What would you do if you only had a year to live?

The following was written by David Hirsh at Engage, and is being cross posted here with his permission.

What would you do [if you only had a year to live]?  You’d do the important things, right?  

Iain Banks decided to have the stupid things he’d written about Jews re-published in the Guardian.

“A sporting boycott of Israel would make relatively little difference to the self-esteem of Israelis in comparison to South Africa; an intellectual and cultural one might help make all the difference…”

Yes, because white South Africans only care about Rugby while Jews spend their time with their noses in a book…Mike Cushman came up with this one ages ago:  “Universities are to Israel what the springboks were to South Africa: the symbol of their national identity.”  And Tom (Israeli archeologists are nastier than Nazi killers) Hickey too: “we are speaking of a culture, both in Israel and in the long history of the Jewish diaspora, in which education and scholarship are held in high regard. That is why an academic boycott might have a desirable political effect in Israel, an effect that might not be expected elsewhere…”

“Israel and its apologists can’t have it both ways, though: if they’re going to make the rather hysterical claim that any and every criticism of Israeli domestic or foreign policy amounts to antisemitism, they have to accept that this claimed, if specious, indivisibility provides an opportunity for what they claim to be the censure of one to function as the condemnation of the other.”

Jews as hysterical?  People who say that “every criticism” is antisemitic?  Classic Livingstone Formulation… The conflation of criticism with demonization combined with the charge of raising antisemitism in bad faith in order to silence “critics”.

“Of all people, the Jewish people ought to know how it feels to be persecuted en masse, to be punished collectively and to be treated as less than human.” [ach you know what comes next…]

The Jews should know better?  The Jews should have learnt more at Auschwitz?  Well, take your pick.  Chris Davies?Jacqueline RoseDesmond Tutu?  “My heart aches. I say why are our memories so short. Have our Jewish sisters and brothers forgotten their humiliation? Have they forgotten the collective punishment, the home demolitions, in their own history so soon? Have they turned their backs on their profound and noble religious traditions? Have they forgotten that God cares deeply about the downtrodden?”

Why does everybody who comes up with this garbage think they’re really clever, brave and original to have thought of it?

Iain Banks’ illness is terrible news for a talented writer, a man who always seemed to be one of the good guys.  I’m sad that he thinks that this clichéd, dangerous and stereotyped nonsense is the most important thing that he should do now.

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109 replies »

  1. Apparently he only has a month to live . I fully expect him to take his boycott of Israel to its logical conclusion and reject the drugs and possibly medical equipment which may be part of his treatment in his remaining time . If he’s not sure he should ask in the same way a person with a nut allergy will ask at all times the content of his food .
    If nothing else , he should throw his laptop and phone away while he’s waiting to meet his maker or oblivion if he’s an atheist . That way he can slip this mortal coil with a clear conscience .

  2. To all those involved in the BDS movement, including Iain Banks. Take a moment to think about this.

    It’s really simple – if you plan to boycott Israel, what other state will you be boycotting? If there is no other state you plan to boycott, then I suggest that your decision to boycott only the sole Jewish state has to be seen as suspect.

    So when you accuse me or my friends of calling you antisemitic, why, when there are so many appalling regimes in the world that are doing such brutal deeds to their own people, have you decided to boycott only Israel?

    On that basis and for that reason, I didn’t single you out as antisemitic – you did.

    • You seem to be arguing that because there are worse states than Israel not subject to BDS any boycott of Israel must be motivated by anti-Semitism. In doing so you ignore the fact that BDS is a pragmatic movement, not simply a moral one. Foul as the Saudi regime is there is no way a boycott of their oil is a practical proposition or likely to have any effect (a similar case could be made against boycotting China and Russia). As Banks says, he supports BDS “because [he] can”, and by implication because it might influence Israeli policy.

      Apartheid South Africa wasn’t the worst country in the world. People joined the sports boycott because they could and because there was a real chance that doing so would prove an effective lever in promoting political change (as proved to be the case).

      Incidentally there is a massive government supported ‘boycott’ being imposed on Iran to quell its nuclear ambitions. Where were the government boycotters when Israel took the same route?

      • People who make this argument never seem to suggest boycotting Canada.

        Canada has products that could be boycotted, Canada is a democratic country susceptible to public pressure, and the condition of many First Nations communities in Canada is far worse than the condition of Palestinians in the Territories (although of course the condition of Palestinians in many Arab countries is pretty dire).

        Plus the FN do not pose an existential threat to Canada, and even the most outrageous FN leaders (and there are a few) have never suggested using children’s programs on APTV to encourage them to explode themselves in the nearest Tim Horton’s.

