Nick Cohen Rambles Into Incoherence

by craig on June 6, 2010 10:36 am in Palestine

Of all the defences of Israel killing unarmed Turkish protestors – the majority of them shot in the back, four in the back of the head execution style – Nick Cohen’s ramble must be the least coherent by a very highly paid hack.

As far as I can make any sense at all of his nine pint muddle, it relies chiefly on his usual contention that anti-semitism and anti-zionism are the same thing, plus the idea that anybody who opposes Israeli brutality, supports Islamic extremism.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2010/jun/06/israel-gaza-blockade

He manages to get in a side swipe at those of us wise enough to oppose the war in Iraq.

Why is he paid for this nonsense?

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59 Comments

  1. Cohen has long since ceased to be someone to be taken seriously, no matter what your own views were. He’s basically Britain’s version of a shock jock peddling populist nonsense about ‘leftists’ and ‘islamofascists’ while trawling out the ol’ anti-Zionism=anti-semitism nonsense.

    Interesting though, that while the Observer (again a paper that can no longer be taken seriously) allows comments on all other articles, it has disabled comments for Cohen’s rant and their own semi-reasonable editorial on the raid. Then again, since the guardian were deleting all comments which referred to Westminster Friends of Israel a while back, this sin’t so surprising.

  2. well i wouldn’t pay to read the guardian but sadly others do and i suppose that’s why he’s still paid to write his stuff.

  3. To be accurate, Cohen writes (or rants) for the Observer, not the Guardian. Though they share a website, the two papers are quite different. The Observer, for example, endorsed the war on Iraq, and Israel’s last excursion into Lebanon. That is why, although I sometimes buy the Guardian, I have not bought the Observer for several years now, and will not do so again.

  4. The Israeli action cannot be defended and those responsible need to be subjected to an inquiry and punished if guilty. But these things happen in democracies from time to time whether it’s Peterloo or Kent State. But let’s not get away from the fact that those on board attacked the commandos (video shows this quite clearly) and that the flotilla was a direct provocation to the Israeli state. The organisers knew full well that they would not be allowed to dock and there is video of several Turkish members of the party stating that they wanted martyrdom. So they got what they wanted.

    Meanwhile, what is happening in non-democracies around the world? Take Iran, where thousands of pro-democracy protestors have been tortured and murdered in the regime’s prisons. Do we hear a peep from Craig Murray and his followers on this matter? We do not. And why? Because it is does not fit with their world view that the US and its allies are the only source of evil in the world. It is a philosophy lacking in morality.

  5. Another article in today’s Observer twice mentions the Mavi Marmara being Turkish flagged at time of attack!

    Come on Observer – keep up!

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2010/jun/06/gaza-flotilla-attack-israel-turkey

  6. “But these things happen in democracies from time to time whether it’s Peterloo or Kent State.”

    Hello new Iraeli troll,

    Could you give us other examples of a ‘democracy’ seizing a boat in international waters and murdering 9 civilaans from another democracy at sea? Just for comparison’s sake, you understand.

  7. Agreed, The Observer is a far worse paper than The Guardian, and was probably a big mistake for The Guardian to buy it. It is incomprehensible to me that a paper losing so much money still insists on the tired old hacks who have been there for decades, paying them exorbitantly to rehash the same old cliches and rants time and time again. Ever since the Iraq debacle, Cohen has lost no opportunity to rant on about Islamic extremism, which he has a unique talent for finding in every imaginable place. His favourite schoolboy debating tactic is to claim is if you are against injustice and illegal, inhumane practices in the Iraq war, Afghanistan, Israel, the UK etc, then you must, obviously, be a rabid unquestioning supporter of Al Quaeda, Saddam, Hamas, and any terrorist outrage which happens. And of course, Saudi Arabia, which means you are anti gay, feminism, reason, the Enlightenment and probably you hate oxygen and rain as well. It is the same old idiocy that Mad Mel Philips, Hitchens, Amis and all the other paranoid fantasists have been peddling since 9/11, done always with that air of superiority and certainty that only hopelessly prejudiced and unthinking people display.

    It is a farce that The Observer, and many other papers, pay pub bores like Cohen a fat fee, around 70k, to opine from the comfort of their armchairs, recycle the same old claptrap endlessly, while cutting spending on people who actually have to go out and investigate, talk to people, and do the job or reporting – you know, the old fashioned idea of finding out things, establishing facts.

