Saturday, January 24, 2004

Jenny Tonge, etc.

British politician Dr. Jenny Tonge has lost her position as the Liberal Democrats' spokeswoman for children due to making the following statement:

"This particular brand of terrorism, the suicide bomber, is truly born out of desperation.

Many, many people criticise, many, many people say it is just another form of terrorism, but I can understand and I am a fairly emotional person and I am a mother and a grandmother. I think if I had to live in that situation, and I say this advisedly, I might just consider becoming one myself.

And that is a terrible thing to say."

This is being depicted as a statement in favor of terrorism, and even as an incitement of terrorism. Obviously, it is neither. She later said:

"I was just trying to say how, having seen the violence and the humiliation and the provocation that the Palestinian people live under every day and have done since their land was occupied by Israel, I could understand and was trying to understand where [suicide bombers] were coming from."

Her sin was saying what no one is allowed to say, that the actions of the state of Israel against the Palestinians have created such intolerable conditions that it is completely understandable that a human being might find becoming a suicide bomber a rational choice. Has anyone noticed that we are currently in a position of a complete Orwellian freeze on speech about Israel, with what certainly seems like a conspiracy of international Zionism to use every weapon possible against free speech to stop even the slightest comments on the immorality of the actions of the state of Israel? Here are some of a huge possible list of recent examples of Zionist repression of free speech:

  • the constant use of the term anti-Semite to stifle anyone who makes any comment on Israel;

  • Daniel Pipes' attacks on academic freedom through the brown shirts at Campus Watch;

  • attacks on the Ford Foundation as some of its grants go to Palestinian organizations;

  • prevention of the showing of the movie Jenin Jenin on the Jenin massacre;

  • attempts to stop Palestinian scholar Hanan Ashrawi from receiving the 2003 Sydney Peace Prize;

  • German publisher Suhrkamp's forced decision to drop Ted Honderich's book on September 11 (an excellent book, by the way, not just on September 11, but on the wider morality of living in a rich country when so many people in the world are suffering greatly) because Honderich has the temerity to consider the possible morality of resistance to oppression (formerly distinguished German philosopher Jurgen Habermas completely embarrassed himself over this issue);

  • the New Zealand Herald's firing of cartoonist Malcolm Evans for allegedly anti-Semitic cartoons (see especially here and here and here and here);

  • attempts at censorship by preventing the distribution of the children's book 'A Little Piece of Ground' by Elizabeth Laird because it attempts to portray the life of a Palestinian boy in the Occupied Territories;

  • the punishment of Oxford University professor Andrew Wilkie for rejecting an Israeli student because he had served in the IDF.

The censorship is not working. Indeed, I think it is fair to say that the issue of the Israeli oppression of the Palestinians is the defining issue of our day in determining whether you are progressive or not. The Zionist attempts to repress the awful truth of what the state of Israel is doing confirms the justice of supporting the cause of the Palestinian people.