The Guardian hires yet another fascist

As we prepare to fire up the BBQ, hit the beach and (for some) don the flag Superman-style in preparation for Australia Day, it seems a good time to reflect on what ties all us Aussies together.

Is it simply a series of rituals like the family camping trip? A national mythology built around “mateship”? Knowledge of Don Bradman’s batting average? Nope. I reckon that social cohesion in Australia should derive from a set of shared experiences that bind us with our fellow countrymen and women. And with social capital, the relational bonds which tie us together, at their weakest in decades, I believe that compulsory national service is the way to reinvigorate our sense of common purpose.

It’s slavery, slavery to the State you dimwit.

38 comments on “The Guardian hires yet another fascist

  1. Funny, isn’t it?

    Shave your head, go round in groups of twelve looking for trouble and you’re thugs.

    Shave your head, go round in groups of twelve looking for trouble and wear a State uniform and it’s character building.

  2. What seems to tie the Aussies I’ve met together (many of whom had volunteered to join their military but a lot are civilians) is a mythologising of individualism and deep despite of hideous statists like this McCarthy git.

  3. To me, Nothing says ‘Progressive’ more than being forced on pain of violence to work, unpaid, for a Marxist NGO committed to keeping their miserable subjects in poverty for the rest of their lives.

  4. Would you describe the men who fought at Marathon as slaves of the Athenian state?

    On a more serious note, is he actually Australian? BBQ for barbie? Three syllables where two would do?

  5. Would you describe the men who fought at Marathon as slaves of the Athenian state?

    No, because the state of Athens, at the time, kept lots of slaves. As did everybody else.

    It’s hyperbole. It isn’t even serfdom (you can’t be sold or you can’t have the land sold from underneath you and you have to go with it.) National Service, whether purely military or with ‘civil society’ (compared to ‘uncivil society’?) options is a massive statist restriction of freedom, however.

  6. “It’s hyperbole.” Maybe so, but it’s a tedious hyperbole that Tim uses so often that I begin to wonder whether it’s an attempt to downplay the horrors of real slavery. Still, it’s a favourite Tox Dadger trope too.

  7. What he wants is community programmes where it won’t be just him and his chums doing them and paying for them voluntarily. His vested interest is in reducing the cost to himself.

  8. SE, yes, I know it’s hyperbole, but in some societies fighting for your city/state was pretty much the definition of citizenship. (israel in 1948?) I don’t think the case on conscription/national service is as simple as Tim makes out – it’s just that in most (all?) of the west there is obviously no need right now, so it’s a silly idea.

  9. @ Luke
    The slaves and women were not allowed to fight, just as they were not allowed to vote in elections, in Athens, let alone Sparta. Many of those fighting at Marathon *owned* slaves. Every Spartan fighting at Thermopylae did – it is recorded that two were afflicted by temporary blindness (parasitic infection) so one of them got his two helots to lead him into battle on the last day: the helots apparently survived and are the source of the reports of the battle.

    A separate point: McCarthy says: “Wise philosophers from Aristotle to Hannah Arendt have all argued that nation states ruled by popular sovereignty (that is, elections) require a much higher level of shared commitment and participation from their citizens than do despotic ones.”
    Yeah, the Aristotle who left Athens to work for pay for Philip of Macedon who enslaved most free Greek states in order to tutor Alexander the first Great despot.

  10. The biggest opponents of national service I have met in both countries (I’m an Aussie living in the UK) has been military people.

    They regard themselves as a professional organisation run by people who choose to be there. Not a baby sitting service for the unwashed.

  11. Israel in 1948 wasn’t a state, it was a terrorist organisation. Hardly a good example.

    Anyway, Tim is absolutely correct on this and no amount of dissembling will alter that. It is slavery.

