Saturday, 7 March 2009

We Support the Palestinian people of Gaza not Hamas


Throughout Israel’s bombardment and invasion of Gaza, the standard response of Zionists was that opponents of Israel’s barbarism supported Hamas, the effective Government of Gaza. In fact this is and always a deliberate misrepresentation.
We support the right of the Palestinian people to elect the Government of their choice – something the Western ‘democracies’ fail to do when the voters don’t do as the West wants them to do. But that is different from supporting Hamas politically.

Hamas was formed in 1987 as the Islamic Resistance Movement, having been previously an extension of the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood.
As the article from Global Research below explains, Hamas was virtually the creation of the Israeli State, its internal security police, Shin Bet in particular. Israel had a vested interested in creating a counter-weight to secular Palestinian nationalism. Which is why Benjamin Netanyahu, the soon to be Israel Prime Minister, released Sheikh Ahmed Yassin when he first came to power in 1996.

This is amply documented by for example Avi Shlaim in his Iron Wall. (see also Congressman Ron Pauls take]

As the Reports from the Palestine Committee on Human Rights makes clear, Hamas has as much regard for human rights as its Fateh equivalents under Abbas. It is after all an Islamic Resistance Movement, aiming for an Islamic State, which cannot be other than a repressive state backed by religious legitimation whose target will be workers and the poor. Religious states, without exception, are repressive creatures which used received wisdom which cannot be challenged (because it comes from 'god') to justify any aspect of its politics. In reality such movements are a reflection of the interests of the small businessman/bazaari element as in Iran.

No national liberation movement can be a movement of one religion or section of its own people. Christian Palestinians, from whom the most doughty fighters of all originate – George Habash of the PFLP, Hawatmeh of the DFLP – are by definition excluded from the struggle against Zionism and Israel.

Hamas is a sectarian movement whose only distinguishing feature is its resistance to Israel and Zionism. It has no social programme worthy of the name except charity. It has attacked workers self-organisation, including Palestinian trade unions and its method of dealing with Fateh inside Gaza, despite the former’s coup attempts, has been military not political. It was enabled to dispense its charity in the process of building itself up thanks to large donations from Arab regimes such as Quatar, Kuwait and Saudi Arabia.

It also needs to be said that the people of Gaza have paid a heavy price for its crass political strategy. That Israel has effectively been defeated in Gaza owes little to the political clarity of Hamas but to the stupidity of Israel’s military and political echelons. The firing of puny ‘rockets’ into Israel, whilst understandable in the context of the repression that Gazans face, was wholly counter-productive. It provided Israel with the excuse for its invasion. The rockets that were fired didn’t kill Israelis, leaving aside the fact that they were fired randomly at civlians, so much as Palestinians. For very Israeli who died because of these rockets, maybe 200 Palestinians died as well. Just as with the ‘suicide bombs’ in the 1980’s onwards, which were also a propaganda boon for Israel, Hamas’s rockets have achieved nothing but the civilian population of Gaza have paid a very heavy price for them.
Although it suits both Israel and Hamas to pretend that most of those killed in the recent attacks were Hamas fighters, it is quite clear that this isn’t the case. The vast majority, possibly 70%+ of Palestinians killed were civilians – including 400+ children. Hamas had constructed tunnels and hideaways that protected their fighters whereas ordinary civilians had nowhere to escape from Israel’s war criminals.

Socialists, and this is a socialist blog, have nothing in common with the politics of Hamas. Their absurd Charter, which serves no purpose, merely reflects Zionist racism with its references to the well-known anti-Semitic forgery, the Protocols of the Elders of Zion. It is true that the Charter has never been officially adopted and plays no part in the day to day politics of Hamas, but that is all the more reason to be rid of it. It again allows the Zionists to portray the Palestinian struggle as anti-Semitic.

Whether it is Ireland or Palestine socialists support the right of the oppressed to take up arms against their oppressor and we support the right of an oppressed people to choose whom they want to elect, but that doesn’t mean we support the politics of groups like Hamas. On the contrary we recognise that Palestinians voted for Hamas primarily because Abbas’s Fateh represented a quisling movement that during the attack on Gaza de facto supported Israel, along with the Egyptian dictator Hosni Mubarak.

Hamas is also incoherent politically. Nominally it supports a 'one-state' Islamic solution in Israel/Palestine - a recipe guaranteed to attract Israeli Jewish workers! In practice it will accept a 2 State solution, but like all such movements it prefers not to state openly what in fact it is seeking, which allows Israel to use its rhetoric for propaganda purposes (as it did a generation ago with President Nasser of Egypt) whilst Hamas is unable to respond given its facing 2 ways at the same time.

The Palestinian Centre for Human Rights calls upon the government in Gaza to initiate an immediate investigation into the murder of Hamza Mahmoud al-Shoubaki, age 40, who was abducted by unidentified gunmen on Thursday, 26 February and subsequently died. PCHR reiterates that this murder is part of the state of security chaos and violations of the rule of law plaguing the Occupied Palestinian Territory (OPT).

According to investigations conducted by PCHR, at approximately 22:00 on Thursday, 26 February, masked gunmen abducted Hamza al-Shoubaki, from the al-Daraj neighborhood in the east of Gaza City. At approximately 08:00 on Friday, 27 February, al-Shoubaki's body was brought to Shifa Hospital in Gaza City after he had been shot dead by two gunshots to the head.
Date: 10 February 2009

PCHR Demands Investigations into Violent Deaths of Two Civilians in Gaza
The Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR) demands immediate investigations into the deaths of Nehad Sa’adi al-Dabbaka, 47, from the al-Maghazi refugee camp in the central Gaza Strip, who died whilst in police detention, and ‘Ata Yousef Abdul Wahhab al-Bur’i, 39, from the al-Shati refugee camp, who died after being severely beaten by gunmen claiming to be police officers. The Centre calls for the results of both investigations to be made public, and for the perpetrators of these crimes to be brought to justice according to the law.

