Palestine Over Latte (Warning Contains Satire). 228

In 18 years of existence this blog has only twice hosted guest posts. However in view of the current Middle East Crisis I thought I should give space to Guardian columnists Jonathan Freedland, Gaby Hinsliff, Hadley Freeman, Lucy Mangan, and Marina Hyde, assisted by Stephen Fry, to collaborate and give us their perspective.

Here is their article:

It is easy for people, particularly young people, to be misled by social media into a malformed and warped view of the current conflict in the Middle East.

Of course, we fully understand that it is natural that pictures of thousands of dead Palestinian children, strewn across Twitter, give rise to feelings of hate and disgust.

But step back a little and consider this: are hate and disgust solid bases for building a rational assessment of Middle East Policy? Are those dead Palestinian children obscuring, in your mind, the calculation of something altogether more fundamental and important?

On 7 October Hamas beheaded forty babies, burned babies in ovens before their grieving parents, and carried out a systematic programme of mass rape, particularly of innocent young partygoers. They incinerated people with high explosives so their bodies became unrecognisable.

History started on October 7 2023 and started with an extreme excrescence of the worst abuses of classic patriarchy.

This is the existential threat which Israel faces. Israel is the only Jewish homeland and therefore Hamas is an existential threat to all Jews, everywhere. We saw this before, of course, with the Holocaust. Jewish people have had to live with existential threat for millennia.

The Palestinian people however do not face existential threat. It may appear a paradox that 1,000 dead Israelis is an existential threat to Israel but 20,000 dead Palestinians is not an existential threat to Palestine, but that is the point: it only seems a paradox to you.

You are again being blinded by numbers, your mind is again perplexed by all those images of dead Palestinian children. But you must understand this situation cannot be reduced to a simple numbers game.

It is not the number of dead children that counts: it is their quality.

Palestinians cannot face existential threat because there are now massively more Palestinians living in Gaza than lived there before the Nakba, when they all chose to move there and set up refugee camps.

In Gaza, Palestinians had a chance to set up a second Singapore with all the aid money they received from the EU and Qatar.

In fact Gaza could have been better than Singapore. Because of the physical constraints placed by Israel, including not permitting a port or an airport and controlling the entry of all people and materiel, the Palestinians had a glorious opportunity to go further than Singapore. They could have abandoned the physical world and set up a state that did not involve any movement either of goods or people.

Gaza divorced in this way from the physical world could have been an ultra-wealthy modern leader in pure intelligence-driven economy, not even dependent on computers as they were pretty restricted too.

Instead Hamas chose to ignore this glorious opportunity and focus instead on saving people from being killed, beaten, raped or detained by Israeli soldiers who were merely exercising the entirely necessary right of self-defence from the existential threat I think we mentioned before.

Hamas built command and control centres under hospitals, as proven by photos of Israeli soldiers carrying small amounts of incriminating-looking stuff into these hospitals. Hamas made terrorist bases of schools, forcing Israel to kill literally thousands of people crammed into them for refuge. Hamas stored weapons in churches and mosques, probably including the only high-explosive weapon Hamas ever possessed, which it obviously used to attack its own hospital.

Hamas also recruited hundreds of United Nations staff and journalists, forcing Israel to kill them too. This was all a ruse to increase hatred of Israel and thus reinforce the existential threat to Israel which I think we mentioned already.

That is of course a proper understanding of what has happened in the Middle East, where hundreds of babies were definitely beheaded by Hamas as part of an existential threat.

In return, in exercising Israel’s right to self-defence, an unverifiable number of Palestinians may have been killed or wounded, but figures are from the Hamas-run health ministry so are probably invented to increase the level of the existential threat to Israel.

Remember, if Hamas surrendered, the Middle East would be entirely peaceful and Israel could restore its apartheid state and only kill about 400 Palestinians every year, while systematically stealing more and more of their land, destroying their crops and bulldozing their lands. That is after a few thousand more immediate revenge killings, of course.

But if Israel surrendered, every single Jewish person in the world would be killed, exactly like every single Afrikaaner and Dutch person in the world was killed after the fall of apartheid South Africa. That is the existential threat to Israel.

But we have to look outside the Middle East and consider the effect on the wider Jewish diaspora, but not including those liberal Jews and Orthodox Jews who don’t support Israel at all (better cut this it complicates things – ed.).

I was in my local coffee shop on Tuesday, where you order at the counter and your coffee is delivered to your table by bicycle in a wicker basket with interwoven sprigs of lavender. I was eagerly awaiting my non-binary oatmeal latte with Peruvian single-estate caramel syrup, when I overheard an aggressive-looking man at the next table say:

“What do you think Janet? It’s a bit rum all these nippers being killed in Gaza isn’t it?”.

My entire world crashed around me. I had always felt safe in the UK, never believing I could, as a Jew, face any threat or danger. But here I was staring actual anti-semitism in its moustachioed face above a mustard-yellow scarf that had a distinct coffee stain!

I suddenly realised that every Jew faces an existential threat everywhere, and that Israel is entirely necessary to our very survival, no matter how many Palestinians are killed and displaced over decades!

It certainly put those thousands of dead Palestinian children into perspective, for me anyway!

Indeed I realised that to claim there were any dead Palestinian children at all was just to repeat the ancient medieval internet blood libel meme and therefore was itself a part of the existential threat to Israel.

That is the true understanding of the dead Palestinian children! They are actually part of the existential threat to Israel itself! Dead Palestinian children are just an anti-semitic meme!

Keeping an eye on the rampant anti-semite in the mustard scarf, I left, realising that as a Jew I was now unable to visit my own favourite coffee shop. I immediately withdrew young Tristan from nursery because of this coffee shop anti-semitism, and phoned the Community Security Trust, who said they would get back to me once they had fabricated a few hundred more incidents.

Forget those dead Palestinian children, Stephen Fry and I are the real victims in all this.


Jonathan Freedland, Gaby Hinsliff, Lucy Mangan, Marina Hyde, Hadley Freeman, Stephen Fry, etc. etc. etc. (Can you ask MI6 if I should sign this? – LH)

The above—and I would hope I did not have to say this, but experience proves otherwise—is satire.

A great many of the bravest opponents of the war in Gaza are Jewish. There are hundreds of thousands of Jews who are not Zionists. The large majority of Zionists are not Jews. It is important never to conflate the two.

I have no quarrel whatsoever with Jewish people. I view supporters of the racist, aggressive and genocidal political programme that is Zionism with the deepest hostility and indeed contempt.

It is however undoubtedly the case that some of the subset of Jews who are Zionists have been especially active in the British media in justifying the current vicious genocide being perpetrated in Gaza. In doing so they have often chosen to foreground their own Jewishness, to emphasise Israel’s role as the “Jewish state”, and to make claims of facing anti-Jewish discrimination or hostility in the UK.

It is impossible to reply in a way that makes plain that none of those things justify thousands of dead Palestinian children (and scores or hundreds more still every day) without addressing the Jewishness on which they themselves depend.

And their arguments are so callous, so self-serving and so prejudiced that they are overripe for satire. I appreciate it will be impossible to do this without myself attracting totally bogus accusations of an anti-semitism I do not entertain for a second.

Mentioning the Holocaust in a satirical piece caused me great consideration and is not done lightly. I have written here before of how my political duties in the British Embassy in Poland took me frequently to the sites of the concentration camps, and how it had a serious emotional impact on me. But using that dreadful event to justify another act of genocide simply has to be called out.

But I think the anti-semitism scam lost its force 20,000 dead Palestinians ago. So here we go.

I have chosen a random bunch of Guardian journalists (and ex journalists) as that “newspaper” is the epicentre of much of this guff. The names are pretty random and make no implication of ethnicity.


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228 thoughts on “Palestine Over Latte (Warning Contains Satire).

1 2
    • Urban Fox

      Assuming this goes anywhere.

      The publicly expressed sentiments of Israeli politicians and influential figures etc.

      Become relevant, the hateful, secretion and racist reality of Zionist idealogy/fundamentalist Judaism also get some deserved daylight. In ways that will make whining muh “anti-Semitism” ring hollow.

      If it goes nowhere, then the ICJ is delegitimised as no more than a tool the West cynically uses for geopolitical reasons. Thus countries can abandon it’s jurisdiction with impunity.

    • Clark

      Here is the case page on the International Court of Justice website:

      It’s the Genocide Convention, not the Geneva Convention. Well done South Africa! This is what Craig has been advocating since November 13:

      At first I thought JimBo had posted more satire, but no, it’s real, I’m very glad to say.

      • stjm

        Hahah, what we worry? › news › us-geneva-conventions

        US Quietly Working to Prevent Conference on Geneva Convention Violations
        21. Dez. 2023The Biden administration is reportedly working to prevent the Swiss government from holding a conference on alleged Geneva Convention violations by both the Israeli government and Hamas, a private pressure campaign that comes as the U.S. is obstructing U.N. Security Council efforts to address the spiraling humanitarian catastrophe in Gaza. › entry › un-security-council-us-block-accountability-international-gaza_n_6583338ce4b04da984257b9c

        U.S. Privately Moves To Block International Accountability For Gaza …
        20. Dez. 2023U.S. diplomats are finalizing a démarche ― a diplomatic initiative ― to their Swiss counterparts that Washington hopes will scuttle plans for a meeting to discuss violations of the Geneva Conventions in the current war between Israel and Hamas, the Gaza-based militant group, according to State Department documents seen by Geneva sheneva, cry me river/tell me how long the train’s been gone (we are the champignons, and weep for you, we deeply empathise)

        Alfie B Notonyourtelly

        • Clark

          Again; South Africa has invoked the Genocide convention, NOT the Geneva Convention. It is now up the the ICJ to decide whether to “indicate provisional measures” which would take effect immediately, and to rule whether Israel is committing genocide, which could take longer. The US cannot veto either of these processes in the UN Security Council.

          • Urban Fox

            Huh, they could invoke the bloody Maritime Convention among others.

            What *hasn’t* been breached at this point, is probably much quicker to list.

    • Jack

      South Africa seems to be the only nation on earth that atleast try to do something. All salutations to them, and what a difference from the pathetic, spine-less cretins that rule the EU/US that actively support the killing of toddlers! Per every day I feel more and more detached from this “western world” and more aligned and at home with the Global South that dare to speak truth to power.

  • Colin Davis

    As with all great satire, the above is exceedingly close to the truth as regards the way the Guardian writers argue. The Guardian allows a few pro-Palestinian articles to balance the guff, so long as they all dutifully mention the horror, the horror, that is Hamas. Comments below the line are either not invited or moderated out of existence. On a personal level, I offered a brief comment in response to one of J Freedland’s pieces in December. I said I appreciated he sought reconciliation, but surely the necessary foundation for reconciliation would be (at least) the acknowledgement of the original sin of 75 years ago, when their lands and livelihoods were taken from the Palestinians. The comment lasted approx. three minutes below that line! Anyway, well written Craig.

      • JK redux

        I despise Israel’s behaviour.

        Btw I didn’t accuse Russia of genocide, merely the commission of a war of aggression.

        “Only” that.

        • Bayard

          “Btw I didn’t accuse Russia of genocide, merely the commission of a war of aggression. “Only” that.”

          and how is this any more relevant to the subject under discussion than the US murdering civilians in Iraq?

        • Intp1

          I do not determine this to be unprovoked aggression, either morally or even legally.
          After c. 7 years of ignoring the UNSC sanctioned Minsk accord, including shelling its own Eastern civilians, Kiev massively upped that aggression. Both Donbass states had already polled and declared independence. Russia legally recognised them, then rolled in and supported the separatists formally as an act of pro-active self-defense.
          If that act was “aggression” then so was Kosovo, so there was the precedent.
          Crimea wasn’t invaded either. Russians already there (35,000 military) in their agreed leased base. Crimea seceded overwhelmingly by poll.

        • Jen

          Your use of “murderous attacks” gave you away.

          I’ve never seen a troll backpedal so fast and Laguerre wasn’t even warming up.

