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Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Zionist Anthropology Forum (2)


This post continues
the previous post of the series. As the other one it is mainly intended for the people in that sad site to know the truth of what happened. The truth they will never be allowed to know there.

What follows (in blue) is a copy (with minor format modifications: just those needed to change from BBcode to HTML - nothing else) of the post that was first agreed I could post (the exact content was not discussed) and then censored. It explains the events from the beginning until a hopeful point in which I thought I would be able to stay:

I am NOT leaving (and why)

First of all and most importantly: I AM FINALLY NOT LEAVING.

I'm going to try to explain the matter as briefly and fairly as possible here.

Also, thanks to all the people who replied with messages of sympathy. I'm not sure I can really reply to all - though I'll try. My apologies for the "false alarm" but I was determined to leave at the moment. Things have changed since then though.

Let's go step by step.

As you may know, certain moderator with whom I have got lengthy discussions on Zionism, decided last Thursday that certain paragraph of mine was "racial slur". The paragraph in question was this one:

It's clear that Zionism is not good for Jews either, at least not for working class Jews. It's probably good for the financial and political aristocracy and the occasional Madoff (how many of the rest are just Madoffs filling their pockets and grabbing positions of power with the pretext of Zionism?)

Though the first sentence was cropped from the sanction notice. Judge yourself.

I felt (also for previous warning/threats) that he was acting inquisitorially from an ideological viewpoint and just looking for anything that could be somehow sanctionable. Additionally he was both judge and part. Not finding anything else, he picked this sentence that apparently excited his imagination.

I was quite pissed off, as you can imagine, but followed the procedure. I appealed to him to no avail (rule 14) and then I was given the choice to appeal to one out of three administrators (rule 15): Ayepod, Augustus Khan and Aino Tuitti. I had thought to appeal to Ezana (who's presence as admin here was the main reason I decided to join first of all) but it was then when I learned he was not anymore and admin.

After careful consideration, I chose Aino. Who had only recently promoted to admin. I argued my innocence and asked the removal of the sanction and the disciplining of the mod in question for abuse of power.

I was rather disappointed when she wrote back saying she was going to consult with Ayepod. I protested that by rule 15 it was one admin and not the whole administrative board who should consider the matter. I got no reply.

Beforehand, I had already decided that, if the system was not able to impart justice in this so clear matter, I would leave. I told that to Artbro, who did not care, but I omitted in my appeal (did not want to pressure the system more: if it failed, it was clear that I was in the wrong place).

So yesterday, as many of you already know, I got notice from Ayepod saying that the sanction was to stay. I wrote a lengthy reply announcing my leave and the whole set of irregularities of this process. I also posted a copy with a brief explanation to all members I could think I had some sort of sympathy for, who are many.

I was obviously determined to quit, otherwise would not have sent so many PMs. I was attending to some concerned replies when I got replies from Ayepod and Aino. Actually there was a cut of service in between and only after it I got these replies.

They will surely explain themselves better but essentially Ayepod said he should not have interfered and that they were willing to follow the procedure this time. After some consideration, I replied that ok and that, in order to allow for a fair retrial, I could only take compromise on not leaving on this matter, whatever the final result.

I also mentioned that I would have to make a post like this one in order to explain.

The mark is not the issue, obviously, but the fairness and neutrality of the process. I felt under some sort of Zionist inquisition willing to split the non-existent hairs of Yul Brynner's head in order to "scare" me or even get rid of me altogether. Obviously I was not in the mood of taking part in such a mockery of justice nor there was any point in suffering under such a system when it's so easy to just take the door and leave.

At this moment the sanction has been reppealed by Aino anyhow. But, as I said and repeat here, I felt it was needed that I revoked my decision completely in order for a fair appeal to take place without any pressure. They were willing to correct their errors and I could not take any other stand that was fair for all.

So I'm staying.

I'll try to reply individually to all who have written but, if I fail to, please accept my apologies. Also my apologies for whatever confusion I may have created.

