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    Jonty Goodson

    Good posting, Judy, especially the comments on the lack of interest from supposed Palestinian-solidarity individuals and groups about how bad the PA leadership in general is for the Palestinians!

    Also interesting re Engage which contains such an odd mix of good and bad stuff - often providing excellent deconstructions of left antisemitism/antiZionism, but then sometimes employing the same ideas/language as the latter (e.g. claim that Sharon uses false allegations of antisemitism to shield his 'racist' policies etc). So any more thoughts on what's going on at Engage, Judy, would be very welcome!

    Alexandra Simonon, Engage

    "I somehow don't think we'll find that case being argued on the Engage web site, but you never know. I live in hope."

    In fact we are in touch with Queers Against Terror and have asked them to write an article for Engage.

    And we have discussed the issue on Engage months ago (, when "Queers Undermining Israeli Terrorism" (QUIT!) launched a campaign to boycott World Pride Jerusalem. I wrote at the time:

    "Israel is the only country in the Middle East where a Gay Pride could possibly take place. There would certainly be no Gay Pride in the PA. The reason for this is that Hamas is blatantly, violently homophobic, and that homophobia spreads like a disease to the PA and the Palestinian solidarity movements abroad."

    I think you must remember it, as you emailed me personnally at the time, to express the view that gays should show more humility.

    Best wishes.


    Alexandra-- I am glad to see that you'll be featuring an article by QAT. The point I was making was about the particular argument I quoted that says that supporting the Palestinian push for statehood is not progressive, for it amounts to support for totalitarianism (and also terrorism). That's what I said I thought it was unlikely Engage would support. As I said, I live in hope, so I hope Engage surprises me.

    I'm surprised too that you should think it appropriate to quote from a private email on a public comment forum without seeking permission, but maybe that's how you do things. The point I actually made was that I thought that gays should show humility and sensitivity in imposing their place to parade through an area of Jerusalem of intensely deeply felt religious opposition to *all* displays of sexuality, naked flesh etc, since it is open to gays to parade anywhere in Israel.

    Jon Pike


    1. You're wholly wrong to take us to task on the question of Hamas's homophobia and QAT. We've never been silent on this, and there is no reason why we should be. Goodson is wrong, in his comment below: we've given lots of coverage to the homophobia of Hamas. This is probably just a misunderstanding.

    2. You're right to criticise the rather bland and vague statement that 'We'll look to ground the AUT's policy on consistent, progressive and internationalist principles.' Those were my words, (written in a bit of a hurry. Here's a thing: I'm pretty anxious to clear anti-semitism out of my union. I'm pretty anxious to stop it pushing for boycotts of Israel. That anxiety, that will, that activity, has, I guess, paid off. But sometimes it leads to slightly imperfect formulations. I'm most embarassed about the 'campism' that that particular formulation invokes.) The comments are rather anodyne and unspecific. I do think consistency is extremely important, though, annoying philosopher that I am.

    I'm working with others on a redraft which I hope will be better, and address your criticism.

    3. Thanks for pointing people to my paper to FFIPP.

    4. Will you withdraw your accusation that Linda Grant shares Tom Paulin's approval of shooting Israeli Settlers?



    Jon-- if you note my comment to Alexandra, you'll see that I was not referring to Engage's coverage or otherwise of homophobia. I was specifically addressing *this* comment:

    It is incredible that Palestinian statehood can be a "progressive" cause, when the state they seek is one in which terrorism is tolerated but gay people are not. Such a state is totalitarian, not progressive.

    Thanks for your acknowledgement of the point I made about "progressive" & "internationalist" stances. I look forward to reading the revised version.

    You state that I accused Linda Grant of sharing Tom Paulin's approval of shooting Israeli settlers. I did not do this. Please read and (hopefully) take account of the words I used. I have already responded in the relevant comments thread making this point. I do not intend to discuss this point any further.

    Jon Pike

    Oh, well. Judy, you said, this:

    "I realise that people like Tom Paulin think that would be a perfectly reasonable response (shooting settlers(JP))to the visit. Maybe at some level you agree with him."

