The Weight of a Death 156

At least 28 people have been killed in US drone strikes in Afghanistan in November so far. Several of those were involved in tribal fighting against the Afghan government, but at least five were small children and total non-combatants were probably in double figures. These deaths do not go reported at all in western media. Cameron and Miliband both started at Prime Minister’s Questions today by condemning the killings in Jerusalem. No chance they will ever mention the ongoing US murders in Afghanistan, let alone the three Palestinians killed by Israelis lately, including a taxi driver lynched by Israeli illegal settlers.

No amount of “what-aboutery” can distract from the horror of the attacks in the Jerusalem synagogue, and I have no difficulty in condemning those killings unequivocally, too. But the hypocrisy of the Western media and political establishment, in terms of which deaths are important, is breath-taking. The truth is that the causes of these deaths in Afghanistan, Iraq, Palestine and across a swathe of other countries cannot be disentangled from the history of violent western aggression into those countries. But we are urged to forget context, forget cause and indulge in highly selective emotional outrage and indignation.

Some deaths count an awful lot. Some should not be noticed. It is a strange way of looking at the world.

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156 thoughts on “The Weight of a Death

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  • Aidworker1

    Great post Craig.

    As I understand it, more complaints are made that the BBC (which I single out) has a pro-Palestinian bias than a pro-Israel bias.

    We must reverse this.

    Can people please complain every time they see BBC bias?

    It’s so blatant.

    It may not change anything but at least you feel better!

  • Ben-9260th dojo katana

    Yes Craig. It is a tragedy. The West is certainly culpable but they seem to wish to avoid civil war. The AlAqsa mosque is a tinderbox for both sides claiming bragging rights on the Temple Mountt the Israeli’s have enabled their own population to stoke the fire seemingly to bring about closure and seem to give a fig about international opinion. Their flinty-foreheads aggravate stubborn resistance and they act like they have nothing to lose, just as the palestinians.

    Though many are secular, it doesn’t stop them from inflaming orthodoxies who truly believe they are a Chosen People.

    They seem to forget Jerusalem in 607 BC and 70 AD. The Temple will never be rebuilt and their Messiah will never arrive.

  • Ant Heaford

    10 year old Palestinian shot in neck by IDF Sunday, for ‘loitering’.

    Not one Western media report that i can find. Here’s the text from the JPost report:

    “10-year-old Palestinian boy was shot and seriously wounded by IDF soldiers Sunday afternoon after he approached the southern fence of the Kissufim checkpoint where loitering is forbidden, according to the IDF.

    The boy was treated by IDF soldiers on the scene and then taken by helicopter to the Soroka University Medical Center in Beersheba.

    IDF forces identified the suspect and followed protocol by shooting into the air, shooting the lower body, then according to military sources, it was decided to follow the procedure by shooting the center of the body. At this point the boy collapsed.”

  • Matt O'Donovan

    Just what I was thinking BBC bias is beyond the pale, there is evil in there. Don’t pay the license fee it only encourages them.

  • Ant Heaford

    Skibby – source for Palestinian bus driver’s death:

    “But in stark contrast later in the day Dr. Saber al-Aloul, a Palestinian pathologist present at the same post-mortem at the request of the al-Ramouni’s family, said that the autopsy did not suggest suicide but rather an “organized criminal murder.” According to al-Aloul the autopsy showed postmortem lividity on the back, not on the lower extremities, indicating that the victim was not hanging for long. There was “no dislocation of the first vertebrae, which is usually found in cases of suicide by hanging,” he added.

    The bus driver’s family, who showed journalists photos of al-Ramouni’s body, also claim he was murdered. “I saw bruises and marks that he was beaten up,” the driver’s brother Louy al-Ramouni told Reuters. “Youssef cannot commit suicide, it is not possible, he is leading a good and happy life with his wife and his family”

    So far CCTV footage from the bus depot, that might definitively resolve the incident one way or the other, has not been released.”

  • Joe

    Yes, hypocrisy is the standard amongst the ‘elite’ of this world. It’s how they keep everyone confused about their otherwise obvious murderous, imperial agenda. What I find most interesting about this attack however, is that a ‘random’ shooting/knife/hatchet attack in a Jerusalem synagogue, which I presume would contain mostly Israeli Jews, could result in the death of three Americans and one Brit, and no Israelis.

    “It’s very good. Well, not very good, but it will generate immediate sympathy [for Israel]”

    Netanyahu on the 9/11 attacks.

  • doug scorgie

    “The added value of a Jewish life”

    “Israel treats attacks on Jews as real estate transactions: An abducted and murdered Jew costs the Arabs 1,300 dunams of land.”

    “It is true that every human being, especially a Jewish one, is “the world and all that is in it.”