According to investigations by PCHR, at approximately 23:00 on Friday, 6 February, masked gunmen arrested Nehad al-Dabbaka at his house in the al-Maghazi refugee camp. On the morning of Monday, 9 February, medical sources at the al-Aqsa Martyrs Hospital in Deir al-Balah informed the al-Dabbaka family that Nehad’s body was in the hospital. Nehad’s brother, Majed al-Dabbaka, stated to PCHR that his brother’s body had been transferred to the Forensic Unit in al-Shifa Hospital in Gaza City, and that he and his family had seen the body, which bore clear signs of torture and beating on the feet, back, hands, ears and front of the torso.
Medical sources from the Forensic Unit at al-Shifa Hospital spoke to a PCHR field worker, and confirmed that the body of Nehad al-Dabbaka bore clear signs of beating on the hands and feet as well as torture throughout the body. This clearly indicates that Nehad al-Dabbaka may have died as a result of having been beaten and tortured by members of the Palestinian police.

Hamas is a Creation of Mossad
by Hassane Zerouky
Global Outlook, No 2, Summer 2002
23 March 2004
Thanks to the Mossad, Israel's "Institute for Intelligence and Special Tasks", the Hamas was allowed to reinforce its presence in the occupied territories. Meanwhile, Arafat's Fatah Movement for National Liberation as well as the Palestinian Left were subjected to the most brutal form of repression and intimidation
Let us not forget that it was Israel, which in fact created Hamas. According to Zeev Sternell, historian at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, "Israel thought that it was a smart ploy to push the Islamists against the Palestinian Liberation Organisation (PLO)".
Ahmed Yassin, the spiritual leader of the Islamist movement in Palestine, returning from Cairo in the seventies, established an Islamic charity association. Prime Minister Golda Meir, saw this as a an opportunity to counterbalance the rise of Arafat’s Fatah movement. .According to the Israeli weekly Koteret Rashit (October 1987), "The Islamic associations as well as the university had been supported and encouraged by the Israeli military authority" in charge of the (civilian) administration of the West Bank and Gaza. "They [the Islamic associations and the university] were authorized to receive money payments from abroad."
The Islamists set up orphanages and health clinics, as well as a network of schools, workshops which created employment for women as well as system of financial aid to the poor. And in 1978, they created an "Islamic University" in Gaza. "The military authority was convinced that these activities would weaken both the PLO and the leftist organizations in Gaza." At the end of 1992, there were six hundred mosques in Gaza. Thanks to Israel’s intelligence agency Mossad (Israel’s Institute for Intelligence and Special Tasks) , the Islamists were allowed to reinforce their presence in the occupied territories. Meanwhile, the members of Fatah (Movement for the National Liberation of Palestine) and the Palestinian Left were subjected to the most brutal form of repression.

In 1984, Ahmed Yassin was arrested and condemned to twelve years in prison, after the discovery of a hidden arms cache. But one year later, he was set free and resumed his activities. And when the Intifada (‘uprising’) began, in October 1987, which took the Islamists by surprise, Sheik Yassin responded by creating the Hamas (The Islamic Resistance Movement): "God is our beginning, the prophet our model, the Koran our constitution", proclaims article 7 of the charter of the organization.

Ahmed Yassin was in prison when, the Oslo accords (Declaration of Principles on Interim Self-Government) were signed in September 1993. The Hamas had rejected Oslo outright. But at that time, 70% of Palestinians had condemned the attacks on Israeli civilians. Yassin did everything in his power to undermine the Oslo accords. Even prior to Prime Minister Rabin’s death, he had the support of the Israeli government. The latter was very reluctant to implement the peace agreement.

The Hamas then launched a carefully timed campaign of attacks against civilians, one day before the meeting between Palestinian and Israeli negotiators, regarding the formal recognition of Israel by the National Palestinian Council. These events were largely instrumental in the formation of a Right wing Israeli government following the May 1996 elections.

Quite unexpectedly, Prime Minister Netanyahu ordered Sheik Ahmed Yassin to be released from prison ("on humanitarian grounds") where he was serving a life sentence. Meanwhile, Netanyahu, together with President Bill Clinton, was putting pressure on Arafat to control the Hamas. In fact, Netanyahu knew that he could rely, once more, on the Islamists to sabotage the Oslo accords. Worse still: after having expelled Yassin to Jordan, Prime Minister Netanyahu allowed him to return to Gaza, where he was welcomed triumphantly as a hero in October 1997.
Arafat was helpless in the face of these events. Moreover, because he had supported Saddam Hussein during the 1991 Gulf war, (while the Hamas had cautiously abstained from taking sides), the Gulf states decided to cut off their financing of the Palestinian Authority. Meanwhile, between February and April 1998, Sheik Ahmad Yassin was able to raise several hundred million dollars, from those same countries. The the budget of The Hamas was said to be greater than that of the Palestinian Authority. These new sources of funding enabled the Islamists to effectively pursue their various charitable activities. It is estimated that one Palestinian out of three is the recipient of financial aid from the Hamas. And in this regard, Israel has done nothing to curb the inflow of money into the occupied territories.
The Hamas had built its strength through its various acts of sabotage of the peace process, in a way which was compatible with the interests of the Israeli government. In turn, the latter sought in a number of ways, to prevent the application of the Oslo accords. In other words, Hamas was fulfilling the functions for which it was originally created: to prevent the creation of a Palestinian State. And in this regard, Hamas and Ariel Sharon, see eye to eye; they are exactly on the same wave length

28 comments:

mary said...

I know you avoid Palestinian sites, but you might want to check out the article by Ramzy Baroud on Palestine Chronicle where he debunks the myth that Hamas was invented by the Mossad or Israel.

It is interesting that you seem to be such an expert on the Hamas. Do you read Arabic? Have you ever had contact with a member of the Hamas? Or is your interpretation of them all from Socialist and Western sites? It looks like much of it is from Zionist sites too, the way you find it is a priority to demean them. You do Zionists a great favour, Tony! Congrats!!! They couldn't thank you enough.

Tony Greenstein said...

Mary Rizzo is, as usual, wrong. I go to many Palestinian sites - try Electronic Intifada and Sawt el Amel's for starters.