Sadly, the issue did not end here: minutes later I learned from Ayepod himself that the post had been deleted (Artbro I guess). Some time later he said that the post had been properly deleted: that I was challenging a moderator.

Hm, whatever. Are you going to let common users be persecuted ideologically and the perpetrators to remain beyond scrutiny? In my concept of democracy and justice, people invested with power are much more subject to public scrutiny and have to bear the weight of their decissions much more than those that, like me, are just commoners.

I was just being gagged again, this time in order to protect some Torquemada. So I could not stay. I have been thinking on the matter for some 48 hrs and could not come to any other conclussion.

Minutes ago I noticed I could not even reply to private messages in the site anymore. The Inquisition at its best. Sadly for them their power does not reach beyond their petty forum. Here I can write freely and nobody seems to want to gag me.

Good riddance!
.

12 comments:

Anonymous said...

Oh stop your whining.It's not like its real life or anything, though I agree, Artbro is a louse.

Anonymous said...

That forum is a farce of ideological democracy or whatever you wish to call it. Liberal? Only for the privileged few it seems, and these are chosen by the admin team. Very few posts on anthropology in there anyways. So what's the point? Just a haven for the socially-retarded.

Maju said...

Oh stop your whining.It's not like its real life or anything, though I agree, Artbro is a louse

Everything is real. Real people exchaninging real opinions in a real medium.

This kind of Zion-Inquisition happens in real life too, I was just reading about a Queens' bistro that decided to denounce Israel for archaological looting and is being insulted as "antisemite". It's Thought Police at its worst!

Or rathe not being able to do so.

And what you call whining is saying things clear and outright: exactly what was impeded to me (and surely many others) in that infamous site.

Someone has to do it. You follow the rules of the game until it's clear it's full of cheaters. Then you slam the door... on their head prefereably.

That forum is a farce of ideological democracy or whatever you wish to call it. Liberal? Only for the privileged few it seems, and these are chosen by the admin team.

For what I've heard it's Ayepod who decides everything and that basically seems to give open field to that Nazi Artbro guy. The rest may well be just useful fools.

Just like in real life. :/

Michael Sheflin said...

Well. In principle, I don't agree with the removal of even strong or harsh content; let an author be judged by his peers (which only include and are not solely douchey administrators).

That being said... you have to understand that appearance still play radically into all human (possibly all) discourse. Ants can enter their own colonies but alien ants or aphids will be killed; even if those same ants or aphids could be incorporated or farmed respectively.

Think of it a different way, (... and I'm just now reading these comments on the side... who are these anonymous bastards) what if a Spanish non-Basque person said "it is clear that Basque autonomy/separatism (etc... interpolate something appropriate) is bad for the Basques, certainly for working-class Basques although perhaps their Madoff's are doing splendidly."

Granted, I put absolutely no thought into that comment, which I redacted from you and changed the occurrences of Jew to Basque (go figure...). Nevertheless, it would seem consistent based on my transitory readings that you would probably suggest this was unfair fascism. I would agree with you.

The issue is not what you have said, it is how you have said it. I'm a Jew who converted to Islam, and I'll never be able to fully incorporate with, or fully escape from, either identity. I used to be a staunch Zionist, and now I very much am not. That being said, the issue cannot be wholly black and white. Zionism and Basquism, and separatism and unity (UNITY! Bitches...) are not wholly good or bad. In fact, they're not really good or bad either, it's how they're used and rationalized thereafter.

Have Israel and Zionism done bad things - to Jews, to non-Jews, to humans, to non-humans - for some odd supra-humanitarian reasons except on the last issue, yes... yes they both have. But I'm an American who lives in Egypt. If you approach the limit of rationality by saying that nothing is good (but of course... also that nothing is bad) then you have no realistic framework from which to live a life or act in actions with any meaning.

So... as a depressive student of global IR, I think it's best to tote a moderate line... particularly if you yourself have only tangential outsider knowledge of Zionism. Per my Basque comment above, I have virtually no intimate knowledge of the issue. What I have read would suggest that the threat of incorporating another identity into Spanishness has proved enough of a perceived threat to warrant harsh and repressive measures.