        • Sorry, cba, I know nothing at all about human rights in Canada. Neither, I suspect, do most other people. Perhaps you’d like to start a BDS movement against Canada? I might even join….

          • You know nothig at all about human rights in Israel either. In sum, you are a complete idiot obsessed with Jews.

          • But sencar,the BDS movement is not about effecting political change in Israel is it. It’s about weakening , delegitimising and first step to effecting its demise. Supprters like Norman Finklestein have become seriously concerned the euphemisms that the organisation adopt to disguise its true intentions. the same point came up in a debate with Omar Barghouti and Jonathan Freedland (who was standing against BDS even though he opposed occupation).

            So sencar you are a liar in trying to impose an idea that really is not its true declared intention.

        • cba sencar doesn’t know anything about human rights in Canada… As the saying goes: No Jews no news…

          • peter – didn’t you know that the Canadian government is controlled by a Jewish cabal?

            According to wikipedia: “Immigrant Jewish males earn $7,000 a year above the Canadian average, higher than any other ethnic and religious group in Canada. Among females, 47 percent are in select white-collar occupations. Immigrant Jewish women earn $3,200 above the national average for women, also the highest for any ethnic group.[28] In modern times, Jews can be numbered among the wealthiest Canadians as they comprise 4% of the Canadian upper class elite despite constituting 1% of the population.[31]… Prominent Canadian Jewish families such as the Bronfmans, the Belzbergs, and the Reichmanns represent the summit of the extremely affluent segment of high class Jewish society in Canada.[28]… Canadian Jews are better educated and more financially off than the general population and have high political influences in the Canadian parliament. Jews are twice as likely as non-Jews to get a bachelor’s degree and are three times as likely in the aged 25–34 cohort. This translates into a higher standard of living and they are financially better off than overall Canadian population. Canadian Jews are also three times as likely to earn over $75,000 compared to their non-Jewish counterparts.[38]”

            Really, the ignorance on this site is astounding!

            • You are not really up to date Labenal. All governments are controlled by the Jewish World Conspiracy. Seems to me you are not cleared by the Security Department of the Elders to read the secret info sheet…

              • I keep getting an out of office message whenever I email the Elders to complain. It’s really not fair.

      • “Foul as the Saudi regime is there is no way a boycott of their oil is a practical proposition or likely to have any effect.”
        It’s not that the Saudis are worse – they’re light years worse. sencar, we’ve all come to expect this type bs from you. There are also many countries much, much worse than Israel (shouldn’t even be considered bad), that much could be done about, but the BDS’ers don’t care. That’s the point!

        “Incidentally there is a massive government supported ‘boycott’ being imposed on Iran to quell its nuclear ambitions.”
        Where are the Israel hating BDS’ers?

  3. As Chas Newkey-Burden astutely saw, those who need to learn the lessons of the Holocaust are people like Iain Banks. What paved the way for the Final Solution was millennia of anti-semitic propaganda. Just the sort that the BDS movement specializes in. By supporting the BDS movement, Banks is complicit.

    His literary talent will be missed. His obnoxious political views won’t.

  4. Another Israel bashing dipshit bites the dust. Think of all that wasted energy hellbent on “correcting a wrong” by merely repeating time and again an obnoxious, jingoistic hatred of other people.

    Something for tools like Sencar to think about: Are you making any headway trying to destroy Israel’s right to exist? When you die, will any of this matter? Finally, is this the best you can come up with in your life? Denying a reality that is older than you pathetic sense of self?

    Enjoy eternity, Hate Mongers. Die knowing you’ve done nothing on this Earth but lie about others.

  5. Banks’ letter says a some important things about him:
    – I’m not familiar with his works but I was told by people whose opinion I accept that he’s a great writer. Even if it is true does he really think that his ban regarding his opuses Hebrew translation will have any influence on the Israeli electorate? The people of Israel will start to tremble, faint with terror then later commit collective suicide? Seems to me that a couple of cancerous cell from his bladder infected his head when the piss flooded his brain. If not this is the case doesn’t he realize that if there will be any effect of his gesture politics it will strengthen the defiance of the Israeli electorate and cause some more damage to the Palestinians who needs his kind of supporter like a pain in their ass?
    – Connecting his act to his terminal state he made it clear that with these words – said with his last public breath – he intends to leave to his readers the following statement: I want to boycott a very small country who gave and continues to give refuge for the most abused and oppressed people during human history.
    I don’t know whether he knows or not that he joined the group of Jew-haters – the BDS movement – a group considered a cult even by the wannabe kapo Finkelstein.
    A pity that we would never know whether did he intended to boycott Israeli Arabs too? Or only the Jews? How would he differentiate between the two? What about the Arab Jews? What about the mixed Arab-Jewish persons? How can be decided the big question boycott him/her or not? Did he intended to study the Nuremberg Laws to get help?
    The only important result anyway that one less Jew hater will pollute the environment.