    But for many people it is far preferable to hold received opinions which reinforce their own beliefs, don’t upset their cosy existence, and don’t involve having to think or re-examine their ideas. In that climate, lazy hacks like Cohen, Philips, Littlejohn and all the rest of the deadweight of armchair bores, who delight in telling us what to think, thrive. It is farcical, when the papers could throw the lot of them out, and nobody would even notice their loss – in fact, of course, they would improve the papers overnight.

  8. @eddie

    “… thousands of pro-democracy protestors have been tortured and murdered in the [Iranian] regime’s prisons”

    Source?

  9. I don’t know how familiar people here are with the US media, but commentators like Nick Cohen are too numerous to count here, and are considered mainstream, not right-wing.

    I suspect the “powers that be” are simply working to overrun the British media with the same propaganda that has control in the US. I’ve noticed the same creeping into the Canadian media. And as we know, Australia has had a markedly right-wing press for some time.

    Whether they will ever have any success in the non-Anglo countries though, remains to be seen.

  10. Very good post, Ian. Cohen gets 70K? Good lord! You’re right, of course, he’s basically the Islington dinner party version of Littlejohn. I really can’t see anyone saying “Oh I think I’ll buy the Observer this Sunday to read Nick Cohen’s editorial!”

  11. Cohen, MacAvoy, Coughlin, David Aaronavitch, Richard Littlejohn, Kelvin Mackenzie, and Zio-loon Melanie Phillips are fully paid-up Zio-propagandists who’ll be busy with their copy in all the Sundays.

    With the army of Hasbarat trolls currently infecting the internet-take note how they target primarily left-gatekeeper sites-it’s clear the flotilla massacre has been followed by a major Zionist PR assault.

    Israeli commandos went to great lengths to make sure no participant eye-witness accounts would emerge from the assault holding all their captives in communicado with the outside world while their disinformation trolling network went into their usual Big-Lie overdrive.

    Some bloggers have gone to similar lengths to ensure that the witness accounts do see the light of day.

    http://twelfthbough.blogspot.com/2010/06/bullying-threats-and-lies-continue.html

    James Petras makes some interesting links between the perfidious US/Israeli cover-up of the Liberty attack in 1967 and Zio-corporate media and trolling overdrive attempt to cover-up of the further Israeli crimes against humanity this week.

    http://www.voltaire.org/article165694.html

    Notice how the corporate media here and in the US have completely air-brushed the PKK attack on the Turkish naval base that took place on the same day as the flotilla massacre.

    Why do the Hasbarat trolls target left-gatekeepers? Well gatekeepers are notoriously defensive re-maintaining their official credibility and are sadly likely to submit when asked to remove dissident challenges to official establishment narratives on topics like Israel in particular.

    Gatekeepers should not therefore be surprised when it is they rather than more overtly anti-Zionist sites who become the first victims of Israel’s covert disinformation programmes.

    If this comment is deleted it will, at least in a kind of self-fulfilling prophecy kind of way, make my point!

  12. @eddie:

    “Take Iran, where thousands of pro-democracy protestors have been tortured and murdered in the regime’s prisons. Do we hear a peep from Craig Murray and his followers on this matter? We do not.”

    That is completely untrue. Craig wrote a piece slating Iran’s leadership a while ago. There is less written here about Iran than certain other countries, but it’s not Craig’s job to make a list of all the bad countries in the world and devote equal time to their crimes and mistakes.

    The difference between Iran (or Zimbabwe or wherever) and countries like Israel/USA/UK, is that the latter are our close allies or our actual elected governments.

    We have more influence over our own country and the countries it directly supports than we do over countries like Iran.

    We, collectively, also bare some of the responsibility for the actions our countries and their allies carry out (supposedly) in our name.

    We also do not have anyone on our TV screens or even in our pubs defending Iran (or Zimbabwe or whoever) on a sustained basis like we do with the murders committed by the UK, USA and Israel.

    There is very little need to spend more time criticising Iran when everyone has already accepted that Iran serious problems with its leadership. Iran may not be invading/occupying foreign lands and killing/oppressing foreigners like the US/UK/Israel all are but Iran is still an (internally) oppressive, religious state which bans things like homosexuality. I doubt anyone will argue with that, and none of us can do anything about it, so why waste time repeating it?

    Those things mean that people, at least here, are likely to focus more on our own countries and allies than on others.

    That doesn’t imply support of the other countries and it’s stupid to assume it does.

