Palestine

by craig on December 5, 2012 11:51 am in Uncategorized

I am off to Baghdad on Sunday for an Arab League conference on Palestinian detainees held in Israel. This is part of my determination to devote more of my time to helping the Palestinian cause. It seems to me we are at a crucial point where the Palestinians are in genuine danger of an accelerated genocide, as Israeli intentions to annex Est Jerusalem and the West Bank become ever plainer.

In retrospect, my life has mostly been based on the idea that I may not be able to do much to help in a particular situation, but it is incumbent on me to try. So I am trying.

A “two state” solution has, from the start, been advanced in bad faith by promoters such as Blair and Bush, with the intention always that it would be a Bantustan solution. For those too young to recall, the grand plan of apartheid South Africa was that the black population would be corraled into a number of small regions which would become “independent states”.

I have said before that I am often pleasantly surprised by Sky News security correspondent Sam Kiley, who seems to get away with talking great sense by hiding behind a Ross Kemp style persona. A couple of days ago he reported from the West Bank that Israel was “moving towards an apartheid state”. There is no doubt that is true – even in Israel proper, there are over three hundred ethnically based Israeli laws prescribing different treatment for Jews and others, across almost every activity of the state. I fear Sam Kiley will not be on mainstream TV long – a tendency to tell the truth being career fatal.

Bibi’s desire to kill off the two state solution is a terrible, genocidal threat but strangely also an opportunity. Botha and De Klerk did not succeed, and Bibi may not either. I personally would have deplored a Bantustan based solution, with crammed and split Palestinian lands deprived of resources, water, communications and any hope of economic viability.

The ultimate solution must involve a proper single state in Israel/Palestine which is blind and fair in its laws to race and religion. That solution can ultimately bring security to the people of Israel, not based on their ability to kill or evict their neighbours and steal their land. The essentials of the agreement will have to be most people staying where they are – including most West Bank settlers – and very serious compensation to dispossessed Palestinians, with the settlements enlarged to become mixed communities.

On the Palestinian detainee question, for me it shows up yet again Israel’s extraordinary capacity for shameless sophistry in matters of international law. Israel justifies its naval blockade on the San Remo Convention, which is only applicable in times of armed conflict. Israel states that it is in a de facto permanent armed conflict. However it denies being in an armed conflict when it comes to its treatment of Palestinain detainees, captured outside Israel, who are not treated as prisoners of war. Both positions cannot be held simultaneously, but secure in the collusion of the West’s bought politicians, Israel does so.

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427 Comments

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  1. First paragraph, east Jerusalem.

    Thank you very much for making this your next urgent priority, very much appreciated, many of us are with you on a single state solution, whatever its name should be. A resolution should be based on the resource economics that underlie both parties sustainable existence, water gas and arable land can be shared and that requires transitional agreements of sorts. I hope that you will give your own blog equal access to the information you offer to the press.

    My best wishes and take care.
    Baghdad is not the safest place to be right now, might be an idea to take some personal food rations.

  2. Michael Stephenson

    5 Dec, 2012 - 12:05 pm

    Good luck Craig,
    Just googled Sam Kiley, impressive: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kBd0chDNCEI

  3. Oniel Samuel

    5 Dec, 2012 - 12:18 pm

    “The ultimate solution must involve a proper single state in Israel/Palestine which is blind and fair in its laws to race and religion”

    Care to share with us where a country like this exists in the Middle East? Somehow, I don’t think you’ll find one. Neither, will you find the Jews of Israel welcoming a return to Dhimmi status any time soon. Sorry to disappoint you.

    “I may not be able to do much to help in a particular situation” – Couldn’t have said it better myself. Thankfully, you won’t be able to change anything

  4. Oniel Samuel,

    So are you against the idea of a state blind and fair in its laws to race and religion?

  5. Any solution without the consent of the people is no solution at all.

    In Scotland we are holding a referendum, why not do the same in Israel and Palestine, decide it democratically? Find out what the people want instead of the western powers squabbling over their destiny.

  6. Craig, of course Oneil is. As an Israeli supporter you can’t not be in favour of apartheid style prejudice. The state is built on it.

  7. Jeremy Hartley

    5 Dec, 2012 - 1:01 pm

    Craig, do you have any reference for your statement:

    ” ..even in Israel proper, there are over three hundred ethnically based Israeli laws prescribing different treatment for Jews and others, across almost every activity of the state.”

    I often raise this point in discussions with Israeli’s and they try to shoot it down as false. If I had some kind of reference it would help.

  8. Thank you very much for doing this Craig and for making the sacrifice of leaving the safety and warmth of your home and family life especially at this time of year. Please take care.

    I have been listening to Dr Mustafa Bargouti. He was sentenced to 6 months in jail for walking on an ‘Israeli only’ road. True apartheid.

    2 mins in. http://www.cbc.ca/thecurrent/popupaudio.html?clipIds=2312444195

  9. @ Jeremy Hartley Jonathan Cook’s writings would be a good source of information for you. He lives within the belly of the beast, so to speak, as he is married to a Palestinian and lives in Nazareth. He was a Guardian journalist but got out of the corporate media propaganda machine.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jonathan_Cook

  10. An excellent and worthy undertaking, Craig. Although, I would be very surprised to see “the settlements enlarged to become mixed communities” – these “settlements” are comprised of the most radical, hate-filled zealots available from the entire world. They’ve been invited there from as far afield as New York and Russia, precisely to practice their brand of bigotry and racism. The more violently this is done, the better as far as they and the Likudnics are concerned.

    One hope as I see it is the backlash against the radical form of Judaism that is becoming more apparent. Where women should not use the same form of public transport, where females are not allowed to sing before anyone but their husbands, where yoga is considered an outrageous practice, and devout men where a form of blinkers, so they don’t have to have their eyes polluted by the sight of females.

    The most significant chance for Palestinians would be recognition with America that they are human beings, though. The chances of that are still slim as yet.

  11. Oniel Samuel

    5 Dec, 2012 - 1:41 pm

    Well done Jeremy Hartley for pointing out that you spout out nonsense without even caring to find out if the nonsense is true. So long as it fits your agenda. If only all propagandists were so honest in their approach

  12. Oniel Samuel

    5 Dec, 2012 - 1:48 pm

    Craig, no I am not. I applaud and respect your motives, but ultimately that is where our similarities end. I don’t believe it is even remotely realistic to assume that a one state solution could be the answer. The Israeli’s wouldn’t want it because in time it would spell the end of their freedom to live freely as Jews. One look around the Middle East can testify to that.

  13. a very good piece……….

  14. Yes he is an excellent source. I have heard him speak. He blogs on Electronic Intifada too.

    http://electronicintifada.net/blogs/ben-white

  15. And four million more votes living in refugee camps with a legal right of return.

    But either western governments stand for freedom and democracy or they don’t.

  16. Fred

    “But either western governments stand for freedom and democracy or they don’t.”

    I fear the answer to that is deeply depressing. Western governments stand for the personal interest of the politicians who comprise them, by and large. And a very large percentage of them are quite openly sponsored by Israli interests.

  17. Keep on this Craig, your instincts are right. Israel needs to come to the negotiating table with honest intent, determine their absolute borders, with a flourishing viable contiguous Palestine next door or better still one state one united people, Arab, European, Jewish, Muslim and all other permutations and combinations living together, equality, peace, truth and reconciliation. The Israeli right play on the majority’s fears of being over-run and annihilated. Offer Israeli citizens and their children, childrens children etc. unconditional Scottish, rUK or US or other citizenships of their choice in any hour of need, that no future governments can rescind, reassurance if they should ever be in or even feel the need of it, it is there. We can commit to take them all without complaint, as a fallback last resort in the unlikely event things went badly, and manage somehow, overcrowded on these islands as we are, if it would give them the reassurance to end their madness and killing. We need to undermine the Israeli right’s manipulation of ordinary people’s real and artificial fears. Though it has to be said we should admire and do have more in common with the stoic Palestinian Muslims than with the extremist Israelis such as the hard line settlers, who’d surely want to stay and assert their ‘right’ to other people’s land and homes, come what may.

  18. William Hague is certainly bought and paid for, yesterday in the House of Commons he said “I don’t believe there would be anywhere near a consensus nor is that our approach. We continue to try to bring both sides back to negotiations,”

    Perhaps he should be asked why democracy is good enough for us but not for Palsetinians.

  19. Oniel Samuel

    5 Dec, 2012 - 2:23 pm

    Recommending Ben White is hardly a good thing. I know no one who is more able to polarise the issue further. Blindly supporting one side of the conflict will only prolong the status quo which is isn’t beneficial to either side.

    If you are all so adamant that the Palestinians are pro peace, please point me in the direction of a Palestinian peace movement. I can name 10 pro Palestinian, Israeli NGO’s without having to Google search it. Name ONE Palestinian equivalent.

  20. They killed over 3 million Iraqis since 1990 telling us they were bringing democracy to the Middle East. How come none of them are interested in bringing democracy to Israel?

  21. An interesting Twitter account here by someone of the same name as a recent contributor here! Some very pro Israel comments within.

    https://mobile.twitter.com/onielsamuel

  22. The very best of luck, Craig. If you can make even a minute difference, that is a difference and that will be good. If changing the paranoid mindset promoted by the Zionists and their “Christian” Right allies is even possible, it won’t be done at once by a single initiative. Nor, I am sorry to say, can it be done entirely overtly. Softlee, softlee catchee monkey. I’m afraid you’ll have to use your diplomatic skills…:-)

    Oniel Thing – do remember the Palestinians have rather less freedom to organise legally than your mates on the border crossings. Face it, if you’re Palestinian and running a peace organisation, you’ve probably been snatched and jailed already. As a terrorist suspect, if they’ve bothered to actually charge you with something. It’s how apartheid always worked.

  23. Oniel Samuel

    5 Dec, 2012 - 2:54 pm

    “William Hague is certainly bought and paid for” – Oh my, another conspiracy theorist. Must have been those Zio Nazi’s over at Aipac who paid him off

    I’ve just realised what type of blog I have fallen upon. I’ll leave you guys to it. Good luck in changing anyone’s opinion in a blog where your only participating audience already share your views

  24. Oniel

    It is not a conspiracy. A conspiracy is hidden.

  25. “Care to share with us where a country like this exists in the Middle East? Somehow, I don’t think you’ll find one. Neither, will you find the Jews of Israel welcoming a return to Dhimmi status any time soon. Sorry to disappoint you.”

    Syria. Unlike Saudi Arabia, where Christian churches are banned and which is engaged in covert warfare with Syria, there are many Christian churches and places of worship for other religious groups in Syria. That is because the Assad Baathist regime was from its inception secular-nationalist in character and influenced by pan-Arabism, Nasserism and to a degree by pro-Soviet “Marxism” (i.e Stalinism). Yes, it is a dictatorship and the secret police, the Mukkhabarat, is much feared. However, there has been a long history of RELATIVE religious freedom since the Baathist’s came to power. It is enshrined in the Syrian constitution. This is why the Saudi and Qatari fundamentalist/Wahaabist regimes are so opposed to it. The war they are financing against Syria in cahoots with the repressed Syrian Muslim Brotherhood, Turkey and Western imperialism is actually a counter-revolution which will install a Muslim fundamentalist regime. God help the other non-Sunni/Salafist groups in Syria then.

    This is not to suggest that there is no internal, secular, democratic Arab Spring movement in Syria against dictatorship. There most certainly is. The key point is that it has been stifled, hi-jacked and side-lined by the externally bank-rolled armed intervention which is in fact a counter-revolution in the sense that it is against secular-nationalist religious toleration. The SNC and FSA have demobilised the Arab Spring mass movement by calling for people to stay off the streets. And it is of course very dangerous to demonstrate in the streets in the middle of a war-zone.

    George Galloway’s podcast on Syria makes similar points more eloquently and is worth watching.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xUZ5FwYmkhw

  26. Going by Avi Shalims book and Pappe’s work, a demilitarisation of the civilian populations should find a place on a future agenda, leaving a mutual police to enforce justice.

    Roadblocks and walls have to be dismantled and new quotas for equal access to water/gas resources guaranteed whilst a peace and reconciliation mission, as happened in SA would not be misplaced.
    Regional infrastructure improvements such as a major port development for the 1.6 million living in Gaza at present, their right to generate their own electricity, as others have in the southern EU, as well as equal access to housing for all/legitimate property rights could form part of the time frame of discussions.

    One serious part of the first discussions should include Israel/Palestinian security with its neighbours, the Golan heights and Sheeba farms are essential to this debate, they are the essential reasoning behind Hezbollah’s involvement in hostile activities.

    Once peace treaties with Lebanon and Syria have been agreed, the army should be stood down from civilian duties and inhumane roadblock politics outlawed by mutual consent.

    But we are a tad too optimistic here from the comfort of our keyboards.