  12. Luke deserves a better response than my pedantic knee-jerk.
    In ancient Greece, the physically capable free men were called upon, when necessary, to defend their wives and children/parents/the state and, mostly, went home afterwards to reap the harvest, make pottery, smelt silver or whatever. This was a short break from normal activity for free men, and did not prevent farmers from earning their living since all wars were fought in the summer (threatening to devastate the unharvested crops was the standard tactic to compel the invadees to come out and fight instead of sitting safely behind their walls). It is not the same as “National Service” nor even a fair comparison.
    There is nothing teenage Oz can do to protect family in the event of an attack (anti-missile and anti-aircraft will be handled by specialist professionals) and the desert will do more than him to deal with any infantry attack which is the only instance where he could be useful. His role will be more like that of the helot than that of the Spartiate (although in one respect the helot’s was better as they did not have to polish boots or blanco webbing).
    I have always felt mildly patriotic and should have gladly marched to Marathon (or Ypres, or El Alamein, or Waterloo, or Agincourt, or Hastings, where we lost) but after National service ended while I was at school I did not volunteer because I thought I should be of more use pursuing my career than training to be a dogsbody with no war in the foreseeable future (unless Johnson was madder than Krushchev – in which the army would be an irrelevant cinder): in fact the next war occurred when I was in my mid-thirties and was (on our side) fought entirely by professionals* and I was too old for the Gulf War so my assessment was indubitably correct..
    The lefties are saying that people should not have to work for their dole, (self-stacking is deemed humiliating for a young woman with a useless degree from a third-class university) so why do they want young men to have to be squaddies? Some of them could be poets or artists or designers of anti-cancer drugs or nuclear physicists.
    * including, or plus, Andrew depending on how you define his military service.

  13. “Israel in 1948 wasn’t a state, it was a terrorist organisation.”

    All states are terrorist organisations, from a certain point of view. They’re all backed by guns.

    But back in 1948 I expect the Israelis were just annoyed at the way your own particular state had been keeping them cooped up in concentration camps at places like Bergen-Belsen. People can be funny about things like that.

    Considering the example that Europe had just set for them of how states behaved, I think they were at the rather more civilised end of that spectrum, don’t you?

  14. Wasn’t national service in the 50s in the UK rather expensive ?
    And how do you stop the female conscripts getting pregnant. Or would that be the real national service.

  15. “But back in 1948 I expect the Israelis were just annoyed at the way your own particular state had been keeping them cooped up in concentration camps at places like Bergen-Belsen. People can be funny about things like that.”

    Given that the British Empire had just shed considerable blood and treasure defeating their murderers maybe some gratitude was in order.

    “Considering the example that Europe had just set for them of how states behaved”

    An issue certain Zionists had no problem overlooking.

  16. This guy is a moron. A couple of points about his argument:

    1. The US does not have conscription, strictly voluntary argument so the fact that US soldiers have more inter-racial friendships is irrelevant.

    2. Japan, like the Scandinavian countries also has high levels of social cohesion but no national service.

    The common factor between the Scandinavian countries and Japan is pretty obvious, low levels of immigration. Those countries are well over 90% homogeneous. I am not advocating stopping Australian immigration, I like a multiracial society, and the fact that we are diverse and no longer share “common values” is a good thing. The fact that there is no one vision of what it means to be Australian is a great thing and allows me to live in a free society with fantastic cultural diversity.

    These idiot intelligentsia should stop trying to define what it means to be Australia. it is a stupid question and conscription is just a crap idea.

  17. “Given that the British Empire had just shed considerable blood and treasure defeating their murderers maybe some gratitude was in order.”

    And was provided, along with a lot of blood of their own. They certainly knew which side *they* were on, even if we were more equivocal about reciprocating. But it was never without a sidelong recognition of the irony involved.

  18. NiV – “But back in 1948 I expect the Israelis were just annoyed at the way your own particular state had been keeping them cooped up in concentration camps at places like Bergen-Belsen. People can be funny about things like that.”

    Funny about lies? Yes they can. Britain liberated Bergen-Belsen. And then burnt it down. They did not keep anyone cooped up in it. They did run a Displaced Persons Camp near by. But they hardly kept people cooped up in that either.

