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NewsFlash: As the world's only superpower continues to attack the resistance in Iraq with powerful tanks and gunships, a leading Egyptian Islamic personality has warned that a "volcano of anger" could explode against the U.S. in response. The unusual ly blunt statement was made this weekend by Ali Gumaa, the Mufty of Egypt and the country's highest authority on Islamic law. Get latest details at MiddleEast.org.


Mid-East Realities - MER - www.MiddleEast.Org - 22 August 2004: In 1988 one of America's leading Professors of Constitutional Law and international human rights wrote a long essay supporting the Palestinian people in their struggle against Israeli occupation.

Professor Charles Black was then teaching at Columbia University Law School in New York where his wife Barbara was then Dean. He had spent nearly 40 years teaching at Yale Law School and upon his retirement an entire issue of the Yale Law Journal was devoted to his teaching and scholarship.

For the first and only time in Professor Black's long and distinguished career he found that no U.S journal or magazine would publish his essay supporting the Palestinian struggle, endorsing the legitimacy of the Intifada, and calling for the U.S. to suspend the huge yearly financial subsidy going to Israel.

And so Professor Black's uniquely important essay had to be privately published as a 28-page pamphlet. And in tribute to Professor Black when he passed away a few years ago the pamphlet was made available at MiddleEast.org/black.

Now, in this age in which the Israelis are treating the Palestinians far worse than even then, attacking Palestinian towns and refugee camps with helicopter gunships and tanks; now in this time of Israeli Apartheid and 'The Wall'; a major European philosophy professor has come forward to courageously speak up on behalf of the Palestinian people in their overwhelming struggle against the Israelis and their American supporters.

There should not even be a need to point out that in view of what has been done to the Palestinians for many generations their struggle is fully legitimate and morally justified, no matter how badly led. Indeed, it is this history of brutal and colonial policies that the Western powers -- and in recent times primarily the U.S., the U.K., and Israel -- have perpetrated on the peoples of the Middle East, and especially the people of Palestine, that has substantially fueled today's hatreds and warfares throughout the region.

But because of the huge propaganda war in which the U.S. and Israel also have overwhelming firepower at their disposal, what leading Professors like Charles Black and now Ted Honderich have to say is in fact of critical importance.

'Palestinian terror - morally justified'

by Lawrence Smallman

18 August 2004 - A leading philosopher, who has been compared to Bertrand Russell and Jean-Paul Sartre and praised by Noam Chomsky, says Palestinian "terrorism" is a moral response to Israeli ethnic cleansing.

Ted Honderich, a professor of philosophy at University College London, plans to take the same message to the Edinburgh International Book Fair on Thursday, where tickets to hear his speech have already sold out.

The philosopher plans to begin his talk at the Opus Theatre with a close look at definitions of terrorism, particularly when it applies to Palestine and the expansion of Israel outside its 1967 borders.

He concludes it is "killing and maiming for political and social ends illegal in terms of national or international law", and suggests Iraq could also fall into this definition.

"It needs remarking, seemingly, that the plain definition of terrorism, which essentially takes it to be a kind of illegal political violence, cannot but include terrorism by a state," he told Aljazeera.net on Wednesday.

Considering causes

"America is now engaged, as I say, in the principal piece of moral stupidity of this time it is as if the causes of terrorism that are neo-Zionism and Palestine do not exist," he added.

"It is as if the causes of terrorism that are neo-Zionism and Palestine do not exist"

Ted Honderich,
Emeritus professor of philosophy, University College

Honderich does not limit his criticism to Washington.

"In Britain we used to hear the government line about being tough on crime and tough on the causes of crime in our own society.

"The government has stopped saying that now. I fancy that one of the reasons is anticipation of people asking about being tough on terrorism and tough on the causes of terrorism."

Neo-Zionism blamed

Honderich told Aljazeera.net he believed that though "it would have been just to carve a Jewish state out of a part of Germany it was right to assign a part of Palestine to the Jewish people" due to their substantial population in the region.

In the land assigned to them by the United Nations, "there were an equal number of Palestinians and Jews in that part of Palestine". There were 80 times as many Palestinians as Jews in the other part of Palestine.

However, defining "neo-Zionism" as the movement to expand Israel outside its pre-1967 borders, he condemns some Israeli policy today as an "ongoing rapacity of ethnic cleansing, the violation of the remaining homeland of the remaining Palestinians".

"It dishonours the great Jewish moral and political tradition of resolute compassion for the badly-off, a tradition now exemplifed by Noam Chomsky."

"This rape of a people and a homeland is in its wrongfulness a kind of moral datum and issues in a moral right on the part of the Palestinians to their terrorism," he concludes.


Formerly married to a Jew, Honderich brushes aside allegations that he is anti-Semitic.

But his objections to neo-Zionism have lead to several vicious email campaigns and even lead to a leading UK charity to refuse a sizeable donation.

Criticising Tel Aviv has become a dangerous business, he claims.

"A new American dictionary, Merriam-Websters' Third New International Dictionary, defines anti-Semitism as 'sympathy for the opponents of Israel'," he says.

"This tells you of the usefulness and the responsibility of lexicographers. The brazenness of the definition calls for a reply. It is that in the sense in question we ought all to be anti-Semites.

Anti-Semitism, he insists "is not to be taken as prohibiting condemnation of the violation of Palestine". Wednesday 18 August 2004 - Aljazeera.


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