Netanyahu Continues Vicious 180

I should start by saying that I deeply regret, and have always regretted, the support for Hamas amongst Palestinians.  I view Hamas as a nasty organization espousing an unpleasant and narrow version of Islam, and far too ready to turn to violence.  I regret the passing of the secular minded and sophisticated wide culture of the urbane Palestinian elite of my youth.

I understand that Palestinian willingness to embrace the limiting certainties of Hamas is due to the appalling pressure caused by decades of unspeakable violence and repression by Israel, the squeezing of Palestinians into ever-shrinking over-crowded reservations, the killings, the continual unrelenting humiliation, the deliberate destruction of all economic base.  I understand Hamas won support through social programmes.  I understand the extreme corruption of the Fatah leadership, where some seemed to do very nicely out of the disaster that repressed everybody else.  I understand the role of Israel and the US in promoting the initial growth of Hamas to weaken the Palestinian cause.  My regret is that they succeeded.

Personally I doubt that this latest Hamas/Fatah rapprochement will last any longer than the previous ones.  Even for a people in the direst situation, there will always be self-seeking sociopaths emerging as leaders.

But even with all that, the appalling smug reaction of Netanyahu is sickening.  Israel at no stage had the slightest intention of entering any meaningful peace process, stopping settlement building, or reducing the dispossession and discrimination suffered by Arabs of all sorts within Israel itself.  The World’s most vicious and unrelenting theological and racist state continues to be just that.  The United States was not in any sense genuinely involved in abetting a peace process; it was managing the process of genocide of the Palestinians, drawn out over decades, just conducted with enough disguise to allow the mainstream media to pretend it is not happening.

I do not like Hamas, but they remain morally superior to Netanyahu on every conceivable measure.

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180 thoughts on “Netanyahu Continues Vicious

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  • Juteman

    Spot on Craig. The attempted slow motion extermination of the Palestinians. is one of the most disgusting crimes of the ‘modern’ world.

  • lucythediclonius

    I regret the (passing of) the secular minded and sophisticated wide culture of the urbane Palestinian elite of my youth.
    suggested amendment in brackets if I read your intention right

  • craig Post author


    I believe that what I wrote means what you said – perhaps I am using regret in a fashion now arcane. Anyway, have made the edit you helpfully suggest to be clear!

  • lucythediclonius

    Tricky business subediting I can just about get that reading.Good sentiment though I was beginning to wonder if secular minded Palestinians were a figment of my imagination.

  • Aidworker1

    Fantastic post – completely agree.

    What did John Kerry think he could ever achieve?

    Israel will never accept any peace settlement. Divest and sanctions are the only way.

  • Mary

    Meet Dave, Your Christian ‘Dyno-Rod’
    But don’t expect him to unblock the Holy Land sewer
    by Stuart Littlewood
    April 23rd, 2014

    Over the Easter holidays the UK’s prime minister, David Cameron, was on his knees “doing God” in the run-up to European elections. And he sparked a great commotion in the media by claiming Britain is “a Christian country”.

    Cameron wrote in the Church Times : “I believe we should be more confident about our status as a Christian country…. more evangelical about a faith that compels us to get out there and make a difference to people’s lives.” Belief in Christianity, he said, could inspire us to change people’s lives and improve both the spiritual, physical, and moral state of the world.

    He has certainly helped make a big difference to people’s lives across the globe. Cameron was among those who stupidly voted for war with Iraq, which caused mega-death and destruction, shredded the lives of everyone there and wrecked their ancient civilisation. He went on the prod in Libya with generally disastrous consequences for its people. He was itching to bomb Syria but, mercifully, Parliament stopped him. And he has inflicted vicious sanctions on the Iranians, with the intention of ruining their economy, for no reason except Israel and America wished it. Now he wants to mix it with the Russians without knowing the facts.


    The comments are good too.


    The opening of the 10pm News was unwatchable. Huw Edwards presenting, Jeremy Bowen with Netanyahu (with bits of film of Hamas and the IDF in action) and all the while the Americans being portrayed as the peacemakers who have failed in spite of all of Kerry’s efforts!

  • Brian Smith

    Wonderfully written piece, Craig. Thank you. Hamas is indeed, not my first choice for leadership, and does, as you say, espouse a narrow view of Islam. But equally, had the Palestinians not been pushed, had the PLO not been made powerless there would have been no need for Hamas. So Israel has only itself to blame for their rise to power – the people saw them as a group that was prepared to stand up to Israel, even if they didn’t like the way they were doing it, as I’m sure they don’t.

    (And as for your comment on Lucy’s post – I agree with you both. I think that this particular use of “regret” is out of fashion & so misunderstood. I would have used the word “miss”)

  • Habbabkuk (La vita è bella) !