    Oniel, if there are two states, massive walls and no respect for one sides long standing property rights, wells and arbitrating justice that is final, we will see confrontations at every turn. Settlers have to be disarmed if you want to live in peace with the other state, East Jerusalem would have to be given up to Palestine and these arguments and discussions have gone round in circles for far too long.

    If a two state solution is adopted, this will be no solution at all, but a perpetuation of the current hostilities which would flare up again and again.

    Israel/Palestine’s contract will have to instil a peaceful future for all, because public opinion is against war and for better relations with the neighbours, Both factions have to think of future generations, provide hope and employment for their children.

    Schooling them together and reneging the negative propaganda on both side will have to be part of it as well, would you not agree Oniel?

  27. Iran breaks no laws yet they have crippling sanctions placed on them, Israel thumbs their nose at the UN and America gives them the guns to shoot Palestinians while Britain sells them the bullets.

    Sounds like some sort of conspiracy to me.

  28. The very best of luck Craig. Monday I sat switching from ZBC to Sky News at the time the Israeli Ambassador was due to turn up at the Foreign Office. Sky made due substance of it. ZBC appeared to be avoiding the story at all costs. I expected at one point that they would run a report of a man losing a guinea pig in Watford. Eventually they sort of reported it. And we pay for this biased crap.

  29. doug scorgie

    5 Dec, 2012 - 3:32 pm

    Silly cunt: 5th December 2012. 1:48pm

    “I don’t believe it is even remotely realistic to assume that a one state solution could be the answer. The Israeli’s wouldn’t want it because in time it would spell the end of their freedom to live freely as Jews.”

    So Mr Zio,
    Israelis are, according to your statement, Jews. Not anyone else.

    Hereafter fellow posters don’t feed this Ziofuckwit Troll.

  30. Oniel Samuel

    5 Dec, 2012 - 3:45 pm

    @Nevermind Thanks for the balanced response. I agree with a large part of what you wrote, except I don’t believe the Golan heights issue is the reason for Hezbollah hostilities, in the same way I don’t believe violence in the West Bank to be because of the settlements (although I do disagree with settlement building). If that was the real issue, then how do you explain the violence before the occupation?

    I agree with everything else you wrote, from removing settlements to stopping the propaganda war. Without a balanced education (I can’t stress the importance of balance enough) at grass roots level, there literally no hope.

  31. That’s further than what most would go Craig, but then again, you never compromise with the truth as you see it for the sake of political correctness etc.

    However, Nobody, repeat, nobody but the Palestinians whose lands were stolen have any right at all to give away.

    But your idea (which is was pretty much the conclusion I came to) is. like mine, doomed as it fails to address the Zionist principle which lead to the foundation of this Zionist entity in the first place and then packed the land with Jews (inc later on, atheist, gay and pork eating “Jews”) to try and cement this Zionist crevice. Zionist principles are simply NOT going to change, neither are they going to go away, and therefore, either will the endless suffering meted out to the Palestinians. Indeed, the Apartheid based Zionism emboldens the Zionists into a even stronger mindset of manifest separatism.

    This is THE stumbling block and only a purge of this wholly rotten Zionist doctrine from the minds of Zionists (Christian and Muslim Zionist amongst them) will give peace. Only the return of Jesus will do this.

  32. BrianFujisan

    5 Dec, 2012 - 3:47 pm

    Good Luck Craig…. Much respect for you going on this trip…I wish i had you,re notion inside me…that i MIGHT be able to help… Because for those of us that avoid the MSM…its horrible to watch….I’m horrified that oniel wont be thankful if you could stop the Genocide… Take care noo…and peace from Scotland

  33. Oniel Samuel

    5 Dec, 2012 - 3:47 pm

    Doug – Poor excuse of a human being. Run along now

  34. There is a big difference between the white South Africans and the Zionist Israelis.
    The Zionists have no desire to live in the land as equals. If they did, they would have remained in New York and London. The want to live in the land as masters. And will never give up what they claim is their God given right. They view themselves as the master race, and other lesser races as either rightious gentiles to be enslaved, or filth to be exterminated.

    This was known when Israel was established. And this is known by the colonialist powers that established Israel. How can the British, French and Americans disagree with this, when they themselves have done it all over the world?
    Ths solution will not come by begging the Zionists to act fairly. The solution will not come by begging the very colonialist powers that set up Israel to pressure Israel in to destroying the very racism for which it was established. The solution must come from Muslims themselves.
    What is being offered is a reversal of 1964 when the Zionists took Gaza, Golan, the West Bank and Jurusalam.
    What Craig is calling for is the reversal of 1948 when the Zionists took what they now call Israel.
    What I am calling for is the reversal of Sykes–Picot Agreement. When the middle east was chopped up in to what it is now by the British and the French.

  35. Retired former BBC Panorama broadcaster and ITN Middle East correspondent Alan Hart wrote in his 3 volume Zionism: the Real Enemy of the Jews about a discussion he had with Shimon Peres about how the conflict might be resolved. Hart was doing some unofficial diplomacy acting as a mediator between Arafat and Peres in the pre-Oslo Accords period. His extensive discussions with Arafat had convinced him that he had done what was politically necessary on the Palestinian side to arrive at peace negotiations. Arafat had convinced his people that compromises were necessary–at great personal risk to his life I might add. The discussions with Peres revealed something different.

    Peres, whom Hart thought might be the next Israeli leader, stated that he was not prepared to do what was necessary politically to get his people to make the compromises that were necessary to pave the way for peace negotiations. Peres stated that he was not prepared to launch a “civil war” between Israeli liberals and the hardline, far right Israeli settlers movement in the West Bank. That is quite significant I think. In other words, those on the Israeli side who know that compromises are necessary to reach a genuine peace agreement don’t have the balls to sort out the far right, fascist nutters in the colonial settlers movement. Until that happens there will be no resolution to the conflict.

  36. “would spell the end of their freedom to live freely as Jews.” Aaah, the old rob the conversation of its Palestinian focus and playing of the ‘Jew victim’ card. Classic!

  37. Arsalan

    Have you met any white south africans? If you think they wanted in the 70s and 80s to live in the land as equals, you are very wrong. They have for the most part come to terms with it – mainly because they don’t live as equals, but that is a question for another day.

  38. Oniel Samuel

    5 Dec, 2012 - 4:00 pm

    Lwtc247 – You didn’t comment on the point I made. Is what I said true or not?

  39. @oniel samuel 3:45
    “how do you explain the violence before the occupation?”

    Oooh, I know this one.
    This is an easy one to answer. History did not start in 1967. **All** of the land now called Israel has been stolen from Palestinians. In 1947 only 6% of the land of Palestine was owned by Jews. By 1948 Zionists had stolen 78% of the land. In 1967 they stole the remainder.

    Source
    http://www.ifamericansknew.org/history/maps.html

  40. Is our new friend one and same as this currency dealer? If so, American Express should know that they are not getting a good return if time is spent commenting here.

    http://uk.linkedin.com/pub/oniel-samuel/1a/86b/87a

    I like the way he just ‘fell upon’ this blog. (2.54pm above) No he was directed here.

  41. Our friend’s alma mater was lucky enough to have received a visit from Mr Taub yesterday. I expect he recounted his recent visit to the FCO where he had coffee and biscuits and a friendly chat with Mr Hague.

    http://www.jfs.brent.sch.uk/about/school-information#/latest-news/1

  42. Mary,

    Well, he’s not alone. A study of the visitor statistics indicates that the vast majority of people are here during normal office hours in whatever country they visit from – the servers they come from also indicate that many people view this blog from work. Actually a break from the grind within reason makes people more productive.

    I very much welcome commenters who have a different view to mine.

  43. doug scorgie

    5 Dec, 2012 - 4:16 pm

  44. Oniel, it was you who said you were off, after throwing a tantrum and the predictable smears around. Do stay though, you amuse me and we can learn from you as one might study deviant psychology. The violence prior to the occupation? I didn’t expect you to bring that up: the mandate era and 1948 and all that. Nothing explains it but Zionist racism and exceptionalism, nothing can ever excuse it or allow it to be forgotten, it accounts fully for what is now likely everlasting Arab hostility. It has its origins in the last quarter of the 19th century and euphemisms such as ‘transfer'; it is odd for a criminal organisation to publish their mass-murdering intent and then go on to attempt carrying it out under the gaze of a watching world, it is almost as if they wanted to be stopped, but instead were given enough rope to hang themselves. It has gone on too long and went too far, caught
    red-handed, there is no hope of retaining the spoils. It’ll be springtime 1938 in Palestine again, demographics and Palestinian fecundity and virility are the irrepresible factor.

    Should have gone for Madagascar, we’ve no further use for Zionism or Zionists.

  45. There is an interesting post by Alan Hart at
    http://www.alanhart.net/are-israels-jews-some-of-them-on-their-way-to-becoming-nazis/

    He quotes some chilling paragraphs from Zev Jabotinsky’s book ‘The Iron Wall: We and the Arabs’ published in 1923 in which he sets down how Zionists should set about stealing Palestine. Jabotinsky’s doctrine forms the core of modern day Israeli policy.

    “We cannot give any compensation for Palestine, neither to the Palestinians nor to other Arabs. Therefore, a voluntary agreement is inconceivable. All colonization, even the most restricted, must continue in defiance of the will of the native population. Therefore, it can continue and develop only under the shield of force which comprises an Iron Wall which the local population can never break through. This is our Arab policy. To formulate it any other way would be hypocrisy.”

  46. An interesting Twitter account here by someone of the same name as a recent contributor here! Some very pro Israel comments within.

    https://mobile.twitter.com/onielsamuel

    Good detective work Sherlock!

  47. Craig et al.
    Apartheid South Africa is different in one very important respect in that Zionism has a religious philosophy (Talmud) as the bedrock of it’s apartheid, South Africa’s religious element was significantly lesser (the Boer idea of “God granted victory of the ‘savage’ Zulu’s” is just a small factor of contemporary S.A. (approx 1960’s). There is no greater motivator than religion – and seemingly no greater evil that stems from the perversion of religion – which brings me back to the Talmud.

  48. Oniel Samuel

    5 Dec, 2012 - 4:22 pm

    Derek – The land didn’t belong to the Palestinians. Palestinians before 1948 were recognised as both Jewish and Muslim. Some 700k Arabs lost their homes in ’48 and I believe they should either be compensated or returned to a newly formed Palestine. It’s a pity you don’t share the same sympathy for the 800k Jews who were ethnically cleansed from Iraq, Syria, Egypt, Morocco, etc.

    Mary – You should give yourself a pat on the back for your wonderful detective work on Google. I wish I could use that thing, too. I didn’t realise I wasn’t allowed to use the Internet while at home, but thanks for your concern.

    I, unlike others, am quite happy to put my name to my posts. I have nothing to hide, and will gladly take responsibility for the views I air.

  49. Thanks venceremos, Avi Shalim concurs in some of your observations when he speaks about the initial immigrants to Israel, especially Ben Gurion, the reluctance to shake the problem by the neck has always been a stumbling stone.

    Now this issue will come to a head, although the old chestnut/a flight forward into war, buying more time, will further erode/loose public opinion in Israel to the extent that it becomes ungovernable.

    Civil war? Zionists killing Jews for the sake of a right wing ideology? I cannot fathom that at all.

    LWtc 247, my point is that Zionist so called principles, many of them religious propaganda points, will have to be made to confront their own limitations. Only if these two people have to live together will their outlook change over time and that takes a rigorous framework to achieve it and it starts with the very young, an end to exclusion indoctrination and propaganda in schools, a dismantling of propaganda chapters and Hasbara troops, on both sides.

    But I agree with you, it will have to be acceptable to all sides and all sides have to accept that they are part of a greater world community that has a parameter of equality, at any cost.
    It will take a strong arbiter, a humane dictator.

  50. Oniel Samuel

    5 Dec, 2012 - 4:32 pm

    Cryptonym – There were some horrifying posts here which I wasn’t really interested in entertaining. It does seem, however, that humble pie is in order as a (semi!)reasonable debate can be had.

    “Nothing explains (the violence pre 1967), but Zionist racism…” – Do you not see that shrugging off an important factor will lead to calls of bigotry and only highlights your sympathy for one cause. That, in my view is simply not fair

  51. Depends what the work is Craig and how hard the grind. There was certainly no time or opportunity to trawl round the internet when I was working at an NHS district general hospital.

  52. The Guardian’ Leader on Syria today lays out their allegiances pretty clearly. They talk about the “profoundly sectarian nature” of Assad’s last stand while failing to mention the fundamentalist nature of the rebels who are busy slaughtering kids in schools and regime-supporting civilians. Neither does it mention where the jobbing Jihadis get their money or arms from. And the piece’s own figures show that the Syrian state hasn’t splintered into fragments despite the intense pressured it is being subjected to from literally all sides. It’s complete spin and an inversion of the facts — the regime (nasty though it is) is standing pretty firm against a largely outside aggressor.

