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National Union of Students elects Malia Bouattia as president. Watch

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    (Original post by anarchism101)
    Where did Bouattia mention Hamas? It certainly wasn't in any of the quotes I've commented on.
    She said she supports the armed resistance; currently the only group that fits that description is Hamas.

    Yawn, I've been through this a million times on here - no it doesn't, disgusting as it is, and parts of it explicitly contradict such an interpretation. And of course, there's the fact that Hamas' leader himself has said he no longer considers it relevant.
    Just because you've "explained" it doesn't mean your explanation was accepted, or valid. If this obscene part of their charter is "irrelevant" (at least, when he's speaking to Western journalists), why don't they amend it? Other Hamas leaders have said it is impossible to amend it for political reasons, which shows the kind of organisation they are if they can't muster enough support to remove a call for racist genocide in their charter

    Why is it inherent?
    Because in targeting Israelis, Hamas does not seek to target Arab Israelis. They are only interested in killing Jewish Israelis. Say you have a scenario where there's a Hamas terrorist with a rifle; in front of him are two Israeli citizens. One is a Jewish Israeli, the other an Arab Israeli. Which one will he kill? The answer is obvious; the Jewish one. And the only reason he will kill the Jew rather than the Arab is because of his religious/ethnic identity.

    That is the true face of Hamas
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    (Original post by Mark19)
    X
    Absolutely superb post mate, I cannot commend you highly enough for a very thoughtful, insightful and incisive contribution. I particularly appreciate how you distinguished the four categories.

    In my experience, many people on the student left confuse category 1 and category 2; they think "Zionist" means "far right Israeli settler" or something like that. They don't realise that Zionism is simply the founding ideology of the State of Israel (and which was actually opposed by many religious Jews originally... the people who founded the State of Israel were predominantly socialist atheists and Israel had socialist governments for its first 30 years).

    I consider myself a staunch supporter of the State of Israel, I understand why it is so vital that there be at least one place on earth where they could flee if things ever got truly bad again. And I think the Jews have concluded they're not going to let themselves be herded into gas chambers again, now they have nuclear weapons and they will do whatever it takes to survive. Governments around the world also know they risk angering Israel and attracting the attention of the Mossad if they start to harass their Jewish minority.

    I also think many on the student left have a very ahistorical understanding of the State of Israel. For many who get their knowledge about it primarily from what other people who are more committed to the subject have told them, they are under a great misapprehension. They think that basically the Jews turned up in landing crafts in 1948, that Europe and the US basically gifted them a state out of guilt for the Holocaust, etc. They don't realise that Jews have lived continuously in the Levant since the BC era, that Jerusalem for example had a Jewish majority in the mid 1800s. Also, that the Jews had to fight for their survival in 1948 and they had little help from Europe or America; most of their arms came through a strange deal with Stalin who allowed them to buy arms from Czechoslovakia most of which were factories still using Third Reich designs. The Jordanian Legion, the best armed and trained Arab military force, was supplied by the British and led by British officers. Royal Air Force patrols got into dogfights with Israeli Air Force Messerchmitts they'd purchased from Czecho.

    And of course there's the million or so Middle Eastern Jews from Iraq, Syria, Yemen, Egypt etc who had to leave their homes and move to Israel such that today a majority of Israeli Jews are descended from Middle Eastern Mizrahi Jews.

    Anyway, sorry for the short rant. Your post was superb and a cut above what we usually see on here.
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    (Original post by Observatory)
    It's precisely the tactic used:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/V-weapons
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Qassam_rocket

    The Nazis fired a bit over 10,000 rockets, the Palestinians a bit less than 9,000.
    Of hugely different destructive capacities, among other differences.

    It's as ridiculous as to say that supporting the Nazis didn't become OK in 1945 because the Nazis became too weak to put their genocide and world conquest plans into practice.
    It's ridiculous because you morally equated genocide of millions to the deaths of a handful of people.

    The Nazis had already committed genocide by 1945. In fact, most of the Holocaust had happened by late 1943.

    It's the idea that's the thing, not the means.
    I disagree that it's either; it's about actions. Particularly as what we were discussing was legitimacies of tactics.
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    (Original post by anarchism101)
    Of hugely different destructive capacities, among other differences.

    It's ridiculous because you morally equated genocide of millions to the deaths of a handful of people.

