Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Hit and Misc

A few more bits and bobs before getting back to proper blogging;

There's an article at Red Pepper by Rupert Read and myself on the Green New Deal. Jenny Jones on the same subject on CiF.

Are police using form 696 to close garage clubs
? In the Guardian.

The man who threw a shoe at Bush is trying to claim asylum from the Swiss. From the BBC.

An interesting bit of online gadgetry. Why not give the Israeli electoral compass a whirl? As a secular dove it turns out my party is banned from standing, pfft. (via BenSix)

I've said it before and I'll say it again. David Mitchell is a giant among commentators. This time he has a pop at pessimism.

Labourstart is hosting a Labour (as in trade union) website of the year awards. Interesting.

Talking of awards there is also the Observer Ethical Awards. I voted for Mill Road's Arjuna for best local retailer, Green Metropolis as best initiative, online Peter Tatchell in the campaigner section and Caroline Lucas as politician of the year. You may have people you'd like to vote for too.

And finally the BBC has a pop at the Chinese for editing Obama's inauguration speech, is so unfair seeing as they transmitted Hu Jintao's inauguration speech live and in full. Umm... But it's not censorship when we do it!

p.s. I forgot to add that people should check out the new, improved animated Sian Berry on YouTube.


Infantile and Disorderly said...

Your article on the Green New Deal seems to forget the small fact that it was ultimately the Second World War that ended the hard times for America

Jim Jay said...

Hi I and D. I'm not well so Ill be brief but may come back to it.

First the way I see the Green New Deal its about a response to recession and climate change rather something that will single handedly solve those problems.

WWII was essentially the ultimate in keynsianism and whilst I'm sure neither of us would advocate a new world war to solve the economy I do think a war footing on climate change would be a very good thing.

There's no such thing as a permanent depression/recession and so I don't think we should see the war as something that solved an otherwise unstopable depression but we can ameliorate the effects of the recession whilst simultaneously tackling climate change - I think that's very important.

(hope that makes sense, I'm a bit delirious)

Jack Ray said...

that Israeli survey doesn´t cover 1-staters like myself...

Jack Ray said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Red Green Nick said...

I'm a one-stater myself, I'd vote Hadash, not perfect, but they unusually have both Arab and Jewish members and many "one stater's" in their ranks. Here is Dov Khenin's (a Jewish Parliamentarian, the other 2 they have are Arab Israelis.) English language website:

Here's a good article on anti semitism and the Gaza protests:

ModernityBlog said...

one state is a great idea, how about it is road-tested first in Europe?

what about a one state Europe? abolish all nation states within the EU

let's try that first before suggesting others to it?

because obviously it is a bit hypocritical if we suggest to others what we wouldn't be prepared to do ourselves!

Jack Ray said...

What an absurd comparison.

ModernityBlog said...

yeah, strong argument? what an absurd idea?

instead shall we start on a smaller scale?

what about a one State Iberian peninsular

enough of States, let Spain and Portugal cease their bickering and become one Nation, then the lessons learnt from that could be tried elsewhere?

Red Green Nick said...

Lets not talk about Israel/Palestine then...
We don't have either the ability or the right to force anything on anyone, but we are allowed an opinion.

Jim Jay said...

Mod - it's been a while since Spain bombed Portugal.

Besides there are plenty of people who advocate a single European state and have enacted policy pushing towards single currency, foreign policy, etc. why are we allowed it here and not there?

Anyway, at the end of the day the Portegese didn't used to live in Spain and all get chucked out at the point of a bayonette.

The crucial point is that many people who live in the region advocate a single state solution, supporting their demand isn't some bizarre abstraction.

ModernityBlog said...


how popular is the notion of a Nation free Europe with one entity comprising all countries (that's NO national passporst, etc)? fairly small I'll bet?

[I'd go for it, but I am a bit cosmopolitan unlike many :) ]

so if you can't get EUROPEANS to accept that notions then how will it be forced on the Israelis? or the Palestinians?

as you say:

"many people who live in the region advocate a single state solution"

the same could be said for the two states option?