As a Muslim (and for that matter a Jew) I have experienced similar issue to varying degrees (I was fired from DoD for praying on an aircraft carrier with some Middle Eastern diplomats). And no doubt many Palestinians have felt the same at the hands of both Israelis and Palestinians; and to a far lesser degree Israelis by a very small subset of Palestinians. The key is not identity; it is not us and them. The key to why this conflict is so assymetric is statehood: it co-opts greater proportions of populations and greater subsets of resources. I think you will find a Palestinian State just as fucked up as the current Palestinian administrations.

Thus it is prudent to watch how you conceptualize identity rather than what you say specifically. I would have said: "It is clear that Zionism offers clear drawbacks for Jews and goyim alike. Like any ideology it has allowed some to profit at the expense of others" (what ideology doesn't... seriously... In this case, even you have profited off of the deeply held opinions of others lol).

Zionism is not a clear public or private good (or evil), so in a certain sense you are complicit. But the reaction reveals part of your point; the other side of the dialogue is no more intelligent in this regard.

Check this out, by the way, Palestinians have pretty consistently rated the status of their democratic system under that of Israel and Egypt (on the latter, you'd have to live in Egypt to find that amazingly funny).

http://pcpsr.org/

Maju said...

Thanks for your comment, Shafflin. While this issue seems cold and dead now, your comment on "what if I say" this or that on Basques is most appropriate. In fact it has happened to me at least often enough as to be something real. And while at times I could percieve bigotry or ignorance on the one making such comment, in general they are valid comments that open a gate for further discussion and mutual enrichment.

While Basque networks are by no means the Israel Lobby, there are some parallels: there are many Basque businessmen all around the world and they have their networks, often ethnic. And there are for sure many Madoffs among Basques too, of course. But nobody even asked that: all was Judeo-centrism and overprotection of the Jewish ethnicity, depriving it from a valid criticism.

You say you should be cautious but I say: why? Why are Jews entitled to more protection that, say, Blacks, Chinese, Basques, Arabs or whatever other ethnicity, why are their ethnic social networks hidden by magic of the spell "antisemitism" from proper scrutiny? It is because a power system is using that propaganda to hide the facts and that's why it is necessary (and it is particularly necessary for Jews themselves) to openly discuss these matters, irreverently if need be.

That's my opinion and I think that some must speak out on this issue and open the debate - and I have never been able to shut up my mind, no matter the consequences. Others like this Artbro will try to sweep it under the rug, it's part of Dialectics, but that should not stop the ones like me who like the cards well visible (I'm no poker player, no power player, at all) from denouncing such attitudes as obscurantist and fascist, because they are.

As for the Palestinian state, I think I "will find" anything only when there is such state. Meanhwile I can't but 100% support the right of Palestinians to self-determination and statehood in their homeland, in all their homeland.

IMO, for a self-declared Muslim you are too eclectic in regard to Israel: a racist genocidal population colony built out on falsehoods and guns. You call Israel a "democracy" but I don't see that the natives are being granted the right to vote nor that their political options (naturally anti-Zionist) are granted any rights. What I see is a system that is almost identical to White South Africa, where an ethnicity has all the rights and the rest have none. Racist "democracy" is no democracy.

On Egyptian "democracy", you don't really have to live in Egypt to know that it is not such. There's a lot of information going around these days, if you care to keep a watchful eye on such matters. Of course you will normally be much more knowledgeable being immersed in it.

Thanks for your comment anyhow.

Maju said...

And sorry about misspelling your surname. My excuse: I just woke up. It's Michael Shaflin, got it now. :)

Michael Sheflin said...

It's Sheflin; either way don't worry about it.

You're right the issue's well-dead, so I'll respond briefly and you can get in the last word if you want.
'You say you should be cautious but I say: why? Why are Jews entitled to more protection that, say, Blacks, Chinese, Basques, Arabs or whatever other ethnicity,'

They're not... But we're talking about Israelis not Jews; just as you (and briefly I) were talking about Basque-separatists and not Basques. If you can't tell the difference you should be driving my cab in Cairo.


