Stephen Franks Gets it 100% Right

God its good to have lawyer on the blogosphere, who actually understands human rights.

Commenting on the case where an Invercargill Muslim cafe owner refused service to two Israeli born women, Stephen Franks makes the point that “shunning” is (or should be) a right.

The Israeli ambassador should butt out. I object to his attempt to circumscribe the freedom of Turkish New Zealanders,. The Israeli New Zealanders were right to draw attention to the issue, but they do not need the law or the government to intervene simply because they have been offended.

Though I do not share the Invercargill Turks’ views on Israel in any degree, I defend them. I defend their right to express their views by shunning citizens of a state they consider to be evil.

I would not shun an ANC South African despite their government’s support of Mugabe. I would not shun a Sudanese despite Darfur, without evidence of complicity or support for their odious government’s behaviour. I do not shun Moslems despite their religion’s abhorrent attitude to women. To me it is discourteous to shun people. I have not walked in their shoes. I do not know their personal views of the beliefs or conduct that offends me.

If a government agency acted as the Turks did it would be utterly wrong. The state weilds the coercive power of us all. It must be tolerant in a free society. Without proof of involvement in or support of unlawful acts the State certainly should not discriminate against New Zealand citizens simply because they are of a group in which some members have unpopular opinions.

But the vigour of our values (in the long term our freedoms) may depend on the willingness of individuals to be intolerant so long as they do not coerce their fellow citizens. So I defend the right of any private citizen to shun whoever they want on their own property.

That right to shun can not depend on first establishing exactly what an individual thinks. Most effective social sanctions are class sanctions. They depend on stereotyping. Without stereotyping much essential human action would be paralysed.

I may be hesitant to inflict class punishment for the behaviour of only some of the members of a class. Perhaps at an individual level I might show disgust if I had reason to think they endorsed the detested actions or opinions. But not all of us must be made so squeamish by law.

There are many individual ways to express moral repugnance. Individuals can be obliged to take sides, to say where they stand, and if necessary to wear the costs of unpopular positions. The Springbok tour protesters who told individual rugby fans what they thought of them, who shunned them, were exercising freedom. Freedom is not freedom if we can not do that. Freedom relies on social sanctions as incentives for conduct most of us approve, and as incentives to avoid conduct most of us disapprove. Social sanctions only work if there is a cost to expressing, or supporting, or not denouncing abhorred positions.

Group punishment irrespective of the target’s personal responsibility is exactly what our government is doing to put pressure on the Fijian government. It is the mechanism in some strikes. I defend the right of union members to refuse to unload freight from a state whose aggression they detest, to put pressure on that state’s citizens in turn to put pressure on their state.

Though I do not share the Turks’ views on Israel in any degree, I defend their right to express their views as they have.

Well said Stephen!

In my opinion, shunning or “discrimination” should not only be a right, but in many cases it is a virtue and a responsibility.

That is why I support the banning of trade with China for instance.

While I generally support the Israeli actions in Gaza, I also support the right of the Invercargill cafe owner to act as he did.

A free society must allow both freedom of association and equally as importantly-freedom of non-association.


Author: Admin

Related Articles

16 thoughts on “Stephen Franks Gets it 100% Right

  1. Steve and Huhana/Sue. you two need to cut out the personal abuse, or risk being automatically deleted for a while.


  2. The IDF also issued an apology to the Palestinian civilians whose homes were bombed, because Hamas terrorists were out there roaming about.

    Which means, the IDF don’t target Palestinians on purpose as what you Steve, and Huhana claim that they do.

  3. How does it feel Steve that you’re an apologist for a group which proclaims to be a bunch of self-describe Islamists whom have murdered over 12617 deadly terrorist attacks since 9/11?

    Tell me Steve, do you support the Mumbai terrorist attacks which one of the targets was a Jewish center, where Israeli citizens were killed along with also an anti-Zionist Jew, not part of the Neturei Karta but a real Orthodox group were killed in the attacks?

    That’s the same people you’re being an apologist for in Hamas.

  4. “I know that someone mentioned your incoherent raving but you really do take the cake with this business allegedly from the young Palestinian girl.”

    Steve the Hamas Supporter From Northland,

    You are an ignoramous supporter for a second holocaust. You accuse Israel of committing “genocide” and happily recycle all of Hamas’ BS. Even while you do nothing for the Palestinians you claim to support.

    The Palestinian Arab girl details that the Arab governments are quite xenophobic toward her people. Yet you don’t give a shit load about it. This is even admitted on Palestinian and Israeli blogs alike.

    The only people who would ever do something for the Palestinian refugees would be the Israeli government. How the f*ck are the Israelis Nazis if they do something like that?