    Eddie, using your own logic, I could assert that you think Saudi Arabia and Burma are fantastic regimes, even though they’re worse than Iran in a lot of ways. I’ve not heard “a peep” out of you on those two countries but that doesn’t make me assume you support them.

    Anyway, if we can’t get our own houses in order, why would we expect others to?

  13. There are some who will support whatever Israel does whenever it does it.

    So you don’t need to read what they write to know what they write. People like Nick Cohen and M Philips are always pro-Israel. If Israel decided to bomb the UK, and take all the new born babies here to grind in to fertiliser, they will claim it was legal. They should shout antisemite at anyone who disagrees.

  14. eddie

    Pay attention I regularly criticise the Iranian regime and support HOPI.

    http://hopoi.org/

  15. Leo – well spoken!

  16. Leo

    Saudi is probably as bad as Iran and Burma – I agree. None of them are democracies. I wouldn’t say any of those countries are fantastic regimes. But on the whole I think democracies are better than non-democracies. Your argument is the familiar media lens one and it is a view of the world that I despise, frankly. Yes I do think Craig should be more balanced in his blogging, evil is evil whatever the source and if you think that you can never do anything about it then organisations like AI would have shut up shop long ago. Bear is the right word by the way.

  17. eddie, on Iran, if you glance back at one of the ‘Iran’ threads, I think the very long one, you’ll see that I have been adding to it and in fact today am seeking permission from someone in Iran to post a very moving poem by someone (who cannot be named, for obvious reasons) about Neda, the girl shot in Tehran.

    It’s not fair to say that people who oppose what Israel’s doing in the Occupied Territories, and now also in international waters, are not also actively engaged in critiquing other regimes in the region and more generally. It is indeed entirely consistent to be opposed to theocracies like Saudi Arabia and also to be opposed to Israel’s actions towards the Palestinians. Not everyone is consistent, though, I agree. What’s new?

    Furthermore, it’s not happening “from time-to-time”, eddie, it happening on a daily basis to the Palestinians.

    And Peterloo…? I mean, really.

  18. Ken O’Keefe was a US marine and has become well known in the International Solidarity campaign.

    He was involved in the human shield volunteer movement who camped at various sensitive military sites in Iraq during the Anglo-US air assaults in 2003.

    Ken came to speak at my local Friends Meeting House about the success of the tactic that forced the attacking forces to re-think their bombing targets.None of the sites where International Solidarity volunteers took up residence was attacked.

    I remember seeing this guy at the meeting covered in tatoos-he was obviously a hard man-before I realised this was the guy the STW Coalition had invited to speak!

    O’Keefe was lucid.He told how he had been in the 1991 First Gulf War attack on Iraq.He’d wept when he saw the Amhara civilian shelter that had been taken out by the USAF with such grievous loss of life.

    He also impressively dismissed criticism of the International Solidarity human shield tactics from a SWP activist who tried to insist on the need for class solidarity or some such Trotskyite dogma.They had saved thousands of Iraqi lives there is no doubt,O’Keefe explained.

    Ken O’Keefe is one of the most courageous and sincere international humanitarians you’re ever likely to meet.He has seen the human cost of war at close quarters.

    See what happened to Ken in the flotilla assault.

    http://aagirfan.blogspot.com/2010/06/us-backing-for-israeli-war-crimes.htm/

    Visit Ken’s website:

    http://www.worldcitizen.uk.net/

  19. Comment now open at the Guardian CiF site. Already been fisked .

  20. Suhayl I accept that you are one of the saner bodies on here. Still not sure about that hat though. Why not mention Peterloo? Britain was more of a democracy then than Iran or most of its neighbours are now.

  21. On the tactics employed by Hasbarat trolls a.k.a. Cathouse Larry and the Israeli psy-ops crew in residence here:

    http://gregfelton.com/media/2009_09_30.htm

    Greg’s book on the Zio-US relationship is called The Host and the Parasite.

  22. Nick Cohen eh? Wot a marf, wot a marf, wot a norf and sarf. Clearly, the man is merely a more literate Bruce Anderson. Now there’s a newsprint thug if ever there was one.

  23. “Saudi is probably as bad as Iran”

    Come come eddie, I’m sure you are aware really that Iran is a vision of liberal enlightenment compared with Saudi Arabia.