    Of course, you can get off the hook. Maybe the moon is made of green cheese, maybe not. But the implication is clear, and you impute to Linda Grant views that she does not hold. This is unwise. Come on, Judy. You can be concessive: I was, above.


    Alexandra Simonon

    indeed it is unlikely that anyone on Engage will argue that Palestinian statehood should be discouraged on the basis that the state *they* seek is one that supports terrorism but is violently homophobic.

    This might be the plan of Palestinian totalitarians, but when you accept it as what "they" (the Palestinians) want, you're agreeing with Hamas. Do you see Hamas as the 'sole legitimate representative of the Palestinian people'?

    There are other totalitarian (and violently homophobic) states in the world, do you think that statehoood should be taken away from them, and they should be occupied by a truly progressive force? Or do you think it would be preferable for the victims of these states to enjoy freedom within their own, democratic state? That's the answer: it's the democratic (or undemocratic) nature of the state that is crucial, not statehood itself.

    So, in short, the demands for a democratic palestinian state is a progressive cause, and Hamas' dream of statehood is definitely not. If you think that Engage supports the PSC as a progressive cause, you must have misread us somehow.

    I am sorry if you felt it a breach of confidence to quote the email you sent to me, I genuinely thought you had sent it for publication, I hadn't realised it was a private email.

    Best wishes

    Jonty Goodson


    You wrote this above:

    "Goodson is wrong, in his comment below [sic]: we've given lots of coverage to the homophobia of Hamas."

    Did you mean me by "Goodson"? If so, I don't understand your point. My comment above about Engage's odd mix of good/bad stuff was an overall observation about its opposition to left antisemitism in general, not about Hamas homophobia in particular.

    Jonty Goodson


    Alexandra-- you write as if you had not read the post on which you comment here.

    It is based on extended quotes from a Palestinian journalist of impeccable Palestinian-supporting credentials which show clearly that the Palestinian Authority itself is directly responsible for plenty of thuggery, terrorism and corruption.

    It also knowingly and complacently presides over more of the same by others, according to the journalist.

    The PA also deliberately persecutes and harasses gays, which is a core feature of this post.

    I had already posted on Palestinian Authority condonation of/active support for thuggery and terrorism here:

    So the idea that it's Hamas which is totalitarian, and it's quite OK to support the current Palestinian Authority's demands for statehood is in my view and that of the QAT writer mistaken.

    Your analogies are inappropriate. I do not advocate the abolition of states like Saudi Arabia, but I do not in any way regard myself as a supporter of that country, or China, Cuba or other totalitarian states.

    The present elected representatives of the Palestinian people continue to support not disarming terrorists. Indeed they pay tribute to their role in the struggle, and propose to recruit them into the official PA forces. Meanwhile, the Chief Justice of the PA has resigned in protest.

    I do not support the PA or any other similarly totalitarian and terror-supporting regime. That is the point the QAT writer I cited was making. I don't think any democracy-supporting group should either.

    Jon Pike

    Jonty Goodson,
    Sorry, I misunderstood your comment completely, and responded rudely. But since I suppose I'm being cast as a supposed Palestinian-solidarity individual, I'd assert that I am interested in precisely the democratic and liberal credentials of both the PA and Hamas.



    wow, long posts and comments! I didn't read every word...but I was struck by one comment in particular...

    If you don't define what Baruch Goldstein did as terrorism, how do you define terrorism?

    By the way, there is a Palestinian lesbian group on the West Bank I think. (I think it's called "Aswat." )


    Anne-- I'm not sure where you find a comment on Baruch Goldstein in this thread?


    You’ve got the irony of the UN’s situation peefrct. Come to think of it, considering that the UN does a lot to help perpetuate the fabricated existence of a “Palestinian” people and to keep them being used as political pawns by keeping them in perpetual refugee status, maybe the quasi-holiday ought to be called the “International Day of Solidarity Against the “Palestinian” People”...

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