      • Lapsed Agnostic

        Circa 10,000 civilians have been recorded as having been killed by Russian forces in territory currently held by Ukraine since February 2022, Laguerre – most of them in the early phases of the war. We don’t know how many have been killed in territory still held by Russia but, having seen what they did to Mariupol etc, I would estimate the casualties to be higher. These numbers would be far greater had 80%+ of people in eastern Ukraine (ex. the separatist areas) not fled to other parts of the country, or to the EU/UK or Russia.

    • Urban Fox

      What 31 dead in a salvo of hundreds of missiles & drones? If anything that’s an impressive show of accuracy and avoidance of civilan casualties.

      Particularly since the Azov Ukro-Nazis, AFU and SBU have been randomly shelling and terrorist bombing Donetsk city etc, for years including the use of cluster minions. Whilst the state was making murderous Russophobia a matter of official policy.

      So I think we can forgive the outburst of one Aremenian TV host.

      Also given that the Ukrainian regime is now press-ganging cripples and resorting ever more draconian measures, to find fresh meat for the army. Questioning the humanity of their government at least would certainly be apt.

      • JK redux

        Any comment on the TV host’s opinions?

        After all, he wouldn’t be allowed on Russkiy State TV if his opinions were unacceptable to the regime.

        • Urban Fox

          Not particularly, no doubt they allow a variety of people to express a variety of things. From bloodthirsty to squeamish, in a display of “balance”.

          The old Soviet days of monolithic messaging are long gone, the RF has adapted to all the modern media tricks. For good or ill.

          You could ask the same question with as much or greater relevance in any NATO country.

      • Pears Morgaine

        ” that’s an impressive show of accuracy and avoidance of civilan casualties. ”

        It would be if they’d actually hit anything of importance. Trashing people’s homes and the odd school isn’t going to win the war.

          • Pears Morgaine

            Enough evidence though that it wasn’t an ‘impressive show of accuracy’, anything but; neither was it intended to be.

          • JK redux


            Do you believe that the Putin regime admits its losses?

            The troop landing craft destroyed by the Ukrainians for example?

        • Urban Fox

          Considering the losses of the AFU and the state of Ukraine’s MIC they’ve done rather more than that.

          In fact, if they wanted to go down that road “Evil Autocratic Russia” could’ve done within two years to Kiev what “Virtuous Democratic Israel” has done to Gaza within two months. They haven’t, by choice.

          Lastly the war in Syria called. It wants its mid-aughts MSM propaganda back.

          • Urban Fox

            Oh, I never said anything about a “plan”, I expect the RF military had and has multiple “plans” that’s what general staffs etc exist for.

            Speculation aside. Ukraine is undoubtedly losing on the battlefield. Attritional warfare might not be quick & dramatic.

            However when the much poorer side with a 4-6x manpower disadvantage, is already drafting cripples as a stopgap measure and enacting ever more punitive laws. To tap whatever few remaining pools of “capable” manpower they left.

            Whilst their so-called friends are less willing or able over time to supply them with the money & material on which they are utterly relient.

            Then things are certainly moving towards the desired goals of the winning side, whatever those now are.

            I expect they’re much less favourable to Ukraine, than they would’ve been before the negotiations in Turkey were sabotaged.

          • Pears Morgaine

            Yes, I notice that the Moscow Troll Factory is now admitting that the only way the mighty Russian armed forces can win this war against the poorest country in Europe is if Ukraine either runs out of ammunition or Zelensky is removed by some method or the other.

            Russia’s intentions remain, as they ever were, to remove the elected government in Kyiv and replace it with a puppet administration – as they’ve already done in Donetsk and Crimea.

          • glenn_nl

            PM: “….remove the elected government in Kyiv and replace it with a puppet administration…”

            That would be absolutely terrible, wouldn’t it?

            Almost as bad as when we – the ‘West’ (America and its stooges) – do exactly this, and have done on a regular basis for many, many decades.

            Works out really well too, don’t you think? Notable successes are Iran, Chile and Argentina. Suhato only killed a million or so, and south American countries are all wonderful places, thanks to our benign interventions.

            This isn’t ‘whataboutary’ – this is how we have behaved, and continue to do so.

            And why are you of the opinion that it is completely unjust that Russia wants its stooge in office, instead of us having our appointed stooge in office?

          • pretzelattack

            what I notice is the Pears and Jk are supporting neonazis in Ukraine. Is that in hope of distracting the conversation from the genocide Israel is carrying out in Gaza, or is just a collateral effect? “Collateral damage”, if you will.

          • Intp1

            Yes, but similar number in 1 month to Russia in 40.
            Russia is killing one of the lowest % of civilians of any war in the last 100 years. Fact. Per european observers. Not the Zelensky regime with own coke-fuelled Nazi reality and Universe

        • Bayard

          “Enough evidence though that it wasn’t an ‘impressive show of accuracy’, anything but; neither was it intended to be.”

          Do give up. The tired old “my sources tell the truth whereas your sources lie” trope doesn’t impress or convince anyone any more. We have no accurate information as to how many missiles were involved, what they hit, how many civilians were killed or even that anything happened at all. There is plenty of information on the net as “proof”, both for those who want to believe and want others to believe, too, that the Russians are busy murdering civilians, and for those who want to believe that they are not.

        • Steve Hayes

          What goes up must come down. It’s always seemed unlikely that Russia would expend valuable missiles on hitting homes and playgrounds. It’s always seemed more probable, once you think about it, that it’s air defense projectiles, along with the debris from missiles they intercept, that are falling on those homes and playgrounds. That’s not saying there shouldn’t be air defense but you can’t say that the attacker targeted those things.

          • Pears Morgaine

            “More than 100 private houses were destroyed or damaged, 45 high-rise buildings, schools, two churches, hospitals, a maternity hospital, and many commercial and warehouse premises where hit.”
            That’s a lot of collateral damage, and I’ve not seen any counter claims from Russia other than a vague, meaningless ‘all military targets were hit’.

            Anyway, I thought Russian missiles were ‘unstoppable’. Are you accepting that they are not?

          • Bayard

            “That’s a lot of collateral damage,”

            It is, if it’s true, which of course you have no way of knowing except that it supports the argument that you are trying to make.

    • Clark

      Russia isn’t really fighting Ukraine; it’s fighting to keep NATO out of its strategically important neighbour Ukraine. The USA would be doing much the same if Russian Federation military were invited into Mexico or Canada.

      Gasparyan is spouting Russian propaganda because that’s his job. If Russia were committing genocide in Ukraine, presumably he would be guilty of inciting genocide.

      • terence callachan

        Clark, thank you for some accuracy.
        Can I add too that if China was invited to move military forces into Ireland or France, Belgium, etc., the UK and USA would be attacking those countries to prevent such a move by China.

        Russia is protecting itself from the aggressive move of the USA to site its weapons of mass destruction on Russia’s doorstep – under the disguise of NATO, of course. Their actions show what a sham ruse NATO is, and proves how the USA uses NATO as a disguise to spread their military weaponry across the globe.

        A new NATO has been formed too in the southern hemisphere called AUKUS – nwho will be its next new member?

      • Lapsed Agnostic

        I very much doubt, Clark, that the US would launch a full-scale invasion of Mexico or Canada if either of those countries opted to host Russian military personnel in an advisory capacity – and if it was mad enough to do so, it would face enormous amounts of protest at home. Russia has probably killed a similar number of civilians in Ukraine as the Israelis have in Gaza.

        • pretzelattack

          Let me direct your attention to the Cuban Missile Crisis. The US, rather than simply withdraw the nuclear missiles it put in Turkey, instead chose to take the world to the brink when the USSR responded by attempting to put nuclear missiles in Cuba. of course later it did in fact withdraw the missiles in Turkey, in a tit for tat agreement. Curiously, that wasn’t publicized, instead JFK pretended to have saved the world by resolutely standing up to the evil commies. Would have been nice to avoid the whole thing, but that is not the American way. so what you are claiming is that the US would risk nuclear war, but it would not invade Mexico or Canada (by the way, it has invaded both Canada and Mexico in the past; it stole a lot of land from Mexico, but failed to steal land from Canada).

          • pretzelattack

            Or perhaps you are claiming that the US would not invade other countries without much more solid grounds than a perception that its national security is threatened? The US would never “fight them over here”, even though it justifies so many of its wars as necessary because “if we don’t fight them over there so we don’t fight them over here”? Even though it shoots down weather balloons because they purportedly represent a national security threat?

          • Lapsed Agnostic

            Thanks for your reply PA. So what you’re saying is that, sixty years ago, the US under Kennedy (who, if he had anything approaching an ideology, it was that he hated commies) chose to back down by withdrawing US missiles from Turkey, rather than invade Cuba to prevent Soviet missiles from being set up.

            The US invasions of Mexico and British-owned Canada happened in the 19th century, when millions of Americans were chattel slaves; however, both were in response to attacks or blockades. Why would the US’s national security be more threatened by Russian advisors in Mexico or Canada, compared to them advising people over the phone from Moscow? What would they be advising? In line with the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, the US paid over $16 million (in 1850 prices) for the land acquired from Mexico. If it was ever invaded by another country, I’m sure the US would defend its own soil and, like any other country, it’s entitled to defend its airspace.

          • pretzelattack

            im saying that JFK took the world to the brink of nuclear war first, and Biden is aping him today. Not hard to understand the parallels. I’m saying the US invaded Grenada because it feared a commie air force base there, with no ground as far as i recall. I’m saying your pretense that the US would not invade Mexico if it began hosting Russian or Chinese military bases is extremely naive at best.

          • Lapsed Agnostic

            Thanks for your reply PA. JFK was advised by his National Security Council to bomb Cuba, and then launch a ground invasion. He chose instead to instigate a naval blockade and immediately enter into negotiations with the Soviets, in which he agreed to remove US missiles from Turkey. I’m not the biggest JFK fan, but I think he deserves some credit for that.

            The US invaded Grenada partly because it feared that hundreds of US citizens on the island might be taken hostage and partly to distract people from the bombings in Lebanon that had just killed over 200 of its troops. There were already several commie air force bases on Cuba, which is nearer to the US. Grenada is and was a tiny country with a tiny army. Nevertheless, over 20 US troops were killed and over 100 wounded in the operation. Invading Mexico would be orders of magnitude more costly and complex. Look at the problems it had in Afghanistan & Iraq, where the majority of the population was basically on its side. The US would be very reluctant to proceed, and there’s nothing naive, let alone extremely naive, about that statement.

        • Clark

          Lapsed Agnostic, it wasn’t merely an “advisory capacity”. Before Russia invaded, troops from multiple NATO countries trained with Ukrainian forces, both in and outside Ukraine; you can find the UK element on UK forces websites. Three full-blown manoeuvres were enacted in Ukraine; two defensive, and one offensive, practising to take back Crimea. Increasing Ukrainian military ‘interoperability’ with NATO was a priority. And the Ukrainian President’s office issued a Decree, tasking the Ukrainian military with taking back Crimea; you can find that on the Ukrainian President’s Office website, but in Ukrainian, of course. In retrospect, I’m really not surprised Russia invaded. Ukraine is NATO’s war, and NATO will fight to the last Ukrainian, and beyond. It’s disgusting.

          And yes, I’m sure the US would do the same if all those things were going on in a country it shared a border with. The difference is, the US has the power to prevent those things from happening in the first place.

          • Clark

            You can tell it’s NATO’s war by the way politicians from NATO states keep scuppering negotiations. “Oh, Putin’s offer wasn’t serious” they always say (and it’s always “Putin”, never the Russian government, because there has to be a figure to fear and hate).

            Sorry, since when was that a reason to scupper negotiations before they start? Get to the table, and present your counter-offer and/or additional terms. Then negotiate! Negotiations might break down if one side or the other was never serious, but it’s no excuse for not trying.

          • Lapsed Agnostic

            Thanks for your reply Clark. Were there NATO troops on the ground in Ukraine participating in these ‘full blown manoeuvres’, with tanks etc? Not that I’ve heard, but I’m willing to be proven wrong. In the past decade, Ukraine had lost territory as the result of military aggression (illegal under international law) by a neighbouring country. Why wouldn’t it want to prepare to defend itself against further aggression, and train to possibly re-take that territory? Mind you, that would have been a tall order, seeing as Crimea is a natural fortress and Ukraine doesn’t really have a navy.