    What you probably mean is that they did not allow unlimited immigration to someone else’s country in the midst of a war. That is a different allegation.

    “Considering the example that Europe had just set for them of how states behaved, I think they were at the rather more civilised end of that spectrum, don’t you?”

    Ethnic cleansing? Terrorism? Deliberate targeting of civilians? Not remotely on par with the Germans or the Soviets. But not remotely close to the British either.

    NiV – “And was provided, along with a lot of blood of their own. They certainly knew which side *they* were on, even if we were more equivocal about reciprocating. But it was never without a sidelong recognition of the irony involved.”

    Was it? How was it provided? With the bombs they used to target Squaddies? With the ropes they used to murder those Squaddies they kidnapped? With lies like yours? Do tell how this gratitude was expressed.

    They did know what side they were on. And for a time it was the same side as ours. But the majority of Israelis were always on their own side and judged the rest of the world accordingly. As can be seen by the lies about the soldiers who sacrificed so much to liberate places like Belsen.

  19. When discussing the war, Nazi atrocities are for some strange reason the responsibility of all Europeans, peculiarly. At the risk of being racist, whatever, one problem that many Jews seem to have is to still have a mediaeval attitude that a gentile is a white European, and all gentiles are the same. Which is, itself, rather racist.

    A lot of British, and indeed Russian, American, Commonwealth etc blood was spilled defeating the Nazis. None of us bear any “national” guilt for the Holocaust or other actions of the Nazi regime.

  20. ” But they hardly kept people cooped up in that either.”

    Oh, but they did. All that barbed wire wasn’t to keep anybody *out*.

    ( As one inmate put it: “There is little food, sanitation is awful, and we are behind barbed wire with guards. It is like the British are taking up where the Germans left off!”)

    “What you probably mean is that they did not allow unlimited immigration to someone else’s country in the midst of a war.”

    Yeah. They actually *blocked* the escape routes out of Nazi Germany through northern Italy, in case the Jews went to Palestine. Nice.

    “Ethnic cleansing? Terrorism? Deliberate targeting of civilians?”

    No, unless you count the Irgun on the latter two, who were a long way from being the Israeli state. The British on the other hand have done all of that as a matter of official policy. The British were not as bad as the Germans, but not remotely close to the Jews.

    “Was it? How was it provided?”

    They fought in the war as soldiers on our side, same as a lot of people. But I was thinking of those in the ghettos and death camps, where we left them for five years, and then held them for another three to five years after the war was over in disgusting conditions (albeit better than previously) because of the politics of the nazi-sympathising scum who the British wanted to accommodate.

    And it still goes on. Is there any race in the world that has been more abused and hated than the Jews? Any other race today against who such overt racism is so widely tolerated?

    The Israelis are no angels. But no state has clean hands. Israel is simply judged according to a stricter standard.

  21. “When discussing the war, Nazi atrocities are for some strange reason the responsibility of all Europeans, peculiarly.”

    Nazi atrocities are solely the responsibility of the Nazis. And the British helped the Jews more than virtually anyone else, while at the same time blowing hot and cold, hesitating and having second thoughts. As I said, the Israelis are and always have been grateful to the British, but not without recognising that the relationship has not always gone the same way.

    “At the risk of being racist, whatever, one problem that many Jews seem to have is to still have a mediaeval attitude that a gentile is a white European, and all gentiles are the same. Which is, itself, rather racist.”

    The European and Russian Jews might, but the African and Arab Jews I think take a somewhat different view. However, I don’t think your analysis is racist. The real racists are elsewhere.

  22. Is there any race in the world that has been more abused and hated than the Jews?

    Arguably, anyone who gets in the way of Islam. Slightly tangential, but I’m just reading my way through some stuff which includes the suggestion that mediaeval Christendom got the worst of its nature from Islam, including organised anti-semitism. I was more looking for a core source for European puritanism, but the general idea; that Christendom’s violent, most superstitious, etc period was adopted mainly via Spain (Spanish Inquisition, etc) from Islamic cultural values, including an institutional hatred of Jews.

