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 :)

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