            Towards the beginning of the war, the West didn’t raise any objections to Ukraine negotiating with Russia, which would have been odd if it had wanted to use Ukraine as a battering ram to grind Russia down. I was surprised Russia invaded in 2022 because I thought Putin was smarter than that, which is why I initially thought he’d gone mad and may have been serious about his nuke threats. Make no mistake, Ukraine is Putin’s war – or special military operation, as I think he’s still calling it.

            From early summer 2022, Ukraine didn’t want to negotiate – whatever the West’s opinion was – because it had started to take back territory from the Russians, first in northern Ukraine, then in the autumn in Kharkiv & Kherson. In the first half of 2023, there was the much-touted spring/summer offensive to look forward to, replete with Western armaments/training, which they though would enable them to take back a lot more. It was only after that was deemed to have failed, and continued Western arms supplies are beginning look shaky, that there’s begun to be any pressure on them to negotiate.

          • Clark

            Lapsed Agnostic:

            There were NATO troops on the ground, from five NATO countries, if I remember correctly. It was all on official / forces websites. I don’t know if it involved tanks, but I’d have thought so.

            As for this being Putin’s war, well, I’m a believer in superorganism; it’s Russia’s response to NATO encroachment, and if Putin wouldn’t have done it Russia, the state, would have found someone who would. Prominent Western statespeople have stated for twenty years that NATO in Ukraine was a red line for Russia, and there is a diplomatic cable, from 2016 I think, published by Wikileaks, describing high-level talks with multiple Russian government officials saying the same thing.

            You can hardly blame Russia (the state) for thinking that NATO (another superorganism, and a far more powerful one) was about to launch an offensive.

            Here’s Ukrainian Presidential Decree No. 117/2021:



            In accordance with Article 107 of the Constitution of Ukraine, I decree:

            1. To put into effect the decision of the National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine of March 11, 2021 “On the Strategy of deoccupation and reintegration of the temporarily occupied territory of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and the city of Sevastopol” (attached).

            2. To approve the Strategy of deoccupation and reintegration of the temporarily occupied territory of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and the city of Sevastopol (attached).

            3. Control over the implementation of the decision of the National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine, enacted by this Decree, shall be vested in the Secretary of the National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine.

            4. This Decree shall enter into force on the day of its publication.

            President of Ukraine V.ZELENSKY

            March 24, 2021

          • Lapsed Agnostic

            Thanks for your reply Clark. I think you may be referring to Operation Orbital which started in 2015 and involved a handful of British infantry (and maybe ones from other NATO countries) training Ukrainian troops in basic infantry skills, which at that time many of them were severely deficient in, which is why they had to rely on the likes of Azov etc. to do much of the grunt work in the War in Donbas(s). Ukraine is a sovereign UN member state. Is it not entitled to invite whoever it wants to train its troops?

            Putin’s war has hardly benefitted the Russian elite (if that’s what you mean by superorganism). Many of their assets in the West have been confiscated without compensation, and their foreign travel has been considerably impinged. Whilst it hasn’t collapsed, the Russian economy is not exactly booming – apart from the defence sector. Privately, I doubt if many support the war. Ukraine hasn’t made any secret of the fact that it wants Crimea back. Would Russia not be capable of defending it, should that have become necessary, without launching a full-scale invasion of Ukraine, in which thousands of civilians are killed, entire cities levelled, and hundreds of thousands of its own soldiers are killed and seriously wounded?

          • Clark

            Lapsed Agnostic, obviously you are unfamiliar with the concept of superorganism, since the examples you gave merely prove that a state is one – the Russian state in this case. NATO has also acted in its own interests but against the interests of its member states by pushing so hard for this bloody war.

            And no. I distinctly remember that military from five NATO states trained in Ukraine, and some of them trained with Azov. And I seem to remember a photo of some of them around a tank, come to think of it.

            Of course Ukraine has the right to invite whichever military it wishes to train with, but that doesn’t mean it is sensible to do so. Which this war proves rather conclusively.

          • Lapsed Agnostic

            Thanks for your reply Clark. I’m aware of what the term “superorganism” means, and that technically it applies to almost every human being on the planet, bar the North Sentinelese and perhaps members of a few isolated Amazonian tribes. What the term doesn’t necessarily imply, however, is that had Putin not chosen to invade Ukraine, the Russian elites would have had him replaced with someone who would.

            I’ve seen footage of UK armed forces personnel showing Azov members how to use the NLAWs, but only from slightly before the invasion. I’m not aware of any training exercises being carried out with them before that.

          • Clark

            “I’m aware of what the term “superorganism” means, and that technically it applies to almost every human being on the planet”

            Eh? You seem to have utterly contradicted yourself there. No individual human is a superorganism; that’s the very point of needing such a term in the first place:


            A superorganism can be defined as “a collection of agents which can act in concert to produce phenomena governed by the collective”, phenomena being any activity “the hive wants” such as ants collecting food and avoiding predators, or bees choosing a new nest site.

            Maybe you meant “human society” or similar rather than “human being”? It seems that you don’t understand, because you then continued:

            “What the term doesn’t necessarily imply, however, is that had Putin not chosen to invade Ukraine, the Russian elites would have had him replaced with someone who would”

            That implies that you are thinking in terms of hierarchy, which is the usual way of thinking about such things, and which I believe is the cause of the misunderstanding.

            It certainly appears misleading in the case of Russia invading Ukraine, which was what the Russian State required, and got, even though it was against the interests of the Russian people, the Russian government, the Russian elite, and indeed Putin himself. Likewise with NATO.

            “…but only from slightly before the invasion. I’m not aware of any training exercises being carried out with them before that”

            Search harder.

          • Lapsed Agnostic

            Thanks for your reply Clark. I meant that almost every human being on the planet is part of a superorganism – perhaps I could have phrased things better. A beehive is also a superorganism where all the other bees are subservient to the queen: if she flies off, they all follow her. If something’s gone wrong with her brain chemistry and she flies off at the wrong time of year to establish a new hive, the colony is probably ****ed.

            If something is against the interests of the Russian people, the Russian government, the Russian elite and Putin himself, then surely it’s against the interests of the Russian State?

            Re: ‘Search harder’

            Reminds me of this (first 15 seconds is all you need):


            Apparently, he only eats steak these days. I don’t think it will end well.

          • Clark

            No the bees aren’t “subservient to the queen”; they serve the hive, the superorganism. The queen doesn’t order them to do the wiggle dance, or to make comb, or collect nectar. Yes, they cluster around the queen when swarming, but by finding a new site the queen is serving the superorganism.

            “If something is against the interests of the Russian people, the Russian government, the Russian elite and Putin himself, then surely it’s against the interests of the Russian State?”

            The Russian state is trying to perpetuate its existence. States and other large organisations often act against the interests of all their component humans; was the Third Reich in Hitler’s interests? He killed himself eventually. Is mass extinction in the interests of the agriculture industry? Is climate collapse in the interests of the fossil fuel companies? Why single out Putin in all this chaos, apart from him being a Western propaganda meme? Propaganda is like a hormone in a state superorganism; disengage from it.

            Humans seem often to agglomerate into very crap superorganisms, ones that have less intelligence than their constituent members. Maybe it’s a problem of scale, because the biggest, most powerful ones tend to be the worst. We need to find better ways to organise, or we’re going to crash. “Primitive” cultures know; try clicking on the link on my name.

          • Clark

            You’re right it won’t end well, and Putin is being driven mad in the process – or madder than he was to accept the job in the first place. No one should have as much power, or attention, as a president or a prime minister – just look at Blair’s face.

        • Bramble

          However, the Gaza slaughter has occurred over just three months, and has a very high level of child victims (all casualties also being denied sufficient medical assistance, as the Israelis have deliberately devastated the Gazan health system). Russia’s SMO is approaching the end of its second year, and followed years in which Ukrainian attacks on Russian speaking regions killed about 14,000 (all casually signed off as insignificant by the NATO gang).

          • Lapsed Agnostic

            Thanks for your reply Bramble. Most of the civilian casualties in the War in Ukraine happened in the first few months of the war (see the bombardment of Mariupol etc). Most the civilian casualties in the preceding War in Donbas(s) occurred in the first two years. In its latter stages, only 25-30 civilians were being killed per year. Overall, around 4000 civilians were killed.

          • Lapsed Agnostic

            Thanks for your reply PA. The 4000 figure, which is from the OSCE, refers to the 2014-2021 War in Donbas(s). There have probably been more than 20,000 Ukrainian civilians killed since February 2022, most of them dying in the first few months of the war.

        • Clark

          Lapsed Agnostic:

          “I very much doubt, Clark, that the US would launch a full-scale invasion of Mexico or Canada […] and if it was mad enough to do so, it would face enormous amounts of protest at home”

          Sounds very convincing, if it just happened out of the blue from the situation between the US and its neighbouring states right now, but that isn’t what happened in Ukraine. There was the US-backed coup in 2014, followed by protracted civil war.

          If Canada or Mexico had suffered a Russian-backed coup followed by years of anti-US civil war on the US border, and then Russian Federation troops moved in, US invasion wouldn’t look nearly so insane.

          • Lapsed Agnostic

            Thanks for your reply Clark. What happened in Ukraine in early 2014 wasn’t a coup – it was a revolution that ousted the sitting president a year before his term ended – and its US backing was restricted to expressions of support for the protesters from John McCain & Vicky Nuland (who was low down in the pecking order at the State Dept at the time). It was followed by a presidential election in May in which Petro Poroshenko was elected with a majority of the vote in the first round (55%). The three main pro-Russian candidates, Serhiy Tihipko, Mykhailo Dobkin & Vadim Rabinovich, collectively received around 10% of the vote. Millions of people in Donbas(s) didn’t/couldn’t vote, but even if they had all voted for the leading pro-Russian candidate, it still wouldn’t have affected the overall result.

            The US would doubtless be supporting and funding the side who were fighting against the Russian-backed side in a civil war in Canada or Mexico, but it probably wouldn’t be committing any troops of its own. Consider this: there are calls in the US for Mexican fentanyl to be classed as a chemical weapon as it’s currently killing over 70,000 Americans a year (quite possibly more than the number of Ukrainian soldiers that have been killed so far in the war), but it’s only the lunatic fringe of the MAGA contingent that’s calling for the US to bomb the cartels in their strongholds, and no serious commentators, as far as I’m aware, are calling for it to bomb the Mexican government in Mexico City, or invade Mexico.

          • Clark

            Coup, revolution; call it what you will; guns were drawn in the government chamber and an elected president was hounded from the country. The US had decided the complexion of the resulting government as demonstrated by the leaked telephone call, and the US had run a massive social media influence campaign. And at the critical moment, the US armed its nukes; two Skyking EAMs went out that night; unprecedented. Russia reactivated the Woodpecker in response, dormant since the dissolution of the Soviet Union.

            Lapsed Agnostic, it doesn’t matter what you or I think. What matters is how it appeared to the Russian state. NATO training with fascists in a strategically vital neighbouring country that idolises the occasional fascist and is vulnerable to turning fascist? The USSR lost 30 million to fascists in WWII. The Allies couldn’t have won without it but it was then branded the new enemy. NATO also ran Gladio, arming, funding and supporting fascists, to enable atrocities that it could then blame on the USSR. State superorganisms have long memories; the state called Russia perceived an existential threat from NATO, and it wasn’t wrong.

          • Clark

            Or rather, Lapsed Agnostic, who are you to say it was wrong? It had to act before it (potentially) lost the chance. Permanently.

            If this were “Putin’s war”, as you say, there were much easier targets he could have started with.

          • Lapsed Agnostic

            Thanks for your reply Clark. Can I ask how you know that the US was sending out multiple EAMs and Russia was switching on defunct radar systems from the 80’s one night in February 2014, if it’s not too sensitive a topic? Also, can you provide any evidence that NATO countries were providing military training to members of Azov, or any of the other Ukrainian far-right militia, before 2022?