What I don't do is go to anti-Semitic or holocaust denial sites, other than to obtain information about these people. And I class Palestine Thinktank as just such!

I've read Baroud's article and it is unsourced and unconvincing. It is an open secret that Shin Bet was to a large extent responsible for the rise of Hamas.

Twice Sheikh Yassin was released by the Israelis. Rizzo seems to want the most backward, Islamic forces to come to the fore in Palestinian society. She and Atzmon think there's something progressive in forcing women to wear the veil, in Iran's medieval punishments and the hanging of gays etc. That is where an Islamic state would lead given the current political configuration in the Middle East. That was why Israel supported Political Islam vs secular Palestinian politics.

Of course, as with the US in Afghanistan, what they created has turned against them. And when Hamas stands up to the Zionists we support them but NOT their politics.

Of course Mary's only objection to Zionism is that it is 'Jewish'.

And silly Mary asks if my info is from Socialist sites. Actually one of the best articles on the subject is from a former CIA operative on the American Conservatives site, but then to racists like Rizzo everything equals everything.

Pointing out that Hamas's origins are, to a large extent, Israeli sponsored, is hardly of benefit to the Zionists. But then Zionist and Jew in Rizzo's book are much the same. Which of course is what the Zionists say!!

mary said...

Tony,
It seems that the reliable source crediting the creation of Hamas to the Mossad is the CIA and this is of course good enough for Tony. I don't think that Palestinians are willing to go along with the charade that much longer.


Besides, I don't ever place a value judgment on Hamas, and your own belief that they would bring about horrors of fundamentalist repression sure does reflect your source, I might add.


I basically say, it is not up to Mary Rizzo or Tony Greenstein to dictate to Palestinians who they are supposed to vote for and to persuade them to vote according to our preferences. It is frankly none of our business.


What's the Yassin release got to do with anything, I don't understand what you are trying to say. Try harder.


Where do you see my objection to Zionism as being that "It's Jewish". If you are going to come up with claims about me, substantiate them!


By the way, not missing your non-reading PTT, I think we can live without your visit, we are doing very well, a regular news site and all... It's also very intelligent of you to criticise and comdemn what you don't read!

You might also notice that by going on a rampage against the Hamas you are doing the Hasbara people a nice favour. Will you ever decide what side you are on? And, it is also cute the way you excuse your friends of their "being wrong but not racists" but you call me a racist without a single word to back it up. But, then again, I punish myself by seeing your blog. Yes, it has to be seen to believe your inconsistency and faulty logic.

Dr Paul said...

Any Palestinian organisation that includes in its charter an endorsement of the Protocols of the Elders of Zion must either be very stupid, or betrays a clever move by the Israeli state's dirty tricks department, or perhaps both. Hamas looks as though it was sent along by Central Casting; it is every Zionist commentator's dream Palestinian organisation. A real tragedy.

Tony Greenstein said...

Mary,

you don't have to prove your stupidity. It is well known and accepted for what it is.

Testimony by ex-agents of the CIA has proved to be one of the most fertile sources of that organisation's inquities. Or do we disregard the same leaks which say that they are training Abbas's forces? You remind me of Zionists who that we shouldn't treat anything Eichmann said about his collaboration with the Zionists because he was a nasty man.

The information is far wider and it is widely accepted in Israel that this was the case. Much to their own embarrassment. If you really think and organisation of one particular religious grouping can represent the Palestinian nation, which is divided into various confessions and none then you are demonstrating how you wish to perpetuate confessionalism.

You seem to have lost whatever small critical faculties you possessed.

I realise that you are used to speaking for the Palestinians, as if they held a uniform political perspective or view but your statement that 'I don't think that Palestinians are willing to go along with the charade that much longer.' is absurd. Even coming from someone who is a Palestinian mother!!!

And in the froth you omit the fact that I'm not suggesting Palestinians vote for anyone. Indeed it is not a question of voting since the problem is so much larger, viz. ethnic cleansing.

But please, don't pretend to such stupidity. If the Israelis twice released Yassin early, unlike the thousands of Palestinian prisoners they hold, then the obvious question is 'why'.

As for your objection to Zionism being that it is Jewish, it is a logical corollary of your belief in 'Jewish Power' the excuses for Shamir and Atzmon, all of whose witterings you sign up to. Plus your rejection of the obvious, settler-colonial explanation for what Israel does. that was why you made such a fool of yourself over the Radical Free Press a year or so ago.

I think the Zionists know which side I'm on and that of other Jewish anti-Zionists. That is why they attack us, not you. Didn't Atzmon tell you that the neo-Nazi Redwatch aka the British National Party printed one of his rants on me in its entirety. By their friends shall ye know them!!!

I don't need to read PTT to know where it's coming from (& going!).

It's people like us who are leading the Boycott movement whilst people like you do little else but attacking Jewish anti-Zionists as being Zionist. Which of course is what the Zionists say.

I can excuse many things, including people putting forward clumsy formulations when they have no racist intent. You are presumably referring to the Alef incident with Yael, who is no racist. Indefatigable campaigner for Palestinian rights. Just as I defended the guy from the Muslim Public Affairs Committee who gave £60 to David Irving's fund some years ago. Anyone can make a mistake or an error of judgement.

What I can't accept is that you continually provide cover for Atzmon's racism just as you continued to cover for Israel Shamir, until he'd become too outrageous even for you, on JPUK.

mary said...

Tony, just a few questions, actually.

first of all, is it really that complicated to notice that Palestinan mothers is a name of a site, and there are hundreds of people on there, half of which are not Palestinian and half of which are not women. Why not ask Sue Blackwell why she "joined"?

second, I see on your description that you are a "legal advisor". knowing what you know I know, I would say that's pretty funny, coming from you! Are you insured against malpractice against yourself? So, you can understand just how seriously I can take you. But, let's stay "political" for the mo.