    Saudi Arabia has no democracy whatsoever. It still cuts off hands. It is the only Islamic state that forbids the worship of other faiths. On the question of women’s rights – a subject in which you take a sudden and remarkable interest when it comes to Islam – I should remind you that in Saudi Arabia women are not even allowed to drive cars!

    Despite this, the West says and does nothing to promote democracy and human rights in Saudi Arabia. Why is that do you think eddie? Is it because the corrupt and brutal House of Saud is beholden to the West and in its back pocket? Is it because the West has sold it so much arms that it is militarily almost as powerful as Israel? Is it because the West knows that the general population of Saudi is very fundamentalist indeed and, if empowered by democracy, might take a rather more robust approach to certain regional issues”?

  24. Now that comments are open on Cohen’s rant, I expect it to top 300+ comments soon. That is, before the Observer mods shut it down in the evening as they always do for – and ONLY for – threads which have “Israel’ in the tagline. Comment ain’t all that free.

  25. Gen. Ismail Ahmadi Moghaddam of Iran stated the BBC was the arm of MI6. Thankfully quite a few of us are now beginning to realise this.

  26. There are some excellent comments by

    ‘exiledlondoner’ on the Cohen thread.

  27. Thank you for the millinery comment, eddie. Perhaps I shall try on a different, yet still mad, one!

    I agree about democracy, it probably remains the least bad system – though of real democracy has not been attained and needs constantly to striven for, including in the UK.

    And as I’ve said before, saying that over the past 200 years, Britain was oppressive in, say, N. Ireland, Kenya, India, Rhodesia, the rest of its empire (Spain, France, Belgium and the Netherlands even more so), or indeed in its own domestic realm, is no reason not to criticise Israel’s contemporary actions.

  28. Someone posted this link on the Cohen

    thread.

    “Incoherent Cohen launches into tirade against entire media”

    http://liberalconspiracy.org/2009/03/29/incoherent-cohen-launches-into-tirade-against-entire-media/

    “nine pint muddle” Certainly wasn’t a mild bitter.

  29. Btw, on a general point, for those interested in rational ‘parapolitics’, the new edition of Lobster magazine is now on-line, free:

    http://www.lobster-magazine.co.uk/free/lobster59/lobster59.pdf

  30. Yes, exiledlondoner is probably my fave CIF poster! Utterly demolished, line by turgid line, all of Cohen’s trash.

  31. Neil Barker

    6 Jun, 2010 - 2:51 pm

    Craig, my Emma reckons you’re a bit of a bigoted tosser. However, I am open minded. Have you ever had mental health problems before?

    You going to censor this message (again), O censorious one?

  32. Neil Barker – your remark about “mental health problems”.

    I can see where you are coming from:

    “Punitive psychiatry in the Soviet Union”

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Punitive_psychiatry_in_the_Soviet_Union

  33. Xymphora is always a good read on these subjects:

    The detachment of the lie factory from reality

    It is obvious that the hasbara lie factory is now directed entirely to the Jewish population of Israel and the world Jewish population. The lies are simply too preposterous to work on anybody not already predisposed, or paid, to believe them (watching the paid liars pretend to accept the Israeli bullshit is very entertaining, and ultimately completely destructive of any credibility they think they once had). Of course, part of the hasbara scam is to produce the raw material for lying reports in the American media, but to a large extent the Jews don’t even care about the American media any longer. Supremacists think that any opinions outside the group are worthless. As long as they still have a bribery/blackmail jackboot on the necks of American politicians, nothing else matters. Propaganda is no longer necessary. Thus, the supremacists are reduced to lying to themselves.

    continues at: http://xymphora.blogspot.com/2010/06/detachment-of-lie-factory-from-reality.html

  34. You and your dumb wife want to mind your manners-you Hasbarat dingbats!

    I’ve had my differences with Craig but I’ve got no doubt he’s sincere in his beliefs.

    Whereas you,Cathouse Larry,Uncle Tom Cobley and all your Zio-troll friends re-gurgitate ad-infinitum tedious non-cognitive boiler-plate that does more to discredit Israel than back it up.

    Mind you arch-Israeli warmonger-in-chief,Netanyahu is pretty good at that too!

    http://www.gregfelton.com/media/2009_10_25.htm

    Take your Zio-spew disinfo elsewhere you pair of dingbats!

  35. Neil

    “Craig, my Emma reckons you’re a bit of a bigoted tosser. However, I am open minded. Have you ever had mental health problems before?”

    Don’t you remember ? He was sitting next to you in the waiting room.