'That's my opinion and I think that some must speak out on this issue and open the debate - and I have never been able to shut up my mind'

You're totally right... But why you (excluding Rabbi Hillel's explanation)? Many people, including (both Jewish and non-Jewish) Israelis and Palestinians speak out on this issue daily. You're an outsider, you inflame passions in a way that may not be helpful (that being said, I don't really care... do what you want).

'Meanhwile I can't but 100% support the right of Palestinians to self-determination and statehood in their homeland, in all their homeland.'

Ok... but who are the Palestinians? Non-Jews? It would appear that way given you are talking about Zionists and Jews and not "Israelis?" What about non-Zionist Jews, or non-Zionist Israelis for that matter, or are all Jews Zionists and all Zionists Jews? I would like to point out that in the States, a lot of support for Israel comes from whackjob Christian evangelicals who want Jews on the front lines for the apocalypse... pretty messed up.

(I don't know what IMO means) 'for a self-declared Muslim you are too eclectic in regard to Israel: a racist genocidal population colony built out on falsehoods and guns. You call Israel a "democracy" but I don't see that the natives are being granted the right to vote nor that their political options (naturally anti-Zionist) are granted any rights. What I see is a system that is almost identical to White South Africa, where an ethnicity has all the rights and the rest have none. Racist "democracy" is no democracy.'

Good comment! Sort of.... well actually not really. As an IR theorist, let me pose two questions: Did the violence in SA toward immigrants recently negate its status as an evolved/evolving democracy? Can you please show me a democracy in the world that does not in some way act like Israel (i.e. can you find me a state that does not sometimes act like a state?)

I think you've proven my point with the eclectic Muslim comment. Identity is flatly a crock of shit, and the extent to which your (our) opinions will die with you rests in your ability to overcome topical and superficial markers like identity, that in reality don't relate very well to scientific realism.

Good luck hunting.
Mike Sheflin

Maju said...

Aw, man, sorry again about your surname. I look an idiot who can't even spell. I'll better call you Michael, which I should spell right normally.

But we're talking about Israelis not Jews; just as you (and briefly I) were talking about Basque-separatists and not Basques. If you can't tell the difference you should be driving my cab in Cairo.

Driving cabs is a very honorable profession, IMO (and, BTW, IMO means "in my opinion", IMHO = "in my humble opinion", AFAIK = "as far as I know" and BTW = "by the way"). Whatever the case I can perfectly make the difference between Jews and Zionists (the issue is not Israelis either, some of whom are good people, but Zionists, Jew or whatever). Just that happens that in many places like 80-90% of Jews are fanatic Zionists and actively participate in the genocidal activities of the state of Israel. Also ethnic Jewish social networks (that all ethnic groups have) intermingle endlessly with Zionist economical and political networks, so it is sometimes very difficult to tell the difference properly. This is no reason to accuse anyone of "antisemitism", because, as I often say: if you admire people like Marx or Einstein, you just cannot be antisemitic (in the narrow and somewhat consfusing sense of anti-Jewish). I say Zionists are antisemitic because they attack other, maybe more real, semites: Arabs.

But why you (excluding Rabbi Hillel's explanation)? -

No idea who's that rabbi but there's a wise leftist slogan that says: "If not you, who? If not now, when?" Someone must speak out or do something. Obviously is not just me, otherwise we'd be doomed.

Maju said...

Many people, including (both Jewish and non-Jewish) Israelis and Palestinians speak out on this issue daily. You're an outsider, you inflame passions in a way that may not be helpful (that being said, I don't really care... do what you want).

Nobody is an outsider in this globalized world: what affects others affects me. If others are happy, it's much more likely that I'd be happy, if others are suffering, I feel the pain too. It's called empathy and is what makes us different from mere robots.

Anyhow, I'd say that it may well be those people in such remote places like the USA who are total outsiders to the issue: they live an ocean away, while I live closer to Jerusalem than a New Yorker is from Florida. It's right over there, just a couple of hours flying.