    I’m not saying “I believe this to be true”, but I’m in that “it makes a lot of sense” state.

    In which case, the Holocaust might be seen as a last gasp of that; and it would certainly debunk one idea doing the rounds that Islamists got their Jew hatred from Nazism in Palestine; it would be the other way around, via a very long historical path. Which would also suggest that Palestine was not the most wise place to decamp to after WWII, historical connection with Jerusalem or not.

  23. Whenever topics like this come up, I always remember a late night cab ride- long before 9/11 or any sort of debate about Islam as we have now- in which the driver cheerfully explained to me that while I would be allowed to convert to Islam, the Jews would have to be exterminated because apparently they rejected God’s prophets and cannot be redeemed.

    It wasn’t so much the topic, as the casual way he explained it all, like someone discussing the merits of a policy like building a new railway or extending childcare provision or something. Not an ounce of shame or reluctance to admit to his beliefs in him at all.

  24. Niv,

    I googled that quote from an inmate and it appears it comes from a diary entry for May 20th 1945. Just over a month after liberation, which might explain why conditions were still not great. When I visited the Bergen-Belsen Museum in 2009 I didn’t seen any indication that the British authorities were callous towards the inmates after the liberation of the camp. If memory serves, relief efforts commenced right after liberation.

    Incidentally the next entry given in that diary (8th of July) begins with: “Conditions here have improved, thankfully.”.

  25. NiV – “Oh, but they did. All that barbed wire wasn’t to keep anybody *out*.”

    No they did not. The entire point of the camps was to move people out of Germany to somewhere they might want to live as quickly as possible. The entire aim was to get them not only out of the camp but out of the country.

    “( As one inmate put it: “There is little food, sanitation is awful, and we are behind barbed wire with guards. It is like the British are taking up where the Germans left off!”)”

    Which just shows the f**king unreality of some people who criticise the British. Was anyone being gassed? Beaten to death? Selections going on? Anyone starving to death? Dogs eating people alive? If it came down to it, if anyone walked up to the fence, did the guards shoot?

    Anyone who compares the two is out of their freakin’ mind.

    “Yeah. They actually *blocked* the escape routes out of Nazi Germany through northern Italy, in case the Jews went to Palestine. Nice.”

    Bollocks.

    “No, unless you count the Irgun on the latter two, who were a long way from being the Israeli state. The British on the other hand have done all of that as a matter of official policy. The British were not as bad as the Germans, but not remotely close to the Jews.”

    Well there was no Israeli state at the time but when there was, of course it was guilty of all of those. It was standard Israeli practice to respond to any terrorist attack by blowing up a random Arab village – usually Jordanian because they thought the King was more responsive to pressure. So we have seen the results of this in Sharon’s eulogies. He was a little too enthusiastic during one of these punishment raids by Unit 101 at Qibya.

    And it is typical of the Left to put all the blame on Irgun. As if the Labour Party was not involved in incidents like Deir Yassin. They were fighting together in what would become the IDF. The Haganah provided transport and weapons – as well as a clean up crew. It was part of a larger offensive by the entire Armed Forces.

    I do not recall the British Army ever blowing up a truck bomb in a market place. Perhaps you can tell me when they did that. And if they had ethnically cleansed Jewish terrorists would not have been murdering kidnapped soldiers.

    “They fought in the war as soldiers on our side, same as a lot of people.”

    Well British Jews fought in the British Army. American Jews fought in the American Army. I am not sure anyone can say the Jewish Legion fought on anyone’s side but their own. Their operations seem mainly intended to boost their later campaign for independence.

    “But I was thinking of those in the ghettos and death camps, where we left them for five years”

    Left them? Silly me. Obviously we had the power to stop it immediately and we didn’t – that is what you’re saying aren’t you? As opposed to being the only power to have spent the entire war doing everything possible to bring it to a halt.

    “and then held them for another three to five years after the war was over in disgusting conditions (albeit better than previously) because of the politics of the nazi-sympathising scum who the British wanted to accommodate.”

    Better than previously? So only three million died in camps run by the British – this is roughly what you’re claiming? It is flatly racist to accuse all Palestinians are sympathising with the Nazis.

    “And it still goes on. Is there any race in the world that has been more abused and hated than the Jews? Any other race today against who such overt racism is so widely tolerated?”

    Yeah, yeah, yeah. Playing the racism card isn’t going to help. By all means I am happy to concede it is all true, more or less. Although not the last bit. The French have to put up with a lot worse in Britain. It has nothing to do with your outrageous lies about Britain. Crying anti-Semitism does not make a single one of your claims true.

    “The Israelis are no angels. But no state has clean hands. Israel is simply judged according to a stricter standard.”

    Israel wants to be treated as a Western state, it needs to behave like a Western state. If it wants to be treated like Syria, by all means, let’s treat it like Syria. As it happens, you have a point. However it is still irrelevant as you are not dealing with a case of double standards. You are dealing with someone who resents your lies.

    NiV – “Nazi atrocities are solely the responsibility of the Nazis.”

    But for some reason the sins of the Grand Mufti are the fault of all Arabs….

    “And the British helped the Jews more than virtually anyone else, while at the same time blowing hot and cold, hesitating and having second thoughts.”

    Not on the issue of rescue it didn’t.

    “As I said, the Israelis are and always have been grateful to the British, but not without recognising that the relationship has not always gone the same way.”

    No they are not. Otherwise they would not have been kidnapping and murdering squaddies. Otherwise your lies would not be so commonly heard.

  26. There seems to be something of an issue with the Jewish psyche being predicated on triumph over victimhood- the major Jewish festivals consist of a long reading of a tale of persecution, followed by redemption by massacre of culture enemies (Purim, Passover, Hannukah). Then you eat. So it’s never really compatible with a Jewish historical narrative to include any help from anyone, it sort of destroys the whole “a people alone” driving narrative mechanism.

  27. “Arguably, anyone who gets in the way of Islam.”

    I understand what you mean, but I don’t think that has been as tightly focused. Not that I ever intended to say they were the only people to have ever been persecuted. Look back far enough, and there are plenty who were persecuted to extinction.

    “It wasn’t so much the topic, as the casual way he explained it all”

    Yes, the frightening thing is when it becomes such a normal part of life that nobody notices it. They don’t even think to hide their views, or defend them. They’re just part of what “everybody knows”.

    “I didn’t seen any indication that the British authorities were callous towards the inmates after the liberation of the camp.”

    They were never callous. The British were stuck in a politically impossible situation. They had first promised the Jews a homeland, but had then backed down when the Arab Nationalists kicked up, who despite them being on the other side in the war the British knew would eventually be the dominant powers locally that they wanted to keep sweet with. They sympathised with the Jews and wanted to help them find a home, but they had nowhere to send them to, and letting them go where they chose ended up with them all headed for Palestine. So they held them behind barbed wire to stop them doing so. The appalling conditions were not out of cruelty, but due to lack of resources.

    There’s a very good history book about the period ‘Exodus 1947: The ship that launched a nation’ by Ruth Gruber, an American reporter who described how the British Navy stormed a refugee ship trying to run the Palestinian blockade, and got taken back to Germany in cages aboard a prison ship called ‘Runnymede Park’. There are a lot of photos and descriptions of the prison camps on Cyprus, which are all barbed wire and guard towers, and existed long after the war had ended.

    My point was only that the Jews at the time had good reason to be not entirely friendly with the British. And given what had just happened to them, and the distinctly lukewarm help they had got since, no reason to trust the international community to look after their interests. Being quiet and cooperative just got them ignored and stepped on, as everybody else caved in to those who hated them. Being a bit spiky did mean that governments had to take them seriously. Context is everything.