            Thanks in advance.

          • Clark

            Lapsed Agnostic, regarding the training sessions, if I get time I’ll try to find the links.

            “Can I ask how you know that the US was sending out multiple EAMs and Russia was switching on defunct radar systems from the 80’s one night in February 2014”

            Multiple Skyking calls; EAMs were fairly common back then. It was on the forums of people who watch these things. These are radio signals, and so can be monitored by anyone. Being matters of (cough) some importance, quite a few people go to the trouble of obtaining suitable receivers, and they post what they find on forums. It’s been really difficult to censor information since the US government asked their top technicians to build a communication system that couldn’t be censored. That’s why they’re torturing Julian Assange.

            Come on, Lapsed Agnostic; you must know all this stuff already, or you wouldn’t be asking…

          • Clark

            Personally, when I’d had enough of scanning the internet that night, I went down the pub and sat outside, so I could watch for any trails of incoming ICBMs. That was when my village still had a pub…

          • Lapsed Agnostic

            Thanks for reply Clark. I’m not sure about Amerikkka, even though I lived there for a while, but in Britain even monitoring the local Turnipshire Fed frequencies is a fairly serious criminal offence, and that doesn’t concern national security, so I’d imagine that the US/UK authorities would be interested in whoever’s putting this stuff online – assuming it’s real, of course.

            I don’t know huge amounts about these things, although I think I know the basics. I doubt whether the UK would get much in the way of ICBM or SLBM warheads in a full exchange – I suspect we would mainly get Kh-102 cruise missiles, most of which could be intercepted, if what’s happened in Ukraine is anything to go by and we get our act together.

          • Clark

            Lapsed Agnostic, would you be prepared to drop the “Thanks for your reply x” and not replace it with some other formulaic introduction? Not just with me; with everyone.

            And just to return to an earlier point you made:

            “I very much doubt, Clark, that the US would launch a full-scale invasion of Mexico or Canada […] and if it was mad enough to do so, it would face enormous amounts of protest at home”

            Russia did “face enormous amounts of protest at home”, and is still suppressing massive dissent.

            I’ll have another link for you later, but here’s an interesting one for now:


          • Clark

            And I’ve really no idea what precise type of weapon would be inbound, and anyway, who knows where escalation could have led? I just like watching the night sky; more goes on up there than people tend notice.

        • Intp1

          .Yes, but similar number in 1 month to Russia in 40.
          Fact: Per official observers, Russia is killing one of the lowest % of civilians of any war in the last 100 years. Not per the Zelensky regime with own coke-fuelled Nazi reality & Universe which MSM loyally regurgitates.

          • Lapsed Agnostic

            Thanks for your reply Intp1. After the first few months of the war, the frontlines solidified mainly around rural locations, or towns and cities where 95%+ of their inhabitants had fled (e.g. Bakhmut). Russia doesn’t have vast numbers of cruise missiles and long-range suicide drones to attack cities in the centre/west of Ukraine, and many of the ones it has get intercepted by Ukrainian air defence. I’m only guessing but I’d say that the Zelensky government probably consumes less hokey than most western governments.

    • zoot

      “yes I oppose Israel’s murderous attacks on Gaza too”

      what is being done to the Palestinians is on another level of sadistic, fanatically racist cruelty. one not seen since the Holocaust.

      it is also being enthusiastically backed and enabled by Ukraine’s powerful benefactors, the United States and the European Union. the people you try and represent as the good guys.

      • JeremyT

        ‘not seen since the Holocaust ‘…
        So we end up asking which Holocaust – Euro or Gazan?
        Presumably the International Gazan Holocaust Remembrance Association (IGHRA) will clarify the distinction between antisemitism and antizionism.
        Hamas appear to be fighting an army supported by the US, UK, Dutch, Danish, German, French… they can’t all be Jews?

    • Townsman

      Civilians are still dying in Ukraine

      Civilians have been dying in Donetsk city for 8 years under shelling by the Kyiv regime. The total death toll over those 8 years is in the thousands.
      Moreover, the civilian deaths in Donetsk were deliberate. Whereas the few civilian deaths in Ukraine during the Russian attacks appear to have been genuinely collateral damage: Russia targeted military facilities and dual-use infrastructure, and most civilian casualties occurred when Ukrainian air-defence systems shot down Russian missiles.
      All civilian deaths are deplorable. But we see a lot of messages nowadays – not just about Ukraine – condemning in harsh terms a few deaths caused by one side, while ignoring 10x or more as many deaths caused by the other.

      • Tatyana

        Yes, civilians are still dying.
        Today 14 has died, including 2 children. Another 108 were injured. This is the result of a Ukrainian missile attack on the center of the Russian city of Belgorod. This time, the facilitators of the deaths were the Czechs, who gave the Ukrainians Vampire missiles.
        Looks like Europe, Britain and the United States are at war with Russia, and Ukraine provides its land for a battlefield and its people for cannon fodder.

        p.s. Zelenski, does he still describe himself as a Jew?

      • Pears Morgaine

        ” the few civilian deaths in Ukraine during the Russian attacks appear to have been genuinely collateral damage: Russia targeted military facilities and dual-use infrastructure, ”

        For example? The Kharkiv Palace Hotel, used by many foreign journalists, was struck by a missile, thought to be an Iranian made drone. last night so what were they actually aiming at?

        Presumably you accept Ukrainian claims that Russians killed in air attacks were also genuine collateral damage or the result of debris from successful interceptions?

        • Intp1

          No Journalists named, but there is a British/Polish soldier named in the Telegraph.
          These hotels that Russia strikes are known, ad hoc, barracks and command centers. You can’t book in these hotels because NATO have commandeered them. They are legitimate targets.
          And any fellow Brits there know the risks and died as illegal combatants. No tears from me. Any journalists there, which I doubt, deserve Darwin awards.

        • Jen

          US Lieutenant General Keith Kellogg is supposed to have been one of those injured in the Russian attack on the Kharkiv Palace Hotel.

          Any foreign journalists at that hotel can be presumed to be embedded with NATO forces. The Kool Aid they were drinking must be pretty expensive sparkly stuff. Let’s hope their employers were paying for their food and lodgings – and had bought medical insurance for them.

  • glenn_nl

    Just as well you made clear this is satire… anyone not knowing better could well be fooled into thinking this was indeed a straight lift from the Graun’s Zionist apologists!

    You might have noted that Margaret Hodge has just denounced the article above, for its disgraceful and disgusting failure to say one word in condemnation of Hamas, thus making it abundantly clear those authors are in full support of Hamas and hate all Jews, and furthermore Jeremy Corbyn and all his supporters obviously _are_ Hamas – currently working on the slaughter of every last Jew in Britain, starting with Alexie Sayle.

    Whoa… further update – Hodge has just confirmed that Alexie Sayle is in fact fair game for Hamas’ worldwide murder campaign, since he’s “not the right sort of Jew”, and probably part of Hamas himself.


    • glenn_nl

      ….in the spirit of satire, of course. Anyone with a sense of humour would know that, but Zionists (together with all racist fanatics) have none.

    • pretzelattack

      When I read the first couple of sentences I thought it was genuine — it would not really shock me if the Guardian were still catapulting the lies about beheaded babies, and burned babies, and mass rapes. As far as I know, they have not retracted and apologized for the Luke Harding fantasy about Julian Assange meeting with a Trump representative in the embassy.

  • Republicofscotland

    The Zionists and the Zionist friendly media, and politicians see every word against the genocide as an existential threat to Israel.

  • Jack

    I am very saddened with the position taken by powerful western jews/jewish organizations. Of course, jews outside of Israel have nothing whatsoever to do what the state of Israel is doing and the discussion could have ended there, no blame should be put on jews just because they are jews. But then there is something else, powerful jewish pro-israeli groups that give support to Israel, actively support what Israel is doing.
    This is just as big of a problem as if multiple, established muslim groups in the west, would publicly and boastfully come out in support for ISIS. Remember when ISIS was waging their brutal war some years ago, established muslim communities in the west declared that: ‘this is not what Islam is about – we distance ourselves from this group!’. But that is not really the position taken by quite a lot of jews/jewish groups in the west.
    And if jews in the west want to support a state that engage in child murdering, they are of course free to do so. But if they do, they are not protected from being criticised for taken such off-beat position.
    I do not understand the jewish community, first off, how can they believe that what Israel is doing right now will make Israel or jews safer in the world? How can they be completely blind to the tragic but obvious fact that their position is just this type of acts that cause antisemitism to soar? Or do zionism as an ideology simply need this “threat” to justify it’s existence as backwards as that argument is?

    • Sparticus

      1) Extreme Zionists put the Israeli state above the fate of individual Jews.
      2) Antisemitic incidents fuel their victimhood narrative (and promote more emigration to Israel). The British government donates £18M p.a. to the Community Security Trust, thereby employing over 700 security guards; a benefit I doubt any other ‘community’ enjoys, let alone its links to the Home Office, Police, government ministers and Mossad.

      Matt Jukes, Assistant Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police, National Head of Counter-Terrorism: “CST is a long-standing valued and unique partner to policing…”

    • terence callachan

      Jack, I agree. Furthermore, how can people still say they support what Israel is doing and then go to church or synagogue? Surely they have a conflict in their mind as they say their prayers?
      If they don’t, can we truly believe that religion is what the holy books say it is?

      • Jack

        Exactly Terence, I have reached out by email, social media to so called “traditional”, so called “christian” right-wing politicians and asked them if they really believe that Jesus would approve killing small children in the thousands. Not one of these fraudsters have replied.

        Israeli rabbis tell Netanyahu that Israel has a right to bomb Al-Shifa hospital in Gaza

        If imams would publicly bless palestinian attacks on israeli hospitals,…. well the western media would cover it all day and all night. But this above blessing by rabbis was of course not picked up by the msm.

      • Laguerre

        There is no conflict in Judaism between the religion and what is happening in Gaza. In fact an almost identical event is celebrated in the festival of Purim, where the evil vizier Haman supposedly threatens to genocide the Jews. The Jews are delivered by an edict from the king Ahasuerus, and go on to slaughter 75,000 of their enemies. It’s an almost identical scenario, which is celebrated every single year. No disapproval there.

  • Ian

    In the looking glass world of Israeli politics it is uncomfortably close to satire that they use Hamas as a human shield to camouflage their destruction of Palestine and its inhabitants. Their hysterical reaction to South Africa’s action was riddled with the blatant lies they routinely deploy, which take us for idiots who cannot see what they are doing, when there is an avalanche of evidence, eye witnesses, video and official reports. Their contempt for basic human rights, and especially for those who advocate for them, is vile, supremacist, racist bullying of the most deliberately intimidating and harassing kind, which alone is a massive giveaway of their real intentions. But somehow we are not supposed to notice, or care, or say anything, but believe the astonishingly feeble, asinine, boilerplate statements that black is white and vice versa.
    The ranting, raving denialism is horrific.

    • Townsman

      the blatant lies they routinely deploy, which take us for idiots who cannot see what they are doing, when there is an avalanche of evidence, eye witnesses, video and official reports.

      Ian, the great majority of people in the UK and USA do not see what Israel is doing because the mainstream media downplay it. The avalanche of evidence, eye witness reports etc does not reach the majority of the population.
      Somebody posted here a comment to the effect that “nobody” watched TV news any more. Well, I’d bet my entire net worth against twopence that at least 20x as many people watch BBC news as read Craig’s blog.
      There are other good sources discoverable from RSS-aggregator sites but they are all suppressed by search engines and posts with links to them tend to get “moderated” – i.e. deleted – from most mainstream sites.

