Saturday May 28, 2005
As I write this the news from Israel and from the disputed territories is all about the forced evacuation by the Sharon dictatorship from Gaza and from the other area known as Northern Shamron. I am Irish, born and bred as they say, and being Irish I do struggle with the names which many of my Jewish and Israeli friends throw about on the internet. But there are other issues in which I think I am ahead of the game.
The internet is so huge I tend to get my information from selected sources. Every week I tend to watch carefully what is happening on these sites:
www.Israpundit.com is the great site which focusses on everything being written on the issue of Israel. It has got certain very serious weaknesses which I will sometimes focus on and which will become sharper as the issues become sharper. But Israpundit is democratic, it listens to debate and its wide range means that I can keep in contact with hundreds of other sites through it. Israpundit is great because it focusses on Israel and gathers in an incredible amount of valuable information. Paradoxically, that is its weakness as well because it does not have a world perspective on the world EU-US strategy.
I watch carefully what is happening on two sites in Ireland
www.sluggerotoole.com is not my favourite site at all, it is a site which is filled with the trivia of Northern Ireland politics, so it is not even a national Irish site. The site which Mick Fealty has created serves the purpose of keeping Irish stuck in the backwardness and parochial politics of Northern Ireland. Its contributors are a lot of smart-ass types who have read little and consequently know little. I doubt if Mick knew the type of people his site would attract he would have started it.
The site run by David Vance is different. The Tangled Web (I USE A SEARCH ENGINE)is centred on the integrity of Northern Ireland as a Nation State. David is an Irish Protestant, or a British Protestant, or a Northern Ireland Protestant (you decide!!!), but unlike Fealty he has a site which has a world view. In no way can you say that David Vance is stuck in the mire of Northern Ireland politics like Fealty is. David is pro-Israel but also pro-American and this is a living contradiction which I often tend to point out to him. The contributors to David’s site are a sorry bunch who if it were possible can claim the title of being even worse than the sorry bunch that Fealty has gathered around him. They will reduce an issue to trivia at the drop of the proverbial hat. This is the only site I contribute to and I try to address my comments only to David, seeking to avoid the ‘sorry bunch’ like the plague.
Then there is the Irish Palestine Solidarity Committee and the Blanket. Ah, that old Blanket! It obviously takes its name from the republican Hunger Strike but in reality it takes its politics from two sources. Firstly from a weird concoction of armed struggle republicanism and neo-Marxism. Secondly from the afore-mentioned Palestine Solidarity Group and its hatred of Israel. This Blanket is a real Israeli-hating site. It is run by Anthony McIntyre and his wife. McIntyre is a member of the Irish Palestine Solidarity Group. He wants therefore to see Israel destroyed. He wants to see Jews living in a unitary Palestinian state, dominated by the islamists of Hamas and the PLO, Jews once more reduced to dhimmi status. McIntyre, like the anti-Semite Tom Paulin, sees Israeli Jews as being Nazis.
That is what there is in Ireland, this proud nation, once the land of scholars. It is pitiful! To escape it has been my wont to visit Emperors New Clothes, the site run by Jared Israel from the New York area of the US. The scholarship which Jared’s site displayed to me was in the form of much needed therapy as I retreated from the above. The contribution made by this site to our understanding of this cruel world is enormous. Unlike Israpundit Emperors New Clothes (www.tenc.net) begins with the world perspective following closely the events of Yugoslavia in the late 90s. Having done so what the US and EU are up to now in dismantling Israel comes as no surprise. This is a very big difference indeed to Israpundit. Many of these sites on the Internet are staffed by one or two people and this is obviously the problem here. So far it has written not a word about the most burning question of the hour, the Gaza evacuation. But to understand what is happening there, I still have to turn to Emperors New Clothes and the whole of the Yugoslavian experience of the 90s.
This brings me to my own web presence, rather neatly in fact, in that the staff behind the scenes on my site is indeed the huge total of one. I have placed two sites on the Internet, both are interconnected. On this site www.isill.blogspot.com even I can master the intricacies of the Internet. I will use it to place a weekly (or so) letter of issues relevant to Israel. The other site www.IrelandSupportsIsrael.com is really where I will store what I hope will be serious theoretical articles. It is hosted by Yahoo, costs a little but not overly much. As yet these sites are pretty spartan affairs but then again I like that. Really they are collections of words, little jangles of ideas, some of them mine, some of them other people’s. One theme above all runs through: this is the incredible historical wrong that has been done to the issue of the Jewish Homeland from the time of the Balfour Declaration and the League of Nations Mandate of 1921 until today. It is the story of anti-Semitism which has its role as destroying the Jewish Homeland and this is what poltiics today on the world stage is all about. It is central to us as humans. The Holocaust is the thing which made and makes it central. It is the issue which more than any other centralises all of our human political history and experience.