  28. I understand what you mean, but I don’t think that has been as tightly focused.

    I think we’re in subjective matters of degree here. There certainly seems to be ethnic cleansing of Christians underway at the moment, and there’ll be another batch if the Syrian “rebels” win, which implies to me a similar consistency of focus to that of Jews.

  29. …which is why it is even more baffling (and worthy of conspiracy theory thoughts) that both Israel and the USA apparently want to topple Assad and install another burkas-or-death regime.

  30. “which is why it is even more baffling (and worthy of conspiracy theory thoughts) that both Israel and the USA apparently want to topple Assad and install another burkas-or-death regime.”

    Not so much conspiracy theory as cock up. Of course they wanted to topple Assad, but they had spent all their political capital in Iraq and Libya. They couldn’t afford to get embroiled in another war, and this time a client-state of Iran’s right on their border, so soon after the previous involvements.

    Unfortunately the people of Syria didn’t know that, and assumed they’d get the same help as the other recently-liberated Arab nations. When they realised that the West wasn’t going to help, and now facing an extremely angry mass-murdering government with all the biggest guns, they sought help anywhere they could find it. Hence the burkas-or-death guys getting another foothold, just after all that blood and money had been spent kicking them out of Afghanistan.

    It was a cock up from start to end. The Syrians didn’t want this. The Americans didn’t want this. Assad certainly didn’t want this. The only people who are happy about it are Al Qaida.

  31. NiV – “They were never callous.”

    No, they were running Caring Concentration Camps that just happened to be entirely comparable to Auschwitz.

    “The British were stuck in a politically impossible situation. They had first promised the Jews a homeland, but had then backed down when the Arab Nationalists kicked up, who despite them being on the other side in the war”

    On the other side in the war? What, all of them? More Arabs fought for the West than Zionists did in the Jewish Legion. A lot more. They were also militarily significant – unlike the Jewish Legion. The Moroccans in Italy for instance.

    “letting them go where they chose ended up with them all headed for Palestine.”

    Actually the Jewish Agency and American Zionist groups were frantically lobbying the Americans to prevent those Jewish refugees going where they wanted. Because they largely wanted to go to America. They lobbied the Dixiecrats to keep Jews out so they would have to go to Palestine.

    “The appalling conditions were not out of cruelty, but due to lack of resources.”

    What appalling conditions? How many millions died under British control?

    “and got taken back to Germany in cages aboard a prison ship called ‘Runnymede Park’.”

    Cyprus? Yes. But I bet they didn’t get sent back to Germany.

    “My point was only that the Jews at the time had good reason to be not entirely friendly with the British. And given what had just happened to them, and the distinctly lukewarm help they had got since, no reason to trust the international community to look after their interests.”

    So because they were not gung ho Zionists and completely indifferent to the interests of the Palestinians, they were no different to the Nazis? This is seriously your position?

    “Being quiet and cooperative just got them ignored and stepped on, as everybody else caved in to those who hated them.”

    Sure. So they blew up hotels and murdered British Squaddies. No wonder the Palestinians have been trying it ever since. It worked for the Israelis!

    NiV – “When they realised that the West wasn’t going to help, and now facing an extremely angry mass-murdering government with all the biggest guns, they sought help anywhere they could find it. Hence the burkas-or-death guys getting another foothold, just after all that blood and money had been spent kicking them out of Afghanistan.”

    As far as I can see the Islamists are exactly what the Syrians want. They may not want them once they have them, but if a free and fair election was held today, I bet they would win it. The Muslim Brotherhood has had a presence in Syria since the 1950s at least. They led the uprising in Hama back in the day. They are leading this one too. We can try to buy a Karzai, but the Gulf States are likely to out bid us.

    Nor are their local nutters like to be associated with al-Qaeda except it plays well with the public. It is more likely that some local lads get together and call themselves something that sounds dead cool – and might get them money from Qatar or the UAE. So they claim an affiliation that does not really exist.

  32. SMFS,

    “No, they were running Caring Concentration Camps that just happened to be entirely comparable to Auschwitz.”

