An open letter to Lorde

By   /   December 23, 2017  /   151 Comments

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Dear Lorde, your decision will make a difference. Please stand on the side of justice.

In the wise words of Desmond Tutu: “If you are neutral in situation of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor”.  

Dear Lorde,

What a difficult time it must be for you, trying to decide what to do with your planned concert in Tel Aviv.

I inferred from your tweet that you were not aware of the BDS (Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions) movement and the potential controversy that holding a concert in Israel would cause.

I was encouraged to read that you have taken note of the great letter penned by Palestinian New Zealander Nadia Abu-Shanab and Jewish New Zealander Justine Sachs.

It is right that you should hear from people who have close associations with Palestine and Israel and to listen- just as carefully – to those who hold opposing views.

My favourite philosopher John Stuart Mill says: “He who knows only of his own side of the case knows little of that”.

Mill believes that no matter how good our reasons for believing a certain opinion might be, we should only hold that opinion if we are unable to refute the reasons on the opposite side- if we cannot- then we have no reason for preferring either opinion.

As a mathematician who has studied the proof theory, the above makes perfect sense to me.

In fact, for the past couple of years, I have been on a mission to disprove my own beliefs- from the most basic universally accepted beliefs (slavery is bad) to the more controversial ones (feminist views on sex markets).    

The result has been incredibly interesting. I now remain undecided on some of my previously tightly held beliefs and don’t, for instance, think that slave owners of the South were necessarily inherently evil.

The reason I am telling you all this, is to say that I have adopted the same approach to the Palestinian and Israeli issue.  I have familiarized myself with the arguments on both sides and have formed my opinion accordingly.

 

But before we get into the main arguments, here is a great TEDx talk on the danger of neutrality when it comes to the colonial occupation of Palestine- just in case you thought staying impartial was an option.


As Anna Baltzer says, when there is a great power imbalance between two sides, staying neutral helps to leave the scales tipped in favour of those with power.

In case of Israel and Palestine, there is absolutely no doubt which side holds the greatest power. Israel has one of the most powerful militaries in the world while Palestinians have no army.

I won’t get into the illegality of the Israeli occupation and its apartheid system of oppression because they are well documented, widely accepted and were explained well in Nadia and Justine’s letter.

Instead, I would like to address some of the main arguments put forward against BDS- namely that BDS movement is “unfairly singling out” Israel or “holding it to a different standard”.

Those arguments also came up on the comments written on the Spinoff’s Facebook page where Nadia and Justine’s letter was posted.

It is a good point, isn’t it?

So, let’s see if there is a case for singling out Israel and holding it to a different standard than the likes of Iran, Russia, China and every other country where human rights abuses are the norm.

Given that I am an Iranian New Zealander, maybe a good place to start would be to explain why I support BDS against Israel but not Iran.

In the Palestinian case, the victims themselves have asked for BDS. Supporting BDS is heeding the Palestinian request for solidarity and international help.

This is unique to the Palestinian situation because of the huge power imbalance that exists between them and the state of Israel. Without international help, the Palestinians simply have no chance of ending the illegal occupation of their land and to achieve justice.

But why did I not support the sanctions imposed by the US on Iran?

Because, unlike the Palestinian situation, the sanctions did not have the popular support of the Iranians who knew very well that they- not their oppressive regime- would become the real victims of the sanctions.

Moreover, most opposition groups in Iran actively discourage external influences because it taints their genuine resistance with the historical negative interferences of the West.  

Does the above mean that I am ignoring the plight of Iranians and singling out Israel for its human rights violations?

Of course not, in both situations, I am standing in solidarity with the victims of oppression and listening to their individual wishes. Different situations, different responses.

Also, let’s not forget that Israel is unique in other ways.

As Israeli journalist Gideon Levy says,“ there was never in the history of occupation, an occupation where the occupier presented himself as the victim, not only the victim, but the only victim around”.     

Yes, human rights abuses happen else where, but no other regime portray themselves as the oppressed and deserving of special protection and exemption from the international law the way Israel does.

It is at the back of this claim to victimhood that Israel remains the biggest recipient of the US foreign aid- a subsidized benefit that no other oppressive regime enjoys.

And why shouldn’t we hold Israel to a “different standard”? Isn’t Israel supposed to be a Western ally?

Wouldn’t you expect more from your friends than from your foes? Wouldn’t you hold them to a different standard?

Doesn’t Israel claim to be a super open, democratic society? Shouldn’t we expect certain responsibilities and standards to go with that claim?

Let’s not forget that there is a subtext to the charge “holding to a different standard” that clearly refers to anti-Semitism.  False anti-Semitic accusations are often used to silence the critics of Israel.

I don’t deny that anti-Semitism exists- I have written about it.

But to say that the BDS advocates are driven by anti-Semitism is a falsehood that ignores the powerful reasons behind the global support of the BDS movement mentioned above.

Finally, just over 4 years ago, I had the grim task of searching the names of over 500 Palestinian children killed during the Israeli vicious bombing of Gaza.  

 

My mum and I read through the names: cousins, twins, brothers and sisters, 2-year-olds, 7-year-olds, 4-year-olds, 3-months-olds…the list went on and so did

our tears.  

 

We attached each name to a white balloon and each white balloon was carried by an individual during a protest I co-organised in Christchurch against Israel’s actions in Gaza.

500 white balloons-each bore the name of a dead Palestinan child during a protest march in Christchurch.

I carried the 4-year-old, Yasmin al-Astal from Khan Yunis. We all released our white balloons into the air but Yasmin has always stayed in my heart.   

 

Little Yasmin was one of more than 500 innocent children killed by the Israeli rockets raining in Gaza in 2014.

How could there ever be any justification for killing children?

What spurred me into action was Jon Snow’s report for the UK’s Channel Four which ended by saying that our motivation to do something is the greatest hope the people in Gaza have. “Together we can make a difference,” he said.

Dear Lorde, your decision will make a difference. Please stand on the side of justice.

In the wise words of Desmond Tutu: “If you are neutral in situation of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor”.  

 

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About the author

Donna Miles

Donna Miles is a British-born, Iranian-bred, New Zealand citizen with a strong interest in human rights, justice and equality issues.

151 Comments

  1. Michal says:

    Thanks Donna great stuff. We must change her mind on this. We should all be writing on this page that promotes tours for any performer coming to Israel.

    http://www.midnighteast.com/mag/?p=38239

  2. Nitrium Nitrium says:

    In no way shape or form should Lorde shoot herself in the foot to stand up for an issue she might not even have much of an opinion on. Her entire livelihood depends on the fickle as fuck music industry that is packed to the brim with folks of Jewish heritage. She would be crazy to do as you wish, and I’m 99% sure that if you were in her position you’d also not fall on your own sword and utterly decimate your career (especially given that it won’t change anything anyway) either. Putting the injustices of the Israel/Palestine issue on an individual NZ pop-artist is imo utterly reprehensible.

    • In no way shape or form should Lorde shoot herself in the foot to stand up for an issue she might not even have much of an opinion on. Her entire livelihood depends on the fickle as fuck music industry that is packed to the brim with folks of Jewish heritage

      Have you noticed the grim irony of your statement, Nitrium?

      People no doubt followed your suggestion; “In no way shape or form should [anyone] shoot [them]self in the foot to stand up for an issue [they] might not even have much of an opinion on” – when the Jews you referred to were being persecuted in Germany in the 1930s.

      What’s that old saying? Oh yes, “All that is necessary for evil to succeed is for good women to do nothing.”