  36. Tom Kennedy

    6 Jun, 2010 - 3:23 pm

    Good article in the Irish Times, linked to from the Observer’s comment section (Anixalaus):

    http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/weekend/2010/0605/1224271870431.html

    Folks, ignore the trolls.

  37. [topic]

    Cohen was never to be taken seriously.

    [end topic]

    Astonishingly, the Glasgow Herald (ordinarily the most reliable pillar of the iniquitous) has two important pieces on the Israeli murder of peace activists.

    http://www.heraldscotland.com/news/world-news/fear-pain-and-propaganda-an-activist-s-story-1.1033113

    http://www.heraldscotland.com/comment/guest-commentary/essay-of-the-week-what-drives-israel-1.1032971

  38. This guy Barker and his wife are like the typical Hasbarat internet attack-dogs described in the Felton and Xymphora links.

    Just how ineffective and hopeless they are is proven by the fact that even if only a handful of Craig’s regular visitors use the links they may well get a taste for more independent anti-Zionist Palestine solidarity commentary.

    Hasbarat 0 Independent Anti-Zionists 6

    Watch these fatally wounded Hasbarats go lamely back to their kennels and stay there chewing their bones and licking their wounds till Israel’s next mindless atrocity.

    (LOL)

  39. Eddie produces one of the standard pro-US and pro-Israeli counterattacks: “Do we hear a peep from Craig Murray and his followers on this matter? We do not. And why? Because it is does not fit with their world view that the US and its allies are the only source of evil in the world. It is a philosophy lacking in morality.”

    Apart from the fact that many such as Craig Murray do in fact complain about moral issues in countries not aligned with the US, the rational approach to moral issues in international affairs is clearly, within broadly similar categories of behaviour, to treat with the utmost seriousness gross abuses committed by our own governments. Those are the ones that are committed notionally in our names and with the proceeds of our tax payments

    Second in priority should be gross abuses committed by our allies, and especially those that rely heavily on support from our governments in one form or another.

    Finally, gross abuses committed by neutral or enemy states should be regarded as something it would be nice to have the luxury of preventing, but a long way behind the first two in terms of our having any plausible ability to affect them, or responsibility to try.

    So although it’s nice to generate an empty warm feeling in ourselves by shouting about every bad thing that happens in the world, what we should be shouting loudest and most frequently about are the things done on our name or with our tax payments or with our implied support.

    Eddie’s philosophy appears to be a morality (conveniently) lacking in rationality.

  40. On the Israeli hit-list of activists to be killed on the flotilla:

    http://www.kawther.info/wpr/2010/05/31/flotilla/massacre-is-a-reply-to-the-turkish-iranian-relations

    This piece also covers state complicity of Germany and Cyprus in the pre-planned assault sanctioned by the US in a prior visit by Rahm Emmanuel to Israel days before.

  41. Where the “anti-Zionists” are not at least equally opposed to worse acts by our own government anti-Semitism is certainly a credible assumption. If thiose accused can produce any other equaly credible reason then it is up to them to do so. If they cannot that must be the default assumption.

    Whatever one says about the Israelis one cannot dispute that when it comes to respect for human rights & international law they are thousands of times ahead of the Nazi scum who attacked Yugoslavia. It is a matter of record that the number of people killed in the entire Gaza war, overwhelmingly combatants, is less than the number of civilians, in nominal peacetime, dissected while alive, by NATO “police” (formerly the KLA) under NATO authority to steal their body organs.

    It seems clear that anybody who complains more about the Israelis, let alone who supports racist & pro-Nazi parties, such as the LibDems responsible for such atrocities, unmatched even by Mr Hitler, cannot, under any circumstances claim to be motivated by concern for human rights.

    Perhaps if the author here disagrees he will be able to explain.

  42. Randal you don’t get my point. You protest rightly about, say, the shooting at Stockwell and put it on a par, or above, the mass murder of thousands in North Korea. On a par or above in the sense that you get your knickers in a twist about the former but do fuck all about the latter. To say that you can do nothing about the latter shows the shallowness of your philosophy. Your moral ranking system is askew. When the history books come to be written a hundred years from now historians will be asking a simple question. Why did the so-called left obsess over these little matters when such enormities were being perpetrated around the world? It’s no different to the sixties when the trots were busy protesting about Vietnam at the very moment that Mao was killing millions of his own citizens – 60 million in fact. But I suppose that you take Stalin’s view that a single death is a tragedy whereas a million dead is a mere statistic.