If you really resent and fear Muslim things, what are you doing in activism for Palestinians? Don't you think you should just concentrate on freeing Socialists or something, since you are insulting and demeaning the things that mean something to the Palestinians. I of course know Palestinians are also Christians, and some of them are the most fiercely pro-Hamas and pro-Hezbollah, because they recognise them as resistance movements and fight against Zionism for Palestinian and Lebanese (Arab) liberation. If they don't have these great fears, why do you? Why in the world SHOULD you, unless you are telling Palestinians you know what's better for them, that your values are better. What is it about Muslim culture that terrifies you so much? Palestine is not in Switzerland, it's in the Middle East. Arabs and Muslims live there and this will effect their interest in a party that respects their religion. Your constant complaints and insults against Hamas really put you far away from the Palestinian street, which does not share your terror or listen to your warnings. In fact, they are further ahead in the polls now. Is this going to be cause for you to fret more? Are you going to say the Mossad is behind that too?

Why did Israel Kill Yassin, then?

and, I will close with what Ramzy wrote, since maybe you might want to listen to a Palestinan now and then. Obviously, as an Arabic speaker, a Muslim from Gaza, he certainly has better information on the reality than you do:

Some have even made the claim that Hamas is, more or less, an Israeli concoction. In fact, the accusation that Hamas was created by Israeli intelligence has become so commonplace that it often requires no serious substantiation. While the claim, as it stands, is erroneous, there is certainly a reason and history behind it. But was Hamas, in fact the work of the Israeli Mossad?

The mere suggestion is consequential, for not only does it discredit one single faction, but implies that Palestinians are deceived into thinking that they actually have some control over their collective destiny. This notion - that Hamas is the brainchild of Israel - is simply incorrect.

Analysts, politicians, critics and third-parties alike can squabble about the origins and history of this movement that has among many things given a large segment of Palestinian society a sense of self-respect and feeling of leverage with their occupiers; but to advocate that Hamas was cooked up by some Israeli agents hell-bent on the demise of the Palestinians is simply hogwash.

Tony Greenstein said...

I sometimes despair at the stupidity, albeit with the usual mixture of malevolence, of Mary Rizzo. Look it is widely documented that Israel did play a major part in the creation of Hamas e.g. http://globalresearch.ca/articles/ZER403A.html. Now you might not like the facts which don't fit your preconceptions but most people who are anti-imperialist (& many imperialists!) recognise divide and rule as a tactic and accept that the US and Israel backed Political Islam in the 1980's.

Mary asks 'If you really resent and fear Muslim things, what are you doing in activism for Palestinians?' Sorry what's the connection? Palestinians include people of all religions and none, including Judaism - e.g. Ilan Halevi. Muslim = one religion. In fact Palestinians are the most secular people in the world whereas you, being as uncritical as you are servile, believe that if you pay lip service to the most reactionary ideas in resistance movements, that you'll get some plaudits.

Perhaps you'd like to put the veil on Mary, maybe the chadoor or how about a burka?

Hamas should be supported in its resistance against Israel but not for its more reactionary ideas. I don't defend its attacks on workers demonstrations. I do defend it against Israel. is that too difficult a concept for you?

I'm opposed to all religion - I'm an atheist, a believer in secularism. I don't believe in religious tyrrany as per Iran, Saudi Arabia etc. What is so difficult about that? Or maybe you fantasised over the Taliban stoning women adulterers?

I understand that you used to have progressive politics Mary. What happened?

mary said...

If I am left to choose between what Palestinians say and what the CIA does, I think it's logical to presume that the Palestinian narrative reflects the truth more fully to me.

It is only disturbing to any Palestinian supporter that NOW you are out there publicly putting down Hamas. You obviously won't sign the Delisting petition that is circulating, and you are lending a hand to those who try to put a wedge between Pls and the Hamas.

Look, I was at the Bruxelles Tribunal of war crimes against Lebanon. Did you know that the Lebanese speakers, Christians among them, women with flowing hair even, such as Rana Masri, said that "Hezbollah ARE the people" and they rejected and will continue to reject all attempts, also those coming from "progressives" to undermine any liberation movement even on a basis that it does not fit into their secularist ideology. I interviewed these people at the conference and wrote a series of reports on their statements. If you don't want to read them on my sites, you can read them on Friends of Lebanon or other places. You might like to know what others think and not assume you know what is best for them or that you can judge with the most stereotypical standards, a political movement you simply are ignorant of.

What you believe in does not matter one iota for the politics of the Middle East! I don't think anyone needs your approval to know what is best for themselves and what they prefer. So, bringing that into the argument as a reasoning is just stupid.

mary said...

Tony, you really need some more attentive addressing here, and I am glad to do the work:
TG: I sometimes despair at the stupidity, albeit with the usual mixture of malevolence, of Mary Rizzo. Look it is widely documented that Israel did play a major part in the creation of Hamas e.g. http://globalresearch.ca/articles/ZER403A.html. Now you might not like the facts which don't fit your preconceptions but most people who are anti-imperialist (& many imperialists!) recognise divide and rule as a tactic and accept that the US and Israel backed Political Islam in the 1980's.

Mary: I seems that you engage in the divide and rule tactic by your holier than thou appraisal of Hamas or of the Palestinian political party that has the absolute widest consent among its people. I don't care what someone like you thinks of Hamas, and neither do Palestinians. In fact, in the poll from the other day, they are supported now even more strongly than they were prior to the attack against them. i suppose you are helping them here, because when they are attacked, they seem to become a stronger voice within the people. And, differently than you, the people are what interest me, not some mouldy ideology that doesn't really exist anywhere in the world.

TG: Mary asks 'If you really resent and fear Muslim things, what are you doing in activism for Palestinians?' Sorry what's the connection? Palestinians include people of all religions and none, including Judaism - e.g. Ilan Halevi. Muslim = one religion. In fact Palestinians are the most secular people in the world

Mary: oh really? Where do you get this information from? Come out with information (even from the CIA) to substantiate the "fact". I bet you a million dollars you can't prove that Palestinians are the most secular people in the world! What an outrageous claim and it just demonstrates your distance from reality. Every Palestinian I know respects and most of them also practice the tenets of their religions. It is rare to find "atheists", who will admit it. I don't know a single one here in Italy who did not practice Ramadan. Not one. How secular is that? Whereas, most Italians eat meat on Friday and we are in Quaresima. How religious is that?

