Owen Jones vs Israel war crimes apologist

7 Jun
Hen Mazzig: I do understand why this conflict raises a lot of emotions I think we need to focus on reality and I understand especially when you are Jewish or Palestinian or Arab why you feel so  connected to this conflict and really hurt and upset. I’m upset for my family and friends I lost on October 7. I don’t understand why you are upset …
Owen Jones: Because I object to genocide. I’m a human being.

I have my criticisms of Owen Jones. One concerns Vladimir Putin, and precedes by many years the SMO of February 2022. The other concerns Syria. In his writings on both I detect two flaws. One is ahistoricity. He wrote of Putin as if Yeltsin, and Russia’s years of 90s disaster capitalism – see Chapters 10-11 of Naomi Klein’s Shock Doctrine – hadn’t happened. And of Syria as if the US Empire didn’t exist, and Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya and Yemen hadn’t happened either.

The other flaw is his ‘universalism’. I wrote on this in 2016, in the context of the dirty war on Syria, and won’t repeat my arguments here. I’ll simply summarise universalism as the humanist demand, to the uninformed eye reasonable, that all societies – a besieged postcolonial state in the cross-hairs of a hegemon no less than a collective west enriched by centuries of plunder – be held to the very same standards of ‘democracy’, free speech and even ‘political correctness’.

(I also see universalism in Owen’s assertions, in combative exchanges of dazzling brilliance, that the October 7 Uprising was “an atrocity”. For reasons I’ve given elsewhere, I refuse to condemn Hamas but it’s not a red line for me. I can agree to differ.)

But when it comes to Israel’s mass murder in Gaza, and the eight decades of racist oppression which preceded and form an essential component of understanding it, I take my hat off to this man. And not solely for being on the right side of history, at no small risk to career when his fellows in a debased profession are dithering at best. I want also to applaud his devastating eloquence, command of facts – which demands hard work – and ability to think on his feet.

If it were possible to feel sorry for a war crimes apologist, I do believe I might find a smidgeon of sympathy for the hapless Hen Mazzig, outclassed and showing it at every turn. But of course it isn’t, and even if it were, his tactic of twisting Owen’s words – starting 13:35 – on the German State’s backing of one genocide as reparation for another, a tactic no less vile for being born of desperation, would quash it in an instant.

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6 Replies to “Owen Jones vs Israel war crimes apologist

  1. Morning Phil.
    I share your views on Owen Jones entirely, just adding his record on the Corbyn years to his charge sheet.
    I haven’t watched the video as I stopped reading his stuff/listening to him some years ago, because I have such a low opinion of him.
    He does deserve credit for being on the right side of history over Gaza, but this is as you say, alongside all the embarrassingly awful guff he’s spouted over the years. No doubt he’s been either brainwashed by his pals at the Guardian, or even worse I think, gone along with their agenda to stay in with the in crowd there. Also obviously the pay will be pretty good.
    But given that the Guardian appear (I don’t read it, I’m going by reports of others who point to their pro zionist stance) just as bad on Gaza as on every
    other subject critical to power, why Owen Jones has decided to stick his neck out on this. The answer no doubt is he’s as horrified by genocide as every other normal human being. But if he can be so eloquent, impressive on Gaza, how to reconcile this with all the shite he’s spouted on every single other major foreign policy?
    Maybe his days at the Guardian are numbered.
    As for this zionist, who I’ve never heard of, saying he can’t understand why people like Owen Jones are upset about genocide. What kind of freak thinks like that and says it out loud?
    And of course to him it’s a “conflict”.
    Have a good day x

    • Thanks Margaret, and a good day to you too.

      Owen Jones has been superb on Gaza. Even his damning of October 7 I can overlook, not just because it’s not a red line for me but because he does what I don’t: go into the lion’s den to engage adversaries directly. On that count he is in my book entitled to choose his battles. In many of the exchanges I’ve seen – this one with an odiously smirking Ed Balls is a case in point – his condemning of Hamas short-circuits opponents and allows him to fry bigger fish.

      I haven’t heard him in a long time on Syria, so can’t say whether he’s changed his tune in light of what has emerged since 2016 on that filthy war of imperialism. That said, those who studied facts – and were unswayed by propaganda blitz or a handful of dissident ex-pats in the West – already knew enough even then.

  2. I didn’t know Owen Jones had been damning of October 7th but it doesn’t surprise me.
    I’m less forgiving than you, because in my opinion people who know (and Owen Jones knows) we’re ruled over by bloodthirsty warmongering criminals who are prepared to risk destroying every living thing on the planet through nuclear annihilation in their insane obsession with ruling the world, while denying their own citizens a decent living, health care etc., don’t deserve any credit for picking and choosing which atrocities to condemn, while helping manufacturing consent for other atrocities.
    I don’t want my son and daughter, my son in law, husband, the family dog ffs, to die in a nuclear exchange. It keeps me awake at night.
    So I won’t listen to Owen Jones.
    Otherwise I’m having a nice day in the summer sunshine.

  3. New Song of Solomon

    Oh, Rose of Zion, thou art sick.
    Thou art like a thorn growing among lilies
    so that your daughters exude Glyphosate
    Behold, you are ugly,
    and your eyes are those of bats
    Your breasts are like pustules of plague

    You are like unto a young roe
    That leads the huntsman on
    to the Valley of Death
    You are sick of love
    and you pine exceedingly
    for children’s
    and babies blood.

    ‘Stay me with bayonets
    Comfort me with tanks
    Guide me with AI choices’.

    Your beloved brought you
    to the charnel house
    And his banner over you is ethnocide
    And you sit under the shadow of the bomb
    with great delight.

    You are become the great whore of Babylon.

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