      And if I followed your notion that “given that it won’t change anything anyway” – well, what’s the point of Martyn creating this forum? Or me spending hours lodging OIA requests; researching, and writing blogposts? Some would assert “it won’t change anything anyway”…

      I’m sure that’s the view that Israel’s government would like to see prevail.

      • Nitrium Nitrium says:

        You know what I meant Frank. You are not going to ruin your life by criticising people, because that is what you do. Same with Mike Hosking. Same with Paul Henry. Same with Bomber. Lorde is NOT a critic, and shouldn’t asked to become one.
        The Dixie Chicks very nearly ruined their careers with a random flippant statement about George W. during a concert in Berlin.
        http://theboot.com/natalie-maines-dixie-chicks-controversy/
        Expecting one person to boycot an entire nation, putting the entirety of the burden and fallout on her shoulders alone, is entirely inappropriate.

        • Otto Mann says:

          That’s a really defeatist attitude from you, Nitrium. If that had prevailed here in NZ in the 60s, 70s, and 80s, we would never have resisted a-bomb testing in the South Pacific, the Vietnam War, promoted nuclear-free NZ, and cut ties with apartheid in Sth Africa.Just think if everyone had listened to your “can’t make a difference” attitude and stayed home. Imagine if Nelson Mandela hadn’t bothered to take up resistance against apartheid ?

          “Expecting one person to boycot an entire nation, putting the entirety of the burden and fallout on her shoulders ” IS ENTIRELY APPROPRIATE. It starts with ONE PERSON refusing to take part in injustice.You, on the other hand, seem content telling everyone not to bother and accept the status quo.

          Why are you even here posting on TDB? Do you think you’ll make a difference posting your views here?

          • Tom says:

            “Imagine if Nelson Mandela hadn’t bothered to take up resistance against apartheid ?”

            Is South Africa a better country now that it’s got rid of apartheid ?

            I’d like to think so, but Honestly I don’t think it is.

          • Tom says:

            Now that we’ve got rid of apartheid is the new system better or worse?

            https://the-truth-about-south-africa.org/radio-interviews/the-end-of-south-africa/

            • Would you rather live under apartheid? And if – gods forbid – you answer yes, now choose whether you’d be White or Black.

              • Tom says:

                You aren’t calling me a racist are you, God forbid.

                I wouldn’t want to see anybody living under Apartheid, or anybody put down because they are different.

                But are south Africans of all races colours and religions, happy to see their country going down the plughole, along with countries like Zimbabwe, because of the corrupt racists who are in power?

                It won’t be as bad as Zimbabwe but it’s heading that way.

                Whether I’d be white or black?
                Yes I’m a racist, of course I am, we all have our own cultures and influences we grew up under, it’s quite natural, anybody who denies it is a fool. It’s a very rare individual who isn’t primarily loyal to his own kind.
                I’m happily married to a lady of a different complexion who is equally as proud of her forbears as I am, (with much more reason) and she’s just as “racist” as myself.

                • Interesting how (some) supporters of Israel also decry Black majority rule in South Africa. I don’t have to call you a racist, Tom. That comes through clearly in your own words.

                  • Tom says:

                    How have you got me down as a supporter of Israel?? I’m a Muslim.

                    Your whole argument doesn’t make any sense. I think you need to be much more introspective and honest with yourself. I’m afraid your understanding of what racism is is very simplistic and narrow.

                    Anyhow, apart from that I’ve always enjoyed reading your comments. You always come across as a very nice bloke.
                    As-Salaam-Alaikum

                    • If you’re a muslim, “Tom”, you’d be more sympathetic to Lorde’s decision. Your sly criticism of her indicates otherwise.

                    • Andy says:

                      Tom, as a Muslim, are you onboard with the Qur’an’s description of Jews as “Apes and Pigs”, and do you consider them second class citizens (like Christians) that should pay the Jizya?

                      Or are you less orthodox?

                    • Tom says:

                      Is this what you are going on about about Frank. It’s a bloody disgrace, but because they are blacks we can’t comment on how corrupt they are and how very badly they are governing South Africa?

                    • Tom, it’s fairly clear that your attempt to focus on South Africa is an attempt to deflect attention from the Israel-Palestine issue. It’s the usual tactic for pro-Israel trolls wanting to shut down debate on Israel’s oppression of the Palestinian people.

                      It’s moral equivalence to serve the interests of the Zionists and their supporters. If you can’t discuss the issue at hand, why are you here?

                    • I refer you to my 10:02AM comment.

                  • Tom says:

                    I wonder what happened to my Previous reply after you labelled me a racist?
                    You’re a phoney Frank! Is being a Muslim being a racist in your world?
                    Their is no way as a Muslim that I would support Israel. If you’re not cognisant with the corruption of the current South African government then you really shouldn’t be commenting on the subject.

                  • Tom says:

                    Why was my comment explaining that I am a Muslim not published? I wonder what the many Muslims in S A think of your racism comment.

                    • Probably the same as what Palestinians think of your comment, Tom.

                      What is your opinion on Israel’s blockade of Gaza, preventing building supplies, medicines, etc, from being imported to rebuild their shattered cities?

                      What is your opinion on Israel’s illegal settlements on the West Bank?

                      What is your view on Israel’s annexation of the Golan Heights?

                      What is your view on The Wall?

                      I look forward to you sharing your thoughts on those questions.

                  • Tom says:

                    I don’t have to call you a fool Frank though you clearly are.

            • Otto Mann says:

              “Now that we’ve got rid of apartheid is the new system better or worse?”

              So….. Israel’s supporters are also advocates of apartheid? Is that what you’re saying, Tom?

              Good to know where you stand.

            • Otto Mann says:

              “Now that we’ve got rid of apartheid is the new system better or worse?”

              Yeah, Tom, everyone knows that apartheid was so good for Blacks. They were lifted out of their slum ghettos like Soweto… oh, wait…

      • Nitrium Nitrium says:

        Also Frank invoking Godwin’s Law to make your case is beneath you!

        • Not at all, Nitrium. Read “1938: Hitler’s Gamble”, by Giles MacDonogh.

          I don’t believe Godwin ever intended history to be ignored. Especially when it is relevant to current day events.

      • Donna Miles says:

        Spot on as always Frank.

      • Johnnybg says:

        If you’d lived in the terror state that was Germany in the 1930’s & 40’s what would you have done to survive? Hindsight is a glorious thing. If you were really honest with yourself you couldn’t say for certain that you wouldn’t have knuckled under like most did. Bugger the delusional heroes & saints who roam this blog site, give me the low down sinners & the great unwashed any day.

        • Sumsuch says:

          I sympathise with every step of Israeli Jews’ way to committing a great wrong against Palestinians, equally resisted at every step of the way. Every year that goes by the Israelis place themselves more in the place of their former Nazi oppressors. I would , in recognition of the best angels of the magnificent Jewish people be all for NZ receiving half a million Israelis, so as I’m not just an outsider flating emptily.

    • Michal says:

      Who should we be following here, the Palestinians who have asked for the BDS campaign or peple like you who think no individual should have to make a sacrafice. Isolated and endlessly booted further out to the margins whilst new settlements move in.

      Lorde has so many places she can sing she hardly needs to worry about Israel.

      Lots and lots of people have fallen on their sword and refused to play in Israel in a variety of capacities. Billy Bragg, Brian Eno, Annie Lennox, Carlos Santana, Stevie Wonder and Roger Waters to name just a few well known ones. And of course a few others of note in other fields includ Noam Chomsky, Stephen Hawking, Arundhati Roy and Ken Loach.

      Thank goodness that back in the day there were people who weren’t prepared to play the springbok they were the real heroes of that time. We will never have real change if we sat on our hands and said ‘it is not up to me’.

    • Lois Griffiths says:

      Nitrium (nitrium, what does that mean?) being of ‘Jewish heritage’ does not equate to ‘supporting the Israeli regime including the military whatever they do,turning a blind eye to sadistic cruelty’

      • Nitrium Nitrium says:

        Of course it doesn’t, and I never said so. Indeed, I have no idea what Lorde’s ancestry is. What I’m saying is that asking a 21 year old NZ pop-artist to boycott an entire country because you think it’s the right thing to do is utterly unfair, especially when you’re not willing(?) to make the same potentially career ruining sacrifice yourself. What you’re asking, in a nutshell, is for Lorde to become a Martyr for your cause. That is a decision only she can make for herself – not something we should be demanding her to do.

        • Lois Griffiths says:

          Boycotting Israel, until it becomes a secular state with equal rights for all, is more likely to turn out to be a career enhancing stand as well as a moral one. Imagine the headlines around the world, “NZ Singer Takes a Stand for Justice”
          We could all be proud of that. Just as we can all be proud of PM Jacinda Ardern’s telling the world that NZ will not be bullied.

          • Andy says:

            Israel is as close as you’ll get to a secular state in the Middle East.

            Muslims, Jews, Christians, Druze and atheists live there.

            If you make it “Palestine” it will become yet another Islamic country, which is the agenda of BDS of course

            “From the River to the Sea” is fairly unambiguous in its intent towards Jews

      • Donna Miles says:

        I totally agree with Lois’ point.

    • Donna Miles says:

      Hi Nitrium,
      I understand your point. Others have raised the same issue.
      Firstly, I am not sure about the music industry being packed to the brim by “folks of Jewish heritage”. What evidence is there to support that?
      But even if that was true, why do you think that would mean those Jewish folks would be supporters of Israel?
      Some of the most intelligent, ardent and vocal supporters of Palestinians are “folks of Jewish heritage”. We must never conflate Judaism with Zionist policies.
      Lorde’s decision to cancel her tour will have a huge impact on the lives of millions of people. It will be a priceless gift of hope to the Palestinians.
      Also, gone are the days that artists have to sell themselves to the highest bidder. We live in an age of iTunes and Spotify. Fans will always support her and that is all music moguls will care about because ultimately they are motivated by money.
      As far as taking risk is concerned, I have to refer you to the young, old, abled, disabled, men and women Palestinians who put themselves in front of Israeli bullets everyday. Lorde is not asked to take any risk that is in any way greater than theirs.

      • Nitrium Nitrium says:

        Firstly, I am not sure about the music industry being packed to the brim by “folks of Jewish heritage”. What evidence is there to support that?

        Obviously from anti-Semitic source, because these sorts of facts and figures websites always are (i.e. they have a clear agenda I don’t agree with at all to blame everything on “the Jews”). However, this doesn’t make the cited facts and statistics any less true though.

        https://thezog.wordpress.com/who-controls-music/
        https://thezog.wordpress.com/who-controls-radio/

        The entertainment industry generally is packed to the brim with people of Jewish heritage.

  3. Bob says:

    Goodness me this writer certainly knows how to talk out of both sides of her mouth. She drones on about Israel wanting special treatment and the need for the International community to call them out on human rights abuses. And then she has the gal to go onto demand special rights for Iran by claiming the International communities’ condemnation of their horrendous human rights abuses are unjustified and unwelcome by the victims.

    DBS is a preserves group of self-serving anti-Semites. Case in point Roger Waters, the has-been aged rocker and mouth piece for DBS thinks it’s ok to put the Star of David on a giant inflatable pig – enough said.

    • Donna Miles says:

      Hello Bob- thanks for your comment.
      As an Iranian who has lived through the Iranian revolution and the Iran/Iraq war, I can tell you confidently that neither I nor any Iranians I know would want to swap places with Palestinians. We have a chance to internally mobilise, organise and resist. The gains are slow and the fight for freedom is not without its great sacrifices but the Palestinians have it much harder. They are not even geographically connected and, in Gaza, they are kept caged in an open prison. BDS is their only hope.

  4. john says:

    Palestinian are the Indigenous people of Palestine. Israel is a colonial state helped by the British govt and being a Jew is a religious calling with cultural aspect affiliated and the oldest monotheist religion but it is not an ethnic race

    • Andy says:

      I’m guessing you don’t spend a lot of time reading the Old Testament, which is essentially a history of the Jews in Israel

      • Strypey says:

        There are also documents of questionable authorship that claim celts colonized Aotearoa before polynesians arrived. So what? The historical verifiable facts are that the communities collectively known now as “the Palestinians” were living in land now occupied by the state of Israel for thousands of years before the Zionist movement moved thousands of European and USAmericans of jewish ancestry onto their lands.

        • Andy says:

          There is no identifiable ethic group called the Palestinians. Arabs living in Israel and the West Bank are ethnically little different to people from Jordan and Syria

          Jews have distinct DNA markers. Of course I accept that a large part of the Jewish return to Israel was from Europe, Russia etc, but these originated from the various diaspora over the Millenia, as Jews left the Middle East fleeing from persecution

          Most of the Jewish holidays , Passover, Hannukah etc commemorate these various periods of war and persecution against Jews

          • There is no identifiable ethic group called the Palestinians. Arabs living in Israel and the West Bank are ethnically little different to people from Jordan and Syria

            So bloody what?!

            Go back far enough in time and you’ll find every single human being alive today originated from Africa’s Rift Valley.

            We’re talking about Palestinians in their own land being dispossessed by Jewish migrants – many of whom emigrated from Germany in the 1930s to escape the growing threat of Nazi power. (See “1938: Hitler’s Gamble”, by Giles MacDonogh – Jewish escapees were the “boat people of the Mediterranean” at the time.)

            No, what you’re doing, Andy, is attempting to subvert the rights of Palestinians to their lands by attacking their identity and their history. Precisely the same as that racist so-called “historian” who peddles bullshit ideas about the Celts in New Zealand pre-dating Maori.

            As George Orwell cleverly realised;

            “He who controls the past controls the future. He who controls the present controls the past.”

            Trying top re-write the past is Orwellian and shows the desperation of pro-Zionist sycophants to legitimise an illegal occupation and annexation of Jerusalem. Resorting to lies won’t help your cause, Andy.

          • Otto Mann says:

            Andy:

            “There is no identifiable ethic group called the Palestinians.”

            So to alienate a people from their land, it first becomes necessary not to recognise them as an ethnic group? Or demonise them? Both?

            In other words: dehumanise them. Gas chambers next?

            • Andy says:

              It’s you lot claiming that Jews are not an ethnic group and are not from the Middle East, not me.

              Such a warped version of truth I have never heard.

              The lies are just breathtaking

              I guess Holocaust Denial is just a stones throw away for you lot

              [Andy, to remind you, The Daily Blog’s policy is not to accept postings advocating Holocaust-denial, and links to far-right Holocaust-denying websites. – Scarletmod]

              • I guess Holocaust Denial is just a stones throw away for you lot

                Strawperson argument. Only far-right fringe fruitloops deny the Holocaust. However, as inconceivably vile that the Holocaust was (and remains, in many survivor’s minds), it does not give the right to visit an injustice upon another nation (the Palestinians). In doing so, evil is re-visited time and time again.

                If there is one truism that the Human Race should live by, Andy, it’s this; those who ignore or forget history are doomed to repeat it.
                .

      • Peter wilson says:

        Ever heard of mythistory?
        Suggest you read the well researched treatise by israelli historian Shlomo Sand for a true history of the Jewish faith and land claims.

      • No, I have little time for religious tracts. I especially do not base land claims on religious beliefs. If that’s your basis of land claim, Andy, then you’re on shaky ground.

        Not everyone believes in your invisible supernatural friend.

        • Andy says:

          As I mentioned upthead, the Old testament is essentially a history book of the trials of the Jewish people over the Millenia. There is no prior requirement to believe in “Sky Daddy”

          Of course, the Book of the “Palestinian People” is rather short on detail, since they don’t actually exist as an ethnically identifiable minority

          https://www.amazon.com/Complete-History-Palestinian-People-Literature/dp/1479332348

          In the meantime, I don’t wish to engage in a flame war on Christmas Eve.

          I wish you and all Daily Blog readers a very happy Christmas and a Happy New Year.

          Best Wishes

          Andy

          • john says:

            Jewish is a religion not a race and the Bible is not a factual historic account of the past these are myths and cannot be taken as facts like the earth was made in 7 days?????? how is that an actual fact??????

            • Andy says:

              If Jews is a religion and not a race, then how is it that Jews have identifiable characteristics, that, for example are used in Nazi and Islamic anti-Semitic propaganda posters?

              • You’re using Nazi propaganda to prove your point?! You’re fucken kidding us…!!

                • Andy says:

                  Caroline Glick, who writes for Times of Israel, recently complained to Facebook that a cartoon depicting an identifiably Jewish Rabbi being lynched by two Arab men that was posted on her timeline was a tad offensive

                  Facebook’s response was that this did not violate community guidelines

                  So, it’s cool to present anti-Semitic propaganda directly to Jews on social media, according to Facebook

                  Because, Israel…

                  • Sam Sam says:

                    U.S and Israel have isolated themselves because the price of American hegemony is way to high to overlook the death toll. We are actually paying Israel to kill Palestinians eh. We are PAYING FOR IT!!! You idiot.

          • Sumsuch says:

            Andy, you are what’s known as a silly.

            But don’t let that stop you, Donald Trump proves you have avenues.

      • Otto Mann says:

        “I’m guessing you don’t spend a lot of time reading the Old Testament, which is essentially a history of the Jews in Israel”

        Relevance?

        None.

  5. D'Esterre says:

    I had great difficulty with this piece; it reads like an apologetic, rather than an open letter. Were the author hoping to convince Lorde to call off her Israel concert, I think that the arguments presented needed to be a great deal tighter and more focused.

    I tend to agree with Nitrium: it doesn’t seem pointful to me to ask Lorde to take on a boycott, about which she evidently knows little. Any action by her would achieve nothing: Israelis don’t care about that kind of thing.

    A boycott of substance would be a full scale economic affair, including all Israel’s major trading partners, and covering all of its products and – most importantly – the importing of armaments and military technology. And good luck with getting an enterprise like that past the US; see this:

    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/us-politics/israel-boycott-crime-bill-settlements-senators-support-law-a7852101.html

    and this:

    http://www.aljazeera.com/news/2017/10/groups-slam-states-crackdown-israel-boycotts-171024014735793.html

    Various US states already punish organisations that boycott Israeli products.

    An economic boycott of the sort described above would really hurt Israel: it’s the kind of strategy that keeps them awake at night. Unfortunately, such a boycott would disproportionately hurt the Palestinians: you can bet your boots that the Israelis would make sure that they starve before the Israelis do. Moreover, the Israelis have already equated BDS with the German boycott of Jewish goods before WW2. Apologies for going Godwin, but they got there first! See this:

    http://www.jpost.com/Diaspora/Under-fire-Berlin-mayor-equates-BDS-with-Nazis-rejects-Israel-boycott-504425

    And this: https://www.huffingtonpost.com/ben-s-cohen/progressive-then-dont-boy_b_625853.html

    And this: https://www.frontpagemag.com/fpm/178122/nazi-roots-boycott-israel-movement-steven-plaut

    Bear in mind that boycotts and embargoes are, in effect, war by another name. Such strategies differentially affect ordinary people, who often have no control over what their government does in their name. It’s also worth remembering that the effect can be counter to that desired: a boycott or embargo – or sustained aggression – may cause citizens to rally round their government. Consider the effect the Blitz had on UK citizens; ditto the large-scale bombing of Germany (including Dresden) in the later stages of WW2.

    Looking at the author’s list of books, I read a lot of Edward Said’s work when he was still alive; he was very good on Palestine. JS Mill’s views aren’t in my opinion particularly relevant to the Israel/Palestine situation. I suggest instead David Hume and John Rawls: they’d provide more pointful arguments.

  6. Michal says:

    Great news to get up to on christmas morning. Lorde has cancelled, thank you thank you thank you from those of us working for the Palestinian people to have their rights recognised.

    • Andy says:

      Indeed a glorious day, Christmas Day, when we can celebrate those that seek the destruction of Israel and the extermination of the Jews.

      Hallelujah! So proud of NZ, so proud siding with Islamic supremacists and Jew haters everywhere.

      • Rubbish, Andy. Justice for Palestinians will not be achieved at the expense of Israel. Yours is fear-mongering in the extreme. “Peace” founded on injustice and oppression is not peace at all. It is built on the quicksand of fear.

        Islamic supremacists, Jew haters, and Zionist imperialists will not prevail. The human spirit to seek justice is stronger than the small number who espouse hate-ideology.

        • D'Esterre says:

          Frank: “Justice for Palestinians will not be achieved at the expense of Israel.”

          If it were to happen, I think it would. The Israelis have profited enormously, at the expense of the unfortunate Palestinians. If there were to be – to put it euphemistically – a rebalancing, there’s no doubt at all that there’d be a push-back against the Israelis. It’s difficult to see how it could be otherwise: that is the other side of human nature.

          “Islamic supremacists…”

          Israel maintains good relations with jihadists, especially in Syria. It sees a Baathist-ruled Syria as a threat; jihadi rule, on the other hand, would eliminate Syria as a threat, on account of, as Israel has noted, jihadists are good at wrecking governments, but shite at forming them.

          See this:

          http://www.jpost.com/Arab-Israeli-Conflict/Israeli-MK-IDF-helping-al-Qaida-in-Syria-at-expense-of-Druse-467518

        • Andy says:

          Judea and Samaria, aka the West Bank, if the Jews were expelled, would become another terrorist beachhead like Gaza.

          The chance of a “two state solution” working, at this moment in time, is precisely zero.

          Golda Meir said the words, years ago, which I don’t need to repeat

          • Only in your paranoid mind, Andy…

            • Andy says:

              My paranoid mind? The Qur’an refers to Jews as “Apes and Pigs”

              In Gaza, there is a clothes shop called “Hitler 2”

              Join the dots ..

              • So what? The Bible encourage adulterers, gays, and witches to be put to death. How does that invalidate the right of Christian nations to exist? Character assassination based on old religious tracts isn’t a valid reason to deny Palestinians their own homeland.

                And you can buy Nazi paraphernalia in every Western country. So your point is… pointless.

                Your “dots” went nowhere.

                • Andy says:

                  Islam considers Jews and Christians to be subordinate people to Muslims

                  They pay the Jizya, or poll tax. The yellow star badge originated in 9th Century Iraq

                  Jew hatred is fundamental to Islam

                  Oh and women don’t come off too well either. Or gays.