I could probably find a fair few surveys around those themes, if you want?

Jim Jay said...

No need to get sureys out I'm sure there's plenty of people who think a two state solution is the way - and of course it should be remembered there are different versions of the single state solution.

Most Europeans who are for this line are advocating a single secular state where both Jews and Muslims and everyone else living together without privelege due to their ethnicity - ie that there has been a deconstruction of the racist nature of the Israeli state.

Some in the region see the single state solution in this way too. Others would like to see all Arabs annihilated and for Palestine to cease to exist and a greater Israel to dominate - and others still want to ethnically cleanse Jews from the region. There are few Europeans (in my experience) that are for either of these genocidal solutions.

So there is plenty to unpick in the phrase single state solution as the devil is in the detail as they say.

Whatever does or does not happen force will be involved and more misery and more hate. Gosh I'm cheerful today!

ModernityBlog said...

ahh yeah jim.

that a phrase? "that there has been a deconstruction of the..."

a deconstruction?what an amusing euphemism, sounds much better then destroy, liquidate, etc?

btw, do you consider Saudi Arabia to be a racist state too?

Jim Jay said...

I consider Saudi Arabia a disgusting state.

Deconstruction is a word not a euphemism and does not refer to destroying or liquidating people - which I think is clear in the context.

Some people who believe in some sort of single state solution want to destroy and liquid people (arabs or jews depending on who we're talking about) - but it certainly is not inherent in the concept.

ModernityBlog said...


please, let's not duck the issue

do you consider Saudi Arabia to be a RACIST state?

Raphael said...


Another one stater on your blog recognized (without being bothered by it at all apparently) the problem with one state.

Mullen wrote on another thread "Of course, one hopes that a lot of the population of Israel will at some point give up defending its state, to make the destruction of the state less violent..."

What happens if the Jews do not want to give up their right to self-determination? Mullen hopes they will, but otherwise, well, there will be a prolonged blood bath, a few 100 000s or millions will die and a few millions Palestinians as well. Here is a scoop: the enormous majority of Jews in Israel are not prepared to give up their right to self determination. The fact that some, as you say, want "to ethnically cleanse Jews from the region", is unlikely to convince them to give up a state which was constituted partly as an historical response to such a threat.

The current political reality is that there will be an increased pressure from the US and others on Israel to withdraw from the WB and facilitate the creation of a Palestinian state; and there will also be an increase pressure from the same on Hamas to give up its particular version of the one state solution and recognize Israel. On the other hand, Iran will continue to support the hardliners within Hamas.

But some Europeans who demonstrate along Hamas supporters at demonstrations co-organized by Hamas representatives are in favour of one state. There were thousands reasons to demonstrate against the Israeli operation in Gaza, but political clarity is desperately needed so that the left and the GP positions are clearly differentiated from the politics of hatred and war promoted by Hamas.


Raphael said...

This article by Joschka Fischer is quite relevant to this thread.

Red Green Nick said...

Whilst I have been demonstrating against the war on Gaza, I agree we should always remain critical of groups like Hamas. I am in favour of a single democratic state, a confederacy of Palestine and Israel, with cultural autonomy for both peoples. Naturally the racists on both sides, who feel they have the rights to "drive out" or worse the other population, would need to change this line or be defeated politically.
Raphael, I do understand your concerns, Hamas are not in favour of a "single state" but a caliphate
as far as I can tell. The single state solution is not a new idea of course. Martin Buber was advocating it before Israel was even formed.

Raphael said...

That's it: "before it was even formed". Now it exists and its citizens want it to continue to exist to protect themselves to real existing threats.

We support the right of Palestinians to self-determination. Why deny it to the citizens of Israel?

As importantly, we are in 2009. Palestinians desperately need an improvement on the ground. We are a political party. We should be discussing how we are making an impact now, not trying to define what an ideal world would be without bothering at all explaining how we reach that ideal.

Explain me, today, the diplomatic steps that you would take, to promote peace and prosperity in the ME based on your proposal of one state. First, you would have to put the Arab League proposal and years of negotiations in the bin. Then, what do you do? What do you say to the democratically elected Israel government? To Fatah? To Hamas ethnic cleansers? What are the powers which today support "one state" apart from Iran?