  • zoot

    thank you, Craig, for having the courage to keep on speaking the truth on this issue. no small thing at a time when the state and MSM is trying to smear and cow any dissident.

    the Guardian has simply continued its shameless gaslighting of the Corbyn era. it is even more disgusting in the context of a brutal genocide, especially given its endless posturing about racism and about human rights in America’s approved enemy countries.

    throughout this psyop you and Caitlin Johnstone have been two steadfast voices of sanity. so too the broadcasts of Max Blumenthal and Aaron Mate, two exceptional men who are keeping the flame alive of the old Jewish radicalism. 

    fantastic to see it is South Africa who has stepped up to invoke the Genocide Convention, a country with immense moral authority when it comes to racism. this makes it much more difficult for the Israelis and their craven allies to dismiss and smear and pretend they occupy the moral high ground. though we can be sure they will try and that the Guardian will aid them.

  • Jm

    Indeed, Craig, spot on.

    The Grauniad and the Daily Mail in particular seem to get their output direct from Tel Aviv by way of Vauxhall.

    They’re anything but balanced news outlets.

    • David Ganz

      The Guardian has consistently reported the scale of Palestinian deaths caused by the IDF. No other UK newspaper is doing that.

      • fonso

        The Guardian seems to have censored Owen Jones. Zero articles on Gaza from him in a month, yet he posts every day on Twitter about “one of the great crimes of our time”. Coincidentally, it’s a month since the media class lost their minds at him for pointing out what wasn’t in the Israeli “influencers” film about October 7th.

  • AG

    Does the Russian Army use bulldozers to crush injured Ukrainian patients, human beings still alive, in the ruins of Ukrainian hospitals?
    Does the Russian Army use snipers and drones to carry out targeted mass killings of Ukrainian and Western journalists to deter them from reporting?
    How many reporters were killed by Russian forces? 64? or 90 may be?
    Does the Russian Army to this purpose target these reporters´ families?
    Are Russian politicians calling members of the AFU cockroaches, animals, subhuman? (if these insults apply at all then the other way around.)
    Does the Russian Army position snipers around Ukrainian hospitals to shoot anyone who is getting in the cross-hairs?
    Does the Russian Army use QR-coded interactive maps of UKR cities to inform the inhabitants (who have to scan the QR-code) like lab rats to to move from one area to another via messages in case of attack?
    Does the Russian Army urge Ukrainian civilians to leave an area only to block the only possible exit route?
    How many times did Russian diplomats publicly insult Guterres and UN diplomats in general?

    Stop mixing things up!

    • AG

      forgot the link where I took the examples from:
      60 min. conversation between Jeremy Scahill (who is genuinely angry and shocked) and journalist Sharif Abdel Kouddous

      “Watch: A Conversation on the Horrors in Gaza With Jeremy Scahill and Sharif Abdel Kouddous
      Intercept co-founder Jeremy Scahill and journalist Sharif Abdel Kouddous discuss the U.S. role in Israel’s scorched-earth campaign to annihilate Gaza.”
      Scahill´s intro from TC 2:00-12:00 is unusually powerful:

      “Israel is barring international reporters from entering Gaza — and systematically killing the Palestinian journalists who are the eyes and ears of the world, reporting from this Israeli-enforced killing cage.

      Intercept co-founder Jeremy Scahill hosted a live conversation with independent journalist Sharif Abdel Kouddous on Tuesday about the U.S. role in Israel’s scorched-earth campaign to annihilate Gaza, the future of Palestinian resistance, and the urgent need for journalism that tells the truth about this crisis.”

    • JK redux


      Happily the AFU are able to defend Ukraine against its much bigger and better armed neighbour.

      Unfortunately Palestinians have only lightly armed ultra Islamist militias.

      And yes some Russkiy politicians and TV presenters do deny the humanity of Ukrainians, e.g. Armen Gasparyan in the YouTube video that I posted above.

      • zoot

        the USA is committing genocide of completely defenceless Palestinians, justifying even destruction of their hospitals.

        the average age of those they have been murdering in Gaza is 5.

      • AG

        JK redux

        not claiming that in war time such things are never expressed.
        Nor that the RUs are benevolent angels.
        Yet you will not find rhetoric among Russian politicians of the scale and nature as in Israel.
        It is beyond dispute that the Gaza case is of an entirely different quality.
        And, without idealizing matters, Russian/Soviet traditions did also have internationalist, integrative notions.
        Whether, in war, those were mere rhetoric or not, is a big topic depending on who/when concerned.
        But as Norman Finkelstein pointed out: it was no coincidence that as a Jew in the Third Reich if you managed to get into Soviet-controlled territory, you could call yourself lucky. You survived.
        And the USSR did articulate tropes to elevate beyond nationalism. I only wish those would not be entirely discarded in today´s academic discourse.
        And the Israeli ideology is the complete opposite of that: theoretical conviction vs. blood as the argument and justification of national unity and shared territory.

        • AG

          by now every honest military analyst knows that Russia attacked with forces way too small to carry out a full scale war.

          Even German military analysts like Wolfgang Richter, senior member of the conservative German governmental SWP (Foundation for Policy and Science based in Berlin and Vienna) pointed out that AFU when the war broke out had Europe´s second biggest army.

          To picture AFU as the poor little rag tag force which bears comparison to HAMAS is worse than a bad joke.

          (Or does Hamas have actually Russian made fighter bombers? Or German Leopards – that´d be funny, Hamas’s Leopards fighting IDF Merkavas – let me know if NYT finds those.)

          p.s. unfortunately the mentioned Wolfgang Richter text on the UKR war, a lengthy essay from Dec. 5th, is not available in English. Don´t understand why. Maybe next year.
          It’s nothing extraordinary by US and Craig Murray readers’ standards, but by German academia’s standards it is.
          I might post it in the forum if I find time to translate it. (deepl is a catastrophe with fiction texts but it’s alright with non-fiction as a basis to work with.)

          • Pears Morgaine

            They weren’t expecting a full scale war. Their faulty intelligence told them that there’d be little or no resistance and when they ran into serious opposition they had no Plan B.

        • Bayard

          Reminds me of a report of a train crash in a Portuguese newspaper in the 40s, “Happily, only third class passengers were killed”.

      • Bayard

        “Happily the AFU are able to defend Ukraine against its much bigger and better armed neighbour.”

        Unlike the Iraqi army against the invaders of their country.

  • Mac

    The mass targeting of hospitals is just one hideous thing the Israelis are doing. It is totally unprecedented, normal people just don’t do things like this. They are unhinged, evil.

    In one hospital they ordered all the staff out leaving five premature babies in incubators. When they eventually were allowed back in they found the babies had essentially been allowed to starve to death and their bodies were now decomposing in their incubators.

    Again who does this? Normal human beings don’t do this. Only people totally lost in a vile supremacist ideology are capable of such acts of evil.

    I am at the point I want them to escalate things. Go for it! Because you are going to get your cowardly disgusting arses handed to you, you utter cunts.

  • Mac

    Norman Finkelstein whose parents survived German concentration camps has documented all this a long time ago now… I quote from his wiki page.

    “The Holocaust Industry

    The Holocaust Industry: Reflections on the Exploitation of Jewish Suffering was published in 2000. In this work, Finkelstein argues that Elie Wiesel and others exploit the memory of the Holocaust as an “ideological weapon”. Their purpose, he writes, is to enable Israel, “one of the world’s most formidable military powers, with a horrendous human rights record, [to] cast itself as a victim state”; that is, to provide Israel “immunity to criticism”.[3] He alleges “a repellent gang of plutocrats, hoodlums and hucksters” have sought enormous legal damages and financial settlements from Germany and Switzerland, money that then goes to the lawyers and institutional actors involved in procuring them rather than actual Holocaust survivors.[33] In a television interview to publicize the book, he said a “handful of American Jews have effectively hijacked the Nazi Holocaust to blackmail Europe” to “divert attention from what is being done to the Palestinians”.”

    That book was published 23 years ago now but the observations are still as fresh as ever, even more so.

    I would argue that what is being done now totally shits all over the memory of the holocaust victims. Pimping them out to excuse a new genocide is perhaps the most disgusting thing they have done (yet).

  • zoot

    curiously the Guardian has chosen not to mention that South Africa has invoked the Genocide Convention against Israel. certainly not on the front page of its website.

    on BBC Radio 4 the headline is ‘Israel has reacted furiously to South Africa filing an ICJ case alleging Israel has committed “Genocidal Acts”‘. for some reason Israel’s reaction comes above South Africa’s action. the ‘denial’ gets more coverage than the ‘accusation’.

  • Pyewacket

    Thanks for this Craig, I for one have no problem in identifying your piece as well aimed and directed satire, to borrow from Monty Python, it’s like a stream of Bat’s Piss, a shaft of Gold whilst all around is dark; indeed reminiscent of the EYE from back in the day.

    Anyway, to move on to my contribution. An important point imo – that will no, not ever, never, be raised in the Graun, Mail, Beeb or any other “respectable” media outlet or the HoC – are the allegations, highly likely true, again imo, that we, the UK MOD/RAF are literally up to our “bloody” necks in contributing to the genocidal slaughter via allowing our base at RAF Akrotiri to be used as an important hub for transporting both men and materiel into the Gazan Genocide. Other sources, not quite so shy – eg: Declassified, amongst others – are reporting that airborne transports, particularly US planes, are flying in and out of there, headed to Israel, around the clock. And, this is going on despite some “ancient” agreement between us and the Cypriot Government that our base, on their land, would not be used in any way whatsoever as part of an ongoing conflict. AFAIK, the Cypriot premier denies any knowledge of these barely clandestine military manoeuvres, despite swarms of huge transports flying in and out daily (just where does he think they’re headed) and hordes of military personnel/spooks, apparently dressed in civvies whilst off base, as per agreement. Well, this suggests to me that the whole Government of Cyprus are demonstrating a fine example of the well-known Nelson’s Eye treatment. Before I leave, just to add, I understand that Cyprus is also entitled to a share of the Eastern Mediterranean Gas field by virtue of its presence beneath their territorial Waters. I wonder if these two things are related?
    Kind regards & all the best to you and yours.

    • terence callachan

      Pyewacket , the purpose of NATO is to pretend it is protecting you whilst its purpose is to use your facilities to house military weapons used to attack your neighbours
      USA and UK buddy up together to threaten other countries that if they dont join in they will have sanctions imposed on them
      Sanctions in effect restrict all those countries that do join in the USA UK NATO buddy up together ruse trading with any country that doesnt buddy up
      In effect Sanctions mean that you are either IN or OUT if you are OUT you cannot trade with those countries who are IN
      USA and UK under the guise of NATO are splitting the whole world into those who are either IN or OUT
      AUKUS in just NATO down under , southern hemisphere NATO
      Who will be the the next country to join the southern hemisphere nato AUKUS ?
      And when will AUKUS offer membership to a country that borders China ?
      China will of course go to war with that neighbour if it decides to allow USA to site weapons of mass destruction on its border

      • JK redux

        What is missing from your description of NATO is that the E European and Baltic countries actually chose to join NATO.

        Unlike their coerced membership of the Warsaw Pact…

        (What was the purpose of the WP again?)

        • Bayard

          “What is missing from your description of NATO is that the E European and Baltic countries actually chose to join NATO.”

          You mean their governments did. Not quite the same thing. The name Quisling mean anything to you? At least the British were asked whether they wanted to leave the EU. They were never consulted about whether they wanted to join it, or NATO, for that matter.

          • Pears Morgaine

            NATO membership generally has high popular support which has increased since Russia’s illegal invasion of Ukraine.

          • Bayard

            “NATO membership generally has high popular support which has increased since Russia’s illegal invasion of Ukraine.”

            How do you know, if the people are not consulted in a referendum? Heard it from a man down the pub, or was it a few blokes with placards in front of a TV camera?

      • Clark

        “AUKUS [is] just NATO down under , southern hemisphere NATO”

        Indeed. It might look a bit odd, the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation operating the South Pacific (Afghanistan was incongruent enough), so a new brand was required.

      • AG

        btw this is the original WARSAW PACT treaty text.
        It´s much like NATO´s

        The infamous NATO Art. 5 here is Art. 4.

        A site which is among Marc Trachtenberg´s recommendations on NATO / Cold War strategic planning history is this, based at the Zurich ETH University, I think by now the project is defunct:
        The Parallel History Project:
        Never had time to properly dive into it myself.