  53. Good man, Craig.

    Let’s end this evil now.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K5moLcrLE3Y

  54. Oniel the majority of that 800k (?) came from Morocco, however they were incentivised I’m unaware, but there is no record of ethnic cleansing there whatever. Zionist bomb attacks on settled Jewish communities in Iraq and possibly similar tactics elsewhere drove that migration. It is notable that such Jews of Arab or African origin were treated worse than third class citizens in Israel, far better than the Palestinians were though in their own land.

  55. The Arab League has 22 member states.

    The Arab League was founded in Cairo in 1945 by Egypt, Iraq, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Transjordan (Jordan from 1946), and Yemen (North Yemen, later combined Yemen). There was a continual increase in membership during the second half of the 20th century, with additional 15 Arab states and 4 observers being admitted.

    Israel is not a member despite 20% of its population being Palestinian Arab, nearly half the Jewish population being descended from Jews from Arab countries, and Arabic being an official language.
    .
    /..
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Member_states_of_the_Arab_League

  56. I should make plain that I am going as a guest of the Arab League, but not being paid for my time.

  57. Oriel

    “The Israeli’s wouldn’t want it because in time it would spell the end of their freedom to live freely as Jews. One look around the Middle East can testify to that.”

    So why did the Jews in Iran (yes, Iran) and Tunisia tell Netanyahu to go fuck himself when he offered them £10,000 to come and live in Israel?

    Eh?

  58. Oniel Samuel

    5 Dec, 2012 - 4:50 pm

    Cryptnym – “With the November 1947 declaration of United Nations Partition Plan for Palestine, severe anti-Jewish pogroms with massive casualties erupted across the Arab World. Arab pogroms against Jews in Yemen and Syria were particularly violent.[citation needed] The violence prompted a severe increase in Jewish exodus, with the Aleppo Jewish community deteriorating into decline and soon after the pogrom half the city’s Jewish population had left.[20] In 1948, the violence had spread to Egypt, Morocco and Iraq as well, practically covering all Arab countries.[citation needed] At the same time, independent Arab countries began to encourage Jewish emigration to Israel.[21][22][23]

    In Libya, Jews were deprived of citizenship, and in Iraq, their property was seized. Those Jews who were forced to emigrate were not allowed to take their property. From 1948 to 1949, the Israeli government secretly airlifted 50,000 Jews from Yemen and from 1950 to 1952, 130,000 Jews were airlifted from Iraq. From 1949 to 1951, 30,000 Jews fled Libya to Israel. In these cases over 90% of the Jewish population opted to leave, despite the necessity of leaving their property behind.[24]

    In total it is estimated that 800,000 to 1,000,000 Jews were forced out or fled from their homes in Arab countries from 1948 until the early 1970s. Some place the emigration peak to a slightly earlier time window of 1944 to 1964, when some 700,000 Jews moved to Israel from Arab countries and were dispossessed of nearly their entire property.[25]” – Wikipedia

    I think it is fair to say that they were not treated better than Arabs living in Israel today. I go to Israel regularly, and have had many conversations with the Arab locals. I can say for sure that the picture being painted of Israel in many media outlets is highly skewed. I cannot say the same for the Palestinians in the WB. I don’t agree with the settlement enterprise and I think you will find that the majority of Israelis would rather move out of the WB in return for peaceful borders.

  59. Oniel Samuel

    5 Dec, 2012 - 4:52 pm

    Mary 4.45 – Thanks for that. According to many posters in cyberspace, Israel was formed mostly by mostly Jews. Appreciate you clearing that up.

  60. Oniel Samuel

    5 Dec, 2012 - 4:56 pm

    Herbie – Because $10,000 doesnt even come close to what their assets amount to. It’s not easy to give up generations worth of history for a measly $10,000.

    Besides, I have no doubt that the majority of the (falling) Jewish population in Iran are quite happy where they are.

  61. Oriel

    “I think you will find that the majority of Israelis would rather move out of the WB in return for peaceful borders”

    This is total garbage. The settlers are sick racist bigots who have no interest in peace. Their only interest is in ethnic cleansing and domination.

    That’s kinda so obvious that you have to be trolling.

  62. Oriel

    How come the Jews in “evil” Iran are happy where they are whilst the muslims in “peaceful” Israel are not?

    Eh?

  63. Oniel Samuel

    5 Dec, 2012 - 5:05 pm

    Herbie – Calm down for a minute and read what I wrote. I said that the majority of Israelis would welcome the end of the Settlement activities. The settlers equate to all of 5% of the total population. You might find it hard to believe, but there is life outside of the WB

  64. Oniel Samuel

    5 Dec, 2012 - 5:06 pm

    Herbie – Where have I said Iran was evil? I don’t think that at all. Generalising will get you no where

  65. Herbie, you’re conversing with “Oniel” – “N” not “R”.

  66. Iran treats its Jews far far better than Israel treats its muslims.

    That’s obviously an understatement. There’s no language to describe Israel’s treatment of muslims.

    Seems the Zionists upped their offer to $50.000 and still they don’t want to go live in Israel. Iran is better for Jews.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vA7yz2vciGk

  67. Oniel Samuel

    5 Dec, 2012 - 5:11 pm

    Herbie – ” There’s no language to describe Israel’s treatment of muslims.” When was the last time you walked around Tel Aviv and Jerusalem and spoke to the local Arabs? For me, it was in September, and thy would laugh at you for that comment.

    “Iran is better for Jews.” – Iran is better for IRANIAN Jews, I agree. It is their home, after all, but not because they are treated any better. That’s a silly thing to say, and I feel even you would know that

  68. Oniel

    Iran is porttrayed as evil. Israel is porttrayed as the best thing since sliced bread.

    The opposite is obviously the case.

    Anyway, how do you explain the fact that Iran is better for Jews than Israel is for muslims?

    Is it because Israelis are fascist racist bigots and murdering scumbags?

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vA7yz2vciGk

  69. Good luck, Craig, but do take care. The al Hilli story tells us that there are possibly some very dark forces at work which could conceivably be connected with this issue.

    I think it is high time for all the peoples of Palestine to live together in love and harmony, with mutual respect and equal human rights, instead of what is increasingly coming to resemble the heinous concentration camps that inflicted so much misery not so long ago.

    A single, secular democratic state has to be the long term answer.

    What is the problem with that, Oniel?

  70. Oniel Samuel

    5 Dec, 2012 - 5:12 pm

    Sorry, that should read “they would laugh….”

  71. @Craig, good luck with your efforts.

    Chomsky believes two states is now the only solution. In fact, he suggests those who currently advocate one state are (unwittingly) singing the us/israel tune by proposing the impossible (thus preserving the status quo).

    He briefly discusses this at 32:15 of this video:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PXO8kHqmyzs

  72. Herbie, this debate should be about One State vs. Two State solutions.

  73. Oniel Samuel

    5 Dec, 2012 - 5:14 pm

    Herbie – Sorry, but I won’t be debating anything with you. Posters like you give a bad name to people with legitimate accusations against Israel.

    Bye

  74. Oniel

    How come all these Rabbis have no problem with the Iranian leader but the racists and bigots in Israel do?

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R-r04SQ97_Q

    Why isn’t all this stuff better known?

    Isn’t Israel simply a gross perversion of Judaism, and a particularly evil, racist and murdering bigot one at that.

    Eh?

    Do you work for the BBC?

  75. Oniel

    Couldn’t give a monkey’s.

    You’re a fraud, and you’ve been exposed as such.

    Clark

    The debate is about whatever issues are raised. I’ve simply answered the lies he/she raised.

    Obviously the one state solution is all that is left. The Israelis have seen to that. That was their intention of course, since the beginning.

  76. Oniel Samuel

    5 Dec, 2012 - 5:22 pm

    Mochyn69 – In principal, a 1 state solution where everyone could get along would be absolutely fine, and I don’t think anyone being honest with themselves could oppose that. But unfortunately, the history of the Jews in that region (as well as Europe) tells a different story. They have been persecuted time and again, and understandably, they feel they need their own right to self determination. I say this while also acknowledging that it shouldn’t be at the expense of the Arab population. The 20% of Arabs living in Israel proper share the same rights as the Jews (as in any democracy, you will find a few unacceptable examples of discrimination). This is why I believe that the WB and Gaza should become the new Palestinian state with Jerusalem as capital. Refugees in surrounding countries should be brought back into the new state of Palestine, and a final peace treaty signed with Israel.

  77. Oniel

    I’m on the same page as Norman Finklestein and innumerable other Jewish critics of Israeli barbarism.

    You’re an apologist for evil.

  78. Oniel Samuel, I used to moderate here, and I am ashamed at some of the comments that have been directed at you.

    That said, many of the apparent supporters of Israel that have visited this site in the past have been at least as offensive as the comments you are encountering now. Also, here in the UK we live with constant propaganda in support of further wars in the Middle East, and much of that propaganda apparently aligns with the objectives of the Israeli right wing. Such deception and attempts at manipulation incite reaction. I am sorry that it falls upon you.

  79. Oniel Samuel

    5 Dec, 2012 - 5:27 pm

    Clark – Thanks for the comment – Appreciated

  80. Herbie, unless debate can be sustained, violence becomes the only option. Please ask direct, rather than rhetorical questions. The truth is powerful; trust it.

  81. Ex-Guardian journalist, Jonathan Cook has been living in Nazareth for some time.

    He provides all the background and miserable day-to-day stuff you’ll ever need.

    http://www.jonathan-cook.net/

    And here he gives a good backgrounder, unmasking the lies about the israeli state:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s8v7GaSjlOA

  82. Clark

    There is no debate. We’re not at the debate stage yet.

    We’re at the challenging the lies stage.

    And. please don’t attempt to give me lessons on this.

  83. Oniel, tel us what you have done to change the equation? do you get regularly searched and asked awkward questions when you enter Israel? do you have your laptop seized for days on end as other do?

    I hear what you say about the secret flights, but the motivation by many was not that they were harassed when the world community agreed to Balfours fine words, but hat many were enthusiastic and wanted to move to Israel.

    Tell us what you did to protest against the breaches of international laws of the sea and do you see Melanie Phillips, calling peaceful dead protesters terrorists, as an adequate voice of the diaspora?
    sorry to badger you with questions, but it is vital that one understands each others motives.

  84. Oniel,

    Fair enough. But Irish Catholics have also been persecuted barbarically in their own country for centuries, but are hopefully moving towards the creation of a more equitable society, where hopefully on time the old hatreds can be eased.

    Hopes for reconciliation and healing abound in many other conflict situations around the world.

    What is so special about persecution of the Jews? And what about harsh treatment of th Mezaarim by the Ashkenazim? Where is that conflict headed?

    Time to grow out of the victim mentality, I think.

  85. Oniel: “I can say for sure that the picture being painted of Israel in many media outlets is highly skewed.”

    You can say that again, but certainly not in the sense you understand it. Don’t take on the task of rebutting (ineffectually :-) ) all that is thrown at you here, people are just venting but with some justification, you’ll wear yourself out, relax. Time for me to go eat, then take a nap through the post-prandial dip.

    Peace?

  86. Herbie, the choice of notes make the music, I concur with Clark, there is no need for a broad brush stroke, do we really have to be at the same level as some arch Zionists who are sent/correspond to do damage here?

    Only when we give leeway and allow a benefit of doubt will we get to the debating stage, as you call it.

  87. Clark. You’re infected with unwarranted over protectiveness here. The comments towards O.S. are slightly quick tempered perhaps, but it’s understandable given his writings here and elsewhere e.g. with utter rubbish like “The 20% of Arabs living in Israel proper share the same rights as the Jews” or “Some 700k Arabs lost their homes in ’48″ – like their abodes were misplaced (reminiscent of ZBC’s recent ‘Israeli’s’ killed, but “Gazans died” or was it Hamas militants died or Hamas terrorist militants died…??) or the owners became forgetful etc etc, so please, you’ve nothing to be ashamed of in the slightest. Herbie is correct in levering open the things that O.S. says which are nonsense.

  88. Oniel, today’s hasbara troll, wrote: “I said that the majority of Israelis would welcome the end of the Settlement activities. The settlers equate to all of 5% of the total population. You might find it hard to believe, but there is life outside of the WB”

    Here is such an example of life in Tel Aviv:

    Racist protest in Tel Aviv targets refugees and migrants

    http://mondoweiss.net/2011/04/racist-protest-in-tel-aviv-targets-refugees-and-migrants.html

    “Racism in Israel is nothing new. There is racism against Palestinians, against Arabs, against non-Jews. There is racism between Jews from Europe and Jews from Arab countries. In our racism, we are no different from many other Western countries. However, the past year in Israel has seen an a significant increase in the number of racially motivated attacks on foreign workers and Palestinians by gangs of Jewish nationalists who seek to ‘cleanse Israel of non Jewish and dangerous elements.’ The problem is reaching endemic proportions as lawmakers have largely remained silent and the crimes continue unabated.”

  89. People change over time. There is a polite myth that only a small percentage of Germans were involved in the major evils of Nazism. In fact it was a very large number of people indeed. Seventy years ago it did not seem remotely likely that Germany and the UK would have a future of cooperation and frinedship, but they do. My mother lost her only and beloved brother in the second world war, and I grew up in an atmosphere where extreme anti-German feeling was the norm. It dissipated.

    The settlers are human beings, nothing more nor less. They are not devils. Evenly the most embittered conflict is capable of resolution. A single state solution is not impossible. On the other hand a two state solution is impossible, because Israel’s coralling of land and water resources has left no chance of a viable Palestinian state.

  90. Nevermind

    The propaganda against Palestinians and in favour of Zionism is so immense that we need a changing of narratives, before we begin debating the details.

    This applies as much in the West as in Israel itself. See Jonathan Cook on this.

    Finklestein has outlined a two state solution based on the 1967 borders, using the maps etc etc. Look it up. It ain’t rocket science, but Israel has no interest in this.

    Until the narrative changes there’s no chance of any solution.

    It’s precisely the propaganda which enables Israel to avoid a solution. That’s what it’s for.

  91. “it shows up yet again Israel’s extraordinary capacity for shameless sophistry… secure in the collusion of the West’s bought politicians.”

    What’s that, a fancy word meaning to deliberately deceive, mislead or misdirect, i.e. a liar? That must be a recent development because sixty years ago they never even knew what a lie was, according to accepted wisdom at least.

  92. “The propaganda against Palestinians and in favour of Zionism is so immense that we need a changing of narratives”

    I honestly don’t know what you could possibly mean…

    “There is a polite myth that only a small percentage of Germans were involved in the major evils of Nazism.”

    …oh, yes that.

  93. Oniel Samuel

    5 Dec, 2012 - 6:22 pm

    Oniel, tel us what you have done to change the equation? do you get regularly searched and asked awkward questions when you enter Israel? do you have your laptop seized for days on end as other do?

    I hear what you say about the secret flights, but the motivation by many was not that they were harassed when the world community agreed to Balfours fine words, but hat many were enthusiastic and wanted to move to Israel.

    Tell us what you did to protest against the breaches of international laws of the sea and do you see Melanie Phillips, calling peaceful dead protesters terrorists, as an adequate voice of the diaspora?
    sorry to badger you with questions, but it is vital that one understands each others motives

    Nevermind – In answer to your questions:

    – I haven’t done much to change the situation. That’s not because I don’t want to, but because there is not much I can do.
    – Yes I do get searched and asked many awkward questions on entering Israel, as do my whole Jewish family. I understand it’s a security issue, and so I don’t get too bothered by it.
    – My laptop has been seized before, but only once and not for weeks. It was returned within 30 minutes. Again, didn’t bother me too much. I just sat there and had a coffee whilst I waited!

    With regards to Melanie Phillips, I don’t think her approach is right, although I do agree with SOME of her views. Unfortunately, she does what some posters on here do: polarize the 2 sides further. Ultimately, we all just want to get along, and a middle ground has to be found by the moderates to gain support.

    Please don’t apologise for the questions. I, too, am keen to understand opposing views

  94. Good luck with your trip Craig. I don’t know if too many crimes have been committed by Israel on the Palestinians for them to forgive very easily, certainly in the short term. There is also the overwhelming support of Israeli Jews in favour of the aggressive tactics used by Netanyahu’s government which would also make it very difficult for there to be any prospect of living side by side. The first aim should be to try to alleviate the incredible suffering inflicted on the Palestinians, particularly the people of Gaza.

  95. I am sure that everyone knows about this system in operation but in case not….
    It was ongoing well before the date of this Guardian article, August 2010.

    Wikipedia editing courses launched by Zionist groups

    Two Israeli groups set up training courses in Wikipedia editing with aims to ‘show the other side’ over borders and culture

    Rachel Shabi in Jerusalem and Jemima Kiss
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2010/aug/18/wikipedia-editing-zionist-groups

  96. Oniel waffles about the ‘middle ground':

    Israeli army officer in South Hebron Hills: ‘Today we demolish the mosque but as soon as we get the court order we will demolish your house as well’

    http://mondoweiss.net/2012/12/israeli-army-officer-after-demolishing-mosque-in-south-hebron-hills-today-we-demolish-the-mosque-but-as-soon-as-we-get-the-court-order-we-will-demolish-your-house-as-well.html

    What’s the middle ground here?

  97. Oniel Samuel

    5 Dec, 2012 - 6:30 pm

    Mochyn69 – I never said that the Jewish persecution took precedent over any other injustices in the world. This is where I think people are getting it twisted. Naturally, Jewish people will feel an emotional connection to the injustices carried out against them in the same way Irish people will feel the same.

    Unfortunately, I disagree with you about the victim card. Just because Israel carries injustices (which I condemn), doesn’t mean to say that the vitriol aimed at them from outside is proportionate to the crimes the commit. The Guardian for example seems to put so much focus on the Israel Palestine issue when there are far worse atrocities carried out elsewhere. Criticism is fine (and expected), but when worse crimes are carried out elsewhere with little to no condemnation, then it is understandable that Jews/Israeli’s question their Motives/agendas.

  98. Oniel Samuel

    5 Dec, 2012 - 6:31 pm

    Cryptonym – Thanks! Enjoy your dinner.

    Peace? Hopefully :)

  99. Herbie, absolutely agree with your first sentence and for that reason, this blog, apparently the third most influential political blog there is, should not be seen to stoop to the same rabid level, can you not see this?

    We ought to be able to see that a two state solution will never work, all the parameters for this to happen are impossible, only incongruence can help change now, because we are at a stage were the last springs in Gaza and the wets bank are diverted/ guarded by tanks.

    I shall say no more, but I have not called for a garden party all summer long for nothing, there’s method behind my madness.

    blows a raspberry

  100. “The ultimate solution must involve a proper single state in Israel/Palestine which is blind and fair in its laws to race and religion.”

    Yeah right. Good luck with that one Craig. Before you accuse me also of being anti-“a state which is blind and fair in it’s laws” I’m not; it’s simply that I’m enough of a realist to understand that it just isn’t going to happen. One side wants to destroy the other and making them live together in the same state is going to change that. Quite the opposite I’d have thought.

  101. Oniel Samuel

    5 Dec, 2012 - 6:37 pm

    Yonatan 6.29 – Is that the worst you can muster? I’m not going to bore everyone here with some of the comments and speeches made against Israel in recent times by Arab leaders/politicians. If you want to go down the route of Who said what, then please continue. What do you think you’ll achieve?

    The situation where we are now is only the way it is because of people who look forward and only see their rear view mirror. If anything is ever going to change, we need to sit down and discuss the way out of here. Unless, of course your only dream is to see the end of Israel – regardless of how many Palestinians suffer in the mean time?

  102. Oniel

    “Ultimately, we all just want to get along, and a middle ground has to be found by the moderates to gain support.”

    No, no and again no.

    This is alwayts the recipe cooked up by the dominant group as they sense a lessening of support for their barbarity.

    The Palestinians and Zionists are not equals in this dispute, nor are they equals morally nor in barbarity.

    There is no solution until Israel faces up to its crimes, as many many Jews internationally have done. It’s a necessary step.

    Peace is only ever made between violent and sworn enemies, not between piggy in the middle people who want to be thought of as “moderate”.

  103. I also find it odd that you’re proposing a single state as a solution for Palestine and Israel yet separation for Scotland and rUK.

  104. I don’t think this has much to do with religion Most of the founders of Zionism were atheist and the Orthodox Jews saw Zionism as blasphemy. Religion is a convenient method of crowd control, as always it is about power and domination.

    One state or two I would be happy if it is a lasting solution, I just don’t want the west deciding on the best solution for themselves then bribing and bullying the Palestinians into accepting it, I can’t see that lasting.

  105. Oniel Samuel

    5 Dec, 2012 - 6:43 pm

    Anyway guys I’m off to go and cook the Mrs some well deserved dinner.

    Cheers to those of you actually interested in getting out of this mess :)

    Good night

  106. Whatever anyone says, the killing, shooting and kidnapping of Palestinians by Israel goes on. These statistics are shocking so soon after the Pillar so-called ‘ceasefire’.

    [..]
    In related news, Israeli soldiers shot and injured a 16-year-old Palestinian from the Al-Boreij refugee camp in central Gaza.

    Medical sources in Gaza reported that Jihad Sawarka suffered minor injuries and was moved to the Al-Aqsa Martyrs Hospital.

    The attack comes two days after Israeli soldiers shot and injured two Palestinians who allegedly approached the border fence, in eastern Gaza.

    Also on Saturday, a 21-year-old Palestinian man died of wounds suffered by Israeli military fire on Friday evening. Another Palestinian, identified as Mustafa Abu Hassanen, died of injuries suffered during the eight-day Israeli war on Gaza.

    On Friday Eleven Palestinians were shot and wounded by Israeli military fire; five of them were shot in northern Gaza, four east of central Gaza, and two in southern Gaza.

    At least 40 Palestinians have been shot and wounded by Israeli military fire since Egypt brokered the cease fire deal that ended the recent Israeli war on Gaza, and more than 30 Palestinian fishermen have been kidnapped.

    The number of Palestinian killed due to Israeli fire and shells during the war, including those who died of their injuries after the ceasefire agreement was reached is 178, most of them were civilians, including children, infants, women and elderly. More than a thousand Palestinians have been injured, also most of them were civilians, including children.

    http://www.imemc.org/article/64684

  107. dancingqueen

    5 Dec, 2012 - 6:50 pm

    I believe there are few people in this world who fight against injustice in many forms. Craig, I salute you and your efforts. You are a good man.

  108. Craig 5 Dec, 2012 – 6:02 pm
    “a two state solution is impossible, because Israel’s coralling of land and water resources has left no chance of a viable Palestinian state”

    Both solutions require israeli concessions, which would be better secured in a two state solution. Any one state solution, outside of utopia, could only now happen with a built in dominance. Without that security the us will not let it happen. So it won’t happen and israel continues as it does.

    Please take the time to read Chomsky about this. He is hugely informed having fought for palestinian rights far longer than most. He wishes for one state and was arguing for that for many years. He now believes two state is the only way to secure any palestinian rights in the world as it is. He accuses one state liberals of complicity with the us/israeli agenda. He even suggests there is propaganda intended to attract liberals to one state. It’s possibly what gets them invited to conferences. Come on Craig, it’s the arab league. The palestinians will not be freed by the arab league.

  109. Thanks for your replies Oniel. The middle ground, if at all, exists in isolation, is not visible and if you count yourself within, then it is time that the middle ground makes moves to heal the wounds within Israel’s society, tries to negotiate between the two factions, break down the hard ground that has been trampled upon.

    We here are inconsequential to your real target, your own people which need persuading, not us, we are malleable and will take peace at it comes and is acceptable to both sides, that we are flagging up the possibilities and have discounted, well most here have, the two state solution as unsustainable and unobtainable comes natural to us.

    I’m surprised that you do not know who owns the Guardian Oniel, a loss maker of late, surprised that some outfit actually wants to use this abandoned vehicle at all, a mere shadow of its former self, closely following the BBC.

    You say that ‘there is not much I can do’, well if that is so, why the discourse here? with people who are actively engaging and want to see ‘Palesrael’, forgive, succeed as one land and one country.

    Why speak to us when you could be speaking to Miss Leibovich? or Gilad Sharon, why expose yourself and attract comments that are although well informed, are seen as attacking you? Does thst make good PR for you/Israel?

    I agree with Mochyn on the victim card, the vitriol, as you call it, is well deserved and grounded.
    Now that we have come to the point were the ICC is a relevant issue, Israel wants to be able to access EU markets and most likely will try its best to divert from answering to the court, the victim card becomes significant in publicity terms, does it not?

    Unless there is a completely new agenda, visible to the world and well meaning, which does not need our input here, until this agenda is discussed openly, water for all, an end to road blocks, meeting with the neighbours, etc. I’m afraid your time here is merely chit chat.

    tonight is the night of St. Nikolaus when children out their polished shoes out and wait for either sweets and fruit, if they have been good, or a birch if they acted devious. just sayin.

  110. Oniel:

    “I’ll leave you guys to it.”

    Cue a stream of further blatherings. Seems you major in Zionist negotiation strategy, being able to continue advancing after having announced your retreat.

    Give you a few more hours and you’ll be building an illegal settlement on this thread and claiming half of Craig’s blog as your own.

  111. I just want to endorse others’ sentiments in wishing you good luck in this altruistic vision of yours. It is so good too to see you active on the blog again, Craig Murray, and hopefully fully recovered. Safe journey.

  112. Oniel

    I don’t believe the vast majority of Jews who went to Palestine in the decade or so before partitioning actually wanted to go there. I believe that they had national identities, that they felt themselves a countryman of the country their ancestors had lived in for generations. I also believe that many of them would have been professional people or artisans and the only work available in Palestine at the time would have been agricultural labour. They moved because they had to move and they went to Palestine because they couldn’t go to New York.

    I don’t believe the people of Palestine wanted huge numbers of Jews moving to their country but they didn’t have a lot of say in the matter, Palestine was a British protectorate.

    There are two criminals in this story, our western and east European leaders and the Zionists the rest, I believe, are innocent, victims of circumstances. I don’t think much has changed since.

  113. WRT a single state solution, it seems to me that the most elegant way of dealing with the problems of settlers on forcefully acquired land is by leaving them there and raising a Georgist land (and aquifer) tax.

    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Georgism

    “Georgism (also called Geoism or Geonomics) is an economic philosophy and ideology that holds that people own what they create, but that things found in nature, most importantly land, belong equally to all.[1] The Georgist philosophy is based on the writings of the economist Henry George (1839–1897), and is usually associated with the idea of a single tax on the value of land.”

  114. Concern about chemical weapons. The USS Eisenhower carrier group now in the Eastern Med. Patriots for Turkey. Troops in Jordan.
    This is another Iraq, right in front of our eyes. “We” had enough proxies in Libya to do the job, but there clearly aren’t the numbers in Syria. So it looks as if “we” are going to invade. It’s based on humanitarian reasons of course, even though the rebels (jobbing fanatics financed and armed by foreign powers) are doing all the un-humanitarian stuff, like slaughtering schoolkids. Where have we seen that recently?
    This is the old imperial juggernaut, on shock doctrine steroids, as it has been since October 2001.

  115. Oniel Samuel left us by saying that he wass off to cook his wife some supper.

    Since then, there has been silence from him.

    Is it too much to hope that he might have got food poisoning?

  116. Mike, its all planned and Osborne has no qualms to have another little war on our backs, as long as he gets his cut in cheap oil, making his 3p tax cuts affordable.

    Welcome to consumer inflation never seen before, bye bye Threadneedle, welcome Weimar republic.

  117. craig, if it’s the same arab league members who assisted in the destruction of libya & who are involved in the overthrow of the govt in syria, then i question their intentions:

    5 Dec – US diplomat meets UN-AL envoy on Syria
    The US State Department said on Tuesday that Deputy Secretary of State William Burns met with UN-Arab League Joint Special Representative for Syria Lakhdar Brahimi and discussed with him the current situation in Syria in Washington.
    During their meeting on Monday at the State Department, Burns reiterated the strong US support for Brahimi’s mission, according to a written statement issued by the department..
    Brahimi on Friday urged the UN Security Council to act to save Syria from becoming a failed state…
    http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/world/2012-12/05/content_15987058.htm

    from Radio Netherlands:

    Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s regime is in danger of collapse “anytime” as the opposition gains ground on the military and political fronts, Arab League chief Nabil al-Arabi told AFP on Monday.
    “That could happen anytime,” the secretary general said in an exclusive interview..
    He said a new coalition of Syrian opposition groups now based in Cairo was “moving ahead.”
    The Arab League, which is also based in the Egyptian capital, last month recognised Syria’s National Coalition as the “legitimate” representative of the Syrian opposition.
    “We are in touch with them and they come here all the time,” Arabi said..
    http://www.rnw.nl/english/bulletin/assad-may-fall-anytime-arab-league-head-tells-afp

  118. also, what is the position of the arab league on the wahhabi saudi regime’s destruction of islamic heritage sites?

    Interview from Voice of Cape Radio on Islamic heritage lost as Makkah modernizes
    Interview with Dr Irfan Al Alawi, executive director of the Islamic Heritage Research Foundation:
    We must consider that if in the 1980’s they could completely replace the Kaaba, what stops them from removing the Green Dome in Madina? What is needed is more awareness on these heritage sites around the globe because the time is running out quickly as Makkah is being blown to pieces.”..
    http://www.shafaqna.com/english/shafaq/item/9433-interview-from-voice-of-cape-radio-on-islamic-heritage-lost-as-makkah-modernizes.html?tmpl=component&print=1

    Medina: Saudis take a bulldozer to Islam’s history
    Three of the world’s oldest mosques are about to be destroyed as Saudi Arabia embarks on a multi-billion-pound expansion of Islam’s second holiest site…
    In Mecca, the Masjid al-Haram, the holiest site in Islam and a place where all Muslims are supposed to be equal, is now overshadowed by the Jabal Omar complex, a development of skyscraper apartments, hotels and an enormous clock tower. To build it, the Saudi authorities destroyed the Ottoman era Ajyad Fortress and the hill it stood on. Other historic sites lost include the Prophet’s birthplace – now a library – and the house of his first wife, Khadijah, which was replaced with a public toilet block…
    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/middle-east/medina-saudis-take-a-bulldozer-to-islams-history-8228795.html

    Palestine – one or two-state solutions. both have advocates & detractors, but nothing gets done either way.

  119. Most of Robert Fisk’s published articles are sadly too brief, this one is heartwarming and gives a taste of the Palestine that once was. 95 year old Ruth Dayan, lambasts the Zionists:

    http://www.independent.co.uk/voices/comment/both-arab-and-jew-lived-in-the-original-palestine-why-moshe-dayan-asks-cant-they-do-so-again-8374174.html

  120. the still somewhat independent McClathy media house in the US has an illuminating article on the Syrian rebels, which is timely given all the warmongering being waged at present, including in the Christian Science Monitor by the way:

    2 Dec – Al Qaida-linked group Syria rebels once denied now key to anti-Assad victories
    by David Enders
    Nearly a year later, however, Jabhat al Nusra, which U.S. officials believe has links to al Qaida, has become essential to the frontline operations of the rebels fighting to topple Assad.
    Not only does the group still conduct suicide bombings that have killed hundreds, but they’ve proved to be critical to the rebels’ military advance..
    Among Nusra fighters are many Syrians who say they fought with al Qaida in Iraq, which waged a bloody and violent campaign against the U.S. presence in that country and is still blamed for suicide and car bombings that have killed hundreds of Iraqis since the U.S. troops left a year ago..
    On a trip to Syria that spanned most of the month of November, a journalist found Nusra’s fighters on every frontline he visited..
    Mahmoud said he saw no reason to hold elections if Assad falls.
    “Eighty percent of Syrians want Islamic law,” he said.
    Many fighters said they were aware of the accusations about Nusra’s links to al Qaida. But they generally discount the importance of those ties when speaking with journalists..
    Still, there are moments when Nusra’s ideology shines through.
    “When we finish with Assad, we will fight the U.S.!” one Nusra fighter shouted in the northeastern Syrian city of Ras al Ayn when he was told an American journalist present. He laughed as he said it and then got into a van and drove off, leaving the journalist unable to ask whether it had been a joke…
    http://www.mcclatchydc.com/2012/12/02/176123/al-qaida-linked-group-syria-rebels.html#storylink=omni_popular#storylink=cpy#storylink=cpy

  121. libyan rebel organiser & french public intellectual(?), Bernard Henri-Levy, deplores US inaction in Syria, watch the first 20 mins at least:

    The Consequences of Inaction in Syria
    A Conversation with Bernard-Henri Levy and Senator John McCain, held at the 2012 FPI Forum at the Newseum in Washington DC on November 27
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=G5PwxNt5h2Y#t=844s

    what is extraordinary is how easily the West has gone from fighting Al Qaeda to teaming up with them again (as in Afghanistan, Balkans, etc) without the public barely even noticing, even when christians in syria are targeted, etc.

  122. JUST OUT – NBC RATCHETS UP WAR ON SYRIA:

    Syria loads chemical weapons into bombs; military awaits Assad’s order
    http://worldnews.nbcnews.com/_news/2012/12/05/15706380-syria-loads-chemical-weapons-into-bombs-military-awaits-assads-order?lite

    tragedy after tragedy. lie upon lie.

  123. Whilst I understand the feelings behind some of the rhetoric targetted against Oniel and his views I think it is important that we try and understand the opinions of those who have different perspectives.

    Yes in my opinion there is little support for the Palestinian cause in the MSM and its good to come to a safe haven like this Blog where the majority of people here share our views and try and fight for the underdog. However, we must be open to having a real debate and therefore need to be prepared to listen to opposing views.

    Clarks’ intervention was timely, well meaning and had the desired effect. We should discuss and disagree with opinions and views and try to avoid attacking the individual. It was encouraging to see that some common ground existed between adversaries and this is where the actual conflict should begin its resolution.

    It will take people from both sides in this conflict to come together, find this common ground and then make compromises and agreements which can bring lasting peace. Whether the solution takes the form of a single or two separate states the joint negotiations must begin and continue unbroken until resolution is agreed. The major challenge is to find a facilitator who is objective and independant and acceptable to both sides.

    As did many readers of this Blog I celebrated the UN vote in favour of a Palestinian state but as expected this antagonised the Israelies who countered with a programme of settlement building. The UN then potentially further escalated the situation by requesting that Israel open its nuclear facilities for inspection. This is something I have been in favour of for some time in the light of the demands being made on Iran by Western Governments and MSM. It will be interesting to see the Israeli response to this although I believe it is fairly predictable as they are known to ignore anything that the UN requests against their favour.

    Again there’s an interesting lack of coverage in the MSM on this UN request but I read this in my local newspaper in the central Philippines, despite the fact that we were being bombarded by typhoon Pablo at the time which killed over 350 people. The source was AP and I later found it in The Gaurdian and Washington Post but without readers commments. I’d be interested to hear the views of commenters here.

    These actions may just be escalating the pressure on this situation. They may be well intentioned to get Israel to capitulate and come to the negotiating table ready to compromise, but they could equally have the opposite effect. I hope someone has thought this chess game through and the outcome is an agreed draw rather than win/lose.

    Continue the good work Craig, good luck in your endeavours and take care.

  124. @ Craig
    “On the other hand a two state solution is impossible, because Israel’s corralling of land and water resources has left no chance of a viable Palestinian state.”

    which is another way of saying that if Israel could be incentivised to stop corralling land and water a one state solution is entirely possible, isn’t it?

  125. I wish you luck, Craig, in all your endeavors. It is good to keep the eye on the ball, no matter how distant it seems now.

    Alas, as someone who hails from that part of the world and reads more than a little in the language Israelis use to share their innermost feelings, I fear that things will get much much worse before they get better. It is not just Netanyahoo and his right wing die-hards. It is the entire strata of israeli jewish society that covets a land without natives. they got many in the world to buy into the myth of the “insecurity” that they feel threatemned by. It’s a myth however. the average israeli fears very little from the palestinian side. They may be annoyed at some inconvenience to their life style but annoyance is not fear. The sad truth is that the israelis do see israel getting away with a slow process of ethnic cleansing. They believe- for the most part that they got America cowed for a long time to come – and with America, the rest of the world. Most israelis (we can quibble about how many ‘most’ is) believe that they can live with the way things are for as long as necessary and they will support – really they will – whatever needs to be done to make the Palestinians “just go away”. In a nutshell – that is the plan. First Area C (60% of the west bank) to be completely emptied from palestinians. Then big chunks of Area B. What’s left are your batustans -about 20% of the west bank and they will be cordoned off like Gaza. Problem is – even that will not be enough ultimately.

    I would say that at this point in time, talk of a just one-state is fine and well – again because it’s necessary to keep up hope for a future. The reality is as you said in the first paragraph – there is a process of ethnic cleansing going on – a deliberate and methodical one – and it is about to accelerate much more than we have seen thus far. Under these conditions, we should do all we can to make sure that it doesn’t go unnoticed, do what we must to ensure that it doesn’t turn into outright genocide, and keep up as much pressure as possible to somehow turn things around.

    God speed!

  126. Prof Jake Lynch’s exchange with The Australian’s journalist Christian Kerr re his article of December 6, 2012
    http://www.australiansforpalestine.net/72514

    Kerr wrote a critical piece about Prof Jake Lynch who had upheld the academic boycott. Lynch replied. The Australian is a Murdoch News Corp newspaper incidentally.

    Sir Zelman Cowen referred to was a Jewish Governor General of Australia in the 70s. I note his Wikepedia entry has this neat little CAMERA edit –
    ‘The fact that Cowen was Jewish gave his appointment a multicultural aspect in keeping with contemporary Australian sentiment.[citation needed)’
    {http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zelman_Cowen}

  127. Oniel Samuel

    6 Dec, 2012 - 9:08 am

    Nevermind – All of what you wrote is fair game and speaks a lot of truth. However, whether done intentionally or not, you completely absolved any responsibility from the Palestinian side. How do you expect 2 sides to come together when you can’t even see past your own failings?

    Also, you have been writing as if Israel’s problem is with the European left (people on this blog), when actually, with all due respect, most Israelis don’t really care what you think. Their issue is with the Palestinians, not you. And it is the Palestinians that they need to make peace with.

    You ask “why speak to us?” when I could be speaking to right wing Israelis, and the answer is that I want to hear an opposing view. I speak to many people on all sides of the spectrum and it is interesting to note the different attitudes to the conflict. Even more interesting is seeing how the only place where progress looks possible is where the 2 sides can actually agree on things. In an environment where people simplistically believe that one side is good and the other side is bad, all you end up with is people further entrenched in their positions. This approach will fail and cause more bloodshed.

  128. Oniel Samuel

    6 Dec, 2012 - 9:10 am

    Habbabkuk – Dinner was lovely, thank you. I’m sorry that me waking up this morning has upset you :)

  129. Oniel Samuel

    6 Dec, 2012 - 9:13 am

    Cebuano – Re: “We should discuss and disagree with opinions and views and try to avoid attacking the individual. It was encouraging to see that some common ground existed between adversaries and this is where the actual conflict should begin its resolution.”

    My sentiment exactly.

    Thank you

  130. Nevermind 12.04

    Baghdad is not the safest place to be right now, might be an idea to take some personal food rations.

    It is not dangerous either. The only attacks now in Iraq are external al-Qa’ida, funded from Saudi, trying to bring down the heretic Shi’a.

    Mind you, you’re lucky, Craig, to get a visa to go to Baghdad. I’ve been waiting four months now for the Minister of Tourism to sign my letter of invitation.

    Essentially, what happened in Iraq after after the US withdrawal was that the country has turned in on itself, back to the isolationism of the time of Saddam. I have no doubt that it is a sort of national trauma, a national PTSD, after the experience with the Americans (and us).

  131. The reality is as you said in the first paragraph – there is a process of ethnic cleansing going on – a deliberate and methodical one – and it is about to accelerate much more than we have seen thus far. (Marlin)

    Yes. There never was an intention to have a two-state solution*. Thanks to international flaccidity, the project is now past the point of no return. While up to now the Israelis have been careful to keep the West on side, no matter how illegal their actions, they are now confident enough of success in appropriating the West Bank to be able to ignore external criticism completely.

    What Craig’s up against is whether eretz-Yisrael is to be a Jewish state, with no room for anyone with the wrong beliefs -in effect a theocracy without mullahs and administered by a bigoted political class instead – OR a genuine democracy of the kind it mendaciously claims to be and is so fond of contrasting with its neighbours’ systems.

    Unless anyone cares to take it back by force, Israel is in charge between the Med and the Jordan. It is in a position to move further, and this is an article of faith for some of the extremists now in the Knesset: Israel between the Mediterranean and the Euphrates. For Jews and no-one else.

    There are signs that the dim consciousness that this is not a noble endeavour we are assisting, is even beginning to penetrate skulls as thick as Hague’s. But it may be too late. The two-state solution is dead and buried – it may have been stillborn, indeed. It is not too late, though, for the democracies to insist that for trade to be possible with Israel, it must demonstrate real democracy itself. Or for Jordan to defend its own frontier in depth.

    *Rabin may have been an honest broker, though

  132. And it is the Palestinians that they need to make peace with. (Oniel)
    No. They need an enemy. Otherwise the notion of Israel as a beleaguered little nation fighting for its freedom against the malice of the world falls apart completely. Ditto antisemitism. Essential to the project.

  133. Oniel Samuel

    6 Dec, 2012 - 9:36 am

    Komodo – THERE IS NO PROJECT. Israelis want to live peacefully, the majority of them side by side a Palestinian state.

    Do you not see how your divisiveness makes the issue worse and prolongs the current situation? Please be honest with me and tell me what you expect to achieve through your method of pitting one side against the other, trying to force a situation on a set of people who don’t even want it. And then please answer just one last question – Do you really believe it will work?

    Please please dont come back with “yeah, what about the… and what about the….”. Please just answer the question and at least we can debate it.

    Regards

  134. “I am off to Baghdad on Sunday for an Arab League conference on Palestinian detainees held in Israel.”

    Will the Arab League be covering your costs for the trip Craig?

  135. Oniel. You are misrepresenting my view. Everyone wants to live in peace, make enough to live on and a bit extra. Including the occupants of Gaza. That’s everyone in the street. Not everyone in government, and not people motivated by religious belief to the point where they become deaf to the man in the street.

    What solution am I trying to impose? Oh yes. A pluralistic society. Shock horror. And who doesn’t want it? Meir Kahane and its fellow-travellers. Good enough reason, I’d say, to impose it.

    Will it work? Pluralistic societies work just fine elsewhere. Even the USA, with its 2.5% of descendants of European Jews fleeing the pogroms. Half the world’s Jews live in the US, and they seem to manage…

    To deny that there is a project, as you do, is absurd. Its evidence is abundant, in the systematic breakup and recolonisation of the Occupied West Bank (now officially Judea and Samaria, lol). In the nexus of checkpoints, and Jewish-only roads. And in the frantic efforts to attract yet more settlers.

    Sorry, you can’t discuss this without mentioning what the Israeli state is doing, any more than I can without deploring the utter stupidity of some of Islamic Jihad’s actions.

  136. Oniel Samuel

    6 Dec, 2012 - 10:19 am

    You speak about Meir Kahana as if his views are common place in Israel. They are not. There are an extreme few (even that is too many for my liking) but they hold no political sway.

    Everyone wants a pluralistic society. And fortunately one exists Israel. When I am on holiday in Israel, I walk past 2 mosques every morning on my way to get breakfast. 8 times out of 10, when I have an issue with my set top box at home, the engineer is an Israeli Arab. When I sit in a bar watching Real Madrid against Barcelona, I am sat amongst other Israeli Arabs. I am not denying that racism doesn’t exist and I am not denying that there are forms of discrimination at play, but the same levels are existent in other democracies the world over, including England.

    Come on Komodo (sorry, I don’t know your birth name), it has got to be plain to see that Jews would not be able to live freely without fear of persecution in a democratic state in the ME. Do you think I am wrong there? If so, please show examples of the contrary.

    Re Jewish only roads: Have you ever been on one or seen one? If not, how do you know they exist? There are roads that are accessible to Israelis only. This however, includes access to Israeli Arabs who of course are not Jewish. Please don’t use unfounded smears. If we are going to debate (and I appreciate you debating these issues with me), it needs to be kept factual as possible and honest.

    The reason I asked not to go on to other subjects is so that we can discuss one point at a time, hopefully finding some common ground. Otherwise we will end up going round in circles without actually addressing anything at all

  137. Oniel Samuel

    6 Dec, 2012 - 10:27 am

    By the way, to those of you who are insistent on attacking me, I won’t be responding to you. If people (mainly) outside the conflict can’t have dialogue, what chance do the people involved have of doing the same

  138. http://www.netanyahu.org/dearworld.html

    Check. No connection there then.

    Re the rest…then that’s fine, isn’t it? All you have to do is to extend the same equal rights to the Palestinians – that’s the people who have to use those roads to weave round the hilltop settlements built on their land – as you do to the “Israeli Arabs”….

    http://www.acri.org.il/en/category/arab-citizens-of-israel/negev-bedouins-and-unrecognized-villages/

    or “token n*****s” as some would say, unkindly. Well, maybe not.

    BTW if you want to debate one point at a time, better not to raise several. But that’s up to you.

  139. Oniel Samuel

    6 Dec, 2012 - 10:43 am

    Sorry Komodo, I don’t understand your first point. Bit early for me!

    Turning the West Bank into a part of Israel proper (1 state solution) would spell the end of Israel as you well know. And if that is what you want, do you believe that Jews would be able to live in this new environment (maybe 50-60 years from now) free from fear of persecution?

    Fair enough on the last point. I agree

  140. An insight into Netanyahu’s tactics –

    <a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3-5hUG6Os68

  141. Morning all
    Thanks to cebuano for your eloquent reply from the Phillipines, it shows that the whole world is watching what is happening in Israel now.
    and thanks for the link to Ruth Dayans words in Robert Fisks interview, Cryptomnym, she makes it clear that it is not a matter of one side or other, but of mutuality, of one people.

    We are faced with unprecedented US hardware assembling in the eastern Med. and are told by propagandists that Assad is about to chemically annihilate his own people. Will Israel keep out of this struggle at its northern border, or will it be used to further strain negotiations, a tactic used in the past to leave the negotiation table empty?

    Economies world wide struggle and the UN is helplessly looking on as their efforts are discouraged and ignored in southern Lebanon, Dafur as well as in the eastern Kongo, so we cannot expect much of their token gestures.

    Oniel, you say ‘I do not take Palestinians to task’ which reminds me of Goliath complaining to David as to why he uses a sling.

    I like to ask you why it is that even arch Zionists as Mr. Glass ‘telling’ and badgering Mr. Netanmyahu for his failure, that he has wasted 7 years sitting on his hands, doing nothing to advance peace negotiations with ‘the best and most attentive Palestinian leader ever’?

    If this is so, what chance will moderate politicians have in the Knesset? and why, if the next election means more of the same, should one hold sway or hope for a settlement at all?

    But we are here, both factions have to made to live together, without the option of walking back, no more easy wars or conflicts to walk away from talks.
    believe me living together without discriminating against each other, on an equal level, will be much harder than shooting, so at first this might feel like punishment to both sides.
    We have spoken out against Palestinian rockets fired, in response to attacks or otherwise, Oniel, but we can seen the full spectrum force response they set against Gaza during cast Lead, some illegal and outrageous, aimed at children, one of the IDF’s core policy to strike the family/community at its heart. We see the need for a false flag by Israel during the latest conflict, the need to be seen to be hurt, and this is were I can agree with Komodo’s project argument, advanced by those who want to carry on eroding the 1967 borders until there is not much left.

    I suggest that you talk to the Knesset’s MP’s to give a sign of change, join the NNPT, lift the roadblocks and give back the monies collected for Palestinians, for all I care open all crossings and debate the substantial issues with the next generation on both sides, not politicians, but those who will inherit and have to live in the chaos created by their grand/fathers.

  142. Today, are we ALL working from home again? Suggest that it would be much warmer at the office where the cost of heating is a business expense.

  143. Gaia Hepburn

    6 Dec, 2012 - 11:41 am

    Good luck on your trip, Craig.

  144. An admission from the BBC that just one of their thousands of pro-Israel reports was biased.

    BBC Trust admits problems with reports on Palestine solidarity protest against Israeli theater in London

    by Ali Abunimah on Thu, 12/06/2012 – 01:34

    Palestine solidarity campaigners have welcomed a ruling by the BBC Trust, the broadcaster’s governing body, that news bulletin had breached accuracy guidelines in reports on protests at a performance by Israel’s Habima theater company in London last May.

    “Having initially denied the breach, the BBC backed down following a six month campaign by Palestine Solidarity Campaign (UK), and this week released its new ruling. In its finding, the Trust said the relevant news bulletins had not been presented in ‘clear, precise language,’” the Palestine Solidarity Campaign (PSC) said in a press release.

    “We welcome the BBC Trust’s admission that these news bulletins were inaccurate in the information they gave to the BBC’s audience and should have been scripted more carefully,” PSC’s Amena Saleem said.

    http://electronicintifada.net/blogs/ali-abunimah/bbc-trust-admits-problems-reports-palestine-solidarity-protest-against-israeli

  145. O/T (sort of)

    A new study on why people believe in misinformation includes the observation that repeating an untruth, even when disproving it, can reinforce the untruth.

    An article based on the study: http://www.spring.org.uk/2012/12/why-people-believe-weird-things-and-8-ways-to-change-their-minds.php

  146. A number of speakers explain the detailed case for a cultural & academic boycott of Israel, with an intro by Ken Loach

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CPvV8QZE35w&feature=youtu.be

  147. Sorry, typo in previous comment. Strike the word ‘in':

    A new study on why people believe misinformation includes…

  148. Harry is reporting F16’s flying over Gaza some 4 hrs. ago, wonder why that should be, has Israel announced common military manoeuvres with Egypt’s Muslim brotherhood?

  149. Turning the West Bank into a part of Israel proper (1 state solution) would spell the end of Israel as you well know. And if that is what you want, do you believe that Jews would be able to live in this new environment (maybe 50-60 years from now) free from fear of persecution?

    It would spell the beginning if it could be done amicably and with due recognition of both sides’ requirements. If being an extremely large word, obviously. Turning the West Bank into a de facto part of Israel, with a bunch of disconnected subsistence farmers whose resentment at the settlement of their land and interference with their living is bound to erupt into violence periodically, looks less like a peaceful solution to me.

    I don’t think the Jews will ever be able to live anywhere without fear of persecution. It’s built-in to the culture. Sorry. Whether the fear is justified depends, as it always has done, on their willingness to integrate with other cultures in an increasingly crowded world.

    Thank you for the discussion, anyway.

  150. You speak about Meir Kahana as if his views are common place in Israel. They are not. There are an extreme few

    Kahanites-lite are however the third largest part in Israel; hardly an ‘extreme few’.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yisrael_Beiteinu

  151. Nevermind – they do it for shits and giggles. They used to do it supersonic, for the bangs, at night…don’t know if they still do.

  152. Thanks, Old Mark. My link was to Netanyahu’s personal site, and a letter to the rest of the world by…Meir Kahane. Whose links with Bibi go way back.

    Liebermann is not unknown to Kahane, either –

    http://www.haaretz.com/print-edition/news/lieberman-was-involved-in-radical-right-kach-movement-1.269330

    That’s the two top pols in Israel….

  153. Still going on….
    Prime Minister Ehud Olmert said that, “thousands of residents in southern Israel live in fear and discomfort, so I gave instructions that nobody will sleep at night in the meantime in Gaza .” The clear intention of the practice is to pressure the Palestinian Authority and the armed Palestinian organizations by harming the entire civilian population.

    http://www.btselem.org/gaza_strip/supersonic_booms

    I’d put it more like “reprisals on noncombatants” myself. But what care we for the Geneva Convention?

  154. Oniel Samuel

    6 Dec, 2012 - 12:57 pm

    Komodo – I must be honest with you and tell you that I took great offence to what you said. You have suggested that it’s the Jews own fault for their persecution. I’ve heard things like that before in 1930’s era Germany but certainly didn’t expect to hear that in 2012.

    “I don’t think the Jews will ever be able to live anywhere without fear of persecution. It’s built-in to the culture. Sorry.” – No need to be sorry. This statement alone sums up the need for the Jews to have their own homeland. And I can assure you that we DO feel free with no threat of persecution while walking the streets of Tel Aviv, Jerusalem and beyond. Thank you though, for confirming to me that our needs are justified.

    And I thank you, too, for taking the time to discuss.

    Kind regards,
    Oniel

  155. Oniel.

    Your religion, like your fears is all in your fucking head.

    Now liar and troll that you are. Fuck Off.

  156. If you think that was harsh, see it from another’s point of view.

    We’ve had: a stream of lies, lame excuses for genocidal mass murder, victimhood card, schmolocaust guilt, some of my best friends are … and more –what an amateur.

    Definitely a decline in the standard of trolls assigned to this blog.

  157. If that’s what you think I said, Oniel, you are mistaken. The entire mythos of the Jewish religion (which as far as I can tell defines the people, otherwise you would accept the Canaanites as your own, but I’ve noticed that if I consider the Jews as X, they will invariably contradict me because they are Y ) is based on repeated expulsions and persecutions. By the Egyptians, the Babylonians, the Romans, any tribe in the Levant you care to name, most of Europe…the culture has adapted to deal with it after a fashion by incorporating it. And what is the basis of the persecution?
    It is a highly conspicuous and exclusive failure to do as the Romans do – the paranoia gives rise to the ghetto, the ghetto gives rise to the paranoia of the host country, and this gives rise to yet another outbreak of antisemitism, another exodus, forced or not.

    I mention the Romans. Any religion getting persecuted under Imperial Rome had to be out on a limb. Astarte was fine, if a bit louche. Diana of the Ephesians, formerly known as Artemis,was greatly respected by the Augustans. The Egyptian pantheon, collectively, and Ahura-Mazda were all worshipped in Rome and its provinces pretty well without let or hindrance. But the Jews? And the Christians, who were regarded as a sort of chav Jew? What went wrong?

    When you can answer that question without calling me an antisemite, come back and we can continue.

  158. Cryptonym – A dissenting voice always livens up a discussion, even if it is reading from a script.

    :-)

  159. Dear Abby’s Moral Dilemmas,

    I was having a chat with my burglar last night. I say burglar, but he’s more than that. He’s killed two of my kids as well and raped the wife a few times, and laid claim to the front bedroom and livingroom and says we can’t use the hall and we’re on restricted access to the kitchen and toilet.

    Yes, I’ve called the police but they say they can’t do anything. I have to discuss it with him.

    Anyway, he was saying that my presence was threatening him and if I didn’t stop he’d kill my baby daughter too.

    The thing is Abby, is it wrong of me not to like him?

  160. Oniel Samuel

    6 Dec, 2012 - 1:53 pm

    Cryptonym – Unless you can point out one lie from me, it would seem that you, sir are the troll. How about you fuck off

  161. Oniel Samuel

    6 Dec, 2012 - 1:56 pm

    Komodo – That is exactly the point. What went wrong? I can’t answer that question, and i feel that it is your job to tell me what went wrong. I am not the one justifying their persecution, you are. And therefore you would need to have a reason for it

  162. Cryptonym, regarding your reply to me in a discussion of nuclear reactors:

    http://www.craigmurray.org.uk/archives/2012/12/leveson-wrong-answer-to-the-wrong-question/#comment-384160

    you demonstrated that you would criticise something without seeking out the necessary understanding of it. Later, at 1:11 pm, you demonstrated that you were aware of your own prejudice in that matter:

    “I only looked it over superficially and with an admittedly prejudiced highly sceptical eye.”

    We have here a visit from a supporter of Israel. This is a chance for a discussion, a furthering of understanding and an exposition of diverse viewpoints. I ask you to contemplate your own failings, of which you seem somewhat aware, and to consider retracting your offensive remarks towards Oniel Samuel, whom Craig has engaged in debate. Craig has specifically stated that he welcomes contributors with viewpoints that differ from his own.

  163. @ Cebuano – News of the UN’s request to inspect Israels nuclear facilities was reported in a handful of alternative leaning places like the Washington Post and Russia Today. No mention as ever by the BBC who report every murmur of suspicion over Iran’s Nuclear facilities. 8 hour ago RT reports: “Israel has rebuffed a UN call to adhere to the Nuclear Non Proliferation Treaty (NPT) and open itself to international inspectors, calling the suggestion a ‘meaningless mechanical vote’ ”

    @ Oniel – I respect and appreciate you representing here, however it seems an impossible effort. We quite carefully and certainly observe our News outlets headlining and condemning every paramilitary attack on Israel -which would be commendable if they did not sideline and respectfully deliver official Israeli statements on its attacks (renamed ‘operations’) on Palestinians. To find out the actual measure of human harm of these attacks – its most dense and discernible measure of the number of people killed and maimed, we have to research because such fundamental facts are heavily, heavily repressed in our Media and eclipsed with high level analysis and discussion. The repressed base reality is extremely damming – that for a decade or so Israel has killed in the order of *one hundred times* as many people as it has suffered in its conflict. And breakdowns and contextualisations of that fundamental substance (gross human harm) offer no revision. If you can comment of this graph of conflict casualties which preceded ‘Operation’ Cast Lead that would be exceptional. To my knowledge that is an unbiased and material representation of a significant conflict period – a raw unweighted quite accurate graph in time of casualties. It quantifies the heart of matter – who is harmed, killed, how many, when? It is clear in the graph without enhancements or sidenotes that Israels ‘operations’ killed in grave numbers, throughout months of it suffering no casualties at all and quite consistently preceding all much, much lesser casualties to its own. And this is going on while its ‘terrorist’ foe is blockaded and settled and imprisoned and then demolished and bombed 1400 dead, 300 dead children – during Cast Lead. That is called the Gaza War now – what is a War between Tanks, Bombers, Troops and Houses, rockets, paramilitaries? Its not war, it is cull.
    Oniel i sympathise with your concerns “consider this historical narrative..”,”can we be certain of peace?”, but such talk is limitless and all there is to justify the killing and robbing of foes who can manage little response or offense of their own.
    Historical narratives and fears are not excuses for inhumanity.

  164. I’d like to remind many contributors here that being one against many, as Oniel Samuel is here, is a very uncomfortable position. Having been in such a position myself (when I defended my guest-post on Tallbloke’s climate change denial blog), I can tell you that it is highly stressful and demanding.

    Oniel Samuel, I expect that I disagree with you in many ways, but I respect your methods of argument.

  165. Chomsky in AlterNet yesterday:

    “An old man in Gaza held a placard that read: “You take my water, burn my olive trees, destroy my house, take my job, steal my land, imprison my father, kill my mother, bombard my country, starve us all, humiliate us all, but I am to blame: I shot a rocket back.”

    http://www.alternet.org/world/noam-chomsky-what-american-media-wont-tell-you-about-israel

  166. Clark: While I sort of agree with your point, should we treat (say) proponents of wife-beating, Nazis, white supremacists etc. with courtesy too, as long as their methods of argument are reasonable?

  167. Oniel Samuel, I said I respected your method of argument, but our comments crossed, and I see this from you:

    “I am not the one justifying their persecution, you are.”

    I feel that this is unfair. Komodo did not appear to me to be justifying repeated persecution, but rather, pointing it out. Please resist polarisation of the debate, which can only lead to further antagonism. I do acknowledge that your position here is demanding.

  168. Clark I admire your humanism but our new friend came here for a purpose. It was his choice.

  169. Komodo – That is exactly the point. What went wrong? I can’t answer that question, and i feel that it is your job to tell me what went wrong.

    I’ve told you what I think went wrong. And it isn’t my job anyway.

    I am not the one justifying their persecution, you are. …..

    Please observe the difference between “justifying” and “attempting to describe”. No persecution on the grounds of religion or any other notional difference is justifiable. As they say in Gaza. While also observing that a lot of stuff happens which is not justifiable.

  170. Oniel Samuel

    6 Dec, 2012 - 2:25 pm

    Thatcrab – Thank you for the response.

    To me it is clear that communication between the two sides is key. What we are faced with right now is an endless blame game, conversing through the media, and precisely ZERO progress. The trust issue is obviously an important one. I can see this first hand even just from my visit to this site. I have had words put into my mouth – mostly from people who don’t know anything about me or my views. Just because I am pro Israel doesn’t necessarily make me anti – Palestinian. It seems that this simplistic idea cannot be grasped by few too many people.

    With regard to your post, you have gone down the route of dis proportionality. So I ask: If more Israelis were killed, would that make the war more fair and more acceptable to Israel’s detractors? Another thing: You didn’t mention Hamas human shield policy. Why? And my final question: If rockets (albeit cheap ones) were aimed at your house and you had to stop them from being fired, would you use cheap home made rockets (even though you had access to more accurate ‘expensive’ ones), just to please those who call you ‘Disproportionate’?

    Kind regards

  171. S’okay, Clark, thanks. I like this one. He’s funny.

  172. glenn_uk, we have here a visit from one person. Contributors should not be heaping all the evil deeds of Israel upon an individual merely because they are a convenient target. Until discussion proceeds further, we do not know much about what this person actually believes, wishes, or works towards.

    I fight will reveal nothing. A debate might get us somewhere. I know what Oneil’s position on this blog is like. When I argued at Tallblokes, I was accused of believing in climate change because I wanted to cull the human population of poorer countries.

  173. Oniel Samuel

    6 Dec, 2012 - 2:27 pm

    Once again, thank you Clark. And yes, I agree. I promise I will try to do better! ;)

  174. If someone stole your house with the full blessing of the State, Oniel, might you not consider that you’d have to do something about getting it back? And if the guy whose garden the firework landed in called in an F16 strike to try and prevent you (hasn’t worked for 40+ years though, has it?) from reclaiming your own, wouldn’t you get the idea that the gloves were off and this was war? No? You pacifist, you. Bet you dodged service in the IDF, lol.

  175. Crossposted, sorry. Chomsky says it far better.

  176. Oniel Samuel

    6 Dec, 2012 - 2:36 pm

    I don’t live there, I’m afraid, but doubt I would’ve been a dodger (Not liked very much out there!)

    Thing is though, they didn’t steal their house. There are no Israelis in Gaza. Yes, there is a blockade, but they also have a border with Gaza. Why don’t you blame them for not opening it up? Would you open up your border to a country who’s stated goal is to wipe you out?

  177. Looks like the boycott of Israel is having some effect. That’s good. If Israeli artists and academics want a place amongst the international community of nations then they’d be best advised to put pressure on their own govt to cease its barbaric policies against the Palestinians, rather than attacking the international community.

    There’s no point in having any discussions whilst Israel continues its criminality. That’s just rewarding them for terror.

    http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4316494,00.html

  178. Ben Franklin -Machine Gun Preacher (unleaded version)

    6 Dec, 2012 - 2:45 pm

    I, too am often an outlier in American clogs and find it frustrating when people misconscrew(sic) my commentary. But it is a valuable teacher for me. The crucible makes stronger alloys in your bones, and muscles grow with injury.

  179. Contrary to Oneil’s fanciful claim, it is in fact the case that Israel’s whole policy, military and political, is to ethnically cleanse the Palestinians from their land.

    As ever with the Israelis, whatever they accuse others of doing is in fact what they’re doing themselves.

    And that’s quite a typical symptom of the persecution complex many writers have ascribed to the Israeli state.

  180. I should have used the word ‘humanity’ Clark, meaning the quality of being humane, kindness, benevolence, not ‘humanism’.

  181. I don’t live there, I’m afraid, but doubt I would’ve been a dodger (Not liked very much out there!)

    Peer group pressure is a wonderful thing. Hand out white feathers do they?

    Thing is though, they didn’t steal their house. There are no Israelis in Gaza. Yes, there is a blockade, but they also have a border with Gaza. Why don’t you blame them for not opening it up? Would you open up your border to a country who’s stated goal is to wipe you out?

    Most of the population of Gaza consists of refugees from Israel or their descendants. Most of the villages “targeted” (wrong word, but the best I can do) by Qasams prior to the most recent assault, were formerly Arab villages. As was Beersheba. The occupants left in 1948, never to return. My analogy is sound.

    I think you’re confusing Gaza (not a country – yet) with Iran. Which didn’t say its goal was to wipe Israel out either.

    By “they” above, I assume you mean the Egyptians. Who are still being paid as nearly much by the USA not to open the Gaza border as Israel gets in protection money. Not the answer you wanted, I fear.

  182. Oniel Samuel at 6 Dec, 2:36 pm

    “I don’t live there, I’m afraid, but doubt I would’ve been a dodger (Not liked very much out there!)”

    Please clarify; are you saying that you’re unpopular in Israel?

  183. Ben Franklin -Machine Gun Preacher (unleaded version)

    6 Dec, 2012 - 3:03 pm

    Herbie; It’s not just Palestinians, or even Iranians in the crosshairs of the Zionists. Anyone who stands in their way is eliminated. For years I have heard theories about CIA and Mafia connections to JFK’s murder. Never once have I heard about Mossad being involved. Meyer Lansky, Jack Ruby are just part of the picture. Assassination is their specialty (Mossad)

    http://globalfire.tv/nj/03en/jews/sec_jfk.htm

  184. Oh, sorry, I misread; I understand now.

    Please, everyone, slow down. We do not have appropriate software to show who is replying to whom. The thread moves fast. Take the time to reference what you’re replying to, and think twice before clicking “Submit Comment”; check your own comments for your own assumptions.

    Oniel Samuel, beneath the “Submit Comment” button there are some tags. You can include these in your comment for emphasis, bold and

    to indent a quote for reply

  185. Oniel Samuel

    6 Dec, 2012 - 3:10 pm

    “Most of the population of Gaza consists of refugees from Israel or their descendants. Most of the villages “targeted” (wrong word, but the best I can do) by Qasams prior to the most recent assault, were formerly Arab villages. As was Beersheba. The occupants left in 1948, never to return. My analogy is sound.”

    Are you suggesting that there were no Jews living there?

    “I think you’re confusing Gaza (not a country – yet) with Iran. Which didn’t say its goal was to wipe Israel out either.” –

    Just 2 excerpts from the Hamas Charter:

    “Those organizations operate [in a situation] where Islam is absent from the arena and alienated from its people. Thus, the Muslims must fulfill their duty in confronting the schemes of those saboteurs. When Islam will retake possession of [the means to] guide the life [of the Muslims], it will wipe out those organizations which are the enemy of humanity and Islam.”
    “As to the objectives: discarding the evil, crushing it and defeating it, so that truth may prevail, homelands revert [to their owners], calls for prayer be heard from their mosques, announcing the reinstitution of the Muslim state. Thus, people and things will revert to their true place.”

    By “they” above, I assume you mean the Egyptians. Who are still being paid as nearly much by the USA not to open the Gaza border as Israel gets in protection money. Not the answer you wanted, I fear.

    Regardless of the reasons (which are questionable), should you not be putting as much pressure on Egypt as you do on Israel?

  186. Oneil –
    …it will wipe out those organizations which are the enemy of humanity and Islam

    If the cap fits…there’s a simple fix. Don’t be the enemy of Islam. Anyway, I’d be a tad bitter if I’d been democratically voted in as a government and immediately proscribed as a terrorist organisation by a, er, friend of Islam.

    “As to the objectives: discarding the evil, crushing it and defeating it, so that truth may prevail, homelands revert [to their owners], calls for prayer be heard from their mosques, announcing the reinstitution of the Muslim state. Thus, people and things will revert to their true place.”

    Could equally be read as a call for the restoration of the Ottoman empire. One of the few not to lay into the Jews…

    Should I be putting pressure on Egypt? I’m not putting pressure on anyone. I’m stating my views. But if I were, I’d go for the source of the problem, not its hapless instrument.

  187. This is an interesting and detailed account outlining how some people can create History.

    http://www.counterpunch.org/2012/12/06/how-american-history-magazine-censored-palestine/

  188. Clark. If I step over a line I expect to be moderated, but do not deliberately tax or stress moderation resources, robust language and emotional responses are part and parcel of honest adult debate and sometimes called for. Israel’s position is diabolical absolutism and is leading us and them towards a cataclysm for all of humanity. It is a position which is indefensible. Israel blew it in 1948-1949 and thereby forfeited any chance of a sustainable existence. It continues to compound that almighty pre-meditated crime with continuing outrages. The survival of its people is not at stake, their back is not to the wall, but the idea of a religious supremacist state is utterly finished. All oniel has overlooked in his script unless I’ve missed it, is ‘what-aboutery’, so I’ll pre-empt it: I do not doubt that UK government’s crimes of the colonial era are comparably despicable but more recent actions such as Iraq, served mostly Israeli ends and cannot in any way be ascribed to self interest, oil included.

    “Some 700k Arabs lost their homes in ’48 and I believe they should either be compensated or returned to a newly formed Palestine. It’s a pity you don’t share the same sympathy for the 800k Jews who were ethnically cleansed from Iraq, Syria, Egypt, Morocco, etc.”

    Oniel, the lies came thick and fast. The first sentence softened us up, the second was dreadful, dishonest, disgusting, negating the first. The alleged ethnic cleansing of Jews in Arab countries and north Africa is an absurd and disingenuous. Having cleaned out the Palestinian population, the ‘cultured’ European Jews found they preferred wielding guns to hoes, didn’t want to dirty their hands working the land and actively sought Jewish Arab and African immigrants to do the dirty work, cowardly terrorism carried out Jew on Jew was amongst the tactics used. Your attempt to equate Palestinian losses with those migrants misfortune which was itself at the hands of or reaction to Israeli/Zionist plotting was risible. It is that master race tendency which is abhorrent, Israel does not just want be left alone, it will always find some new whipping boy victims to exercise its pathological and worst aspects, it is the human condition. It isn’t Israel that lives in constant fear it is the rest of the Arab world, Egypt, Syria, Jordan, Lebanon, all have and will again fall victim to Israeli paranoia and covetousness, it is high time it was stopped and uncomfortable truths faced before this running sore engulfs us all.

  189. But since we’re in Q&A mode, Oniel, speaking as a Jewish person not living in Israel, what’s your solution? Putting pressure on the Palestinians? It doesn’t work, does it? That’s the sinful part of Israeli policy. It not only doesn’t work, but it makes people hate you. And then you say, “Fine, let them hate me as long as they fear me” (variously attributed to Tiberius, Caligula and Nero) That’s quite a heritage, no?

  190. Thanks Oniel. I never expected to go down the route of disproportionality, i just researched the facts to find out what was actually – besides all the framing and explaination – going on. And there seems to be no denying that they re disproportionate. If less Palestinians were harmed, they would less so, and if more Israelis were harmed they would be more so. The situation is what it is then – disproportionate, a thousand thought experiments can distract from it, but it actually is what it is. The Israeli Palestine situation is not in recent decades disproportionate to the order of 1:2 or 1:5 – it is to the order of 1:100 I found it staggering.

    re. Hamas Human shield policy – I don’t see strong evidence for it actually. Hamas fighters would seem to be a paramilitary resistance organisation, like the french resistance for example. If Israelis where cornered and ‘operated’ on the way Gazans are, i would expect them to violently resist and not by camping out in the open firing primitive rockets, they would hide anywhere and everywhere they could. They are the desperate ones, a much reported policy of human sheilds does not reduce any part Israels damage.

    “If rockets were aimed at your house..?”
    I grew up in a paramilitary conflict zone and my family were targeted by paramilitaries, my cousin in law was maimed, friends lost parents. Car bombs, pub bombs, torturous executions, dirty tricks, snipers… Some semblance of rule of law was maintained. “Shoot to kill policy” was officially denied, terrorist suspects released for lack of evidence, the idea of bombing the police/army no-go-zones or the Republic of Ireland was quite sensibly dismissed as so disproportionate and inflamatory not to mention murderous, as to be preposterous – at least to the majority and importantly to the forces in charge…

    I feel heavy, for you seem sincere and decent yet loyal like i was and still am a bit to my kind, but you are so immersed in the web of argumentation around your conflict, you do respond to my highlighting of the huge kill ratio, with limitlessly emotive and single sided talking points about rocket threat and reported hamas tactics. There is almost nothing to those things you know, they are questions without solid answers. How you see them only depends on where you happened to be born and who you happened to hear, what unquestionably counts is who has been killed and hurt.

    I read one of Craigs best comments here ever earlier in the thread where he recalled how much hatred and bitterness there was towards the Germans after WWII yet a fine peace now.

    Hope

  191. Ben

    Did you know that Gaddafi claimed that JFK was killed by the Mossad on the orders of Ben-Gurion after JFK insisted on full access to and monitoring of the Dimona facility to prevent Israel developing nuclear weapons? He suggested that Obama was afraid to get too tough with Israel in case they assassinated him as well.

    Maybe that was the speech too far for Gaddafi? Link http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hmNzEpbkftU

    Oh Jack Ruby? You mean Jacob Leon Rubenstein

  192. Oniel Samuel

    6 Dec, 2012 - 3:40 pm

    Cryptonym, You still haven’t told me where I’ve lied. Stop using the same old, quite frankly boring rhetoric of “the lies come thick and fast”. Are you telling me the Jews who ‘left’ their homes from surrounding countries leaving all their property, businesses and everything else behind, just to fulfil their dream of going back to their homeland? That is risible at best. There must have to be a very good reason for them to leave so many assets behind – Ethnic cleansing, forced expulsion. Call it what you want

  193. @Phil. Poor old Chomsky. There he sits in the MIT surrounded on all sides by research projects funded by the Masters of War. Is it any wonder that he is such a depressingly typical American pragmatist? For him politics (“the real world”) is the art of the possible. But the real world is not just the power of the Western military industrial complex and its Israeli outpost. It is also the enormous power of the on-going Egyptian revolution taking place as we write. The reality is that politics is the (dialectical materialist) science of making what is not possible today possible tomorrow.

    Egypt is the most populous and urbanised Arab country and Cairo, with its 20 million inhabitants (in the metropolitan area), is the 16th largest metropolis in the world.

    Nearly 100% of the country’s 82.5 million[1] (2012 est.) people live in three major regions of the country: Cairo and Alexandria and elsewhere along the banks of the Nile; throughout the Nile delta, which fans out north of Cairo; and along the Suez Canal. These regions are among the world’s most densely populated, containing an average of over 3,820 persons per square mile (1,540 per km².), as compared to 181 persons per sq. mi. for the country as a whole.

    […]

    …the basic problem Egypt has is unemployment driven by a demographic youth bulge: with the number of new people entering the job force at about 4% a year, unemployment in Egypt is almost 10 times as high for college graduates as it is for people who have gone through elementary school, particularly educated urban youth, who are precisely those people that were seen out in the streets during 2011 Egyptian revolution.[2][3]

    From Wikipedia Demographics of Egypt: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Demographics_of_Egypt

    We have already seen the effect of the first stage of the Arab Spring on Gaza. The Israeli bombing was cut short and ended because the political dynamics in the region have changed. We even saw on a smaller scale the effect of the Egyptian revolution on Israel. Last year there was a prolonged rebellion on the streets by the Israel poor in parallel with the global Occupy movement.

    Chomsky does not take account of this aspect of the “real world” in his calculations.

    See p44 onwards of this PDF for an excellent demolition of American pragmatism:

    http://marxists.org/archive/trotsky/idom/dm/dom.pdf

  194. Oniel Samuel

    6 Dec, 2012 - 3:41 pm

    Sorry, that should have read: There must have been a very good reason….

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