    MJ – I am sure despise Saudi as much as you. However, a regime that stops women driving and cuts off the heads of murderers is on a moral par with one that hangs Gay men in public places, wouldn’t you say? Let’s not split hairs – it’s like trying to work out whether Stalin was more evil than Hitler.

  43. “Why is he paid for this nonsense?”

    to muddy the waters and keep believers onside

  44. Enormities are being practised around the world. One of the biggest ones is the enormity of suffering Israel has inflicted upon Palestinian civilians. Nearly 2 million people imprisoned and blockaded from the world. I call that a pretty enormous crime. And we haven’t even mentioned the constant attacks on people in the West Bank, the theft of their land, imprisonment without trial, no freedom of movement etc etc. Given the knock-on effect this has on the whole Middle East and beyond it kind of puts N Korea and Zimbabwe in the shade.e But you are right, let’s not split hairs between them all.

  45. @Eddie:

    Since you’re complaining about what and how much we complain about things here, on the basis we should complain about everything that deserves complaint and that it is invalid to focus more on some things than others, I take it you yourself are also all over the web commenting on articles and websites which apologise for the Zionist murders?

    I take it you’re on the sites that specialise in criticism of North Korea, Iran, etc., complaining that they don’t complain enough about the USA, UK and Israel?

    Or are you selective (or simply time-strapped) in what you complain about just like everyone else?

    @Neil Craig:

    “It seems clear that anybody who complains more about the Israelis, let alone who supports racist & pro-Nazi parties, such as the LibDems responsible for such atrocities, unmatched even by Mr Hitler, cannot, under any circumstances claim to be motivated by concern for human rights.”

    That’s a joke post, right? Please tell me you were being sarcastic and aren’t the most confused person in the world.

    FYI, the LibDems are not Nazis, even if you did see a recently headline in a tabloid rag that managed to shoehorn “Nick Clegg” and “Nazi” into the same sentence through some incredible leaps of logic (or lack of).

  46. Anonymous

    another example of your distorted moral equivalence. How anyone can compare the slave state that is North Korea with Gaza and the West Bank defies logic and brains.

    Leo don’t be an arse.

  47. Eddie,

    Iran does things in it’s own house using it’s own rules. Some people slap their naughty children, some do not using their own rules. Very few by comparison slap other people’s children.

    America went into Iraq on a lie and orphaned, maimed and murdered many children.

    Recently I learn’t of an Iraqi teenage girl badly disfigured by phosphorous burns in Fallujah that committed suicide because she was taunted for her scars.

    Britain is complicit in torture so we all have a heavy cross to bear, some very much heavier than others.

  48. Is it not racism when they imply other people are born with this thing called anti-Semitism.

    Why would any paper allow an article conflating anti-Semitism or “Jew hatred” with Islam ?

    The other that confuses me is why they claim to condemn Islamic fascism in Saudi Arabia or Iran, but they can’t see Jewish fascism?

    If people like are allowed to write articles, then it won’t be wrong before we get to read articles from Nick Griffin, Le Pen, etc.

    The man was being insulting, but rather than removing his article they instead removed the posts of annoyed users. You can’t beat a bad business plan than this for a paper.

  49. I was going to comment on the Observer website to point out Nick’s constant lack of any real knowledge of the Egyptian or Jordanian Muslim brotherhoods; the fact that experts on Islamic extremist terrorist groups like Fawaz A Gerges say that the Brotherhoods are attacked by terrorist groups for being “collaborators” due to their peaceful participation in elections ; the fact that in Egypt they are often attacked, beaten, jailed or killed by the police and hired thugs of the Mubarak dictatorship ; that their female supporters are often beaten and sexually abused by these thugs; and so that Cohen is only showing his ignorance in equating the Muslim Brotherhood parties with terrorists like al Qa’ida. The Brotherhood may well be religious fundamentalists and i don’t agree with them, but they have the same right as anyone to peacefully campaign for their views.

    Also as you’ve pointed out Craig if all peaceful avenues for political involvement for Muslims are closed down then violence will be the only one left – just the same as for any other group of people it will encourage terrorism by a minority of them – far better to let them have the same civil and political rights as the rest of us and to express themselves peacefully.

    Unfortunately the Guardian / Observer website, being highly concerned with free speech and debate, have already closed comments on the day of publication, so unfortunately you’re getting my rant at Cohen here Craig – sorry.