                  Never mind about the Jews, Christian, woman and gays. We get “social justice” at any cost.

                  • Still doesn’t give cause to deny Palestinians their own state.

                    Or are you suggesting no Arab state in the Middle East should be recognised as an independent nation?

                    By the way, Australia only recently undertook to allow marriage equality. And I recall your own cynical views on gay rights, Andy; https://thedailyblog.co.nz/2014/03/01/act-incest-and-polygamy-the-real-issues-confronting-nz/#comment-195326

                    • Andy says:

                      There is a subtle distinction between my indifference towards same sex marriage and executing gays by throwing them off buildings, as they do in Syria, or hanging them from construction cranes, as they do in Iran.

                      Never mind, when we get “social justice” in Israel, all those thousands of gays that turn up for the Pride Parade in Tel Aviv will be executed too, possibly by more exotic means

                  • Otto Mann says:

                    Hey Andy, how do you think we should execute witches and homosexuals. Is your preferred method stoning or burning.

                    It’s in the Bible, you know.

                    • Andy says:

                      The difference is that Christians don’t burn homosexuals.

                      However, Muslims openly call for the murder of gays, as they did recently in the UK

                      Your cultural relativism is starting to get a bit tedious.

                      I know you lot all hate Jews and want to kill them all. Stop pissing around and just say it

                    • The difference is that Christians don’t burn homosexuals.

                      No they don’t, Andy. You’re quite correct.

                      But the Bible still stipulates they should be put to death. That’s the downside to believing in invisible supernatural deities; humans transfer their prejudices onto their gods to justify persecution of those who are different.

  7. D'Esterre says:

    Michal: “Lorde has cancelled, thank you thank you thank you”

    Let’s hope that she’s made the decision for principled reasons, rather than just because of public outcry. If it’s the latter, then her motives are instrumental rather than intrinsic. This would reflect poorly on those who’ve pressured her into this. Not something to be celebrated, in that case.

    • The ‘niceties’ of the ‘whys’ and ‘wherefores’ are most likely lost on the Palestinians in Gaza and the West Bank.

      You might as well have put the same proposition to the Blacks in South Africa back in 1981. I doubt they would have cared much for the largely artificial distinctions you’ve raised.

      • D'Esterre says:

        Frank: “You might as well have put the same proposition to the Blacks in South Africa back in 1981. I doubt they would have cared much for the largely artificial distinctions you’ve raised.”

        I’ve been around a while. I well remember the beginnings of the sporting, economic and academic boycotts against South Africa, as far back as the late 1950s.

        Much as we all wanted to believe otherwise, those boycotts did not bring about the end of apartheid: had they been efficaceous, the political system in SA would’ve changed much sooner than it did. In fact, the end of the Cold War can (tangentially) take the credit for it. Go read about it.

        Nowadays, because of what I’ve seen over my lifetime, I take a more conditional view of such movements, and I’m very wary about getting involved in them. I don’t doubt that BDS activists are sincere and well-intentioned; however, it doesn’t at all follow that this is the way to bring about change in that part of the world.

        If Lorde has taken a principled stance, good for her. But I suspect that she has caved in to bullying. If that’s so, I remain of the opinion that it doesn’t reflect well on those who bullied her.

        • Otto Mann says:

          “If Lorde has taken a principled stance, good for her. But I suspect that she has caved in to bullying”

          How on earth do you know that? Were you present when she considered her decision? You being presumptious in the extreme, sir/madam!!

    • Sumsuch says:

      We already know she is an artist–generically loving truth– but also from familiarity with the person and her lyrics, vitally interested in truth. It’s, I would presume, a decision of conscience.

  8. Jpo73 says:

    I went to a Holocaust memorial service a few years put on by the Isrelaeli Consulate in a foreign land. There were 6 large posters of people on a stage, and the service was around the stories of these 6 people and how they had saved Jewish people during WW2. It was incredibly moving and I took away 2 things from the service:
    1. For Israeli people the holicaust was not 70 years ago, it was yesterday. The fear of being wiped off the face of the earth by crazed anti semites is real and justifies a lot of what they do in the Middle East.
    2. There will be no peace in the Middle East unless Israel has an iron clad security guarantee.

    We can criticise Israel for their overwhelming military response, but unfortunately a lot of Palestinians and neighboring countries aren’t looking for a peaceful solution. If the shoe was on the other foot, there would be a bloodbath.

    I feel very sorry that Lorde is dragged through this mess. It’s not her fault and her decision either way will it change anything.

    • Andy says:

      NZ company Vector bought a minority share in the Israeli software company mPrest who manage the Iron Dome rocket system
      https://www.reuters.com/article/israel-energy-newzealand/corrected-new-zealand-electricity-seller-vector-buys-into-israeli-software-firm-mprest-idUSL8N1N54RW

      Not much noise about that

    • Tom says:

      “For Israeli people the holicaust was not 70 years ago, it was yesterday. The fear of being wiped off the face of the earth by crazed anti semites is real and justifies a lot of what they do in the Middle East.”

      Crazed anti semites eh!

      The “story” is used to justify what they are doing in Palestine. Whether you believe it’s true or not is up to you. Most people who take the trouble to find out the real story don’t. you misspelled “holicaust”did you mean Holycause?

      • Jpo73 says:

        Hi Tom,
        My fat fingers aren’t so good with the phone these days so sorry for spelling Holocaust incorrectly. I believe Israel has a right to exist. I’m not sure Palestinians and Israel’s neighbors believe this. Tom, what solution would you like see in the region? Or is it the final solution?

    • Sumsuch says:

      Any youth going out into the non-family world has to meet up personal and social reality — each is needed for the species. Or, ideas and reality. The Zionists placed themselves…where?

      You are right about the ‘ iron-clad security guarantee’. I agree they can’t get it. They made a mistake, or, to be short, they’re human. I have ‘ born-again Christian’ (American copyright ) siblings. I think their best and most human move is to turn 180 degrees on their heels. Decision is what makes us glorious a little bit. And haven’t Jews taught us so much about reason and decision.

  9. b. gast says:

    I can appreciate Lorde’s decision if she is consequent and equally critical and persistent in not performing in countries who are homofobic, antisemitic, gender unequal or not democratic etc. like Russia, all the islamic countries in the world and all the 9 countries who chose Jeruzalem as the capital of Israel, including the USA.
    If she only singles out Israel for political reasons not to perform in, she is nothing more than a ordinary antisemitic racist, because that is what racists do, they don”t treat people equally.

    • When did you post a comment opposing a Free Trade Agreement with Russia, “b.gast”?

    • D'Esterre says:

      B. Gast: “or not democratic etc. like Russia”

      Russia is a democracy. It has been a democracy since the collapse of the USSR, CIA attempts to subvert it notwithstanding.

      If you believe otherwise, either you haven’t been paying attention, or you’ve been propagandised.

      It never fails to amaze me that left-wingers – who constantly complain about the failure of the msm to report facts – will take at face value any old rubbish from said msm, if it’s negative stuff about Russia. Really…

      • Sumsuch says:

        There are more elements than elections to democracy–both USA and Russia– d’Esterre. But thanks for the laugh.

        • D'Esterre says:

          Sumsuch: “There are more elements than elections to democracy…”

          So: what elements did you have in mind?

          • Respect for minority rights, for starters…

            • D'Esterre says:

              Frank: “Respect for minority rights, for starters…”

              It’d help if you were more specific. But on that basis alone, probably not too many real democracies about. Especially various post-colonial polities: our near neighbour, eg. Also the US, Canada, NZ (according to various activists), India. And so on.