If Jews are secular, what are so many of them doing in a religious state? Why do so many make Aliyah? Why are there no civil marriages in Israel? Do you think before you write?

TG: whereas you, being as uncritical as you are servile, believe that if you pay lip service to the most reactionary ideas in resistance movements, that you'll get some plaudits.

Mary: who says they are the most reactionary resistance movements? You do, the Mossad does, Israel and Washington do.. then, who? What lip service does one pay when one admits the fact, hardcore facts with numbers, that this movement enjoys mass consensus and is also considered as a resistance and liberation movement as well as the legitimate representative of the people who voted in the elections they won.

TG: Perhaps you'd like to put the veil on Mary, maybe the chadoor or how about a burka?

Mary: Well, if that isn't Islamophobic, Tony, what is? Do you really believe that non-Muslims are required to don a veil or even a Chadoor (sic) or a Burka (sic)? No. If you care about Palestinians you might want to learn that some Muslims gladly wear the Hijab (veil) and others do not. None in Palestine wear an Iranian or an Afghan traditional garment. On my site there is even an article by Yousef Abudayyeh with the map of costumes. Look at it, you might learn something. Believing someone else has the RIGHT to wear a veil does not mean that I am saying anything but supporting their right to respect their own traditions, without your insulting of that. How unprogressive of you.

TG: Hamas should be supported in its resistance against Israel but not for its more reactionary ideas.

Mary: Go on with the propaganda, you are a good hasbara machine! Nevermind that a true reactionary is against education, and Hamas are among the most highly educated leaders you will find anywhere in the world. Never mind their dedication to education and training. Never mind their sense of ethics and humanity. Just forget it all. They are "religious" and that just can't be accepted by you!!

TG: I don't defend its attacks on workers demonstrations. I do defend it against Israel. is that too difficult a concept for you?

Mary: when do you "defend them"? Just five seconds after you put them down as well as those who support them! Nice work. The working class is waiting for you to save them!

TG: I'm opposed to all religion - I'm an atheist, a believer in secularism. I don't believe in religious tyrrany as per Iran, Saudi Arabia etc. What is so difficult about that? Or maybe you fantasised over the Taliban stoning women adulterers?

Mary: Here we go again! What base Islamophobia is that?! That Muslim political groups are all referred to as the Taliban? Leaving out your stupid insult to me, you can't seem to separate a Wahabiti movement or a radically fundamentalist one from a proper political one.

TG: I understand that you used to have progressive politics Mary. What happened?

Mary: it is clear you never did! I am tolerant, you are a racist intolerant Islamophobe.

Tony Greenstein said...

If my opinions don't matter one iota I'm surprised that Mary devotes two lengthy posts to them!

You can support the Palestinians (as opposed to one's ego) whilst also supporting a future democratic, secular state for one very simple reason. Replacing Zionist tyranny by another tyranny, albeit in which the Palestinians were the tyrants, like Abbas and his CIA friends in the West Bank, would be no solution.

Mary thinks she'll win plaudits by being uncritical of Hamas politics. I doubt it. One can criticise Hamas POLITICALLY whilst at the same time support them in their fight against Israel. I know it's a difficult concept for you Mary but there you go.

Yes many Christians undoubtedly support Hezbollah, which has become a national liberation movement of sorts. That's fine but one still doesn't need to buy into Islamist or any other politics.

And yes, Zionism has the effect of pulling Jews away from secularism to a narrow chauvinism and nationalism, buttressed by religious bigotry. What is remarkable about that? Aliyah isn't specifically about secularism but colonialism - a word that never escapes Mary's lips.

Mary's whole pose, because it is a pose, is that she does no much for the Palestinian cause and therefore they really love her. Not one Palestinians (& she knows all of them!) is secular in Italy - though there are many definitions of secularism and it depends on its context.

Maybe Mary some of us just don't boast of what we do because we do it anyway. But check out the debate in PSC in Britain about Histadrut and maybe you'll find out along the way that I am working, with others, to get the trade union movement to boycott Histadrut.

But I forgot. You and Atzmon don't support boycotts (except of Jews).

mary said...

There you go, you make a claim that Palestinians are the most secular people in the world, I ask you to back that up, and you won't, because it is obviously your own fantasy and it's untrue.

For now, that's all I ask, you don't need to respond (as if you ever do!!!) to the other unanswered questions I have left, it just shows that you can't! But simply come up with your proof of this, that's all, substantiate your own claim. I think you might only be able to handle defending one claim of yours at a time, so I will humour you and accept your enormous intellectual limitations.

Your Islamophobia shows, Tony. Try to keep that in check.

mary said...

one last thing, Tony, you must learn to read: Every Palestinian I know respects and most of them also practice the tenets of their religions. It is rare to find "atheists", who will admit it. I don't know a single one here in Italy who did not practice Ramadan. Not one. How secular is that?

Obviously, this means, the ones I know (and I know quite a good number) and I stated that twice!!! all of them, each one in the best way they could, respected Ramadan.

How can you have a problem with a statement of this kind? Did I say I know ALL Palestinians in Italy? I spoke about the ones I know.

Try to learn how to read and you will look slightly less stupid.

Tony Greenstein said...

Poor contrary Mary. Whiles away her time throwing puny insults whilst some of us get on with the job at hand - boycott. Have a look at my most recent article on Histadrut on Electronic Intifada.

Mary doesn't know any Palestinians who are atheists. Well I've known and met quite a few. But I didn't mention the word 'atheist'. I said 'secular'. There is a difference.

A secular society is one where religion and state are separate. Mary believes in the full rigour of Sharia law (or indeed Talmudic or Biblical law).

Secular connotes education, rational argument, proving something rather than pointing to a mystical being out there. And yes, Palestinians are the most secular people, the most educated with something like 6 universities on the West Bank and Gaza.

Personal belief has nothing or very little to do with secularism. Religious fundamentalism on the other hand wants to subordinate civil society to the dictates of the rabbis and mullahs.

