Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Oh ffs

Geras, trying to compare Israel/Palestine and Ireland

The British government entered negotiations with the IRA. But Britain's existence and legitimacy were never at issue in these negotiations.

As far as I know the IRA has never recognized the legitimacy of the United Kingdom, which is the relevant state entity. You'd really expect an emeritus Professor of Politics to know that.


Blogger The Rioja Kid said...

I also like the next line:

A country whose very legitimacy and survival are put in question by one of the would-be negotiators is not under unilateral obligation to offer recognition to that very party.

which might possibly be seen as a little more double-edged than it was intended to be.

2/20/2007 04:30:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

But the IRA did not wish to push the population of Scotland, Wales and England into the sea either.

You are talking about the existence of a technical term which takes in Northern Ireland (well done, very very clever! Give your self a Gold Star) whereas Geras is talking about the existence of a complete nation and its people.

Did the IRA have this in it's founding charter?

The time will not come until the Irish will fight the English (and kill them); until the English hide behind rocks and trees, which will cry: O Irish! there is a Englishman hiding behind me, come on and kill him! This will not apply to the Oak, which is a English tree.

Thought not.

2/20/2007 10:06:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

[But the IRA did not wish to push the population of Scotland, Wales and England into the sea either.]

There were certainly at least some of them that wanted to do exactly that to the British-identified population of Northern Ireland.

The United Kingdom is not a "technical term" you fool - or if it is it's an odd one because it's a technical term with a seat at the United Nations. And in any case, the *Provisional* IRA did not recognise the Republic of Ireland either.

2/21/2007 07:13:00 AM  
Blogger ejh said...

Come to that, most of the Irish hadn't actually spent the last fifty years living in refugee camps being intermittently shot and bombed by the British after being pushed off their land to make way for them.

Isn't it odd how the fate of a complete nation and its people can be forgotten by people who pretend it's all about Israeli self-defence?

2/21/2007 08:57:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It is also worth noting that Sinn Fein (and indeed the Irish government) did not formally recognise Northern Ireland as a political entity prior to the negotiations which led to the Good Friday Agreement, and that their recognition of NI was not a precondition of those talks. Meanwhile, early on in the process the British government declared that it had 'no selfish interest' in NI and would consent to its removal from the UK if a majority of the NI population gave their consent to reunification with Ireland.

That suggests to me that the existence and legitimacy of NI certainly were at issue during the peace process.

2/21/2007 09:16:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

actually British soldiers serving in NI in the early 1970s were given a copy of a lurid "IRA oath" which quite resembld that dreamed up by anonymous. It was an M15 fabrication, but had the British government refused to talk to the IRA in the 1990s on the basis of this oath it would hardly have been less bizarre than refusing to talk to the Palestinian goverment on the basis of formulations in a decades old document which the vast majority of Palestinians have never heard of.

2/21/2007 11:22:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

When did the IRA state they wished to kill or expell all the non-Irish residents of the British Isles dimwits?

2/21/2007 12:19:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Might I suggest that the founding chart of Hamas cannot be merely dismissed as an historical document. It is a shame that a great many of the Palestinian people voted for an organisation with a genocidal charter, although I can accept that many did so for other reasons such as corruption. However, to suggest that no-one holds these sort of views is the sort of moral blindness that Cohen correctly diagnosed on the left, and which is parroted by Tory boys like Bruschettaboy.

I suppose Sheikh Yassin, who has certainly not been disowned by Hamas, will also be ignored: "Israel, as the Jewish state, must disappear from the map".

Presumably, you think he was hoping for some sort of multi-ethnic pluralist liberal democracy where Jews and Muslims can live in peace?

Yeah right.

2/21/2007 12:32:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Geras' implied contempt for Ulster protestants - lowly blighters who can legitmately be denied their Britishness without offending the 'real' nation of Great Britain - is rather shocking. Does he see them as equivalent to illegal settlers in the Occupied Territories?

2/21/2007 12:42:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Might I suggest that the founding chart of Hamas cannot be merely dismissed as an historical document"
No, you mught not, because that's what it is. You negotiate with people on the basis of what their positions are now, not what they were two decades ago or the basis of "the way a lot of people think". If either the IRA or the British government had constantly dredged up statements from the 1970s to hurl at each other the NI negotiations would never have got anywhere.
It would be possible to draw up a long list, a very long list, of statements made by Zionist and Israeli politicians over the past 100 years threatening expulsion and massacre against Arabs (leaving aside the implementation of those threats). Do you think it would be helpful if Israeli negotiators were required to repudiate all these statements before sitting at the negotiations table?

2/21/2007 12:50:00 PM  
Blogger ejh said...

I see the request for people not to post entirely anonymously is being widely flouted....

2/21/2007 01:03:00 PM  
Blogger splinteredsunrise said...

If either the IRA or the British government had constantly dredged up statements from the 1970s to hurl at each other the NI negotiations would never have got anywhere.

Leaving aside whether the peace process is a good thing, I am extremely familiar with the record of the Provos in the 1970s and can't recall any leading figure threatening to drive the Prods into the sea. Rather the reverse, which was why our programme called for a federal Ireland. Not to say of course that there was no sectarianism there... and how this relates to the Middle East beats me. Norm's reasoning process is more than a little opaque these days.

I disagree a little with Marc. I would guess Norm has much more concern for West Bank settlers than Ulster Prods. But it strikes me that a lot of the Decents have been oozing into a unionist position as part of their more general rightward drift. Norm would just be a little behind the times on that point.

2/21/2007 03:29:00 PM  
Blogger Sonic said...

As someone wrote in our local paper today, when is Israel going to recognise Palestine's right to exist and renounce violence...

2/21/2007 08:34:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hamas cannot pose an existential threat to Israel, so what has Olmert got to lose in negotiating with them (or rather, with the PA)? Hamas are cunts, but that's entirely beside the point.

2/21/2007 08:41:00 PM  
Blogger splinteredsunrise said...

I note that Norm has posted a qualification to the effect that he believes the Prods have a right to self-determination. No word yet from the great man on whether the Palestinians do...

2/22/2007 03:26:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Of course he does. For the Decent Left the point is rarely the actual subject in hand, it's how other left-wingers respond to it.

2/23/2007 10:21:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Don't worry, Jeff Weintraub has now turned up to tell us that there really is no analogy between NI and Israel, although apparently his justification for this involves simply reiterating Geras's initial analogy at greater length.

2/24/2007 02:08:00 AM  

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