    The Nazis had already committed genocide by 1945. In fact, most of the Holocaust had happened by late 1943.

    I disagree that it's either; it's about actions. Particularly as what we were discussing was legitimacies of tactics.
    If one believes Palestine has a right to carpet bomb Israeli cities, one should believe Israel has a right to carpet bomb Palestinian cities. Or one could believe that no one has this right, but doesn't have to respect any such restriction if one's opponent breaches it first. That was our position in WWII.

    You seem to believe that Palestine has a right to carpet bomb Israeli cities, but Israel doesn't have a right to carpet bomb Palestinian cities. This means you support genocide of Israelis.

    You reply that you don't support genocide of Israelis, because your support for Palestinian carpet bombing of Israel is contingent on it killing relatively few people. I do not find support for killing small but not large numbers of people morally plausible. Either it is acceptable to kill people in certain circumstances on the basis of some military necessity, or it is not acceptable to kill anyone in those circumstances.
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    (Original post by BeastOfSyracuse)
    Absolutely superb post mate, I cannot commend you highly enough for a very thoughtful, insightful and incisive contribution. I particularly appreciate how you distinguished the four categories.

    In my experience, many people on the student left confuse category 1 and category 2; they think "Zionist" means "far right Israeli settler" or something like that. They don't realise that Zionism is simply the founding ideology of the State of Israel (and which was actually opposed by many religious Jews originally... the people who founded the State of Israel were predominantly socialist atheists and Israel had socialist governments for its first 30 years).

    I consider myself a staunch supporter of the State of Israel, I understand why it is so vital that there be at least one place on earth where they could flee if things ever got truly bad again. And I think the Jews have concluded they're not going to let themselves be herded into gas chambers again, now they have nuclear weapons and they will do whatever it takes to survive. Governments around the world also know they risk angering Israel and attracting the attention of the Mossad if they start to harass their Jewish minority.

    I also think many on the student left have a very ahistorical understanding of the State of Israel. For many who get their knowledge about it primarily from what other people who are more committed to the subject have told them, they are under a great misapprehension. They think that basically the Jews turned up in landing crafts in 1948, that Europe and the US basically gifted them a state out of guilt for the Holocaust, etc. They don't realise that Jews have lived continuously in the Levant since the BC era, that Jerusalem for example had a Jewish majority in the mid 1800s. Also, that the Jews had to fight for their survival in 1948 and they had little help from Europe or America; most of their arms came through a strange deal with Stalin who allowed them to buy arms from Czechoslovakia most of which were factories still using Third Reich designs. The Jordanian Legion, the best armed and trained Arab military force, was supplied by the British and led by British officers. Royal Air Force patrols got into dogfights with Israeli Air Force Messerchmitts they'd purchased from Czecho.

    And of course there's the million or so Middle Eastern Jews from Iraq, Syria, Yemen, Egypt etc who had to leave their homes and move to Israel such that today a majority of Israeli Jews are descended from Middle Eastern Mizrahi Jews.

    Anyway, sorry for the short rant. Your post was superb and a cut above what we usually see on here.
    When people say they are "anti-Zionists", they not saying they are against Israel because of the actions of the Israeli Government at the moment. They're saying they're against the existence of Israel in the first place. So when they try to make out like they wouldn't be against Israel if only they did this, or did that, it's a lie. What Israel does has no bearing on their views of Israel because what they want to see if the destruction of Israel since they don't believe Israel has a right to exist.

    So when they go on their little whines, it's hard to take them seriously.
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    (Original post by KimKallstrom)
    When people say they are "anti-Zionists", they not saying they are against Israel because of the actions of the Israeli Government at the moment. They're saying they're against the existence of Israel in the first place. So when they try to make out like they wouldn't be against Israel if only they did this, or did that, it's a lie. What Israel does has no bearing on their views of Israel because what they want to see if the destruction of Israel since they don't believe Israel has a right to exist.

    So when they go on their little whines, it's hard to take them seriously.
    It's true that "anti-Zionism" technically means opposition to Israel's existence. But I also think there are many on the student left who think they are anti-Zionists when they're not.

    One girl I was speaking to called herself anti-Zionist, but then said she wants to see the two-state solution so both Israel and Palestine can live in peace. Obviously she's under a great misapprehension as to the meaning of "anti-Zionist".

