A blog by Luke Akehurst about politics, elections, and the Labour Party - With subtitles for the Hard of Left. Just for the record: all the views expressed here are entirely personal and do not necessarily represent the positions of any organisations I am a member of.

Friday, November 02, 2007

Madonna, Julie Burchill and Luke Akehurst

I wasn't ever aware I had anything in common with Madonna and Julie Burchill until today's Jewish Chronicle article on friends of the Jewish community cited the three of us as examples.


Anonymous jdc said...


"So we decided to probe modern preferences in a short poll, and asked Americans if they'd be interested in dating or marrying someone Jewish. Almost 40 per cent said they would."

Mmm, not the kind of pro-semitism many Jews are looking for, that. Quite the opposite.

Out of interest Luke, you might know. I presume in the same legislation that says adopters and fosterers can't be homophobes, that they're also not allowed to forbid interracial and interfaith dating?

3:51 pm, November 02, 2007

Blogger Ravi Gopaul said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

4:24 pm, November 02, 2007

Blogger Ravi Gopaul said...

Since when does being an antizionist meant you were also antisemitic? There are many antizionist jews such as our foreign sec's dad. My view is zionism is a form of racism.

4:27 pm, November 02, 2007

Anonymous jdc said...

Ravi - being anti-Zionist doesn't necessarily make you antisemitic any more than being in a pub at 11pm necessarily means you're drunk, but you do need to explain why almost every other people in the world should be allowed a country, but the Jews shouldn't.

Being obsessed with how awful Israel is, to the point of spending your life campaigning about it, when actually Israel's not especially bad, and nicer than almost any country that's been invaded three times in half a century - and certainly nicer than, say, Burma, Indonesia, Iran, and so on - suggests that have a particular problem with Israel for some reason other than what they in fact do.

One explanation might be if you're Palestinian. Obviously if you are you will care more about the plight of the Palestinians than about (say) the native people of West Papua (not that British Antizionism has ever accomplished, or will ever accomplish, anything of practical benefit to the Palestinian people).

If, however, you're a twenty year old Anglo-Saxon University Student from a well-off family, you really need to think about what it is you and your campaigning bedfellows hate about Israel, that makes it more deserving of your campaigning bile than any other country in the world.

There are 26,300 hits on Google for "Free West Papua". That's about one per death over the course of the ethnic cleansing. There are 317,000 hits for "Free Palestine". That's about 50 for every death over the course of the intifadas.

Why might that be?

4:43 pm, November 02, 2007

Blogger Ravi Gopaul said...

Just before I begin, in case you are wondering where this rant comes from, it is based upon Julie Burchill's comment on zionism in the article Luke has linked to.
JDC, your points are well made and intellegently argued regarding antisemitism and antizionism (it is what I expect from you!) however the comment about allowing Jews to have their own country sounds a bit racist to me. All people should be welcome in the country of birth. I am the son of immigrants, but I consider myself british, it is MY country. There is no need to steal another people's land (the Palistinians)to create and land for some one else. Instead there should be laws protecting minorites and welcoming their addtion to our society (in fact it was Cromwell who recogised Jews had a right to be English citizens). The Balfour (a noted anti semite) declaration ceeded land from one people to another with our either side being consulted. It is worthy of note that the leading zionists at the time were not practicing Jews, rather athesists and would have been just as happy in say the Seyshelles or Uganda (actual considerations). Far from protecting Jews from the vile disgusting racism of antisemitism, it has only increased it with in it very own borders

(http://www.rense.com/general39/antii.htm if this link does not show I'll post it again)

Thank you for letting me know about the ethnic cleansing going on in PNG. There is ofcourse other countries where this evil is still perputated such as Burma. I will definatelty put myself right on PNG. If the killing rate is as high as you state something must be done, maybe we could form a protest group to highlight the plight of the victims. It would be a protest I would be proud to be part of just as I am proud about my protest against the state terror of Israel.

6:00 pm, November 02, 2007

Blogger Ravi Gopaul said...

As promised!


6:03 pm, November 02, 2007

Anonymous jdc said...


"however the comment about allowing Jews to have their own country sounds a bit racist to me."

Yes, it would. It's because Jewishness is sort-of-but-not-exactly all three of a race, a religion, and a 'nationhood' (if not a nationality). It's easy to say who's "British" (well, easier).

It's much less easy to say who's "Israeli", when you're creating Israel (and Palestine) out of former empire in an area which doesn't really have a recent history of nation states at all.

"There is no need to steal another people's land (the Palistinians)to create and land for some one else."

No, but that's not what happened. Land which was inhabited by both Jews and Palestinians was divided up. The Jews didn't actually get a very good deal out of it, but the Arab military invasion of 1948 clearly gave them the necessity, the opportunity and (I would argue) the right to link that land up into a defensible shape. 1967 is more complicated, and I appreciate there is room for intelligent people to disagree about that war, as I'm sure we would.

"in fact it was Cromwell who recogised Jews had a right to be English citizens"

Yes, and we celebrate him for the nobility of this act (well, Anglo-Jewry does), but the realist in me can't help but feel that he simply needed money, and they were the main lenders, so he needed to offer them something.