    Re Mary’s post at 22h11, two comments:

    1/. What exactly is wrong about Cameron saying that Britain is a Christian country and that we should feel more confident about our status as a Christian country? The majority of British people are, at least nominally, of the Christian faith and adherents of other religions are a minority (and not even a very large minority). Would Mary bother to write in and protest if the Presidents of, say, Iran or Pakistan said that Iran and Pakistan are Muslim countries? It would only be objectional if that statement were accompanied by political, economic, civic or religious discrimination against non-Christians.

    2/. I also happened to see The News at 10 this evening and fail to see why Mary is getting her knickers in a twist. The news story this evening is that Israel is apparently suspending/ending the current round of peace talks and therefore it is hardly surprising that the Israeli Prime Minister should have been interviewed. I suspect she found the news item “unwatchable” (but she nevertheless watched it) mainly because Bowen failed to condemn the Israeli action – which is not his or the BBC’s job. But she can of course correct me with more detailed analysis if she feels I dozed off for a crucual minute or two during the item.

  • Habbabkuk (La vita è bella) !

    By the way, I should have added that Dr Hanan Ashrafi – of whom I’m sure you’ve all heard – was also given airtime for the Palestinian reaction (and not much less time than was given to Netanyahu if memory serves.
    I note that Mary forgot to mention that in her very careful analysis!

  • BrianFujisan

    Well it’s deffo Netenyahu…

    i wonder what spy lip-reading translators are on per hour…

    Hab is that not an old thing of your’s… the Lady’s Under ware thing…. Give it a rest eh.

    Netenyahu was talking to a family in the West Bank settlement of Ofra. While he thought the cameras weren’t running he let his true colours really shine through and boasted about derailing the Oslo peace process, described American forieng policy as easily manipulated and said the only way to deal with the Palestinians was “beat them up, not once but repeatedly, beat them up so it hurts so badly, until it’s unbearable”

  • Brendan

    Is it true that Israeli intellegence sources claim to run Hamas? Indeed, it might even have been Netanyahu who made such a claim. I ask in open enquiry, I genuinely don’t know. The world of the security services is strange indeed. I’m reading about Kim Philby just now, and the skullduggery is astounding.

    I still recall Natanyahu from Gulf War 1. Yup, he was an oft-quoted spokesman on the bbc, giving us his insights, if I recall correctly, on an almost daily basis. Interesting that he became so powerful isn’t it? One might say he was being fast-tracked from a very early age. He was – and is – hugely articulate and smart, of course, but that’s to be expected.

  • Jives

    Great post Craig.

    But be prepared for a Habba and Co induced troll inundation.


  • Kelly ben Maimon

    Have always enjoyed reading your commentary, on a number of topics. Your writing style is incredibly appealing, humourous and witty at times. However, wholeheartedly disagree with your views on Israel 110%, AND always will. As for Jives’ contribution “…be prepared for a Habba and co induced troll inundation. LOL.” Whatever old chap.. Incidentally, can you hurry up with tea, as I’m sure some of us would like a drink. Thanking you in advance, of course.

  • Mary


    Here is the recording of last night’s 10pm News on BBC1 available until 10.30pm tonight.

    I did find the segment ‘unwatchable’ as I said and switched off. I had not seen the follow up with Bowen live in Jerusalem speaking to Edwards in the studio until seeing the recording just now.

    The whole segment, including opening headlines, lasted for over 6 minutes. I must have blinked when the Palestinian lady came on! That was all of 20 seconds.

    It was yet another ZBC ‘Israel Says’ production in which Netanyahu dominated. The only thing missing was the loquacious and lying Regev.

  • DoNNyDarKo

    Agree with you Craig. Netanyahu does not want peace. The peace process is a means of ethnic cleansing slowly but surely and making the facts on the ground what they are. There is no state left for the Palestinians. There are two open air prisons with the odd village still to be cleansed in between.
    Had there been the UN & TV around during the Indian wars in the early US , it would have been a similar situation.We’ve been watching it happen since 1947 and before.Instead of punishing Israel the EU give them special status.The only real Semites in Israel, the Bedouin, are also being dispossessed but Israel has the patent on “anti-semitism”.
    And with the Israeli mindset,(the Samson option)they’ll destroy the whole place rather than share or hand it back.
    And Blair,The White Hse and Congress support this fascist mafia that run the land of milk and honey.But there are glimmers of hope. People like Shlomo Sand, Gilad Atzmon and Ilan Pappe are a constant thorn reminding the Israeli’s that they’ve become what they hated most.

  • Habbabkuk (La vita è bella) !


    “But be prepared for a Habba and Co induced troll inundation.”

    Do grow up.

  • Habbabkuk (La vita è bella) !

    Mary (06h45)

    Yes, anyone who’s interested should watch the while of the BBC’s news item – it’s always a good idea to watch the whole of an item (and not just a “segment”)before commenting on its content and balance.