As for being Islamaphobic. Well I'm phobic of all religion but opposed to all forms of racism, whereas Mary is a 24 carat racist. Therein lies the difference.

mary said...

I don't take your word or your definition. Come up with evidence, based on objective statistics to substantiate your claim that
"Palestinians are the most secular people in the world".

It's not that much to ask, you don't have to go on a rant, you can see this place is as empty as a tomb, it's just you and me, you don't have to bluster. Just come up with info to substantiate your claim and don't put words in my mouth because you still don't know how to read.

For a legal advisor, (are you suing yourself for malpractice yet?) the least you should be able to do is know that the only thing that counts is evidence, not opinion.

Tony Greenstein said...

I don't need to prove anything to you Mary, not least because in the past when evidence has been presented about matters in dispute you have rejected it. Or have you forgotten your attempts to defend Israel Shamir, a notorious anti-Semite who believes in the medieval blood libel that Jews use the blood of Christian children for bread at Passover?

It is my opinion and many others that the Palestinians are the most educated, and therefore secular, (because religious fundamentalists don't need education to justify their beliefs since they are not based on anything rational) people in the Middle East.

Mary just loves the idea of creating a mirror image state to that of Israel in which Islam rather than Judaism will enforce the tyranny we see in Iran.

That is her politics and as I said, she will no doubt be the first to don a burka!

But maybe Mary can justify her statement that 'I know you avoid Palestinian sites'. Rather remarkable since I have just written a well-received article for Electronic Intifada or does EF not count since its editor is Ali Abunimah, a critic of Shamir and Mary's anti-semitic friends?

mary said...

Tony, how stupid can you be? You are not in any way clever:
You wrote, "Palestinians are the most secular people in the world".

I know that is untrue.
Do you know Sweden? Denmark, Italy, Canada, France, the UK... I mean, I could go on listing people after people.... and you continue with your crap, even trying to "educate me" as to what secularism is. I happen to know that a truly secular society won't have an Islamic or a Christian or a Jewish party as the most popular one that wins the majority vote, just for one example, not to mention a quantity of mosques that is enormous. We both know (I assume) Palestinians in exile, and they are every bit as conscious of the importance of religion to their society as they would be were they at home. So, all of your bluster is just hot air... only for you to all of a sudden
CHANGE WHAT YOU SAID!!!!
now they are the most educated (got the statistics on this?) and THEREFORE (so you say) the most secular people in THE MIDDLE EAST!

You cannot even maintain your own statement, so how do you expect anyone to address your argument (sic) as if it makes any sense. You yourself change it in the middle of things and then keep up the charade that you are something of an intellectual.

Of course, dragging Shamir into it just seems to be natural for you.. what has he got to do with ANYTHING or with ME? give it up already! Grow up and learn how to debate!!!

joe90 kane said...

...you can see this place is as empty as a tomb...
- Mary Rizzo's claims to popularity are as empty as her knowledge about Palestine and Palestinians.


I know you avoid Palestinian sites...
- Mary Rizzo doesn't avoid internets sites, its only the Palestinian solidarity movement and its campiagns she avoids. Campaigns such as the Global Palestine-BDS movement, endorsed by just about every organisation under the sun.

Rizzo and Atzmon, who are so much more pro-Palestinian than everybody else, like to refer to Palestinians who endorse boycotts as 'book-burners'.

Both these 'outstanding personalities' choose instead to run their own solidarity initiatives, independent of official Palestinian organisations and institutions, such as their hugely successful 3 petitions.
Rizzo used up much of her considerable frenetic energy defending these 3 petitions and attacking anybody who dared question their usefulness. As a vehicle for her own ego, and Atzmon's, I suppose these worthless petitons had a lot going for them, but not much else, and all quietly forgotten now.


Here's a simple enough question for Mary Rizzo who endorses the slogan 'free minds for a free palestine' and who makes constant demands for others to substatiate their statements -
- Mary Rizzo, if you're so popular, as you constantly boast, (and in contrast to your un-endorsement of Palestine-BDS) how many official Palestinian organisation and institutions of repute endorse you and Atzmon?


..the only thing that counts is evidence, not opinion.
- Who are these Palestinians, Mary, who endorse you and Atzmon's view that the victims of the Nazis were responsible for the crimes carried out against them?

And how does blaimning the victims of nazis atrocities help Palestinians today?

free-minds for a free palestine -
- indeed, fact free, context-free and solidarity-free.

Tony Greenstein said...

Hi Joe

nice to hear from you. Tried to contact you but lost your e-mail if you can send it me privately!

Ah Mary. What is Shamir to do with what we are discussing? Simple. You defended him despite the voluminous evidence. Hence it is a reasonable conclusion that no amount of evidence will every sway you from the path of anti-Semitism. Not unless, as over the Radical Free Press, you are sufficiently out on a limb to have to recant.

Mary you say you know it's untrue that Palestinians are the most secular people in the Middle East. Fine. If it makes you happier to believe they are the most superstitious, mullah-ridden group of people fine.

But those who don't only see what they want to see know that historically all sorts of political developments and revolutions have been carried through under the banner of religion because that was the medium through which it was best expressed. All observers who saw Hamas win the parliamentary elections testify to the fact that people didn't vote for Hamas because they wished women to cover up but because they stood for steadfastness against the Zionists, unlike Quisling Abbas and Dahlan.

Other examples could include the English civil war, with its multiplicity of Christian and Puritan sects, the battles over the Reformation and national independence in Europe etc. Only or primarily in Italy did the national revolution become fused with anti-clericalism. So I suspect that at the time of Garibaldi, young Ms Rizzo would have fought to the last ditch in support of the Pope and the Papal States!

What Mary Rizzo wants is for Palestinians to become as reactionary as her. Fortunately many of them choose otherwise.

As for being the most educated people in the Middle East I have no statistics but this is a widely known fact. Palestinians serve as an intellectual and skilled workforce throughout the Arab and Gulf countries. I can't be bothered wasting an hour to satisfy Mary Rizzo so if she doesn't believe me then fine.

mary said...