    Were they? Why do you say that?

    Because I certainly didn’t! I’m never quite sure if this sort of stuff is strawman argument for rhetorical purposes, or if some people’s hatred for the Jews is so strong that they read any tiniest defense of them as exaggerated crap like this.

    No, they weren’t entirely comparable to Auschwitz. But they were still concentration camps in something like the original sense, and they were still unpleasant places that people didn’t want to have to live in.

    “On the other side in the war? What, all of them?”

    No! I didn’t say that! Why are you making up this crap? I *know* you know about the Grand Mufti, because you mentioned him yourself!

    We’ve got them ourselves. We all know that if someone suggested a bunch of refugees all move to some English town you’d get a bunch of shaven-headed idiots there marching up an down protesting. Well, in Palestine, those were the idiots the British put *in charge*. And it was their version of events that ever afterwards defined relationships between the two sides.

    “Actually the Jewish Agency and American Zionist groups were frantically lobbying the Americans to prevent those Jewish refugees going where they wanted. Because they largely wanted to go to America.”

    Bollocks. They largely wanted to go to Palestine, but when that was refused, many were willing to pick America or anywhere else as a second option just to get out of Germany. Others were fed up enough of being endlessly kicked from one ghetto to another by nations none of who really wanted them that they stuck it out for Palestine. The Jewish Agency lobbied for everyone to stop mucking them about with half-assed prevarication that didn’t solve anything.

    “What appalling conditions? How many millions died under British control?”

    Is that how you think Jews should be kept? So long as they don’t actually *die*, the conditions are good enough?

    I mean conditions like 12 toilets shared between 1,500 refugees, in 30 C heat. The smell alone would be unbelievable! But that’s a perfectly fine way to treat human beings, because a smell won’t actually kill you, right?

    “Cyprus? Yes. But I bet they didn’t get sent back to Germany.”

    They got taken back to Hamburg, and the DP camps at Emden, Wilhelmhave, and Poppendorf, which, yes, I do believe are in Germany. Why would you think we wouldn’t?

    “So because they were not gung ho Zionists and completely indifferent to the interests of the Palestinians”

    Not even the Zionists were completely indifferent to the interests of the Palestinians.

    And no, that isn’t my position.

    “Sure. So they blew up hotels and murdered British Squaddies.”

    If you mean the King David Hotel, the aim was to destroy the documentation collected at the Army intelligence centre. The Hotel was warned, but for some reason the hotel was not evacuated.

    But yes, the Irgun did murder people, like the British Ulster Loyalists murdered Irish people. I wouldn’t necessarily condemn the British as a whole for it, though.

  33. Looking back over the comments on this thread, Looks similar to those on another. Tendency to look at yesterday’s world with today’s eyes.
    Let’s face facts. Anti-anti-semitism has a pedigree goes back all the way to the ’60s. Britain went to war over Poland. Any suggestion of starting a war with Germany over its treatment of its Jews in ’39 wouldn’t even of raised a laugh let alone an army.
    45 on, the allies were trying to cope with a Europe of millions of displaced persons, an aggressive Soviet Union camped on half of a German ruin & considering the other half, Another face off in Austria. Communist inspired civil wars brewing in several former occupied countries & possibilities in France.
    The former camp victims? All very sad & unBritish. But there is the aftermath of the war in the whole of Europe & the Middle-East to worry about. Plus another another one might be starting in the ruins next week. The plight of the Jews is not a big priority. Especially if they’re wanting to go play with matches in the tinderbox which is Palestine.
    Sorry to be blunt, but too much can be made of something that was relatively trivial at the time.
    Of course, history now suggests it wasn’t trivial. But those history books weren’t printed in ’45

  34. Pleased to have started a discussion…I don’t have a position on the rights and wrongs of particular nation states (or slave owing patterns in Athens vs something like Apartheid in Sparta). Just that in a lot of states over the past 2000 years Tim’s position would have seemed like disgusting freeloading. Not that he’s wrong – I don’t know.