        And here again Geoffrey Roberts´ article on Molotov´s proposal for the USSR to join NATO in 1954 (a bid that was rejected by NATO. At the same time NATO was working out plans how to destroy the USSR and China)

        p.s. MC-48 from 1954 suggested full NATO nuclear attack on the USSR in case the Russians would attack by conventional means, and as far as I understand Trachtenberg´s writing on this, including Russian attacks on European non-NATO states, too, like Yugoslavia.

  • Dr Iain

    Wonderful piece of satire. And excellent news that it is South Africa with its huge anti-racist anti-apartheid credentials that has initiated the case against the Genocide State – the Zionist Entity.

    I can only hope that now the Zionist Entity has shown the world what it really is and what it really stands for, that the world will respond appropriately (even if our Zio-captured governments do not do so) and that the days of this racist, fascist, apartheid entity are numbered.

    The only hope is a diverse, secular, democratic and peaceful state for all who currently live in the land of Palestine (from the river to the sea), and for those of the settler colony who cannot countenance such a prospect, to use their right of return to their countries of origin in Europe, the former Soviet Union, Central Asia and North America, Australia, South Africa, or wherever they are actually from.

    To that end it is vitally important that we speak out against anti-semitism and that world Jewry can feel and actually be safe in their own countries, including the UK.

    Their confected ‘fears’ and complaints to the contrary (beautifully satirised above) must not be given any credence.

    • JK redux

      Dr Iain

      Do you believe that Hamas would support a secular, democratic and peaceful state of Palestine?

      The secular part in particular…..

      • Clark

        “The secular part in particular…..”

        Ah, so you think Islam needs to be ‘contained’, do you? Like NATO’s original purpose of ‘containing’ the long since voluntarily disbanded Soviet Union.

      • zoot

        JK Redux

        what is your opinion of the active participation in an ongoing genocide of the US, EU and UK? i remind you again, the average age of those being murdered in Gaza is 5.

          • zoot

            i’m not convinced that you do oppose it. what Israel, Britain and America are doing to the Gazans is the worst crime that has been committed by nation states in your lifetime. yet all your contributions seek to deflect attention away from that crime. especially odd from somebody known for moral posturing and who harps incessantly about illegal occupation, civilian casualties, human right abuses, etc.

      • Bayard

        “Do you believe that Hamas would support a secular, democratic and peaceful state of Palestine?”

        Yes, because they are not Islamists, as you would know if you bothered to actually find out anything about Hamas.

        • JK redux


          That’s the first time that I have seen it suggested that Hamas is not Islamist.

          Can you cite any sources for that? Thanks.

          • Bayard

            The presence of Christian churches in Gaza should give you a clue. Since it is impossible to prove a negative, what makes you think it is?

      • Dr Iain

        Well JK redux, I think you need to read more and try to understand better.

        For example, you could start with an excellent analysis by Professor Daniel Beaumont of the University Rochester, USA, an expert on Arabic languages and literature and an expert commentator on the current situation:

        “After the twelve hundred people massacred by Hamas on October 7 the next casualties were the near god-like reputations of the IDF and the Mossad and its cousins in Israeli intelligence. To be fair, there were some in the Israeli intelligence establishment who sensed something might be afoot. The Israeli military intelligence Aman warned Netanyahu that the divisions in Israeli society caused by Netanyahu’s ‘judicial reforms’ could encourage an attack by Hamas or Hezbollah. But apparently the Israeli generals were as blinkered as Netanyahu whose first priority—rather like his American counterpart—is staying out of prison”.

        You see JK, Hamas is Israel and Netanyahu’s creature whose purpose – as in all imperial occupations was to divide and rule:

        “It is well-documented that he and others in Likud helped to create Hamas, gave financial support to it in order to fracture the Palestinians so Likud and other right-wing Israeli parties opposed to any Palestinian state could claim they had no party to negotiate with. This simply as a delaying tactic while the Israeli settlements metastasized throughout the West Bank. But on October 7 the folly of Netanyahu’s connivance in the creation Hamas was lost for most Israelis in the mists of time. How clever he was until he wasn’t”.

        When the Zionist Entity no longer exists, there will be no further reason for its creation, Hamas, and as in South Africa, politics will take centre stage.

        Meanwhile the Genocide continues at the hands of the Israeli Occupation Force (IOF):

        “Another reason for the appalling numbers of casualty is the IOF’s use of system called Hasbora (The Gospel) which uses AI to generate targets far faster than humans could. These targets disregard any number of civilians involved what a retired intelligence officer calls, “A mass assassination factory.”
        And this is central point of Yuval Abraham’s article: Palestinian civilians are as much a target in the current onslaught in Gaza as Hamas—which makes any call for the IOF to be more precise in their targeting useless. They are being precise in their targeting. They have civilians right in their crosshairs.”

        I trust this will be dealt with in various courts for war crimes and genocide – including those complicit in the UK and USA:

        “At the same time Biden is getting pressure from careerists in the State Department and also Democrats on the House Intelligence, Armed Services or Foreign Affairs committees to curb Israel’s assault. Biden must be weighing whether his long unconditional support of Israel will now cost him his reelection. He must know also that Netanyahu’s two goals, crushing Hamas and getting the hostages back, are incompatible. The latter could be achieved by a ceasefire and negotiation. The massive assault and bombardment is more likely to kill hostages”.

        Israel and the US currently do not have any viable plan for the post-genocide reality that will confront them:

        “Ami Ayalon, former head of Shin Bet the Israeli domestic security agency, said, “Israel after October 7 will be a different Israel…The current leadership will have to disappear from our lives, it led us with open eyes into the most terrible crisis.”

        “That is a simple hard fact that US and Israeli politicians have tried to ignore for decades. There is no back door or side door that will lead to peace between the Arab World and Israel that does not lead through Palestine. The two-state solution has been for a long time a pipedream. The West Bank is now so cut up by Israeli settlements and walls that a Palestinian state there would look like jigsaw puzzle missing most of its pieces. The Israeli plan for Gaza is that it will be uninhabitable. The most realistic solution now is for Israelis and Palestinians to live together in one free state from the river to the sea”.

        Amen, āmēn אָמֵן amyn, آمين

        • AG


          With the gradual admission of PLO to the “international community” – starting in the late 1970s – Israel demanded that any meaningful attempts by Palestinians to develop democratic structures and resources for state-building had to be undermined and destroyed. Since non-violent Palestinians who were levelling with Israel and the rest of the world on equal terms of discourse and negotiation would have rendered ineffective Israel’s decade-long diplomatic advantage in contrast to their Arab counterparts who they regarded as filthy and uncivilized and uneducated and intended to help keep up that image.

          Hamas was one way to reach this: by undermining democratic structures via a violent agent who is out to disrupt and wreak havoc.

        • JK redux

          Dr Iain

          Hamas were elected by the Palestinians in Gaza to rule the region about (?) 15 years ago and have ruled it since.

          You say “When the Zionist Entity no longer exists, there will be no further reason for its creation, Hamas.”

          Maybe so but in the meantime Hamas remains a hard-line Islamist movement that controls Gaza.

          • Dr Iain

            JK redux,
            Repeating the same sterile propaganda point ad nauseam without participating in the discourse adds nothing to the discussion. Repetition doesn’t make the truth of a lie.

            Moreover, it ignores the origins and nature of the problem, whilst failing to address – or even acknowledge – the vile nature of the vicious psychopathic atrocity we are watching in real time: The ethnic cleansing and genocide of the indigenous people of Palestine.

            This is not some bi-product of the Zionist war aim – it is de facto THE singular war aim and has been since before 1948. The stated war aim of “wiping out Hamas” is just another Israeli lie. The founding and continuing ineffable logic of Zionism is ethnic cleansing and genocide of the Palestinian people.

            It has been going on for over eighty years. The difference now is that it is being made explicit in the minds of millions who hitherto were blind to it.

            The word “redux” describes things that have been brought back – something that happens over and over again – which I guess is an apt description of a contributor who thinks that repeating the same nonsense over and over again somehow makes it true.

          • JK redux

            Dr Iain. You haven’t addressed the inconvenient fact that Hamas are an ultra Islamist outfit with considerable support in Gaza.

            Hamas aren’t going to support a democratic, secular and unitary state of Palestine “from the river to the sea”.

            Unitary certainly but not the rest…

          • glenn_nl

            JD: Seriously? You’re ignoring a comprehensive reply, and sticking down a feeble slogan by way of a response?

            Yes Hamas might be Islamic. Shock! Horror!

            I take it you are surprised and alarmed at the support for the only organisation fighting on behalf of a people being genocided out of existence.

            People like you would have been telling the French Resistance to tamp it down a bit, right?

          • AG

            here a text on Hamas by As’ad AbuKhalil
            “Hamas Before and After Oct. 7”
            November 27, 2023

            perhaps it´s a helpful contribution.

            As to democratic structures in Gaza: Israel has as I wrote above no interest in those.
            So the IDF incursions are intended to disrupt such developments.

            This was e.g. the case in 2008.
            Finkelstein states that for many months a truce had been observed by Hamas.

            Then when the U.S. election of 2008 was on IDF attacked Hamas deliberately on that very date knowing that Western media would completely be focused on Washington.
            Hamas eventually would respond to the provocations.

            In 2012 again: This time just before a deal would be agreed on the Hamas negotiatior was assassinated.

            In fact his Israeli counterpart even wrote an article about this just after the assassination had been carried out:

            The term “mowing the lawn” is part of these permanent attempts to obstruct any democratic progress in Gaza.

            So if there are problems of that kind there they are instigated not by evil isIamic forces in order to destroy Israel but in fact are sought by Israel to keep Gaza upset via turmoil.

            So there is a direct link between the IDF killing Hundreds of Palestinians every couple of years (these would be the military operations known by names as “Operation Cast Lead” or “Protective Edge”) and Hamas acting the way they do.

            But whatever the realities on the ground I have never heard any scholar yet who would compare Hamas with ISIS. They are opponents not allies. Besides regarding the inhumane conditions in Gaza, education level of its population is rather high. (I forgot the figures but they were impressive considering the state of things.)

            Islamic Fascists don´t thrive under educated folks with close relations to Lebanon which used to have the best book publishing industry in that region, e.g.

            From Norman Finkelstein on Hamas = ISIS:

            Hamas was established in the cauldron of the Israeli occupation, and like other Palestinian organizations actively participated in the struggle to end Israeli rule. In 2006 it participated in Palestinian legislative elections, fully certified by the Carter Center, which it won. In 2007 Hamas seized power in the Gaza Strip after a year during which its various domestic and foreign adversaries, to put it politely, actively worked to undermine it. In the intervening years it has in addition to attacks which have garnered global headlines developed relations with states as diverse as Algeria, Egypt, Iran, Russia, and Qatar; negotiated prisoner exchanges and ceasefires with Israel; freed and released foreign hostages (including BBC journalist Alan Johnston) abducted by rivals and criminal gangs; endorsed a two-state settlement with Israel; and cooperated with a variety of UN agencies and international organisations.

            Its governance of the Gaza Strip has, to varying degrees, been hegemonic and repressive, but like its politics and policies defies any comparison to that experienced under ISIS’s self-styled caliphate in Syria and Iraq.

            ISIS has in fact been bitterly critical of Hamas, and considers the group in its entirety, as well as each of its individual members, “apostates” and “polytheists” – its most serious transgressions of all. This is on account of, among other mortal sins, Hamas’s participation in democratic elections, its failure to govern solely in accordance with shari’a (Islamic law), its relations with Iran and other regional states, and prioritization of Palestinian liberation. Perhaps for this reason Hamas made short shrift of attempts by the Islamic State movement to establish a foothold in the Gaza Strip, primarily in Rafah, during 2015-2016.

          • JK redux


            There’s a vast difference between the terms Islamic and Islamist, as I expect that you know. Hamas is the latter.

          • Dr Iain

            JK Redux,

            I encourage you to read Read carefully AG’s response at 31st Dec 02:42, and the links he provides.

            And also recall, Hamas is the elected government of the concentration camp that is the Zionist’s Gaza colony.