How practically, does your "ideal world proposal" transform into policy making here and now?


PS: "We should remain critical of Hamas". Right: so, do we stop co-organizing demos with its front organization the BMI? do we stop co-organizing "peace events" with Hezbollah rep as guest speakers? or do we continue to legitimate them as respectable organizations?

Jack Ray said...

Jim hit the nail on the head. The comparison is absurd because Spain hasn´t expelled the population of Portugal, they don´t control its borders, its resources and its transport links. Portugal is a functioning independent state. Palestine is a artificially created canton, which excludes all the best land and the water resources. It´s not a viable independent nation. In any case, both Spain and Portugal don´t declare themselves to be states reserved for one ethnicity in particular. If Spain was a ´white state´, I´m sure you would support the process by which it became a state in which all races and religions enjoyed equal rights. That´s what you´re talking about in Israel and Palestine. It IS one state now. The people within it should have equal rights.

ModernityBlog said...


maybe you should read your history of the region with greater care, Spain and Portugal have been in conflict for years, with Spain at one point trying to invade Portugal, years back, etc

but it was MERELY an example

btw, what is a "white state" and how does that relate to Israel?

Red Green Nick said...

People may find this interesting or not as the case might be!

Wednesday 11th February, 7.30pm
Tudor Room, Imperial Hotel, Russell Square, London WC1B 5BB
Public meeting – all welcome

After the war on Gaza
What next for the Palestinians?
And how can Jews here and in Israel help bring about a just peace?”

Karma Nabulsi, Gerald Kaufman MP,
plus other speakers to be announced

Karma Nabulsi is an Oxford-based academic who formerly worked as a PLO diplomat at the UN and in Beirut, Tunis and Britain.

Gerald Kaufman has been a Labour MP since 1970 and has been an outspoken supporter of a just peace in Israel/Palestine.

Organised by the Jewish Socialists’ Group

Jim Jay said...

Mod re: spain/portugal - you're stretching and I think you know it.

And the white state comment (not wishing to speak for anyone here) is clearly a continuation of the analogy and intended (it seems to me) to be a reference to Israel's claim to be a Jewish state.

Re Raphael's point about the fact that the foundation of Israel is in the past - well I think I agree that there is a complex issue here that does not resolve itself through sloganeering on either side.

There are Palestinians alive today who were turfed out of their homes, homes which are now lived in by others. There are Israelis alive today who were born in Israel and cannot be held complicit in great historical crimes that they did not take part in. I don't think the rights of ewither of these groups should be ignored.

All of the Israelis I've got to know, who have all been refusniks, are not people I feel inclined to make refugees - whatever happens there will have to be some reconciliation and compromise over these deeply painful issues if there is to be progress.

But I don't believe there will ever be peace in the region until the very nature of Israel is addressed.

ModernityBlog said...


forgive me, but you seem to be addressing every point, except the one I made to you, twice before:

do you consider Saudi Arabia to be a RACIST state?

Jim Jay said...

I didn't realise my views on Saudi Arabia were so important to you.

The two regimes are qualitatively different and, I think it would be vacuous to try to compare the institutional and murderous racism of Israel with the stifling, vicious dictatorship that exists in Saudi.

They are both bad and should both be abolished. Sadly, when there is a revolution in Saudi Arabia it will likely unleash more horror than it does away with... but I hope I'm wrong about that.

ModernityBlog said...


no, this is an important point

so are you saying that you do NOT consider Saudi Arabia to be a racist state?

Jim Jay said...

I think you're over theorising and making too much out of definitions.

I've been pretty clear about how I feel about S.A. if you have a specific point about Saudi I suggest you make it.

"What's in a name? That which we call a rose by any other word would smell as sweet."

ModernityBlog said...


No, I am not "over theorising and making too much out of definitions."

you are VERY clear on your view that Israel is a racist State

so I am just wondering if that applies to Saudi Arabia too?