    “But it doesn’t hurt to add to the value a few dunams here, a few apartments there.”

    “The “world and all that is in it” is good for poets and emotional writers, the dunams are for Zionists who get things done.”

    Paywall to read further.

  • N_

    The western media are describing the synagogue where the recent killings took place as being in “Har Nof”, a “Jewish religious neighbourhood”.

    They don’t mention that that ‘neighbourhood’ was built on the site of the destroyed village of Deir Yassin.

    That’s where Zionazis murdered over 100 children, women and older men in the 1948 terrorist massacre which terrified 750,000 Palestinians to flee their homes in a single week, in the catastrophe known in Arabic as the ‘naqba’.

    The ‘naqba’ was absolutely fundamental to the development of Israel.

    Try and spot a mainstream western rag or website that mentions the ‘neighbourhood’ of the synagogue in any other terms than if it was always home to pious Jewish God-fearers.

    Let me know if you find a single one.

    What a lot of reports are saying is that the killings took place “in Israel”. That’s strange. Since when did the US or Britain recognise any part of Jerusalem, East or West, as being de jure in Israel? Indeed, Britain doesn’t recognise West Jerusalem as being unequivocally in Israel even de facto. As anyone who works in the British Consulate-General in Jerusalem could tell you.

    Make no mistake – Netanyahu and the messianic Jewish religious nutters are wielded by the same hands. They all want the Arabs out of Jerusalem. And they mean to get what they want. Housing development policy speaks for itself. So does the apartheid wall.

    The use of ‘non-state’ terror gangs in parallel with state bodies is one of the defining characteristics of fascism.

    Lone nuts? In Jerusalem? I don’t think so. Lone nuts in that city are more likely to do a ‘Robert Powell’, develop stigmata on their palms, and turn up at one of the hospitals on a Friday or Saturday night talking about their “father” and being “forsaken” and stuff – what’s known as ‘Jerusalem Syndrome’.

    One Friday, it’s going to blow.

    I wouldn’t be surprised if there’s a big distraction somewhere, maybe in the Ukraine.

  • N_

    Well blow me down with a feather! The Daily Mail, of all rags – hello Melanie Phillips – has mentioned “the former Palestinian village of Deir Yassin” in connection with ‘Har Nof’ and the recent killings. I suppose it doesn’t really matter. Mentioning it isn’t going to harm Zionist power.

  • deepgreenpuddock

    The post makes a blindingly obvious point-that murders and deaths are selectively judged in this country.One brutal act is defined as terrorism and another is defined as a justifiable retribution, with no apparent reference points or context. Knee-jerks all round from those in mainstream politics.
    Baroness Warsi has made the same point but her successor as Tory party chair has condemned that relatively mild call for some kind of equality of representation and reporting of the events that had provoked the response.
    Yet these people occupy positions that appear to offer immunity and credibility to their bias and dishonesty.
    I can only encourage you to keep making these obvious points and keep on reminding as many people as possible.

  • Ben-9260th dojo katana

    Mitigating the slaughter of course.

    “The attack on the Arab village of Deir Yassin near Jerusalem (today, the Har Nof neighborhood) was not, as claimed, a “massacre” nor was it a premeditated killing. As we now know from Arab sources and other independent research, (see Bregman, Ahron & El-Tahri, Jihan, “The Fifty Years War, Israel and the Arabs,” Penguin Books, BBC Books, London, 1998. pp. 27-34 and Klein, Morton A., “Deir Yassin History of a Lie, ZOA, NY 2005) the number of dead at the village was between 93 and 110, at the most. All of them were killed during the course of the battle, in house-to-house fighting. There were no mutilations or atrocities caused to the corpses as per testimony from the villagers themselves. The attacking combined force of Irgun and Lehi units brought with them a loudspeaker to the village entrance to warn the inhabitants.Bold They also left an escape route open, which led to Ein Karem, so as not to have to harm the inhabitants unnecessarily and hundreds took advantage of this Jewish act of kindness in battle. All these preparations and actions belie any intent of a massacreBold

  • Mary

    Aidworker 1

    I see that Major Yair has ‘learned to live; with the mistakes of his Gaza drone command whereas the Palestinian children learned how to die. One unfortunate boy who lost his legs in July has just died. That was four months worth of hell for him.

    Outrageous. Yet the entity will pay no price, suffer no sanctions and will not be subjected to international law.

  • doug scorgie

    UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said [regarding the Synagogue murders]:

    “The steadily worsening situation on the ground only reinforces the imperative for leaders on both sides to make the difficult decisions…”

    No Mr Moon it has been obvious for decades that the Israelis are not into making “difficult decisions” they simply follow the Zionist plan of eventually annexing the whole of the West Bank and Gaza and the ethnic cleansing of Arabs from Greater Israel.