            The history of colonial liberation is replete with examples of liberation movements becoming recognised governments after liberation.

            One example may suffice – voiced by someone who I suspect is admired by you:

            “I just remembered I did not answer the second part of the previous question put to me about the ANC, when the ANC says that they will target British companies. This shows what a typical terrorist organisation it is. I fought terrorism all my life and if more people fought it, and we were all more successful, we should not have it and I hope that everyone in this hall will think it is right to go on fighting terrorism. They will if they believe in democracy.”
            — Margaret Thatcher, Vancouver, October 1987.

            Magnificently, the ANC government of the Republic of South Africa has now called out the genocidal fascist regime currently occupying Palestine.

            Its days are numbered, and I fully expect that all parties to that conflict (those who are sane at least) will in due course participate in the peaceful resolution of the conflict.

            Fascist colonies will not persist.

          • Laguerre

            Yes, Abu Khalil is good and has a good analysis. Rather harsh and bitter as a personality, which is not very surprising, considering how difficult it is to be critical of zionism in the US. It’s surprising he’s not been given the order of the boot by his university (which is a small college in California).

          • Laguerre

            JK redux
            Nah, Hamas has not been particularly Islamist. It’s become the replacement for the PLO, and thus is now nationalist.

          • AG


            So you have been listening to his radio program? I only have read a couple of texts. Don´t know anything about his true person. Just knowing that term “The Angry Arab” naturally a sarcasm.

          • glenn_nl

            JK: There’s a vast difference between the terms Islamic and Islamist, as I expect that you know. Hamas is the latter.

            Indeed? May I quote you again, from earlier :

            JD: “Can you cite any sources for that? Thanks.

            By the way, I love how you change the conversation all the time. Hey, hey – Ukraine! Hey, hey – Hamas!

            This is an on-going genocide we’re lookjng at, and you always want to talk about anything else, as if it justifies it. Do you do this in real life? If you see someone drowning, do you concern yourself with speculation as to where the water might have come from, instead of trying to rescue them?

          • Laguerre

            As’ad Abu Khalil: I once heard him give a lecture, shook hands, and I’ve had several email exchanges with him since, some time ago now. I think he thought I was too soft on the Middle East.

          • AG


            ..would you remember what you said about the MidEast that he called you too soft?

  • harry law

    The Israeli response to the South African accusation is a litany of lies, telling everyone that what they have been witnessing live on TV over the past 3 months is not true – when in fact many in the Israeli government, including the Defence Minister, have made well-documented statements of ‘intent’ of a Genocidal nature. Worse still, we have seen those statements put into practice before our eyes on a daily basis. These Israeli cabinet members are disgusting, vile human beings who should be hunted down and prosecuted wherever they go.
    Here is a short summary of the Israeli response; this is in the hope that in a few months’ time enough of their sycophantic followers like Keir Starmer can use the “he said, she said” argument to excuse and obscure the dispute. (Unfortunately for them, far too much evidence has been compiled for that to work.)

    Israel rejects with disgust the blood libel spread by South Africa in its application to the International Court of Justice (ICJ). South Africa is cooperating with a terrorist organization that is calling for the destruction of the State of Israel. Hamas is responsible for the suffering of the Palestinians in the Gaza Strip by using them as human shields and stealing humanitarian aid from them.
    Israel is committed to international law and acts in accordance with it.
    Israel has made it clear that the residents of the Gaza Strip are not the enemy, and is making every effort to limit harm to civilians and to facilitate the entry of humanitarian aid to the Gaza Strip.

  • harry law

    Below is part of a speech by Ronnie Casrils who was a Minister in the South African government; he was also Jewish. He describes how Israel was so much worse than South Africa:

    The so-called “non-whites” in apartheid South Africa, indigenous Africans, others of mixed race or of Indian origin – like second- or third-class non-Jews in Israel – were consigned to a non-citizenship status of Kafkaesque existence, subject to bureaucratic whims and the laws prohibiting their free movement, access to work and trade, dictating where they could reside and so forth.

    Verwoerd would have been well aware of Israel’s dispossession of indigenous Palestinians in 1948 – the year his apartheid party similarly came to power – of the unfolding destruction of their villages, the premeditated massacres and the systematic ethnic cleansing.

    Within a few short years the apartheid regime was ruthlessly clearing South Africa’s cities and towns of so-called “black spots” – where the “non-whites” lived, socialised, studied and traded – bulldozing homes, loading families onto military trucks, and forcibly relocating them to distant settlements. Unlike the “native reserves” – soon to be reconstituted as Bantustans – not too far away from industrial areas because the economy thrived on a quota of cheap black labour.

    Whilst he did not live to see the division of Palestinian territory after the Six Day War, and the subsequent creation of minuscule Bantustans in the West Bank and Gaza, he would have greatly admired and approved of the machinations that enclosed the Palestinians in their own ghettoised prisons. This, after all, was the Verwoerdian grand plan, and the reason why Jimmy Carter could so readily identify the Occupied Palestinian Territories as being akin to apartheid. In fact the Bantustans consisted of 13% of apartheid South Africa, uncannily comparable to the derisory, ever-shrinking pieces of ground Israel is assigning to the Palestinians.

    A further comment about the Bantustans. When I visited Yasser Arafat in his virtually demolished headquarters in Ramallah, as part of a South African delegation in 2004, he pointed around him and said “See this is nothing but a Bantustan!” No, we responded, pointing out that no Bantustan, in fact not even our townships, had been bombed by warplanes, pulverised by tanks. To a wide-eyed Arafat we pointed out that Pretoria pumped in funds, constructed impressive administration buildings, even allowed for Bantustan airlines to service the Mickey Mouse capitals in order to impress the world that they were serious about so-called “separate development.”

    What Verwoerd admired too was the impunity with which Israel exercised state violence and terror to get its way, without hindrance from its Western allies – increasingly key among them the USA. What Verwoerd and his ilk came to admire in Israel, and sought to emulate in the southern African region, was the way the Western powers permitted an imperialist Israel to use its unbridled military with impunity in expanding its territory and holding back the rising tide of Arab nationalism in its neighbourhood.

  • Crispa

    Benigni’s “Life is Beautiful” (1997), which controversially at the time I seem to remember, used black humour to portray life in a German concentration camp, did as much to reinforce the horrors of the holocaust as any film of that genre. The idea of Israel as some kind of victim state given everything done to support its development and its current extremist political ideology as its supporters claim it to be is so absurd that it is of itself a parodical position. However those supporters are in positions of narrative control and use their power to maintain the parody.
    Perhaps they should take their cue from Benigni, look at themselves more closely and come to terms with the absurdity of their position.

  • Jack

    Remember when Russia invaded Ukraine and the right-wing hawks demanded that the socialists/left-wing take a harsher stance, eventually majority of socialists/leftists folded to the pressure and denounced Russia like the right-wingers wanted and in the mix the right-wing eradicated any dissenting views on that war.
    Now, why are not the left using the same tactics back? Why are not the left the monkey on the back on the right demanding 24/7 that the right-wingers must distance themselves and condemn Israel? Why should the right-wing get a free-pass?

    It was the same when in the start of this invasion everyone had to denounce Hamas, many to the left, once again naively folded and adhered to the rightwing extreme discourse on Israel/Palestine and thus there is hardly any critical, dissenting views on Israel in the msm nor even among western politicians.
    Obviously the pro-israeli apologists did not care about civilians being killed as such, 30000 palestinians killed but no one force them to condemn Israel nontheless. Such a great window of opportunity is now missed by the socialists/left when they should have stepped up to the plate and demolish the propaganda, the inhuman child-murdering stance taken by the rightwing in this ongoing massacre.

    • zoot

      the Israel apologists on here would vehemently deny that they are rightwing. they prefer to identify as liberal, centrist or centre left. as we know, these types are even more chauvinistic and hawkish than the hard right when it comes to US/’western’ foreign policy, particularly on Ukraine.

      you might squeeze an extremely weak, reluctant condemnation of Israel out of them but never condemnation of the savagery of Washington, London, Brussels, Berlin.

      never. not even under the present circumstances.

  • harry law

    I have explained in previous comments that the US/Israel have ignored previous ICJ ‘advisory opinions’

    On December 12, Craig Murray, the U.K.’s former ambassador to Uzbekistan, attended a UN session in Geneva called by Palestine. More than 120 countries were represented. Murray spoke to several delegates about why no country has submitted the matter of Israel’s genocide to the ICJ.

    “The answer is now clear to me,” Murray wrote. “It is not that people are worried that a claim of genocide will not be successful at the International Court of Justice. It is that everybody is quite sure it will succeed.”
    “The problem is that once the ICJ has determined that this is a genocide, it follows that not only are [Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin] Netanyahu and hundreds of senior Israeli officials and military personally liable,” according to Murray. “[B]ut it is absolutely plain that ‘Genocide Joe’ Biden, [U.K. Prime Minister Rishi] Sunak and members of their administrations are also criminally liable for complicity, having provided military support for the genocide.”

    Murray added, “The International Criminal Court cannot ignore a judgment of genocide from the International Court of Justice and will have no choice but to issue arrest warrants.”

    There is no doubt that Israel is committing genocide in Gaza. Craig Mokhiber, former director of the New York Office of the UN’s High Commissioner of Human Rights (who resigned in October to protest the UN’s failure to prevent Israel’s genocide) called it “unprecedented — a text book case of genocide.” Cohn goes on, there is also a procedure the General Assembly can follow to circumvent a U.S. veto in the Security Council. Under Uniting for Peace, a resolution passed by the General Assembly to evade the Soviet Union’s veto power during the Korean War, the General Assembly can call on its 193 UN member states to impose a trade embargo on Israel and urge them to organize a military force to intervene in Gaza. The General Assembly can also suspend Israel from its ranks.
    It is to be hoped enough States will unite and not be intimidated by the US.

  • John Main

    Nobody here likes Israel, and nobody here likes Ukraine. Don’t fret, I’m crystal clear on the narrative here – the inhabitants of both benighted countries are genocidal Nazis, and their opponents are saintly altruists driven to drastic actions by provocations beyond imagining.

    Still, some questions arise.

    In Russia, there must still be some mistaken or deluded politicians and bloggers who are off message with the Kremlin worship. Why don’t they post on here?

    And in Gaza too, there must be one or two dissenting voices – after all, as we approach 3 months of intense fighting that has taken some 500 IDF lives, there surely must be at least one lone blogger wondering why Hamas don’t come out with hands up. All the innocent killing could stop within 24 hours. Why no posts to that end on here?

    It’s almost as if the regimes everybody praises ruthlessly suppress all dissent, whereas our open society allows us to post whatever we want to make up.

    How odd and inexplicable.

    • glenn_nl

      JM: “Nobody here likes Israel […]”

      (Distraction about Ukraine removed for the purpose of this discussion)

      Nobody here – yourself and a couple of your mates aside, perhaps – liked apartheid South Africa or Nazi Germany either.

      Go figure.

      Anyway, if Hamas decided to all come out to be summarily executed – which appears to be the only solution you can come up with – would that stop Israelis killing and land-stealing on the West Bank? Do you seriously think that everything was great before Hamas arrived, and Gaza would be transformed into a prosperous little prison camp if Hamas were to disappear?

      I’m amazed that you’re still hanging your hat on such a mind-bogglingly simplistic nonsense of a ‘solution’. It really is desperate stuff, John.

      Let me ask you a serious question – what would you have the Palestinians do? Because everything legitimate that they and their supporters have tried, over the last 70 years, has been dismissed, ignored, penalised, censured, attacked, vilified and indeed criminalised. Right up to being hounded out of jobs, careers ruined and taken to court, for the audacity to express an opinion, however mildly made.

      So what should they do, in your enlightened opinion?

      • John Main

        I thought desperate stuff was getting on for 2.5 million people being dehoused, and quite a few thousand of them being killed and maimed.

        If you can’t see any alternative to the months of fighting that remains until every Hamas fighter has been exterminated and/or every hostage released, dead or alive, then you should have the humility to let others make a suggestion or two.