              Not to mention the subject of the BDS campaign, of course.

  10. Observer Tokoroa says:

    It is a shame that Palestinians continue to threaten Israel with extinction.

    For they well know that Jewish people were pushed out of their lands including Jerusalem during the First Century AD. They have been persecuted ever since. By Europe and by the Arabic world.

    It is also a shame that Islamic Arabs often include execution and extreme punishments in the name of Allah. What a load of primitive fanatic tosh.

    It is no surprise that the violence currently being waged in England, France, Belgium, Australia – is Islam using the holy name of Allah to terrorise normal sane communities.

    Palestinians do not want Peace. They want destruction. And this Blog is supporting those Arab fanatics.

    If you were a Jew, would you allow a fanatic Palestinian to threaten you and murder you and your family ? I think not.

    • It is a shame that Palestinians continue to threaten Israel with extinction.

      Oh, really, Observer?

      Which country has atomic weapons, Israel or the Palestinians?

      Which country has blockaded Gaza?

      Which country has annexed the Golan Heights?

      Which country has built thousands of illegal settlements on the West Bank?

      Which country launched an unprovoked military attack on it’s Arab neighbours on 5 June 1967?

      Which country refuses to return to it’s UN-mandated 1948 borders?

      Which country consistently refuses to comply to UN Security Council resolutions?

      The answer is the same to all those questions.

      • D'Esterre says:

        Frank: :Which country has…..?”

        It’s a complex situation, driven by a deep history of conflict on both sides. No clean hands, though it could be argued that the Palestinians have been more sinned against than sinning. The British Empire had a lot to answer for, going right back to the Balfour Declaration.

        The state of Israel was founded in violence, both in Palestine itself and in the horrors of the Holocaust. No surprises that the Israelis were prepared to use violence to defend what they had been granted by the UN, along with other territories that they’d managed to seize and occupy.

        The Israeli/Palestinian conflict has played out in my lifetime, though I was very young at the time of the founding of Israel. Looking back on it all, it seems to me that the violence of the early years was likely seen as unexceptionable, coming as it did so soon after the violence of the war in Europe, including the Holocaust.

        As I recall, reportage at the time didn’t make a big deal out of Israeli violence, seemingly accepting it as the price to be paid, so to speak. I do think that there was considerable guilt about the Holocaust, such that Israeli excesses weren’t called out. And that set the pattern for the next several decades.

        Before about the mid-1980s, I don’t really remember there being a great deal of reportage of rising unease about what was happening to the Palestinians. But it certainly began around then, on account of I can recall having a discussion about it with work colleagues, and with a Jewish staff member.

        The two-state solution has never had a future; in fact, back in the early years of last century, one of the first proposals was for a single state. That in my view was tacit recognition that it was a political issue. Lloyd Geering’s opinion was that a single secular state was the only viable solution; he was also coming at it from a political perspective, I believe.

        Unfortunately, in recent years it’s been glossed as a religious issue; this isn’t helped by the gradual slide of Israel toward theocracy, and the rise of Islamism in that part of the world. Religious or sectarian conflicts are much more intractable than the political variety.

        It’s difficult to see what the path to resolution would look like. But whatever it might be, it’s hard to imagine that there wouldn’t be push-back from the Palestinians. Israelis would likely have to accept major losses, including the handing back of occupied territories. Can any of us see the Israelis agreeing to that? Thought not….

        • Otto Mann says:

          No, D’Esterre it’s not ” a complex situation”. It’s quite simple. Israel: colonising aggressor. West Bank: illegally occupied. Gaza: the planet’s biggest open-air prison.

          If you’re a Palestinian living in Gaza, the West Bank, or East Jerusalem, it’s not “complex” at all. You’re under subjugation by a foreign power.

          Amazingly simple really.

          • D'Esterre says:

            Otto Mann: “It’s quite simple.”

            I’m guessing that a) you’re young and b) you aren’t really aware of the history that underpins the Israel/Palestine conflict.

            Only the young and the not-very-well-informed could blithely gloss over all that’s gone before and make pronouncements of that sort.

            No. It’s very far from being simple.

  11. Miles says:

    Why book it in the first place? I knew snowflake Lorde would melt under pressure, so predictable. Standing with bullies and terrorists. Ardern should have abstained, as did most of our Pacific neighbours, including Australia. She does not speak for me! Who is the real bully?

    • The only “bullies” here, Miles, are Israel and it’s fellow travellers and trolls.

      So much for being the Middle East’s “only democracy”. They’re behaving more like North Korea. When did it become the norm for a democracy to force the citizen of another country to perform ON COMMAND? Because thaty’s precisely what Israel is doing.

    • Otto Mann says:

      Who is a the real bully, Miles? Why, that be ISRAEL, mate. You know, the country that has a stockpile of nukes, has built a massive wall around Gaza, and has colonised the West Bank with illegal settlements.

      So you need to look no further: Israel.

      Lorde “didn’t melt under pressure”. She exercised her right to make a decision, something Zionists deny Palestinians. Hey, isn’t Israel supposedly a “democracy”?? So why are they challenging her right to make a decision for herself?

      Well, you know what, Snowflake, we’re not a Bantustan of Israel. They can go screw themselves.

      • D'Esterre says:

        Otto Mann: “Lorde “didn’t melt under pressure”.”

        It looks very much as if she did. Reportage suggests that she succumbed to bullying from the BDS lobby. Most unfortunate: a principled decision – even if that had been to continue with the Tel Aviv concert – would be more defensible on her part, in my view.

        • Otto Mann says:

          “…Otto Mann: “Lorde “didn’t melt under pressure”.”

          It looks very much as if she did…”

          Oh yeah, because 20 year old women can’t make up their minds, eh?

          So when did you melt under pressure to become a Putin fan, Desttere? It couldn’t have been your decision, I’m thinking.
          If that sounds sexist, your right.

          • D'Esterre says:

            Otto Mann: “Oh yeah, because 20 year old women can’t make up their minds, eh?”

            I repeat: what she herself has said about this suggests that she knew little about the BDS campaign (and she wouldn’t be alone there), and she cancelled the concert based on an outcry from fans and others, who pressured her to change her mind. Bullied, in other words.

            See this: https://www.stuff.co.nz/entertainment/music/100208103/lorde-has-learned-that-doing-the-right-thing-isnt-easy

            She’s clearly a smart woman, but she is indeed young, and no doubt wishes to please her fans.

            She’s a pop singer, for heaven’s sake, not Mother Teresa: don’t expect her to save the world. You collectively are demanding a lot from her, at a stage when her career is precarious and could go up in smoke as a consequence of such a decision. In what ways are you putting yourself out there, and risking your career, in support of the BDS campaign?

            “So when did you melt under pressure to become a Putin fan, Desttere?”

            Crikey! That’s a bit of an ad hom response on your part, isn’t it? And misspelling my name: oh really…. It isn’t worthy of you. And looks suspiciously like bullying to me. Name-calling: you might as well have called me an anti-semite. It’s equally ridiculous.

            • Otto Mann says:

              “So when did you melt under pressure to become a Putin fan, Desttere?”

              Crikey! That’s a bit of an ad hom response on your part, isn’t it? And misspelling my name: oh really”

              First point. Apologies for miss-spelling your name. I should have copy and pasted. That was not an intended slur.

              Second. I stand by what I pointed out. You seem to have a conceit about you that others can’t make a decision without you labelling it as being “bullied into”.