Tony, tony, tony...

please, spare yourself the embarassing repetition of your reading illiteracy problems:
you now write:
Mary you say you know it's untrue that Palestinians are the most secular people in the Middle East. Fine. If it makes you happier to believe they are the most superstitious, mullah-ridden group of people fine.

1) YOU, (not I) claimed, "Palestinians are the most secular people in the world"
Do you know the difference between "the world" and "the Middle East"? I thought not. I pointed it out on several occasions, but now you are putting words in my mouth about what I know about something being true or untrue. I don't know if it's true, but this was not the matter. Now, if you insist it is true, the onus of providing the evidence is up to you. I did a bit of research myself and would you like to know which Middle Eastern people had the hightest literacy? Are we supposed to include Israel? Ok, if we skip them, the second highest came Syria, then Iran, then pre-war Iraq. I don't know, perhaps you have some different stats, come up with them. Yet, you don't like statistics, you like "widely known facts". How is it a widely known fact? You can't weasle out of it, and still expect anyone to take you seriously. But the point is, you exchange EDUCATION with SECULARISM. This is highly erroneous, and if you can't see this, then I can only pity you, because you do not know how to allineate arguments, but combine different issues as if they are intrinsically related, which is untrue. Ask anyone at the University Hamas founded, it's religious AND an institute of higher education.

I find it very disgusting to call a religious Islamic people "Mullah Ridden". I really find it disgusting that you show such lack of respect towards their religion. This is totally Islamophobic of you. I would hate to hear you in private conversation! Are you trying to eliminate prayer breaks from UK factories in the meantime?

Regarding the Boycott, it is obvious you make these claims without any information either! PTT, Gilad, Haitham and I defend and support the boycott and we have more posts on our site than you and Elf put together! All you have to do is put in a little google search. Not to mention, our material is reprinted on dozens of sites each day and streamed into about 30, so, that would multiply the times we are publicly supporting it. But, we are supposed to listen to you nag on and on with the same old lies?

Try to answer the direct questions, Tony, admit you lie, state things without evidence or just change the argument in midstream because you can't hold an argument if your life depended on it!!!

Good luck, because you really need it. You are a pathetic figure, and the fact that over 500 people came out to actually say it does burn you to the core!

Tony Greenstein said...

No embarrassment Mary, let me assure you. Yes I meant to say the Middle East, so consider it a typo. If that is going to make you jump up and down then fine. It's a real victory that you caught me out in that way!

But then you accused me avoiding Palestinian sites, presumably meaning yourself, so I could ask for proof of that statement too but I'll just take it as the usual rhetoric.

Education is a good signifier of secularism but it is not, of course, identical. Of course in some places, such as Taliban Afghanistan, education was attacked directly and it is interesting that you say Syria, one of the few secular societies in the Middle East, has the 2nd highest rate of education and Iran, which has the third, has a state which repeatedly attacks the opposition in the university sector. So there is some congruence because religion is based on myth, revelation and superstition.

Yes I didn't think you'd like the term 'mullah ridden'! Actually I adapted it so that even your febrile brain might make some connections. Obviously not. The term 'priest ridden' is often used, wrongly today, about southern Ireland i.e. the superstitions of the catholic peasants.

Yes of course you and the book burner himself, Atzmon, support boycott. Except where his literary ego and Israeli friends are concerned that is. The difference is we do something about it whereas you do nothing except criticise.

Yes I know you are the most popular thing since sliced bread. And you know what? You have no influence at all because you say nothing except what people want to hear.

In other words you act as parasites on the struggle whilst still deigning to call the academic boycott, the one which Israel fears above all, because it helps in its deligitimisation,
'book burning'.

If you think that the 250/500 or however many signing your petition in support of '2 outstanding personalities' has any effect whatsoever on me you are an even sadder washed up creature than I took you for Mary. I couldn't give a flying fuck. Having had my attention recently drawn to it I noticed 2 things:
i. There are a number of Zionists who signed it
ii. Most people signed it because they thought it was opposed to Israeli apartheid, not an attack on a Jewish anti-Zionist/

Virtually none of the comments betray any understanding of your real agenda. So no - I really don't care and if you had any sense of shame you wouldn't mention your self-serving little 'petition' whereby you think solidarity with yourself is the most important thing in the world.

Nor am I at all bothered with whether your site is read by 1 or 1 million people. In terms of quality and influence we win hands down. Although it makes a change from the poorly read and juvenile Peace Palestine site you used to read. Truly god awful, the Sun (Bild) of the Palestine solidarity movement without an ounce of analysis of anything.

mary said...

Accuracy counts. How am I supposed to know you make a Typo, when I repeatedly make note of it and you repeatedly go on as if you haven't read what you yourself wrote or what someone reads. Scholarship is important, typos happen, but to repeat the issue in a debate and become aware of it after you have ranted on and on makes no sense. As well, you have not provided a stitch of evidence to support your claim about Palestinian education. I would be thrilled to learn it is as you say, but I have never seen any statistics like this at all.. If you claim they are the most secular (which you have never substantiated), where are we supposed to go with that? It means nothing since secularism and education are NOT synonyms, as much as you wish they were.

Regarding the boycott, you are wrong, but you keep repeating it! You don't even follow it yourself, as if the Alef list is not a "cultural or academic" part of Israel! Where is your consistency? I don't claim to be a purist, but you do, so how do you explain that you slam others for "presumed" lack of support and you yourself never miss posting above your limit day in day out.

Nor will I address how much you give a flying fuck or not... you tried to close down the blog, and that for me is quite enough information on how much you care!!!!

Not to mention that you harassed people who condemned you and they reiterated that they meant precisely to do that, and to get the hell off of their backs...

Seems to me you care a whole lot!

But, if you just found out about the site you write about today and your buddy elf has been writing about it for a few weeks, I wonder if you even read the sites that you are affiliated with. You don't have a clue as to what's on my site (in the top 3 Palestinian topic sites, btw, just as PePa was....) which is linked and quoted on so many sites it would make your head spin: so how would i imagine you read or are aware of any of the major sites, much less the minor ones!

but i love this:
Nor am I at all bothered with whether your site is read by 1 or 1 million people. In terms of quality and influence we win hands down.

ahahahahahha! oh yeah!!!! You are truly unique, and so many of us are laughing at you that it should be making your ears ring some.

joe90 kane said...