    For example, there were also shots of Israeli police manhandling Palestinian demonstrators, which I should hardly have thought constituted pro-Israel propaganda.

    Two further points:

    – Regev is a govt spokesman: spokesmen usually speak in the absence of their master. In the news item, Nehanyahu spoke so there hardly seems to have been a need for his spokesman to appear as well

    – how does Mary think such a news item should be run? Should every such item be preceded by a scholarly disquisition on the origins and history of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict?

    Mary’s comments tend to suffer by often focussing on form rather than on content.

  • Mary

    Check back to what I said why don’t you.

    “(with bits of film of Hamas and the IDF in action)”

    I could have made much more of the ‘IDF in action’ but refrained.

    Regev is a motormouth and a useful tool who made aliyah from Australia and appears so often on ZBC radio and television, one could assume he is on the payroll. The lines never go down or go dead when he is on as I expect people have noticed. That is not the case with speakers opposing the mainstream line, often cut off in midstream. ‘Oh. We are sorry. We appear to be having trouble with the line there….! So transparent, it’s laughable.

    You are correct Jives about the trolling. Being told to ‘grow up’ by one of them is also laughable.

    ‘Habbabkuk’s comments tend to suffer by ALWAYS focussing on form rather than on content” LOL

  • conjunction

    Broadly agree with what you say.

    However I hope you are wrong about the merger being ill-fated.

    Regarding the US it is possible to be quite a careful student of the Palestine situation and not realise the extent to which the US load the dice in favour of the Israelis. I’m not sure this applied to Carter but that was a long time ago.

    Clayton Swisher, part of the US team at the Clinton negotiations blew the gaff in his book ‘The Truth about Camp David’.

    Before I read this I had been inclined to agree with the widely accepted view that Arafat blew the negotiations by bad faith. Swisher suggests the Palestinians were put in an impossible situation.

  • craig Post author


    Than you for the kind remarks. Commenters who disagree with me are always very welcome to express their views. It would be a dull blog otherwise! As I often say, I would worry deeply about anybody who agrees with me about everything, particularly as I, like all honest people, am continually trying to work out the correct response to the changing ethical dilemmas which the world poses.

  • Anon

    Zionists accuse the BBC of being pro-Arab (‘Al-Beebera’).

    Anti-Zionists accuse the BBC of being pro-Israel (‘ZBC’).

    What both sides want is a BBC that acts as a mouthpiece for their ‘side’.

    If the BBC upsets them both then it is probably balancing its reporting about right.

  • fred


    Yes, everybody will assume the BBC is biassed rather than they are wrong about something. Cogitative dissonance will mould reality to fit someone’s beliefs.

  • Jemand

    Craig, what do you mean by “narrow version of Islam”?

    Islam is exactly what it says it is in all of the Qur’an and the Sunnah/Hadith. A “narrow version of Islam” implies that there are parts of the faith that are denied and this could lead to accusations of apostasy. I’d like to see some evidence of Hamas being a narrow branch of Islam. Are there any Muslim critics of Hamas in relation to their conformity with Islam?

    There is no prospect of peace for Palestinian people in a future Palestinian state while they are held in the grip of an intolerant belief system and under the thumb of a military aggressor that wishes to dispossess them of all their lands.

  • Ba'al Zevul (Dark Artist)

    Any attempt at reunification of Hamas and Fatah must appal Israel. It’s been Israel’s consistent objective to keep the Palestinians as clearly divided as possible. I hope the Palestinians now realise that unity is strength (though, like Craig, I’m not optimistic and there will always be splinter groups to fire a bottle rocket into an Israeli field and be equated with Hamas in the Israeli subconscious.

    Israeli spite was manifested, as usual, after the announcement:
    They didn’t say who they were aiming at, though it would probably have been Hamas, and in any case they missed, killing civilians. Again.

    Where’s our Northern Ireland hero* when you need him? Wasn’t MEDIAtor Blair in favour of including the IRA in peace talks? No sign of that approach here.

    * No, I don’t mean Mo Mowlem. She just did the hard work and took the risks. I mean the pretty straight kinda guy who took all the credit.

  • Mary

    Unless someone has visited Gaza (well nigh impossible now unless you work for the media) or lived there, they can have no appreciation of what a physical hellhole it is where 1.7m people are imprisoned. Yet lives are lived somehow and the people possess ‘sumud’. Daily there are outages of power, undrinkable water and reliance on UNWRA for basic foodstuffs.

    How much longer Netanyahu before these ‘drugged cockroaches in a bottle’, as Eitan described them, are released?

    Rafael Eitan, 75, Ex-General and Chief of Staff in Israel, Dies

    So far in 2014, 18 Gaza Palestinians have been killed and 110 injured in Israeli attacks

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