        You’ve got two sides, each sworn to extermination of the other. It’s probably true that you still have millions of Palestinians caught in the middle. If the plight of these people is your priority, then anything that stops the fighting is at least a partial solution.

        If you want them to fight it out to the bitter end, all the time hoping something will come out of the woodwork to save your preferred side, then settle in for the long haul, and the collateral casualties.

        I see from the personal insults that you don’t do debating in good faith. Don’t worry about that, good faith isn’t expected. But I’ll answer your question anyway. I’d have the Palestinians cut their losses and accept that by giving up now, they will survive to perhaps fight another day, if that’s their heart’s desire.

        How’s your career doing BTW? Would you choose death over its ruin? Seems excessively extreme to me.

        • Courtenay Francis Raymond Barnett

          John Main,

          ” You’ve got two sides, each sworn to extermination of the other.”

          So which world power was successful in defeating the Viet Cong – or is the idea of liberation greater than all the weapons in Israel and the more that can be supplied from the world’s greatest producer of such weapons?

        • Johnny Conspiranoid

          ” I’d have the Palestinians cut their losses and accept that by giving up now, they will survive to perhaps fight another day, if that’s their heart’s desire.”
          It seems more likely that if the Palestinians give up then the Israelis will proceed with their stated intention of killing and/or ethnically cleansing the Palestinians. Their losses would be greater if they stopped fighting.

        • glenn_nl

          JM: “If you can’t see any alternative to the months of fighting that remains until every Hamas fighter has been exterminated […]”

          Whoa right there… who said this has got to be a condition – is this some law of nature or something?

          Did the British declare the same about every last IRA member, and bomb and starve Ireland until this condition was met? Is this how terrorists have to be dealt with – bomb the host country, until they come out with their hands up to be shot?

          Israel has decided this, not God, and your repeating it doesn’t make it any more true or righteous. Israel has repeatedly broken ceasefires and initiated hostilities over the years, even while imposing cruel blockages, punishment and stealing Palestinian land.

          JK: “I see from the personal insults that you don’t do debating in good faith.”

          I make personal insults in perfectly good faith. “Good faith” is not to pretend that your preferred outcomes are some sort of universally accepted requirement, that an alternative does not exist.

          Good faith isn’t pretending that you haven’t heard what you know full well, failing to address awkward questions, and making up false positions for your opponents. For example…

          JK: “If you want them to fight it out to the bitter end, all the time hoping something will come out of the woodwork to save your preferred side […]”

          There you go again, making stuff up. I would like to see an immediate ceasefire. It’s that simple. Kindly stop misrepresenting that, would you please?

          You forgot to say what the Palestinians should have been doing for the past 70 years, although you obviously read it, making some strange remarks about my career.

          Did you really – in good faith – simply forget?

          Here’s another opportunity. Instead of the terrorism – as you see it – what should Palestinians have done, and be doing, to bring about their freedom? If you don’t think they should have freedom (or an existence at all) at least be honest enough to say so.

        • Tom Welsh

          John Main,

          ” You’ve got two sides, each sworn to extermination of the other.”

          That turns out not to be the case. The Palestinians would very much like the millions of Jews who invaded their country, stole their land and houses, drove them out, and killed anyone who didn’t run quick enough to go back to where they came from – or else to agree to live together with the Palestinians on equal terms under law. To that end, the Palestinians would like “the Israeli entity” to be dissolved – as, for instance, the USSR was dissolved, an act that in itself harmed not one single living person.

          The situation is as asymmetric as it could possibly be.

          The Zionists want every last square inch of what they call “Eretz Israel” to belong to them, and to expel every last Gentile from it. It is to be a “pure” Jewish nation. That can be done in one of two ways. Either they have to kill every last Gentile who is living in Palestine. Or they must somehow “persuade” them to leave Palestine and go somewhere else – in which case the first problem is to find another nation to accept millions of mostly penniless refugees.

        • Bayard

          “You’ve got two sides, each sworn to extermination of the other.”
          This is not “The Hunting of the Snark”, so saying something three times does not make it true.
          One side is sworn to the extermination of a people, the other to the termination of a state. There is a difference and I can explain, if you can’t see what it is.

  • Sydney Australia

    I really don’t understand. Did those journalists write that piece as a collective, as satire, and have it published in the Guardian, intending to expose the lies against Palestine? I don’t see a link to the article. If not, I really don’t follow the concept, dear Craig.

    • craig Post author

      The piece was written solely by me. It is a parody of scores of articles published by the Guardian, making precisely these pro-Israeli arguments, dressed up in more “reasonable” fashion.

      • Paul Rooney

        It’s – sorry to say – a very bad parody. Why not just make reasonable arguments? Stay with outrage, condemnation and exposing bad stuff, but forget about predictions, parody or writing history. All the best for the coming year!

        • Jen

          A bad parody? But that is the point. How does one write a good parody of bad writing without it looking “bad”?

          The only features I would say are missing from Craig Murray’s send-up are Marina Hyde’s peevishness and Luke Harding’s fevered paranoia. Oh sorry, CM had LDH’s addendum at the end.

  • Brian Sides

    “The above—and I would hope I did not have to say this, but experience proves otherwise—is satire.”

    But it is not satire for far too many who believe it to be the truth
    Indeed I wonder why this was published in the Guardian was it to satire or reinforce to those who have a mind to believe it to be the truth?

    ““Of all tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It would be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron’s cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience.”
    — C.S.Lewis”

    The tyrant can unfortunately always convince himself, and often many others, that his actions are for the greater good and therefore essential.
    The logic is simple: the only way to save the Palestinians from themselves is to destroy Hamas. For they will never have peace so long as they have Hamas as their leaders or amongst them.
    The same logic for attacking Iraq to get rid of Saddam Hussein or Afghanistan to get Osama bin Laden and terrorist training camps. Or Libya and Gaddafi, or Syria and Bashar al-Assad, or Yemen and the Houthi, plus many more countries that the West has tried to save from themselves.
    I guess you could add Ukraine that the West has being getting to attack itself and embroil itself in a proxy war against Russia,

    • Seansaighdeoir

      “Of all tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive” – ‘Covid’ in a nutshell.

      • Clark

        Not only is this off-topic and false (see here, which is where you should be posting on this matter), it’s an odd sort of ‘tyranny’ that cancels itself after a year.

        A quote from the above link:

        “If covid is a hoax, or overblown or something, how come the positive test rate predicts hospital admissions by a week, and the death rate by a fortnight? How come these curves have the same, characteristic shapes, over and over, in region after region, country after country?”

  • harry law

    Mike Whitney has it about right in what he says the “war in Gaza ” is all about. Here is a summary…..
    As we all know, Israel’s long-term plan is to incorporate Gaza and the West Bank into Greater Israel. They want to control all the land from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea. The problem is, however, that if they annex the occupied territories without disposing of the people, then the Palestinian population will equal or exceed that of the Jews which would lead to the demise of the Jewish state. That is the basic problem in a nutshell.
    As of late 2022, over seven million Israelis lived in Israel and the West Bank, and seven million Palestinians lived in the West Bank, Gaza Strip, Israel and East Jerusalem,
    Demography lies at the core of the territorial dispute between Jews and Arabs, as the two nations are waging a major war on numbers, aimed at weaponizing fertility rates to turn them into a predictive assumption of victory.
    Arnon Soffer, a professor of geography at Haifa University said there are 7.45 million Jews and others along with 7.53 million Arab Israelis and Palestinians living in what he termed the Land of Israel, meaning Israel plus the West Bank and Gaza Strip. When the number of non-Israeli nationals is taken into consideration, it leaves the Jewish proportion at between 46% and 47% of the total, he claimed.
    So, what exactly is the solution to the Arab problem?
    Why fewer Arabs, of course. Which is why the idea of expelling the Palestinians has a long pedigree in Zionist thinking dating back a full five decades before the establishment of the Jewish state.
    The ideological father of political Zionism himself, Theodor Herzl, who wrote the following:
    “We shall try to spirit the penniless population across the border by procuring employment for it in the transit countries, while denying it any employment in our own country… expropriation and the removal of the poor must be carried out discreetly and circumspectly.”
    Here’s Ben-Gurion again in 1938: “I support compulsory transfer. I don’t see anything immoral in it.”
    Here’s how Ben Shapiro summed it up in an essay titled “Transfer is Not a Dirty Word”:
    Here is the bottom line: If you believe that the Jewish state has a right to exist, then you must allow Israel to transfer the Palestinians and the Israeli-Arabs from Judea, Samaria, Gaza and Israel proper. It’s an ugly solution, but it is the only solution. And it is far less ugly than the prospect of bloody conflict ad infinitum….
    Bottom line: The strategic objectives of the Israeli operation in Gaza are entirely different than the stated goal of defeating Hamas. All of the land west of the Jordan River is now being cleared of its native occupants so it can be incorporated into Greater Israel while maintaining a sizable Jewish majority. The demonizing of the Palestinian people – which casts the victims of this onslaught as the perpetrators – is intended to conceal the underlying policy that is based on racial discrimination. There is no doubt that if the Arabs in Gaza were of Jewish descent, they would be spared the genocide they face today.

    • Stevie Boy

      isn’t it funny (?) that the Israeli, Jewish, Zionists consider all Gentiles (non Jews) as ‘untermenschen’ to whom it’s perfectly okay to lie to, cheat, steal from and kill. Yet their enablers in the USA are on the whole untermenschen themselves. It appears that American (Western) Turkeys truly do vote for Christmas.

      • Bramble

        I rather think that the Christian zionists are just as convinced of their own blessedness as the Jewish ones are. Each believes themselves to be chosen by God, while judging that the others are damned. And all go to the very same Book as indisputable evidence. Someone must be laughing somewhere,

      • Tom Welsh

        Stevie, I think that what they vote for is money. As long as that is flowing to them, they don’t care what anyone thinks of them. As for the Zionists, they don’t care whom they are paying as long as the results keep flowing.

      • glenn_nl

        It’s actually because the fanatical Religious Right in the USA believes that the End Times will come about only if certain Biblical conditions are met, which includes Israel being in charge of the entire ancient lands of the middle east. There has to be a mighty slaughtering on a vast scale (this is the Christian Bible, after all), after which Jesus will be happy, and come slithering down the pile of bodies, and bring about The Rapture.

        It doesn’t work out too well for Jews, because at this point they will all have to convert to Christianity, or be put to the sword.

        Israel doesn’t believe any of this crap, of course, but is more than happy to indulge this tosh because of the unwavering support it brings.

        You might find this hard to believe, so read it from the true believers themselves :

    • AG

      harry law

      thx for the nutshell.

      In Germany e.g. you simply could not publcly say what you just wrote.
      Regardless that it is based on documents and countless historians´ works (namely the New Historians from 1980s Israel).

      This is power in its most crystal clear form – it doesn´t matter what is morally or legally right or wrong.
      The only question that matters is – to quote a line from the American psychological thriller movie “Shutter Island” (2010) – “whose power is bigger, yours or mine?”

      No wonder that Finkelstein argues that the matter is actually a very simple one. But to obfuscate the sad truth all kinds of distortions and dishonest complications are invented.

    • Jen

      Isn’t there also the little known fact that there are considerable natural gas and oil resources in the maritime territory of the Gaza strip that Israel has been eyeing for at least a decade?

  • pete

    Well, it’s a good satire, a little heavy handed but it does highlight the essential point that any criticism of Israel’s over-reaction to the recent attack by resistance fighters to the occupation of their country is dismissed as antisemitism. The cheerleaders of the Antisemitism smear seem to be unaware that this particular flag will no longer fly. Indeed, it is worse than that, they risk being permanently discredited in relation to any historical account of these events. Their actions look to be self serving, wishing to preserve their present status, unaware of how illogical their stand is. The future of the Zionist state itself is at risk if their leaders do not realise the consequences and dangers of their genocidal acts. Self defence is not an excuse for mass murder.

  • harry law

    pete, most of those writers are fully aware of the consequences of their words, and of the history of the region; they just do not care. They are merely singing for their supper. Simple as that.

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