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In which I continue to seek part time employment as the ruler of the world.

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Tuesday June 08 2010

One of these days - months, years - I must write that piece I’ve always wanted to write about why my attitude towards the state of Israel is one of, for all practical purposes, unconditional positive regard.  I support Israel against all comers, for all the usual reasons, and for maybe a few slightly interesting ones.  I not only despise and detest the numerous enemies of Israel; I also disagree strongly with those who sit on the fence about it, who indulge in moral equivalence, who say that they brought it on themselves, make lots of mistakes, are “their own worst enemy”, and so on and so forth.

So devoted a supporter of Israel am I, at any rate in my own mind, that if there were to be a pro-Israel demonstration in London, along the lines of this recent one in Los Angeles, and I heard about it in time, I might actually go.  Usually I hate demonstrations, and hate with savage vehemence the idea of me actually going on one.  But I think this one might make sense, and make me glad to have gone.

I think that’s because the state of Israel is an enterprise already in existence which I want to do my tiny little bit to defend, warts and all, rather than some pie-in-the-sky piece of futurological imagining.  All the other causes I can think of that matter to me are too philosophical and abstract to be demonstratable, as it were.  They don’t lend themselves to people interested in them waving placards, because then the placards would be misunderstood and misrepresented (in the unlikely event of them even being noticed) by the media.  But a pro-Israel demo would be one where my participation would be understood correctly, where the placards would be reported accurately.  Oh, much of the media would call us fascists or whatever, supporters of torture, aggressors against defenselessly heroic Palestinians, blah blah, but at least they’d get which side I was on even if they were on the other one.

It is also a demo that probably would be noticed by the media in the first place, even if it was small, in fact especially if it was small.  And the smaller it was, the more difference, percentage-wise, my presence would make and gladder I would be to have been there.

A spot of googling tells me that there was a recent demo in London allegedly in defence of Israel.  Trouble was it was also in favour of other stuff, in the form of the organisations that organised it, that I don’t necessarily agree with and don’t want to have to spend time checking out.  I’d want one organised by the Israeli embassy and/or by kosher Israel-supporting Jews, or by something like the Anglo-Israel friendship society, if there is one, not by lots of local British types using the pro-Isreal agenda to spread other agendas.  Although these people seem a bit too tame and behind-the-scenes-ish to be organising demos.  Maybe such demos as that one that actually happened are all that are on offer in London.  In which case I will have to stick to blogging.

At the anti-Israel demo in London on Saturday (I was only passing by) I was surprised to see a fair number of “Jews for boycotting Israel” placards. I suppose it makes sense for religion and politics to be divorced in this way, but it was still an interesting shift in support I hadn’t noticed before.

Posted by Rupert on 08 June 2010

Your link under words “recent demo” goes to a site with huge title on their first page: Oppose pro-Israel rally, no to islamophobia”, and there is also some stuff about “breaking the siege of Gaza”. Do you still think they are supporting Israel?

I’m pleasantly surprised by this post, Brian. Especially by the words “I disagree...that they brought it upon themselves”.  There must be a geographical factor in your considerations.

Posted by Tatyana on 08 June 2010

The people who wrote that report of the demo did not organise the demo.  They wrote a critical report of it, to which I linked.  Those who organised the demo, EDL and SIOE, do support Israel.  I know little of what else they support.

Posted by Brian Micklethwait on 08 June 2010

So let me clarify, Brian: you said you found out there was a recent demonstration in London in support of Israel, and as a proof of this statement you link to a site that opposes this demonstration, calls English Defense League “islamophobic football hooligans” and call interception of leftist/Turkish/palestinian flotilla “a massacre”?

Don’t you think it would be a bit more...straightforward if you linked to organizers of this event instead?

Posted by Tatyana on 08 June 2010

If you ever find such a demo, Brian, I’ll come along.

Posted by Rob Fisher on 13 June 2010

Rob

And if you ever find such a demo, please let me know.

Posted by Brian Micklethwait on 14 June 2010

I couldn’t help being reminded, apart from the obvious People’s Front of Judea gags, of this:

Parvus: Shut up, you Jewish turd!
Mr. Big Nose: Who are you calling Jewish? I’m not Jewish! I’m a Samaritan!
Gregory: A Samaritan? This is supposed to be a Jewish section.
PARVUS: It doesn’t matter! You’re all going to die in a day or two.
GREGORY: It may not matter to you, Roman, but it certainly matters to us. Doesn’t it, darling?
MRS. GREGORY: Oh, rather.
GREGORY: Under the terms of the Roman occupancy, we’re entitled to be crucified in a purely Jewish area.
PHARISEE: Pharisees separate from Sadducees.
WELSH MAN: And Swedish separate from Welsh.
VICTIMS: Yeah…

Posted by Antoine Clarke on 14 June 2010

There always used to be pro-Israel demo - countering the usual rabble against - on Thursday evenings outside of M&S;on Oxford street. We’re talking ~5 years ago now.

Anti-Zionist Jews are often hyper Orthodox who disagree with Israel because it wasn’t delivered by God. These are not to be confused with the other hyper Orthodox who make up the bulk of settlers in Judea and Samaria who believe God did anoint them the land and are exempt from military service for religious reasons yet require the army and its more liberal soldiery to protect their villages.

I think that’s roughly how it goes.

Complicated innit?

Posted by Blognor Regis on 29 September 2010

Thank you, Brian.

Posted by Alisa on 23 September 2011

I am strongly inclined to support Israel, because it has a functioning economy - sometimes spectacularly so - and functioning, relatively liberal institutions. Nowhere else nearby has any of these things. And that makes me think well of the Israelis, generally.

Posted by Michael Jennings on 29 September 2011
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