"If the killing rate is as high as you state something must be done, maybe we could form a protest group to highlight the plight of the victims"

It's pretty much been done, that's the problem. It's like Tibet - it's been cleansed, it may be too late to undo. For the record though, here you go.


The question is why you haven't heard of it - why there aren't major street protests - why RESPECT / Stop The War marchers' banners ALWAYS say "Don't Attack Iraq/Iran, Justice for Palestine", and never "Don't Attack Iraq/Iran, Justice for West Papua". Could it be because in this case the villains are Muslim, not the victims?

I have problems taking Rense seriously - it turns up some interesting stuff which isn't reported elsewhere and does eventually turn out to have value, but it also churns out such a level of conspiracy theory junk that it's not really worth reading all that to find the pearls. He gives a lot of airtime to people who believe Mossad did 9/11, which kind of tells you where he's coming from...


9:31 pm, November 02, 2007

Anonymous Dan said...


I don't think it's correct to say the early Zionists would have been equally happy with the Seyshelles or Uganda. Uganda was discussed as a temporary home in the very early 20th Century, but never progressed. I've never seen any reference to the Seyshelles.


11:30 pm, November 02, 2007

Anonymous Abu Amar said...

I think the problem is that the country in question was the home of some other people.

Look, the issue at hand is how we get two states living in peace side by side. If you don't accept that then you are no part of the solution.

But I don't think that solution is helped by subjecting millions to military occupation and building colonialist ouposts on their land.

Zionism is like any other 19th century nationalism - it is a political construct and not an expression of an inner truth. Therefore to be an "anti zionist" is not to deny anyone their human rights, however its also a waste of time (given that two states are the only game in town) and I'd be rather disconcerted, to say the least, by all the Nazis and crypto-Nazis who use this term to cover up their anto-semitism.

So therefore it is not any way I'd describe myself, at least not any more. And really I find it difficult to take any pro-Palestinian seriously if they've not reached the same conclusion.

A lot of us have, but sadly we are drowned out in the debate by the likes of Respect (an alliance of anti-semites with the ultra left) - who constantly prove to be the pro-Isreali rejectionists useful idiots.

1:48 pm, November 03, 2007

Anonymous Anonymous said...

You're right, you don't have anything in common with Madonna or Burchill. They are successful women who don't have to apologise for everything the Labour Party does. You are a local nobody who does.

9:54 pm, November 04, 2007

Blogger Luke Akehurst said...

A "local nobody" I may be but I don't remember ever apologising for all the great things Labour has done (locally and nationally).

9:37 am, November 05, 2007

Blogger Ravi Gopaul said...

The name Palestine has it's origins in the Byzantine period (Palaestina) and there maps demarking the territory from the 19th C. Therefore there has been a Palastinian state since 330AD, which was only broken up in 1948 through the creation of Israel.
Sorry JDC, the land was not for the British to split so I cannot accept this arguement imperialism is theft and to say otherwise is just a lie.
Abu, yes we are where we are but I really cannot agree a Palestinian state can function in this form. Would it not be better for a secular united territory form where the rights of jew and gentile are respected, ie no antisemitism (holocaust denial, etc)and no "Jew 0nly" areas? I have more to say but I have to get back to work

11:11 am, November 07, 2007

Blogger Ravi Gopaul said...

JDC, I take the point about Muslims which is well made, however consider the threat we face now from islamist terrorists. These people can use the suffering of the Palestinians (and the Kashmiris, Kosovan, Afganis, Bosnian and the depiction of muslims in film as relentless fanatics bent on killing without reason)as a recruitment sargent for terrorism against us and our allies. This is why there is "such a fuss" over this issue, atleast from me.
I actually agree, the suffering of the people in West Papua is deplorable (thanks for the link by the way). Their plight should be better known which is why I'll make a mention on my blog, (something I have not done in ages!)and also I will write to the PM and the Foreign Sec on this issue.

1:25 pm, November 07, 2007

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ravi Gopaul

I see you have posted a link on the website rense.com
Just to let you know this is a far right site which carries many articles on holocaust denial. Shows how antisemites use "antizionism" as a cover.

4:20 pm, November 10, 2007

Blogger Ravi Gopaul said...

Thank you anonymous, on further investigation of his site he indeed questions the legitimacy of the figures murder by the Nazis at Aushwitz. This is ofcourse a vile lie and I condemn it whole heartly. Whether he is a Nazi I really don't know as there are no other racist comments on his site. However I agree with you, his comments puts him up there with racist scumbags.
The real issue though was not where this information was posted (he is a nutjob re JDC's link), rather the article.
It was written by Ron Csillag, a jewish man who is a Toronto-based freelance writer specializing in religion. His comment was published first in the Toronto Star, the Canadian daily not noted for antisemitism (maybe you know if it has).
Your comment would stand if Rense or an antisemite wrote it but he did'nt so it...er...does'nt.

2:30 pm, November 12, 2007

Blogger Jerome said...


Are you implying that an article on a book on the aberration of anti-Semitism in Israel is itself anti-Semitic? What about the book, which is by a Jewish man?

And why is it relevant to say that Ron Csillag is Jewish?

4:07 am, November 20, 2007


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