    OF course there are also the more sinister factions on the hard left who know exactly what anti-Zionism means and are 100% committed to it
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    (Original post by anarchism101)
    Of hugely different destructive capacities, among other differences.
    The intentions were the same though; the use of rocket projectiles as a terror weapon. Targeting the enemy civilian population centres as a means to put pressure on them.

    And if people like you had your way, then Hamas would be completely free to build up their military capabilities so that eventually they would have access to V-2 type rockets.

    The reason there is a distinction in destructive capacities is because the IDF has worked to prevent necessary materiel from getting into Gaza, and when Hamas kicks off the IDF takes the opportunity to reduce their overall stockpiles and attack their production facilities
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    (Original post by BeastOfSyracuse)
    It's true that "anti-Zionism" technically means opposition to Israel's existence. But I also think there are many on the student left who think they are anti-Zionists when they're not.

    One girl I was speaking to called herself anti-Zionist, but then said she wants to see the two-state solution so both Israel and Palestine can live in peace. Obviously she's under a great misapprehension as to the meaning of "anti-Zionist".

    OF course there are also the more sinister factions on the hard left who know exactly what anti-Zionism means and are 100% committed to it
    +1. And alarming that so many anti-Zionists and anti-Semites on the far left use broad-brush criticisms of hardline settlers' behaviour to smear all of Israel, and all Jews.

    Historically, many British Jews have been instinctively left wing. But the ones I know are increasingly uncomfortable with a Labour Party that seems to tolerate anti-Semites and apologists for Muslim terrorism.
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    (Original post by Dodgypirate)
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/education-36094328

    "A student who previously rejected a motion condemning the so-called Islamic State has been elected as the president of the National Union of Students."



    How progressive, how forward-thinking.
    If you bothered to do actual research into this case instead of simply accepting a BBC article as Fact, you may actually learn what really happened here. This is the motion she spoke for: http://s3-eu-west-1.amazonaws.com/nu...esolutions.pdf
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    (Original post by BeastOfSyracuse)
    It's true that "anti-Zionism" technically means opposition to Israel's existence. But I also think there are many on the student left who think they are anti-Zionists when they're not.

    One girl I was speaking to called herself anti-Zionist, but then said she wants to see the two-state solution so both Israel and Palestine can live in peace. Obviously she's under a great misapprehension as to the meaning of "anti-Zionist".

    OF course there are also the more sinister factions on the hard left who know exactly what anti-Zionism means and are 100% committed to it
    You know what. Your point about lots of people proclaiming to be anti-Zionist without knowing what that means is a fair one. Thinking about it, I'll yield on that.

    However when talking about the likes of the NUS president, I fully stand by my statement
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    (Original post by Mark19)
    +1. And alarming that so many anti-Zionists and anti-Semites on the far left use broad-brush criticisms of hardline settlers' behaviour to smear all of Israel, and all Jews.

    Historically, many British Jews have been instinctively left wing. But the ones I know are increasingly uncomfortable with a Labour Party that seems to tolerate anti-Semites and apologists for Muslim terrorism.
    Well it was recently that the Vice President (if I recall correctly) of the Oxford University Labour Club who quit over constant harassment of Jewish students. I heard that Jeremy Corbyn personally proceeded to quash the original investigation into this for fear of it unearthing some pretty nasty behaviour by one of Labour's rising stars who is a staunch Corbynite. My source might be mistaken on that (I hope to God they are) but either way the guy's resignation letter was rather unsettling as it echoed a pattern of behaviour who have recently become all too familiar with among the hard left.

    I also distinctly recall the Facebook postings from the online newspapers. The comments sections were all overwhelmingly unsympathetic and lots of antisemitism from the usual sorts was present. It was sad to see but unsurprising.
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    (Original post by Mark19)
    There are four concepts that matter here:

    1. Being against militant Zionism
    2. Being against Zionism
    3. Supporting terrorism
    4. Denying or downplaying the Holocaust

    The first of these is uncontroversial. Militant Zionists are those who settle lands not recognised by the international community as part of Israel. They are, in effect, stealing the Palestinians' homeland. This is clearly unacceptable to most people, including 99% of Jews, even most Israelis.

    The second is a legitimate opinion, albeit one that flies in the face of international law and archeological evidence. Zionism is simply the belief that the state of Israel has the right to exist, with its borders as at 1967, on land inhabited by the Jewish people for at least 3000 years (archeologists have found the remains of synagogues dating back more than three millennia there).