But a lot of US people, believe they have the right to intervene there, just a spit away from my home, and even to emigrate there, regardless the wish of the natives, just because they "are Jewish", whatever that means. In fact means that some ancestor was a follower of Talmudic Judaism, a religion adscription. It's not different than the stupid passions invented for Serbocroats to break each others' heads based on religions they dien't even profess anymore.

It's totally Eastern European, Balcanic... surrealist. Can you imagine Germans fighting each other or even primarily identifying themselves on mere religious grounds, and someone who is atheist claiming him/herself "Catholic" or "Protestant"? Well such things happened some five centuries ago but not anymore.

So I suspect Martillo is right when he claims all this idea of Jewish nationalism/Zionism is an invention of Eastern Europeans. But well... I'm ranting off.

What I wanted to say anyhow is that often "outsiders" can give insightful viewpoints that "insiders" can't even see anymore because they are blinded precisely by being "inside". For example I seem to dare to touch "taboo" topics precisely because I have not the least prejudice in favor or against either ethnic group, as I have only come in contact with either in my adult age. I'm essentially neutral but, once I understand the problem, I can't but choose the side of justice.

And anyhow different opinions are good an enriching. Some Jews are just too hypersensitive, and not because of historical persecution but because of conscious decission to use victimization as a defense of the undefendable: genocide in Palestine. As that British Jewish MP said: "my grandmother did not die for this", meaning the massacre of Gaza. I think such abuse of past persecution to justify modern persecution of others is an outrageous insult to the memory of those massacred in the Holocaust and other less extreme pogroms.

Maju said...

Ok... but who are the Palestinians? Non-Jews? It would appear that way given you are talking about Zionists and Jews and not "Israelis?" What about non-Zionist Jews, or non-Zionist Israelis for that matter, or are all Jews Zionists and all Zionists Jews? I would like to point out that in the States, a lot of support for Israel comes from whackjob Christian evangelicals who want Jews on the front lines for the apocalypse... pretty messed up.

True. And I'm quite aware. But I insist that a vast majority of Jews (at least in the USA and Israel) are extremist Zionists that would justify virtually anything that Israel does. The data is there and comes from Zionist sources (browse for older posts on Zionism in this blog for the references).

Anyhow, I do support the Palestinian solution, which is inclusive of Israelis. It is a pragmatic solution that would throw down the apartheid wall (physical and legal) and reconstitute Palestine as a single inclusive entity for all ethnicities and religions.

And I do acknowledge very specially the effort of a minority of Jews, in Israel and elsewhere, against the apartheid. As I said to someone not so long ago: those people are part of the solution, not the problem. The problem is Zionism.

Did the violence in SA toward immigrants recently negate its status as an evolved/evolving democracy? -

Palestinians are not immigrants in Palestine. As some Palestinian said: I did not came to Israel, Israel came to me. Israelis are the immigrants in fact, some second or third generation already (and a few are truly native Palestinians of Jewish religion, of course).

Can you please show me a democracy in the world that does not in some way act like Israel (i.e. can you find me a state that does not sometimes act like a state?) -

I don't know what you mean, but I live also in a country invaded by a foreign power (for more than 800 years now) and there's not been any such democide ever. And Spain has most of its history been an authoritarian regime but not even under Franco we have suffered what the Palestinians are getting in these last six decades. Not by far!

Michael Sheflin said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Maju said...

I read your post, even if you deleted it, Michael (got an email copy). But meh, whatever.

Palestinians, like everyone outside of Tanzania (and Tanzanians too) are very likely immigrant Homo Sapiens Sapiens.

Are we talking of the remote past or are we talking about what is happening now before our noses? With such logic you could justify anything, Hitler, Roosevelt, whatever!

We and those who came before us have fought hard and bitterly for something called Human Rights, we spilled blood for it, ours and that of our elitist enemies, and we will do it again, no matter how many times until all people are really citizens of Earth and nobody dares to make a difference founded on race, ethnicity, gender or sexual orientation.

We are for Humankind, and all those murderous racists Hitlers, Olmerts and Netanyahus of the World deserve nothing but guillotine!