, are capable of showing good faith in any negotiations with their neighbour. How do you explain this as a good faith gesture?


                      If you are going to try to explain it away as overblown rhetoric, forget it. Hamas backs up its rhetoric with murderous behaviour towards Jews and to any of its people who disagree with it.

        • Too many serious inaccuracies here.

          Negotiations between Israel and Syria were broken off because of disagreement over the border to be recognized. The Syrians wished to restore the 4th June 1967 lines which gave them a toehold on the Kinneret: Israel insisted on withdrawal to the international border, about half a kilometre east of that line.

          If you mean the Saudi- Arab League Plan offering full recognition in exchange for withdrawal to the ’67 lines and right of return of all currently recognized Palestinian refugees, you omitted to remind us that this was presented as a take-it-or-leave-it proposal, its conditions all non-negotiable.

          The security wall now being built along our southern border is the direct result of total loss of control of the Sinai by the Egyptians. This area of Egypt is now in the hands of all sorts of groups, some simply lawless, others frankly terrorist. The letter writer made no reference to these facts. For me, at any rate, It is easy to understand what kind of person implies that Jews “welcomed” being the ghetto as a means of preserving their identity. A truly obnoxious mindset.

          • Abtalyon you are wasting your time. Sencar who obviously has a very unhealthy obsession regarding the I/P conflict is not interested in facts, context and nuances – only in Jew bashing.

          • “(the Saudi- Arab League Plan was a “take-it-or-leave-it proposal, its conditions all non-negotiable.”

            I can find no reference to the plan’s being non-negotiable. Please post if you have one. I do know that King Hassan of Morocco invited PM Peres to talks on the basis of the plan in 1986 and that Peres balked at the 1967 lines and recognition of the PLO. At about the same time as the Saudi plan President Reagan tabled his plan which, inter alia, called for return to 1967 borders. Israel flatly rejected this too and, just to rub it in, announced new settlements at the same time.

        • Answered only in part, as is your custom if you answer at all. You don’t mention any “good faith” on the part of the screechers of Hamas and the PA. Have you any examples about them? What sort of good faith does Hamas show in its charter, for example, and what message does the PA send out when it sentences a Palestinian to death for selling a house to a Jew?

          Also, you know as well as I that although there has been an uneasy peace between Egypt and Israel, the Egyptian street has been as anti-Israel and antisemitic as ever, as has been the Egyptian media. All that proves is that they are still slavishly following their prophet’s example and that, for all we know, they don’t attack Israel because they are the only intelligent neighbours who know that it would be unwise because they would be beaten.

          What a pity Hamas and the PA lack that intelligence.

    • Israel an empire? Looks like your grandiosity needs an empire to fight with, not a small country which defends itself since sixty years, against war, terrorism, boycott, islamism, antisemitsm, deadly neighbours, otherwise called failed states, and idiots who post their hate.

      • Sencar’s reference to the Roman and British empires is reminiscent of Kenneth O’Keefe’s bizarre ramblings.

    • “The Roman and British empires collapsed.”

      They once said: “the sun never sets on the British Empire”.*
      The Israeli “empire” comprises a sliver of one time zone.

      * and some responded: “because God doesn’t trust the British”.

  4. With all respect, you start from a totally erroneous premise by assuming that the person who read it actually had a mind

  5. anneinpt wrote:

    “What is it about Israel that causes people who are entirely ignorant of the country, its politics, people and its neighbourhood to spout off about it as if they know everything?” —

    Is it coz we’s Jewish and they ain’t?