    The death of every Jew killed in this conflict is used by the Zionist criminals to justify further crimes towards Palestinians, against international law.

    On the other hand, Abbas and the Palestinians for decades have compromised over and again to no avail. Israel continues to steal land; build settlements; create outposts protected by the IDF; target Palestinian activists and lock-up “troublemakers” without due process.

    “Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat also expressed shock at the savagery of the attack which took place just over a mile (1.5 kilometres) from the Yad Vashem Holocaust museum.”

    Relevance? None but the word Holocaust has been introduced into the narrative.

  • N_

    Hey, Ban Ki-Moon, how about enforcing UNSCR 242?

    Is any western leader going to call the punitive destruction of family homes, on the grounds that the resident families are related to ‘terrorists’, the vile despicable act that it is?

    I know of only one regime in the world that boasts of carrying out such acts.

  • N_

    @Doug – Indeed, the distance from Yad Vashem has no relevance whatsoever. But no western editor ever got overlooked for promotion or a backhander for not cutting and pasting from that day’s hasbarah handout.

    (Maybe the mention of Yad Vashem is a case of getting some retaliation in first, because someone somewhere is bound to mention Deir Yassin. Some foreign words or other, is what readers will think in many markets.)

  • David Halpin

    Re: Omission prop – the State Broadcaster. Likely garotting.

    Posted by David Halpin FRCS [User Info] [Email User] on November 19, 2014, 2:32 pm, in reply to “Most likely this is the latest hasbara spin dutifully picked up and disseminated by BBC et all nm”

    I sent this early today to Quentin Sommerville of the BBC.

    Title The ‘hanging’ of the Palestinian bus driver

    Dear Mr Sommerville,

    I wished this e-mail to go to the Middle East desk of the BBC but I do not have its e-mail address. I am fully aware of the pressure put on correspondents working within the pressure cooker from several directions. And I am also aware how much cutting usually takes place.

    There are many reasons why Palestinians feel both angry and hopeless, and some go back beyond 1948.

    I found the reporting tonight on BBC ”News” to be worse than partisan. Many of the ‘settler’ mediated deaths and injuries, supported usually by the IOF, go unreported.

    I do not recall mention of this bus driver. This comment I have just made on Press TV >


    The circle of the bruised/killed skin is low on the neck. I am NOT a forensic pathologist but say a. hanging is most unlikely b. garotting is much more likely. The ‘ligature’ is closed from the back. Whatever – the greatest evil has been done to a native of Palestine. His suffering would have been terrible.

    Note its use by ‘elite’ forces.

    See how US Rangers were instructed in the ‘art’


    You can bet the Givati Brigade and others are very familiar with it – as is the SAS. We descend down the terraces into Dante’s inferno.

    You will be familiar with thYou can bet the Givati Brigade and others are very familiar with it – as is the SAS. We descend down the terraces into Dante’s inferno.

    You will be familiar with the BBC motto. ‘Nation shall speak peace unto nation’

  • Mary

    If we had these experiences day by day, how would we react in our own country, which was occupied, to this torment?

    Zionism in practice – Israel’s Daily Toll on Palestinian Life, Limb, Liberty and Property

    24 hours to 8am
    05 November 2014

    17 raids including home invasions – economic sabotage – 22 taken prisoner – 9 detained – 116 restrictions of movement

    Night peace disruption and/or home invasions in refugee camp and 8 towns and villages

    24 hours to 8am
    04 November 2014

    1 attack (ceasefire violation) – 17 raids including home invasions – 1 beaten – 1 injured – 4 acts of agricultural/economic sabotage – 17 taken prisoner – 11 detained – 111 restrictions of movement

    Israeli Army opens fire on Khan Yunis farms
    School principal wounded as Israeli Army storms girls’ school
    Israeli Army destroys Palestinian houses and tent dwellings
    Settler militants steal privately-owned Palestinian land
    Night peace disruption and/or home invasions in refugee camp and 6 towns and villages

  • BrianFujisan

    No mention of israeli War crimes from Stooge Moon Doug.

    Terrorist settlers Murder Palestinians..and even if Punished, they are released after a short time – Like the Killers of Palestinian child Mohammad Abu Khdair – soon to be released…Back to the family homes, that weren’t bombed to Smithereens as a result of the Murder

    Contrast that with what Palestinian Families suffer if they are related to perpetrators of Violence and murder –

    it’s common for israel to Bomb Family homes of Palestinian attackers.

    THIS Is Collective Punishment – War Crime –


    Collective Punishments

    Article 33. No persons may be punished for an offense he or she has not personally committed. Collective penalties and likewise all measures of intimidation or of terrorism are prohibited.
    Pillage is prohibited.
    Reprisals against persons and their property are prohibited.