    The third, which Bouattia has done, is in my view absolutely out of order. She has called for 'armed resistance' by Palestinians and refused to condemn ISIS. If one student is emboldened by her actions to join ISIS or give money to a terrorist group, she should be held responsible for her contribution to the resulting deaths.
    1. There is no such thing as "militant Zionism". Zionism was a national Jewish movement aimed creation of Jewish state. National, non religious. All founders of Zionism were non religious. All or almost all settlers are religious. They don't call themselves Zionists and nobody in Israel call them Zionists. More proper to call them religious nationalists.
    2. Zionism has nothing to do with 1967 borders. In fact there were not and there are not such borders.
    Zionism has fulfilled its historic role after creation of Jewish state. Using the word "Zionists" in negative context today means denying the right of Israel to exist as a Jewish state. In Israel today live Israelis, not Zionists.
    3.As far as I know there is no legal, formal international definition of terrorism. This is used by supporters of terrorism, who substitute "terror" by "armed struggle against evil occupants".
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    Fighting Israeli colonialism is considered 'terrorism' nowadays. However when Israel blows up 4 boys playing on a beach it is called self-defence. Go figure.
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    (Original post by Happy97)
    Mate, if she wasn't a Muslim there wouldn't be a right-wing media witch-hunt against her. What she might or might not have said about Jews is irrelevant, the truth of the matter is Malia Bouattia is being attacked because of her religious background. It cannot be denied that there are elements in the media who are blatantly Islamophobic and wish to paint all Muslims with the same brush e.g. Rupert Murdoch.
    It's interesting that media on both sides of the spectrum are criticising her. The Guardian, for example, is far from the Telegraph in terms of political bias and yet have found that her election is not good for the NUS.

    (Original post by Happy97)
    I'm not for or against Malia Bouattia, nevertheless as a Muslim I refuse to believe the media is objective and neutral when it comes to Muslims. Right-wing media is free to criticise my religion however they seem too busy focusing on painting Muslims as a 'fifth column' who are intent on destroying Europe. A considerable chunk of the media wants to polarise society into 'us' and 'them'. Sadly, a lot of people have fallen for this nonsense and this is why you see movements such as Pegida, who sincerely believe Europe is being invaded by migrants/refugees.
    This type of self-victimisation is exactly what's wrong here. Compare yourself to other minorities in Europe. There is no such issue with them. Why is that? Sometimes it's important to reflect on one's own beliefs and actions before blaming others.

    (Original post by Happy97)
    This scaremongering tactic is being deployed to distract the masses from harsh economic realities and the only real winners are the top elites (Bankers, Politicians, Wall-street) and ISIS. Yes, ISIS. This is because they rely on Muslims being victimised so that they can gain new followers i.e. Radicalised youngsters.
    Evidence.

    (Original post by Happy97)
    Secondly, ISIS are an extremist group who use the religion of Islam to further their own selfish agendas and do not represent Muslims at all. In fact, they label Muslims as non-Muslims and murder them if they do not subscribe to their sadistic interpretations of the Quran. Muslims all around the world have denounced them repeatedly, but you won't see this on mainstream media. I wonder why?
    If this hasn't been shown on the mainstream media how do you know it's been denounced by Muslims everywhere?

    (Original post by Happy97)
    Regarding the motion, Malia Bouattia has condemned ISIS on many occasions but did not vote since she was against the wordings of the motion. I don't agree with her in this particular case but right wing media has portrayed this action of hers as a 'refusal to condemn IS' , Funnily enough you seem to think she did this because of her 'Islamic views'
    It's hardly 'funny'. Her views on this topic remain far too ambiguous. She states she supports the Kurds who are fighting ISIS but refuses to openly condemn the organisation. How is one to interpret such statements? Secondly, condemning ISIS would be condemning an organisation that follows a literal interpretation of scripture. Condemning them would be unIslamic.

    (Original post by Happy97)
    When Muslims are slandered on the media it is called 'Freedom of speech'. On the other hand, if a person criticises Israel they are at risk of being jailed and labelled as 'anti-Semitic' or as a 'terrorist sympathiser'. Unfortunately, double standards have become the norm within the media and Muslims have become fair game.
    You're placing every single media outlet into on category. Are you therefore stating that the writers of the Guardian or Telegraph should be compared to the views shared by the Sun?
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    http://www.theguardian.com/commentis...is-sympathiser
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    Isn't she a Berber Algerian Arab?? She doesn't look black to me
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    (Original post by Mark19)
    +1. And alarming that so many anti-Zionists and anti-Semites on the far left use broad-brush criticisms of hardline settlers' behaviour to smear all of Israel, and all Jews.