  50. eddie, I am not saying Israel and N Korea are directly comparable, I am pointing out the consequences of your logic and the position you put yourself in. That’s where you end up with these sort of claims you make. However, Israel is one of the biggest political problems for all nations, that is the position Israel has put itself in. It has plenty of options, but consistently chooses the most violent, aggressive and non co-operative ones.

  51. alan campbell

    6 Jun, 2010 - 11:57 pm

  52. Alan Campbell – this is not World War Two. Ships full of food, medical aid and cement are not Nazi warships.

    Israeli soldiers opening fire on them and killing unarmed people before they even board them are not World War Two partisans fighting Nazi murder.

    Your video link post in this thread seems to be yet another cheap attempt to pretend that anyone criticising any action of the Israeli military or government hates all Jews and wants another Holocaust.

    That’s a ludicrous joke. Try getting a real argument based on the facts as they relate to Israelis and Palestinians.

  53. Neil Craig wrote “It is a matter of record that the number of people killed in the entire Gaza war, overwhelmingly combatants, is less than the number of civilians, in nominal peacetime, dissected while alive, by NATO “police” (formerly the KLA) under NATO authority to steal their body organs.”

    Really? Where is your source for these amazing claims Neil? A “matter of record” by whom, where, when?

    I don’t doubt there were former KLA in NATO’s police force – i’ve read that in more than one newspaper – nor do i doubt that many of the KLA are involved in organised crime.

    However as to the live dissection, never heard about that.

    To be more civilians than have been killed by Israeli forces from the foundation of the state of Israel on (even excluding the 1949 war in which many civilians were killed by Zionist militias – most notably at Deir Yasson) we’d have to be talking tens or hundreds of thousands, even if you only include those killed directly by Israeli forces rather than also including those killed by illnesses brought on by malnutrition, denial of medical treatment, refusal by Israeli forces to let Palestinians pass through checkpoints to hospitals fast enough; and lack of clean water, due to Israel monopolising water supplies, destroying sewage and water pumping stations and refusing to allow them to be reconstructed or provided with spare parts for repairs.

    For instance there were 1,400 Palestinians killed in 3 weeks by “Operation Cast Lead” in Dec 2009 to Jan 2009 alone – at least half civilians according to investigations by Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch.

    That was unusually high – it’s usually been a minimum of 300 a year though, so over 60 years that’s (at a very, very conservative estimate) 15,000 Palestinian civilians killed.

    Since human rights groups have taken to only referring to women and children as definitely being civilians the real total is almost certainly much higher.

  54. p.s when i say human rights groups refer only to women and children as definitely being civilians i mean among Palestinians in the occupied territories, due to Israeli government and military spokespeople adopting the (false) definition of “civilian” used by Karadzic and Mladic in the Srebrenica massacre – “males of military age”.

    This concession to Israeli government propaganda has backfired as they have started to argue that unarmed women and children are all “potential suicide bombers” on the grounds that a tiny minority were used as suicide bombers by Palestinian terrorist groups.

  55. Also whatever crimes NATO has committed can’t be used to claim Israeli governments and forces’ crimes are fine, or should be let pass.

    Two wrongs don’t make a right – that simple.

  56. @Eddie:

    “Leo don’t be an arse.”

    Haha, so it’s “being an arse” to hold you to your own rules?

    That makes you an arse, mate.

  57. Hell, even Loser Larry is a better writer than Nick Cohen.

    A long time ago I was taught that people who won’t get to the point either have nothing to say or something to hide. Cohen is guilty on both counts. Aaronovitch is a close second.

    What constantly amazes me is how representatives of the so-called “secular decent Left” (Cohen, Aaronovitch, Kamm etc.) will go out of their way to defend a country that believes it has biblical rights to occupy land in the Middle East.

  58. @Fulano,

    lol, just recognising the racial connection of the self styled “lefty” or “secularist” who can’t empathise with the plight of those under Israel’s control will qualify you as an “anti-Semitic”. In fact, just the mere mention of those Arabs in Gaza will be enaugh to get you into the anti-Semite books. Only Jewish people suffer in this world.

  59. @ Mr. M

    Would you believe that a while back a certain journalist of the Times (name withheld) reported me to an employer for “anti-semitism” for opining foolishly in a company email that the US Congress was a bunch of “AIPAC-funded idiots”?

    How nasty and low can you go….

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