    Under the 1949 Geneva Conventions, collective punishment is a war crime. By collective punishment, the drafters of the Geneva Conventions had in mind the reprisal killings of World War I and World War II. In the First World War, during the Rape of Belgium, the Germans executed Belgian villagers in mass retribution for resistance activity. In World War II, the Germans carried out a form of collective punishment to suppress resistance. Entire villages or towns or districts were held responsible for any resistance activity that occurred in them.[3] The conventions, to counter this, reiterated the principle of individual responsibility. The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) Commentary to the conventions states that parties to a conflict often would resort to “intimidatory measures to terrorize the population” in hopes of preventing hostile acts, but such practices “strike at guilty and innocent alike. They are opposed to all principles based on humanity and justice.”

    Additional Protocol II of 1977 explicitly forbids collective punishment. But as fewer states have ratified this protocol than GCIV, GCIV Article 33 is the one more commonly quoted.

  • doug scorgie

    R Baxter
    19 Nov, 2014 – 11:50 pm

    “power has turned religion into a curse.”

    My own view RB is that religious belief is a curse bestowed on young minds by adults who had religion bestowed on them when they were young…

  • Tony_0pmoc

    Even today..Well..I did try to hide her Christmas Present…but it got delivered before she went out (I would seriously recommend…sorry about that)…well I didn’t fucking know…so My Wife Got It Up…

    Life in The Old Dog Yet

    Tony & Wife

    PS (Its about balance – I have recently been buying loads of toys & trying them..and if they are a load of shiite I just send them back…I know its a bit naughty…but I ain’t paying silly prices…people are effin stupid..they are rich..they buy the latest most expensive model…use it 3 times…Loses Her cos He’s a Cunt (Rich Psycho Obviously)…

    I just bought my wife a new Telly..cos She’s an Angel)

    We Met in 1981…She Still Looks and Is The Same.

    She is My Best Mate as Well as My Wife.

    My new second hand camera that I bought from a Camera Dealer in Norwich…Is do you guys do it for the price…?

    I probably wrote that wrong..sorry.


  • Tony_0pmoc

    Craig..Now don’t sink low…me having a go at you is a sign of Love and Light…Not Death..We Love You Really…

    Nah..I want to have another go at Craig Murray actually (though he’s got more balls than anyone I know)..

    How the hell can you write that on your own blog..and claim to be a Scottish Nationalist who was born and brought up in Norfolk////

    Its funny though the hypocrisy is overwhelming…

    Err.waht exactly are The Scottish People?? Well its us lot who have lived in Scotland For The Last Few Thousand Years…

    Both You and Me We Born in England But Most of Our Roots Come From Scotland…

    So what are You Doing With Your Globalist Nonsense You Hypocrite..You Can’t Have it Both Ways

    University Challenge…but did you actually get on or were you the Reserve??


  • Peter T

    Marx had it right on religion. You cannot sensibly just denounce it and leave it at that, upholding atheism or humanism. Denunciation won’t have the effect you want. Feuerbach and atheists don’t get it. Religion is organically produced in alienated conditions.

    Where there is money, there will be religion. Where there is hierarchical power, there will be religion. Where there is systematic exploitation, there will be religion. It will last as long as alienation.

    In Britain, religion has a big future ahead of it – denominations of Islam and Christianity in particular. Look at where cleaning workers keep their brooms and cleaning fluids, and you’ll see religious pictures stuck up, anywhere in the country – usually Roman Catholic but increasingly Orthodox and in some cases Muslim.

    As for religions such as Hinduism, Sikhism or Zorastrianism, nobody says they’re in decline in the first place.

    Buddhism is for many a first-generation thing, having a very Californian flavour, on a par with crystals – rarely even passed down to children. I’ve met Buddhists who plan to leave all their assets to their cults.

    As for the Jewish religion, it is very practical and deeply racist. Mentioning its Christophobia is a big no-no in ‘polite society’. Oh dear. The Talmud prescribes that the Jew should pray for goys’ houses to fall down as he passes them. My source? Israel Shahak’s book Jewish History, Jewish Religion. And which regime boasts about bulldozing houses? Someone remind me. The Talmud also prescribes that the Jew should curse the mothers of the dead when he walks past a goy cemetery. There just is no other religion in this category.

    There are a very few religious Jews who oppose the existence of the Israel, who despise the Zionist entity, who want reparations to be made to the Palestinians, and who support Hamas. (And Hamas, by the way, welcomes their support.) Credit where it’s due. Long may these good people thrive. I don’t understand how they follow a religion that is essentially racist when they are not racists themselves, but they seem to manage to do so.

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