    Historically, many British Jews have been instinctively left wing. But the ones I know are increasingly uncomfortable with a Labour Party that seems to tolerate anti-Semites and apologists for Muslim terrorism.
    Surely the problem is that Israel as a whole has increasingly taken on settler rhetoric and positions and that Israeli governments have repeatedly permitted and encouraged settler expansion, particularly in E. Jerusalem, an obviously sensitive zone. What you term "hardline settlers' behaviour" is increasingly mainstream Israeli government policy, particularly under Netanyahu.

    Against a backdrop of strident Israeli government denial of past misdeeds against Palestinians (most serious historians now agree that the Palestinians were brutally and systematically mistreated in the early years of Israel - the only people who don't are the Israelis themselves), continued settler development and a total unwillingness to commit to meaningful dialogue, apparently a position supported by the US and UK governments, it appears very difficult for people who care about the plight of Palestinians to take a view that Israel is also victimised.
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    (Original post by Fullofsurprises)
    The key thing in this debate is, does disliking Zionism = anti-semitism?

    The PR from the Israeli right and their supporters abroad is that they are one on the same.

    To many of the left, they are very different things.

    The problem is that it's hard to sort out what people's motives are in the middle of it all. There are anti-semites amongst the Left who take an anti-zionist line merely as a pretext. There are also supporters of Israel who blanket every charge against the Israeli government or Israeli actions as anti-semitism. Both are surely wrong.

    We can't easily tell if the new NUS president is only politically anti-zionist and not aligning herself with anti-Jewish tendencies, but her previous statements do tend to indicate that her anti-zionism is at minimum, unsophisticated. From what I've been able to read of her positions outside of the Daily Mail and the Torygraph, it would also seem like she's busy back-pedalling various fairly anti-semitic sounding things she's said in the past, but on the whole, her position is anti-Zionist rather than anti-Jewish as such.

    In the end it's all down to how you view anti-Zionism. You either view it as being anti-racist and view the Israeli state as racist due to its colonialist expulsion and mistreatment of native Palestinians, or you view it as wrong because after the Holocaust, the Jews needed a safe homeland and it is traditionally 'their land of Israel'.

    As everyone pretty much falls into one of those two camps and it's extremely hard to completely resolve either position as totally correct, there is going to continue to be fierce debate between them. Seems like not the right thing to disaffiliate over to me.
    Excellent post.
    Both sides of the debate are so dogmatic and uncompromising.
    There are many who use anti-zionism as you say as an excuse to mask their anti-semitic feelings. There are also many on the other side as you say that want to shut down any debate about Israel by converging anti-semitism and anti-zionism and criticism of Israel to all mean the same thing.

    As always, sensible voices in the middle are crowded out by the nutters on both sides.
    I support Israel's right to exist as a Jewish state but I am hugely opposed to the govts actions.

    The problem is most people tend to take a black and white approach of 'either Israel is always right and everyone who criticizes is a hard left anti-semite' or 'Israel is the worst thing that's ever happened ever'.

    You don't get many sensible, moderate voices in the middle and that's why more than anything, I am so tediously bored and frustrated with the whole thing.
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    (Original post by Jammy Duel)
    I find the best bit about them refusing to denounce ISIS because that would be islamaphobic is that these are the very same sorts of people who claim that people who join ISIS are not Muslims.
    Indeed it smacks of hypocrisy.
    NUS are a joke. Whilst I understand the need to have sensitivity, when it gets to things like being called sexist/prejudiced for using the pronouns 'he' and 'she' without seeking express permission first, its just laughable.

    Thing i'm most surprised with is why people get so invested in student politics in the first place when it just doesn't matter at all. It mostly just seems to give people a hollow sense of self-importance.
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    (Original post by Bornblue)
    Thing i'm most surprised with is why people get so invested in student politics in the first place when it just doesn't matter at all. It mostly just seems to give people a hollow sense of self-importance.
    I get the impression that high-level student politics is a recruiting ground for the Labour Party and the trade unions. See Wes Streeting as an example.
 
 
 
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