              You also don’t seem to take kindly to others challenging you, and call it “brow beating”.

              Perhaps you might be more charitable to others rather than launching into negative judgement of the, That way you won’t be held up to judgement as well.

              • D'Esterre says:

                Otto Mann: “others can’t make a decision without you labelling it as being “bullied into”.”

                This post, and the open letter on the Spinoff, look like emotional blackmail. Bullying: that’s what emotional blackmail is. Go back and read them again. Both pieces were designed to put the heat on Lorde and pressure her into cancelling her concert.

                Such tactics, brought to bear on a very young woman who clearly had little knowledge of the BDS campaign, or of the Israel/Palestine situation generally, leave me uneasy. I assume that the authors mean well, but it’s unfair and deeply unsettling. And a bit creepy, to be blunt.

                As has been pointed out elsewhere, were it the case that she had very strong convictions about the Palestine issue, she’d not have scheduled a concert in Israel to begin with.

                “You also don’t seem to take kindly to others challenging you, and call it “brow beating”.”

                Ha! I think anyone can see who doesn’t take kindly to being challenged, and it ain’t me. I don’t name-call (raacist! anti-semite! Putin fanboy!): I stick to argument and facts. Ad hom attacks and name-calling are a pointless waste of time.

                • Actually, D’esterre, he’s got a point. You don’t take kindly to others disagreeing with you. (Mind you, probably neither do I.) Calling someone “brow beating” you just because they disagree may not be blatant name-calling per se. More like a “don’t victimise” me. It just begs for people to respond negatively.

                  • D'Esterre says:

                    Frank, let me remind you what you said to me:

                    “Do you side with the Israelis in their occupation and subjugation of the Palestinians? Do you support Israel’s illegal colonisation of the West Bank, thereby destroying hopes of a two-state solution? If so, you are on the wrong side of history.”

                    That is, as I pointed out, a “have you stopped beating your wife yet?” tactic. You may as well have called me a Zionist, yet nothing I posted earlier could have given you cause to ask such questions. This is a classic harangue; it’s also bizarre on your part, given that we share the same views about the Israel/Palestine conflict, even though I disagree with the BDS campaign’s bullying of Lorde.

                    I’m entitled to have a dissenting view, you know; in my view, the BDS campaign is well-intentioned (I assume) but wrong-headed.

                    The entire point of fora such as this is to debate and put different points of view. That’s what I do. And I call out people who name-call, harangue or browbeat, instead of responding to arguments. You harangued me, that’s all she wrote.

                    I’d add that I’ve come to your defence on The Standard, on account of I agree with you. Go take a look.

        • succumbed to bullying from the BDS lobby

          So she is unable to make up her own mind, D’Esterre? Do you side with the Israelis in their occupation and subjugation of the Palestinians? Do you support Israel’s illegal colonisation of the West Bank, thereby destroying hopes of a two-state solution? If so, you are on the wrong side of history.

          It’s deeply ironic that while the former-Soviet Union realised the futility of the Berlin Wall, the Israeli regime was busily constructing it’s own. To keep out – young men throwing stones at Israeli Army tanks? Well, isn’t that a formidanle adversary for Israel.

          Tell us, please, who bullied you into your beliefs?

          Continuing the tour would have been “principled”?! Sorry, which tour are we talking about – her tour of Israel? Or the All Blacks touring apartheid-era Sth Africa. The similarities are striking, though apologists for the Zionists would have you think otherwise.

          • D'Esterre says:

            Frank: “So she is unable to make up her own mind, D’Esterre?”

            I repeat: what she herself has said about this issue suggests that she knew little about the BDS campaign; the decision to cancel clearly came as a result of pressure from her fans and BDS activists. It looks like an instrumental decision, not one made from principle. It isn’t at all a question of her being unable to make up her own mind.

            Best not to get too cock-a-hoop about her decision, either. The Israelis may persuade her to change her mind again. And they’ve had a bit of experience in matters of this sort: they’ll use honey, where the BDS activists appear to have used vinegar.

            “Do you side with the Israelis in their occupation and subjugation of the Palestinians? Do you support Israel’s illegal colonisation of the West Bank, thereby destroying hopes of a two-state solution?”

            This is a “have you stopped beating your wife yet?” tactic. Nothing I’ve said above would cause you to ask such questions of me.

            Though there is no hope now for a two-state solution: the Israelis have seen to that. All that’s left to the Palestinians is a series of bantustans. See this:

            https://consortiumnews.com/2017/12/27/reverberations-from-trumps-jerusalem-move/

            What you’ve done here is attempt to browbeat me, simply because I disagree with you about Lorde’s decision to cancel her concert. And the fact that I’m uneasy about the means which activists and fans have used to pressure her into cancelling.

            If you were secure in your beliefs, I doubt you’d find it necessary to harangue me and others in this fashion.

            “Tell us, please, who bullied you into your beliefs?”

            The bloody church! However, I was around Lorde’s age or a bit younger, when I woke up to its chicanery.

            With regard to Israel, we were propagandised by the msm throughout my adulthood. It took the arrival of the internet for us to be able to find out what had really been happening there.

            “Continuing the tour would have been “principled”?!”

            Yes, it would have, according to what she was thinking at the time. And she wouldn’t be the only artist to have told the BDS campaign to go take a running jump. She can make her own moral judgement, as can other artists: it doesn’t have to be the same as yours.

            “Or the All Blacks touring apartheid-era Sth Africa. The similarities are striking, though apologists for the Zionists would have you think otherwise.”

            Good heavens: there are no similarities at all. The Jaapies were an altogether nicer people, and they could only have dreamed of the power and wealth that the Israelis have at their command.

            The state of Israel as it is now is unsustainable long term, without massive and unconditional support from the US. Which it has. At present….

            • Otto Mann says:

              D’ESTERRE, “brow beaten”? – Is that code for someone disagreeing with you?

              you don’t like your views being challenged. That much is clear.

              Yet you seem quite willing to label Lorde’s decision to cancel her tour as “being bullied”.

              One law for you, one for her?

              • D'Esterre says:

                Otto Mann: I think that you need to go back and read my comments again. It seems to me that you’ve misunderstood what I’ve been saying.

                I hope you’ve read that link I posted above from Consortiumnews. It’s worth your time, if you haven’t yet done so. Don’t miss the comment thread.

  12. Denny Paoa says:

    BREAKING NEWS! Lorde is performing in Gaza ….. more details to come!

  13. Andy says:

    10 more countries are moving their embassies to Jerusalem

  14. Observer Tokoroa says:

    To: Frank Macskasy

    I do wish you would consider and acknowledge the horrific and stupefying attempts to remove Jewish people from the face of the earth over the past two thousand years.

    You simply refuse to grant Jews any right to life. Whereas the Palestinians – have suffered no such major problem.

    You despise the Jews for protecting themselves from the savagery of the Palestinians. Even though other Arabic nations do not support the Palestinians in their long standing blood quest.

    If you were a just man Frank, you would take the Jewish offenders to Courts in the Hague.

    Equally, you would take the offenders from the Palestinians to the Courts in the Hague.

    It is surprising that you chide the Jews in Israel for being industrious and thorough. You want them to be a shambles Frank ? why.

    You are caught up in the blood lust of the past two thousand years.

    It is time you became Fair Minded and built your thoughts around fairness for each race. Not just for one side.

    Fairness Frank.