    I am a weedy short sighted 48 yr old with no intention of volunteering for anything dangerous.

  35. NiV- “Were they? Why do you say that?”

    Because I am mocking your position that the British DP Camps were not different to the Nazi Extermination Camps. A position you are noticably failing to defend.

    “Because I certainly didn’t!”

    Then you are utterly deluded. You clearly did. You have repeatedly equated those DP Camps with the Nazi Extermination Camps. Here for instance:

    “But I was thinking of those in the ghettos and death camps, where we left them for five years, and then held them for another three to five years after the war was over in disgusting conditions (albeit better than previously) because of the politics of the nazi-sympathising scum who the British wanted to accommodate.”

    “No, they weren’t entirely comparable to Auschwitz.”

    Then stop f**king comparing them.

    “But they were still concentration camps in something like the original sense, and they were still unpleasant places that people didn’t want to have to live in.”

    Sure. They would have preferred to live among all those nice Germans. What happened to the Jews who tried that in Poland? They were refugee camps. Not concentration camps. Not in the original meaning – they were not hostile aliens after all. Not in the sense you keep implying – no one was exterminated.

    “No! I didn’t say that! Why are you making up this crap? I *know* you know about the Grand Mufti, because you mentioned him yourself!”

    Well, OK, you only said the Arab Nationalists were on the Nazis side. Despite the vast amount of evidence that it is not true. Some of them were.

    “We all know that if someone suggested a bunch of refugees all move to some English town you’d get a bunch of shaven-headed idiots there marching up an down protesting.”

    Rightly.

    “Well, in Palestine, those were the idiots the British put *in charge*. And it was their version of events that ever afterwards defined relationships between the two sides.”

    Sure. They did not want their homeland to be colonised and them driven out to refugee camps (with barbed wire and all in some cases) in the desert. A perfectly understandable wish on the whole. I defy you to name any country in the world that has been happy to hand over the best half of its homeland to foreigners to make their own nation in.

    “Bollocks. They largely wanted to go to Palestine, but when that was refused, many were willing to pick America or anywhere else as a second option just to get out of Germany.”

    Actually there is plenty of evidence on this. Of the lobbying in the US in particular. No, some of them wanted to go to Palestine. But most wanted to go to America.

    “Is that how you think Jews should be kept? So long as they don’t actually *die*, the conditions are good enough?”

    As long as they don’t die, those DP Camps are not even remotely comparable to the Nazi Camps. And nice attempt at a racist smear. Douche-y but clever. You claimed they were. You continually compared them. How many people did die in those camps? As for conditions, how much worse were they than the conditions of anyone else in Europe at the time?

    “But that’s a perfectly fine way to treat human beings, because a smell won’t actually kill you, right?”

    The British are Nazis because some refugees had to share a toilet?

    “Not even the Zionists were completely indifferent to the interests of the Palestinians.”

    Pretty much all of them were, actually. A land without a people and all that. If they hadn’t been, they wouldn’t have been Zionists.

    “If you mean the King David Hotel, the aim was to destroy the documentation collected at the Army intelligence centre. The Hotel was warned, but for some reason the hotel was not evacuated.”

    So they said afterwards. But interesting to see you defending terrorism.

    “But yes, the Irgun did murder people, like the British Ulster Loyalists murdered Irish people. I wouldn’t necessarily condemn the British as a whole for it, ”

    Nor would I. But then the Loyalists elect those terorrists I might have something to say.

    And we are still stuck with your claim that the British were running extermination camps.

  36. I give up. I’m not sure if it’s an inability to comprehend simple English, or whether you’re just determined to misinterpret everything I say in order to maintain a point. I’m not claiming the British were running extermination camps. I never have.

    “We all know that if someone suggested a bunch of refugees all move to some English town you’d get a bunch of shaven-headed idiots there marching up an down protesting.”

    Rightly.

    Ah. Right. Gotcha. I know where you’re coming from, now.

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