  6. As a long-time SF fan I have read and enjoyed most of Iain (M.) Banks’ novels and met him several times at SF conventions over the decades. You could not spend a drinking session with a more convivial bloke. However, like most of my left-wing intellectual friends (Jewish and otherwise) he has no understanding that the Jewish people need their own state to avoid being massacred on a regular basis, and that that state has to be in our historic land, centred on Jerusalem, to which we have striven to return in word and deed without a break since we were murderously expelled from there nearly two thousand years ago.

  7. I do not know what David Hirsh would do if he had a year to live. However, I would like him to ponder what I went through in the last few days I spent on this earth. When God decided that I must be released no Prison Authority could keep me locked. However, if I had the opportunity to settle my affairs I would have made peace with my family, my neighbors.

    Of course I would have liked to have taken every opportunity to fight the dreaded decease. I would have liked to be among my family while doing so and when all else had failed I would have liked to breathe my last breath in the presence of my loved ones.

    Many who lost their loved ones to the dreaded decease know what it is like in the last moments, days and months as the decease take its toll. The presence of the loved ones eases the pain for the victim of the decease. I was denied that by the cruelest of the fate, the occupation of my land has brought on my people. Ultimately I prayed for the salvation of Palestine from occupation.

      • He’s obviously someone who was so thoroughly brainwashed during his life, that even on his deathbed was incapable of feeling remorse for his victims. Sad.

      • Obviously Hamdiyeh didn’t got his 72 virgins in time and now he’s desperate. His above message is an excerpt from his complaint addressed to the management.

    • However, I would like him to ponder what I went through in the last few days I spent on this earth.

      So you’re now somewhere in the Sirius system or what? Or is it Betelgeuse? I’ve never been that good at distinguishing accents/forms of diction.

  8. Jeff no amount of brainwashing would have convinced me that my dreaded disease had anything to do with my jailers but conversely nobody would make me believe that the treatment my jailer afforded was the best available. Certainly, the way I was treated by my jailers in the last few days was completely lacking in compassion or humanity. Perhaps those who talk about brainwashing or the 72 virgins need to ponder on the real material brainwashing is made of –

    I certainly would have exchanged the 72 virgins with my jailers to spend a minute of my last moments with my family. .

    • Hamdiyeh:
      the way I was treated by my jailers in the last few days was completely lacking in compassion or humanity.
      My particular reason for participating in the cultural boycott of Israel is that, first of all, I can;
      Foul as the Saudi regime is there is no way a boycott of their oil is a practical proposition or likely to have any effect (a similar case could be made against boycotting China and Russia).
      The schoolbook (schoolyard) example of especially coward bullies:
      I abuse X without feeling any compassion because I can, I wouldn’t touch Y because he’s stronger than me and when my intended victim beats the crap out of me I start to whine about his lack of humanity and compassion.
      I certainly would have exchanged the 72 virgins with my jailers to spend a minute of my last moments with my family.
      I have serious doubts that your brutal jailers who showed their vicious cruelty by preventing you killing civilians would have been interested in your generous offer Hamdi. Now please go back to your grave and enyoy the prize of the shahids…
      I’m sure that your family will be permitted to send you the sorely needed Viagra supply…

    • So, “Hamdiyeh,” what you are saying is that Israelis/Jews lack compassion, and you’re implying that this trait is present in all other (real) people, like, you know, remorseless killers dying in prison from cancer. I just want to be clear about what you’re saying from where ever you are now.

  9. Funny that a son of a whore, who wanted to send another brainwashed, miserable dickhead to blow up women and children is whining about compassion and humanity…

    In short:
    الى جهنم وبئس المصير

    • Well, it could be because Banks’ letter was published in … the Guardian?

      But then again, maybe I’m not as smart as you, “sanity”, and can’t see how this could possibly be relevant to the Guardian.

  10. PetertheHungarian – but just imagine the good those virgins would have have done to the red necked young jailers. They may have made those red-necks bit less anxious and a bit more human – That alone would have been worth it – however nothing can humanize you. You are past redemption.

    • Am I past redemption? You are confusing me with yourself you little piece of wormfood. I didn’t send others to die for my warped medieval hate and on the way to “redemption” killing as many children, women and civilians as they can. BTW I shouldn’t be overly worried abuot the sexual life of the guards, you know in our (for you certainly very immoral) world we don’t have your limitations as men and women to live naturally and with respect of each other. BTW if one of the huris doesn’t behave are you allowerd to beat her as you have been used to do in life? What is the newest fatwa regarding this question?
      In the meantime crawl back to your hole – your hosts must be hungry…

    • “but just imagine the good those virgins would have have done to the red necked young jailers.”

      So, “Hamdiyeh,” you are saying that Israelis/Jews lack humanity, something in abundance amongst “real” human beings, for instance, remorseless killers who expect to be rewarded with 72 virgins for murdering human beings. It’s important to be clear about these things.

  11. And again, a son of a whore, who wanted to send another brainwashed, miserable dickhead to blow up women and children is barking about humanity…

  12. al-gharad you mean Ishmael have brother to Isaac – You are brain is so thoroughly washed that your brain has no humanity left

  13. It seems that a few days in hell have a detrimental effect on one’s ability to articulate intelligible sentences…

    • By ‘hell’ do you mean the IDF where you had the brave duty to go to Lebanon and kill Lebanese folks?

      • Sorry, sanity. What does this post of your have to do with anything at all under discussion?

        • I was engaging the subject matter of someone else’s post. I guess that you should take up whether his particular intervention was a red herring with him directly. Hope that helps to clarify the matter.

          • You were enganging in your standard noise-producing BS, like a true professional troll. Piss off.

            • Please don’t butt in to conversations that don’t concern you. It’s between me and Labnah.

                • You should tell that to SerJew, he keeps telling me to leave!!! I’m glad to know I’ve got you on my side!!!!

                • Hey, Knight of Hypocrishire, you seem to be always unhappy with this blog, that’s why you should quit your pathetic whinings and go troll elsewhere.

                • I’m pretty ok with you sticking around, Knight of Hypocrishire. Don’t worry about that. You are the greatest clown this blog has ever seen. And it’s important and educational that your type of post-modern shameless hypocritical drek be trashed and demolished as deserved (and you seem to enjoy it too, as you always come back for more!).

      • No, I mean where your friends (who send brainwashed dickheads to blow up women and children) will end up (along with their apologists).

        • An interesting theological question: Apologists will get the same number of virgins only from the Class B quality? Seems to me there are some worries here – uncertainity is a very frustrating mental state…

          • I personally would prefer experienced women to virgins. But to each his own. Some prefer to please themselves, of course…

                • Camel or a pig? Hm, let me think, where did you pluck those out of? Ah, right, I see you’re referring to my supposed Arab / Muslim tendencies!!!! I guess the racism just keeps squirting out of you. A little like the cum at the site of your beloved goats and sheep.

        • I don’t have any friends who fit that description. As an atheist, I don’t believe in the afterlife. Where does that place me in your worldview?

          • Judging by your sick, bigoted, hamass-licking, masturbation-obsessed comments, you could have put the full stop after “friends”.

                • Now now, al-gharqad… no need to bring his mother into it.

                  P.S. I love your nick. It makes me feel so… safe 🙂

                • Makes you a big man doesn’t it to curse in another language! Presumably you also think you’re clever for invoking dogs when talking to someone whom you presume to be a Muslim. What a great guy you are! How many Muslims have you killed?

                • “How many Muslims have you killed?”

                  If you mean your friends at hamass or hezbussheytan, then no matter how much, it wasn’t enough, kalb.

                • Ah, you’re a bloodthirsty one are you! Kill as many Muslims as I can!!! And call them dogs!!! (“If Morsi can call people apes and pigs, I can go one better!!!”) And you think that makes you come across as a cool, rational type, eh? You’re disgusting.

                • “Kill as many Muslims as I can!!! ”
                  For the sake of hamass-lickers with comprehension problems I’ll repeat:

                  If you mean your friends at HAMASS OR HEZBUSSHEYTAN, then no matter how much, it wasn’t enough, kalb.

                • Yes, I know you like to dress it up as Hamas and Hezbullah (it’s news to me that you have Hamas in Lebanon, but you’re the boss!!!) but we really know that basically you just prefer to kill Muslims. Now, can you tell us, oh brave soldier, how many Muslims you have killed?

                • “we really know”… “can you tell us”…
                  Is the plural because of the multiple voices in your head(s)? Ruh balllit al-bahr, kalb.

                • What’s so difficult about answering the questions? If you’re so proud of your service? And your multiculturalism and Google Translate skills? xx

                • yawn…
                  Why don’t you fuck off to Mondoweiss or Stormfront, kalb? (tab’an ba’adama nayyaket ummak 😉

                • As Labnah pointed out above, this is a public blog where people of all faiths are welcome!!!

                • The key word here is “people”. Islamo-fascist trolls are not part of that category. So fuck off (tab’an ba’adama nayyaket ummak)

  14. David Ben Gurion on his willingness to sacrifice children –
    f I knew that it was possible to save all the children of Germany by transporting them to England, and only half by transferring them to the Land of Israel, I would choose the latter, for before us lies not only the numbers of these children but the historical reckoning of the people of Israel.
    Attributed to Ben-Gurion (pre-War 1939) by Martin Gilbert in “Israel was everything” in The New York Times (21 June 1987)

  15. The quote mentioned in your link is totally different to the one attributed to Martin Gilbert in the New York Times – To be fair to the fake Zionist website they do admit the association of Ben Gurion to the quote in New York Times – but they criticize the quote for not providing context whatever that means. I do not know what the Protocols has to do with any of this – May be Peter was trying to provide context in a perverse sort of way. The statement by Ben Gurion is very clear. Context is not necessary as is clear what he meant ie The Greater Good the theme on which European Colonization, including Zionism is based.

    • The quote mentioned in your link is totally different to the one attributed to Martin Gilbert in the New York Times
      I see you are not only dumb, deaf and a mass murderer but you have literacy problems as well.
      From the link:
      The Ben Gurion quote is taken from comments he made to Mapai’s central committee on December 7, 1938. This followed Britain’s decision to deny entrance into Palestine of 10,000 German Jewish orphans in the wake of Kristallnacht, instead offering them asylum within Great Britain. It was almost a year before the Nazis launched World War II and several years before the Final Solution (to annihilate the Jews) was methodically implemented. While Ben Gurion believed that Germany’s anti-Jewish policies would necessitate creating a safe haven for numerous Jewish refugees that no other country was willing to accept, he had no way of predicting the enormity of what was to follow.

      The British offer to accept several thousand children appeared to be a gesture of conscience allowing Britain to close the doors of Palestine — not only to those German orphans, but to future refugees as well. Ben Gurion had recently witnessed the results of the international Evian conference, which had been convened in July 1938 to address the growing Jewish refugee problem, and knew that other countries were also unwilling to accept hundreds of thousands of Jewish refugees. He believed that only a Jewish homeland would be able to properly absorb these Jews. Thus Ben Gurion stated that “our concern is not only the personal interest of these children, but the historic interest of the Jewish people” (translation from the stenographic records by Shabtai Teveth, Ben Gurion and the Holocaust, Harcourt Brace & Co. 1996, p. 47).

      Good to know that for you the context is unnecessary, so you wouldn’t be very upset discovering that some of your houris are out of date – in the last months the demand has exceeded the offer – in the context of market forces it is normal.

      • Sorry, Peter. You’re wasting your time. “Hamdiyeh” MAY BE none other than our good friend Jonathan Briggs, abc, Atkins, or whatever else he calls himself. He will now leap to some other baseless accusation against you or the Jewish people or Israel because he can’t stand it when challenged. He has a bottomless pit of mantras to spout, and nothing you or I can do will stop him spouting them.

        What’s next Hamdiyeh? Apartheid? Ethnic cleansing? Herzl was a Nazi? Mossad carried out the 9-11 attacks and framed the Muslims?

  16. I assume you are not denying that Ben Gurion said it but are trying to justify the comment. That gives it context and also the context was as I said before in the greater good of the European Colonial Project that Zionism is. I think we are agreed there is a context. The objective is to meet the greater good as perceived by European colonialism of which Zionism formed a vital part in the 20th Century. This century would be the end of the project in its failure.

    • The end of the Zionist project Hamdi? If you weren’t put away already I would suggest to hold your breath. Because you don’t waste more air anyway I wish you a peaceful continuation of rotting in your well deserved resting place masturbating* while thinking about the end of Israel.
      *you probably will need to do with it due the second class qualities of the delivered sex slaves.

  17. Labenal – Apartheid South Africa yes and Israel yes, Ethnic Cleansing Israel yes, Was Herzl a Nazi – Do not know him well enough to pass judgement. Mossad carried out the 9-11 definitely not. As for was David Ben Gurion was a racist and a colonialist definitely yes. Are you pathetic? May be.

  18. Is your moniker the name of a wannabe child-killer? Yes.
    Does that make you a piece of shit? Definitely.

  19. What difference does Banks imagine such a move will make? I’ve never understood it.

    Also a shame to see such a weakly written (as well as offensive) article given his massive talents as a writer.

    • Be reasonable with Pretz, he isn`t at all always wrong or provocative.
      Sometimes he has fair arguments, and deserves to be treated fair.
      Although we had some clashes ..

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