As Mary 'free minds for a free palestine' Rizzo is still obsessed with defending her worthless peititions, which went nowhere and done nothing except perhaps gaining her and Atzmon some cheap celeb-type publcity and un-merited martyr-status that she was being attacked by zionists,
I thought readers might find some of the insights in this dissection interesting
(I see azvas has already made some comments to thread) -
The Case of the Great PeacePalestine Petition
IndyMedia Italy
14 Feb 2008

One particular insight that really tickled me was the following -
Character witnesses

The sham petition exercise then shoots itself in the foot spectacularly:

"We declare that he [Mr Greenstein] does not speak for us or in our names when he attacks these and other activists."

Now, let's hear from some esteemed friends and supporters from the list of signatories speak in defence of their friends' good character:

Paul Eisen:...


Brilliant!


By the way Mary,
as you constantly make the claim that you are very popular (a claim whose contents grows with every succeeding comment I've noticed, much like mushrooms growing on shit in the dark) where is the list of bona fide Palestinian organisations and institutions that endorse you and your work?

I did a bit of research myself and would you like to know which Middle Eastern people had the hightest literacy?
- You criticised TG for making a claim about the advanced nature of Palestinian society. Palestinians have always been in the forefront of education, industry and technology as far as the Middle East as a whole is concerned, and without the advantage that oil deposits can bring.

One of the reasons early zionists targeted Mandate Palestine was because of the advanced nature of its society, comparable to its neighbours. The zionists didn't make any desert green. It was already green when they arrived, with many thriving small-sized industries and agriculture aimed at export.

Obvioulsy Mary Rizzo has overlooked the fact that the Palestinian People are subjected to an illegal occupation, and many have been forced into exile in 1948 and 1967. Thse facts might have some bearing on her researches.

Yet, you don't like statistics, you like "widely known facts". How is it a widely known fact? You can't weasle out of it, and still expect anyone to take you seriously.
- True enough Mary,
let's ignore the effects of the Israeli occupation on the levels of Palestinian education, and how it interferes in the collection and collation of facts about it.


Mullah ridden vs Priest-ridden

Tariq Ali,
refers not to imams, and the likes, but to the 'beards' of Pakistan. His scathing criticism and withering abusiveness towards the holy men of his home country is quite hilarious.

Edward Said,
was none too kind about the 'backwardness' of society and politics of the Middle East. He was never satisfied to blame all woes on the zionists, unlike so-called Middle East leaders, who did little to bring about change for the better amongst their own communities.
Edward Said was bitterly condemned in the Middle East whenever he criticised the local sartraps and their corrupt politics.

Free-minds for a Free-Palestine -
- it seems not, especially when it comes to Mary Rizzo's support for Mullah-ridden societies going backwards, who are themselves funded by some of the most repressive, but oil-rich, western-backed states in the world.

ps
Mary as you claim you are so popular which you think gives you the right to speak on behalf of all things Palestinian,
please answer the following -

Who are these Palestinians, Mary, who endorse you and Atzmon's view that the victims of the Nazis were responsible for the crimes carried out against them?

And how does blaiming the victims of nazis atrocities help Palestinians today?

Tony Greenstein said...

Excellent article you posted on Indymedia Italy Joe. No doubt Mary will be asking for what evidence we have that she isn't 100% kosher (scrub that I meant...)

So Mary denies that Palestinians are the most educated segment of the Arab people. Well just look at the fact that there are 6 universities for 3-4 million people in the occupied territories.

Yes typos happen. If I didn't pick up on it before it's because I usually scan your posts!!

Yes I've heard you say before that pepa (& the PTT) were among the top 3 Palestinian sites but I somehow doubt it. To use your phrase - where's the evidence or in more colloquial terms - where's the beef? Proof my dear Mary.

Having written for the premiere Palestinian site, Electronic Intifada, and regularly consulted it, of course I steer clear of PTT unless it's to see what the enemy is up to!

joe90 kane said...

Excellent article you posted on Indymedia Italy Joe.
- I only wish it was me who authored it Tony but alack, alas the plaudits aren't mine.


As regards Mary Rizzo's ever pressing concerns about the popularity of her own ego,
all I can find is this from Alexa -
palestinethinktank.com - Traffic Deatails from Alexa
Alexa
The web information comapany

I'm not really sure what the stats are telling but it doesn't look impressive.

all the best TGB!

Tony Greenstein said...

Sorry for the mix up Joe.

That's what I thought. Despite all the boasting virtually noone accesses PTT. And I can't recall anyone, bar Mary herself, every quoting it!

So much for the most popular Palestinian web site.

mary said...

facts talk, bullshit walks:

Azvsas.blogspot.com has a traffic rank of: 3,338,877


Palestinethinktank.com has a traffic rank of: 250,621

put that on your plate and eat it... the rest of your rant, I ignore! I think you are green with envy and a little worried about your pocketbook.

Tony Greenstein said...

Mary, mary, quite contrary. But I don't have a pocket book, I think you're referring to someone else!

Green yes - envy no.

joe90 kane said...

Mary Free Minds for a Free Palestine Rizzo,
only ever answers what she wants to answer - presumably that's what Mary means by 'freedom' but what consciencious honest people refer to as 'taking liberties', especially when it comes to taking advantage of weak powerless Palestinians subjected to western racist violence.

What is there to envy about a blood-sucking parasite like Mary Rizzo who claims the victims of the nazis were to blame for what happened to them. Mary has yet to tell me which Palestinians agree with her and Atzmon on this.

Mary Rizzo has yet to announce which bona fide Palestinian organisations and inviduals endorse her website of antisemnitic hate.

Closed minds for a closed Palestine would be more apt, given the effects of racist parasites such as rootless cosmopolitans like her and Atzmon on solidarity with Palestine.