    How many Palestinian refugees have you saved, if you are so much for the Palestinian cause? Have you invited a Palestinian family to live at your home? Wouldn’t that be the proper way to help Palestinian families regain their society back instead of being indoctrinated by the terrorists you are an apologist for?

  5. Mah Mah, your wiring’s all screwed up mate.

    I know that someone mentioned your incoherent raving but you really do take the cake with this business allegedly from the young Palestinian girl.

    What in God’s name has (old) people getting out there on the net trying to pick up some carnal action got to do with the Holocaust Nazi massacre of 1,300 men, women, children and babies in Gaza ?

    You sure the young lassie from Canada isn’t a figment of your chaotic so-called mind ? Or that if she’s real her para number 2 isn’t directed to you alone ? You been skipping your meds mate ?

    Not advised !

  6. Repost:

    Steve, Huhana, read this before you accuse me of such libel. This is from a Palestinian girl, second generation living in Canada and her view on the conflict:

    1) I hate Arab countries, they treat Palestinians like crap! So I will NEVER live there!

    2) Old people should not go on the net and use it to find friends. That’s called finding a date. Not friends.

    3) If you are Palestinian, why were you insulting another Palestinian? You want me to go back to Palestine? Give me a first class ticket! Send me there. I will be more than happy to LIVE IN MY HOME COUNTRY! MY TRUE LAND! Unlike you! No wonder we lost Palestine. It’s you old peoples’ mentality and stupidity that made us go from country to country to find a home.

    4) I am angry because people like you are still around and enforcing stupid ideologies on my educated generation who thinks beyond their nose!

    5) The world changed, and obviously you will never!

    Obviously it seems you two certainly don’t give a damn for the Palestinians. Have you ever protested the Arab governments whom are quite xenophobic against them?

    Don’t come around here and accuse me of libel bull.

  7. “Palestinians are sub-human and deserve to be callously murdered”

    Apparently, you Steve see that Jews and anyone else whom is pro-Israel to be sub-human for simply trying to defend and support Israel.

  8. “Because moral and racial disasters like your good self living in some cheap tenement in NY are fully captivated by the notion that Palestinians are sub-human and deserve to be callously murdered.”

    Where have I made these claims Steve? Do you care that Palestinians would suffer under Hamas or Fatah? Where is your criticism of those two terrorist groups?

    “Mah… it true that you’re good part Chinese, fraudulently claiming the Right of Return ?”

    I was born into the Jewish religion. You’re nothing but a vile pathetic piece of anti-Semitic cr*p to accuse me of being a fraud.

    It’s people like you who are reviving anti-Semitism because you “support” the Palestinians even when Iraqi Palestinians are harassed daily by the Iraqi government, and also Iraqi militias. Where the hell is your criticism toward Arab lack of support for these Palestinian refugees?

  9. No Mah Mah, I daresay you wouldn’t refuse an Arab/Palestinian service in your Cafe-From-Hell.

    Firstly, in true Shylock fashion you’d take their bucks, just for the moment, obseqiously I suspect.

    Secondly, you’d serve them a cafe-au-lait infused with strychnine.

    Because moral and racial disasters like your good self living in some cheap tenement in NY are fully captivated by the notion that Palestinians are sub-human and deserve to be callously murdered.

    “Holocaust Nazi” defined…..

    Good Oh !

    IDF 1296 Palestinians 13. Roughly 100:1…..

    Mah… it true that you’re good part Chinese, fraudulently claiming the Right of Return ?

  10. Funny old “libertarians” eh?

    Backing a trade ban on China and “generally supporting” Israel’s actions in Gaza. Not a word about the Palestinians’ property rights, which usually occupy such a sacrosanct place in Trev’s mind, nor any condemnation of the Israeli government’s use of violence – which is something Trev loves to pretend to be shocked by when there’s any suggestion of his political opponents using or supporting it…

    But I guess it’s OK for Trev’s political allies to use authoritarianism or violence, just not his opponents.


    Sam Buchanan

  11. “Me thinks Mah is going to get his nose out of joint.”

    Listen, you Jew/Israel-hating dolt. If I owned a cafe, I wouldn’t ban Palestinian Arabs in refusing them service. What does that make you who embraces this brand of concept, when you support such a vile thing?

    If a white owner of a cafe did this in the USA toward blacks, you’d think the white owner is a racist.

  12. Hmmm. Food for thought. Don’t mind the cafe owner discriminating as long as he faces the same censure as the rest of us. Or even better, if none of us faced any censure whatsover for speaking our minds and acting accordingly…

  13. “Anonymous said…

    How is a (presumably government-imposed) ban on trade with China consistent with so-called “libertarian” philosophy?

    Its not

  14. How is a (presumably government-imposed) ban on trade with China consistent with so-called “libertarian” philosophy?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *