Israel Acts Appallingly Again 37


Whether Obama wants to do anything about Israel is one question. Whether he would ever be allowed to do anything about Israel is another question. I suspect the answer to both is negative. I am more certain about the second question than the first.

At the moment Israel is putting two fingers up to him by spurring ahead with new illegal settlements in the occupied West Bank. I thought this was a grimly amusing piece from Sky News:

Under international law they are illegal, though Israel disputes this.

They are also a major obstacle to peace because they are spread out across the land that Palestinians want for their own state.

There are almost 500,000 Israeli settlers now living on occupied land.

Last year, their numbers grew three times as fast as that of the general population in Israel.

The Israelis say they have the right to continue what they call the “natural growth” of settlements, to allow for the increase in population.

http://news.sky.com/skynews/Home/World-News/Israel-Defies-US-Over-Settlements-In-Occupied-West-Bank/Article/200905415288144?lpos=World_News_First_Home_Article_Teaser_Region_7&lid=ARTICLE_15288144_Israel_Defies_US_Over_Settlements_In_Occupied_West_Bank

A bit like “Murder is illegal, though Jack the Ripper disputes this. He says culling is required to reduce the female population.”

With bombing stepped up in Afghanistan and Pakistan, the US withdrawal from Iraq an obvious fake which sees weekly increments in plans for the number of US troops to remain, and detention without trial for Guanatanamo internees to continue indefinitely – somewhere – behind a smokescreen of rhetoric, I am struggling to think of anything Obama does better, other than not look a complete arsehole.

You would hope that the combination of a rhetorically liberal US Administration with the most openly vicious of Israeli regimes might lead to some change in the massive supply of US money and weapons that keeps Israel viable for all those irreligious ex-Soviets who moved there for an easy high standard of living.

But I fear you would be very disappointed.


37 thoughts on “Israel Acts Appallingly Again

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  • Roger Clague

    You twice deplore rhetoric by others then refer to ‘Jack the Ripper’.

    That Jack the Ripper murdered women adds nothing to and detracts from our understanding what you think of Jewish settlement on the West Bank.

    Your rhetoric does however show that you are biased against Israel.

    I often find your comments illuminating, but not today.

  • Abe Rene

    I wonder whether Israel is planning a ‘second Zionism’. That is, 100 years ago they colonised the North and West of Palestine – Galilee and the coastal plain, and that served as the nucleus of the state of Israel. A similar colonisation has now happened in the West Bank with the settlements, enabling Israel to annex the North and West of the West Bank when it thinks the time is ripe.

  • KevinB

    Roger,

    Israel is a racist apartheid state.

    Anyone who is not biased against Israel in its current ‘ethical’ incarnation is biased against humanity at large.

  • johnny anomaly

    The BBC’s webpage “Country profile: Israel and Palestinian territories” uses the same formulation: “The settlements that Israel has built in the West Bank are home to around 400,000 people and are deemed to be illegal under international law, although Israel disputes this.”

    Such fence-sitting serves no useful purpose.

    It is obvious that Israel and Hamas/Fatah will not find a solution on their own. The problem was created by the “international community” and will have to be sorted out by them. The alternative is to watch as the Palestinians are ground into the dust.

    Obama shows the will to seek a solution, but there are too many who are willing to see the Palestinians so crushed.

    Someone will need to be very brave and very strong.

  • MJ

    The crunch will come at the end of this year. Netanyahu has rather generously given Obama six months to conclude his talks with Iran before bombing it. In the meantime Iran may have elected a new, more West-friendly, president.

    Israel will not care about that. The US might, because it is quietly reliant on Iranian assistance in Afghanistan. By Christmas Obama’s true colours should be much clearer.

  • Richard

    Shame you had to throw your toys out of the pram about the Uzbeks – with a completely unbiassed position on the Israel / Palestine conflict – you could have gone far. What happened to the FCO dude who, in a fit of petulant pique screamed out like a demented child ‘fucking Israelis’ in a London gym? Promoted presumably?

    You people – you love your home made opinions to fit the narrative of the beastily oppressed.

    Jews bad – Palestinians good. Hokely dokely – glad that’s sorted.

  • PeterD

    I’ve been following a debate on Cranmer’s blog re Israel and am rapidly coming to the conclusion that neither the Israeli right or Hamas/Hizbollah actually want an agreement. All that seems to happen is that each side throws historical atrocities at one another as justification for what they are doing.

    Frankly I’d rather congratulate Burmley on their promotion to the premiership!

  • PeterD

    Sorry, that should of course have read ‘Burnley’. P.S. I’m not a recently departed press aid to a former Labour PM.

  • Diversity

    I have a strong bias in favour of Israel. However the policy of successive Israeli governemnts over the last two decades has been steering the country steadily towards the fate of the Crusader Kingdom of Jerusalem – extinctionas soon as they make a substantial military mistake.

    The only route to the survival of Israel is to look for and follow policies which will make Israel accepted by its neighbours as part of the Near Eastern landscape. That means first and foremost finding ways to live with the Palestinians without oppressing them, occasionally killing them, often trampling on their rights, and repeatedly preventing them from living reasonable lives.

    The Lebanese can live together prosperously, with all their problems and hatreds. In the same way, Israel can and must live with the Palestinians.

  • The Fatsnacker

    Please use your comments wisely.. I think there many Jewish people who condem the attitude of their government towards the palastinians. You are talking about Zionists.

    there are plenty of Jewish website dedicated to supporting the Palenstinian fight? for a peacefull solution, and the right to haver their lands, both inside and outside of Israel.

  • Jon

    Richard and Fatsnacker imply there has been some criticism of Jewish people specifically, rather than Israeli policy or Zionist ideology, although I can’t see that myself. Could one of you point it out where this has been said or implied?

    Richard, there is a history of good debate here, but in your 11:33 post, your last sentence smacks of sarcasm, which is not constructive if you want to discuss these issues. I apologise if I am misreading it, but I can’t see how I might be.

  • KevinB

    Roger,

    Quote: “You people – you love your home made opinions to fit the narrative of the beastily oppressed.”

    You attack critics of Israel for using “..the narrative of the beastily oppressed”?

    What are you people?

    …..professional comedians?

  • KevinB

    Roger,

    Quote: “You people – you love your home made opinions to fit the narrative of the beastily oppressed.”

    You attack critics of Israel for using “..the narrative of the beastily oppressed”?

    What are you people?

    …..professional comedians?

  • Jon

    @Fatsnacker

    You are right about there being plenty of good Jewish groups in Israel that reject the dominant narrative in Israeli-US policy. I subscribe to december18th.org, from Jewish Voice for Peace, and I think their human rights and awareness work is difficult to disagree with – and very worthwhile.

  • John D. Monkey

    I have reluctantly come to the conclusion that there is more than a kernel of truth in what a young Israeli, who had just finished 3 years of military service, said to me (I quote as near as I can remember it) :

    “We don’t want peace with the Palestinians; we want peace without them. We want the land, all of it, and we don’t care where they go.”

    An extreme view, maybe, but one he genuinely held and was prepared to defend. We had an interesting discussion!

  • mary

    The seals on the open air prison aka Gaza are being tightened even more by the Occupier and its collaborator Mubarak. His grandson aged 12 died last week in a Paris hospital where he was taken after he had been treated by doctors had been flown into Egypt. No such luxury for the beleaguered people of Gaza where doctors and nurses, including some British, who were trying to enter Gaza from Rafah went on hunger strike last week.

    There are said to be 75 tons of depleted uranium in Gaza left behind from Cast Lead and other incursions. (There is a link on Uruknet about this). A very poor outlook for the health of the Palestinian children there.

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/middle_east/8067081.stm

    And for Richard @11.33 who dismissively calls Rowan Laxton ‘a FCO dude’ this report will tell him that charges have been made against him so he need have no worries that justice is not being done.

    http://tiny.cc/FUCDH

  • Abe Rene

    Diversity,

    I’ve a lot of time for people like Daniel Barenboim and Jimmy Carter – have you read his book “Palestine: peace, not apartheid”?

  • rullko

    Yes, Obama’s main asset is that he’s more presentable than his predecessor. I had hoped for a McCain victory, as it was clear that the world was prepared to let Obama away with anything. Perhaps the varnish will eventually wear off, but I doubt it. I don’t think it ever really did with Clinton.

  • KevinB

    It has come to something when our government tacitly supports the massacre of Palestinians in Gaza last Dec/Jan and then our crown prosecution services prosecutes a government employee for angrily using the word “Jews” to express his disgust at the situation.

    Peculiar how anti-racism law works to support the most poisonous and determined racists on earth.

    We do have to accept Laxton was in the wrong……for tarring all Jews with the same brush…….but if he’d said “******* Israelis”, would that have been fair?……after all 94% of them supported their government’s murderous actions. Would we be forced to bite our tongues out of respect for the noble 6% who were against the slaughter?….and we surely must respect them. It must be difficult speak up, surrounded by such savages.

  • Suhayl Saadi

    It’s all so depressing. The whole situation could be so different. Maybe in a hundred years it will be. Meanwhile, one has to keep working at it.

  • mary

    I have Dr Chris Burns-Cox’s permission to copy his letter to the Egyptian Ambassdor. Copies have also gone to his MP David Drew and to David Miliband.

    Dear Ambassador,

    On May 4 2009 four UK citizens and I arrived at the Rafah crossing into Gaza only to be refused access by your officials.

    A month earlier the Director of Palestinian International Medical Aid (PIMA) had asked the UK Consul in Cairo to send our details, requesting access, to the Egyptian government. The Consul confirmed he had done so.

    We waited at the Rafah crossing for 19 days from May 4th-23rd but we were never allowed access.

    We saw USA and Irish citizens and some Palestinians being allowed to enter Gaza.

    Please tell me why we were selectively refused entry as citizens of one friendly democracy seeking normal assistance from those of another.

    Our names are Dr.Omar Mangoush cardiac surgeon, Dr.David Shrove medical educationalist, Operating theatre sister Kirsty Wong, logistics expert Ahmad el Terk and myself, consultant physician and medical student teacher.

    As a result of this unjustified cruel treatment and bearing in mind we were unpaid humanitarian workers, we went on a hunger strike, supported in this action by a great many people.

    We still wish to be able to enter Gaza in the future to help our fellow human beings and health care workers but only if we are promised access without this unjustified ill-treatment at the Rafah crossing.

    Please explain why you prevented our access to Gaza and please would you promise to ensure we would have permission to enter when we return to Rafah.

    Thank you

    Yours sincerely

    Dr.C.J.Burns-Cox MD FRCP

    Emeritus Consultant Physician Frenchay Hospital Bristol,

    (his home address here)

    The Ambassador of Egypt,

    23 South St

    London

    W1K 2XD

  • Richard

    Jon – yup, sorry it was sarcastic and flippant and I apologize for that.

    What I fail to get my head round is the multi faceted standards that are in operation. I know that this thread isn’t about Iraq but we butcher certainly 500,000 yet there is no comeback to us through the UN or the Saudis or anyone – yet Israel slaughters a 2000 per year and everyone’s up in arms (literally).

    I find it odd that Israel is such a hot button topic – that we expect something of them that we have never done ourselves.

    My understanding of history and current affairs is tainted by a stupid belief that Blighty is good, that there is some kind of morality at work – but that’s either idiotic or a leap of faith.

    The Palestinians bomb and maim indiscriminately, the Israelis bomb and maim indiscriminately. We commit sociocide and and still pay our taxes – don’t bomb and maim discriminately. Take Hoon, Blair, Bush etc to court. I just don’t feel able to have an opinion when I feel so fucking shamed and guilty so I walk straight into a numbers game – which is a horrid place; keep it under 2,000 at any one go and cool.

    I feel dirty for even explaining myself but that’s my rationale. It is not for the British Government to have opinions – they’re a luxury afforded to the innocent. We have to be pragmatic and support the moderates. Whatever foreign governments do is their own business until we are honest with our own.

    Either it’s defence against a Caliphate or it’s incremental sociocide based on demographics – it’s a binary context so, as an outsider with blood on my hands – I just want the numbers to reduce. I found offence at ‘the openly vicious of Israeli regimes’ – this is sabre rattling – ain’t killed any one yet.

    Sorry to be a tool.

    Richard

  • Richard

    Jon – yup, sorry it was sarcastic and flippant and I apologize for that.

    What I fail to get my head round is the multi faceted standards that are in operation. I know that this thread isn’t about Iraq but we butcher certainly 500,000 yet there is no comeback to us through the UN or the Saudis or anyone – yet Israel slaughters a 2000 per year and everyone’s up in arms (literally).

    I find it odd that Israel is such a hot button topic – that we expect something of them that we have never done ourselves.

    My understanding of history and current affairs is tainted by a stupid belief that Blighty is good, that there is some kind of morality at work – but that’s either idiotic or a leap of faith.

    The Palestinians bomb and maim indiscriminately, the Israelis bomb and maim indiscriminately. We commit sociocide and and still pay our taxes – don’t bomb and maim discriminately. Take Hoon, Blair, Bush etc to court. I just don’t feel able to have an opinion when I feel so fucking shamed and guilty so I walk straight into a numbers game – which is a horrid place; keep it under 2,000 at any one go and cool.

    I feel dirty for even explaining myself but that’s my rationale. It is not for the British Government to have opinions – they’re a luxury afforded to the innocent. We have to be pragmatic and support the moderates. Whatever foreign governments do is their own business until we are honest with our own.

    Either it’s defence against a Caliphate or it’s incremental sociocide based on demographics – it’s a binary context so, as an outsider with blood on my hands – I just want the numbers to reduce. I found offence at ‘the most openly vicious of Israeli regimes’ – this is sabre rattling – ain’t killed any one yet.

    Sorry to be a tool.

    Richard

  • KevinB

    Fair comment Richard.

    I missed your meaning.

    US/UK/Israel are one political entity as far as I can make out.

  • ingo

    Thanks Mary for that insight into our Busy ambassador to Egypt, busy licking backsides so it seems, maybe the reforms will not stop at the Foreign office and its inherent follies.

    Obama has hit the buffers and last weeks terror fakey, so aptly recorded here, was just to divert the wrath from his liberati’s. Whether its the sub contracted torturing in Bagrams prison wing C, or the three fingers Israel puts up to his Iran diplomacy, he has to perform to his form now.

    Avigdor’s promises to become the bouncer to everyone who remembers his fallen family members during the Nahkba, he has a three year sentence in mind. what a plonker.

  • MJ

    Richard is right about Iraq. Yet the reality is that in Iraq we were fighting Israel’s war, to get its oil and – perhaps more importantly – its water.

    The hold that Israel has over the political establishments of the UK and US is frightening and it is not entirely clear why it has such power without starting to dissect the global banking system (sorry Craig).

  • Richard

    Kev B. Cheers man – I can’t do shit. I love the fact that we have a Church of England dealing with moral issues whilst the Catholic church just kinda shruggs its shoulders. We are insulated because we’ve done it – let them learn. To teach people whose land is whose is pathetic.

    I’ll chat to a Jock or a Mik, Joe, Taff, Nigger, Paki, Faggot, Sheep shagging, mother fucking tourag if I’m in Blighty – then the conversation begins, in the parlour, in the home, in the caucus. When i’m outside then better put a brave face on it.

    I don’t believe in climate change other than the diminution of sun spots but I dam well believe in river protection, flood wall improvement, planning not to allow plains to be used, emissions reduction and grills on wind turbines – SERIOUSLY GRILLS ON WIND TURBINES. They have to have lights on. Fuck climate change if Red Kites die (girls usually like Puffins and shit). Turbines good – bird deaths bad.

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