    • Historian Pete says:

      Let’s get this straight Tokoroa.I won’t call you Observer as you seem to suffer from moral blindness.A group of European people in Germany attack and do their level best to exterminate the Jewish people living there and in regions surrounding it .What to do with the survivors? Another European people have the bright idea that these Jews should colonize Palestine.Did they have any right to do this? Did they seek permission from the Palestinian occupants of the Land of Palestine? Of course not! They were Europeans, members of the Great White Race. And these Jews, surprisingly enough, often looked rather White! [I will explain why this is so in another post].And they had superior technological skills to the Palestinians- especially in weaponry.And so the problem of what to do with the Jews was solved at the expense of a completely innocent party. When the Palestinians objected to having half their country given away they were ethnic cleansed and 80% of Palestine was stolen from them and they were declared to be terrorists when ever they tried to retrieve their homes and land.Thus Europe’s sins are expiated at the expense of others.We are a great culture and civilisation the way we solve our crimes!!!

      • Andy says:

        “Historian” Pete you claim that the Jews are “white”.

        Some are black, e.g the Jews from Ethiopia
        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ethiopian_Jews_in_Israel

        However, the “land of Palestine” that was home to Jews for thousands of years, has seen many attempts to expel them over the centuries. Much of Jewish tradition and holidays commemorate the various trials and tribulations of the Jews in Israel.

        After the creation of the modern state in 1948, there was a large influx of Jews from Europe, Russia and elsewhere. There was a large displacement of Arabs from Israel too, I am not disputing that. There was also a large displacement of Jews from neighbouring lands such as Lebanon and Syria, who largely migrated to Israel.

        There were, and continue to be, many injustices from many parties in the Middle East.

        All I wish for is peace between nations.

        Not “social justice”, whatever that is

        • Historian Pete says:

          Yes Andy.I said that they often looked rather White.I have got a Great Revelation about the”Jews” that will blow your socks off! But it will just have to wait until I am ready. Meanwhile ,you will just have to stay in suspenders, so to speak!!

      • D'Esterre says:

        Historian Pete:

        “Another European people have the bright idea that these Jews should colonize Palestine.”

        And of course you’ll be aware that there have over the years been a number of proposals regarding the ceding of land to the Jews for a homeland. Following WW2, Australia, NZ and – I believe – Canada were suggested, among other countries.

        I don’t think that the views of existing inhabitants were considered at all. Nor those of the unfortunate indigenes, whose land would no doubt have been earmarked.

        I can imagine the reaction of Maori – and Australian Aborigines – were such a proposal to have been implemented. Never mind other inhabitants… Fortunately, those plans were abandoned.

        • Historian Pete says:

          My point D’estere is that the Balfour agreement that is being celebrated as we speak, has absolutely no legitimacy legally or morally.Britain might as well have organised an agreement to legitimize the death camps of the Nazis.Britain and the U.S. at that time had the power to do any sordid schemes that they dreamed up at that time, and unsurprisingly they did just that!

          • D'Esterre says:

            Historian Pete: “.Britain and the U.S. at that time had the power to do any sordid schemes that they dreamed up at that time, and unsurprisingly they did just that!”

            Indeed. That is also the point I was making. The Balfour Declaration is a illuminating example of the imperial mindset. The British – and would-be US – Empires saw nothing exceptionable in making decisions of this sort.

    • Don’t call for fairness from me, Observer. Call it from the Israelis who have;

      * occupied and illegally colonised the West Bank,
      * annexed the Golan Heights
      * built The Wall
      * blockaded Gaza

      Suggesting that I “despise the Jews for protecting themselves from the savagery of the Palestinians” is offensive and totally ignores the vast Israeli military, with tanks against unarmed young men, suppressing the Palestinians.

      Don’t call fairness from me, Observer. You should be making that call from the Israelis.

      I will continue to support the oppressed until my last breath.

      • Andy says:

        The Golan Heights was held by Syria until the six day war. I can’t imagine that they will be handing anything back to Syria anytime soon.

        Israel did hand Sinai to Egypt, whom it has a treaty with

        Egypt also has a wall on the Gaza border. No one seems to be protesting about that

      • Andy says:

        These “oppressed” people were given 95% of what they asked for at Camp David. Arafat then launched the second intifada, killing Jewish civilians including children.

        In Hebron, some time ago, a family were stabbed to death while preparing to eat their Sabbatt meal. The perpetrator was celebrated as a hero. In fact, Palestinian terrorists who murder children are cheered in the streets and their family receives a stipend for the rest of their lives

        I don’t hate these people. I feel compassion. Not because they are “oppressed”, but because their culture and their leaderships continually fuels hatred against the Jews. I feel genuine sadness that a people are fed hatred so that it becomes a part of their life to the exclusion of everything else

        I am not making excuses for Israeli human rights abuses in the past or now, but until we end this hatred and violence, there can never be a solution or peace in the region.

        • Sam Sam says:

          IDF success as a modern 21st century military vs it’s Cold War military neighbours can not be maintained indefinitely with out the help of the U.S. Who’s the only nation blocking a 2 state solution. With out the U.S. This balance can not be maintained.

        • These “oppressed” people were given 95% of what they asked for at Camp David

          Oh, you mean all illegal settlements were abandoned by Israel, Andy? The blockade was lifted on Gaza? Israel tore down the Wall? Travel restrictions were lifted on Palestinians?

          Please tell us what that “95%” consists of. I’m curious to know.

      • Observer Tokoroa says:

        Hi Frank Macskasy

        You seem to support the continued policy of the Palestinians to extinguish the Jewish people. To you the Palestinians are a Perfect race. Which is simply not true.

        At no point in your writings do you call for peace and constructive non murderous behaviours from Palestinians.

        Very few, if any, in History have been more suppressed than the Jews. And they have had enough of it Frank. You clearly resent their defending themselves from ghastly attack. Why ?

        By closing your eyes you seem even to deny that many Palestinians work within Israeli sectors.

        I think the Jewish people will outlast you and your blind lot Frank. I really do. But it will require guarantees of utter non violence on the part of both parties, and the commencement of Respect.

        Perhaps you could encourage anyone who wishes to work towards Peace, to realise that murder is not the path to Peace or prosperity.

        Am I asking too much of You ?

        • None of which is remotely true, “Observer”. But I guess it’s easier to dismiss someone you disagree with if you hyper-exaggerate.

          • Historian Pete says:

            Tokoroa :If you look at the number of casualties among the Palestinian people as opposed to the Israelis you will notice that the factor is about one hundred to one.That means one hundred dead Palestinians to one dead Israeli. So how do you equate “murderous behaviour from Palestinians” with this embarrassing fact?

            • Indeed, Pete. And we don’t see many Palestinian troops patrolling the streets of Tel Aviv, pulling Israeli families from their homes, detaining young Israelis without trial, shooting live ammunition at stone-throwing Israelis.

              Though Jewish people did experience much of that in the1930s and 40s, in Europe. It is evident Israel has forgotten what it’s like to be on the receiving end of persecution.

        • Otto Mann says:

          “You seem to support the continued policy of the Palestinians to extinguish the Jewish people. To you the Palestinians are a Perfect race. Which is simply not true.”

          What utter crap!

          You’ve created a strawman argument that exists nowhere but in your own mind! Not one single person has advocated “the continued policy of the Palestinians to extinguish the Jewish people”.

          In fact, the only way Israel CAN SURVIVE is by forging a lasting, just peace with Palestinians. Peace = survival. Continuing to oppress Palestinians creates more death, violemce, hatred.

          In fact, if anyone is inadvertently going to “extinguish” the Israeli people, it is war-mongers who oppose a lasting peaceful solution.

          War = more violence.